Adam and Eve Were Not Expelled from Eden for Eating an Apple

About the Bible story of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden and the true fruit which led to their downfall.


Adam and Eve Were Not Expelled from Eden for Eating an Apple.

Everyone knows that Adam and Eve engineered their own eviction from Paradise by eating "the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden." And almost everyone assumes that that fruit was an apple, even though no apple is mentioned anywhere in the third chapter of Genesis. It may have been an apple, but it could just as likely have been an orange or a guava. There is simply no way of knowing. Some biblical scholars suggest that the fruit was a fig, since Adam and Eve covered their genitalia with fig leaves after partaking of the unnamed fruit. Muslim scholars think it may have been an ear of wheat or possibly grapes.

The apple misconception probably has its origins in the many Greek and Celtic myths in which apples figure importantly as symbols of desire and destruction, such as those of Atalanta and the Hesperides. The Trojan War was said to have begun when Eris, the goddess of discord, designated Paris as judge of a beauty contest among the goddesses Hera, Athene, and Aphrodite, the winner to receive a golden apple. By awarding the "apple of discord" to Aphrodite, Paris incurred the anger of Hera and Athene, who retaliated by causing the destruction of Troy.

These myths were doubtless known to Aquila Ponticus, the 2nd-century Jewish translator of the Old Testament from Hebrew into Greek. In reworking the Song of Solomon, Aquila took the liberty of rendering "I raised thee up under the apple tree; there my mother brought thee forth," as "I raised thee up under the apple tree; there wast thou corrupted." Apparently Aquila assumed the apple tree of the Song of Solomon to be the fruit-bearing tree in Genesis. Two centuries later, St. Jerome retained the phrase "there wast thou corrupted" in his Latin translation of the Old Testament. The apple misconception has stuck ever since.

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