Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Genesis 2: Humans are Created

Check out today's episode

The Seventh Day, God Rests (v. 1-3)

God had finished creating the heavens and earth and everything in them, and he rested. Then he tells us three times that the reason he was resting was because of all the work he had done.

This redundant book is really redundant, God seems to like to say the same thing over and over because he is a redundant god of redundancy.

The Creation of Man and Woman (v. 4-25)

God created man out of dust and breathed life into his nostrils.

This whole this has got to be really interpretive anyway, why can't people say this is God describing abiogenesis? I'll admit that it is a somewhat silly argument, but yesterday we say Guzik make the claim that light is partly supernatural. Given that baseline why not just say this is evidence from God of abiogenesis?

Out of the ground God made every tree which looks nice and is good for food, as well as the tree of life, and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.

Why would God make the tree of knowledge of good and evil? What purpose does it have other than to set Adam and Eve up to fail? 

Guzik says that the tree was there as a temptation tree. Again, why would God put that there?

Matthew Henry says that the tree did not grant the knowledge of good and evil, but rather it is a way for God to test Adam to see whether he was morally good or evil. Of course he then defines good and evil to be following God or not. Seems like a pretty crazy explanation to me. Why does God need to test Adam if he is all knowing? And the tree of life gives life, you would think the tree of knowledge would give knowledge.

Jamieson, Fausset & Brown also say it is just a test of obedience. That really does seem to be the one thing God cares about.

I have a minor anecdote here, when I was leaving Christianity I remember focusing on the tree of knowledge pretty intensely and being disgusted that the biggest sin ever committed was to gain knowledge. It's actually pretty significant symbolically.

We get way too much detail about some rivers that keep Eden watered, then God tells Adam that he can eat anything he wants except for the tree of knowledge. The day he eats it he will surely die.

I didn't realize that God told Adam not to eat the forbidden fruit before Eve was created. I will be interested to see if he tells them again not to eat that fruit. Also, as we are presumably all familiar with the broad strokes of this story, we know that they don't die the day they eat the fruit. So what's up with that?

From Guzik
The presence of this tree - the presence of a choice for Adam - was good because for Adam to be a creature of free will, there had to be a choice, some opportunity to rebel against God. If there is never a command or never something forbidden there can then never be choice. God wants our love and obedience to Him to be the love and obedience of choice.
If Adam has yet to eat from the tree, then he doesn't understand good an evil. So when God tells him not to eat he is really telling him that eating from the tree is bad, and Adam doesn't understand what that means. No, Adam is being set up to fail here, which is also evident by the fact that God forbids the eating of the fruit before Eve is there, which Guzik also mentions
God made this command originally to Adam, not to Eve; God had not yet brought woman out of man.
Right, I'll be interested to see if god makes this proclamation again when Eve is around, I guess I'll see tomorrow. And one more thing from Guzik
God not only made His command clear to Adam, but He also clearly explained the consequences for disobedience.
Yeah, except that doesn't happen. I suppose they will try to spin that as mercy. 

God brought forth all of the animals to try to find Adam "a helper fit for him". Adam "gave names to all livestock and to the birds of the heavens and to every beast of the field"

Let's stop there for a minute, I'm not exactly sure what animals fit into this, what counts as livestock and what counts as "beast of the field"? but it certainly says that he named every bird. How many birds are there? This would have taken a long time, although I guess there is no death yet, so it could have taken 100 years *shrug*

More from Guzik, he's a treasure trove today

For the first time, God saw something that was not good - the aloneness of man. God never intended for man to be alone, either in the marital or social sense.
i. Marriage, in particular, has a blessed “civilizing” influence on man. The most wild, violent, sociopathic men in history have always been single, never under the plan God gave to influence men for good. This is not good!
There's no way this is true. A very quick google search got me to John Wayne Gacy who was married when he committed at least some of his crimes. I love the internet, it's so easy to call people on their bullshit.

My comic archive [edit - d'oh, forgot to sign this one]

No helper was found among all of the animals (shocking) so God put him to sleep and created woman out of one of his ribs.

If man was created out of dust why did God need one of Adam's ribs?

Guzik claims that God had Adam name the animals to see that they came in pairs and show him that he needed a mate. Seems to me that he is reading something that isn't there, unless I'm missing something. It doesn't say anything about the animals coming in pairs.
It is important to realize that there are not two beginnings to the human race, one in Adam and one in Eve. There was one beginning of the human race in Adam.
Didn't take too long to get to the sexism inherently in the bible did it?

So a man shall leave his father and mother and become one flesh with his wife.

So what, this is the moral of the story? Clearly this is a fairy tale of an ancient primitive group of people. If this was really the account of the creation of man and woman, why would this line be in there?

More from Guzik:
They shall become one flesh: This passage forms the foundation for the Bible’s understanding of marriage and family. Both Jesus (Matthew 19: 5) and Paul (Ephesians 5:31) quoted it in reference to marriage.
Just like I was complaining about yesterday with creationism and evolution, the basis for this stuff is practically nothing. It's so short and there is almost nothing here. Is this really what we should base marriage on?

The man and his wife were both naked and not ashamed.

Why would they be ashamed? I never thought about this before, but why would they be ashamed? Why would a husband and wife be ashamed of being naked?

And one more from Guzik
Before the fall, Adam and Eve were both naked . . . and not ashamed. The idea of “nakedness” is far more than mere nudity. It has the sense of being totally open and exposed as a person before God and man. To be naked . . . and not ashamed means you have no sin, nothing to be rightly ashamed of, nothing to hide.
Again, when it comes to just a husband and wife, I think it is totally normal to be completely "exposed as a person" to each other. There's no reason for 2 married people to be ashamed of their nakedness, even this expanded definition of nakedness.

For the Verses of Note page:

--Abiogenesis--

Genesis 2:7 God creates life from non-life

"then the LORD God formed the man of dust from the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living creature."

--Knowledge--

Genesis 2:17 God threatens death to learning

"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."

--Marriage--

Genesis 2:24 Supposedly this is the basis for marriage

"Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh."

--Women--

Genesis 2:21-22 Women are less than men

"So the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall upon the man, and while he slept took one of his ribs and closed up its place with flesh. And the rib that the LORD God had taken from the man he made into a woman and brought her to the man."

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