Do They Agree?
excerpted from Chapter 3 of
Uncovering the Myths of Ellen G. White
by Sydney Cleveland
1. Was Adam with Eve when she was tempted at the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil?
"I saw that the holy angels often visited the garden (of Eden), and gave instruction to Adam and Eve concerning their employment, and also taught them concerning the rebellion of Satan and his fall. The angels warned them of Satan, and cautioned them not to separate from each other in their employment. ... Satan commenced his work with Eve, to cause her to disobey. She first erred in wandering from her husband, next in lingering around the forbidden tree." — Spiritual Gifts, vol. 1, p. 20, written in 1858.
"The angels had cautioned Eve to beware of separating herself from her husband.... But absorbed in her pleasing task, she unconsciously wandered from his side. On perceiving that she was alone, she felt an apprehension of danger. ... She soon found herself gazing with mingled curiosity and admiration upon the forbidden tree." — Patriarchs and Prophets, pp.53, 54, written in 1890.
"Without a fear she plucked and ate. And now, having herself transgressed, she became the agent of Satan in working the ruin of her husband. In a state of strange, unnatural excitement, with her hands filled with the forbidden fruit, she sought his presence. ... He (Adam) mourned that he had permitted Eve to wander from his side." — Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 56, written in 1890.
"The woman said to the serpent, 'We may eat. ...' When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband who was with her, and he ate it." — Genesis 3:4, 6.
Ellen White claimed Eve wandered away from Adam and was alone when she was tempted at the tree. But God's Word states Adam was physically "with her," and when Eve spoke to the serpent she used the plural pronoun "we." Can both Ellen White and the Bible be right? No, here they contradict each other. Let's look carefully at what the Bible means when it uses the Hebrew word that is translated "with her."
In Genesis 3:6, the Hebrew word 'im is translated "with her." Notice how this same Hebrew word is used in other Old Testament texts to clearly indicate two people or two things are together in one palce at the same time:
"Rachel came with her father's sheep." — Genesis 29:9.
Samuel's mother "took the boy with her" to Shiloh. — 1 Samuel 1:24.
Anything Esther "wanted was given her to take with her from the harem to the king's palace." — Esther 2:13.
All these Old Testament examples use the same Hebrew word. There can be no doubt that Adam was by Eve's side when she was tempted. Contrary to what Ellen White wrote, Genesis 3:6 specifically states Adam was physically "with her" at the tree!
Now consider what eminent linguists say about the Hebrew word 'im, which all of these texts have translated as "with her." The Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament defines 'im as:
"with, beside, by, among, accompanying. ... It expresses the concept of inclusiveness, togetherness, company. ... The basic conception conveyed is that of fellowship, companionship, common experiences. — pp. 676, 677.
The Hebrew-English Lexicon defines 'im as in the "society" of, or in the "company" of someone. — p. 196.
The conservative Keil-Delitzsch commentary states:
"she took of its fruit and ate, and gave to her husband by her (who was present), and he did eat." — vol. 1, p. 95.
That's what the Hebrew word 'im means.
About 300 years before Christ the Rabbis translated the Old Testament into Greek and called it the "Septuagint." The Septuagint uses slightly different verse numbers, so Genesis 3:6 in our Bible is Genesis 3:7 in the Septuagint. The Septuagint translates the Hebrew into Greek by saying:
"and having taken of its fruit she ate, and she gave to her husband also with her, and they ate." — Genesis 3:7 (Septuagint).
Here the Greek words translated "with her" are auths met auths (in the genitive case). This is what the classic Bauer, Arndt, and Gingrich Greek Lexicon has to say about the genitive case in Greek grammar:
" met with genitive: with — in company with someone, in company with whom something happens." — pp. 509-510.
The same Greek words and genitive linguistic constructions are used in the following New Testament Greek texts to clearly show two or more people were together in the same place at the same time:
"They were in a boat with their father." — Matthew 4:21.
"The Son of Man is going to come in his Father's glory with his angels." — Matthew 16:27.
"The mother ... came to Jesus with her sons." — Matthew 20:20.
"And Judas the traitor was standing there with them." — John 18:5.
Linguistic evidence in Hebrew, Greek and English plainly shows Ellen White specifically contradicted Genesis 3:6. But where did she get the idea Eve was alone at the tree? Second Enoch 31:6 and Jubilees 3:20-22 contain that idea. However, Enoch and Jubilees are apocryphal books which Christians have excluded from the Bible for 2,000 years. Are you comfortable with Ellen White's teaching when it contradicts the Bible and originated in apocryphal books?
This excerpt (pp. 25-28) of White-Washed is shared by permission of LAM Publications, LLC, and by permission of author Sydney Cleveland. "Do They Agree?" (Chapter 3) features twenty such topics that highlight Ellen White's contradictions of Scripture—this excerpt being only the first.