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Encyclopedia > Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil
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Tree of Knowledge, painting by Lucas Cranach the Elder
Tree of Knowledge, painting by Lucas Cranach the Elder

In the Book of Genesis, chapters two and three, the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil (and occasionally translated as the Tree of Conscience) was the tree in the middle of the Garden of Eden (2:9) from which God directly forbade Adam (and by extension Eve) to eat (2:17). The other tree in the middle of the garden was the Tree of Life. Genesis 2:16 states that God allowed them to eat of the fruit of any other tree in the garden, which would include the Tree of Life. When Eve, and then Adam, ate the forbidden fruit from the Tree of Knowledge (3:6), after being tempted by a serpent (3:1–5), they became aware of their nakedness (3:7), and were banished from the garden and forced to survive through agriculture "by the sweat of [their] face" (3:19-24). Image File history File links Unbalanced_scales. ... Image File history File links Download high-resolution version (432x620, 128 KB) Tree of Knowledge, painting by Lucas Cranach File links The following pages on the English Wikipedia link to this file (pages on other projects are not listed): Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil ... Image File history File links Download high-resolution version (432x620, 128 KB) Tree of Knowledge, painting by Lucas Cranach File links The following pages on the English Wikipedia link to this file (pages on other projects are not listed): Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil ... A self portrait Lucas Cranach the Elder (1472 – October 16, 1553) was a German painter. ... Genesis (Greek: Γένεσις, having the meanings of birth, creation, cause, beginning, source and origin) is the first book of the Torah (five books of Moses) and hence the first book of the Tanakh, part of the Hebrew Bible; it is also the first book of the Christian Old Testament. ... The coniferous Coast Redwood, the tallest tree species on earth. ... The Fall of Man by Lucas Cranach, a 16th century German depiction of Eden The Garden of Eden (from Hebrew גַּן עֵדֶן  ; Arabic جنة عدن ) is described in the Book of Genesis as being the place where the first man, Adam, and the first woman, Eve, lived after they were created by God. ... This article discusses the term God in the context of monotheism and henotheism. ... Michelangelos The Creation of Adam, a fresco on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel, shows God creating Adam, with Eve in His arm. ... Michelangelos The Creation of Eve, a fresco on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel, shows God creating Eve from the side of Adam. ... The Tree-of-Life is a fictional plant (the ancestor of yams, with similar appearance and taste) in Larry Nivens Known Space universe, for which all Hominids have an in-built genetic craving. ... In the Bible, the forbidden fruit is the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil eaten by Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. ...

Contents

Interpretations of the tree itself

In Judaism

According to the Jewish tradition, God's command not to eat from the Tree was to give Adam and Eve free choice and allow them to earn, as opposed to receive, absolute perfection and intimate communion with God, a higher level than the one on which they were created. According to this tradition, Adam and Eve would have attained absolute perfection and retained immortality had they succeeded in withstanding the temptation to eat from the Tree. After failing at this task, they were condemned to a period of toil to rectify the fallen universe. Jewish tradition views the serpent, and sometimes the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil itself, as representatives of evil. In religion and ethics, Irish evil refers to the morally objectionable aspects of the behaviour and reasoning of human beings — those which are deliberately void of conscience, and show a wanton penchant for destruction. ...


Reform Judaism and Conservative Judaism see no "evil" other than the evil actions of human beings. Eve's only transgression was that she disobeyed God's order. Adam was with her the entire time and at no time stopped her. Therefore, it is incorrect to blame Eve alone. Adam and Eve were expelled from the Garden and had to live ordinary, human lives. In other words, they had to "leave home" and grow up and live as responsible human beings. If they had never eaten from the forbidden tree, they would never have discovered their capacity to act with free will in the world. God does not want human beings who have no choice but to always do what is good and right.[citation needed] Reform Judaism can refer to (1) the largest denomination of American Jews and its sibling movements in other countries, (2) a branch of Judaism in the United Kingdom, and (3) the historical predecessor of the American movement that originated in 19th-century Germany. ... Conservative Judaism, (also known as Masorti Judaism in Israel predominantly), is a modern stream of Judaism that arose out of intellectual currents in Germany in the mid-19th century and took institutional form in the United States in the early 1900s. ... Free-Will is a Japanese independent record label founded in 1986. ...


Rabbi David Fohrman of the Hoffberger Foundation for Torah Studies, citing Maimonides' Guide for the Perplexed, states that "the tree did not give us moral awareness when we had none before. Rather, it transformed this awareness from one kind into another." After eating from the Tree, humanity's innate sense of moral awareness was transformed from concepts of true and false to concepts of good and evil. Genesis describes the tree as desirable (3:6), and our concepts of good and evil, unlike our concepts of true and false, also have an implicit measure of desire. [4] Commonly used image indicating one artists conception of Maimonidess appearance Maimonides (March 30, 1135 or 1138–December 13, 1204) was a Jewish rabbi, physician, and philosopher in Spain and Egypt during the Middle Ages. ... The Guide for the Perplexed (Hebrew:מורה נבוכים, translit. ...


In Christianity

In Christian theology, the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil is connected to the doctrine of original sin. Augustine of Hippo believed that humanity inherited sin itself and the guilt for Adam and Eve's sin.[citation needed] By eating of the fruit of the Tree, Adam and Eve sought to be like God. For a debate about the Western doctrine of original sin and the Eastern doctrine of ancesteral sin, see Ancestral Versus Original Sin: An Overview with Implications for Psychotherapy. Accessed May 11, 2006.</ref> There is a minority of Christians that affirm the doctrine of Pelagius Pelagianism is a doctrine which believes every individual faces the same choice between sin and salvation that Adam and Eve faced. Given the overwhelming influence exercised by Christianity, especially in pre-modern Europe, Christian theology permeates much of Western culture and often reflects that culture. ... According to Christian tradition, original sin is the general condition of sinfulness (lack of holiness) into which human beings are born (Psalm 51:5). ... “Augustinus” redirects here. ... May 11 is the 131st day of the year in the Gregorian calendar (132nd in leap years). ... For the Manfred Mann album, see 2006 (album). ... Pelagius (c. ... Pelagianism is the belief that original sin did not taint human nature (which, being created from God, was divine), and that mortal will is still capable of choosing good or evil without Divine aid. ...


Gordon Hugenberger notes that courts were often set up near trees in the ancient Near East.[citation needed] For capital offenses, the condemned was hung from a tree (Deuteronomy 21:22). Meredith G. Kline compares the Garden of Eden to a temple: The garden was a rectangle bounded by four rivers, and the temple was also a rectangle. God was present in the temple-garden, and Adam was the priest. The priest's duty was not only to obey God, but also to deal with offenders such as the serpent. Adam and Eve were thus meant to judge the serpent, but instead listened to the serpent and disobeyed God.[1] Dr. Gordon P. Hugenberger, Ph. ... Meredith G. Kline is an American theologian and Old Testament scholar. ... The Fall of Man by Lucas Cranach, a 16th century German depiction of Eden The Garden of Eden (from Hebrew גַּן עֵדֶן  ; Arabic جنة عدن ) is described in the Book of Genesis as being the place where the first man, Adam, and the first woman, Eve, lived after they were created by God. ...


Unification Church

The Unification Church regards the tree of knowledge as symbolizing Eve,[2] just as the tree of life symbolizes perfected Adam. The fruit of the tree of knowledge symbolizes Eve's love,[3] particularly conjugal love. The "fruit" could be good if principled and God-centered, or evil if unprincipled.


Eve had a sexual relationship with Lucifer. They "fell", and Eve became a "fallen woman". This was the spiritual fall. When Eve "offered the fruit to Adam", this means that he and she began a sexual relationship prematurely and without God's blessing;[4] this was the physical fall.


Trees in other religions

Similar trees appear in other religions. In the closest, most relevant comparison, the iconic image of the tree guarded by the Serpent appears on Sumerian seals; it is the central feature of the Garden of the Hesperides in Greek mythology, where the guardian serpent receives the name Ladon. In Buddhism, the Buddha became enlightened under the Bodhi tree. While the biblical tree is usually interpreted as representing sensual pleasure, the Bodhi tree gave pure transcendent knowledge.[citation needed] In Vedic Hinduism, the Tree of Jiva and Atman is usually interpreted as a metaphor concerning the soul, mind, and body. In the Norse sagas, the ash tree Yggdrasil draws from the magic springwater of knowledge. To many who believe the Bible is filled with parables, the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil is actually a library or some other form of educational writings. The teachings that is to be planted in one's mind is the seed for which the fruit will bear. This evil seed is the "knowledge" God warned Eve about. Serpent is a word of Latin origin (serpens, serpentis) which is ultimately derived from the Sanskrit term serp, that is normally substituted for snake in a specifically mythic or religious context, in order to distinguish such creatures from the field of biology. ... Sumer (or Šumer) was the earliest known civilization of the ancient Near East, located in the southern part of Mesopotamia (southeastern Iraq) from the time of the earliest records in the mid 4th millennium BC until the rise of Babylonia in the late 3rd millennium BC. The term Sumerian applies... For the ancient Greek city Hesperides see Benghazi. ... The bust of Zeus found at Otricoli (Sala Rotonda, Museo Pio-Clementino, Vatican) Greek mythology is the telling of stories created by the ancient Greeks, concerning their gods and heroes, the nature of the world and their own cult and ritual practices. ... Ladon is the hundred-headed dragon that guarded the garden of the Hesperides in Greek mythology. ... Buddhism is a dharmic, non-theistic religion and a philosophy. ... Media:Example. ... The Bodhi Tree at the Mahabodhi Temple. ... This article discusses the historical religious practices in the Vedic time period; see Dharmic religions for details of contemporary religious practices. ... The Tree of Jivan and Atman appears in the Vedic mythology predating Hinduism, as a metaphysical metaphor concerning the soul. ... Look up metaphor in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... Excerpt Njåls saga in the Möðruvallabók (AM 132 folio 13r) circia 1350. ... This illustration shows a 19th century attempt to visualize the world view of the Prose Edda. ...


Freudian (psychological) interpretation

A rather Freudian interpretation is that knowledge of good and evil, or simply good and bad, refers to the recollection of a memory with an implied judgment. This is a natural process for neurological systems (humans and animals) to make to avoid pain or gain pleasure. However, human consciousness includes extensive recollection and teaching such as by the use of books, which could be called a fruit from the Tree of Knowledge. It is clearly distinguishable from the simple awareness of other animals. This allows human beings to make deliberate choices that they consider beneficial even if they include an element of pain.[citation needed] Sigmund Freud His famous couch Sigmund Freud (May 6, 1856 - September 23, 1939) was an Austrian neurologist and the founder of the psychoanalytic school of psychology, a movement that popularized the theory that unconscious motives control much behavior. ... In psychology, memory is an organisms ability to store, retain, and subsequently recall information. ... A judgment or judgement (see spelling note below), in a legal context, is synonymous with the formal decision made by a court following a lawsuit. ... Neurology is a branch of medicine dealing with disorders of the central and peripheral nervous systems. ... Consciousness is a quality of the mind generally regarded to comprise qualities such as subjectivity, self-awareness, sentience, sapience, and the ability to perceive the relationship between oneself and ones environment. ... In biological psychology, awareness describes a human or animals perception and cognitive reaction to a condition or event. ...


The process of maturation occurring in the incidents around the tree describes, in an abstract way, the splitting of the human consciousness into the limited context of conscious thought and the underlying all-aware subconscious. Personification of thought (Greek Εννοια) in Celsus Library in Ephesos, Turkey Thought or thinking is a mental process which allows beings to model the world, and so to deal with it effectively according to their goals, plans, ends and desires. ... This article does not adequately cite its references or sources. ...


Symbolic interpretation

In mystical traditions of world religions (mysticism), sacred texts are read for metaphorical content referential to the relationship between state of mind and the external experience of reality. As such, the tree is a manifestating/causal symbol; the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil is not independent from the reference to the Tree of Life in the same allegory in Genesis. With the Tree of Life representing the coveted state of eternal aliveness (fulfillment), once the ego experiences shame - having been tempted to absorb/believe in duality (eating of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil), we are protected from living eternally in that limiting ("fallen") experience by the cherubim guarding the gate of return to paradise (symbolic of the innocent self or true nature in control of purification of ego faith and return to being). Acculturation in this rulebound reality of good and bad is primarily familial, with not only the effect of confusion and misperception (illusion), but more critically the affect of displacement and psychological misery. The mystic attempts the return journey to Self and Unity with committed effort and practices that vary between individuals, religions and cultures. Mysticism from the Greek μυστικός (mustikos) an initiate (of the Eleusinian Mysteries, μυστήρια (musteria) meaning initiation[1]) is the pursuit of achieving communion or identity with, or conscious awareness of, ultimate reality, the divine, spiritual truth, or God through direct experience, intuition, or insight; and the belief that such experience is one... The Tree-of-Life is a fictional plant (the ancestor of yams, with similar appearance and taste) in Larry Nivens Known Space universe, for which all Hominids have an in-built genetic craving. ... Self might refer to various different things: Look up self on Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... Look up Unity in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ...


Also, symbolically, the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil calls to mind the practice of dividing the acts of man into discrete categories (Right or Wrong, Good or Evil, Lawful or Unlawful) with dramatically distinct consequences for each case. The Genesis story contains a warning against that accepted cultural practice, predicting that it will lead to undesirable outcomes. In that regard, the story is remarkably prescient, as four millenia of history have confirmed that the Crime and Punishment Regulatory Model tends to produce dysfunctional outcomes. Modern technical and analytical research confirms that finding both theoretically and empirically.


Fruit of the tree

The Book of Enoch 31:4, purporting to be written by the antediluvian prophet Enoch, describes the Tree of Knowledge: "It was like a species of the Tamarind tree, bearing fruit which resembled grapes extremely fine; and its fragrance extended to a considerable distance. I exclaimed, How beautiful is this tree, and how delightful is its appearance!" In the Talmud, Rabbi Meir says that the fruit was a grape.[5] Another Talmudic tradition suggests that Eve actually made, and drank, wine.[6] To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article or section may require cleanup. ... According to the Bible, the only survivors from the antediluvian period were Noah and his family. ... In religion, a prophet (or prophetess) is a person who has directly encountered the divine and serves as an intermediary with humanity. ... Enoch (from Hebrew: חֲנוֹךְ, Standard Tiberian meaning initiated, dedicated, disciplined; Greek: ενωχ, ; traditional English: Enoch) is a Hebrew name. ... Binomial name Tamarindus indica L. This article refers to the tree – for other uses see Tamarindo (disambiguation). ... Species Vitis acerifolia Vitis aestivalis Vitis amurensis Vitis arizonica Vitis x bourquina Vitis californica Vitis x champinii Vitis cinerea Vitis x doaniana Vitis girdiana Vitis labrusca Vitis x labruscana Vitis lincecumii Vitis monticola Vitis mustangensis Vitis x novae-angliae Vitis palmata Vitis riparia Vitis rotundifolia Vitis rupestris Vitis shuttleworthii Vitis... The first page of the Vilna Edition of the Babylonian Talmud, Tractate Berachot, folio 2a The Talmud (Hebrew: תלמוד) is a record of rabbinic discussions pertaining to Jewish law, ethics, customs and history. ... A glass of red wine This article is about the alcoholic beverage. ...


Also in the Talmud, Rabbi Nechemia says that the fruit was a fig.[5]Adam and Eve used fig leaves to cover themselves after eating the fruit (Genesis 3:7). Perhaps this was because the leaves were nearby, or perhaps it shows God creating the cure before the illness, i.e. the same tree that caused the problem was then used to remedy it. Another explanation lies within the "fruit" of the fig tree, the fig itself, which is not actually a fruit but rather a flower of sorts, serving as the tree's genitalia. Species About 800, including: Ficus altissima Ficus americana Ficus aurea Ficus benghalensis- Indian Banyan Ficus benjamina- Weeping Fig Ficus broadwayi Ficus carica- Common Fig Ficus citrifolia Ficus coronata Ficus drupacea Ficus elastica Ficus godeffroyi Ficus grenadensis Ficus hartii Ficus lyrata Ficus macbrideii Ficus macrophylla- Moreton Bay Fig Ficus microcarpa- Chinese...


Another Talmudic interpretation, expressed by Rabbi Yehuda, is that the fruit was wheat.[5] Species T. aestivum T. boeoticum T. compactum T. dicoccoides T. dicoccon T. durum T. monococcum T. spelta T. sphaerococcum T. timopheevii References:   ITIS 42236 2002-09-22 For the indie rock group see: Wheat (band). ...


In Western Christian art, the fruit is most commonly depicted as an apple. One possible reason for this would arise from a medieval pun if it were shown that a source of humor to monks lay in consonance of the Latin words for evil and for apple, and thus by eating the malus (apple), Eve contracted malum (evil). There is, however, no textual or historical evidence by which to argue the usage of this image. This article is about the satellite APPLE. For the fruit apple, see Apple. ...


Proponents of the theory that the Garden of Eden was located somewhere in what is known now as the Middle East suggest that the fruit was actually a pomegranate. This ties in with the Greek myth of Persephone, where her consumption of seven pomegranate seeds leads to her having to spend time in Hades. Binomial name Punica granatum L. The Pomegranate (Punica granatum) is a fruit-bearing deciduous shrub or small tree growing to 5–8 m tall. ... Proserpine by Dante Gabriel Rossetti, 1874) (Tate Gallery, London In Greek mythology, Persephone (Greek Περσεφόνη, PersephónÄ“) was the Queen of the Underworld, the Kore or young maiden, and the daughter of Demeter— and Zeus, in the Olympian version. ... Hades, Greek god of the underworld, enthroned, with his bird-headed staff, on a red-figure Apulian vase made in the 4th century BC. For other uses, see Hades (disambiguation). ...


Ethno-botanists have proposed the iboga plant (Tabernanthe iboga) as the Tree of Knowledge. The bark of the root contains a dissociative substance, ibogaine, which has been traditionally used in Bwiti religious ceremony in Central Africa.[7] Other hallucinogens, in particular the Fly agaric mushroom, have also been proposed as the Tree.[citation needed]. Binomial name Tabernanthe iboga (L.) Nutt. ... Dissociative drugs are a class of psychedelic drugs characterized by intense feelings of depersonalization, derealization, and analgesia. ... Ibogaine is an indole alkaloid, a long-acting hallucinogen which has gained attention due to its application in the treatment of opioid addiction and similar addiction syndromes. ... Bwiti is a West Central African religion practiced by the forest-dwelling Babongo and Mitsogo people of Gabon (where it is one of the three official religions) and the Fang people of Gabon and Cameroon. ... Hallucinogenic drugs or hallucinogens are drugs that can alter sensory perceptions, elicit alternate states of consciousness, or cause hallucinations. ... Binomial name Amanita muscaria (Linnaeus) Hook. ...


See also

Michelangelos Creation of Adam, from the Sistine Chapel. ... . It has been suggested that this article or section be merged with Spiritual enlightenment. ... In Abrahamic religion, The Fall of Man or The Story of the Fall, or simply The Fall, refers to humanitys purported transition from a state of innocent bliss to a state of sinful understanding. ... In the Bible, the forbidden fruit is the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil eaten by Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. ... Personification of knowledge (Greek Επιστημη, Episteme) in Celsus Library in Ephesos, Turkey. ... This article does not cite its references or sources. ... According to Christian tradition, original sin is the general condition of sinfulness (lack of holiness) into which human beings are born (Psalm 51:5). ... Pelagianism is the belief that original sin did not taint human nature (which, being created from God, was divine), and that mortal will is still capable of choosing good or evil without Divine aid. ... The Tree-of-Life is a fictional plant (the ancestor of yams, with similar appearance and taste) in Larry Nivens Known Space universe, for which all Hominids have an in-built genetic craving. ... A Christmas tree from 1900. ... The Dream of the Rood is one of the earliest Christian poems in the corpus of Old English poetry and an intriguing example of the genre of dream poetry. ...

Notes

  1. ^ . Kline, Meridith G. "Space and Time in the Genesis Cosmogony." Perspectives on Science and Christian Faith, 48:2-15 (1996). Accessed May 11, 2006.
  2. ^ since the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil symbolized Eve, the fruit of good and evil was the symbol of Eve's love. (Divine Principle Two-Hour Lecture)
  3. ^ "The fruit of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil is not a literal fruit, it is a symbol of love." (Unification Church official website)
  4. ^ The fall was consummated when Adam and Eve had their first sexual relationship, at the instigation of Satan, and expressing an evil motivation. (Andrew Wilson, dean of Unification Theological Seminary)
  5. ^ a b c Berachos 40a; Sanhedrin 70a. CF [1], accessed September 7, 2006.
  6. ^ Bereishis Rabah 15:7; 19:1; Zohar Bereishis 36a and Noach 73a. CF [2], accessed September 7, 2006.
  7. ^ Bwiti: An Ethnography of the Religious Imagination in Africa, Princeton University Press, 1982 [3]

  Results from FactBites:
 
Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (1524 words)
When Eve, and then Adam, ate the forbidden fruit from the Tree of Knowledge (3:6), after being tempted by a serpent (3:1–5), they became aware of their nakedness (3:7), and were banished from the garden and forced to survive through agriculture "by the sweat of [their] face" (3:19-24).
For capital offenses, the condemned was hung from a tree (Deuteronomy 21:22).
A rather Freudian interpretation is that knowledge of good and evil, or simply good and bad, refers to the recollection of a memory with an implied judgment.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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