Is Genesis 3:3 the first instance where "religion" occurs?

Genesis 3:2-3 (for context)

And the woman said to the serpent, “We may eat the fruit of the trees of the garden; but of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God has said, ‘You shall not eat it, nor shall you touch it, lest you die.’”

However, in Genesis 2:16-17, God never mentioned "touching the fruit" would kill you (or cause you to die).

So would this be the first time (biblically) that religion occurred? (Religion, as I define as "taking what God has said and making into something else.") Or is this merely something else?

9 Answers

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    I've heard that, and I'd say it's a good chance (that is recorded anyways).

    Adding to the Word of God and making up your own version of what God said (making your own God) is religion.

    God is real, and He is not a "religion". God is God, period.

  • 1 decade ago

    If one applies the mainstream exegetical approach to this passage, that it is commentary on the historical, but written as allegorical narrative, then you might or might not apply your definition to what most view this expression of Eve's as representing.

    This is the most ancient and common approach, that this narrative does not explain the origins of sin as much as it explains the nature of human beings and why we are in the historical situation we find ourselves today. Taking this into account, it isn't likely that the writer was thus quoting the exact historical words of Eve. On the contrary, with this approach we have the meaning or lesson that was being taught in these words, namely that Adam and Even were not naive to the consequences of disobedient actions.

    It is significant that God never mentions "touching" the fruit. So obviously the writer of the narrative was implying that not only had Adam and Eve been taught God's law but has meditated on its application and even made measures for themselves to avoid doing so. Eve was "interpreting" God's command. But why the need to offer an interpretation at that point in the Biblical narrative?

    Whether you might consider this "religion" according to the definition you are using (though not exclusive to your use, but at the same time not the definitive use of it in the English vernacular), you might also want to consider that this was a tale of entrapment. In it the serpent misquotes God and acts as if it had overheard that God forbade the humans from eating from the trees in the garden. Eve's response is a correction of the serpent's "misunderstanding."

    Of course we learn from later Biblical narrative that such was not the case, that the serpent had not misunderstood anything. The serpent knew that the woman would come to God's defense, and thus would open the way for the conversation that ensued. The woman did not discern that the entire innocent questioning was thus a trap on the serpent's part.

    So the question remains: Did the woman really turn God's command into something else or was the explanation one used in her exegetical comment as a reply to the serpent's "misunderstanding'? And how significant is this point based on the foundational approach you might use, either the allegorical one (where it is a lesson based on history) or a literal one (where it is literal history from which we must draw a lesson forth)?

    And because your use of the word "religion," though not unheard of, is still not exactly representative of the actual meaning of the word (for any type of spiritual practice, formal, informal, official, personal, etc. is 'religion') it is hard to determine what conclusion if any might prove efficacious for whatever reasons you are seeking your answer.

    In other words, I'd have to know to what extent you consider exegesis "religion" before I can give you an answer either way. I am not sure I have enough data from you to come to a conclusion that can be proven independently as objectively applicable to your own satisfaction.

  • Kate
    Lv 7
    1 decade ago

    Absolutely and good catch! This is the first instance where we see someone taking what God said and adding to it, subtracting from it, and outright changing it. It is how Satan works and how he was able to deceive Eve (and how she was able to be deceived). This very principle is why we have so much confusion in Christianity today. There are so many counterfeits which have taken what God said and added, subtracted, and twisted it. They hold up their falsified Word of God and claim it as the original, when in fact it is a lie. The only way to know the truth is by studying the Bible, not just listening to a person preach it.

  • Vanity
    Lv 7
    1 decade ago

    It's something else.

    God does mention that you will die, but he doesn't signify that it is immediate. The deception lies within the "play" of wording. The proverbial serpent made it sound that God meant they would immediately die after eating of the significant symbol, when in reality what it meant was that they will not live forever but will eventually die because they disobeyed one command made for their own protection, which opened up "badness" and changed the course of each generation thereafter. To be in context is reading beginning to end of the entire book of Genesis

    Source(s): Genesis
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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    I thought religion was focusing more on rituals, routines, laws, etc that make someone righteous rather than focusing on a relationship with Christ and the guiding of the Holy I would say this is more like misinterpretation! :)

  • 1 decade ago

    Religion occurs in the fact that you decided to open the bible and read it. All that religion is about is the decision to engage in a particular activity or thought pattern to seek for or please a higher power.

  • 1 decade ago

    you misunderstand what religion is. religion is a covering/manmade. the first instance of religion is when adam and eve partook of the friut and they covered themselves with figleaves . religion is what we go behind so God wont see our nakedness

  • 1 decade ago


    it is merely some thing else

    man is not making a religion in your example

  • 1 decade ago

    No, you're about two verses late. Look right after the words, "In the beginning...."

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