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Thursday, 14 January 2010

Breaking down the Bible.
(Genesis, 1)

“The light and spirit of the Divinity are the wings of the soul.” — Plato

I’ve always believed that the Bible was one of the most abstruse, mysterious and mind-boggling books ever written in the world. That explains why there have been so many contradictory interpretations of the same text, none of which made the meaning any clearer, though. No doubt it’s a record of historical events, moral guidance and words of wisdom, but I wonder how much of its text was added by Pharisees and later Christian priests seeking to manipulate and enslave the uncultured masses, "survived the purging of texts considered to be heretical (either out of stupidity or in order to look after the clergy's mean interests) in the founding years of Christianity as a church", or was simply lost in translation. As an Italian saying goes: traduttore — traditore (a translator — a traitor). 
Mind that I’ve never had doubts about the existence of God, the simplest proof, at least to me, being that humans have never managed to get round the fundamental laws of nature — I mean, we still get ill, age and die, and to the best of my knowledge there’s still no way out of this vicious circle. However, the descriptions of God leave much to be desired.
Then, one day it struck me that I could start a series of posts about things I never managed to understand in the Holy Writ and those I think I do, but not in an orthodox way. Since such questions haunt many independent spirits, I’ll try to make my measly contribution to the great task of enlightening muddled minds, including mine. So without further ado, I’m setting off.

Genesis 1:1

‘In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.’

Bereshit aleph, Genesis on egg
Bereshit aleph,
Genesis on egg
Well, this poses the same question as the Big Bang theory: what was before the Big Bang or, better say, what was God doing before creating the heaven and the earth? In the case of the Big Bang string theory says it was caused by the collision of two p-branes that existed before, resulting in the creation of our universe. At least it makes some sense.

As for God, supposedly He has existed and will for ever, which means eternity, a concept difficult to grasp for a mortal mind. Was He just meditating and, according to Aristotle’s Metaphysics, contemplating His own thought process? Or was He creating other universes, earths and living creatures?
The history of the known universe only encompasses a few days of God’s everlasting activity, with the creation of physical laws, the building of solar system with its planets and the launch of the evolution of life forms (yes, Darwin’s evolution) on the earth squeezed into 7 days.

Genesis 1:26

‘And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.’

First of all, why the perfect, self-contained being would want to create someone outside Himself is anybody’s guess. May be when divine boredom grabbed hold He thought that some kind of show was a good idea, either that or He had some vested interest we obviously haven’t cracked yet. Can the perfect being get bored? Doesn’t seem logical, but we’ll talk about God’s feelings down the line.

Another riddle is the usage of the plural pronoun “our” with the singular word “image”! Was there anyone else with God there who shared image with Him, or did He mean His plural nature, that is, the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit? Assuming the latter is true, who do we take after and look like: the Father, the Son, the Holy Spirit or the three altogether? Beats me, how come the Maker, that is perfection, produced such a flawy copy of Himself; unless that was the idea, but, then again, why?

Secondly, knowing what kind of creature he created (because the perfect being would know, wouldn’t He?), why would He punish fish, fowl, cattle and every creeping thing by letting man have dominion over them? Weren’t they innocent by default?

Genesis 1:27

'So God created man in His own image, in the image of God created He him; male and female created He them.'

The fact that He created someone in His own image suggests He was in desperate need of a companion, which is contradictory for, again, the perfect being. Besides, if we judge people by the company they keep..., but of course you can’t measure God by human standards.

What’s more, I’m at a loss to understand what was the woman created for? Why not a hermaphrodite instead? Or was she designed to keep His companion company? Like buying a toy for your pet? Or the show promised more fun with two genders? Although a romantic would argue that love was meant to warm or spice up our otherwise tedious lives, by keeping our minds off our miseries.

To be continued...

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  1. Funny stuff, and thought provoking!!!!

  2. Thanks, right what I intend it to be.

  3. I must admit that my principal interest in the Bible is the question: why do some people take it all literally? Why, in particular, do fundamentalist Christians take such exception to the theory of evolution? You mention the Big Bang and string theory, neither of which I take seriously, but perhaps I should point you at my own analysis of the science v. religion argument, which I call Knowledge or Certainty.

  4. People with arrested intellectual development, and therefore unable to think critically, are always eager to find any pretext to build their fanaticism on, be it religion or science, and thus feel terra firma under foot.


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