[This article was contributed by Apollos]
It is common to hear brothers and sisters blaming Adam and Eve for every ill that befalls them, even to the point of sometimes cursing them in strong terms. Of course there is no denying that sin entered the world through that one man, and death through sin (Rom 5:12).
But would any of us have done any better?
It’s a question you may have contemplated. In part it goes back to our view of what perfection really is, and whether Adam had it. I don’t think that the Bible itself gives a clear indication that Adam just happened to make an exceptionally bad choice – one that you and I would have avoided.
Of course if we are to ask the question fairly then we have to try to eradicate the benefit of hindsight from our minds. That is no easy thing to do. No doubt this hindsight is what will help us to reach our ultimate goal in the future. In the meantime if we can imagine ourselves in Eden with a clean slate, and no examples to learn from, then do we have strong reason to think that we would have fared better? What we would have had of course, was a simple and clear command from our creator. But without the experience of seeing the effects of making a wrong choice surely we can never truly put ourselves in the same shoes*.
Official JW doctrine has condemned Adam and others to Gehenna (w05 5/1 Who Will Be Resurrected?). One presumes that the writers of those articles, who have passed those judgements in print, must feel quite self-assured that if Jehovah had put them in the same situation then they would have passed the test.
I am not sure of the basis for such confidence. Are you?
*P.S. Before you’re tempted to say it, I do know Adam didn’t wear shoes 🙂