The Bible on its own is a very interesting and strange book, let alone the stories that lie within. One of the many interesting stories is the story of God, Adam, Eve and the Serpent. It’s arguably the first story in the Bible, depending on how one defines a story. It has a beginning, a climax and an end.
This story, however, is not just a story. Like every other story in the Bible I believe it has a variety of angles to be looked at and if deconstructed and analysed into bits of pieces, one realises how significant and deep it can be.
The story starts off with God making a Man, Adam, from dust. He goes on and makes a Woman, Eve, from Adam’s rib. However, before the making of the Woman, God commands Adam not to eat from the tree of knowledge of good and evil. He does it with his reason, and the reason is that whosoever eats from the tree shall surely die.
Later on the story Eve is tempted by a serpent. The serpent asked Eve a very interesting question; “Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden’?” There’s nowhere in the Bible where God directly tells Eve not to eat from the tree of knowledge of good and evil and one could argue that the serpent took advantage of that.
In my book ‘Human Education: The Voyage of Discovery’, I talk about the basis of education; a series of steps taken to acquire or provide facts, information, descriptions or skills from a particular start and delivering them, making them known to a particular end.
When a teacher gives a lecture about photosynthesis, the teacher is simply transferring certain information or facts from themselves or from a book to their learners.
The teacher will set a standard test for the learners to test their knowledge of what they have been taught. Those who were educated about photosynthesis will certainly answer whatever they have been taught, correctly. Learners who would’ve been absent in this photosynthesis class won’t be able to answer the questions unless they studied at home or anywhere else or unless they guess the correct answers.
The garden of Eden, God, Adam, Eve and the serpent, is a simple demonstration of an education system.
God is the teacher in this story. Adam and Eve are the learners. When God’s class was in session Eve was not in class. Eve never received the lesson from God, that tree of knowledge of good and evil results in death. When the serpent approaches Eve, it was like going into an exam room and coming across a question that starts like this; “Did the teacher really say…”
It’s a very strange connection to make but we have to consider the fact that as far as we know, the information was repeatedly transferred to Adam, not Eve. Even though Adam took the command, he later saw that Eve was still alive after eating from the tree, and so he went on to eat too.
There’s education, which is the process of moving information from point A to point B, then there’s the education system which consists of the things that make and/or break the process.
There are a number of ways education systems can be disturbed and there are three fundamental entities that make up an education system; the home, the community and the school.
If the home teaches the child that A is equals to 3 and the community tells the child that A is equals to 4 and the school tells the child that A is equals to 0, the child will end up a confused soul.
In any education system, the teacher as the last line of leadership because they are the closest to the learner is often first to blame when something bad happens to the learner – this something bad could be something that the teacher could have dealt with. The teacher in this case (God) shouldn’t have trusted Adam to pass on the teaching to another student as a student on their own. On the other hand Adam disobeyed God when he saw that Eve didn’t die from eating from the tree of knowledge of good evil.
As far as things seem, the cycle was going just fine, Adam was following God’s order and arguably, Eve understood and/or believed Adam. The cycle broke when the serpent said A is not what God says A is or what Adam says it is.
That “You shall surely die” from God is more like, you shall surely fail the exam if you don’t follow my instructions. For instance, whether it’s at home, school or around the community, there’s always some teaching(s) one receives, and we’re told to strictly follow them. It’s like; studying for the wrong content for your exam shall surely get you killed.