The Hypostasis of the Archons, a Gnostic text discovered in The Nag Hammadi Library in 1945, gives an alternative view of the happenings in the Garden of Eden soon after its creation. In many Christian teachings, the serpent in the Garden is remembered as a negative influence on the Soul of Man and Woman. The excerpt below tells a differing version of the Serpents influence...one of empowerment.
Then the female spiritual principle came in the form of a snake, the instructor; and it taught them, saying, "What did he say to you? Was it, 'From every tree in the garden shall you eat; yet – from the tree of recognizing good and evil do not eat'?"
The woman said, "Not only did he say 'Do not eat', but even 'Do not touch it; for the day you eat from it, with death you are going to die.'"
And the snake, the instructor, said, "With death you shall not die; for it was out of jealousy that he said this to you. Rather your eyes shall open and you shall come to be like gods, recognizing evil and good."