Genesis 10 — Family tree, very silly

Saturday, November 15, 2008

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Genesis 10 — Family tree, very silly

I’ve been gone for a while (hard to believe it’s been almost a month) due to being busy again. I’ll try to be able to post quickly at least once a week in the future. If I take a month in-between posts, I may never get through the Bible!

Genesis 10 is an easy one to knock off. It’s mostly a family tree of Grandpa Noah, that great guy God chose as the father of humanity. I guess if you’re trying to keep a play-by-play history of the Israelites, this might be vaguely useful, but what it’s doing in a Holy Book meant for the whole world I’m not sure.

I guess if we had any way of knowing whether or not these people were real and what they did, and the significance of the places they allegedly went to, it could be an interesting footnote. I guess I’ll find out how many of these people and places actually play a role in the rest of the story, but my hunch and recollection is most of them will not. Once again, God could use an editor to cut out all the bloat in this book.

One interesting thing to note is that it talks about people having different languages. We haven’t yet heard the story of the Tower of Babel yet. Is it possible different languages developed *before* God allegedly did so? Houston, we have a problem!

Genesis 5 — Be begotten, not forgotten?

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Genesis 5 — Be begotten, not forgotten?

Genesis 5 is pretty easy to blog. Mostly a lot of "begats" in some attempt apparently by God’s chosen people to keep a history of their ancestors. There is nothing wrong with doing this of course, it might even be considered a noble sort of pursuit, provided the information you keep is accurate and not just made up.

God was apparently so mad at humans after Adam’s fall that he originally let humans live up to 969 years. As the Skeptic’s Annotated Bible points out, this was despite the fact that God promised Adam he would die the day he ate of the fruit of knowledge. God was only hundreds of years off, which is a lot more accurate than his faithful young-Earth creationists likely being billions of years off about the age of the planet!

Was this reprieve a blessing or a curse for Adam and Eve? Genesis 5:2 says that God "blessed them". This is the same God who threw them out of paradise and condemned them to suffering and death for all their descendants, all on account of eating some fruit that made them smart. And then after this, God lets them suffer for hundreds of years!  Genesis 5:29 correctly reminds readers that God "cursed" the ground. So it doesn’t seem like such a blessing to me. What on Earth did Adam and Eve, and their ancestors, do with their lives for hundreds of years? Struggle to survive, I suppose. I would think with having very little else to do in those days (few people around to talk to, no pay-per-view…) that it may have been worse than death. Maybe that was God’s idea, to keep them around to suffer even more?!?

I’m glad this is a fictional account, otherwise it would be rather cruel. You could actually see someone enjoying living 900 years nowadays if their health permitted it, but just wandering around the desert for hundreds of years must not have been pleasant. Fortunately, there is no reason, besides the Bible itself, to believe humans used to live (and suffer) that long. I used to take "for the Bible tells me so" as proof enough for anything the Bible said, but realize now that you shouldn’t based your entire worldview on one grossly unproven document, no matter how much it (or other people) tells you it’s true.

About all the people born in this chapter, as far as I know, we find out little to nothing about most of them. Why are they included in the Bible, then? What good is just having someone’s name if you’re trying to remember your civilization’s history? How does a list of random names fulfill God’s holy purpose? God really needed an editor to cut the bloat out of this thing.

We do see that Adam (and presumably Eve) had some daughters in this chapters, though they go unnamed (since women aren’t really all that important). So this may answer how the human race got started: it was brothers and sisters having sex. Don’t try this at home, folks, it’s just some good ol’ family values from the fictional Bible.