Before eating the fruit of this tree, they knew good but did not know evil. By choosing to eat from the tree, they experientially gained knowledge of evil as their act of disobedience corrupted their human nature, perverting the good that was there. By deciding for themselves what was good or evil, they brought sin and suffering into the human race. Adam and Eve were put to the test to see if they would trust that God was good, or if they would trust themselves as better judges of what was good.
By the time they thought they knew better than God what was good for them. Consequently sin and death were the result. How this this Bible explanation speak to you? Please share your thoughts below! Also read What about the fall of man in the garden of Eden? Marten Visser , experienced a call from the Lord to be a missionary while in Kindergarten. He received M. In he returned to the Netherlands where he founded GlobalRize.
Having read Jon Krakauer 's history of mormonism, Under the Banner of Heaven , I wonder why one of the claims in his book isn't listed here. I'll leave this to people who are more familiar with the history and theology to figure this out, now that the issue has been raised. There's at least one further interpretation of the myth this article is written around, that isn't listed in the article. Pascal Boyer , in his book Religion Explained , talks of doing field work in parts of Africa, and explaining the Adam and Eve story to villagers who still follow traditional religions.
From memory, his explanation goes like this:. All pain, suffering, and death in the world is because two ancestors ate exotic fruit in a garden. Considering that this may well be the only Wikipedia article without a "criticisms" section, and also that this is an on-topic comment from a scholarly work, able to be cited, and dealing with the religious interpretation ancestor worship of this myth, I believe it deserves a place in this article.
Just a thought. It could have a lot of potential, considering the debate on whether or not it was indeed a snake or Satan. Mariomassone talk , 25 December UTC. I know that several Bible verses condemn philosophers and those who seek to understand the mysteries of the world, Martin Luther called Reason "The Devil's Whore" and the Pope tried to stop Galileo looking through his telescope - but it seems unfair to interpret this story as saying that knowledge is evil or dangerous or best avoided.
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I am sure there is not theological consensus on this - so I would welcome well-referenced details about the major interpretations and how they differ. Catholic interpretation goes back to Augustine of Hippo, who taught that the tree should be understood symbolically but as a real tree - similarly to Jerusalem being both real city and a figure of Heavenly Jerusalem.
Tree of the knowledge of good and evil
Catholic interpretation goes back to Augustine of Hippo, who taught that the tree should be understood both symbolically and as a real tree - similarly to Jerusalem being both real city and a figure of Heavenly Jerusalem. God set a guard about the garden to protect the tree of life from Adam, Eve, and their descendants. God set guards 'Cherubim' is plural for 'Cherub' at the east side of the garden to protect the way to the tree of life from Adam, Eve, and their descendants. The previous statement was technically inaccurate in failing to recogonize the plural nature of cherubim and that they were stationed on only one side of the garden.
The same story with male, female, serpent, and tree can be found centuries before the version of the story we know from the Bible - depicted on a Mesopotamian cylinder seal. I wondered whether this claim was based on the long since debunked views of Julius Wellhausen. The claim is just plain wrong. Conservative scholarship, these days, considers authorship to date back to B.
See the Toledoth Hypothesis credited to P. Wiseman also known as the tablet theory or the Wiseman Hypothesis. The statement above refers to two dates without stating what those dates are. Centuries before when? So I checked the date of the Mesopotamian cylinder seal. There is even a wiki article about that:. Cylinder seals apparently go back very far and remained in use for very long. But the particular cylinder seal under discussion here is one that supposedly portrays Adam and Eve. So I searched again for that. And according the British Museum, male, female, serpent and tree cylinder seals indeed existed as far back as B.
And I quote T. Stories with male, female, serpent, and tree can be found depicted on Mesopotamian cylinder seals dating as far back as B. But they are very unlikely to constitute a source for the author of Genesis because they do not connect very well with the Genesis account. According to Toledoth Hypothesis, sources probably did exist for the writing of Genesis that extend into history even earlier than B.
The last word is transcribed as "vera. That or maybe my Hebrew just isn't good.
It might be a bit too niche to include here, but Daniel Quinn's interpretation of the Fall has fascinated me for some time. Recently I saw that some people think it was a pomegranate. I've also seen the apricot mentioned. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. This is the talk page for discussing improvements to the Tree of the knowledge of good and evil article. This is not a forum for general discussion of the article's subject.
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Ask questions, get answers. Be polite , and welcoming to new users Assume good faith Avoid personal attacks For disputes, seek dispute resolution Article policies. Bible portal. Christianity portal. So, it seems if there were going to be a locus around which the first sin was involved, the question might become, Why did God create with the possibility for evil?
Do you see any similarity between your question and the problem of evil? This made me think of someone stating that there are only 3 temptations: lust of the flesh, lust of the eyes and the pride of life 1John In verse 17 it says the world and its desires pass away, but whoever does the will of God lives forever. The tree of the knowledge of good and evil pretty much seemed to provide that test. I have heard this theory before - that Adam knowingly ate the fruit in order to not be separated from Eve. But it seems to me, if that were the case, that would have been part of his explanation when God came looking for them.
Instead, Adam denied any responsibility at all and blamed both Eve and God - and God held him more accountable. So, this is a question I have long puzzled over. And neither did anyone at the church I was attending at the time. All that matters is that Jesus loves you, and died for your sins. As Michael Ramsden said in one of his lectures on value, God knew from before he began the creation process that our fall and redemption would cost him everything, and he still chose to create us.
These discussions, combined with the fact that I was babysitting my tiny nephew on a daily basis for a while, watching the many bumps and bruises he experienced, led me to form the following theory. God created us with the ability to feel pain, and while that would seem cruel, it is a feature necessary for protection and survival.
We learn almost everything in life from pain of some sort. Essentially, Adam and Eve were like naive toddlers. They had never experienced pain, evil, or death. But as complete innocents without the true understanding of either the full goodness of God or the full pain evil, they were not capable of understanding the enormity of the consequences. Like the child, if they had simply obeyed and trusted God, they would have been spared enormous pain and death, but the truth is that we learn best through pain, and we become wiser because of it.
What do the Tree of Life and Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil symbolize?
It is interesting that even as adults, we still learn the most thoroughly; we mature the most spiritually, through pain and trials. It is part of who we are no matter how hard we try, and every day, we feel the sting and consequences of living in a world in these conditions. Those who love and desire God, and the peace and righteousness and holiness that he offers, look forward to that day when they will be released from our sinful flesh and be raised perfect and without sin.
Being free of our sin nature and being reunited with God will be glorious beyond belief. And having once lived in a world where sin and evil are the order of the day, where being righteous is a daily battle; having experienced the consequences of separation from God, and having done our best to stay faithful and fight the good fight, we would never, for any reason or purpose, want to come back to this. We will trust him implicitly, and we will be trustworthy, though we will still have free will.
What if God created a world and the beings in it in such a way to ultimately create the children, friends, bride, etc. Once free of the sinful flesh, we would never choose disobedience again. Does that make sense?
Bible Questions. SeanO SeanO July 1, , pm 2.
The Tree of Evil by William G. Gray
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