I posted this once before, but no one was willing to bite, so I’m posting it again. I would love to hear your thoughts.

Was human immortality conditional in the Garden? If Adam and Eve would not have sinned, would they have lived forever? I presume that they could have done so, but immortality does not seem to be inherent to their nature even in their sinless state. It was conditioned on them eating the fruit of the Tree of Life—not often, but only once. That’s why God was so concerned about getting Adam out of the Garden after he sinned: He didn’t want Adam to become immortal (the fact that Adam never ate the fruit of the Tree of Life argues for a very short period of time between the creation of man and his fall). It seems that even if Adam had not sinned, he still would have died if He never ate of the fruit of the Tree of Life. Immortality did not inhere within his sinless nature.

The reason I find this topic interesting is because of its application to Jesus. Like Adam, Jesus was sinless. That does not mean, however, that Jesus would have lived forever had He not willingly allowed Himself to be killed. He would have died just like the rest of us unless He ate from the Tree. Humanity needs this tree to become immortal. That’s why it will be in the New Jerusalem.

Speaking of the Tree of Life, what do you think about the whole business of trees in Genesis? We have the Tree of Life (TL) and the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil (TKGE). Were these trees “magical” or symbolic? I would like to take the symbolic interpretation, but it seems inconsistent. It could be said that Adam’s eating of the fruit of the TKGE caused Him to fall—not because of something in the fruit—but because He disobeyed a command of God, thereby coming to know evil. When it comes to the fruit on the TL, however, a symbolic understanding doesn’t seem to work. It appears that there was actually something in that fruit that would have brought Adam immortality. What do you think?