What was the fruit of the knowledge of good and evil?

In western culture the forbidden fruit was an apple. This was the case because the Latin word for apple and evil are similar in the singular (malum — apple, malus — evil). Thus the pun has continued ever after.

In the Jewish tradition the fruit was a fig which makes the use of fig-leaves as the fabric for the first cover-up in human history even more interesting. In the art below, Karen Yurkovich has placed an apple on a fig branch. I do not know if she is aware of the irony but suspect that she intended that very subtle hint toward the story of the fall.  

Lent Begins

The Old Testament reading for the First Sunday of Lent (year a) is the story of Adam, Eve and the serpent. The framers of the lectionary go to the root story of how we find ourselves in the mess we are in. 

We are always trying to get back into Eden, the unconscious blissful state that existed before the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. But we cannot get in although we loiter by the gates hoping to find a way back inside. 

The back is the way forward.  


The attempt to ‘go back’ or romanticize the ‘good ol’ days’ is a common political theme in American culture. It usually marks the desire to avoid difficult times ahead, and of course is always a lie. Nostalgia means business profit but psychological disaster. You must go forward from the Garden of Eden, through the painful time of transformation, to the heavenly Jerusalem, which is a symbol for the wholeness of man restored.

from Transformation

Robert O. Johnson —