Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Twelve Questions in Genesis

Some Questions about the Creation Story as told in Genesis:

  1. How could there be days before the Sun was made?  (Gen 1:3 vs. Gen 1:14-18)
  2. How could there be plants before there were night and day?  (Gen. 1:11-16)
  3. God made the Sun, the Moon and the Stars but not planets?  Where are the planets?  (Gen 1:14-19)
  4. If God is all-powerful why did he need a day of rest?  (Gen 2:2)
  5. Why aren't microscopic plants and animals mentioned?
  6. Why did God make livestock and then tell Adam & Eve to eat only plants?  (Gen 1:24; Gen 1:29)
  7. Why does Chapter 2 have a different version from Chapter 1?  Were there plants before Man was made or not?  And why was it a problem that there were no crops yet when they already had all they could eat in the Garden?  (Gen 2:5)
  8. If Adam was not alive until God breathed the breath of life into his nostrils, does that mean that a fetus is not alive until it takes its first breath? (Gen 2:7)
  9. If Eve didn't know about good & evil before eating from the tree of good & evil, then how could she be punished for committing evil?  (Gen 3:4)
  10. If God is a spirit, how did Adam & Eve hear him clomping around the Garden of Eden?  (Gen 3:8)
  11. If the serpent was already a serpent, then why did God curse it to crawl on its belly?  Didn't it already do that?  (Gen: 3:14)
  12. If there is only one god, then why did he say, “The man has now become like one of us, knowing good and evil. He must not be allowed to reach out his hand and take also from the tree of life and eat, and live forever." (Gen 3:22)


L.Long said...

Shame be upon you for questioning the words of the Holey Rite.
Woman you are allowing a lack of understanding tempt you to question!
Do you as commanded by the buyBull and Jesus! and turn to your husband for the answers, then pray and your doubts will vanish.
Say Haliluuuuu-ii-aaa!
Say AMEN!!
Welcome back into the fold of the one TRUE church!!!

LadyAtheist said...

Ha! I have no shame! :-p

Shame is for people who have been indoctrinated to believe there is something wrong with them. (But then when they feel too bad their Bible study friends say "God doesn't make junk")

L.Long said...

their Bible study friends say "God doesn't make junk")

But they can say that because their ignorance is so bad they can see how utterly incompetent their gawd is at all the stuff it supposedly made.

LadyAtheist said...

The average Christian believes in all sorts of made-up feel good stuff that's not in the Bible, which is probably a good thing.

Gary S. Hurd said...

The gross error is creationists trying to read the creation myths as if they were science.

The opening sentence of Genesis 1 can be variously translated, but is clearly a reference to "Heavens and Earth" and the primal chaos. These were the traditional witnesses in Mesopotamian oaths sworn between gods, or gods and mankind.

The number seven was the Sumerian magic number for "completion." The Egyptians started the tradition of linking a different planet to each day. We still use those names for the days of the week (translated a bit, and with some Norse god names). So, the "days" were gods, and Genesis 1 basically claims the Hebrew god El (AKA Yahweh) created the gods. The named plants and critters all had associated gods, and again, Genesis 1 asserts that the Hebrew god created them. The Book of Job is even more directly phrased. The six days of creation in Genesis 1 were split into two set, first the domain is created, and then the domains are populated. The Hebrew "shabat" doesn't mean "rest," it means something closer to "quiet contemplation."

The two versions, Genesis 1, and 2, are the result of two very different traditions, the Northern El worshipers, and the Southern Yahweh worshipers. The northerners were much more influenced by the Babylonians. The Council of Gods (bene elohim) is very common in parts of the Torah, and other early texts that were more influenced by the north. As solid background texts, I recommend;

Dalley, Stephanie
2000 Myths from Mesopotamia: Creation, The Flood, Gilgamesh, and Others. Revised Oxford: Oxford University Press

Smith, Mark S.
2002 “The Early History of God 2nd ed.” Grand Rapids: Wm B Eerdmans Publishing

Speiser, E. A.
1962 "Genesis: Introduction, Translation and Notes" New York: Anchor Bible- Doubleday

(Smith is really very good from a scholarly perspective, but his writing style is very thick).

Lala Musings said...

Number 8 - what a perfect argument for those pesky anti-choicers who base their opinion in scripture. I will probably find myself using it at some point in the near future, as these issues seem to crop up on a regular basis. It seems everywhere I go there is another religiously driven loon with whom to engage. ;-)

Herman Cummings said...


If you have questions about Genesis, then you ask the Genesis expert, and not "Creationist Clowns", that don't understand the text.

The first three questions were:
1.How could there be days before the Sun was made? (Gen 1:3 vs. Gen 1:14-18)
2.How could there be plants before there were night and day? (Gen. 1:11-16)
3.God made the Sun, the Moon and the Stars but not planets? Where are the planets? (Gen 1:14-19)

There are no "creation accounts" in Genesis. Theology does not understand this. The seven days are taken from seven different weeks, and the weeks were taken from seven different time periods. The "Observations of Moses" presentation explains this.

The days were revealed/shown to Moses on Mt. Sinai (in Saudi Arabia) for six straight days, 12-hr periods, starting in the evening and ending the next morning.

Moses wrote down what he saw. The planets looked the same as the stars. However, God created ALL the rest of the celestial bodies on the Fourth Day, the ONLY day of Creation week shown to Moses.

Let's discuss these, before going to the other questions.


Sheldon said...

I'm trying to think of what I would have told you during my fundie days.

4: God was setting an example for us to view Sunday as a holy day of rest.

6: Because The Curse hadn't yet come, all was peaceful all the earth still, violence hadn't come into the world, and there was plenty of food provided for them already in the plant life there, which they would later have to work for "by the sweat of their brow"

11. I don't know, maybe it already had feet, and lost them after god cursed it, lol.

12: The plural is used because of the Trinity, god is three in one.

As for the rest, I couldn't come up with an answer, and probably couldn't have back then either...