Man Woman Book

Research on the correct translation of Genesis 3:16 & related Bible verses

by Dr. Joy Fleming and Rev. Bruce C. E. Fleming

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Research You Can Trust

The Power of a Proper Translation
Dr. Joy Fleming dedicated many years of research to understanding the meaning of the Hebrew text of Genesis 3:16. She discovered that most translations are getting this verse wrong. Is this a big problem? Yes! Bad translations lead to bad theology and practice!

In Genesis 3 God’s words contain no curse on the woman and no curse on the man. In Genesis 3:16, in the very first words to the woman, God tells her two things.

(1) She will have “sorrowful-toil” resulting from the coming curse on the soil – because of the man (see Genesis 3:17) and

(2) she will have “conception” of the Offspring who will crush the serpent (see Genesis 3:15).

God does not say she will have “pain-in-childbearing.” This one new thing is a virtual curse on the woman. It does not follow the grammar of the Hebrew text. Putting two things together into one new thing breaks the word patterns that link the verse to its surrounding context.

Dr. Joy Fleming (on Genesis 2-3) and Rev. Bruce C. E. Fleming (on New Testament passages) have been researching, writing and teaching for more than 40 years on three continents.

In 1993, Dr. Joy Fleming’s book “Man and Woman in Biblical Unity – Theology from Genesis 2-3” was first printed. It sold out!

Now vailable HERE


“Long-held theological treatments of the opening chapters of the Bible have established devastating misunderstandings of God’s words to Adam, to Eve, and to the serpent in Genesis 3. Overturning such misinterpretations has been essential but slow in coming. Thus we owe a great debt of thanks to Dr. Joy Fleming for her minute examination of every part of the Hebrew text and the resulting careful exegesis we now have in hand.

Every woman can be grateful that God in no way cursed her even as curses landed on both the serpent and the ground the man would then till. I strongly recommend Dr. Fleming’s work to every reader who has been puzzled or affected by erroneous interpretations of Genesis 3.”

Alice Mathews, PhD
Dean Emerita,
Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary
Hamilton, MA


“It is a pleasure to endorse Dr. Joy Fleming’s book entitled Man and Woman in Biblical Unity: Theology from Genesis 2-3. Her work, especially on Genesis 3:16, is to be commended as she identifies two words in this text that serve as linchpins, with one pointing back to the good news of the Promise in Genesis 3:15 and the other pointing to the bad news in Genesis 3:17, where God curses the ground which both the man and the woman will work.

This work is a detailed and thorough study of the exegetical and theological implications of the Genesis narrative. I urge Christ’s Church to seriously consider the results of Joy’s study and to buy their own personal copy for a more comprehensive study of this key passage and the texts surrounding it.”

Walter C. Kaiser, Jr.
President Emeritus
Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary
Hamilton, MA

Start with these books:

Man and Woman in Biblical Unity
by Joy Fleming

The Book of Eden, Genesis 2-3 by Bruce C. E. Fleming

Women and Men in the Light of Eden by Bruce C. E. Fleming

Want to go deeper?

A Rhetorical Analysis of Genesis 2-3 with Implications for a Theology of Man and Woman (doctoral dissertation)
by Joy Fleming

Take action to promote change in translations that have been promoting error in God’s words to the woman in Genesis 3:16 and beyond. Equip yourself as a change agent ready to educate and advocate on behalf of the true translation of Genesis 3:16!

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