Was the Eden’s fruit an apple?

When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it” (Genesis 3:6)

Do you know why all of us think that the fruit eaten by the woman (Eve) was an apple? The Hebrew Bible simply reads “fruit” – in hebrew “perì” – and this is exactly the way by which all modern bibles translate this verse. Why then people say that Eve ate an apple? Even some priests commenting the Scripture, say that Eve ate an apple!

“Apple” is not a translation of the hebrew “fruit”, but it was an ancient biblical interpretation. It comes from Saint Jerome that translated the Bible from Greek and Hebrew into Latin in the late IV century CE. In Latin “EVIL” is “malum“. For Christians Eve’s eating the apple was the first act of rebellion against the will of God, so the fruit that she ate was an “apple”, because “APPLE” in Latin is “malum“. So the “fruit” that Eve ate was a “malum”, i.e. an apple.

Rather the “fruit” is the symbol par excellence of every human act of rebellion against God. Moreover, rebelling against the God’s Law – the Ten Commandments – is not a sin, but an “evil act” against ourselves. The ten commandments are, in fact, the boundaries that divide cosmos from chaos, light from darkness. Then observing them is not a command, but a necessity to not precipitate our lives into the darkness, into the chaos. This is the deep meaning of a “fruit” that all of us call “apple”!

Simone Venturini


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