Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Genesis; part one:

I would begin this post with a distressed, "Where to begin!" Thankfully I'm giving my take on Genesis, so the beginning is built in with this one. I'll just dive right in.


1:3 And God said "Let there be light," and there was light.


1:14-1:19 (This is where God creates the sun, moon, and stars)

How can there be light on the first day if the sun was not even created until the fourth day? Shouldn't the fourth day actually be the first day? Up until that point in time he'd have no natural showing of day and night because there was no sun or moon. Was it an educated guess? To separate one day from the next there has to be a natural cycle of the sun rising, and then setting with the moon rising, and the moon setting with the sun rising to bring about day 2. None of this could have happened.

1:27 Male and Female, he created them.

Notice that man and woman were created at the SAME TIME here.


1:28 "Be fruitful and increase in number."

There's no mention of marriage between the two before they were on their way to procreate. This lends to my idea that marriage is NOT a biblical institution. In fact, marriage was used for personal gain during the way-back-whens (think dowry).

2:4-2:25 A quick run-down of what happened here is that the Earth was barren, then God created man (Adam), then a garden (Eden) was placed there so man could tend it. After that, God decided that Adam needed a helper so he created animals. Since Adam did not find a suitable helper amongst the animals, God used one of Adam's ribs to create woman (Eve).

Notice anything? Chapter 1 and Chapter 2 contain two DIFFERENT creation myths, back to back! Was there no editor-in-chief assigned to the task of quality control for this book? Which one should the believers follow? Or are they so engulfed in their belief system that they fail to see the inconsistencies? Growing up (non-theist) I had only ever heard the myth of Eve coming from Adam's rib. But now hold on: There's TWO stories? The first two chapters of Genesis was enough to make me start questioning the content of this book immediately.

3:1 The "Serpent" is mentioned.

Nowhere in the text is the Serpent referred to as Satan. It's a trickster. Never is it even portrayed as evil. It simply coaxes Eve into doing something she had been told not to do.

3:17 "Because you listened to your wife and ate from the tree about which I had commanded you . . ."

Eve never MADE Adam do anything. She had taken her bite and kindly offered her husband a bite, which he accepted without a fight. Proven in 3:6 with, "She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it." I see no sign of struggle there.

4:3-4:5 In the course of time Cain brought some of the fruits of the soil as an offering to the Lord. But Abel brought fat portions from some of the first born of his flock. The Lord looked with favor on Abel and his offering, but on Cain and his offering he did not look with favor. So Cain was very angry, and his face was downcast.

How could the Lord look so unkindly on a man doing his best to make offerings to his God. Did Abel's taste better? Did God not like fruit or vegetables? Was it an acid reflux thing that made God look down on Cain with such disdain? Both men sought to please a God that they feared, respected, and loved. Why was one so favored over the other?

Here's something I found very interesting, and I'm thankful the Bible gave me its 'specifics.'

In chapter 5 we are given the age at death of many people--

5: Adam (930yrs), Seth (912yrs), Enosh (905yrs), Kenan (910yrs), Mahalalel (895yrs), Jared (962), Enoch (365yrs), Methuselah (969yrs), Lamech (777yrs), and Noah (950yrs).

I hope you're seeing what I'm seeing here. Ridiculous, right?

6:3 "My spirit will not contend with man forever . . . his days will be a hundred and twenty."

So what's being said here is basically, "Hey. I'm the immortal one around here. You are all living too long, and to live a life that long brings you close to me. So, uh, we'll take care of that."

And onto one of my FAVORITE parts . . .


Noah and the Ark!

Here are the exact ark specifications as given in the Bible:

6:15 450ft long, 75ft wide, 45ft high.

Really? Shouldn't Noah have glanced skyward and said something like, "You seriously think I can fit everything you want me to fit on there? Why don't you just pack lighter. KTHX."

Now that you have the specs of the ark, here are two different commands given to Noah by God as to what should be brought aboard the ship:

6:15-6:22 (Condensed, and not word-for-word) The Ark would need to hold Noah, his three sons, his wife, his sons' wives, two of every animal and food enough for everyone and everything.

But in chapter seven we get:

7:1-7:13 "Take with you seven of every kind of clean animal, a male and its mate, and two of every kind of unclean animal, a male and its mate, and also seven of every kind of bird, male and female, to keep their various kinds alive throughout the earth."

Those are two entirely different commands, and both as equally impossible. Plus, why not save the fish? Didn't he want a re-do on the fish as well? Or do fish carry no sin? Also, keep in mind that Noah was 600 years old when the Ark was built. Hmm . . .

After the flood, God spoke to Noah and said:

8:21 "Never again will I curse the ground because of man, even though every inclination of his heart is evil from childhood. And never again will I destroy all living creatures, as I have done. As long as the earth endures, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night will never cease."

Why even read the rest of the Bible? (Though I am) Right here God promises that he'd never wipe out humanity again. Ta-da. The end. Right?

So that's my take so far. Please feel free to comment, question, or challenge.


  1. I know this is nitpicking but you asked why god wouldn't tell Noah to save the fish. I don't think the fish were in any danger from the flood. Other than that, I think you are right on.

  2. I know the fish weren't in danger of the flood. My point in asking that (other than being deliberately obtuse) was that he was "starting over." He was supposedly wiping out the majority of the things he'd "created" and wanted to start anew. This is why I jokingly ask if fish were without sin. :)

  3. I would love to take the time to actually explain everything you have written here, but let me simply offer you an encouragement instead. It is quite obvious to me that you are reading a Bible that contains no footnotes whatsoever (or you are choosing to ignore them). The Bible is not a text that you lift a sentence or passage off the page, look at the black and white text and understand it. Let me give an example: you mentioned the sacrifices of Cain and Abel. Abel for his sacrifce brought one of the best "firstlings of the flocks" (New American transalation) and Cain brought an offering from the fruit of the soil. Here is where you need the footnotes to understand this. Cain's Hebrew name "qayin" means "I have produced." The reason why God didn't like Cain's sacrifice is not the object of the sacrifice, but the heart condition with which he offered it. Cain brought something that he made with his own hands instead of what Abel brought, which is the best of the flock that God had provided for him. You would never know this without the footnotes to explain what Cain's name meant. The Bible is full of these types of examples; people's name meant much more during Biblical times than they do now, but you do need the footnotes to understand the meaning behind people's names. As for there are two creation stories, you are correct in that: there are two creation stories from two different sources, centuries apart, written for different audiences, which is also why there are 4 different Gospels (each was written to a different audience for different purposes). I will also comment on the "he created them male and female." Your comment about this is that God created them at the same time, thus contradicting the creation story in Genesis chapter 2. Let me offer a real world example to show that thinking "he created them male and female" does not prove he did it at the same time. I work in a job where I use Microsoft Excel macros a lot. I created a series of macros for my co-workers recently for one of their job functions. When I told them what I did, I said "I created several macros for you to use." I didn't create them all at once; in fact, one macro took me about 2 weeks to actually produce. There is nothing in the grammar of "he created them male and female" to show that God created them at the same time. To me it simply says that he created males and females as opposed to other creations.

    In a round about way, I am trying to encourage you to find a Bible that contains footnotes, explanations, etc or find a Bible commentary that will explain what appears to you to be contradictory information. The Bible can not be read and understood simply by comparing the black and white words on one page to other black and white words on another page. There is so much history and tradition information not mentioned in the text that you will never be able to understand the Bible without outside help. This encouragement is for you if you truly want to understand the Bible. If you are reading it merely to find fault with it and will refuse to read outside sources, let me save you the trouble: you will always find something wrong with it without a proper undstanding of the context, history, setting, purpose and tradition behind the text. I could continue to explain other things you have written here, but I would love to see you discover the real truth for youself. If you won't read outside sources in your studying, you certainly won't listen to the wisdom of other people. Please don't consider my words a threat; consider them a kind, loving challenge from a Christian who wants to see you discover the truth. The choice is yours to make.

  4. To start; yes, the Bible I am reading has footnotes. I check them when I feel it's relevant. Call that what you wish, but reading an instruction manual on reading the Bible (footnotes) is not high on my list of things to do. If something is not meant to be read via the actual text, why should it be read (or worshiped) at all?

    Regardless of Cain's Hebrew name, why is his 'sacrifice' looked down upon? That was food he could have used to feed his family. If the livestock Abel was killing in sacrifice was something made of God, why is the vegetation Cain has raised not thought of as the same? Is it not argued that God has created all of this? Why is one sacrifice lesser than the other?

    I have a daughter whose name means 'Gift of God,' and another whose name means 'Curly Haired.' Should I add footnotes when using their names in text to avoid any misinterpretations? My name, Kristine, is a derivative of the word Christian. I need no footnotes. :)

    If you want to mince words about the "he created male and female," we can do that. I have four kids. When I say that, no one assumes I've had them all at once. Why? Context. Sure, someone could ogle me and gasp about the quadruplets they assume I have had, but whose fault is that? Mine for saying it? Or theirs for assuming it? Reading "he created male and female" when in the next creation myth says, via the text, that he created them at two distinctly different times. When specification is necessary, the writers don't skimp. Why should we just assume that they weren't being 'literal' when saying one thing, but take the next to be quite literal?

    I don't see what needs to be 'understood' when reading the Bible. It's text, and I'll treat it like text. If it isn't meant to be read as text . . . well, then I really don't know what to say. It's a book written by man. I really doubt I'll find any infallible proof of a higher being within the text, just as I'm sure I won't find any spiritual revelation by reading Stephen King's "IT," or Glenn Beck's "A Christmas Sweater." I'm not reading it to "find fault." I already know there's fault. I'm reading it so I am on an even footing with any x-tian who has (which isn't many of them at all).

    By the way, thank you for your condescending comment. Encourage away, but do not insinuate that I do not know a 'truth.' That's as offensive as if you would have said, "I'll pray for you."

  5. >>Reading "he created male and female" when in the next creation myth says, via the text, that he created them at two distinctly different times. When specification is necessary, the writers don't skimp. Why should we just assume that they weren't being 'literal' when saying one thing, but take the next to be quite literal?

    I'm tired and this didn't come out as a whole thought. The two creation myths are specific. He created male and female on the final day in the first, and in the second God created woman after trying to find Adam a 'helper' in an animal, on a separate day. Sure, nothing in the first says they were spat out of nothing at the exact same time, but Eve wasn't exactly an afterthought. It was the same day. Mince away.