Sunday, January 17, 2010

Genesis Chapter 3

Eve is tempted, she then tempts Adam, they hide from God, and are booted out of the garden. In 24 short verses. Wow. Paradise Lost retells these same 3 chapters in 400 pages.

Love how Adam immediately rats Eve out when God sees they're hiding and nekkid, and doesn't even mention the serpent. Oh, and how suddenly she isn't his wife anymore, but the woman whom thou gavest like when Tom doesn't want to deal with the litter box so he'll say, 'Your cat did something.' And I love how Jerry's footnotes to verse 12 (And the man said, 'The woman whom thou gavest to be with me, she gave me of the tree and I did eat) is, 'Adam blamed the woman and God, since God was the one who brought her to Adam. And then is footnote to verse 13 (And the Lord God said unto the woman, what is this that thou hast done? And the woman said, 'The serpent beguiled me and I did eat') is 'Eve did not take responsibility for eating, either. Blame-shifting is another evasive tactic employed by the fallen man.'

I also love how all throughout this chapter, and actually in the first two as well, the number of gods is just all over the map. In both 1:26 (And God said, let us make man in our image) and 3:22 (Behold, the man is become as one of us), god is plural, but in 3:12 (I commanded), 3:15 (I will put enmity) 3:16 (I will greatly multiply they sorrow), well, you get the picture, there is only one. Of course, Jerry ignores that little contradiction. Polytheism is just too much to deal with when you've got to scour the book for reasons to condemn homosexuals and 'prove' evolution is a lie.

Finally, I've always wondered about these little 'tests' that god is always setting up for man in the Old Testament. Like 'Oh, I'll just put this tree here for no particular reason, then tell you not to eat any of its fruit, then act all offended when you do.' The New Yorker ran an article this year about an experiment in which little kids were sat at a table in front of a marshmallow, and told they could eat it now, or wait 15 minutes, then get two. Then the experimenter left the room and went behind a one-way mirror to see what the kids would do. Most of them caved in 3 minutes. Kinda like Eve here. So there you go: the bible might not have much insight as to evolution, but it's spot-on about human behaviour.


  1. Hi! I too come from a secular humanist background and try to take a strictly empirical approach to all matters religious. I once read the Bible like a novel and found it to be very much like the land that produced it: a vast desert with occasional oases. One oases, at least by my reading, was the Adam and Eve story in Genesis, which seemed to me to maybe have more historical interest than has generally been accorded it. Here was my reading:

    Tell me what you think. thanks, Luke Lea

  2. I think Adam and Eve is an origin myth, and just about every culture out there has one. I certainly believe they're of historical interest and are worth studying, especially by anthropologists and sociologists.