Was The Forbidden Fruit A Crisp, Juicy Apple?

Eating fruit is supposed to be healthy for us. The saying, “an apple a day keeps the doctor away,” is a positive testimonial to its nutritional value and fiber content.

So why would God warn Adam and Eve not to do something which offered real health benefits? What made the forbidden fruit forbidden? If one does not think deeply about this, then the only conclusion to be made is that this particular fruit was not necessarily bad to eat, but that the act of disobeying God made it evil.

If one does think deeply about this biblical event it becomes quite troublesome. The outcome, called “The Fall,” challenges our intuitive and deep sense of justice and rightness.

In this story, God concocted an artificial test, which had nothing to do with a person’s actual character or morality, yet became so indignant by this minor infraction that all humanity was doomed to suffer. Why would someone’s moment of weakness be transferred to future generations as deadly original sin?

It seems as though God acted more like a spoiled brat than one possessing Infinite Love and Wisdom. And why did God later choose to become more practical with the Ten Commandments, which does indeed address and test the quality of human souls? Was God still tinkering with how humans should behave? Tinkering does not suggest inerrancy.

Don’t get me wrong, I believe in the inerrancy and authority of Scripture. The problem is that the literal interpretation of its stories kills heavenly communication.

The Word of God could not be the Word of God unless it contained the boundless depth of Infinite wisdom. God could not have created everything in the universe, including bio-complexity, from the Holy Word, unless it too, contained unimaginable complexity. The only way Infinite Wisdom and complexity can exist in a finite book is if Scripture is a multidimensional document with layers of meaning.

These higher meanings allow God to reveal more and more divine wisdom to us. For instance, on a higher level, the act of eating in Scripture represents appropriation. When we eat and metabolize food (or fruit) it enters into our very fabric and becomes “us.” The same thing holds true with ideas and beliefs – which we can swallow whole.

Simply put, the forbidden fruit was harmful because it was really poisonous to eat – poisonous for the soul. God warned against eating this fruit because it came from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, which represents humankind’s misguided belief and faith in their own self intelligence, rather then being led by God’s wisdom (Tree of Life).

To be expelled from the Garden of Eden is to be removed from God’s wisdom. Everything wrong about today’s world and human affairs is not from any ongoing punishment. It all stems from a lack of wisdom.

Don’t you think that the “fruits” of one’s self-pride and ego reasoning are much more tempting and sweeter than a mere apple? This higher lesson is carried over into the New Testament by the Lord’s words, “wherefore by their fruits you shall know them” (Matthew 7:20) and “for the tree is known by his fruit” (Matthew 12:33).

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10 thoughts on “Was The Forbidden Fruit A Crisp, Juicy Apple?

  1. Nowhere in the Bible is there any mention of the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge having been an apple. Indeed, given the presumed location of Eden, it would have been highly unlikely although the centre of diversity for the apple family appears to be eastern Turkey. However, by the time of the Reformation, the fruit is more consistently portrayed as an apple although some Northern Renaissance artists stuck to other fruits such as the exotic orange. The preference for the apple may have been a result of the similarity in Latin between malus (‘apple’), mālum (‘apple tree’) and – identical in standard written form – mălum (‘evil’). The ultimate Proto Indo-European etymology is especially difficult. The English, apple, although sharing an obvious common root with Celtic, Blatic and Slavonic languages, may not be from the oldest Indo-European layer, may have been absorbed from a Semitic language and may well have implied more than one variety of fruit. Whether or not the Latin is tied to the Greek, μήλον, is open to question.

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  2. They will tell you that Adam fell from God’s grace through the eating of apples. I am telling you that you will never hear anything more preposterous than that! I am going to outline to you something completely different and it is there in Genesis if you insist on looking for it – as, indeed, you should for although the movement of the Spirit is paramount, everything it tells you should be referenced against the Scriptures. It is this: if Adam had stood with Love in his Mind and remained at one with God without lust for any thing then he would indeed have remained blessed with everything in the Garden forever for there would have been nothing out of harmony between him and the rest of the divine creation. Furthermore, he could have eaten as many apples as he cared to do – the eating of apples is neither here nor there. [Brierley now took on an uncharacteristically light tone, perhaps only possible in that open air environment for it was about as far as possible from his usual approach.] Believe me, all of you, over the course of the last thirty years I have eaten so many apples – Pearmains and Costards, Leathercoats and Apple Johns amongst others… …And they have neither made me more sinful nor, I regret to say, less so. I am the same man I was before I ever tasted the fruit of that tree, just the same old replica of Adam – and Adam himself was the same before and after for the apple is not the issue. Even Origen was perhaps not so far wrong when he called those who take the eating of apples literally, ‘fools’. The innermost sense of something is usually the deepest.

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