Many (I used to be able to say ‘most’ here) people have heard of the story of Adam and Eve and their eating of the apple.
“And Yehovah (the LORD) God commanded the man, saying, “You may surely eat of every tree of the garden, but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you will surely die.” Genesis 2:16-17 (ESV)
And shortly thereafter we see,
The serpent said to the woman, ” “Did God actually say, ‘You shall not eat of any tree in the garden’?” And the woman said to the serpent, “We may eat of the fruit of the trees in the garden, but God said, ‘You shall not eat of the fruit of the tree that is in the midst of the garden, neither shall you touch it, lest you die.’ ” “
Then Eve reaches out and touches and touches the fruit (traditionally an apple), doesn’t die, eats of it and then gives some to Adam (who was standing right there).
Was the first sin was eating the apple? Look a bit closer. God said, “don’t eat from that tree.” Eve quoted God as saying, “don’t eat or touch the tree.”
Wait! When did God say, “don’t touch the tree?” He didn’t! Someone added to God’s words!
“Does that really matter?” you may ask. After all, not touching the tree certainly fills the command of “not eating from the tree.”
I put forward that it does matter. In fact, adding to God’s word was the original sin!
It doesn’t matter who added to it. The Bible doesn’t say, though I tend to think that Adam added to it (as it seems to me that men are much more likely to add rules and regulations then women are).
“You shall not add to the word that I command you, not take from it, that you may keep the commandments of Yehovah (the LORD) your God that I command you.” Deuteronomy 4:2 (ESV)
When we add to or subtract from God’s word, we change it, making it all the easier for Satan to challenge the command.
And Adam and Eve looked, touched, and ate.
In their eyes, the looking and touching was already in violation of the command, so eating was just one small step further.
And we still do the same today! I can think of several blatant examples of where the Church has changed God’s word and violated His command. Here is just one example.
God said, “Don’t eat pork.”
The church, when asked if God really meant what He said, responded, “Jesus said we could.”
The problem is that Yeshua (Jesus) never said any such thing, nor did God ever imply that His command would change. It has gone so far that command of God has been changed into the command of men, stating, “You shall eat pork to show that you are ‘free’ in God through Jesus.”
Does it matter? When Adam and Eve ate the apple, they died (though physically not immediately). So to, when the church ate pork, nothing seemed to happen. Yet something did.
The church no longer understands the difference between clean and unclean, nor that even any such difference exists! Nor does it understand what it means to be holy. Both of these things are tied, among other things, to us choosing to follow God’s dietary laws. (See Leviticus 11:44-47). And learning both these concepts is involved in our walk with God.
It is a magnificent picture of God’s grace that there has been no apparent repercussions thus far. And perhaps they may never be. But I still choose to follow His words. And isn’t it interesting that the original sin revolved around changing God’s dietary law, and that His dietary law is still an issue today!
Shalom, – Yosef
7 thoughts on “Was Eating the Apple the “Original Sin”?”
Thanks Yosef. Adding or subtracting from God’s word even in a bid to enforce it is so dangerous. Moses’ encounter at the waters of Meribah sounds a warning. Uzzah’s good intentions still contravened God’s expressed word about handling the Ark of the Covenant ( 2 Sam 6:7). His good intentions was tantamount to irreverence.
And John’s closing remarks in the Book of Revelation 22: 18-19 should be taken very seriously.
The OT is still very relevant to believers today even though some adopt a selective approach. I reason that if God’s word is immutable, inerrant, and infallible, then it should also apply to all His commands, statutes, precepts, etc.
If l can still relate to the blessings in Deut 28, then l must take the other parts of the OT as seriously!
The devil always twists the word of God to gain advantage (Matthew 4:5-6).
Thanks again for this perspective, and your advocacy of a balanced view of scripture.
Those scriptures are all very good reminders for us to both take God’s word seriously, and that all of His word stands as truth even today.
Thanks for those thoughts! – Yosef
THAT’S certainly a different perspective – and one I hadn’t noticed before.
And, whether or not you agree with my observation, I hope you enjoyed the glance at the story of Adam and Eve!
Shalom! – Yosef
Yes, I certainly enjoyed it! It’s quite good, in my opinion.
Matthew 6:31 ESV
31 Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’
Is this adding or subtracting? That depends entirely on your interpretation. Even when taking this verse in it’s greater context, not to worry, you can run into the same question. Where in Torah is there a command not to worry? Of course the problem is not with the word it is with the people (Deuteronomy 32). The issue of adding and subtracting remains one of interpretation. Torah requires interpretations, and in our interpretation we must examine ourselves, for we will all stand in judgment.
Often we build fences inside of our requirements from God. Is this adding or the word? As husbands and fathers we also must teach to our children. This requires interpretation and setting standards which may be products of interpretation. Is this adding to the word?
Personally I find Adam telling Eve ‘don’t even touch ‘ to be a helpful fence to keep them and their future children safe. It is very difficult to eat something you will not touch.
This does nothing for the heart of mankind and the desire we have to be wise, to see and taste forbidden things. Which is why from the beginning God has planned the redemption of mankind through Yeshua. Romans 3:23-24 ESV
23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24 and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus,
Glory to God!
Very thought provoking and well put words, but I must disagree with your viewpoint. Adding to God’s word is a very specific behavior. Whether or not something is “adding to God’s word” is not in any way relative to our viewpoint or interpretation. To me, saying that it is, is akin to saying that ‘truth is relative.’ Rather, adding to God’s word is when we add our interpretation to His word and call it His word.
In the example I cited Eve has clearly stated that ‘do not touch’ were words from God’s mouth. They were not. The words ‘do not touch’ were not set up as a fence but rather as an addition to what God said. I have nothing against setting up fences. I think it is indeed good, such as in your example of raising up our children. But fences quit becoming fences when we say ‘God said this.’
In Mark 7:6-13 we see Yeshua (Jesus) rebuking the scribes and Pharisees for changing God’s word by putting an interpretation above His word. This example can be seen as adding to or subtracting from God’s word, but in the end it is changing God’s word. It is simply wrong.
Making the definition of “adding to (or subtracting from) God’s word” dependent on interpretation is, in my opinion, opening the doors to changing God’s word anytime we may have a different interpretation. I put forward that we (people) should leave God’s word as it is and admit that we often don’t completely understand. Then, when fences are made, and they will be made, let them be called fences and not God’s word.
To go back to the example of Adam and Eve, if the words ‘do not touch’ had been a fence and not an addition to God’s word, Eve could have said, “God did indeed say ‘do not eat of this fruit,’ and then, ‘I won’t even touch it.’ ” However, that is not how Eve answered. She added to God’s word and thereby put herself on “shaky ground.” If Satan could cause her to doubt anything of what she called “God’s command,” it would be easier to get her to break the actual command. Her doubt, in my opinion based on how the story reads, started with doubting the ‘do not touch’ and immediately then doubting the “do not eat” aspect of God’s command.
In other words, I propose that there is strength in leaving the unchanged word of God as the solid foundation of the fences we build. Don’t try to change the foundation as that only creates holes and weaknesses. Fences can be tailored to an individual’s need. A foundation stands for everyone. I agree with you that the command ‘do not touch’ is a helpful addition to Adam and Eve’s life, but only if it stayed a fence and wasn’t turned into a ‘command from God.’
In the end, it is through the Spirit of Yehovah (God) that we can understand scripture and have it written upon our hearts. And you are right; it is through the heart of man that all manner of sin comes; but salvation comes through Messiah Yeshua (Christ Jesus).