“And Adam Called His Wife’s Name Eve”: A Study in Authentic Biblical Manhood -- By: Robert Bjerkaas

Journal: Journal for Biblical Manhood and Womanhood
Volume: JBMW 12:1 (Spring 2007)
Article: “And Adam Called His Wife’s Name Eve”: A Study in Authentic Biblical Manhood
Author: Robert Bjerkaas


“And Adam Called His Wife’s Name Eve”: A Study in Authentic Biblical Manhood

Robert Bjerkaas

Any recovery of an authentically biblical understanding of men and women must begin in the Garden of Eden. It is there that we learn about the special creation of Adam and Eve. It is there that we read God’s mandate to the first male and female. And, perhaps more importantly for this article’s purpose, it is there in the garden that we are able to see the effects of sin and grace on the relationship between Adam and Eve. Of these lessons on the relationship between the sexes, it might be the case that the effect of grace on Adam and Eve’s sin-broken relationship receives less attention than some other equally valuable biblical truths recorded in the first chapters of Genesis. This article will explore this perhaps neglected lesson on grace in the garden. It will do so by posing two questions: (1) Why does Adam call his wife Eve; and (2) What lessons does this surprise ending to the narrative of the fall teach us? Although this article will focus on Adam’s role in acting in accord with the grace that he has received, other equally important considerations regarding Eve’s transformation by grace could be developed as well.

Why Does Adam Call his Wife Eve?

Recently I preached a short series of sermons that dealt with the relationship between Adam and Eve as it is presented to us in Genesis 1–3. In preaching on the text of Gen 3:20, one comment was surprisingly frequent in conversations with parishioners after the service: “I always thought Eve meant ‘mother.’” In point of fact, Eve means ‘life.’ And in naming his wife “life,” we are presented with a surprising change in the rather, up until now, uninspiring conduct of our first father.

Other writers have demonstrated with poignant and decisive clarity the utter failure of Adam in Gen 3:1–12.1 He had been present and silent during his wife’s interview with the serpent. He had allowed the word of God to be questioned. He appears to have done

nothing to stop her from hazarding her life on the contrary word of a creature. To compound his failure, he then partook of the fruit himself and, on being examined by his Maker, attempted to blame his wife for the whole sinful business.

God then pronounces a curse on the serpent, the woman, and on Adam, but not without a promised blessing. In the curse God gives the serpent, he promises a seed of woman who would crush the head of the serpent. The...

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