I just picked up a bible i found at my bf's mom's and decided to read it. Is God supposed to be a man? It really doesn't make any sense. It says that god created Adam in the image of himself so I guess he's at least supposed to be man-like but they kind of also convey that he's a spirit. I mean he created the heavens and the earth and all of our animals. He can't just be a man. But then after Adam and Eve eat from the tree of knowledge, God comes walking along in the garden and he's fucking looking for adam? I mean, he's God. Shouldn't he know where Adam is? Shouldn't he already know that they ate the fucking fruit? And God walks? If God walks and stands on shit what the fuck was he standing before he made the world?
there's two versions of the same story that have been (poorly) edited together, hence the contradictions. in the one version of the story he is corporeal and therefore able to walk in the garden, feel the cool breezes, and, later, smell Noah's burnt offering, whereas in the second version he is more of a transcendent omni-being.
check out a post of mine where i explain how it (formally called the Documentary Hypothesis or the JEDP Theory) works using Richard Elliot Friedman's Who Wrote The Bible?.
no problem. glad you enjoyed it. once you see how it works it's pretty cool when you go back and read it and are able to spot the different threads running through the verses. the contradictions make a helluva lot more sense right?
A lot of it makes more sense knowing that.
But I still really don't get get god walking in the garden in adam and eve. I tried googling it and I found christian "apologetic" sites that try to to say god wasn't literally walking. But I think it's very clear that it was literal. I mean, he was walking through the garden actually looking for adam. If he weren't a man, he would have known were adam was.
There are so many points in the bible (or in genesis atleast which I'm almost done reading now) where god seems to just show up and ask whats going on. I mean, I know he's not supposed to be a literal person at those points but it just seems silly.
but god is described as actually smelling Noah's burnt offering, as regretting having flooded the world (Genesis 8:21, from the J document), and as needing to "go down" to see what was going on in Babel (as opposed to being able to see everything everywhere all at once like people generally understand him to be able to today; Genesis 11:5, also from the J document); he can be convinced by argument not to do something (Exodus 32-34, from the E document) and this is after he has been "separated from man" due to original sin. notice that these instances are from either the J or the E documents, the older of the 4 sources that make up the Pentateuch, and not the P source which is the later source based on the beliefs of the priests.
it seems silly to you because the modern conception of the biblical god is of a transcendent omni-being and this is the conception you have when reading Genesis. what needs to be understood is that this wasn't the conception early Israelites had. just like people do now, they had different conceptions of god in different times and in different regions. eventually the oral stories were put down in writing and then edited together into one work. but upon undertaking to edit them together, the editor(s) knew that he/she/they couldn't just ignore the rich tradition of one version of the story in favor of the other because to do so would have alienated the large group of Israelites that favored that version of the story. so he/she/they edited the two stories together as much as they could. the result was a savvy political solution but is filled with contradictions.
Okay, that makes more sense. I was reading it with the concept of god being some kind of spirit. I guess the biggest reason it doesn't make sense is because it's not true.
What's up with people like Noah living 800 years? I guess in the bible it's because god made adam and eve to be immortal until they ate from the tree. But there can't possibly be any truth in that? Some of these websites claim that people in ancient sumeria lived to be hundreds of years old.
I'm sorry if my questions sound stupid.
right. yeah, no, the early Israelites seem to have understood him as being corporeal and as having a real physicality, very much the way the Greek and Roman gods are portrayed as being.
and, yeah, surely the story doesn't make sense from a skeptical standpoint but it also doesn't make sense from a simple narrative standpoint. consider that even if two different people were to write two stories about the day in the life of a typical woman and then someone else tried to edit the two stories together you'd have a story that didn't have any absurd fantastical elements but that still didn't make sense from a narrative standpoint because of the contradictions the end result would almost certainly contain.
the question doesn't sound stupid. but, yeah, certainly there's no truth to it. common to mythology of the time is the notion of those who are favored by the gods living to great unnatural old age. if Christians want to claim that Noah lived to 800 years they'd have to allow that other characters from mythology lived to old age as well. allowing this would seem to also allow that other gods exist and are just as capable of the power it requires to have someone live to extreme old age.
(common misunderstanding: the culture is Sumerian while the country is Sumer. we should say that people in ancient Sumer didn't live to be a hundred years old or that Sumerian people didn't live to be a hundred years old.)
is the beginning of Genesis as far as you got through the bible?
If so, I highly suggest reading a lot more. will find a world of contradictions, and when theists argue with you you will have an idea of what they are talking about.