Are women more easily deceived?

Here’s a great question for your next Bible Study class: Why do female witches outnumber male witches twenty to one?

Strange question?

King James didn’t think so. When he wasn’t overseeing the production of the Bible that bears his name, James was torturing women he believed were witches. James was obsessed with magic and witchcraft. He even wrote a book about it. In it he explains why most witches are women:

As that sex is frailer than man, it is easier for women to be entrapped in these snares of the Devil. This was proved to be true by the Serpent’s deceiving of Eve at the beginning. The devil has been friendlier with that sex ever since.

Ah yes. Sweet, gullible women. Was there a more ancient scapegoat?

When it came to women, King James was a total wingnut. Sadly, however, his sexist views were hardly unique. Adam blamed Eve for his sin in the Garden, and men have been blaming women ever since.

Tertullian, the father of Latin Christianity, had this to say about women:

You are the devil’s gateway… you are she who persuaded him whom the devil was not valiant enough to attack. You destroyed so easily God’s image, man. On account of your desert — that is, death — even the Son of God had to die.

In other words, ladies, you killed humanity and you killed Jesus. Nice one. I hope you’re happy.

Putting women in their place

Blaming and shaming women is an ancient and disgraceful pastime. One of the verses shamers like to quote is this one:

For Adam was formed first, then Eve. And Adam was not the one deceived; it was the woman who was deceived and became a sinner. (1 Timothy 2:13-14)

This verse has been used to keep women in their place and away from positions of influence. Whenever I say something like “women need to be encouraged to speak up in church” or “women make great leaders,” you can be sure someone will quote the scripture above and say something like this:

Eve was deceived which shows you that women are innately gullible. It’s not their fault, but they can’t be trusted. It’s unwise to allow women to preach and teach as they will lead others into deception. For their own well being, they need the firm hand of a man to guide and protect them.

I wish I was making this up. It’s nauseating to hear people demean women in this way. Their arguments are not only unscriptural, they make no sense. Consider these illogical conclusions:

Unlike Eve, Adam was not deceived. He sinned with his eyes wide open. Adam trusted the serpent; therefore men make better preachers.

Uh-huh.

If Eve was deceived, it was because she was badly trained by the only teacher around. Adam heard God’s warning, but he did such a poor job passing it on to his wife, that she was deceived by the serpent’s lies. Which goes to show that men make better preachers.

Oookay.

Or how about this nugget. Since women are more easily deceived, we should not let them teach anyone except children. They can’t teach men, but it’s perfectly fine for these dupes of the devil to run our crèches and children’s churches.

Makes perfect sense.

As you can see, a lot of rubbish has been drawn out of this verse. But what is Paul really saying in 1 Timothy 2? He’s saying women need to be taught, just like men need to be taught.

Paul lived in a culture that placed little value on educating women. This was not good. Like Jesus, Paul believed the daughters of Eve should have the same learning opportunities as the sons of Adam. “Let a woman learn” (1 Tim. 2:11).

But I am afraid that just as Eve was deceived by the serpent’s cunning, your minds may somehow be led astray from your sincere and pure devotion to Christ. For if someone comes to you and preaches a Jesus other than the Jesus we preached, or if you receive a different spirit from the Spirit you received, or a different gospel from the one you accepted, you put up with it easily enough. (2 Cor. 11:3-4)

Paul is not saying women are inferior to men; he’s saying, don’t neglect to train the women. Adam neglected to teach Eve and as a result she fell into deception. We ALL need to know what God has said lest we be deceived by another Jesus or a different gospel.

But wait, there’s more

It’s likely that Paul was also addressing some Gnostic teachings that had surfaced in Ephesus.

Gnosticism was a mish-mash of rambling heresies that have largely been lost to history. We don’t know exactly what was being taught, but given the local culture, it’s a fair bet there were some who believed that Eve or some Artemis-like mother-goddess figure had created Adam, or that Eve had been the smart one for pursuing knowledge from the forbidden tree while Adam had been deceived into ignorance. Paul wrote to set the record straight.

Gnostics: “Eve was created first and was the wiser one.”
Paul: “No, Adam was created first; Eve was deceived.”

Which begs the question: If Eve was deceived into sinning, why did Adam do it?

Eve was duped, but Adam wasn’t. He knew full well there would be a consequence to their rebellion, yet he partook anyway.

Why’d you eat the fruit Adam?

The Bible doesn’t tell us why Adam followed Eve into sin, so we can only speculate. Some say that wicked Eve pressured her reluctant husband into sinning. “Which goes to show you that women are basically witches and should not be allowed to lead men,” King James might have said.

I prefer Andrew Wommack’s take. He believes Adam followed Eve down the path of death because he loved her and could not bear to be separated from her. In doing this Adam modeled what Jesus would do for all of us.

Beautiful.

—–

Paul’s new ebook, From Athens to Aquinas, reveals how history’s most influential men have shaped our view of women. Philosophers and Church Fathers alike have promoted a patriarchal worldview at odds with God’s original plan for partnership. Understanding our ungodly heritage is the first step towards restoration. Available now on Patreon.

37 Comments on Are women more easily deceived?

  1. Very well put. Thanks Paul

  2. Gute Überlegungen – ich kämpfe seit 1970 gegen diese unbiblischen, Macho-Strömungen!

    • Hallo Hans, solange es nicht im Feminismus ausartet und Männer nur noch fertig gemacht werden, ist es gut. Es gibt politisch beeinflusste Tendenzen, dass Männer dumm sind und immer femininer werden sollen aber für deren Männlichkeit verachtet werden und starke Frauen im Endeffekt sich wie Männer verhalten (unnatürliche maskuline Körperhaltung und Sprechweise) und auch immer mehr so aussehen sollen (Kurzhaarschnitte bis hin zur Glatze, männliche Kleidung). Dabei wird die Frau doppelt diskriminiert, weil jetzt immer Männer Transgender werden wollen und somit die Rolle der Frau einnehmen – zumindest scheinbar.

  3. Neil Campbell // July 1, 2020 at 9:47 pm // Reply

    Hi Paul,
    You have not mentioned the curse on humanity…

    So, to be clear, the curse on a woman is child birth pain, all agree, the desire towards the husband is not often discussed, but Hebrew scholars reckon it relates to controlling or attempting to control husbands. The he shall rule over you is not obvious in the West; but clearly evident in most of the world. Remember it is a CURSE. Any hint of male domination in the West now is known as domestic violence…..and I concur. BUT the women ruling the roost is positively encouraged in the WEST now and male husbands are portrayed as blunderbusses, thus you hear about the emasculation of men and non stop women’s rights. Please note carefully……both positions are CURSES. Just thought I’d bring some balance, hope you can see it. (Please notice my email address, the 2 are 1.)

  4. Therese Kean // July 1, 2020 at 11:55 pm // Reply

    I have a great book/ bible study called “ Because of the Angels (Unveiling 1Corinthians 11: 2-16) by Grahame Carl’e… I met him in Wellington NZ about 1990 so have “ chewed “ over this question / study for 2 decades.
    In there he points out the word ‘snake’ in the hebrew is referring to the state of heart… So its probable that Eve saw a magnificent Angel she knew was ranked top in Angel order before the Lord.. And this magnificent being was the one who said “ did God really say”. If that was truely the case , which is what I am leaning towards as it simply makes a lot of sense, and therfore women through Eve are attacked hugely because The judgement “ enmity between you and the woman.”, we need covering “ as in prayer cover , as a friend of mine used to have as she preached, her hubby always used to be at her meetings praying for her..
    To me it makes more sense , but as another bible teacher has said “ Father filter “ everything … so I do..
    Blessings ..

    • A few teachers interpret the Fall story as allegorical. Whether it is or isn’t, the outcome is usually bad news for women, as you have noted.

  5. Bob Georgeff // July 2, 2020 at 12:22 am // Reply

    More trusting not more gullible.

  6. Wow, I always thought both Adam and Eve had heard the commandment of God at the same time. After reading your article I had to check it out for myself and BAM – eye opener.

  7. Diane Roman // July 2, 2020 at 2:08 am // Reply

    Are you sure Adam didn’t just say “Yes DEAR” 😉

    Seriously your insight is always helpful Paul and this is proof that we all need to study The WORD to know who Jesus truly is and if our interpretations line up with HIM.
    Makes me wonder did King James actually read the scriptures? Crazy stuff and I laugh, but as you point out many women suffered from ideas such as his.

  8. Wow, Why Did Adam sin, after Eve ate?
    He was there with her, when she ate!
    He saw her not die right away sas he thought would be as soon as she ate.
    So what happened?
    He Doubted too!, so he ate with ther

    Genesis 3:6When 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.

    That is what I hear that happened, as the enemy of God, deceived them both

    He partook with her, he ate and then grabbed her by the hand and ran. Ever since, no one wants to be accountable. It was ___________________
    as an excuse
    And has been abused
    Doubt is what puts one out, Not God, us, the people

    read that doubt about in Isaiah 7:1-9, verse 9 is the key were God either leads or not by us believing or not
    As Father reveals or not to anyone else, I am accountable and am not perfect to this day
    Thanking God I need God

    • ? Eve was deceived!!! If you are deceived, *you don’t know it*. That is, it wasn’t deliberate. Adam ‘ate’ because he loved Eve. It was deliberate. God created woman – because Man needed help and company. Would you want to be separated from the one you love. He laid down his life for another. Just like his relative would 4000 years later! Tradition has so screwed up the whole Genesis story, they have it all wrong.

      • Yes Adam loved her, as he was right there and heard everything the Serpent said to her. We only have got conjecture, from the writing that says, he was there with her. So he heard what was said, I conjecture when she did not die right away, as Adam saw that, he in my honest opinion, doubted then and there too. In my Opinion, it was his eating from the tree, that brought death to all. If he had not eaten, then the death in my opinion, would have not been to all.

        As a matter of fact God could have just killed them both and started all over again, Yet God did not did he? However it plays out, Sin happened (Unbelief) and so death came to all flesh, the only thing left was to make us alive in Spirit and Truth. Which is done in the risen Christ, not the dead Christ. Thanks for your response, I appreciate it, to help me grow

      • True, my viewpoint above is conjecture. But one aspect that isn’t, as God said would happen, Eve died instantly – except she didn’t know it. She was [still] deceived. Death = separation. So, separation of Eve’s ‘spirit’ from God. (Physical death is your spirit separating from your [physical] body.) As said, if your deceived, you don’t know it. All biblical deception requires ‘natural reasoning/understanding’. When using her ‘natural/physical’ eyes’, she was still alive. (Physically).

      • I’ve been doing a lot of thinking…

      • Jason, I’m always thankful for your comments, but this one broke the rules. Please keep comments short and related to the article being discussed. If you have a lot to say, I encourage you to start your own blog. Thanks for understanding.

      • I do understand. Thanks Paul.

  9. John Senior // July 2, 2020 at 4:31 am // Reply

    Awesome Good News! Thank you Paul.

  10. tigerpaw57 // July 2, 2020 at 7:27 am // Reply

    So what you are saying is that I Timothy 2:11-15 was Paul’s response to an historical situation (specifically in Ephesus), and should be interpreted in its historical and cultural context, and not with a universal application for all times.

    I had heard (not sure from where) that there was an existing cult that promoted domineering women that took over whatever worship gatherings there were at that time, and that Paul wanted to address this problem, to bring order and peace to these gatherings.

    Your thoughts?

    PS – the other “anti-woman” Scripture in 1 Cor. 14 seem to be Paul quoting the very words of the Corinthian men. However, since Paul’s original letters never had punctuation (hence, no quotation marks), it’s possible that the readers at that time totally understood what he said; however, we these days are left only with his words without any idea if he was quoting someone else, being sarcastic, or literally saying those words.

  11. Wow, Paul, you’ve pointed out some major issues here, and I agree. One issue being our profound mishandling of what is written in scripture. Another being our disastrous interpretation of what it means to be male and female, and imposing that across almost every human culture. The result… living in the land of confusion! (I’m hopeful, nonetheless that Jesus is committed to eventually one day bringing us into alignment with him on both of those fronts.) It’s heartbreaking, really – the scriptures, intended to point us to the lover of the human race and liberator of our slavery to darkened and twisted theology, end up getting used to back up and defend our fallen perspectives.

    I think Jesus saw the harmony and beauty of male and female, and related to both with equal value, worth, and appreciation. We have such a hard time doing that because we can be so self-centered. We tend to label, and sort, and rank people as soon as we meet them, and from those ‘mind categorizations’ immediately ascribe their value to us. How we must be missing out on so many good relationships because of such thinking!

    If you list out what you consider to be the best feminine traits – like gentleness, sympathy etc. – and list out what you think are the best masculine traits – like maybe courageous, innovative etc. – you’ll see something amazing… Jesus exemplified BOTH lists. If you list out what you consider the negative traits of both masculinity and femininity at their worst, you’ll see that Jesus doesn’t exemplify anything on either list. Was Jesus transgender? No, but he embraced his true humanity. Male does not equal masculine. And Female does not equal feminine. If we are filled with him, then both the lion and the lamb reside in us. For me, understanding this has really helped.

  12. Brandon Petrowski // July 2, 2020 at 2:22 pm // Reply

    Thanks for sharing that nugget. Good stuff.

    I haven’t been able to read your book yet. Is there anywhere that discusses the topic of elders, rather than “teachers” or “pastors” (giftings versus “leadership positions” for lack of better distinction)?

    Also, I once heard that Adam and Eve’s “original sin” was not disobedience to what God forbade but rather unbelief in what He had said, which came before the actual act of disobedience. The logic is along the line of, how could they “disobey” if sin had not yet taken root in their hearts? Unbelief, or the choice to believe the serpent over God was the act of sin that led to their disobedience, just as belief or unbelief in Jesus is what our salvation hinges on.

    • Hi Brandon, I talk about women pastors and elders in the unfinished women’s book, but I don’t think that is what your question is about. I totally agree with your take on Adam’s sin. It’s not about disobedience, per se, but distrust.

      • Brandon Petrowski // July 2, 2020 at 3:44 pm //

        👍🏼

        Yeah, it’s hard to put into words. Some see pastoring and teaching as part of the giftings that all believers can experience. I definitely believe women can be in various leadership positions. Does that include the “office” of elder as described in Timothy and Titus when it refers to elders with masculine language?

      • Excellent question, Brandon, and one which I will answer in full in a forthcoming article.

      • Brandon Petrowski // July 2, 2020 at 5:56 pm //

        Thank you! 🙂

  13. Paul you put it beautifully! At first I was a bit leery because of the title and the start but you got me laughing! I love your sarcastic and very educated way of putting it! Thank you for showing the path God showed you. I don’t know what I ‘d do every morning if I could not read this amazing devotion. Thank you Paul

  14. Pasa Space // July 6, 2020 at 2:44 pm // Reply

    Adding to the discussion…. interesting that it’s only Adam that gets ‘the blame’ for the violation. And, the Apostle Paul had no issue with women taking any role in the church as long as they were ‘covered’, that is, had someone ‘over them’, and that they then didn’t (publicly) contradict them.

    • That ol’ chestnut that women need a spiritual covering from men is another unbiblical tradition we’ve inherited. It certainly wasn’t invented by the apostle who praised female church leaders and apostles. It’s based on a patriarchal interpretation of 1 Cor 11:3.

      I don’t have the space to go into it here. TL:DR: Jesus alone is the head and spiritual authority in the church.

  15. Grace to you brother, want to ask if we are permitted to republish this article on our blog. A link would be referred back to the your source. Thank you.

  16. Bottom line, I am glad for God to have no respect of person. there is no male, no female, no greek, we are all the same from God Father’s vantage point in Christ the Son who took it all on for us, to take away all sin for us al, from Father’s sight to give us new life in Spirit and Truth, Which began on the day of Pentecost And nothing to do, but believe God is for us. Wow Thanks to God all in all

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