Main Page | See live article | Alphabetical index

Tree of Knowledge

In the Bible's Book of Genesis, the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil was one of two trees in the middle of the garden of Eden, from which God forebade humans to eat. The other was the Tree of Life. When humans did eat from the tree, after being tempted by a serpent, they became knowledgeable of their sin, and were punished by God for their disobedience.

The Tree of knowledge is commonly portrayed in art and literature as an apple tree, for lack of a more specific description. Some trace this to a Latin pun between malus (apple) and malum (evil).

According to a Christian legend, the Tree of Knowledge was the source of wood for the True Cross.

See also: Original sin