Practical Explanation and Application of Bible History – The Fall of Our First Parents

detail of the painting 'The Expulson of Adam and Eve'; c.1600 by Domenico Zampieri; oil on canvas; Chatsworth House, Derbyshire, England; swiped from Wikimedia Commons

What does this lesson relate?

  • It relates how our first parents broke God’s commandment.

Who tempted the first man to sin?

  • Satan tempted him to sin.

Why did Satan tempt man to sin?

  • Satan tempted him because he hated God and was jealous of man’s happiness.

When do we sin by jealousy or envy?

  • We sin by jealousy or envy as often as we are grieved at the good fortune of another and rejoice at his misfortune.

How did Satan tempt man?

  • He assumed the form of a serpent and began to tempt Eve by doubts, pride, sensual pleasure, and, finally, unbelief.

How do we know that Satan assumed the form of a serpent?

  • We know this, because the serpent spoke intelligently.

How did Satan tempt Eve to doubt?

  • He tempted her to doubt by saying: “Why had God commanded you, that you should not eat of every tree of paradise?”

How did this tempt her to doubt?

  • It tempted her to doubt because it suggested the thought that God had no right, to give this command.

Could Eve see that this was a temptation?

  • Certainly, because she might know that a good spirit would not question God’s right to command.

So what should Eve have done?

  • She should have fled at once from the serpent.

But what did she do?

  • Instead of fleeing, she began to discuss the question with the serpent.

How did Satan tempt her to pride?

  • Satan tempted her to pride by saying, “If you eat of the fruit of this tree, your eyes shall be opened, and you shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.”

How did he tempt her to unbelief?

  • He tempted her to unbelief by saying: “No, you shall not die.”

How did these words contain a temptation to unbelief?

  • These words tended to make Eve doubt the truthfulness of God, who had said: “For in what day soever thou shalt eat of it, thou shalt die the death.”

How was Eve finally led to sin?

  • Eve was finally led to sin by her sensual appetite.

How do we know this?

  • We know this from the words of Holy Scripture: “And the woman saw that the tree was good to eat, and fair to the eyes and delightful to behold.”

What is sin?

  • Sin is any thought, word, deed, or omission against the law of God.

Did Eve sin by thought?

  • Yes, because she doubted the truthfulness of God.

Did she sin by desire?

  • Yes, because she desired to be like God.

Did she sin by deed?

  • Yes, because she ate the forbidden fruit.

Did she sin by word?

  • Yes, because she induced Adam to eat.

Did Adam and Eve commit a mortal sin?

  • Yes, because they freely and deliberately broke an important commandment of God.

How do we know that it was an important commandment?

  • We know that it was an important commandment, because their own happiness and their descendants’ depended on it.

When do we notice the first consequences of their sin?

  • We notice the consequences at once: “And the eyes of them both were opened, and they perceived they were naked.”

Were their eyes opened as the devil promised?

  • Their eyes were opened, hut not as the devil promised to their glory, hut to their shame.

How many were the consequences of this sin?

  • The consequences were two-fold; for the soul and the body.

What were the consequences for the soul?

  • The soul lost sanctifying grace, the understanding was darkened, and the will weakened.

Can you give a proof showing that their understanding was darkened?

  • They tried to hide themselves from the sight of God.

What were the consequences for the body?

  • The body was doomed to sickness and death.

Did our first parents injure others besides themselves by their sin?

  • Yes, they injured all their descendants.

How did they injure their descendants?

  • They injured their descendants because their sin and its consequences were transmitted to them.

What is this sin called?

  • It is called original sin.

Did we all commit original sin?

  • No, we did not commit it ourselves, but we inherited it with our human nature.

How could Adam transmit this sin to all his descendants?

  • He could transmit this sin to his descendants, because he received sanctifying grace not as an individual, but as the head of the whole human race.

In what does original sin consist?

  • It consists in the absence of sanctifying grace, which, according to God’s will, ought to be in our soul.

What do we mean when we say God is truthful?

  • When we say God is truthful, we mean that He always tells the truth, because He can neither deceive nor be deceived.

What should we learn from this lesson?

  • We should learn from it to flee temptation and not to parley with Satan.

MLA Citation

  • Father John J Nash, DD. “The Creation of the World, and the Institution of the Sabbath”. Practical Explanation and Application of Bible History, 1902. CatholicSaints.Info. 23 May 2018. Web. 21 March 2019. <>