• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

The serpent serves several functions in The Book of Genesis. It functions as a symbol of temptation, free choice, knowledge, and good vs. evil, as well as deception.

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

The Role of the Serpent The serpent serves several functions in The Book of Genesis. It functions as a symbol of temptation, free choice, knowledge, and good vs. evil, as well as deception. These are very powerful metaphors portrayed by the writers. By tempting Eve to eat from the tree, and disobey God, the serpent was in fact tempting her to make choices: Do you disobey God and open your eyes to knowledge, or free choice, or do you obey him, and believe what he says to be the ultimate truth? The message from God to Adam was very clear: "You may freely eat of every tree of the garden; but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall die." (Genesis 2:16-17) The message was presumably delivered to Eve from Adam, for God created Eve after delivering the message to Adam. When the serpent approached Eve and told her to eat from the forbidden tree, she explained to the serpent what God said. ...read more.

Middle

Eve said, "The serpent tricked me, and I ate." (Genesis 3:14) God did not want Adam or Eve to even have the ability to think on his or her own. Why would he have said to Adam: "Who told you that you were naked?"(Genesis 3:14) It is clear that God wanted control of not only the actions of his creations, but also their thought process. God does not immediately punish Adam and Eve for disobeying his command to not eat the forbidden fruit, but instead punishes the serpent first, as evident in the following passage: "Because you have done this, cursed are you among all animals and among all wild creatures; upon your belly you shall go, and dust you shall eat?all the days of your life". (Genesis 3:15) Since the recommendation by the serpent was so clearly in conflict with God's word, the decision boiled down to whom Eve trusted, and whether or not she was tempted to think on her own, and make her own decision. Does she trust God, who created her, or the serpent that she did not know at all She could have protected herself by thinking who was most trustworthy or simply focus on God's command. ...read more.

Conclusion

The most important, and most obvious to me is the ability of the serpent to show Eve how to think about choices in life, when to obey, when to disobey, and having the freedom to pursue knowledge, opening her eyes to all that is available to her regardless of the consequences. Eve's ability to persuade Adam to eat from the same tree and disobey God may have shown not only his loyalty to her, but also his fear of losing her if he did not pursue the same desires. Throughout the book of Genesis we have gained a lot of insight into how the serpent works tempting humans, introducing choices, and free thought, as well as the pursuit of knowledge. We are tempted to do many things, most of the time we do the good things, but then again, there are some people who are tempted to do evil. We sometimes have to make sacrifices in order to achieve what we believe is the right thing to do, sometimes the sacrifice we make means having to disobey rules and laws, and accept the consequences; but many times we also learn from our mistakes, so there is always something good and something bad to be gained from temptation and the pursuit of knowledge. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our University Degree Christianity section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related University Degree Christianity essays

  1. Free essay

    In what way would it be fair to describe Martin Luther as a revolutionary(TM)?

    The corruption within the church led the laity to examine ideas of those who challenged the church, more seriously and with more sympathy and interest than they would have done previously. On 31st October 1517, All Saints Eve, Martin Luther (a monk and lecturer at the University of Wittenburg in Northern Germany)

  2. Outline Luther's theological principle of sola scriptura (by the Bible alone), and assess its ...

    Thus, the above is indeed a firm declaration of sola scriptura, by the Bible Alone, consequently an affirmation against the Catholic Church. However, this can also lead to questioning of the principle itself as Catholics could argue that Luther was simply adjusting teachings to suit his own means, just as he argued the Church was doing.

  1. In what ways did Augustine and Pelagius' view of man, sin and grace differ? ...

    Man sinks down as a result of immoral actions, but can get to the surface by making moral decisions and acting obediently. Pelagius adapts Augustine's notion of 'original sin;' man is not sinful by nature and does not inherit sin, instead we inevitably imitate Adam - Adam serves as a

  2. Compare the strengths and weaknesses of two texts relating to the historical Jesus.

    Crossan moves onto analyzing Jesus' healings and miracles. Here, a distinction is made between curing a disease and healing the patient. Crossan claims that Jesus healed people by demarginalizing and removing them from the fringes of society. The days leading to the death of Jesus, the crucifixion and burial is where the author's main criticism of the historical Jesus lies.

  1. Identify the distinctive content of Luke's gospel and discuss what is revealed there about ...

    Although it does have it's flaws this theory is accepted by most New Testament scholars and it is through the acknowledgement of this theory we can then move on to look how Luke uses Mark, 'Q' and 'L' to the best of our knowledge.

  2. Although there is no passage in the Bible which explicitly states the absolute dominance ...

    Women, despite their physical frailty and moral inferiority, were able to bear offspring; in the eyes of the believers, however, the miracle of birth was something sinful, a bad attempt to imitate the creative power of the Lord. Though witch prosecutions died off with time, the subordinate status of women in society remained.

  1. In the minds of Roman Catholics living in the North America, regardless of abortion ...

    They prefer to take a pro-choice stand. There reasoning is the social cost of undesired pregnancies and further restricting women? right to control reproduction. According to Dunkel-Schetter, Sagrestano, Feldman, & Killingsworth, authors of ?Ethnicity and Social Support During Pregnancy?, social support has been proven to portray beneficial effects on the mental and physical health of pregnant women.

  2. How is Spiritual and Religious Awareness in the Contemporary World Reflected in Popular Music?

    In the past the church would have filled this role, but increasingly a sense of community is now expressed at other events, among them those involving popular music. The person at a rock or pop concert, or a nightclub, may experience a common humanity and a bonding with others in the venue.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work