Question about the tree of the knowledge of good and evil


#1

Hello,

I was watching tv and flipping thru the channels when I came across this pretty old cartoon (I think it was copyright 1986) depicting the story of Adam and Eve. It showed how Eve was tempted to eat the fruit of the forbidden tree and, well, the rest is history.

It got me thinking, why was the tree there in the first place? God knew exactly what was going to happen. Why was the temptation present?

I know definite answers are not possible but your thoughts are appreciated :slight_smile:

Thanks,
-Flack


#2

I want to say that it has to do with free will-that although God could have prevented it in the first place by never placing it, he then would have eliminated the choice of free will.

[quote=Flack]Hello,

I was watching tv and flipping thru the channels when I came across this pretty old cartoon (I think it was copyright 1986) depicting the story of Adam and Eve. It showed how Eve was tempted to eat the fruit of the forbidden tree and, well, the rest is history.

It got me thinking, why was the tree there in the first place? God knew exactly what was going to happen. Why was the temptation present?

I know definite answers are not possible but your thoughts are appreciated :slight_smile:

Thanks,
-Flack
[/quote]


#3

It has to do with love. :wink:


#4

Well the way i see it. Is that Adam and Eve had everything their hearts desired. What ever they wanted they could have. But how would they know how blessed it was to have all these things if they didn’t know what being denied something felt like?


#5

Flack,

Good Question! Thanks for making me stop and think. :slight_smile:

In order for us to exercise Free Will in Loving God, we need to commit to our Love for God. Love requires sacrifice. God gave Adam and Eve everything they could ever want and He gave it to them freely just as He gives us the grace necessary for salvation freely.

At the same time, He desired that Adam and Eve freely give him their love, a complete love that included sacrifice, the freely given sacrifice of obedience. We are still asked to give this sacrifice of obedience and the Church has been given to Mankind so that we might know God’s will and be obedient to it, through our obedience to our Mother the Church.

I hope this helps. God Bless,

CARose


#6

I think Canne is right, but I think there may ba another reason as well. May be the tree of knowledge played some part in keeping the echosystem of the garden in check.


#7

Could the tree be figuaritve. Example of how I mean this is "God created the world, one the first day…etc. However, did He really do it in six 24 hour days? Who knows, but my guess is no. I think He used what we call science (big bang and so on). But the point is, He created! It started with God.

I think the same can apply to the tree. Did they really eat fruit from a tree, thus causing humans to become mortal? Maybe. However, I think the message is that humans disobeyed God, when tempted by the devil, and by disobeying, they brought sin and death to mankind.

I think this actually makes alot of sense. Does anyone know if this can be compatible with Catholic teaching. I ask this because my desire is to be inline with the Church…:smiley:

dxu


#8

Free Will.

God desires our love. But real love is chosen. Therefore there must be free will in order for there to be love. And God made this in the form of the tree. They had to take it by faith that God was right. And their faith was met with works. When Eve’s faith died, her works died as well, and her love was not enough to keep her from the tree.

God is love. He loves us so much that he desires our love in return. So, as JLove said.

It has to do with love.


#9

[quote=snowman10]Could the tree be figuaritve. Example of how I mean this is "God created the world, one the first day…etc. However, did He really do it in six 24 hour days? Who knows, but my guess is no. I think He used what we call science (big bang and so on). But the point is, He created! It started with God.

I think the same can apply to the tree. Did they really eat fruit from a tree, thus causing humans to become mortal? Maybe. However, I think the message is that humans disobeyed God, when tempted by the devil, and by disobeying, they brought sin and death to mankind.

I think this actually makes alot of sense. Does anyone know if this can be compatible with Catholic teaching. I ask this because my desire is to be inline with the Church…:smiley:

dxu
[/quote]

From what I understand; Yes:thumbsup: see CCC 296-298


#10

This is one of my favorite topics!!!

Here is my take on it:
The tree is the one and only thing that God told Adam and Eve was forbidden. This was to test their trust. The serpent planted the seed of distrust by telling Eve that it wouldn’t kill her to eat it, as God had told them it would. God was refering to the death of their communion with him(eternal life), not physical death, which is more important. When Eve yeilded to the temptation, she was saying to God, “I don’t fully trust in you” and when God confronted Adam about eating of the fruit of the tree, he blamed Eve, his wife. He did not defend his wife and as such, broke the covenant of the holy couple. This established his lack of trust as well. When they were sent out of the garden, this was not only literal, but also the East of Eden became synonomous with the idea that man is no longer in total communion with God. But of course our God is a loving and merciful God so he gave them a chance to atone by making their life harder but not impossible. Thus is the loss of immortality and toiling over the land and pain in childbirth. It is really asking, do you trust me now? To know that life would not be easy but still possible was a glimmer of hope for mankind. At this point mankind developed the struggle of their will over obedience. We all know we struggle with this to this day. This is original sin. Now, if you continue to read Genesis, God gives his people many such tests. Noah and his family found favor with God and God wiped everyone else off the face of the earth with a flood. After that there is the promise that he will never flood the earth again but will use other means to guide his people to him. This was an awesome promise to us. This basically tells us that no matter how bad we are, there is always a chance at redemption, and God will not destroy us, instead he will give us the choice to be his people or to let our will supercede his and live in sin. Look at Abram and Sarai, childless and God promised him that he would have many decendants. God changed his name from Abram to Abraham (which means father of nations) and here he was 100 and childless with a wife in her 90’s. God gave them a child at their old ages, but when Isaac was about 13 God told Abraham to sacrifice his only son to him. Again he is testing our trust. This time Abraham trusted in God and it pleased God, Isaac’s life was spared and God made a covenant with Abraham and his entire family. God is always asking, “do you trust me?” when he tests us through history. Those who reply “yes” are pleasing to God and he rewards them.

As for the post by snowman about whether all this is literal or figurative, days are not defined as 24 hour periods. Time is a man made concept, so when they talk about 7 days, it is 7 periods of time, not 7 24 hour days. When you think about it this way, there is no conflict with science and the teachings of the church.


#11

God tempts no one to sin. He does, however, test our hearts. He tests our faith, and our willingness to be obedient to his will.
Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am tempted by God”; for God cannot be tempted with evil and he himself tempts no one …
James 1:13

… we speak, not to please men, but to please God who tests our hearts
1Thes 2:4


Catechism of the Catholic Church

ORIGINAL SIN
**Freedom put to the test **

396 God created man in his image and established him in his friendship. A spiritual creature, man can live this friendship only in free submission to God. The prohibition against eating “of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil” spells this out: “for in the day that you eat of it, you shall die.” The “tree of the knowledge of good and evil” symbolically evokes the insurmountable limits that man, being a creature, must freely recognize and respect with trust. Man is dependent on his Creator, and subject to the laws of creation and to the moral norms that govern the use of freedom.God allowed Satan to test the hearts of Adam and Eve. Their failure to be obedient to God cannot be blamed on God. It was God’s will for Adam and Eve to be obedient – it was not God’s will for pain, disease, death and decay to enter into his Paradise.


#12

:thumbsup:

God is not unjust when he tests our hearts.

Man messed up the physical world, not God! :frowning: God is merciful towards us even though we don’t deserve it. Man has vandalized the physical creation through his sins, but God the Son has become one of us to clean up the mess that man has made of God’s creation. :slight_smile:

The physical creation will be restored when the saints receive their glorified physical bodies.


#13

[quote=Flack]Hello,

I was watching tv and flipping thru the channels when I came across this pretty old cartoon (I think it was copyright 1986) depicting the story of Adam and Eve. It showed how Eve was tempted to eat the fruit of the forbidden tree and, well, the rest is history.

It got me thinking, why was the tree there in the first place? God knew exactly what was going to happen. Why was the temptation present?

I know definite answers are not possible but your thoughts are appreciated :slight_smile:

Thanks,
-Flack
[/quote]

I don’t think it was a literal tree. I think it was obedience to some truth that they went against.


#14

[quote=Matt16_18]God tempts no one to sin.
[/quote]

[left]

[/left]

And it came to pass after these things, that God did tempt Abraham, and said unto him, Abraham: and he said, Behold, *here *I am. - Genesis 22:1KJV (emphasis added)

:hmmm:


#15

Thank you all for the replies. They are greatly appreciated :slight_smile:


#16

JLove,

Could it be that the second verse you mention is not really about tempting to sin? Just curious.

dxu


#17

[quote=snowman10]JLove,

Could it be that the second verse you mention is not really about tempting to sin? Just curious.

dxu
[/quote]

Could be. :whistle:


#18

**Hello Flack, **

I agree with eveyone who said LOVE! To obey God is love for God. One cannot love without the option not to love. Trees, rocks, fire and butterflies are not free from the will of God. They cannot sin but they also have no opportunity to love God. Man has the tremendous opportunity to love God through free from the will of God obedience to the will of God.

Please visit Choices Of The Heart

NIV 1JO 5:3
This is love for God: to obey his commands. And his commands are not burdensome.NIV JOH 14:15

“If you love me, you will obey what I command.” NAB SIR 15:11 Man’s Free Will.

Say not: “It was God’s doing that I fell away”; for what he hates he does not do. Say not: “It was he who set me astray”; for he has no need of wicked man. Abominable wickedness the LORD hates, he does not let it befall those who fear him. When God, in the beginning, created man, he made him subject to his own free choice. If you choose you can keep the commandments; it is loyalty to do his will. There are set before you fire and water; to whichever you choose, stretch forth your hand. Before man are life and death, whichever he chooses shall be given him.

NAB DEU 30:15 The Choice before Israel.

Here then, I have today set before you life and prosperity, death and doom. If you obey the commandments of the LORD, your God, which I enjoin on you today, loving him, and walking in his ways, and keeping his commandments, statutes and decrees, you will live and grow numerous, and the LORD, your God, will bless you in the land you are entering to occupy.”

**NAB DEU 13:1 **

"Every command that I enjoin on you, you shall be careful to observe, neither adding to it nor subtracting from it.

"If there arises among you a prophet or a dreamer who promises you a sign or wonder, urging you to follow other gods, whom you have not known, and to serve them: even though the sign or wonder he has foretold you comes to pass, pay no attention to the words of that prophet or that dreamer; for the LORD, your God, is testing you to learn whether you really love him with all your heart and with all your soul. The LORD, your God, shall you follow, and him shall you fear; his commandment shall you observe, and his voice shall you heed, serving him and holding fast to him alone."


#19

Jlove

And it came to pass after these things, that God did tempt Abraham, and said unto him, Abraham: and he said, Behold, here I am. - Genesis 22:1**KJV ** (emphasis added)

Unfortunately, “tempt” is how the King James Version translates Gen 22:1 into English. Other Bibles such as the New American Bible and the Revised Standard Version use the word “test” which does not convey the same meaning that tempt has in today’s English. Some time after these events, God put Abraham to the test. He called to him, “Abraham!” “Ready!” he replied.
Gen 22:1 NAB

After these things God tested Abraham, and said to him, “Abraham!” And he said, "Here am I."
Gen 22:1 RSVGod does not tempt people to sin, but he does put our faith to the test. Abraham’s faith was tested by God, Abraham was not tempted by God to commit a sin.

James explicitly says that God tempts no one, and even the KJV agrees with that :Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am tempted by God”; for God cannot be tempted with evil and he himself tempts no one …
James 1:13 RSV

Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man
James 1:13 KJV What is your point?


#20

This is just something I THINK. I believe the two trees are both metaphorical. Consider this: That the knowledge of good and evil represents human conclusions about right and wrong apart from the spiritual knowing that comes only from God. To know good from evil instead of sensing from the heart what pleases God is to rely on mind instead of spirit.

In the day that Adam and Eve sinned, the spirit of Man ceased to be the leading organ of the being. The soulish part of humanity–that is, the self-will–began to rule and to decide for itself what was right and wrong. This, by definition, is rebellion against the Maker. As a result, philosphy, “morals,” and “ethics” were born in the darkness of spiritual death.

A spiritual person would instinctively choose good without knowing the difference because such a one would have the nature of God. You can only know distinctions of good and evil by having tasted evil. This weighing and deciding of human ethics apart from the light of Christ could only have come from a “Tree of the KNOWLEDGE of Good and Evil.” That is why everything that Mankind does to improve the world apart from God turns to ultimate evil. Knowledge of good and evil is a tainted mixture by definition.

All branches of human knowledge (even perfectly good things) are arranged in “trees.” That why components of knowledge are called “branches.” Even the breakdown of human speech is arranged in “trees” by linguists. Anything that can be broken down into trees and branches constitutes a SYSTEM. God’s nature is not a reasoned out SYSTEM. It is ORGANIC, and Life-Filled, made of spirit.

Human reasoning is all based on systems and can never achieve the purposes of God. Thus, “the Matrix” comes into play in all that we do. “There’s something wrong with the world, Neo. You feel it when you go to work. When you pay your taxes. When you go to Church…It is the world pulled over your eyes to blind you to the truth–that you are a slave (to sin and to the FALL).”

The pure goodness of God is not a system to be imitated, developed, or reasoned out. When God created all things, He did not say, “It is perfect,” because it wasn’t. But He said, “It is good.” He was waiting for one last thing to top it all off. Adam and Eve were created with a human spirit to be filled with God. Had they partaken of the Tree of Life, they would have become fully human in the way God intended. God would have had perfect communion with them and indwelled them. They would have always had right instincts for their will would have been God’s own.

So what about the Tree of Life? Many believe this tree to have been the pre-incarnate Jesus Christ. God did Adam and Eve a favor in tossing them out of the Garden, for had they eaten of the Tree of Life after consuming the wrong fruit, they would have lived forever in a fallen state. Imagine creatures whose thoughts turned continually to evil having everlasting life in a body subject to disease and breakage!!!


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