Tree of Life
Tree of Life
In the story of Genesis 2:9 this is a sacred tree planted in the Garden of Eden, representing eternal life.
When Adam and Eve eat from the forbidden tree of knowledge, they are cast away from the tree of life and become mortal.
For conservative Christians, only through the redemption of Jesus Christ does mankind regain everlasting life.
The tree of life was a popular symbol in the ancient world, appearing on seals, reliefs, pottery and literature. It forms an important prelude for aspirants in the mystical tradition of the Kabbala. Hindu mythology ascribes all sorts of magical properties to different trees. And the Buddha is said to have gained enlightenment under a bodhi tree.
Some Christian theologians say that non-Christian precursors and parallels to Jewish and Christian stories and symbols does not indicate that all stories are just myths of equal value, an idea forwarded by figures like Joseph Campbell and sometimes by the psychiatrist C. G. Jung.
Instead, traditional Christian theologians usually say that non-Christian symbols act as a kind of rough and abstract “blueprint” for the perfect manifestation of God’s true revelation–i.e. the Christian Bible, the Word Made Flesh, and so on.
Not surprisingly, this reasoning has been critiqued and debated from various angles.
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