Monday, April 5, 2010

Entry 3 - reading day 1

Genesis 1-15

Dear Reader,

I shall not try to listen to the Bible for more than one hour. I did it I think for about one hour and 10 minutes today. After one hour my mind, I admit started to wonder and I could no longer focus. I am only at Genesis 1:16. It was very intriguing to me, through. The language is just beautiful!

I figure if I need to take until June or July to finish it and absorb all the content God won't mind. It's taken me 33 years to read the book. Almost 34 as of May 29th. Who cares if I finish it when I'm 34 and two months?

Things I noticed when I was reading the Bible. It kept saying "men was made in our likeness". Who is the "our"? I thought God was alone. That's interesting. I like the phrase, "the greater light to rule the day and the lesser light to rule the night." I think that's a very pretty way to describe the sun and the moon.

I was a bit saddened of course by the way man acquired the knowledge of good and evil. We would have been much better off if we'd never known about evil (obviously). Apparently, this knowledge is the reason that women were subjugated to men in this earlier time. It was Eve's idea after all and Adam just went along with it (which I think makes him kind of dumb). That's like when I was a kid. If my brother did something he wasn't supposed to do, I couldn't get out of being in trouble if I went along with it because he was doing it too. That wouldn't fly at my house.

I was happy to notice that God appeared to be anti-capital punishment. When Cain murdered Abel, God said that no one should murder him as a result. And, in fact, if they did he would punish them seven times over. This apparently changed because he told Noah that if anyone spilled anyone else's blood they would also shed blood. But, of course, that doesn't mean you're murdered.

The thing I don't understand is why did God need a version 2.0 of humanity? I suppose if we hadn't learned about good and evil we wouldn't have done really horrible things. Still, on the whole, I'm glad free will exists even if some people do really messed up things with it. I guess it's the job of the rest of us to regulate that because God said to Noah that no matter what we did there wouldn't be a version 3.0 and he would never make another flood that covered all the Earth.

Thoughts on God's bow. God said to Noah that he would make his bow across the sky so that he would remember that he promised us not to flood Earth again no matter what we did. I had the brief thought that this was a rainbow.

I'm also a bit stunned by what sort of behavior must have been being committed by humanity in order to cause God to flood the Earth. That's like disowning your kid. Unless my kid is a pedophile or murderer, I'm not going to do that. I imagine God must have felt the same way.

I did think that the way Canaan was punished by his father for seeing him naked was severe. I suppose though it's a lesson that you really shouldn't gossip about people in distressed situations and should help them instead like his brothers did. This is especially true, I imagine, if the person in question is your dad.

The last serious thing I wonder about is whether the Israelite had problems with Pharaoh because someone whose name I can't recall (there are so many people in this book, and I'm still on book one) lied to the Pharaoh and said that his wife was his sister. He did this because his wife was beautiful and he thought that men would try to kill him just to be with her. I wonder if this lie was the actual instigation of the future problems with Pharaoh for all of humanity. Note to self: It's never good to lie.

I wonder what other people think about this? I guess I'll have to see when I read more tomorrow.

One final thing I noticed that I found funny was that Nimrod is a derogatory word nowadays. It means idiot. But, the Nimrod of the Bible was "a mighty hunter". I guess even the mighty fall, at least verbally.

Tomorrow my goal is to actually finish Genesis, but I will stop if I lose focus.


  1. Do the punishments given seem to be enlightened and based on what's best for the person, or do they seem vindictive and unlikely, in many cases, to contribute to the evolution of the person?

    I think the biblical Nimrod isn't the etymology of the derogatory nimrod, but oi, what do I know, I'm just some nimrod on the internet ^_^

  2. I'll look forward to hearing/reading your progress, Martina. The Bible through a poet's lens should be fascinating. It will be good to keep in mind that a lot of the stuff you read was written as poetry and song. Actually, a lot of it was oral tradition before it came to be in the book.
    I find the stories are a wonderful glimpse into the minds of those who have encountered God and are trying to make sense of Holy Mystery.
    Keep posting!
    todd farnsworth

  3. addendum: actually...some of the stories are a troubling glimpse into the minds of those who have encountered God...

  4. By the way, note in passing -

    "I was happy to notice that God appeared to be anti-capital punishment."

    How does this match with the genocide at Sodom and Gomorrah?