Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Jesse Tree Ornament - The Apple

"And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat. And the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together, and made themselves aprons. And they heard the voice of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day: and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God amongst the trees of the garden. And the LORD God called unto Adam, and said unto him, Where art thou?" Genesis 3:6-9 (KJB)
Apple and leaf patterns for the Jesse tree.
Color suggestion for painting the apple symbol.
        The apple has long been used to represent our most ancient of ancestors because they changed their relationship to God by eating a type of fruit from the tree of knowledge of both good and evil. Why the apple, of all fruits, got stuck with such a evil association, we may never know. But, I suspect that this unfortunate fruit was selected for the symbol because of it's connections with Adam's apple.
       There are two main theories as to the origin of the term "Adam's apple". The "Brewer's Dictionary of Phrase and Fable" and the 1913 edition of Webster's Dictionary point at an ancient belief that a piece of forbidden fruit was embedded in Adam's throat (the first man, according to Abrahamic religions). However, neither the Bible nor other Judeo-Christian or Islamic writings mention such a story. In fact, the biblical story does not even specify the type of fruit that Adam ate.
       Linguist Alexander Gode claimed that the Latin phrase to designate the laryngeal prominence was very probably translated incorrectly from the beginning. The phrase in Latin was "pomum Adami" (literally: 'Adam's apple'). This, in turn, came from the Hebrew "tappuach ha adam" meaning "apple of man". The confusion lies in the fact that in Hebrew language the proper name "Adam" (אדם) literally means "man", while the Hebrew word "apple" means "swollen", thus in combination: the swelling of a man.  Proponents of this version contend that the subsequent phrases in Latin and other Romance languages represent a mistranslation from the start.
       Nonetheless, artists throughout history seem to have selected this fruit to represent the fall of Adam and Eve no matter what any of the rest of us may say or believe in the apples' defense.
       The fall, is a topic of great importance that should not be avoided when teaching young ones. However, it may be taught in a positive way through it's association with: 
  1. The naming of the first man and woman. and...
  2. Christ's coming to save the race of man from spiritual exile.
        The apostle Paul speaks to the congregation at Corinth about the first man and woman in relationship to Christ. Christ being the second man to replace Adam and Christ being the one who saves us from the fall by defeating the serpent that had so beguiled Eve.
       Adam; the name of the first man, the progenitor of the human race. It is derived from Adamah, which, in Hebrew and in all the oriental languages, originally signifies vegetable earth, or mould; and there seems to be an allusion to this derivation in 1 Corinthians 15:47-49. where, in relation to the two great heads of the human race, the natural and supernatural, the apostle says, "The first man is of the earth, earthy: the second man is the Lord from heaven. As is the earthy, such are they also that are earthy: and as is the heavenly, such are they also that are heavenly. And as we have borne the image of the earthy, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly." Those who love God and follow Christ are eventually allowed to eat the fruit of the tree of life.
       Eve; the name of the first woman: Chava in Hebrew, is derived from the same root as chajim, life; because she was to be "the mother of all living." It is believed she was created on the sixth day, after Adam had reviewed the animals. The apostle refers to the fall when he speaks of the Eve to the early converts in 2 Corinthians 11:3 "But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ." Through his death and resurrection, Christ redeems all that was lost through the deception of the mother of our race and restores us all to Eden.
Left, you can see that I have cut the apple from baker's clay, scratched it's surface and smoothed on a tiny bit of water before pressing the leaf gently on top of the apple's surface. Right, here I have painted my apple bright red and the leaf green and the stem brown. Seal the finished clay ornaments with clear acrylic spray after it has dried.

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