Image from Gary Larson’s The Far Side (I love that panel).
Anyhoo, I’ve had an interesting time trying to get into re-reading the Bible, both versions I have, side by side so I get the gist and context. I genuinely feel like I need to give the Bible a fair shake, to study it for myself without somebody trying to tell me what’s in it or not to worry my little head about all the “bad things I’m taking out of context.”
And so goes the research.
But I can’t help it…there are plenty of times (maybe because I’ve been sick lately) where I’ve laughed at what I’ve been reading.
At least, at the parts that didn’t make me feel squeamish or annoyed.
So, to continue:
–God made Adam out of dust, but took a rib out of him to make Eve. Why not make her out of dust, too?
–I’m sure Adam had all his ribs after impromptu surgery. And how much genetic info did that rib have to make a whole other being that has no penis but does have a vagina and breasts instead? Hmm.
–The further I go, the more apropos Douglas Adams’ quote is: “In the beginning, the universe was created. This has made a lot of people very angry and been widely regarded as a bad move.”
–How much more fun would Sunday school have been if Genesis began with the Adams quote?
–Funny how literally this creation story is taken by millions of people, and yet in the NIV version, if I read it aloud it sounds like an Aesop fable in its structure and explanations.
–Why have the Tree of Knowledge in the first place? Being omniscient, the first and the last, God had to know they were gonna screw it up. And then it’ll get mad at all of humanity later for screwing up even though it practically ensured they would.
–Why did God look down on Cain’s offering? And how did Cain and Abel know that God didn’t like Cain’s offering? Sheesh, Cain worked hard on the land, God couldn’t give him a break.
–Sibling rivalry taken too far. But honestly, favoritism and sibling rivalry fuels every damned conflict in Genesis. Cain and Abel, Jacob and Esau, etc.
–Wife rivalry’s a big one, too. Wonderful to give women no options in this world.
–If women were just supposed to push out babies and take care of their men, then why do they have fully developed brains that let them think and do as much as men can, all things being equal (and yes, I know they weren’t, but if they were)? The submission message is so damned annoying and pointless. Wouldn’t it have been easier to just have the woman mentally deficient at the start, like the zombies from Shaun of the Dead, only doing basic trained tasks (and having babies) if that was supposed to be the way of things?
–Where the hell did Cain’s wife come from? I’ve had that question since I was 8 and it has NEVER been answered.
–How does anybody know how long Adam, Eve, Enosh, etc. actually lived? It’s not like they were writing down their life stories themselves. Who came up with these numbers?
–NOAH’s FLOOD–yeah, just about every damned thing I can think of is wrong with that story. What the hell is a “kind” or “sort” of animal? Where did the water come from to flood the Earth and where did it go when the flood was done? What the hell did the animals do to deserve to die? Can animals sin? The animals–how did they spread out and get enough food…blah, blah, blah because I’m not asking anything new.
–God’s a lawyer: God promised not to destroy the Earth by flood again, but I think we all know that leaves a thousand other ways for all of us to die. Great.
–I went through Tropical Storm Allison and Hurricane Harvey, so that “not to destroy the Earth” thing seems to be both very specific and malleable.
–Noah’s certainly father of the year–getting drunk and naked and then cursing his youngest for finding him that way. Ugh, he was the idiot who got drunk in the first place. It’s not like Ham wanted to see that!
–And who the hell knew Noah got drunk and nekkid–I doubt the family wanted that embarrassing story to get out!
–God’s cursing the people with different languages after the tower of Babel means essentially that God is responsible for the war and miscommunication that’s come ever since (facepalm).
–God seems to get angry that mankind keeps doing violence to itself, but God made sure they couldn’t have clear communication and work together anymore after Babel…hmm…
–Why did Abram’s name get changed, and his wife’s? What was the point of that?
–Abram fears being killed for his possessions, and basically pimps out his wife (claiming she’s his sister) to save his hide and have men offer him stuff to flatter him so they could get the woman…ugh.
–And because of said “she’s my sister” lie, the Pharaoh sleeps with her and they all get STDs. He flat out said he wouldn’t have done it if he knew Sarai was the man’s wife!
–The whole Lot offering up his virgin daughters to the crowd thing–gah! I’d want to beat him to death…but then there’s the ick factor later.
–How did Lot’s wife turn into a pillar of salt, and how did they know that was her? I thought they couldn’t look back and couldn’t GO back, so how did they know that’s what happened?
–Wife/handmaiden rivalry. Give a woman so few options and she’ll become that stereotypical schemer women are often portrayed as. Hagar had a kid as Sarai asked her to, then beats her for the favors her husband shows on Hagar.
–Of course, this rivalry between mothers means they’ll be using their sons as pawns to gain favors . Favoritism strikes again and creates so many damned problems its ridiculous.
–What’s with God and foreskins and blood? Kinda weird.
–Why didn’t God yell at the people in Sodom and Gomorrah about how pissed it was at their behavior? God seems to talk just fine to other men in the world, why not these people? Why send angels to help Lot out instead? Or is it like Dogma where an angel actually has to be the voice of God because otherwise a human’s head would explode?
–Abraham pulls the “she’s my sister” trick–AGAIN??!!! What the hell? Guess they got a lot of good loot out of it, but damn!
–There are a lot of assholes in this part story. Jacob and Esau are set against each other because of mom’s machinations. It’s all about a freaking inheritance, and Jacob steals it but becomes favored by God. Oh, wait, the ten commandments weren’t written yet, so I suppose “Thou Shalt Not Steal” wasn’t as big a deal yet.
–Good thing God promised he wouldn’t destroy the whole world again so soon. Noah created Humanity 2.0. The way things go the rest of the Old Testament, we’d have had more re-creations of the human lineage than Java updates.
–Jacob’s father in law wants free labor and so tricks him into marrying the wrong sister, then he has to wait a while longer to marry Rachel? Sheesh, how painful and humiliating that must be for Jacob, but also for Leah, who he only married because of a trick and didn’t love? Sucks to be her. Of course, now we’ve got more SIBLING RIVALRY because Leah will have many kids and Rachel has to wait a long time for hers.
–Of course, Rachel’s kid will be the favored one, and that’ll make the SIBLING RIVALRY go REALLY crazy, to the point where all the brothers sell Joseph into slavery. The fathers seem totally oblivious to all this soap opera drama going on in their tents, each and every time.
–Wow–I think Dinah has the only story I can think of where a defiled woman gets revenged. Nice! Helluva trap her brothers set–gross, but effective.
–How many begats do we need to know and why have them? Guess it’s a desperate attempt to reach as far back into antiquity as possible. Every culture had to try and stretch further and further, it seems.
Okay, I think that’s about all I can stand. Genesis is freaking exhausting with the “begats” and the sibling rivalry. You could have a drinking game with those moments and be pretty well buzzed by the end.
That was my initial thoughts…and then I realized the really funny moments I had while reading came about during Exodus, but oh well.