Just a quick question: The new "What Does the Bible Really Teach?" book says that "Satan caused Adam to sin". (book not with me at the moment to provide page #) If Satan CAUSED Adam to sin, how was it that Adam was acting out of FREE WILL when he sinned. Surely Adam had no CHOICE if Satan CAUSED him to sin. ?? Can someone explain? Thanks.
Adam/Sin - Free will or Satan
Whether you can say Satan "caused" Adam to sin depends on what you mean by "cause". There are 2 definitions of the verb form of this word at m-w.com:
1 : to serve as a cause or occasion of <cause an accident>
2 : to compel by command, authority, or force <caused him to resign>
If you mean the 1st definition, Satan is portrayed in Genesis as the one who planted the idea in Eve's mind, and thus caused the problem.
If you go by the 2nd definition, then that would imply that Satan had an authority over Adam, which doesn't make sense.
I don't have the "Bible Teach" book, but here's a quote showing the WT's explanation from the 10/15/2002 Watchtower (link: http://www.watchtower.org/library/w/2002/10/15/article_02.htm )
In the garden of Eden, Satan insinuated that God was depriving the first human couple of something to which they had a right and upon which their well-being depended. (Genesis 3:1-5) He succeeded in causing Adam and Eve to rebel against Jehovah's righteous sovereignty, bringing sin and death upon them and their descendants. (Genesis 3:6-19; Romans 5:12) Thus the Bible shows that Satan is the root cause of human suffering.
For what it's worth.
In the minds of JWs, this is just semantics. When they say "caused" it means that Adam gave in to the temptation that was presented by Satan. They say that Satan did not force Adam. They will argue that Jesus was subject to the same temptation (the offer of earthly kingdoms if he would perform an act of worship to Satan), but resisted Satan's temptation. Therefore, the act of Adam was an act of free will. (So they teach)