Monday, July 30, 2012

Genesis 1-2: "In the beginning..."

So we are getting back into the bible to continue what we started upon seemingly so long ago. We decided though to hit the book of the bible that most people start with and most people think they know. The goal here is almost to find as many things to question about these books as possible. I have always taken for granted that I know what is in Genesis, but then again we both took for granted that we knew much of the story of David and boy were we informed of a lot that we didn't know about.

The first thing that got us was the title of this book: The first book of Moses called Genesis. Yep...The first book of Moses. Moses doesn't show up in this book and it is his book. Then again, The books of Samuel are more about David than Samuel. Does this mean that Moses put these books together? Or did he write them? Or did he compile stories that were already part of oral tradition.

Goal Accomplished, we haven't even begun this book and we already have a significant question.

OK...more things to question. As we discovered in the David stories, there is some timeline discrepancies. In the first chapter we see God create everything. including man and woman in his own image. Upon finishing this chapter, Molly and I asked a significant question, "What about the whole taking Adam's rib thing?" Ahh, but this gets answered in the 2nd chapter. Although in the 1st chapter, God had already made the animals and had made man and woman at the same time, God creates the beasts again in the 2nd chapter so Adam has some company. He then lets Adam name them all and then only once a suitable mate is not found, God makes woman for Adam out of his rib.

Now, in the 1st chapter, God made the beasts first and then Adam. In the 2nd chapter it is the other way around. How could this be? Is the 2nd chapter a re-telling in more detail of the 1st? It doesn't seem so because the 2nd chapter picks up where the first ends. The 7th day happens in the 2nd chapter, not the first. So, in the 2nd chapter, God made animals and woman after the seventh day, whereas they were created in the 6th day in the 1st chapter. Is it possible that the writer of Genesis (Moses or not) was combining a number of creationist stories from the oral tradition of the Hebrews into one book? We see this sort of thing in Catholicism quite a bit in the early days of the church. Stories of previous faiths and peoples get combined into one new dogma to unify people behind one belief. Is this the answer to the question? not necessarily, but at least it has gotten us thinking quite deeply about something we thought we already knew about.

Enough on that though...There are loads of other questions that we can ask about these first chapters (and have between ourselves). We suggest you read or re-read them for yourselves and start questioning what you have taken for granted that you already "know."

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