I think it is a mistake to interpret the bible in a literal-factual or literal -historical fashion. The authors of the Bible were telling the stories to impart a message of meaning and explanation for why things are the way they are from a pre-modern viewpoint and had little intention to impart a literal-factual-historical accounting of actual events. This is true of all myths. Mythical stories are told to impart archetypal truths. The truth of the story is in its deeper message about human nature, the human condition and to impart a sense of meaning in the context of the culture where the story is told.
Anyway alternative interpretations to the traditional (original sin) or literal historical factual interpretation are given in the following
1Now the serpent was more subtle than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden? 2And the woman said unto the serpent, We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden: 3But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die. Although eve knows that fruit is forbidden. She does not know why. She only knows obedience to god is to not eat the fruit. She has the innocence of a child obeying its parent without understanding (knowledge) of the reason for the rule. She is in a state of innocence and harmony with nature and with god.
4And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die: The serpent seemingly tells the truth. They do not die; at least not right away or soon.
5For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil. 6And 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. Man wants to be like god. Instead of obedience and acceptance, man places knowledge over obedience. Innocence is lost, harmony is broken, man becomes alienated and separated from god and nature. (The Fall) Now man wishes for knowledge, power, dominion (to be like god) instead of living in harmony with nature and god. The serpent again tells the truth knowledge is gained but innocence and harmony are lost. The world is changed forever.
7And the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together, and made themselves aprons. Apparently part of the knowledge gained after eating from the tree is shame at nakedness and in some interpretations sex. The relationship between nakedness, sex and clothes.
8And 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. 9And the LORD God called unto Adam, and said unto him, Where art thou? God (omnipotent and omniscient?) must call out to find Adam and Eve? Not to mention that a omnipotent and omniscient god should have been able to foresee the entire course of events in the first place. Just one of many stories where god in the bible and ancient tradition is not portrayed as the medieval scholastics later claim.
10And he said, I heard thy voice in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked; and I hid myself. 11And he said, Who told thee that thou wast naked? Hast thou eaten of the tree, whereof I commanded thee that thou shouldest not eat? Apparently god does not know he has been disobeyed (the fruit of the tree has been eaten) but deduces that fact from Adams and Eves knowledge and shame about their nakedness.
12And the man said, The woman whom thou gavest to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I did eat. Woman as the source of temptation and the source of trouble for man.
13And the LORD God said unto the woman, What is this that thou hast done? And the woman said, The serpent beguiled me, and I did eat. 14And the LORD God said unto the serpent, Because thou hast done this, thou art cursed above all cattle, and above every beast of the field; upon thy belly shalt thou go, and dust shalt thou eat all the days of thy life: 15And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel. Snakes were regarded as proverbially clever in the biblical world. Snake worship was not uncommon in the ancient Near East. Why don't snakes have any legs? Snakes can be poisonous.
16Unto the woman he said, I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children; and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee. Why do woman have pain in childbirth? Prior to this time women just seemed to get pregnant and have children. The relationship between sex (a form of planting) and conception and children 9 months later was emerging.
17And unto Adam he said, Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it: cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life; 18Thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee; and thou shalt eat the herb of the field; 19In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return. Transition from hunter gatherer (garden of Eden) to a agricultural society (working of the ground). Also access to the tree of life is now denied and man becomes mortal.
20And Adam called his wife's name Eve; because she was the mother of all living. 21Unto Adam also and to his wife did the LORD God make coats of skins, and clothed them. Adams and Eve as showing that all men are related (we are all sisters and brothers) all children of common parents. All children of god. We all have a common origin.
22And the LORD God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil: and now, lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live for ever: Apparently there are at least two special trees in the garden. The tree of good and evil (knowledge) and the tree of life (eternal). Gods original plan included immortality for man.
23Therefore the LORD God sent him forth from the garden of Eden, to till the ground from whence he was taken. Modern interpreters consider the story to be an accounting of the transition from a hunter gatherer society to an agricultural society. Other changes occurring over this transition included clothing, tilling the ground and the realization about the relationship between sex and child bearing.
24So he drove out the man; and he placed at the east of the garden of Eden Cherubims, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to keep the way of the tree of life.Man is prevented from reentering the garden, destined to toil for his food and destined to live a mortal life (to die as god warned).