Genesis – Chapter 6: The Flood Part I

Given the title of Genesis Chapter 6, we are likely to encounter much more excitement than Chapter 5.  Chapter 5 was simply a list of descendants from Adam to Noah, along with a mention of ridiculously old aged characters and old aged fatherhood.  Chapter 6 is titled “The Flood”.  That alone brings excitement!

We know from the end of Chapter 5 that Noah was 500 years old when he became the father of Shem, Ham, and Japeth.  Wow!  And I thought 100 years was old to be a father, but Noah was 500!  Note my sarcasm.  Chapter 6 begins with more misogyny.

“…the sons of God saw that the daughters of men were beautiful, and they married any of them they chose.” – Genesis 6:2

Sigh.  Where to start?  For starters, notice the language.  Men are the sons of God, but daughters are the offspring of men.  Again, women are placed a step beneath men according to God.  Then we have the second part of the verse.  Men married any of them (daughters) they chose.  So women had no choice?  Apparently.  This just angers me.  How can we believe a single word of the Bible when it is so full of misogyny?  Next God makes a bold statement.

“’My spirit will not contend with man forever, for he is mortal; his days will be a hundred and twenty years.’” – Genesis 6:3

Just like that God decides men were living too long and limits their life to 120 years.  That’s more in line with the lifetime of humans today, but humans have exceeded 120 years.  The oldest verified human before death was 122 years 164 days. What did God mean by 120 years?  Humans have exceeded that!  Did God mean “about” 120 years?  If so, why wasn’t he specific in the Bible?  He is God and therefore should be able to make the Bible as specific as possible.

God also comes to the conclusion that men are evil.

“The Lord saw how great man’s wickedness on Earth had become, and that every inclination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil all the time.” – Genesis 6:5

Well God, you have only yourself to blame.  You created man.  You created evil.  It’s your fault!  I also think God is being a bit over-dramatic here.  All men are evil ALL the time.  Every single thought by man is an evil thought?  I highly doubt that.  Instead of fixing man, as God has the ability to do, God decides to kill them all.

“So the Lord said, ‘I will wipe mankind, whom I have created, from the face of the earth – men and animals, and creatures that move along the ground, and birds of the air – for I am grieved that I have made them.’” – Genesis 6:7

Wow!  You’re going to destroy all living men and animals?  What did the animals do?  How are the animals evil?  I get that you can fix this problem you created in any way you wish, but it seems as if you’re doing it the hardest way possible.  Why not just snap your fingers and remove evil from the world?  An all-powerful God, after all, has the power to do that.  Then God finds favor in Noah, after just saying ALL men were evil ALL the time.  Which is it God?  All men, or most men?  Make up your mind!

God then tells Noah his plan and Noah just accepts this with no questions asked.  I have to tell you that if God called on me and told this to me, I’d be asking some questions!  God then says:

“’You are to bring into the ark two of all living creatures, male and female, to keep them alive with you.’” – Genesis 6:19

Any child will read this and ask, “how did they all fit in the ark, given the ark has specific dimensions as given in Genesis 6:15-16?”  The Christian apologist will respond by arguing that God didn’t mean two of every animal, but just two of every “kind” of animal.  To their credit, verse 20 uses this language.

“’Two of every kind of bird, every kind of animal and of every kind of creature that moves along the ground will come to you to be kept alive.’” – Genesis 6:20

According to the Christian apologists, only two of every kind of animal is needed.  Sorry, survival doesn’t work that way.  If you have only 2 of a species, that species is doomed.  There would be a vast amount of incest to repopulate, leading to genetic mutations, and a very unlikelihood of surviving.  On top of that, fitting every ‘kind’ of animal and bird into this ark is impossible.  There still isn’t enough room.  Again, the science simply doesn’t hold up.  And what about the fish?  Yes, I know they can swim in the water, but if the Earth is filled with water, fresh water lakes will mix with salt water oceans and many species of fish will perish.  I guess God thinks fish are evil too.

Chapter 6 definitely destroys Chapter 5 in excitement level.  To do that, however, it had to launch into a bunch of nonsense that very basic science tells us is impossible.  In this chapter we learned that God finds all of mankind evil, except for Noah.  Instead of fixing things the simple way, God plans to wipe out every living creature through a flood.  Where’s the water coming from?  Since there’s no science in this chapter, there’s no need to offer an explanation for the water.  We just have to take it on faith.  God, after all, works in mysterious ways. 🙂

Coming Soon:  Genesis – Chapter 7:  The Flood Part II

Happy Thanksgiving!

I wish all readers a happy Thanksgiving!  Stay inside with your family.  Let other families celebrate with their families.  Stores stay open only because there’s a market for the store to remain open.  If no one shopped on Thanksgiving, the stores would realize it’s a money loser and would keep their doors closed.  If family means something to you on Thanksgiving, then stay home and let other families celebrate as you are able to.

Also, if you have to pray at Thanksgiving dinner, make sure to give thanks where thanks is needed.  Thank God if you wish, but make sure to thank the people who made it possible for you to have a turkey at your dinner table.  Be thankful to the employers of those who can stay home with their families at Thanksgiving.  I can’t stop you from praying to God, so by all means do, but please don’t forget that many others out there are making YOUR Thanksgiving possible.

Genesis – Chapter 5: From Adam to Noah

Before jumping into Genesis Chapter 5, let’s do a quick recap of Chapter 4.  In Chapter 4 we learned Adam and Even had two sons, Cain and Abel.  Cain killed Abel over God’s disapproval of an offering.  God punishes Cain, if you can call building a city a punishment.  Cain married his sister who magically appeared.  And God hates women.  Of the chapters discussed thus far, Chapter 5 has the least amount of excitement.  It’s really just a list of descendants between Adam and Noah.  Chapter 5 does start with an interesting verse, however:

“…When God created man, he made him in the likeness of God.  He created them male and female and blessed them.  And when they were created, he called them ‘man’.” – Genesis 5:1-2

This verse supports the story of creation in Chapter 1 in that Adam was not the first human on Earth.  The verse implies God created multiple humans at the same time.  This makes more sense and avoids the incest problem discussed in my Chapter 4 analysis.  However, it contradicts the story of creation in Chapter 2 when God started Earth, before animals, with Adam as the only human and Eve as the second human.  So which is true?  They both can’t be true and this is an early problem in the Bible.

“When Adam had lived 130 years, he had a son in his own likeness, in his own image; and he named him Seth.” – Genesis 5:3

Wow…that’s old to have a child!  I wonder how shriveled Adam’s family jewels were and how he was able to “get it up” without the invention of Viagra or Cialis!  🙂  If we assume for a moment that Adam was 130 years old, it’s not altogether impossible for a man to father a child at this age.  Sperm production falls off with age, but older men do have children.  The oldest father to date is a man in India who fathered a child at the age of 96 years old.  Adam was 34 years older, but I can probably convince myself this is possible.  What I cannot convince myself is possible is the age at which Adam died.

“…Adam lived 930 years, and then he died.” – Genesis 5:5

Seriously?  No, not possible.  Science very clearly tells us this is not even close to being possible.  Apparently Adam had a much different aging process.  Maybe he stayed young until the age of 500 before showing signs of age.  Or maybe he aged normally to the age of 100 and then lived as a very old man for the next 830 years.  Who knows?  Well, science knows, and it tells us that Adam did NOT live to be 930 years old.

The same story holds true for the descendants of Adam.  From Adam to Noah, Chapter 5 lists each descendant.  They are all males of course.  Females are again not important to God or to the authors of the Bible.  The youngest descendant of Adam at the age of death was Enoch, who died at the young age of 365 years.  Poor guy.  Such a short life.  🙂  The oldest, Methuselah, died at the age of 969 years.  So much for God’s punishment to Adam for sinning.  For your sin, you will only live a millennium!  Way to go God.  I’m sure Adam is shivering in his boots.

The other problem is that all of these men had their first son at an old age.  The youngest age of the father at which a male descendant was born was 65 years old.  Definitely possible to father a child at that age, but why not sooner?  What were these descendants doing in their 20s?  30s?  40s?  50s?  Please don’t tell me they were saving themselves for the right women.  We know that’s not true!

And how is it possible that no one dies from an illness?  We know from history life expectancy was much lower than currently.  In the 1700s, just 300 years ago, the average life expectancy was in the mid 30s.  Yet in a time with less understanding of medicine, people lived 2,900% longer!!!  Nope, not possible.  To believe this is true is to completely ignore every bit of science known to man today.  Unfortunately this is exactly what too many people do.  If the authors really wanted to convince followers of the truth of the Bible, they should have written the truth.  Men fathered children yes, but likely in their teens or early 20s, and most men died in their 30s.  It wouldn’t solve all Bible problems, but it would have solved some.

To recap, in Genesis Chapter 5 we learned that God created the world much like He did in Chapter 1, but nothing like he did in Chapter 2.  Men (who knows about women) lived for nearly a millennium.  Men were able father children well past 100 years old.

Timeline

My goal is to update this blog at a rate of 3- 6 times per week.  Updates will not always be an analysis of a Bible chapter.  I anticipate posting a Bible chapter analysis 2-3 times per week.  The other day I asked myself how long will it take me to complete my analysis.  First I needed the total number of chapters in the Bible.  A quick Google search reveals 1,189 chapters.  The books of the Bible range from a low of 1 chapter (several books) to 150 chapters (Psalms).  So how long will it take?

At a rate of 2 chapters per week, I will finish in May 2026.  Hmmm, that’s pretty far into the future.  Who knows if there’ll even be blogs then!

At a rate of 3 chapters per week, I’ll finish much sooner, in July 2022.  Still pretty far into the future, but not as far.

It’s possible that for books with shorter chapters or less going on in each chapter, I’ll publish more per week.  I’m not really concerned that the timeline to finish may be too long.  If I try to finish it sooner, my deep reading of the Bible may turn into a simple skimming and that’s not my goal.  I’m just thankful I didn’t decide to analyze the Bible one verse at a time.  There are 31,000+ verses!  At a rate of 3 verses per week I would finish in 2215 C.E.!!!  I’d love to live to a healthy 200+ years old, but something tells me that won’t happen.  🙂

Genesis – Chapter 4: Cain and Abel

In Genesis Chapter 3 we learned snakes talk.  We learned Eve is to blame for all evil in the world and because of her, all women will suffer a painful childbirth.  Adam is punished too, but gets complete control over Eve, as do all husbands over wives.  We learned Adam and Eve are the ONLY two people on the planet.  We also learned the woman’s name is Eve and God lies.  Quite the interesting chapter!  Let’s see what Chapter 4 brings us.

In verse 1 we learn Adam gets “lucky” if you know what I mean.  😉

“Adam lay with his wife Eve, and she became pregnant and gave birth to Cain.  She said, ‘With the help of the Lord I have brought forth a man.’  Later she gave birth to his brother Abel.” – Genesis 4:1-2

We learn that Abel tends the animals and Cain works the soil (crops).  Cain brings an offering of fruit to the Lord, and Abel brings an offering of the fat portions from some of the firstborn of his flock.  God looks upon Abel with favor but does not look upon Cain with favor.  At first I didn’t understand this.  Both are presenting an offering to God, but God chose favor for one and not the other.  However, upon closer reading, I now understand that Abel offered God the best of the best of his flock, while Cain offered some random fruit.  It could have been rotten fruit for all we know.  Thus I’m okay with God showing favor toward Abel and not Cain.  I still think this God is being an ass for requiring offerings, but that’s another issue.

Long story short, Cain murders Abel.

“…And while they were in the field, Cain attacked his brother Abel and killed him.” – Genesis 4:8

At his point I have a question.  How does Cain know that murder is evil?  It seems obvious it should be, but I’ve heard many Christians argue the ten commandments were necessary to inform society of what is right and wrong in the eyes of God.  It could be said, and arguably so, that Cain, as a creation of God, already knew that murder was wrong, but if so, why were the ten commandments even necessary?  I’m getting a bit off track, but these are serious questions.

The Lord then says:

“Then the Lord said to Cain, ‘Where is your brother Abel?'” – Genesis 4:9

Really?  You’re the Lord of all creation.  You’re an all knowing Lord.  Why don’t you know where Abel is at?  Cain’s response is a bit snarky, but far short of what I would have said.

“‘I don’t know,’ he replied.  ‘Am I my brother’s keeper?'” – Genesis 4:9

Well played Cain.  I would have thrown in a few curse words.  Obviously Cain has done an evil thing.  Cain should not have murdered his brother over an offering to God.  God, however, should not be surprised.  He’s the one who introduced evil into the world, back in Genesis Chapter 3.  God can be disappointed, but He shouldn’t be surprised.  Evil is His own fault.

God then places a curse on Cain, but Cain argues it is too much of a punishment.

“…’When you work the ground, it will no longer yield its crops for you.  You will be a restless wanderer on the Earth.’  Cain said to the Lord, ‘My punishment is more than I can bear’…But the Lord said to him, ‘Not so; if anyone kills Cain, he will suffer vengeance seven times over.’  Then the Lord put a mark on Cain so that no one who found him would kill him.” – Genesis 4:12-15

We’re taught by religion God is an all-knowing, all good God who doesn’t make mistakes.  Why is God changing His mind in these verses?  Granted, it’s not as blatant a change in decision as we’ll later see, but it’s still a change in decision.  Why does an all-knowing God need to change his mind?  Didn’t He already know the best course of action?  If not, is He really an all-knowing God?  Here God places a harsh punishment on Cain, but then changes his mind such that Cain would NOT risk death by the hands of another.  How is this a punishment?  What about the others who don’t have the mark of God?  Is it okay to murder them?  Will they not suffer seven years of vengeance for murder?  There’s simply too much inconsistency and holes in God’s punishment of Cain.

“Cain lay with his wife, and she became pregnant and gave birth to Enoch.” – Genesis 4:17

Wait, hold on just a second!  Where did Cain’s wife come from?!?!?  There’s Adam and Even who gave birth to Cain and Abel.  If Adam and Eve are the first of God’s human creations, they must have given birth to a daughter who then married Cain.  Cain is married to his sister!  Ewwwwwww!!!  I told you to get ready for some incest!  Next Cain builds a city.

“…Cain was then building a city, and he named it after his son Enoch.” – Genesis 4:17

God’s punishment on Cain couldn’t be that horrible if Cain is able and has the resources to build a city!  It’s not every day someone builds his/her own city, yet Cain did.  I can’t help but feel that God’s punishments aren’t always punishments.

We then learn about several generations of Cain’s descendants, ending with Lamech, who had two wives.

“Lamech married two women, one named Adah and the other Zillah.” – Genesis 4:19

God is not punishing Lamech for marrying two wives.  God doesn’t even tell Lamech this is wrong.  One can only conclude from this that God supports polygamy.  Lamech then confides in his two wives that he killed a man.  Um…okay.  Welcome to the ever growing club of biblical characters killing other biblical characters.  Eventually we’ll ask, “Who hasn’t killed someone else in the Bible?”

The end of Chapter 4 introduces another inconsistency.

“Adam lay with his wife again, and she gave birth to a son and named him Seth, saying, ‘God has granted me another child in place of Abel, since Cain killed him.'” – Genesis 4:25

If Seth is the first child of Adam and Eve’s since Abel, where did Cain’s wife come from.  Again, this is a concern.  If Adam and Even had a girl, who became Cain’s wife, before Seth was born, then this is another case of misogyny in the Bible.  If the girl was born before Seth, then God saw so little importance in her by saying SHE didn’t replace Abel, but only a male child could replace Abel.  It’s okay, you can vomit now.

So what did we learn in Genesis Chapter 4?  We learned that Adam and Even had two sons, Cain and Abel.  Cain killed Abel over God’s disapproval of an offering.  God punishes Cain, if you can call building a city a punishment.  Cain married his sister who magically appeared.  And God hates women.  Get used to the hating women thing in the Bible for it never goes away.

Coming Soon:  Genesis – Chapter 5:  From Adam to Noah

How to Die in Oregon

I was listening to Episode #153 (New Science! & Death with Dignity) of Dogma Debate by David Smalley this past Wednesday.  One focus of the episode was dying with dignity and he mentioned the documentary “How to Die in Oregon”.  I’ve recently looked into the dying with dignity movement and am in full support.  However, I had no idea how the law worked in Oregon.  Unless you’ve been living in a cave with no Wifi access for the last few months, you’ve likely heard about the Brittany Maynard case.  She was diagnosed with terminal cancer and chose to end her life in her own controlled, peaceful way.

Maynard did not live in Oregon at the time of her diagnosis, but fortunately had the time and was able to move to Oregon to establish residency.  She made her choice public, which led to many people calling her a coward.  No.  She’s no coward.  Her choice to end her life with family around her was braver than any choice I’ve made in my life.  I encourage all of you reading this, especially those against death with dignity to watch “How to Die in Oregon”.  The documentary covers both sides of the issue and makes it very clear that people aren’t purchasing this medication to end their life simply to end their life right away.  Even after purchasing the medication the decision is extremely tough.  Most individuals purchase the medication simply to have an option should things get very bad.  Many never take the medication.  It is simply an option.

This is a very serious documentary and very emotional.  It’s a very powerful documentary that will leave you crying, but most of all, thinking.  The documentary is available for streaming on Netflix.  For more on death with dignity, check out the Death with Dignity National Center website.  I urge you not to make hasty conclusions without first studying the facts.  The U.S. would be a much better place if all states had death with dignity laws.  Hopefully, one day, they will.

Genesis – Chapter 3: The Fall of Man

In Genesis Chapter 2 we learned God created the Universe in a much different way than He did in Chapter 1, however impossible that may seem.  We also learned Adam’s first job in life was very boring and he needed a woman to keep him company.  At this point, this woman does not have a name.  We know the woman’s name is Eve, but this isn’t directly stated until the next chapter.

We learn in verse 1 of Chapter 3 the serpent is craftier than the other wild animals.

“Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the Lord had made…” – Genesis 3:1

Really?  Science tells us otherwise.  In terms of intelligence, the serpent doesn’t even crack the top ten.

What are the Smartest Animals?

Yes, I chose a link that responds to a question from a child.  That’s how silly it is to think the serpent is the craftiest of all animals.  If God wanted to send the correct message, he’d have chosen a chimpanzee.  The story gets even better after this.  The serpent talks!!!

“….He (the serpent) said to the woman, ‘Did God really say, ‘You must not eat fruit from any tree in the garden?’” – Genesis 3:1

The serpent has a point.  God did NOT tell the woman not to eat from a certain tree.  He only told Adam and at this point in the Bible we have no evidence Adam passed this information along to the woman.

“’You will not surely die,’ the serpent said to the woman.” – Genesis 3:4

This is in response to the woman telling the serpent God said they would die if they eat from the tree “in the middle of the garden.”  Hang on to this for a moment.  Long story short, the woman eats the apple and gets Adam to eat an apple.  Then they both realized they were naked.

“Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realized they were naked…” – Genesis 3:7

And thus the introduction of pornography to the world.  🙂  God comes looking for Adam and the woman.

“But the Lord God called to the man, ‘Where are you?’” – Genesis 3:9

Isn’t God supposed to be all-knowing?  Why is he asking Adam where Adam is hiding?  Shouldn’t God already know?  If I was God, I’d have a little fun with Adam and scare the ‘you know what’ out of him!  God asks what happened, and Adam points the blame at the woman.

“The man said, ‘The woman you put here with me – she gave me some fruit from the tree, and I ate it.’” – Genesis 3:12

This is another early example of men of the time trying to subject women to their demands.  Instead of the Bible placing equal blame on men and women, the blame is placed entirely on the shoulders of the woman, who at this point STILL doesn’t have a name.  The woman’s response is not all that much better as she pointed the blame on a talking snake.

“The woman said, ‘”The serpent deceived me, and I ate.’” – Genesis 3:13

This is another mistake by the all-powerful God.  He created two beings, a man and a woman, neither of which is willing to take responsibility for his/her own actions.  However, it’s not like this was unexpected.  As I mentioned in my Chapter 2 analysis, God should have expected this to happen.  You don’t place something tempting in front of someone and tell them to ignore it.  Palm…meet…face.

God then punishes the serpent by removing the serpent’s legs.  Yep, apparently snakes had feet during the time of Adam.  To the woman, God punishes her by making child birth painful.

“To the woman he said ‘I will greatly increase your pains in childbearing; with pain you will give birth to children.’” – Genesis 3:16

Again, the woman is to blame.  If it wasn’t for her poor decision, childbirth would be painless!  Thankfully science stepped in and saved the day with the epidural.  God follows this up with:

“Your desire will be for your husband, and he will rule over you.” – Genesis 3:16

Another statement in the Bible on subjecting women to the commands of men.  Any woman who hasn’t thrown her Bible against the wall in disgust at this point needs to re-evaluate her mental capacities.  I’m a man and this disgusts me.  Women will ONLY desire their husbands in life and must let husbands rule?  Sounds like a high quality marriage to me.  Sigh.

God does punish Adam by making Adam toil over the land for food.  I guess that’s something for a punishment, but Adam is also rewarded by being told he has command over his wife.  I would not describe these punishments as equal in fairness.  In verse 20 Adam finally names his wife:

“Adam named his wife Eve, because she would become the mother of all the living.” – Genesis 3:20

How nice of Adam to take a moment to name his wife.  Remember, Eve can’t name herself because she’s under the rule of her husband.  In addition, this verse makes it very clear Adam and Eve were single humans who then populated the Earth.  From this verse, there were NOT other humans on the planet.  I hope everyone reading this is ready for a boatload of incest!

To end Chapter 2, God kicks Adam and Eve out of the Garden of Eden, but not before making a pair of garments for them.  Nice guy.  We also learn that the world now contains both good and evil.

“And the Lord God said, ‘The man has now become like one of us, knowing both good and evil.’” – Genesis 3:22

I have a serious problem with the supposed source of this evil.  My study bible states very firmly that Satan (the serpent) is the introducer of evil into the world.  This makes no sense.  Adam gains knowledge about good and evil by eating an apple from the tree of knowledge.  God put the tree of knowledge in the Garden of Eden.  Had God not done this, there would be no evil.  Satan may have suggested to Eve to eat the apple, but Satan did not introduce evil.  The evil was place in the world by God.  This now presents another very interesting question.  If God is the introducer of evil into the world, how can God be all-good?  Clearly He can’t.  How do we know God isn’t Satan and Satan isn’t God?

Another important question concerns the acquisition of knowledge.  Why does God not want Adam and Eve to gain knowledge?  Does He want his creations to be stupid?  Why would an all-powerful God wish to command an army of stupid humans?  If God is truly an all-good god wanting the best for his creations, He would push the acquisition of knowledge, not hide it.  Therefore, I’m a much bigger fan of the serpent (Satan) than I am of God in this chapter.

To end the discussion on this chapter, let’s go back to Genesis 2:16-17:

“And the Lord God commanded the man, ‘You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; but you must not eat from the tree of knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat of it you will surely die.” – Genesis 2:16-17

Adam and Eve ate the fruit from the tree of knowledge but did not die.  Therefore it is okay to lie because God Himself is a liar.  This is another major parenting mistake.  God threatened His children with a consequence, but did not follow through on said consequence.  Tsk. Tsk.

Let’s do a quick re-cap of Genesis Chapter 3.  We learned that snakes talk.  We learned that Eve is to blame for all evil in the world and because of her, all women will suffer a painful childbirth.  Adam is punished too, but gets complete control over Eve, as do all husbands over wives.  We learned that Adam and Eve are the ONLY two people on the planet.  We also learned that the woman’s name is Eve and God lies.  Quite the interesting chapter!

Coming Soon:  Genesis – Chapter 4:  Cain and Abel