165 - Element 5: EXPLANATION - Differences between the biblical and koranic descriptions of the forbidden tree in Paradise
a) Why did the Koran change the interdiction of eating from the tree into an interdiction of drawing near the tree? Could it be that in the Koran the tree is too intimately associated with Satan, who whispered to Adam and his mate as to its nature that it imparts eternity and royal power? Then it would make sense not to draw near this tree, as drawing near it would imply drawing near Satan. This is not the case with the Bible, because there it is God and not Satan, who reveals the nature of this tree. Therefore, there is no harm at all in the Bible for Adam to approach this tree. Only eating from it is forbidden.
b) Why did the Koran replace the biblical nature of this tree? Could it be that the spirit, which inspired the Koran to Muhammad, did not know the nature of this tree that it brings about knowledge of good and evil? Or is it that this koranic spirit was blind to the nature of this tree, replacing it with a totally different nature, which is more consonant with the spirit of the Koran? Or is it finally that this koranic spirit knew the significance of the biblical tree, but did not want to disclose it, because then many characteristic elements of the Koran would have had to be changed? I do not know. Only one thing is clear: Allah keeps the nature of this tree hidden (he only calls it “this tree”), and Allah only uses what Satan revealed about this tree to become part of the Koran (for it is Satan, who describes it as “the tree of eternity and of a kingdom that will not decay”).
But what does the Bible teach through the biblical name of this tree? In the Bible knowing something is to have intimate relations to it, like a man “knowing” his wife by having intimate relations with her, resulting in the birth of a child from this woman (e.g. Genesis 4:1). Also, God is the source of all that is good. Therefore knowing “good” means having deep spiritual relations with God, so that you open your heart to him and his good nature to fill you and to entirely determine your life. God has no evil in him at all. Knowing evil therefore implies having deep relations with spiritual powers that are not God but are against him. When Eve and Adam ate of this forbidden tree, they decided that it is not enough to have deep and intimate spiritual relations with God, who is good through and through, but that they also wanted to experiment with having deep and intimate spiritual relations with the evil that is not God. God was not enough for them, they wanted to go beyond God. This tree provided the opportunity to test that. However, this test was fatal, because there is no way back. If you once open up to what is beyond God, you can never again come back to the life, where you had never opened up to anything but God. This is why it had such dramatic effects on Adam and on all of creation. By omitting this biblical name of the tree as being “the tree of the knowledge of good and evil” the Koran suppressed this vital truth about the God of the Bible. He is all we need. However, Eve and Adam wanted more and thus brought evil, death and corruption on themselves and on us as their descendants. The Koran has suppressed this truth.