A religious blogger (very nice guy) challenged me to read the Bible again in what I think was an attempt to convert me to Christianity in a roundabout nice way. He also said in another post that he prays for my conversion although he would never advocate for forcing me to convert.
I thought about it for a while and decided to do it. It’s been a while since I’ve read the Bible so it can’t cause any harm to brush up on it. Granted, the book is huge so it’s time consuming but I think the benefits will outweigh the drawbacks.
So I’ve decided to post my thoughts about each chapter as I read it. It will be a big project that might take an absurd amount of time but I hope people will read it, debate it and enjoy reading about it. I’ve decided to use the English Standard Version of the Bible since it was the only Bible that I could find for my tablet that was free.
That alone was annoying. You’d think that if spreading your faith was your top priority, you’d make the damn book that is meant to spread that faith free!
Genesis starts off with the creation of the Universe. No offense to any believers who may be reading this, but to believe in the creation portion of the Bible, you’d have to set aside all common sense, modern scientific knowledge and rational, critical thinking skills. It just doesn’t add up or make much rational sense.
The first thing I noticed is that God completely messes up the order of creation. On the first day he creates night and day but he doesn’t create the light making objects (sun, stars and moon) till the fourth day. Not only that, but He makes the plants before making the sun, which would be impossible since without the sun you have no photosynthesis or heat etc. and so the plants would have died.
That’s one example of the absurdity of the creation myth. It’s a good story and I know some religious people will say each ‘day’ is actually an ‘age’ or ‘eon’ but that doesn’t really matter since the plants still would have died whether they went a 24 hour period or an age without sunlight. The Earth would be a frozen wasteland without the sun, not to mention that it would be floating around space because the suns gravitational pull is what keeps us in place.
I could go on pointing out how the creation myth goes against what we know through evolution, but I think that example is sufficient in the interest of keeping the article short enough to read.
Let’s jump ahead to the creation of humanity.
If you’ve ever wondered where the term ‘Dominionist’ came from, you’ll find it in Genesis. In verse 26:
Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.”
This single verse has given humanity the permission to rape and pillage the Earth unmercifully. Many people use this verse to justify all sorts of environmental damage.
On the seventh day, God rests. I know creation requires some heavy lifting, but isn’t God omnipotent? Why would he need to rest at all?
So then God makes Adam out of dust. Considering he just made the dust and the entire Universe, I’m not sure why he would require the dust to make man. Couldn’t He just poof Adam into existence?
Right after that He creates two magic trees – the tree of life and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Then he warns Adam not to eat the fruit from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.
First off, didn’t God know ahead of time that Adam would eventually eat from the tree? Why bother putting such a tempting tree in the garden to begin with if you had the knowledge ahead of time (omniscient) that it would damn humanity to death?
God also warns Adam that if he eats from the tree, in that day he would die.
And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, “You may surely eat of every tree of the garden, but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.”
But it gets better.
“It is not good that man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him” Now out of the ground the LORD God had formed every beast of the field and every bird of the heavens and brought them to the man to see what he would call them. And whatever the man called every living creature, that was its name.
Adam must have been freaking busy as hell. That’s a lot of naming to do! Presumably, (because later it says Adam didn’t manage to find a fit helper) none of the animals made for a fit helper so God decides to put Adam to sleep, remove a rib and creates Eve.
Again, this raises the question of why a God needs a rib or would go through the hassle of taking a rib when he just finished creating everything in the Universe. At the very least, why not just use some more dirt like He did with Adam?
Of course, this also relegates Eve to the role of a helper. I’m not sure how many women really like that label but I know if I were a woman, I’d find it pretty damn insulting.
So now that God has done all kinds of wonders that don’t make much sense, the snake enters the scene. The talking snake tricks Eve into eating from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil and she in turn gives some to her husband Adam, thus condemning all mankind.
They immediately realize that they’re naked and so they sew fig leaves to create loincloths. This shows right from the beginning the fixation with sex and sexuality that Christianity has. It’s pretty much saying that being naked is evil since they only got this shocking knowledge after eating from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.
From here on out (in the creation myth) God looks like a doddering old fool.
And they heard the sound of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God among the trees of the garden. But the LORD God called to the man and said to him “Where are you?” And he said, “I heard the sound of you in the garden, and was afraid, because I was naked, and hid myself.” He said, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten of the tree of which I commanded you not to eat?”
So God needs to ask questions and had no idea what had happened. So much for omniscience. There he was strolling around the garden like a common man when he gets the surprise of his omnipotent life because Adam had eaten from the tree that God put there in the first place.
Good job big guy!
So now God has to do something. He damns the snake to crawl on his belly. Wow. So very devastating to the snake. How did he get around before? Was he walking on legs or something?
Then He curses Adam and Eve and every subsequent generation. But wait! Eve gets condemned to:
“I will surely multiply your pain in childbearing;
in pain you shall bring forth children.
Your desire shall be for your husband,
and he shall rule over you.”
All I have to say is thank Man for modern medicine that reduces that pain of childbearing that God so nicely cursed Eve with. And I bet women are super glad to know that man gets to rule over them. I guess God never met a lesbian or didn’t see that coming either, since they wouldn’t desire a husband in most cases.
God then sews them up (he’s a great seamstress) some animal skins as garments and exiles them from the Garden of Eden. But if you missed it, God doesn’t keep his promise. Adam doesn’t die on that day. In fact, he gets to live to the ripe old age of 930. You didn’t read that wrong. That’s 930 years old!
God then places a Cherubim and a flaming sword in the east part of the garden to guard it.
We’ll stop here since Cain and Abel deserve their own article. We’ve learned that God didn’t create things in the right order, He doesn’t know as much as believers think He does, that women are basically servants, that we have dominion over every living thing, that God is capricious and likes to curse things and He can sew a hell of a garment when He puts his mind to it…among other things.
So far the conversion isn’t looking so good. I still don’t see how anyone can believe this is the truth without first suspending all common sense.