Saturday, September 17, 2011

Genesis 6

"No-ah, No-ah, No-ah built the Arc-y Arc-y. Built it out of birch-y barky barky. Children of the Lord.

Actually it was Cypress wood, but who's counting.

When I was writing about Genesis 5, I talked about how old men of this time were before they died. In Genesis 6, God seems to be wondering the same thing. After a few generations the areas that were settled began to get a bit crowded. I mean Adam lived another forty years after Methuselah was born. Methuselah was Adam's great-great-great-great-great grandson (that's 5 greats). That is a whole lot of generations alive at one time. God decides that since man is simply flesh he shall only live to 120 years. It's not clear if that applied to Noah's sons. If it did then at some point Noah would have outlived his sons. A tricky situation on God's part. I wonder how God implemented the plan.

I know we are all descendants of Adam and Eve, but we have Noah and his sons to thank for being here. I actually wonder if we are all Seth's descendants or if some / all of the wives of Noah and son's were from Cain's line. This is of course not accounting for the fact that there were random women about for Seth and Cain to marry in the first place. Women were not considered to carry the line so their genealogy doesn't matter so much . . . I guess. If that's the case then we all descent from Adam through Seth's line and all of Cain's descendants died in the flood. This is interesting to me because, I would presume that a great portion of the population who are familiar with the story of Adam and Eve as well as Cain and Able would not recognize that there was a third brother Seth, or that Adam and Eve even had more sons at all.

I know we are doing a hell of a job killing each other off and ruining our planet. We have technology and pollutants that Adams family couldn't even have begun to conceive of. I am regularly disgusted with the human race, myself included. Some of the things I hear myself say, and the decision I make I know are not in the best interest of anyone. However, I do wonder what God was looking at when he decided to wipe out mankind, and how hard is he working at self control to not do it all over again now. We are seriously (as my Mum would put it) looking for a smack.

As we move further into the chapter God decrees the flood, and commands Noah to build the Arc.
"Who built the Arc? Noah, Noah. Who built the arc? Brother NOah Built the Arc."
It's somewhere between 300' x 50' x 30' + 10' and 550' x 83.33' x 50' + 16.66' big. Not as big as some boats these days, but still a big project by hand. Then bring the animals two by two . . .
" . . . the elephant and the kangaroo."
And all the food that you will need for 40 days and nights in a flood. Easy, peasy.

I'm thinking Chapter 7 is the actual flood.
Stay tuned

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Genesis 5

Genesis is a brief chapter layering on top of the end of Genesis 4 following the line of decendants of Adam and Eve. Genesis 4 follows Cain's line but 5 follows Seth's. 

Adam (130)> Seth (105) > Enosh (90) > Kenan ( 70) > Mahalalel (65) > Jared (162) > Enoch (65) > Methuselah (180) > Lamech (182) > Noah (500) > Shem, Ham and Japheth.

In parenthesis are the ages of each man when he fathered his first son. This is a time when people lived to be nine hundred years old. Seth for example died when he was 930. So I thought that years were more like months. If that was the case their ages would look more like this.

Adam (10.83) > Seth (8.75) > Enosh (7.5) > Kenan (5.83)  . . . Noah (41.66)

I'm stumped a bit, this is way to young, even by Biblical standards for men to be fathering and "raising" children, except Noah, who I would imagine probably died before he was 40 if time was counted as it is today. I wonder how elastic their time telling and calenders were. By all accounts though Noah was an old man when he had his children. And assumably elderly before his arc building even began. His sons were men with wives of their own when the arc was built. Then again as someone pointed out to me that it was a different time and perhaps with the absence of pollution and disease these people did live a very very long time.

I did get tangled for a moment in the duplicate names seeing Enoch and Lamech twice, but a re-read cleared that up.  Not a lot of meat to blog about in this chapter of Genesis.


Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Genesis 4

Let the Begetting Begin . . . sort of Ah, Cain and Able. Meat versus Plant . . . just kidding. First I would like to mention how important the version you are reading is. I have a (free) version on my Kobo, which I will deleting shortly. It's awful and in one sentence managed to turn a lovely birth moment (Eve and Cain) into something that goes beyond implying that she (Eve) now thinks she is just like God. Yikes. Needless to say version matters. So Cain and Able give sacrifices to God. The idea of a live sacrifice in itself is something I am not comfortable with. I'll be honest, why Cain's offering is not satisfactory is not all that clear to me. I am guessing it's because Able brought his fattest, best calf, and Cain just brought what he could find. But I feel like that's only a guess. Then Cain kills Able and lies to God and is a bit of a smart mouth about the whole thing. I'd think that when talking to the Creator you'd know better than to sass and lie. So Cain gets tossed out of his homeland and because he fears for his life God affords him protection against anyone who might wish to kill him by saying they will suffer 7 times more than Cain. I just find the whole thing strange. God is justifiably angry at Cain. Cain does not apologize or seem at all ashamed of his actions, but is scared for his own life? Well yes, you just killed your own brother and technically 1/4 of the human population at this point, so you should be afraid. So instead he is sent away from home and told he can no longer grow food. Cain goes to the land of Nod. and finds himself a wife . . . Where does she comes from? Cain is the son of Adam and Eve, the first two people on earth. I guess we are to presume that God has created more people to start things off. If that is the case how can we all be descend from Adam and Eve? I suspect there are many texts written about this, and I think it's a safe bet that I'll be reading one of them in the next half a dozen years, but for now there seems to be a loophole here. Next we read about a bit of begetting. Cain and his wife have a son Enoch, Enoch has Irad, Irad > Mehujael, Mehujael > Methushael, Methushael > Lamech. Lamech takes two wives and we even get to know their names, Adah and Zillah. Adah > Jabel (tents and livestock) and Jubal (lyre and pipe). Zillah > Tubal-cain (bronze and iron tools) and his sister Naamah. There is a brief interlude when we find out that Lamech has killed a man for striking and or wounding him and as Cain would be avenged sevenfold he should be avenged seventy sevenfold. I really don't follow this. and then after eight generations we pop back to Adam and Even and their new son Seth, Ables' replacement.. There are two lines coming from Adam and Eve, Cain's line and Seth's line. We visit Seth's line of the family in Chapter five. We still have to ignore the fact that there are magic women. I am very unhappy with this chapter. Beki

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

GENESIS: 3 (part 2)

As promised I am revisiting Genesis 3. Borrowing Rob's power cable, and thinking I need to get myself to my cousin (in-laws) where she has one waiting for me, has given my laptop some wind for now.

I am wondering who penned these two versions of creation. Not only because as accounts of the same story they are so completely different in their focus, but because the tone of the two accounts are so very different. The second account is Genesis 2 and 3 and is all about the people. Adam and Eve don't even enter the picture in Genesis 1. Yes, people are created, but none of the filler is there. No snake, no tree of knowledge, no Adam blaming Eve for his own weakness and no Eve being sucked in by a snake. I have to say that in typing those last two points I am thinking, in broad strokes at least, not a lot has changed. Men blaming women for their own short comings and women being sucked in by snakes. It's been centuries, you'd think those stereotypes would have worked themselves out by now. Heck, I've listened to more than my fair share of snakes and I know plenty of men who lay all their faults at the feet of womankind. Speaking in generalizations and stereotyping of course.

I will admit that in terms of flow of writing and storytelling I found the first account much easier and comfortable to read. The second account felt all prickly to me. Like the first account was bubbles and the second, saw blades. Like the second authour wanted to get the reader riled up while the first author just wanted to get out the facts as he saw them (sorry for the masculine here, but lets be honest historically this stuff is written mostly by men, or at least we are lead to believe that).

So why is it that we get so focused on Adam and Eve when the first account doesn't even think it's important? I don't think you can argue that it's the same story parts one two and three because it just doesn't work, the authorship is just too different to be the same storyteller.

As for the argument that science and God are at odds, I have always had a hard time articulating how I disagree with that. I picked up Angels and Demons over a year ago. A book so untypical of me to read, and yet I found echos of how I felt and so I will leave that to someone who has said it better. I do not mean to say that I believe as Dan Brown believes. I am simply saying that in the novel he managed to hit it on the head for me in this instance.

"Science and religion are not at odds. Science is simply too young to understand."
— Dan Brown (Angels & Demons)

"Science tells me God must exist. My mind tells me I will never understand God. And my heart tells me I am not meant to."
— Dan Brown (Angels & Demons)


Tuesday, August 30, 2011

GENESIS: 3 (part 1)

Well I'm just doing a brief now be because I'm typing on my phone. Suckage!

This is the conclusion of the creation story, the second version.

Loads of questionable stuff about women and men, but I also need to talk about how we reconcile the creation story in the Bible and science. I love the idea of the creation story I want God's divine hand to be the potter of all life. I just feel that the people who wrote about God in Old Testament times ( you know I'm not even sure when that is) didn't have all the information. The advancement of science and technology has completely changed how we can look at things. My comfort zone is actually somewhere in the mixing of the two sides. Now I know that there are a great deal of people out there who are very uncomfortable with the idea of science and god mixing. I think that the theory behind the Da Vinci Code is not that far from the mark. I believe that the separation of science and religion is impossible. I have seen too many amazing things to not believe and I do think that science is just finding amazing and awesome ways of explaining Gods creation. Just because I don't think Gods pointed his finger a la Hogwarts and it was done doesn't me I don't think gods finger was there. Its all just too much randomness for me. I find the idea that it all happened all on it's own very hard to believe.

I know there will come a time where I have to delve into the whole how can I believe on God when there is such awfulness in the world, but today (and typing on the phone) is not that day.

I'll flush this out more later once I have a functioning laptop again.


Sunday, August 28, 2011

GENESIS: 1 & 2

This is the creation story. God made the world in 6 days.

Day and Night
Dividing the waters, creating Sky
Land, Seas and Plants
Stars, Moon and Sun
Sea creatures and Birds
Land Animals and Pleebs

Hey I remembered, everything except the people. I had to add them in after. Not sure what that says about me that I was scanning the part I'd read and thought, 'wait a minute, when did the people show up? Shit I forgot the people. Ah Day 6, there they are being given dominion over it all. What my vegan eye did notice was that on the sixth day when God talked to man, He said
"See, I have given you every plant yielding seed that is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree which seed in it's fruit; you shall have them for food."
it goes onto say that He has also given all the other animals plants to eat as well. He does not suggest that the animals are food. Just something someone with my veggie eye noticed.

The second account of the story is written very differently. It focuses more on the creation of Man, Eden and the Tree of Knowledge, and then Woman. Nothing of the sort of familiar feel that the story usually has is retold. Again here though the animals are created as companions, not as food.

I promise that this blog doesn't have a vegan agenda, but I can not promise that I will avoid my vegan perspective. It is part of who I am, and who I am is writing the blog so . . .

There is a great deal of debate around this story. Right off the top - I'd like to be rational about it but I am bagged and have t get up early so for tonight that is it.


Thursday, August 25, 2011

Letter to the Reader

Beautiful morning to you.
It was a heck of a night.

So last night I read the Bible's equivalent of a forward. The Letter to the Reader. I'll be honest I'm always a super keener in the beginning and I am praying I can sustain this feeling of really wanting to do this. The 'forward' is often something I find tedious to read. I read this because I had no idea what it might say and was curious, and I am so glad I did. I am sure that the history of the Bible will be among the topics to study for my M Div.and that this little 3 1/2 page letter barely scratches the surface, but I am grateful for even this much of an introduction.

I had to look up 3 words: Consonantal, Euphony and Tetragrammaton (which spell check didn't know either)

I found out that the first published Bible, King James Version, isn't as old or as young as I thought. That the Bible we are reading right now is very young. Mostly though I find the fact that the scholars who are responsible for writing this Bible, consider it to still be a work in progress, a reassuring thought. There are continual investigations in to new manuscripts found. Constant work on translations and understanding. I think that there is also frustration at the fact that the English language has limitations that can change the tone of a message just based on the lack of a third person singular pronoun and therefore the necessity of using Him or Her.

I think that knowing this will alter how I read this book, and that is good.