Tag Archives: Creation

Genesis Chapter 3

Genesis Chapter 3

This post will cover the infamous Fall of Man, God’s punishments, and God’s first lie  as portrayed in Genesis Chapter 3.

The story starts by telling us that a serpent was the sneakiest of all the creatures that God had created. (Gen 3:1)  Why the snake is so sneaky and bad we are not told, but since God is perfect we can be assured that it was on purpose.

This sneaky snake can also talk, and asks Woman if God had said that she and Adam could eat from every tree in their little garden. (Gen 3:1)  It seems that species of talking snake has gone extinct, because we have no recorded evidence of any snake, any where, talking since then; unless you count the snake in Disney’s A Jungle Book.  The talking snake thing in Harry Potter doesn’t count because Harry is the only one who can understand it.

Woman, who is obviously accustomed to talking snakes (definitely from Slitherin House), tells Sneaky Snake that God said they could eat from all the trees but one, and that not only could they not eat from it, but couldn’t even touch it or they would die.  (Gen 3:2-3)  As far as we were told, God never mentioned the not touching the tree part, so I’m assuming that Adam embellished the rule when he later told Woman about it.

Sneaky Snake tells Woman that God was lying when he said that rubbish about dying the day  they eat from the tree.  According to Ole’ Sneaky, God was just scared that when they ate from the tree that they would become like gods in that they would know about good and evil. (Gen 3:4-5)

The_Serpent_Beguiled_Me_(Sunrays)[1]So, what does Woman do?  She looks at the tree thinks it’s pretty, that the fruit looks tasty, and thinks that it might be good to not be stupid, so she eats some of the fruit and gives some to Adam who had been standing there, but saying nothing, and he, like any good husband, did as he was told and ate it. (Gen 3:6)

As soon as they ate the fruit they noticed that they were naked, and quickly fashioned aprons out of leaves to hide their bodies. (Gen 3:7)  Nowhere does it explain why God had let them be evil by being naked in the first place, or why not covering your butt was ok.

After making their crude clothing they heard God wandering around the garden enjoying a little relief from the heat, so they went and hid in the trees (Gen 3:8)

Obviously, they hid themselves pretty well because God couldn’t find them, and had to call out for Adam. (Gen 3:9)

Adam called back from the trees (it never says he came out of hiding) and tells God that he had heard him coming and hid because he was naked. (Gen 3:10)

Then the following conversation ensues: (Gen 3:11-13)

God- Who told you that you were naked?  Did you eat from the tree that I had told you to leave alone?

Adam- It wasn’t my fault. The woman YOU gave me told me to do it.

God- Woman! Why did you do this?

Woman- It wasn’t my fault.  The talking snake told me to do it.

So, God looks at Sneaky Snake and tells him that he will from then on be the least liked of all the animals in the World.  He then takes away his legs (It seems that talking snakes once had legs) and tells him that he will have to eat dirt from then on, and that he will cause humans to hate snakes and go around stomping on their heads. (Gen 3:14-15)  The dirt eating combined with head stomping would go a long way toward explaining why this species of once-legged snakes went extinct.

God then turned on Woman and cursed her to have increased sadness and more babies which she will be sad about having.  He then says that from then on men will be in charge.  Thus God created PMS, and postpartum depression as well as misogyny. (Gen 3:16)

And God wasn’t finished with his punishments.  He turned to Adam and told him that since he listened to Woman and ate from the tree after being told not to, that the ground would from then on not do as well growing plants, and that Adam would have to be a farmer and baker if he wanted to eat.  He then tells him that he will be cut off from the Tree of Life and will eventually die. (Gen 3:17-19) The same thing, snake and all, had happened to Gilgamesh back before the Biblical story was written.

Let’s pause for a moment to look over something that I mentioned above.  Remember back in chapter 2 when God told Adam that the day he ate from the tree of knowledge that he would die?  And, remember earlier in 3:4 when Sneaky told Woman that the whole dying the moment you eat was hooey?  Well, as you can see above it was Sneaky who was telling the truth and God who was lying, because Adam would go on to live for 930 years.  So, in effect, God was angry at Adam and Woman for calling his bluff, and at Sneaky for telling his secret.  Truly a wrathful god.

To continue.  After God’s hissy fit, Adam arbitrarily changes Woman’s name to Eve (Gen 3:20) and God makes the couple some clothes out of animal skins. (Gen 3:21)

Then God goes back to his female companion, or some other god and says “Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil (more proof that Sneaky was telling the truth): and now, lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live for ever:” (Gen 3:22)  Obviously God is worried about Adam living forever and taking over, so God throws the couple out of the garden and makes them farmers. (Gen 3:23)

Tissot_Adam_and_Eve_Driven_from_Paradise[1]To keep the miscreants from sneaking back in, he puts guards on the eastern side of the garden, and puts a flying flaming sword by the tree of life just in case they figure out that the entrances to the west, north, and south are unguarded. (Gen 3:24)

So ends chapter three.  We’ve had lying, betrayal, trickery, and hissy fits, and God has given us pain, death, PMS, and postpartum depression.  Truly a loving and kindly god.

In the next chapter we are introduced to the beginnings of sacrifices, animal husbandry, music, metal working, the spread of civilization, incest, and murder.  Stay tuned.

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Genesis Chapter 2

(editorial note: I have decided that a summary of each part of the Bible that I discuss would be helpful for those just skimming through, so I will post a summary at the beginning of each post to give an idea of what the post covers.  Thanks, Ron)

Genesis Chapter 2 contains the end of the first creation story, and begins the second creation story.  It is with Gen 2 that the Bible starts contradicting itself when viewed as a literal word of God.

The segue into the second creation story  Leaves a lot to be desired, because it is actually just the end of the first one.

Gen. 2:1-3 Is just telling us that in a somewhat redundant way, that the all-powerful God was tired after working all week and had to rest.  So, to excuse his having a day off, he makes the Sabbath a holy rest day and, since he knows all, he rather ingeniously made Saturday the Sabbath so that professional football players could work on Sunday and not go to Hell.  Praise be to God, lets all Tebow before him in thanks for our day of football.

So ends the story of creation, however, for some reason he scraped that creation without telling Moses (traditionally considered to be the author of the first five books of the Bible i.e. Pentateuch) and started over.  Since this obviously confused Moses, he left both stories in.

page1-388px-Creation_Diary.pdf[1]The second story of creation.

This story is written with more detail and in a more poetic way.  Most biblical scholars say that this is because the two stories were written by two different people in two different times basing their stories on two different sets of other mythologies.  But, all good fundamentalists know that this is simply not true.

The story starts out by telling us that what follows is the order of creation on the day that God created everything.  (Gen.2:4) Obviously God had learned from his earlier attempt and managed to do it all in one day this time.

So, this time he starts with the Earth and sky already fully formed, but barren and quite dry. (Gen.2:5)

To correct this, he causes fog to come out of the ground and get everything wet, (Gen. 2:6) he then takes some dirt and creates a man. (Gen.2:7)  In his previous attempt he created man and woman at the same time and did it after he had created everything else.  It seems that he thought this would work better.  But he was mistaken, which he admits later.

God then does some gardening and calls his new garden Eden.  He puts the mudman in this garden along with all the pretty trees, the trees that produce food, the Tree of Life, and the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. (Gen 2:8-9) We can also safely assume that he made all the other plants at this time, though it doesn’t specifically say so.

Genesis 2:10-14 describes the rivers coming out of Eden, and the mineral rich lands around them which, in the grand scheme of things, isn’t really important except that this geography lesson puts the Garden of Eden somewhere in modern-day Eastern Turkey, meaning that all mankind and every animal on the planet started in Turkey.

Then God puts the man in the garden again (I’m assuming he wandered off  while God was growing the trees and had to be brought back) and makes him the head gardener/groundskeeper. (Gen 2:15)

Then God tells the man that he can eat from every tree in the Garden (Gen 2:16) except for one: The Tree of Knowledge.  God then tells his first recorded lie, when he tells the man that if he eats of this tree he will die that very day.  (Gen 2:18)  This fib will be covered in another post.

In Genesis 2:18 God realizes the mistake I mentioned earlier and says “…It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet [old English phrase meaning:  helper] for him.”  It is unclear who he is talking to, but it’s probably the female companion from chapter 1.  See the post on Chapter 1 for an explanation of this unknown female.

So to keep the man company and give him help in the garden what does God do?  He creates all the land animals and the birds.  Doesn’t seem like they will be much help, but as the saying goes: “God works in mysterious ways.” This is the creation of the World’s first pets.  He then presents the man who, out of the blue, has acquired the name “Adam” with all of the animals and has him name them, thereby craeting the World’s first zoologist.  (Gen 2:19) No mention is made of the animals in the water, so I’ll assume that God kept the ones he created before, and then put them in the waters of the new Earth.  Who named these animals is unclear.

Adam then names all 6-10 million insect species,  6-7 million species of land animals, and roughly 10 thousand different birds.  How he did this in one day, and what all of these names were we do not know.  Luckily he didn’t have to name fish and marine mammals because that would have been another 27,000 or so.  Once he had compiled his species list, it became apparent to God that Adam’s 24-34 million companions (2 of each species) weren’t very good company, nor much help with the Garden. (Gen 2:20)   Note:  I used numbers for every species alive today, but if every species of animal that has ever lived was created that day then Adam had to name an estimated 24-34 billion different animals.  How this many animals fit into a small corner of what is now Eastern Turkey is unclear.

So, to correct his helper mistake, God put Adam into a coma, cut him open, took out one of his ribs, then sutured him back up. (Gen 2:21)  It seems that God’s supposed ability to do surgery and heal people without cutting them open hadn’t developed yet.  No Benny Hinn for Adam.

God then took the rib which he had surgically removed from Adam, left for a while, turned the rib into a woman, and brought her to Adam for his approval. (Gen 2:22)

Adam looked at her and decided to call her “Woman.” (Gen 2:23)  I know what you’re thinking, not a very imaginative name.  Makes you wonder if he called elephants “long noses“, or called kangaroos “hoppies.”  But, like I mentioned earlier, we will never know.

In Genesis 2:24 the author inserts an editorial note saying that the bit about Woman’s creation is the reason that men should leave their parents’ house when they get married.  So, for all of you parents out there who are still housing your married sons you can point to this verse and tell him to leave.

The chapter ends with the author telling us that Adam and Woman were wandering around naked and proud of it. (Gen 2:25)

So, in summary, the second creation story tells us that when God recreated everything he changed the order up a little bit.

In the first story the order of creation was: (Numbered by day)

  1. A blob of water which would become the Earth, light, day and night, evenings and mornings.
  2. Dry land and the sky.
  3. All the plants.
  4. The Sun, Moon, and stars, (though no galaxies, asteroids, comets, or any other such nonsense) along with days, seasons, and years.
  5. Water animals and birds.
  6. Land animals, then men and women at the same time.
  7. Took the day off because he was tired.

The second time around the order of creation was:

  1. A complete Earth with light, seas, dry land, and I’m assuming (as they’re never mentioned) the Sun, Moon, and stars.
  2. Then he creates fog.
  3. Then he creates Adam.
  4. God then creates all the plants and trees as well as the Garden of Eden.
  5. God then creates all of the land animals and birds.
  6. God then created Woman.
  7. No rest day mentioned, it seems it was easier this time.

I mentioned before that this chapter along with Genesis 1 gives us out first Biblical contradiction.  If you look at the orders of creation it becomes quite apparent what I meant.  If, as literalists will tell you, the two stories are just one story with a summary followed by a more detailed account then the two accounts should contain the same order, but they don’t:  first everything takes six days, then it only takes one day; first plants are created before people then they come after Adam but before Woman; first birds and land animals are created at separate times, then they’re created at the same time; first birds are created before man then they are created after him; first men and women are created at the same time after birds then they are created at different times with birds coming after man but before Woman.

These same literalists will point to my usage of “then” when talking about chapter two instead of the word “and.”   They often say that since “and” is used instead of “then” that I can’t say with authority that the order is incorrect.  However, 2:18 clearly says that Adam is “alone” which means there were no other creatures around.  Then in 2:19-20 the animals and birds are created and Adam names them “but for Adam there was not found an help meet for him” meaning Adam was still lonely.  So, at this point we have Adam created, then animals created then we move on to the creation of the female named Woman.  The order is laid out quite clearly.  And, besides, if everything was created at the same time as these literalists suggest by pointing to the word “and”, what does that do to the whole ‘six days of creation’ story?  It destroys it, that’s what it does to it.

Another qualm they will have with my explanation is my saying that the second story all takes place in one day.  I say this because 2:4 says it.  Literalists often say that “day” could mean an era or any other such measurement and does not have to mean a 24hr cycle of rotation by the planet.  In principle I agree.  The problem is that if chapter 1 is also correct and part of the same story, then the 24hr ‘day’ was clearly created on days 1 (Gen 1:5) and 4 (Gen 1:14) before any animals or people were created, so that argument holds no water, unless… .

According to Biblical scholars these two stories are different, written by different people, at different times, in different parts of the Middle East, and when from the 5th-16th centuries  the Catholic Church compiled and edited the early manuscripts into what we call the Bible (the first standard version we would recognize today as the Bible was compiled in the 10th century), they left both stories in so that various points in each story (e.g the Sabbath, and the Tree of Knowledge) which come up throughout the Old and New Testaments will have a basis.  These conflicts wouldn’t have really been a problem at the time as the vast majority of Christians were illiterate, and laymen weren’t allowed to read the Bible because it was assumed that your average Joe wouldn’t understand the thing and that would cause problems and possible divisions within the Christian community; something we now know was an accurate assumption.

The scholarly explanation makes sense, and study of early manuscripts supports it, but, like most things for which there are mountains of evidence, literalists reject it.  And, the idea  espoused by some Christian sects (e.g. the Catholic Church) that the Bible is part fable and part truth brings up a  whole separate set of problems with its being considered divinely inspired.

Anyhow, next we move on to Genesis chapter 3 and the Fall of Man and the stories get interesting for a while.

Genesis Chapter 1

So, let us begin.

And what better way to begin than the first page.

(Note:  For this and all following posts on Bible books, chapters and passages I will be using the King James Version (KJV) of the Bible.  I do this for many reasons, but primarily because it is the most often used version by people who challenge or debate atheism.  I am not saying that this version is the most accurate version in terms of translation from original manuscript, because it isn’t, however it is the one that was force-fed to me, and as I mentioned, the most referenced.

I would also mention that for those of you who either don’t have a Bible {I am lucky enough to have a beautiful old KJV Bible that my late father gave me when I was a child, as well as copies of seven other versions} or just don’t want to constantly leaf through it I will always supply a link to the relative book or passage via Biblegateway.com.  This site is very useful for study of the Bible as it is searchable and contains most of the current translations of the Bible. If it had been around years ago I wouldn’t have had to buy so many darn Bibles.)

Genesis Chapter 1 (KJV)

This book starts with that most famous of phrases: “In the beginning.”  Like I said, what better place to start.  This is the oft referenced ” six days of creation” story which is different from the story in chapter 2 which introduces us to Adam and Eve, but we’ll get to that when we get to chapter 2.

So, In the beginning (day one) God creates the heaven (sky) and earth (technically water for now).   As the story goes on it mentions that these things are basically a big, dark, empty blob of water with wind moving over it. (Gen 1:2)

God then creates light, divides that from the dark, makes day and night, as well as evening and morning, and that ends the first day. (Gen 1:2-5)

It’s important to note here that day, night, evening, and morning are specifically mentioned.  Many, will say that the six ‘days’ need not have been days they could have been eras, epochs, or whatever, but it clearly says “day”, so don’t let these arguments stand.  Either the Bible is saying ‘one day with a morning and an evening’, or it’s not: it can’t be both; e.g. either the Bible is true or it’s not.  Later on in Deuteronomy we will learn that you aren’t supposed to change or edit any word of this book.

Moving on.

Day two-God creates a dividing line between the water he had already made and the heaven (sky).  Then he takes some of the water and puts it in the sky.  Then he clocks out as he is done for the night. (Gen 1;6-8)

Day three-God finally forms the water under the sky into a less blob like state, then makes dry land appear. He calls the dry land “earth” and he calls the water “seas.”  Why he had to recreate the earth that he had already created two days ago is unclear.  But, in the scheme of things not really important.  He then causes plants to grow out of his newly created dryland and calls it a day. (Gen 1:9-13)

Day four- God creates the Sun, the Moon, and stars.  Now this day deserves a good bit of detailed reading.

In Gen 1:14 the Bible says: “And God said, Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night;… .”  However, in Gen 1:4-5 he had already “…divided the light from the darkness. 5 And…called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night” when he had created light.  What we aren’t told is why he had to divide night and day again.  Did they creep back together?  Did he undo it and not tell the author? Is it a mistake?

Anyhow, Gen 1:14 finishes of by saying “…and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years:”  Once again, the time span for a day is set.  It is the 24hr cycle of Earth’s rotation as it orbits the Sun as we know it today.  It’s not an era, or an epoch, or anything else:  it is a day.  Unless of course this passage is wrong.  (Note:  what I said about the Earth orbiting the Sun is refuted by the Bible later on in Isaiah. Again we will get to that later.)

Gen 1:15-18 redundantly states that he puts his new lights in the sky and that the biggest one is for day (there’s that term again) and the smaller one is for the night.  And decides that he is kind of proud of himself.

Gen 1:19 Marks the end of day four.

Day five- God creates all the animals in the water and the birds.  He tells them to have babies, but puts a caveat on the birds telling them to only live on dry land.  My guess is that he didn’t like the penguins.  Once these things are done it’s Miller time for Day five. (Gen 1:20-23)

Michelangelo's Creation of AdamDay six- Day six is a big day.  (Note:  Technically the image at left doesn’t fit this story as it is based on story #2, but I like it so there it is) First God creates all the land animals (Gen 1:24-25), then they create men and women.  No, that wasn’t a typo, I meant to put “they”, because in Gen 1:26 God says “…Let us make man in our image, after our likeness… .”  Who was God talking to?  Who ever it was it had to be female because later on in Gen 1:27 the Bible says “So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.”  It clearly says that the male created a male and a female, which according to the previous passage was in the “likeness” of himself and his female companion.

After God creates people he/they give(s) control over all the animals to the people then tells them to have lots of babies and that they are vegetarians (Gen 1:28-30).  He/they then stand(s) back and look(s) at his/their accomplishments over the last six days and decide(s) that he/they has/have done a good job, and calls it a day. (Gen 1:31)

So ends Genesis Chapter 1.  Up next in Chapter 2 we have all sorts of goodies, such as the ordination of the Sabbath and the other creation story.  See you then.