Thursday, June 17, 2010

Genesis 2-3: Creation (again), Adam and Eve

Chapter 2 starts back at the beginning, with the creation of heaven and earth. Then God makes man “from the dust of the ground,” and puts him in the Garden of Eden. After some time, God creates woman from the rib of the man. All of this is in direct contradiction with the previous chapter, of course. Apparently there are 2 creation stories that contradict each other in the same holy book, who knew?

So God has put Adam and Eve in paradise, but there’s a catch…in this paradise, made by God especially for Adam and Eve, God also put a tree, which apparently serves no purpose other than specifically to tempt Adam and Eve. If they ate from it, they would die.

I imagine creating a paradise for my cat...a room, in my apartment, filled with catnip plants, fish to eat, bits of string to play with, etc. But then I decide to store my poisoned catnip plant of knowledge in that room too, for no good reason. Then I’d explain carefully to the cat that it can have all the catnip it wants, except for this specific catnip. How much sense does that make, when I could just...not put that plant in that room? Or I could even have made a... broccoli of knowledge. You know, something cats don't like anyway. Not that hard.

I have to ask… couldn’t God have just put his tree somewhere else? Or just not made the tree in the first place? Or not made his creations, Adam and Eve, so gullible?

If you’re interpreting this story metaphorically, I suppose it’s OK…but there are people who really think this literally happened! As a literal history, this makes no sense at all.

So Chapter 3, Adam and Eve are in the Garden of Eden, with the tree that they are arbitrarily forbidden to eat from. So of course the serpent tempts Eve, Eve eats from the tree, and gives some to Adam too. Then they hear God walking around and yelling, “Where are you?” so they hide. (Walking? Saying “where are you?” God doesn’t sound so omnipotent in this part) God finds them and learns what happened, and curses the serpent to crawl around on its stomach (what was it doing before, I wonder?), woman to painful childbirth and perpetual servitude to man, and man to labor and toil. Then God made them some nice clothes and sent them away. And he puts a Cherub and a big flaming sword there as guard.

I find it interesting that in Chapter 2, God tells them that if they eat from the tree of knowledge, they would die. Well, they ate, and they didn’t die…did God just lie to them? Maybe it was referring to the point that they were made mortal when they were kicked out of Eden, and so they were made so they would die at some point.

In the new catholic edition of the bible, it actually says that if they ate from the tree, they would die on that same day. Well, that obviously didn’t happen. Which version are we to believe? In one, God is just sort of vague…yeah, you’ll die, but I’m not saying when. In the other, God outright lies to them…if you eat, you’ll die on that same day, which they didn’t.

Isn’t it weird that we have 2 versions of the bible (which 30% of Americans believe is the inerrant and literal word of God), in the same language, that each say such different things?


  1. - Maybe it was referring to the point that they were made mortal when they were kicked out of Eden, and so they were made so they would die at some point.

    Well actually, the bible itself says that is not so...

    Gen 3 - "22 And the LORD God said, “The man has now become like one of us, knowing good and evil. He must not be allowed to reach out his hand and take also from the TREE OF LIFE AND EAT, AND LIVE FOREVER.”"

    This verse makes it pretty clear that they were not immortal in Eden. They would have been, had the eaten from the said magical tree. Since the book itself speaks of a god telling himself that they had not yet done this, it implies that they were always mortal...

  2. Also we get god speaking in the royal we again. Or are their multiple gods (i.e. the ones who Yaweh later on says for people not to worship for he is jealous god.

    Plus I love that the evil knowledge that they gain is that being naked is bad and being clothed is good.