It is an accepted fact to all Christian faiths that Adam and Eve were the first man and woman created by God. According to Luke “God created Adam from dust, and then breathed life into him”. Then, in the first-ever ‘surgery’, God removed a rib from Adam’s side and from it he created Eve. When God pronounced judgements for their disobedience, he told the serpent that he would crawl on his belly and eat dust; he told Eve that she and all women after her would have pain in childbirth; and he told Adam that he and all his descendants would experience painful toil on earth until death. When bad Cain murdered good Abel, our fore-parents had another son, Seth, from whom, it must be, we are descended.
And what about the apple? Was it really an apple? There are different interpretations of this incident that happened at the Garden of Eden. Some say that the word ‘apple’ is symbolic; it means God forbade our fore-parents to do something, but not exactly not to eat an apple. Others say that it was the ‘Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil’ that was forbidden, and others hold that it was truly an apple fruit. I sometimes wonder what today’s picture would be if our fore-parents had not disobeyed God’s wishes. The idyllic life of no labour, no disease and no death, would have meant that today there is no need for work, for hospitals, for cemeteries, for doctors and for undertakers. It would also mean that men and women, thousands of years old, would be roaming the streets of town! I don’t know what to think really.
But all that was in the very remote past. Today, as it happened, Adam and Eve were drifting smoothly on cloud 9. They had, so many thousands of years ago, by hook or by crook, made it to the Heavenly Gates and into Paradise, but only just. As they looked down on the world below them, they saw 7 billion people on planet Earth spread out over the five continents. All these people were family members but so different in appearance, language, religion, ideologies, culture, skin colour and way of life.
They noticed how things have progressed since their early and primitive time – skyscrapers in every city, nuclear energy, medical advances, sending rockets to the stars, computers, fashion, entertainment and so many other things besides. But they also saw that the people were in a race to dominate each other and were often intent on hating and hurting each other – wars, killings, burglaries, injustices, accidents and other catastrophes. These self-inflicting sufferings have been repeating themselves so many times over and over again. They never learn.
Eve elbowed Adam as she pointed downwards. “But there are some very good men and women around. Look at that humble man from Argentina preaching love, peace and brotherhood to everybody; and several others who, unknown and behind the scenes, work tirelessly to help those in need of assistance – the poor; the sick; the elderly, children, those living in war-shattered zones. These are only a few, I know, but they are so good people who need and deserve our support.” “Yes. It’s a pity that the good ones are only a few”, replied Adam, “What can they do against all those others, intent on making their own world such a bad place to live in?”
Suddenly Adam, still handsome despite the years, turned towards Eve and said to her, “Why did you do it Eve?” “Do what?” she replied taken aback by his sudden question. “Give me the apple, in the Garden of Eden, remember?” he retorted. “Oh, that”, exclaimed his wife. “It was the ugly serpent. He tempted me and I believed him”. “You know something Eve?” said again Adam, “I didn’t even like it. I have not eaten another one during all these years!”
“And that damned apple has brought us and our descendants so many troubles and tribulations” said Adam. “Yes, Yes”, replied Eve, “As a result of our folly we and all the members of our family, had to toil for our living, we contacted all kinds of diseases and we had to die”. “Imagine if we had not eaten that apple, what a wonderful life we would have had Eve” said the first man on earth.
But there is one thing that puzzles me” retorted Adam again. “What?” asked Eve. “Its’ that today, so many thousands of years after we had eaten that apple, the learned doctors on earth tell their patients that ‘an apple a day keeps the doctor away!”