What was the Fruit of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil?

The Creation account in Genesis is one of the most familiar accounts in the Scriptures, yet so many people get different parts of the account incorrect. For example, people try to combine the creation account with the secular theory of Evolution. Others try to tell that Adam and Eve were figurative people and did not actually exist. All of these misinterpreted meanings of Scriptures can easily be debunked by careful study and analysis, but there is one detail on the creation account that people always seemingly get wrong: that the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil was an apple tree. Many people recount that the Bible states that it is an apple tree, but this is not the case. What does the Bible really say about this fruit? Was it an apple tree? Let’s take a deeper look into Scriptures and find the answer.
When God created Adam, the first man, He gave him two commands: the first was  naming every kind of animal, and the second was to not eat of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. In Genesis 2:16-17, we read, “And the Lord God commanded the man saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: 17But 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.” (emphasis added)
Nowhere in the text above do we read that the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil is an apple tree: it merely states that it is a tree! Even when Eve replied to Satan’s temptation to eat the fruit in Genesis 3:2-3, that there is still no mention that the tree is an apple tree!
“And the woman said unto the serpent, We may eat of the fruit of trees of the garden: But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die.” (Genesis 3:2-3)
There is simply no mention of the apple tree in the Genesis account, or elsewhere in the Bible for that matter! The idea that the tree was an apple did not even originate from Scriptures! It actually originated in the Latin Vulgate when the words evil and apple looked very similar to each other. The Latin word for evil is mali (Genesis 2:17) and apple was mala (Proverbs 25:11) or malum (Song of Solomon 2:3). The two Latin words do look very familiar and resulted in a Latin pun: by eating mail (apple), Eve contracted malum (evil). Through the years, many people have misread this and resulted in the misinterpretation that the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil was an apple tree.
Even further into the study, we can see that the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil couldn’t possibly have been an apple tree.  When God created plants, He created them to produce after their kind: “And God said, Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb yielding seed, and the fruit tree yielding fruit after his kind, whose seed is in itself, upon the earth, and it was so.” (Genesis 1:11). The Bible records also that the seeds of the trees are in the fruits. Genesis 2:9 states that God made the earth “to grow every tree that is pleasant to the sight, and good for food” and goes on to list the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil and the Tree of Life. This is further evidence that the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil could not be an apple.
Another problem to point out is that God did not want Adam and Eve to eat of the Tree (and we can conclude that God did not want any man to eat of the Tree, as that was a law to Adam), but we (man) can eat apple trees today. God would not have changed the law against the Fruit and would have kept His law. If the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil was an apple, then we still would not be able to eat apples today.
Throughout this brief study, we have found many different problems with the apple being the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. It is also important to note that it is not healthy to combine Biblical thinking with secular thinking of man. The two combined will result in theological problems. With questions concerning Biblical accounts, we should always read and study the Biblical texts. The Bible will show many answers to questions if we only study it.

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