Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Genesis, Chapter 3 Say Whaaa?

Genesis, Chapter 3 Say Whaaa?

Where to start?

Okay, the Lord commands them not to eat the fruit of the tree (singular) that is in the middle of the garden, according to the woman. But in the previous chapter, there are two special trees (Plural. See? All we need is a basic understanding of grammar to spot inconsistencies. Unless god cared just enough about one of the trees to inspire its mention, but not enough to proscribe against partaking of it. Right.).

Okay, so the serpent tricks her, blah, she gives it to her husband and thereby subjects most future generations of women to lives as second class citizens, blah blah, and then they realize they've been walking around naked this entire time and sew fashionable fig leaf panties. Figs were totally in that season. And then Heidi Klum walked by and said, "This is so poorly constructed that I could have sewn it! Oh, and Eve- your girly bits are showing." God (who has to call to them to find them- what's that about?) was also mad about their new clothes because everyone knows that God hates figs. But I want to know how they learned to sew. Is this just a priori knowledge? Oh and- eep! A man sewing in the Bible. All I have to say is FIERCE.

So god gets a bit holier-than-thou and doles out punishments. For my response to god's punishment of the serpent and the woman (who, by the way, still does not have a name), I refer you to Ricky Gervais, as he says it better than I could. But his punishment for the man raises some questions, I think. Verses 17 and 18 read:

"To Adam he said, 'Because you listened to your wife and ate from the tree about which I commanded you, "You must not eat of it," cursed is the ground because of you; through painful toil you will eat of it all the days of your life. It will produce thorns and thistles for you, and you will eat the plants of the field.'"

Okay. I am a bit confused as to how to approach this. Since I am coming at this from the perspective of once having taken it literally (though I was young and indoctrinated, so I don't necessarily feel guilty about it), I am trying to deconstruct it from that angle. If I was taking the Bible literally, then I might be confused that god is just now getting around to creating plants with thorns and thistles. I am going to try to wrap my head around what sort of apologies one might give for this bit. Bear with me.

1. The thorns and thistles are already there, but Adam's punishment is to work with these plants, whereas before he was only going to be working with nice, non-prickly plants. This begs the question- what were these plants? Is he still tilling them in addition to the nasty, pointy plants?

2. This is a non-punishment, and again, see the Ricky Gervais style response.

3. The thorny plants had the potential to grow, and because god is mad, he's setting them on turbo.

4. The thorns and thistles might not have bothered Adam before.

5. God didn't actually create the everything in six days. He left these for a couple of weeks later.

I don't think I have to go into how ridiculous any of these arguments are. Furthermore, it is entirely possible that anyone reading this could come up with more inane (or maybe less inane, if that's even possible) apologetics, so feel free to share.

So finally, Eve gets her name. From Adam. Thank goodness for Adam, for what would we women do without these men around to name us? And then God stitched up some clothing made from animal skin for them, because he really, truly, and utterly despises figs.

1 comment:

  1. Sewing is something that just comes natural to us men. This, along with our inferior number of ribs, makes us suited for a stay-at-home life with little manual labour.

    I will note that in my translation, the singular/plural confusion regarding the tree/trees does not exist. They've fixed some of the errors.

    In my opinion, this is one of the most revealing chapters of the entire book. It is difficult to imagine how one could read this and still be a Christian/Jew. The text literally condemns knowledge, and the character symbolizing the spreading of knowledge is "the snake" - commonly understood as being the devil himself.

    How, in light of this, could any Bible-believer ever expect to have any say in matters of science?

    Commenting on the god character having to call on his creations in order to find them, I will put forward the hypothesis that this is just an example of the superiority of the men/women of old. They could live for centuries. They could speak to animals. The could hide from god himself. Big deal.

    Near the end of this chapter, the god character admits that the snake was right - that is, the snake wasn't lying at all! Adam and the woman DID become like gods. "They are now like us", he says - meaning they have become like the god character and his god buddies of whom we shall never speak again lest we be brutally murdered by the one god character.

    Do you think you could make me a bathing suit made out of fig leaves, by the way? I can't afford any figs right now.