Comments about ‘Defending the Faith: How was Eve 'an help meet' for Adam?’

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Published: Thursday, Aug. 22 2013 6:00 a.m. MDT

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Charlotte, NC

I have enjoyed Dr. Peterson's writings for years. He is always interesting and enlightening.

Steven S Jarvis
Orem, UT

Eve balances out Adam making him a better more caring person. I love my Eve!! She provides entertainment, happiness and delicious meals on the days it is her turn to cook. I change the diapers, give the baby her medicine and support my Eve in whatever way I can. We are extensions of each other.

orem, UT

Adam balances out Eve too. I know I am better for having an Adam in my life. I am sure my emotions would run away with me more than they do. I am calmed and steadied by him. And I know we are better parents for having two distinct visions of parenting, like our eyes have slightly different perspectives to see depth.

Ogden, UT

I am a help meet (fit, worthy) for my husband. He is a help meet (fit, worthy) for me. We each have our strengths and weaknesses, and we recognize and accept them. We are two strong, successful people who live together in an equal and loving partnership. Neither of us "rules" over the other or is in any way subordinate to the other, either in our life or our family. There is no "husband is the head of the household" for us -- we are co-equal managers and governors of our family partnership, which partnership is the head of our family.

That is the system which we have created and supported in 44 years of marriage, and it works well for us. Of course, not every couple operates the way we do. Each partnership has to work the way best for the people who its members. In every case, though, the people should realize that each is a help meet (fit, worthy) for the other and treat the other with consideration and respect and, most importantly, one should not subject the other to unrighteous dominion. Live with love, and enjoy the "trip" through life.

Portland, Oregon

Language does have a tendency to evolve over time (and devolves as well) so it's occasionally nice to have a primer to help remind us of quirky verbiage from the past.

I had often wondered about the term "help meet". I vaguely understood its intention, but the words themselves were an odd combination. Thank you, Dr. Petersen, for the clarification. From now on I shall read that verse as:

"And the Lord God said, it is not good that the man should be alone; I will make a suitable companion for him."

While it may not be as stiff-upper-lipped as "help meet", it is by far much more comprehensible.

Kaysville, UT

After studying Latin and Spanish and using both to help with my English use of words, it is amazing how word usage evolves from one country to another and not just in English. It is good to have this column with intellectual thought that can provoke brain usage.

Salt Lake City, UT

I, too, am peeved by he common misuse of "literally" as an intensifier. With any luck, some transgressor will have absorbed the lesson and will avoid future offenses.

Having broached "literally" and segued into Genesis, one wonders if Dr. Peterson subscribes to a literal belief in Genesis (and a literal Adam and Eve) or whether he sees it as a figurative allegory or myth. Anyone care to enlighten?

With respect to the image selected to accompany the online version of the column-- who knew that Eve was a Breck girl? Would people's feelings about the story be different if the Adam and Eve pictured resembled something closer to what the archeological evidence suggests, say a couple of Kalahari bush people?

Craig Clark
Boulder, CO

In today’s world, it’s no longer kosher (excuse the metaphor) to see women as subservient to men. That’s how we have popularly (and ‘literally’) understood the term helpmeet. If we take Genesis itself literally, it informs us that God created the woman as an afterthought to keep Adam from being lonely. But when the serpent came along, Eve showed Adam that she had a mind of her own and wasn’t afraid to exercise her free will.

The Genesis account of the Garden of Eden has parallels in Sumerian history. The story has been reworked and hung on down through the centuries. While it’s not taken as literally as it once was, it continues to fascinate us.

Salt Lake City, UT

A little punctuation helps to clarify meaning, instead of help meet, read help, meet. Meet, as in suited to the needs or fitting requirements, describes the kind of help.

And I, the Lord God, said unto mine Only Begotten, that it was not good that the man should be alone; wherefore, I will make an help, meet for him.

Adam is also a help, meet for Eve.

And together, as husband and wife, are able to return and meet Father in Heaven.


Brother Petersen,
I just wanted to clarify something. The Bible doesn't say that Adam wasn't a help meet for the tortoises etc. It simply says that the tortoise etc. weren't helps meet for Adam. You said it was plain that he wasn't appropriate for them. It may be plain to you (and me), but it isn't literally isn't scriptural.

Bernard GUi
Puyallup, WA

"An help meet" always seemed really odd to me until I read the verse in a Spanish bible: una ayuda adecuada.

Irony Guy
Bountiful, Utah

Actually the Hebrew words are "ezer neged," meaning "a helper in the presence of." Doesn't say anything about suitability. "Neged" means "in front of, before, in the presence of."


What a wonderful explanation! I concur!

www dot noellecampbell dot com

Orem, UT

The Hebrew literally means something like "helper facing," where "facing" means "corresponding to" or "appropriate."

Tyler D
Meridian, ID

@Lagomorph – “Having broached "literally" and segued into Genesis, one wonders if Dr. Peterson subscribes to a literal belief in Genesis (and a literal Adam and Eve) or whether he sees it as a figurative allegory or myth.”

My thoughts exactly! The irony was rich…

I liked the picture too… reminded me of many of the fantasy renderings we see in New Age circles (unless that Tiger was thinking, “hmmm, they’re not moving very fast… I’ve got plenty of time”).

Johnny Triumph
American Fork, UT

Interesting that he would cite the New International Version of the Bible as a source in explaining the term, all that version is is a new interpretation by man of Biblical texts. Man is fallible, how in the world can this version be any more reliable than any other? Other than that he provides no insight into the use of the word or any correlation to why locals use the term presently. If this were a university assignment it would receive a very poor grade!

1.96 Standard Deviations


The creation of Adam and Eve in Genesis is literal. That is, Adam and Eve are not part of a figurative allegory or myth. They really did exist. How do we know this? The Book of Mormon answers in Mormon 9:12:

"Behold, he created Adam, and by Adam came the fall of man. And because of the fall of man came Jesus Christ, even the Father and the Son; and because of Jesus Christ came the redemption of man."

Since Jesus Christ came into the world, performed the atonement and resurrection, we have a surety that Adam and Eve existed. They are real people.

Salt Lake City, Salt Lake, UT

That painting cracks me up. I love it. Adam and Eve were so contemporary back then: Keen fashion sense, and so well groomed.I like the Human Genome Project version.

Henry Drummond
San Jose, CA

I've literally always wondered about what the phrase "helpmeet" meant.

OK Let's start over.

I appreciate the clarification. I read a book many years ago that "translated" some of the King James English to make it understandable to modern audiences. It took many obscure phrases that sometimes made no sense at all and provided the meaning that was originally intended. One of those had to do with "putting new wine into old bottles."

I've never heard of an old wine bottle breaking just because you put new wine into it. (Yes, I actually did it. Don't try it, its hard to pour wine into a glass bottle - regardless of whether its new or old - and its even harder to get the stains out of the carpet.)

As it turns out, the word "bottle" actually meant wineskin. The idea was that a wineskin that had no wine in it quickly dried out and cracked open. Now that phrase made sense.

I think many of your readers would enjoy more insights like this! I'll put in a good word for you with the editors.

Omaha, NE


Why look to a reporter, who is part of the media, to provide insight and possible counsel and wisdom that is already provided to us from leaders and scripture. I do not look to the media for my direction in life, what about you?


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