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Eating a fruit* is not even a real wicked deed like killing somebody or something. Why did this whole sin thing get started with something so innocuous that by today's standard it wouldn't even be considered a sin?

* I'm pretty sure it was a fig.

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I really feel the title is off, my first thought was to come and edit since the Bible never specifies the fruit... Well, I see you know that quite well. –  dancek Sep 5 '11 at 18:02
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My wife will argue with you that it was a pomegranate :) –  wax eagle Sep 5 '11 at 18:05
    
@dancek Ya I asked this specifically because it the whole concept around the eating of the fruit is widely misunderstood and maligned. I felt we needed a very specific question to air out WHY eating a fruit of any kind was considered a sin. –  Caleb Sep 5 '11 at 18:05
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Jesus said not to feed the trolls. –  Juann Strauss Oct 28 '13 at 7:54
    
i'm convinced the fruit was a pear. nice ripe juicy perfect Barlett pear. –  robert bristow-johnson Jan 15 at 18:43

4 Answers 4

up vote 16 down vote accepted

There was probably no power at all in the fruit. The issue was that God gave them a choice and they chose to disobey Him. And so sin, in this case disobedience, entered the world.

I suspect that it could just as easily have been a, "Wet paint, do not touch!" sign.

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But clearly there was power in the fruit: the ability to confer the knowledge of good and evil upon the eater. That's the whole point of this magic fruit. –  Chelonian Sep 5 '11 at 19:06
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@Chelonian. I don't think that's necessary. Simply by eating the fruit they became aware of the concept of evil, since they had disobeyed. Before then, all they knew was obedience. –  Wikis Sep 5 '11 at 19:38
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But that's simply not the story in Genesis 3. Only upon eating the fruit do they even realize they are naked, for example. God even refers to it as "the tree of the knowledge of good and evil." It's clear in the story that the fruit confers the knowledge. –  Chelonian Sep 5 '11 at 22:42
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Love the "Wet paint, do not touch!" example! –  daviesgeek Sep 6 '11 at 2:31
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@Chelonian: Nothing is said about the fruit being magic. The act of disobedience created a rend between themselves and God and their once innocent consciences now knew what was on the other side of the mirror. –  Caleb Sep 6 '11 at 10:45

The sin wasn't in eating the fruit, but in what it represented. It's interesting to examine the exact text of the commandment:

16 And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat:

17 But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.

Note that verse 17 does not say "if" anywhere. "In the day that thou eatest thereof" is the language of certainty, not of possibility; it was part of the plan that it would happen. Why did he forbid it, then?

Hard to say. Maybe they weren't meant to eat of it yet and there were other things that were supposed to happen first to prepare them. Maybe that's why this world turned out such a mess. (This is pure conjecture, of course.) But it's clear from the text that eating the fruit at some point, and thereby becoming mortal, was a part of the overall plan. The sin lay in disobeying God, not in eating the fruit.

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"Maybe they weren't meant to eat of it yet" - Interesting thought. –  Lawrence Dol Sep 5 '11 at 19:12
    
How do you define "became mortal"? Did he lose his eternal nature, was it just a physical death (in which case why didn't it happen on the day-of) or was it something else? What is the specific meaning of "die" in Genesis 2? –  Caleb Sep 5 '11 at 19:22
    
@Caleb: I define "became mortal" as "became mortal." The day-of question can be resolved either of two ways: either by interpreting a "day" as being on God's time, equivalent to 1000 years, (2 Peter 3:8, and even the longest-lived of Adam's descendants never quite made it to the one-millennium mark,) or by a literal interpretation: On the day that you eat of the fruit, it shall become true that "you will surely die," (because before that point, you're still immortal,) but with no exact specification as to when the actual death will take place. –  Mason Wheeler Sep 6 '11 at 3:40
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Got to downvote for the ideosyncratic interpretation, based on a single missing word in an archaic translation. –  DJClayworth Sep 6 '11 at 18:16
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@DJ: That "archaic translation" is still accepted as authoritative by tens of millions, and the "when, not if" verbiage also exists in more modern translations. Feel free to look up Genesis 2:17 in the NIV, for example. –  Mason Wheeler Sep 6 '11 at 18:24

Many people take the narrative about the eating of the fruit, and indeed both trees (that of 'life', and that of 'knowledge of good and evil') as figurative. Some, including as C.S. Lewis, go farther and say that Adam and Eve may not have been literal people, either. The point they take from this narrative is simply "Humans chose to rebel against God." And I think all can agree that this is the most important point to be gleaned from this narrative, literal or not.

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Later in Scripture we find Adam discussed as a literal single man in parallel with Christ as a literal single man. –  Caleb Sep 17 '11 at 6:10
    
Proponents of a mythical Adam would say that when Christ is compared with Adam, it is not proof that Adam was literal, but that the concept of Adam is important. –  Flimzy Sep 17 '11 at 6:20
    
Where did CS Lewis say that Adam and Eve may not have been literal/historical people? –  curiousdannii Dec 7 '13 at 15:52
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@curiousdannii: In The Problem of Pain, pg 71 and 75: "What exactly happened when Man fell, we do not know; but if it is legitimate to guess, I offer the following picture-a 'myth' in the Socratic sense [possibly historical], a not unlikely tale... We do not know how many of the creatures God made, nor how long they continued in the Paradisal state. But sooner or later they fell. Someone or something whispered that they could become as gods-that they could cease directing their lives to their Creator..." –  Ryan Frame Dec 8 '13 at 0:37

That's a wise question. Eating an apple cant be a sin. Also the almighty god cant be so short tempered to blame Adam and Eve as sinners for eating just an Apple. I have put the similar question, i strongly think the story is simply a metaphor. The apple is nothing but the symbol of selfish desires. That's why it was forbidden to eat. The selfish desires are the root of all man's pain. The longing to sensual pleasures binds him with the worst karma like killing animals, humans , cheating each other , robberies , thefts , hurting each others emotions and many more. God almighty got angry because man chose the bad thing , the apple of selfishness. And as a result humans suffered the sin cycle of birth and rebirth which occurs because of bad karma.

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Reincarnation (if that is what you mean by "birth and rebirth") is not part of Christianity. –  Andrew Leach Oct 28 '13 at 9:40
    
There slight truth in what you say and therefore I suggest you read some of the answers here specially those tagged under 'original sin" like this –  Seek forgiveness Oct 28 '13 at 11:14
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This doesn't really answer the question. I catch your opinion, but that isn't really what we do here. When you get the chance, please check out our tour and specifically How we are different than other sites. –  Affable Geek Oct 28 '13 at 13:38

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