Eve and the Apple

The apple of Adam’s eye

Many of us “know” that, in the Garden of Eden, Eve was tempted by a serpent to eat an apple from the tree of knowledge. She ate the apple, and that led to God expelling her and Adam from the Garden of Eden. This is known as the “Fall of Man.”

It turns out, Buzzkillers, that an “apple” is never mentioned in the Book of Genesis. Eve caved in to the serpent’s entreaties and ate “the fruit of the tree that is in the middle of the garden.” The specific type of fruit is not mentioned. It could have been anything.

Why did the forbidden fruit become known as an apple? It’s impossible to tell for certain, but many scholars believe that it was because of a misunderstanding or misinterpretation of this part of the Book of Genesis when it was translated into Latin. The Latin noun, malum (meaning evil), was used in the phrase that warned Eve not to eat from “the tree of knowledge of good and evil.” Another Latin noun, malum, means apple. Latin readers and subsequent translators could have made the connection, or it could have entered the language as a pun. Either way, the lowly apple has unfairly gotten the blame for the fall of man.

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