These observations are not intended to be tendentious, but objective.
According to Genesis chapter 2 God’s first conversation with Adam was a warning against eating of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil:
For in the day you eat of it you shall die (2:17).
Dr James Barr who is professor of Biblical Hebrew at Oxford University comments:
“The Hebrew itself makes this very definite; its locution is well represented by the Authorised Version with its ‘thou shalt surely die’.”
The serpent in the story comes along and gives another account of this:
But the serpent said to the woman, “You will not die; for God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”
As we know, the man and woman did eat of the forbidden tree and God pronounces the verdict:
Then the Lord God said, “See, the man has become like one of us, knowing good and evil; and now, he might reach out his hand and take also from the tree of life, and eat, and live forever” – therefore the Lord God sent him forth from the garden of Eden…
In other words God’s warning proved not to have been accurately fulfilled. They had not died in the day in which they ate the forbidden fruit. In fact they did not die for a very long time. The man is not punished by immediate death. His punishment is rather frustration in his work. To the man he said,
Because you have listened to the voice of your wife,
and have eaten of the tree
about which I commanded you,
‘You shall not eat of it,’
cursed is the ground because of you;
in toil you shall eat of it all the days of your life;
thorns and thistles it shall bring forth for you;
and you shall eat the plants of the field.
By the sweat of your face
you shall eat bread
until you return to the ground,
for out of it you were taken;
you are dust,
and to dust you shall return.
Not only this but there is a danger that man will become immortal (Genesis 3:22 above). He might despite his disobedience achieve the status where he will never die at all. God must take action to prevent this from happening. Even so Adam lived to be 930 years (Genesis 5:5).
It turns out that when God said ‘in that day you eat of it you shall die’ his warning was far from confirmed by the actual outcome.
It was the serpent whose prediction proved to be entirely accurate. From the beginning he had said that they would not die – and they didn’t.
He said they would obtain the knowledge of good and evil – and they did.
He said they would become like God – and they did.
Perhaps surprisingly, inerrancy is not a quality of the God of the Bible.