Tree of Knowledge


#1

In the story of Adam and Eve, why was the tree of knowledge placed in the garden, if they shouldn't eat its fruit?

In a house, if something is toxic or bad for children, naturally a parent would make sure that this something is kept "out of reach" of the children.

And where was God when the event happened? Surely an omniscient being would know what was happening and could have prevented it.


#2

That is a question I have been pondering for the last year or so. But just to let you know, I do hold true to my heart and believe everything that is in our Creed (Nicene Creed). And I thank God the Father for allowing His one and only Son Jesus to be born here on Earth, grow up and suffer The Passion for each and every one of our sins so that we could once again attain Heaven. But sometimes I wonder, if the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil were never placed in the Garden of Eden in the first place, none of the above would have had to happening. I guess I will understand all when I (hopefully) get to Heaven. God Bless.


#3

One of the ways of looking at tok is that it was a dietary law. The incident had to do with passions and intellect and social relationship, and temptation.

The command not to eat from the tree and the promise of everlasting life as a result of eating from the tree of life was a covenant with God.

Regrets aside, Judaism refers to the first five books of the Bible as the 'torah' -- "instruction" and often "law." This incident is certainly a great teaching moment for all people of all time.


#4

Why is there a cookie jar in the kitchen if you don't want your kids eating cookies before supper?

In a house, if something is toxic or bad for children, naturally a parent would make sure that this something is kept "out of reach" of the children.

It wasn't toxic, just forbidden (like eating cookies before dinner).

And where was God when the event happened? Surely an omniscient being would know what was happening and could have prevented it.

Of course, we don't know what Adam's condition was before the fall, but in Deuteronomy 13:1-3 we read the following, " If there rise in the midst of thee a prophet or one that saith he hath dreamed a dream, and he foretell a sign and a wonder, And that come to pass which he spoke, and he say to thee: Let us go and follow strange gods, which thou knowest not, and let us serve them: Thou shalt not hear the words of that prophet or dreamer: for the Lord your God trieth you, that it may appear whether you love him with all your heart, and with all your soul, or not." (DRA). Notice that God allows us to be tried (that's why even the elect still fall to temptation at times). No doubt, God knew what would happen, and was prepared for it, otherwise, how could God say that Jesus was "... slain from the beginning of the world." (Rev 13:8 DRA)?

(Sorry for the cookie jar example, but I just finished dinner and am looking forward to some fresh baked cookies!)


#5

It doesn't matter if the tree was placed in the garden or not, because man was created to have free-will, and, therefore, could choose to disobey God at any time. It was because God foresaw the fall of man, that he chose to use the Tree of Knowledge as a way to test him, so that when man chose to sin he would also receive that which could preserve him. It is called "Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil", because it does not only provide knowledge of evil, but also of good. So God perhaps saw it fit that if we should come to know evil, then we should also come to know good so that we could distinguish between the two and cast one aside for the other. Without such knowledge we would have become totally corrupt.


#6

If your kids had no opportunity whatsoever to disobey you, you wouldn't have the satisfaction of knowing that if your kids are obedient, they are because they will to be not because there is no possibility for them to do so. God gets the satisfaction, we get a fallen world.


#7

[quote="JonathonofOhio, post:5, topic:325942"]
It was because God foresaw the fall of man, that he chose to use the Tree of Knowledge as a way to test him, so that when man chose to sin he would also receive that which could preserve him. It is called "Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil", because it does not only provide** knowledge of evil, but also of good. **

[/quote]

I love this part. God is so GOOD! It's like when He cursed the ground and told Adam and Eve by the sweat of their brow they would bring forth food... Really, don't we as people love to work and keep busy. I work in the garden and sometimes it's hard work, but so rewarding... I would hate to sit around all day doing nothing... Thanks God, for loving me so much, your punishment doesn't seem like a punishment. The real punishment is being separated from YOU!


#8

[quote="petra22, post:7, topic:325942"]
God is so GOOD! It's like when He cursed the ground and told Adam and Eve by the sweat of their brow they would bring forth food... Really, don't we as people love to work and keep busy. I work in the garden and sometimes it's hard work, but so rewarding... I would hate to sit around all day doing nothing... Thanks God, for loving me so much, your punishment doesn't seem like a punishment. The real punishment is being separated from YOU!

[/quote]

This is so true :)...I love the way you thing :thumbsup:


#9

Pope John Paul II spoke of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil in his encyclical titled "Dominum et Vivificantum". ( vatican.va/holy_father/john_paul_ii/encyclicals/documents/hf_jp-ii_enc_18051986_dominum-et-vivificantem_en.html )
36...... But this personal subject is also always a creature: in his existence and essence he depends on the Creator. According to the Book of Genesis, *"the tree of the knowledge of good and evil" was to express and constantly remind man of the "limit" impassable for a created being.** God's prohibition is to be understood in this sense: the Creator forbids man and woman to eat of the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. The words of the enticement, that is to say the temptation, as formulated in the sacred text, are an inducement to transgress this prohibition-that is to say, to go beyond that "limit": "When you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God "like gods"], knowing good and evil."

... For God the Creator is the one definitive source of the moral order in the world created by him. Man cannot decide by himself what is good and what is evil-cannot "know good and evil, like God." In the created world God indeed remains the first and sovereign source for deciding about good and evil, ... To man, created to the image of God, the Holy Spirit gives the gift of conscience, so that in this conscience the image may faithfully reflect its model, which is both Wisdom and eternal Law, the source of the moral order in man and in the world. "Disobedience," as the original dimension of sin, means the rejection of this source, through man's claim to become an independent and exclusive source for deciding about good and evil. ... *The tree of the knowledge of good and evil was the means/instrument God provided through which man was to show his love, trust, and acceptance of God as his God.


#10

[quote="JonathonofOhio, post:5, topic:325942"]
It doesn't matter if the tree was placed in the garden or not, because man was created to have free-will, and, therefore, could choose to disobey God at any time. It was because God foresaw the fall of man, that he chose to use the Tree of Knowledge as a way to test him, so that when man chose to sin he would also receive that which could preserve him. It is called "Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil", because it does not only provide knowledge of evil, but also of good. So God perhaps saw it fit that if we should come to know evil, then we should also come to know good so that we could distinguish between the two and cast one aside for the other. Without such knowledge we would have become totally corrupt.

[/quote]

That is a very good response! Thank you for taking the time to reveal these important thoughts to us.


#11

The Tree simply symbolizes the choice man has as a direct consequence of being a creature of God gifted with possession of a rational mind and free will. From the Catechism:

*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."276 The "tree of the knowledge of good and evil"277 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.
*


#12

[quote="ThePoorInSpirit, post:2, topic:325942"]
That is a question I have been pondering for the last year or so. But just to let you know, I do hold true to my heart and believe everything that is in our Creed (Nicene Creed). And I thank God the Father for allowing His one and only Son Jesus to be born here on Earth, grow up and suffer The Passion for each and every one of our sins so that we could once again attain Heaven. But sometimes I wonder, if the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil were never placed in the Garden of Eden in the first place, none of the above would have had to happening. I guess I will understand all when I (hopefully) get to Heaven. God Bless.

[/quote]

God bless you too.
It looks like you don't have to wait for heaven because the question has been answered. :)


#13

[quote="Robertanthony, post:6, topic:325942"]
If your kids had no opportunity whatsoever to disobey you, you wouldn't have the satisfaction of knowing that if your kids are obedient, they are because they will to be not because there is no possibility for them to do so. God gets the satisfaction, we get a fallen world.

[/quote]

That's seems harsh doesn't it? To allow a fallen world full of suffering creatures (most of which will end up in eternal damnation) to exist just so God would have satisfaction, just so God can take a few hand picked people for his kingdom.


#14

[quote="HydanCelare, post:13, topic:325942"]
That's seems harsh doesn't it? To allow a fallen world full of suffering creatures (most of which will end up in eternal damnation) to exist just so God would have satisfaction, just so God can take a few hand picked people for his kingdom.

[/quote]

That's more of a Calvinistic slant on things. In truth God wants none to perish but allows our freedom to choose.


#15

The point is that kids are protected because they aren't responsible for their own actions. The older and more able to make decisions they get, the more freedom kids are given: to try and fail or try and succeed, to do good or do evil. If you don't increase the challenges and allow kids more freedom, they will never become adults who are able to live like real people. You are treating them like pets or robots who can never grow up.

Adam and Eve were adults, smarter and wiser than we are, with every possible advantage. God gave them the keys to the world, with only one rule to keep. That's plenty generous.

God knew that free will would bring sorrow and sin, but He also wanted us to be able to live in His image and likeness, able to love and create and act freely like Him. He didn't want
happy pets or harmonious robots; He wanted us. He gave us the ability to screw up, because that also included the ability to learn and to do amazing things when we follow Him freely.


#16

I think that A&E hadn’t yet learned the value of love, so to speak, to know and appreciate it for its supreme worth when they saw it. IOW, they hadn’t yet learned the “value of God”, and how immense is man’s need for Him.


#17

I know that in todays world the comomen practice is to child proof the home. Put locks on the cabinets ( that by the way only the child is able to open) Etc.. but when I was growing up this was not done. children as young as those starting to crawl where told don't toucfh that and if they started to touch it there hand got smacked.
That is what I belive we learn from the story of the fall That in the world there are things that we are not to do, things we are not to touch. God does not romve them for they have thier use in things. WE are expect to obey just as children are expected to obey thoer parents.

There were five of us growing up in the house and the cleaning supplies were kept under the sinks in the kitchen and bathroom. Dad Hunted and his guns hung on the rack in the living room We were taught from the very first do not touch what is not ours and we were taught what was ours. Our house my grandparents house and all my aunts and uncles houase would have been considered unsafe for children by the standard of today that everything must be behind locked doors. You know what not a one of us ever shoot anyone or drank any cleaning fluids. You don't teach by just locking things away.


#18

Why would you think most of them will end up in eternal damnation?

I’m aware of Our Lord’s words in Matthew:
*[size=][FONT=“Times New Roman”]Mt. 7:13 "Enter by the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the way is easy, that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. *
I know it says that many enter the wide gate, but it doesn’t say they remain forever on the “way that is easy”.

Mt. 7:14 For the gate is narrow and the way is hard, that leads to life, and those who find it are few.
There are so many in the world that die without being baptized, without becoming faithful Catholics. But something I think it’s very important to recall is the power of the prayers of God’s people. - prayer that can have an effect on saving those who may have spent all but the last few moments on the “wide gate and way”.

I think of Moses’ prayer in the OT that saved the Israelites from being destroyed.Deut 9:13 "Furthermore the LORD said to me, I have seen this people, and behold, it is a stubborn people; 9:14 let me alone, that I may destroy them and blot out their name from under heaven; and I will make of you a nation mightier and greater than they.’ …9:18 Then I lay prostrate before the LORD as before, forty days and forty nights; I neither ate bread nor drank water, because of all the sin which you had committed, in doing what was evil in the sight of the LORD, to provoke him to anger. 9:19 For I was afraid of the anger and hot displeasure which the LORD bore against you, so that he was ready to destroy you. But the LORD hearkened to me that time also. 9:20 And the LORD was so angry with Aaron that he was ready to destroy him; and I prayed for Aaron also at the same time. We need to remember the power of prayer - prayer by those whom God has graced to find the gate to the narrow way.
Pray, pray, pray for everyone.[/size]


#19

[quote=Mintaka]God knew that free will would bring sorrow and sin, but He also wanted us to be able to live in His image and likeness, able to love and create and act freely like Him. He didn’t want happy pets or harmonious robots; He wanted us. He gave us the ability to screw up, because that also included the ability to learn and to do amazing things when we follow Him freely.
[/quote]

He wanted us not robots because robots are so boring yes? So we’re all here to satisfy God’s wants.

The universe, is a huge set. Life, a beautiful TV show to entertain Almighty God. And we are the actors, ad-libbing our performances.

Of course, a TV show without free will and all the evils like murder, rape, genocide, kidnapping,people dying of hunger and thirst,envy, stealing is boring as well.

But then God would say, he didn’t create evil, evil is disordered love. And it is Man’s fault that there is disordered love because Man has chosen to love things before others, others before self and self before God.

So evil is all Man’s fault and God is still perfectly good.
Even more, God created saints and heroes to help re-order the disordered love, to pray for those people who have chosen the wrong path.

God created us and expects us to change a fallen world with his help of course. ( even though with a flick of his finger He can do it in an instant)

Yes, I would like to think that also, but there is no certainty.

So God is so powerful, he can give everyone that grace, the grace to find & follow the narrow gate, if he wanted to.

[quote=fhansen]In truth God wants none to perish
[/quote]

If he really really wanted to, he’d do it himself without our prayers. But he doesn’t want to, so we have to pray, right?

One might say, he really really WANTS to but there’s this annoying free will that he gave us which he WANTS to respect.
So he doesn’t just give us the grace, we have to ask for it.
But I don’t think Saul the great persecutor begged God (while ravaging the church) to be Paul, the great missionary.

P.S.
I’m sorry for the hints of sarcasm but I couldn’t clearly express my thoughts in any other way.


#20

You are correct God respects our free will. You are incorrect in that God does give to all of us the grace to ask for his his grace.
As for Saul remember he never doubted God. He was good and faithful to the jewish faith and prayed for Gods Grace. So when Christ appeared to him and he had his conversaion of heart it was God showing him the answer to his prayers. He was still free at that time to reject it and conmtinue as he had been doing,


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