I personally prefer a psychoanalytic interpretation of the story. The sexual symbols (like the snake, apple, and the fate of Eve which was bearing a child with pain) are very dominant. But I am not a fond of pure Freudian (in my sense mechanical) interpretation of what happened to our ancestors. I am mainly concerned about that tree and the role of Eve in bringing its fruit to our life throughout the history.
The original sin of Eve and Adam gradually transformed from a crime of mankind and a load on our shoulders to be carried during our lives in Judaic believes, to a heroine act of Eve in capturing the first fruit of eternal knowledge to our bloods as her offspring. This tree remaind a symbolic sign of the great workof Eve and Adam who did like Prometheus in stealing the fire from the Olympus…
Many people who are involved in scientific work are familiar with the logo of Elsevier…this is the so called tree of knowledge!
Read this! this is a part of the Testimony of truth, a book of the collection of Gnostic gospels found in Nag Hammadi library belonging to the second century AD. The first part is an exact copy of what happened in Bible Genesis, but pay attention to the second part….:
«Behold, Adam has become like one of us, knowing evil and good.» Then he said, «Let us cast him out of paradise, lest he take from the tree of life, and eat, and live forever.
«But what sort is this God? First he maliciously refused Adam from eating of the tree of knowledge, and, secondly, he said «Adam, where are you?» God does not have foreknowledge? Would he not know from the beginning? And afterwards, he said, «Let us cast him out of this place, lest he eat of the tree of life and live forever.» Surely, he has shown himself to be a malicious grudger! And what kind of God is this? For great is the blindness of those who read, and they did not know him.
And he said, «I am the jealous God; I will bring the sins of the fathers upon the children until three (and) four generations.» And he said, «I will make their heart thick, and I will cause their mind to become blind, that they might not know nor comprehend the things that are said.» But these
things he has said to those who believe in him and serve him!
And in one place, Moses writes, «He made the devil a serpent those whom he has in his generation.» Also, in the book which is called «Exodus,» it is written thus: «He contended against the magicians, when the place was full of serpents according to their wickedness; and the rod which was in the hand of Moses became a serpent, (and) it swallowed the serpents of the magicians.»….
It is what happened in Bible, but from another point of view. A more humanistic view which in my sense is the original predisposing factor emerging of Christianity. It seems that my questions are not new!