Talk:Fall of man

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Read Bible?[edit]

Has anyone actually read the Bible, Genisis 1:26 states "Then God said, let US make man in OUR image, in OUR likeness"

Then Genesis 3:21 states "The man has now become like one of US, knowing good and evil"

I believe people take what they can, and never read it!

Queen Elizabeth I said, "We princes are set as it were upon stages in the sight and view of the world." Ergo, Queen Elizabeth I was a prince. Q.E.D. --Eliyak T·C 03:00, 31 August 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Correction, she was two or more princes (talk) 04:42, 26 September 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]
QED denied. The "royal we" argument is used as an apologetic gloss both by Jews and Christians to avoid acknowledging the handful of passages in their scripture that are likely relics of an older polytheistic period (as it is known that the pre-exile religion of Israel was polytheistic; that Yahweh, who had a wife, was the god of Israel, but among the gods themselves was just another one: not the chief god, whose name was El. This is why the Hebrew text uses sometimes El ("God"), sometimes Jehovah (or Yahweh - "the LORD", or "Jehovah"), and sometimes (as in Genesis 1) "Elohim" - the gods. We're only fortunate the ancient societies wrote in stone, or attempts to rewrite history forever and ever might have worked. Firejuggler86 (talk) 18:50, 20 July 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]

The {} sign/s[edit]

One or more of the sign/s: {{NPOV}}{{expansion}}{{Cleanup}} placed on this page without any discussion, explanation or reasoning have been removed pending further discussion. (The category Category:Bible stories is now up for a vote for deletion at Wikipedia:Categories for deletion#Category:Bible stories) Thank you. IZAK 11:16, 18 Nov 2004 (UTC)

I've added the second interpretation of 'felix culpa' to show that the story of Adam and Eve could be interpreted in an entirely different way: Nagig


i'd like to change the title of this article to The fall of Man. thoughts? Ungtss 21:10, 20 Apr 2005 (UTC)

title change[edit]

I agree, it's more specific and the term is commonly used.

cool -- i'll do it. Ungtss 14:56, 22 May 2005 (UTC)Reply[reply]

How about someone add that not every religion nor christain believe the fall of man was a tragic story about the doomed humanity. Many believe that the story is more of an uplifting, Rise of Man and Woman. There is no specific sign that the talking snake in the garden of eden is the devil. And the god of the old testement is severely more vengeful than the new testement one. The snake gave Woman, Woman gave to Man the gifts of knowledge (just as children are born..) When god learns, emphasis on the fact that god did not know where adam and eve were hiding rather, he needed to seek them out. When god learns of adam and eve's knowledge, and their awareness of nudity and embarrasement, he knew they had taken from the tree of knowledge. This all means that god is not, all-knowing. Man and Woman were given the gift of morals, (dharma) to know the good and the bad - for our will is what makes us different that just an animal. In his rage he banned the two and all offspring of every setting foot back into eden. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Thomas-eros (talkcontribs)

Near-death experiences[edit]

I removed the following because I can't see how it is related to The Fall in any sensible way, or how the statements made relate to near-death experiences:

Many near-death experiences deal with the meaning of the life and existence before coming to earth, and several of them also deal with the meaning of The Fall. The Fall is seen as a symbolic descent from connectedness of God and eternal Love to Earth, to experience life in material world and to experience suffering, injustice, separatedness and death, for purpose. The existence on Earth and life in matter enables us to grow and to develop as souls before returning back to unity with God. Almost all near-death experiences which involve on knowledge of the Fall imply we are here on Earth as volunteers, and voluntarily chose the sinful state to apply free will to find our way back to Heavenly Home. This is very much parallel with the previous felix culpa argumentation.

DJ Clayworth 16:18, 12 June 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]


While I agree that the language of the article needed some cleaning-up, there is no reason to avoid the masculine pronoun for God, which is almost universal in Christianity except among a small minority. (It is equally acknowledged that God is neither male nor female except as incarnate in Jesus; the pronoun is merely conventional.) Removing all personal pronouns makes for needless awkwardness. There was certainly no call for moving the article without discussion. TCC (talk) (contribs) 20:23, 14 June 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Awkwardness fixed: We now have the actual biblical text!Emerymat 20:28, 14 June 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]
That's nice in theory, but we can't use "by permission" text in Wikipedia. Biblical quotes are ordinarily Fair Use, but they're not normally so lengthy -- this includes the entirety of Genesis 3. In general we should not include source text in Wikiepdia anyway. See WP:NPS. TCC (talk) (contribs) 20:41, 14 June 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]
To top it all, someone had quite misleadingly headed the Genesis account subsection with ...(King James Version), which it isn't. I have therefore removed this from the heading. DFH 19:27, 4 December 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Of course, if the extended quote from Genesis was replaced by the same passage from the KJV, the "by permission" issue would be solved when the citation note is removed or replaced. DFH 19:31, 4 December 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]


Shouldn't the article be more clear that most mainstream Christian churches interpret the Fall of Man symbolically, as with the rest of Genesis? JF Mephisto 20:25, 18 July 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I'd say that "symbolic" is the wrong term. Typologically, perhaps. TCC (talk) (contribs) 21:52, 18 July 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I placed the original laymans note in here, I see that it at least created some interest, but one thing is for sure , nobody can deny the truth it was meant to portrait, some of us don't have a university education, but we certainly do have knowledge some of it inexplainable.

I could have cut and paste the section in there. However, if I had done that, people would have misread that too, most of us were taught according to the bible, that there is just one GOD, however even the name is simply manmade, it is just our name for the entity that is one whole, including us.

Everything else gets lost in translation.

I would like to say that many people I have met and debated with some of whom have doctorates
in theology or biblical studies belive it to be a literal and factual recounting of an actual
event and I believe it to be misleading to claim that most mainstream Christian churches
interperate it symbolically because just as many take it to be factual and there is no
indication that it is not factual.
Matthew D. McCann (Senior High Bible study leader @ Stoneridge EC Church)

Re: Symbolism

How has the scientific theory of evolution affected the theology of the fall and of redemption in those Christian bodies that accept it? I grew up believing, based on my understanding of the New Testament, that death entered the world through the sin of Adam, and that the consummation of our redemption in Christ included the restoration of all things (a new heaven and new earth in which there would be no more death) when the Lord comes again. The theory of evolution, through the mechanism of natural selection, necessitates the view that, rather than Paul's "by man came death," the truth is that "by death [natural selection] came man." I don't mean to indulge in a debate about the merits of modern science (frankly, I'm not smart enough), but I'd like to know how Christian bodies that otherwise seem to hold to orthodox teaching can accept the theory of evolution without having to make a radical change in their understanding of what salvation means. Bro. Neal (talk) 03:05, 13 June 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Well, a response to the above about the theory of evolution is a good objection, but we can go one further: the modern quantum theory of physics possibly destroys the merits of our modern biological evolutionary theory as a reality (as well as all of reality). However, does that mean the theory loses merit? Far from it -- as the classical mechanical view conflicts with quantum mechanics, we must understand one thing about reality: be careful what you assert. This includes theology and Scriptural interpretation. The theory of biological evolution is only a threat to fundamental or literal interpretations of Scripture. Augustine was one of the first early scientists to suggest that perhaps God evolved animals from other animals (it's cited on the Evolution page of Wiki). He also stated, in his Literal Meaning of Genesis the dangers of ignorance and reluctance to accept scientific knowledge, as many ancient philosophers, including those he studied, were natural philosophers (being early scientists, as he was):

"Usually, even a non-Christian knows something about the earth, the heavens, and the other elements of this world, about the motion and orbit of the stars and even their size and relative positions, about the predictable eclipses of the sun and moon, the cycles of the years and the seasons, about the kinds of animals, shrubs, stones, and so forth, and this knowledge he holds to as being certain from reason and experience. Now, it is a disgraceful and dangerous thing for an infidel to hear a Christian, presumably giving the meaning of Holy Scripture, talking non-sense on these topics; and we should take all means to prevent such an embarrassing situation, in which people show up vast ignorance in a Christian and laugh it to scorn. The shame is not so much that an ignorant individual is derided, but that people outside the household of the faith think our sacred writers held such opinions, and, to the great loss of those for whose salvation we toil, the writers of our Scripture are criticized and rejected as unlearned men. If they find a Christian mistaken in a field which they themselves know well and hear him maintaining his foolish opinions about our books, how are they going to believe those books in matters concerning the resurrection of the dead, the hope of eternal life, and the kingdom of heaven, when they think their pages are full of falsehoods on facts which they themselves have learnt from experience and the light of reason? Reckless and incompetent expounders of holy Scripture bring untold trouble and sorrow on their wiser brethren when they are caught in one of their mischievous false opinions and are taken to task by those who are not bound by the authority of our sacred books. For then, to defend their utterly foolish and obviously untrue statements, they will try to call upon Holy Scripture for proof and even recite from memory many passages which they think support their position, although 'they understand neither what they say nor the things about which they make assertion.'" —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 13:10, 18 August 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Orthodox Church[edit]

The Orthodox church clearly rejects the idea that each person is born with the guilt of "Adam's Fall." The church teaches that guilt of a father cannot be passed down, basing its interpretation on Old Testament passages to the same.

In the Epistle to the Romans it says that the gentile and the Jew who do not know Christ can still do good and act according to their conscience. Furthermore, while the world is corrupted by evil, according to the Orthodox church, God exists everywhere, even in Hell, since he is "omnipresent."

This should be included in the text.

Section headed "A Warning ?"[edit]

The section headed A Warning ? looks very POV to me. I propose to remove it, also on the grounds that it cites no supporting references. DFH 20:03, 26 November 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Section headings?[edit]

The article has two sections with almost identical headings, Interpretation and Interpretations. This is a little confusing. Can anyone suggest a better title for the first one? DFH 19:19, 4 December 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Recent additions[edit]

  • Is it neccessary to have a copy of the NSRV on the page?

See this

  • Also, additions like: Gen 2:17 But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die. Like this, many more have been added. Should they really be included?

xCentaur |  talk  11:29, 28 December 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]


Move to The Fall or The Fall of Humanity? Or the like? 03:08, 13 March 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Serpent and wording[edit]

The word decieved implies that Eve was made to believe that God had not forbidden them to eat from the tree or that the serpent (Satan) lied while the serpent left out certain facts he was not lying also she knew she must not eat from the tree what would be more correct is to say that She was tempted by the serpent and fell to the temptation —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 20:32, 30 April 2007 (UTC).Reply[reply]

Serpent not the devil[edit]

I've heard from a few various sources that the serpent is not Satan as the Jews at the time Genesis was written did not have a dualist view. Can anyone verify this? (talk) 04:47, 24 November 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

You have heard correctly: the Bible does not say that the serpent was Satan. 'The Satan' is still a feature of Jewish spirituality and is mentioned in the Bible but in relation to other activities (eg Job). As to how dualist Judaism was at the time Genisis was written - I think that is beyond the scope of this article. This discussion page is meant to be for discussion about improving the article - not a general discussion board about Judaism. --Just nigel (talk) 11:06, 25 November 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]


Read tghe text. Its obviously a metaphor, why isn't that point of view reflected too? even religious people share it. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talkcontribs) 01:25, 4 July 2007.

Another church rejecting The Fall[edit]

There is another mainline Protestant church that rejects The Fall as changing human nature. I came here to remember the name, but they're not included. I seem to think it was the Church of Christ. Kudos to whomever can find out and include it in the article. --Ephilei 08:21, 15 July 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Judaism & Islam section[edit]

Judaism, for one, gives great meaning to the idea of the "fall" – it is just not as central to the religion as in Christianity. The section needs serious updating. I don't feel up to it right now, but I wanted to point that out. --Eliyak T·C 03:03, 31 August 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Yea, why is this article pretty much all about Christianity? The introduction section itself points out that other religions have similar concepts. These should be explored for neutrality. Tomalak Geret'kal (talk) 23:41, 5 July 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

who is who and what did they want?[edit] for example, "But to fully appreciate the dialogue between Eve and the serpent, another point must be born in mind. The serpent, who is reproached by devout souls for his deceptiveness, his antipathy to righteousness, and so on, is actually telling the truth ."

Austerlitz -- (talk) 16:53, 5 January 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]

some more interpretations "Of course, I am not the first to suggest that the serpent was 'framed'. In the second and third centuries, Gnostic speculators commended Eve for taking the initiative in seeking wisdom, and saw the serpent as an emancipator, or a messenger of the true a-cosmic God who created Jehovah (Pagels, 1988, chapter 3). In his Lectures on the Philosophy of Religion (1832), Hegel observed that "the serpent does not lie. God himself confirms his words (cited in Fackenheim, 1970, p. 133). Finally, in our own century, in You Shall Be As Gods: A Radical Interpretation of the Old Testament, Erich Frommargued tat the serpent is an emancipator, a kind of Jewish Prometheus, who inaugurates human history by inciting disobedience against a punitive, irrational authority (Fromm, 1966, pp.21-23)."

Austerliz -- (talk) 17:33, 5 January 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Worst sentence in Wikipedia?[edit]

"The sinfulness to that estate wherein man fell consists in the guilt of Adam and Eve's (first man and woman) first sin: the want of original righteousness which is iniquity and the corruption of their whole nature which is commonly called original sin or iniquity together with all actual transgressions which proceed from it."

I can't decide if this is worse than the sentence here, though. Kaldari (talk) 23:56, 2 April 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]

It looks like the sentence was a recent addition. I went ahead and removed it so that the lead is readable again. Kaldari (talk) 03:43, 4 April 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Emphasis on interpretation[edit]

This article assumes the 'fall of man' is inherently true, and is what the bible intended to portray, which is disputed. This is an interpretation of the bible, and my view is the writers did not mean this to be true in any sense. I reject the whole concept, but accept many christians do not, but id just like that batle of ideas put into this article. Im finding Christianty articles on wiki generally a big mess. Maybe bcasue the religion is a big mess suppose. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 14:48, 30 November 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Requested move[edit]

The following discussion is an archived discussion of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

The result of the move request was: page moved. Vegaswikian (talk) 22:11, 29 January 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Fall of ManFall of man – "Man" should be in lower case since "fall of man" is a common noun phrase in Christian doctrine. Jojalozzo 23:51, 22 January 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]

  • Oppose. No, the Fall of Man is a specific occasion, although theologians differ on when it happened. This title is the name proper to that event; if the article discussed other falls, that would be a case for other titles. JCScaliger (talk) 01:11, 23 January 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I think the term has two usages, one a proper name and one a common noun phrase. One, as you say, refers to the specific story in the Garden of Eden and I agree that usage is a proper name. The other usage refers to a spiritual process resulting in original sin. As the lead sentence says: "In Christian doctrine, ... the transition of the first humans from a state of innocent obedience to God to a state of guilty disobedience to God." In the latter usage, we are not referring to the Biblical event but an esoteric process or concept which the Bible story describes in mundane Earthly terms. If we want the article to be about the Bible story, then we can keep the title as it is but we'd need to change the lead and discuss the doctrinal usage later in the introduction or another section. In my opinion, the article is stronger if we lead with the doctrinal subject. Jojalozzo 01:54, 23 January 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Even for this specific story, is there evidence of a proper name for it? Most of the cited sources don't seem to mention "fall of man" at all, and the one I found it in had it in lower case. I'm not convince there's a proper version; and as you say, if there is, it's not what the article is about. Dicklyon (talk) 08:19, 24 January 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Support – clearly not a proper, as it's most often lowercase in sources, as evidenced by books n-grams and followup search to see that they're pretty much all on topic. Dicklyon (talk) 08:17, 24 January 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Support. There's a tendency to want to capitalize "Man" to remind people that you are not sexist and that by "Man" you mean "humanity", but we'd never write the "Fall of Humanity". It would just be the "fall of humanity". Good Ol’factory (talk) 01:18, 26 January 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
The above discussion is preserved as an archive of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

Article improvement[edit]

This article needs a bit of a makeover. To keep it consistent with other like articles, I plan to prepare its structure similar to the article: Original sin. Any concerns, please comment. Thanks,   — Jasonasosa 20:19, 23 August 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Proposed move[edit]

The title of this article should be changed to "Fall of humanity". The use of the gender-specific "man" to indicate all of humanity is an archaism. Revanneosl (talk) 01:33, 17 March 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Hello, hello, Bueller, Bueller, anybody? Revanneosl (talk) 21:31, 23 April 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Go for it. Editor2020 (talk)
"man" is still used to indicate all of humanity. It is far from an archaism. Besides, we go with what sources call it, and "Fall of man" is used far more often than "Fall of humanity". (talk) 08:33, 17 May 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I agree with the previous comment. "Fall of man" is accepted as an indicator of all humanity. The sources bear this out. --Jgstokes-We can disagree without being disagreeable (talk) 02:50, 18 May 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]

But if you look here [[1]] you will see that Wikipedia's very own self reserves the word "Man" for adult human males, while "Human" is the word we use for humans in general. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Revanneosl (talkcontribs) 12:53, 22 June 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]

That is one source, while on the other hand there are several sources that state "fall of man" is the acceptable term. I would say these sources more than cancel out one WP conventional reference. --Jgstokes-We can disagree without being disagreeable (talk) 07:04, 24 June 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Wikipedia cannot be used as a source. In this historical (and biblical) context, stick to "man" for alluding to all humans, just like how we don't use homo sapiens to allude to humans safe biological articles.Forbidden User (talk) 11:52, 7 August 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]


Are there any views criticising this doctrine? Especially from the point of view of science, the evolution, primate psychology and similar. (talk) 17:38, 11 January 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]

It wouldn't make much sense since the doctrine can be interpreted in ways that don't contradict any of the above. It seems like it might be its own category really. Like specific critiques or whatever. — Preceding unsigned comment added by LevShestov (talkcontribs) 05:22, 1 February 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Fall of Humanity[edit]

Shouldn't this article be named "The Fall of Humanity" and not "The Fall of Man"? — Preceding unsigned comment added by 2601:4:700:328E:E08F:5359:B91B:E839 (talk) 20:51, 19 February 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]

== Yes. Yes it should. Revanneosl (talk) 20:21, 4 July 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]

ejbwvi vbeuqbfwdquwhDC — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 02:43, 1 December 2016 (UTC)Reply[reply]

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Ironic Interpretation of Genesis 3:22[edit]

There is a school of thought that interprets this passage ironically. "The man has become like one of us knowing good and evil" . This can be extended to the idea that eating of the tree of life eill grant immortality.

If this is true then death can be interpreted as mortality. EyeWrony (talk) 04:43, 16 July 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Ironic, how? And yes, in the next sentence God all but plainly confirms that should they then eat the fruit from the tree of life, they would effectively become gods. (if only Adam and Eve had eaten from the tree of life BEFORE they had eaten from the tree of knowledge!).
Yes - death and mortality go hand in definition... although by some versions of immortality, immortals can still die of unnatural causes. Firejuggler86 (talk) 18:32, 20 July 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]

When your Gods fall[edit]

Does a small section for Fall of God find place here? DTM (talk) 14:33, 25 November 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I'm not familiar with what you are talking about and the wiki link didn't work. Can you elaborate? Squatch347 (talk) 01:45, 26 November 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]


I don't know what you mean by removing those paragraphs with academic references from the section on Gnosticism, since they are useful to give context to Gnostic interpretations of the Fall and to the section itself, so there's no harm in keeping them and it would be counterproductive to delete them. I could understand removing that particular picture as unrelated to the topic of this article, but I don't think it would help anyone deleting all the rest. GenoV84 (talk) 12:51, 22 May 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

BTW, some of those references are also cited in the other paragraphs of the same section, therefore they are pertinent to the same topic. GenoV84 (talk) 12:57, 22 May 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
The sections added are WP:UNDUE. There is no reason to have a section explaining the background of gnosticism when a simple wikilink will do (we already have a wiki link, and a callout link at the top). We don't include backgrounds of parent articles into child articles per WP:SS. You'll notice there isn't a background paragraph for Islam or Zoroastrianism. There is no loss to article quality if removed, as you mention the sources are referenced later or in the parent article. I'm all about bold edits, but you need to gain consensus when there is an objection before including it. Squatch347 (talk) 13:16, 22 May 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Okay, thanks for clarifying this to me. I made those edits in good faith, I didn't mean to go off the rails. GenoV84 (talk) 18:15, 22 May 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Atemporal fall section[edit]

@Rafaelosornio: you noted "You should add a reference" with your undo of my brief section on the concept of an Atemporal fall. There are many references in the main article, and I will consider which of them is most helpful here. As I get that in place, please let me know if there is anything else to improve. Thank you for your help. Jjhake (talk) 16:11, 5 February 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Okay, @Rafaelosornio: I've reworked it with some references. Let me know of any other issues. Jjhake (talk) 16:29, 5 February 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Changing the title for "other interpretations" into "other traditions"[edit]

Precisely this aren't just interpretations, but different traditions, accounts, and retellings of one original myth. For example, Islam doesn't interprete Genesis differently, it has its own variation (and probably not even based on Genesis, but on alternative sources actually available to late Antiquity Arabia), without snake, no tree of good and evil, angelic prostration etc, entirely absent in the Bible. And Gnosticism likewise has its own unique narrative. The Creator deity (Ialdabaoth) is neither YHWH (Judeo-Christian interpretation of the text) nor Eloha/El (Elohim the actual term used). The "Fall of Man", isn't a strict codified narrative, but a tradition passed through different myths through the areas of Mesopotamia, later spreading through Abrahamic religions, captured whenever a scripture based religion felt like canonizing their beliefs. VenusFeuerFalle (talk) 01:18, 19 July 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]