The Old Testament is Inappropriate Reading for Children, Part 3: The First Sin

Several years ago, when my children became old enough for me to start reading books to them, (and I was still a Christian), I started reading stories from children’s Bible story books.  These books, of course, start with the Old Testament.  Even though I had heard these stories numerous times as a child myself, it was a shocking experience to read these very violent and graphic stories to my innocent children whose brains were a “fresh, blank slate”:  I realized that their foundational belief system would be based on what I taught them…and read to them.

I challenge every Christian parent to get out their children’s Old Testament Bible story book, read each story, and as you read, ask yourself if the behavior described in these books—the behavior of “God” and the behavior of his followers—is the behavior you hope that your children will emulate as they grow up and when they are adults.  In addition, ask yourself if you want your children to believe the alleged historical facts as described in these Bible stories?

Chapter 3:  The First Sin

In this story, we learn that Yahweh has placed a very special tree in the middle of Adam and Eve’s home, the Garden of Eden.  It is called the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil.  Yahweh tells Adam and Eve that they are free to eat of any tree in the Garden, except this one.  He warns them that if they eat of this tree, they will surely die.

Sometime later, Satan, disguised as a snake, calls out to Eve as she is passing near the Forbidden Tree.  The evil snake points out to Eve just how delicious the fruit looks, and, tells her that she will not die if she eats the fruit of the Tree.  On the contrary, she will become as smart as Yahweh himself!

Eve falls for the snake’s trap.  She eats the fruit and gives some to her husband to eat.

That evening, as Yahweh is walking in the Garden, he calls out to Adam and Eve, as was his custom.  However, instead of joyfully running to meet their Creator, Adam and Eve hide.  Yahweh asks them why they are hiding.  Adam and Eve admit that they ate from the Forbidden Tree and that they now see that they are naked.  Therefore they hid themselves.

Yahweh is very angry.

Yahweh pronounces very harsh punishments on both Adam and Eve for eating the Forbidden Fruit.  Eve is cursed with painful labor.  Adam is cursed with hard labor among the weeds, thistles, and thorns of the field.  He will earn his living by the sweat of his brow.  Both Adam and Eve are driven out of the Garden and Yahweh places an angel with a flaming sword at the entrance to prevent them from ever coming back.  Although Adam and Eve do not immediately die, they are cursed to eventually die.  This death curse is passed down to every, single, one of the billions of Adam and Eve’s descendants.

Analysis:  Wow!  What a doozy of a story!  It is my personal opinion that of all the evil stories contained in the Old Testament, this story is the most evil and the most dangerous for children to believe to be the truth.  I would strongly advise all parents to never read this story to their children. 


Answer:  What kind of evil Being would punish people so harshly for eating fruit???  It is outrageously unjust and downright evil.  First of all, why did Yahweh need to make a “Temptation Tree” in the first place?  And why put the tree smack dab in the middle of the Garden?  If he had to make it at all, why not put it over in the corner where Adam and Eve would not have to walk by it every day?  And why allow Satan into the Garden?  Why allow Satan to impersonate a snake?  Why allow a snake to tempt Eve?  If Yahweh is so all-powerful as it is claimed, he could have prevented this entire tragedy from ever occurring!  He could have prevented the billions of human deaths over the history of humankind.  He could have prevented all the wars, the rapes, the child abuse, the diseases, the outrageous violence that has gripped the world ever since this (alleged) event.

But he didn’t.

Yahweh has allowed for all of human history, and still allows today, massive numbers of adults and little children to suffer excruciating, horrific illnesses, torture, and death…all over some damn fruit!

Good grief.

This story should never be read to children as if it were historical reality.  Never.  It should only be read to older children to demonstrate to them just how ridiculous and preposterous the stories of ancient, scientifically ignorant peoples could be as these poor people desperately attempted to make sense of their very dangerous and scary world.


2 thoughts on “The Old Testament is Inappropriate Reading for Children, Part 3: The First Sin

  1. No Gary, I think that you don't understand the fall of Adam and Eve.
    If you would, you would love it.
    And I think that 98% of all Christians don't understand it either.


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