The genealogies in the early part of Genesis seem superfluous, don't they? But what's this bit that doesn't follow the pattern? Enoch? What's so significant about him? Everyone else mentioned died, which is to be expected. After all, you've studied and, in studying, you must have learned that man is mortal. But Adam and Eve had that shot at the Tree of Life after they ate of the fruit of Knowledge. God denied them that shot because of their sin. Enoch's mention bridges the narratives of Gen. 1-11 by indicating that God is still willing to give immortality to those who live faithfully. In short, he still gives a crap about people, which will be very important to a guy named Noah.
I swear, I'd been stressing over the accusations made by Philip Pullman and many others that the Lord doesn't want humanity to be wise and think for ourselves when I suddenly remembered: when he offered King Solomon one wish, and Solomon wished for vast wisdom, the Lord could not have been more pleased! -Lale
If God wants us to be wise then why does he give us so much misinformation and then tell people to not question his word?
"The foolishness of God is wiser than the wisdom of men." A lot of things are counter-intuitive, and trying to reason them without faith in God leads to the wrong answer. All wisdom ultimately comes from God, and if we try to be wise without Him, we get in over our heads without even realizing it.
Outside the first chapters of Genesis, which many now take figuratively anyway, I'm curious as to what this "misinformation" is, exactly. - Ultimate CK
Also, one could argue that Solomon asked more for "being able to make the right decisions based on what I have/know" than "knowing more"?
A hundred Philistine foreskins? Ugh. King Saul, why would you command David to perform such a disgustingCollection Sidequest? Well, Saul wanted David to give him proof that he had slain 100 of the enemy, and a taking a tally of heads, hands or whatnot made it far too easy to cheat, since those could be collected from David's own dead soldiers. With that in mind, what part of the body did their [uncircumcised] Gentile foes still have that the Israelites did not?
After reading first and second Samuel, I could never quite get over what David did to Bathsheba in Samuel 2. There were times I could succeed in not feeling anger whenever I thought of him, but I always held a certain amount of venom towards him for a short time. I thought "well so what if they patched things up? Bathsheba still got downgraded from being that special woman in marriage to a loving, monogamous man, to simply being another one of David's wives". I thought "why didn't David dissolve the marriage so she could go out to be someone elses only wife, instead of living the rest of her days competing with his other wives for attention?" I knew that God said he'd give David's wives to Absalom, but it later describes Absalom as laying with his concubines instead, so I always thought David had circumvented that command somehow....And then it hit me. Those concubines must've been David's wives at one point, as they were described as widows after David puts them in a house and doesn't lie with them again, therefore, it seems Bathsheba was the only wife David had left, as she isn't forced to live in confinement like David's former wives. Upon this revelation, one wonders whether God taking away David's other wives was to serve the double purpose of punishing David AND compensating Bathsheba so that she'd once again have a husband all to herself, and not have to be reduced to competing with other wives. In any case, it was upon this revelation that I was finally able to get over it completely (instead of only partially), knowing that Bathsheba was able to get David's full UNDIVIDED attention.
You have to remember though that Bathsheba hardly was innocent. While she didn't kill Uriah, she did cheat on him. So losing her firstborn and having to compete with rivals was quite fair, when you think about that she had commited not only a great sin, but it was also a serious crime at the time, and the normal punishment would have been that she and David would have been executed. So it was really merciful of God, that he would let them survive and become the parents of the next king of Israel (Salomon).
Some people might argue that since David was the king, Bathsheba had no choice but to let him do what he wanted to do with her. But she did have a choice, as we could later see with Susanna in the Apocrypha version of The Book of Daniel (she refused to cheat on her husband, even if that almost ended badly for her). So if Bathsheba had been as righteous as Susanna, or if she simply had really loved Uriah, it is very likely that she would have refused to sleep with David, even if that could have had harsh consequences for her. Of course, we never got to hear her side of the story or hear her feelings about what happened. But it makes sense to think that Bathsheba was stuck in a loveless marriage to a man, whom she found nice but boring and whom she couldn't love back. So when David summoned her to him and told her that he wanted her, she found it flattering and exciting and didn't care if what they did was wrong or not. Either way, it is pretty safe to conclude that she wasn't innocent. Because if she had been a guiltless victim of David's lust for her, the text would have told us that she was.
On another note, Abraham's apparent willingness to sacrifice Isaac, even though God said that he would provide a sacrifice, always bugged me. Abraham was about ready to kill his son when he heard the ram. But then again, this is the same guy who lied to both Pharaoh and Abimelech about his wife (saying she was his sister) and who lost faith that God would provide a son through Sarah and slept with her servant Hagar. By this point in the story Abraham has a well-established track record of jumping the gun and making baseless assumptions even when God has already demonstrated his will and his power in Abraham's life on numerous occasions. The attempted sacrifice of Isaac is well within Abraham's character and experience (he did come from a society that practiced human sacrifice, after all).
I once heard a different interpretation of that story where Abraham is secretly testing God to see if he is the kind of deity that would demand a man to kill his son. Not sure if the text supports this at all, but it's given the story a greater poignancy and depth for me.
Here's the thing. God promised to make Abraham's descendants through Isaac a great nation, and if Isaac died, God wouldn't be able to keep his promise. God had already proven himself to be more than faithful in keeping his promises to Abraham (i.e. giving him a son when he was older than 100). In addition, he'd proven himself to be very, very powerful. In Abraham's place, I would assume that God would provide (provide a lamb, bring Isaac back to life, etc. Abraham knew what he was doing.
Abraham was stopped before he touched the knife, meaning it was the thought that counted. He was also extremely old, compared to a son who would have been in the prime of his youth. It may have been that he told his son about this and agreed to it. It could also then be tied in Jesus's (The Lamb's) sacrifice later on. It could be shown as practicing what you preach, in being willing to have yourself/your son do what you asked others to do, though goes even further in instead allowing animal sacrifices as a stopgap measure until the point when there was one final sacrifice that could pay for all.
As stated above, God was giving Abraham a Secret Test of Character, which the latter passed. Before he had to carry it out, God stopped him and provided a lamb for sacrifice. Even if that hadn't happened God, being The Omnipotent, could have easily done something such as reverse time, bring Isaac back to life or prevent the knife from penetrating his skin to name a few.
The location where Abraham was willing (probably) to sacrifice Isaac has been lost to history. Oddly enough, one decent guess is Golgotha - the place Jesus was crucified. (Also note: if the location was remembered, would crucifixions have taken place there? Probably not...) -Robinton
Actually, a more careful analysis will reveal that what appear to be contradictions are pretty much misunderstandings of the timeline which can be easily cleared up by using historical context. The most obvious of these, and the one which is most frequently pointed out as a contradiction, would be Genesis two, which upon careful examination, is really just the latter part of Genesis one, but in slightly more detail. Other examples of seeming contradiction usually have to do with misunderstanding particular terms used in modern translations, due to the fact that English doesn't have words with quite the same meanings as their Greek/Hebrew counterparts. A good example of such a word, while not controversial in meaning, would be the Hebrew word "Hesed" which has no direct translation, but is frequently used to mean "lovingkindess," "covenant love," etc. So basically, whenever one runs into a contradiction, it's prudent to assume that one is misreading, and do the research to clear it up, mainly due to the fact that the Bible has, heretofore, proven to be an impeccably reliable historical resource.
You never really "get" God's behavior toward the end of the Old Testament until you go through a brutal breakup in which the other party was entirely to blame. Yeah, I have more respect for him now, considering Israel was effectively cheating on him for centuries and he patiently put up with that s___.
In fact, once you see God this way, a lot of his actions make more sense. He freed Israel from slavery (certainly a good thing) and initiated a relationship with them. But it was exclusive, as far as deities go. It helps that any other gods are unreal. But, we wouldn't bat an eye at a boyfriend or girlfriend insisting that a relationship be exclusive. For some reason, it can be hard to see God the same way. Thus when the Israelites immediately go and worship a Golden Calf, it wasn't a matter of God being selfish, but Israel being spiritually slutty.
In addition, this in light of the fact that the other gods were unreal or a case of mistaken identity regarding another supernatural being, albeit one less powerful and benevolent than God, and it was in the face of everything God did for them (right down to giving the Israelites a variety of food because they grew bored with the first food item He gave them).
Even then, God still offered reconciliation, after the numerous times Israel cheated on Him.
Some of God's stronger punishments (such as killing thousands for mourning or the Plagues of Egypt), especially how there are more strong punishments in the Old Testament than the New Testament, may be off-putting and have at times been cited by critics as reasons to question His benevolence. However, what happened in both cases was not "a few sinned so God punished many" but "many sinned so God punished some of them." It's not Disproportionate Retribution, but Make an Example of Them.
What happened to Ananias, Sapphira, and Herod Agrippa I in the Acts of The Apostles also shows that God still hates sin as much as he does in the Old Testament
Anyone's who's read the Book of Esther or seen the film "One Night with the King" can testify to the fact that this is 100% correct. The pregnant wife of King Agag survived the Israelite's genocide against the Amalekites and her son, Haman, made it his mission in life to commit genocide against all of the Jews in the Persian Empire (and would have succeeded if not for Esther). A very chilling answer to the question of "Why couldn't God tell them to spare the children?"
I was reading the Old Testament, and noticed the pattern of younger siblings being put over older siblings, especially with Abraham's descendents, but also with Rachel and Leah. Then an idea hit me - both the Jews and the Christians are called God's children, right? I'm not writing this to insult the Jews, because I think Judaism is awesome, but I think there's a parallel that has Jews as the firstborn like Ishmael, Esau, Leah and so one, while Christians are the second child, like Issac, Jacob and Rachel. -Dandelion Fire
I couldn't help but think while reading the above that Jesus is referred to as the firstborn of all Creation, and is commonly acknowledged (in Christian circles, at least) as God's son. And in keeping with the pattern, God has put the younger children -Christians - ahead of the firstborn by sacrificing him. -Sir Mayday
There's the really common belief that Ishmael's children are the Muslims while Issac's are the Jews. I think it might be in the Koran, but when it comes to the Bible, that's Fridge Logic. -Dandelion Fire
The Apostle Paul's allegorical comparison of Hagar to Jewish law and Sarah to the Law of Life in Galatians 4 may in fact have doubled as a prophetic prediction of the rise of (highly legalistic) Islam and that's awesome.
Jesus is technically a bastard child. Going on the assumption that Mary was a virgin who had never done the deed, he quite literally had no father. Going on the assumption that Mary was a virgin - as in unmarried - he was also a bastard child.
Born to a teenage mother, no less.
ALL mothers were teenaged before modern medicine. Childbirth was often deadly for both mother and child and probability of survival was greater if the woman STARTED having kids as early as possible. Women without children could die if they had their first at an advanced age. This is the real reason men had multiple wives. Women DIED. Now, not so much.
Joseph, Mary, and Jesus went to Egypt for a good many years so it is unlikely they told anyone about what happened. Joseph and Mary also seemed to have had multiple younger children, who I imagine would look generally the same as the other two. My personal theory is that Jesus basically took after Joseph in looks.
Not only that, but recall Deut. 23:2 "No one born of a forbidden union may enter the assembly of the Lord." Jesus knows exactly how it is to be an outcast, which may have something to do with why he's so eager to reach out to those on the fringes of society.
I'll toss out this theory about Abraham and Isaac: it's one of many religious reforms that populate the bible and the post Jesus history of Christianity. In Abraham's day, he was immersed in a society that worshiped the Canaanite Gods. These God demanded Child sacrifice. So when JHWH ordered him to kill Isaac, he makes no protest, nor does Isaac. Off they go to do the deed in the prescribed manner, and at the last minute JHWH says "stop - don't do that anymore. Kill this ram instead" thus the substitution of killing livestock instead of humans. Later Jesus comes along when animal sacrifice is a major industry and he, too says "stop - don't do that anymore. Instead sacrifice your spirit / will". Pretty much any major shift in worship is the same thing - a method of worship becomes outdated, or morally repugnant, or obviously damaging to society, and someone invokes God to change it. Islam replaced the brutal fights over the divinity of Christ. Protestantism replaced Catholic secular power (to a certain extent). Other examples are left as an exercise to the reader.
I'll point out that this only makes sense in a secular context. If you believe the word of the Bible, social reform is not God's prerogative, and His Word does not grow old. - Ultimate CK
This was pointed out to me in jest, but it makes complete sense upon further meditation: Old Testament God was a giant raging jerk of the brimstone and hellfire sort; if you sinned against him he'd call down plagues and curses and floods and all sort of nasty stuff, and woe betide you if you were even a little rude to his Chosen People. New Testament God preaches mercy and kindness and turning the other cheek and treating your fellow man as you would have him treat you and being understanding to the ignorant. What happened in between? He got laid.
Like many, He mellowed out after having a kid.
Joking aside, one way you could to explain the Character Development between OT/NT God was His becoming human and gaining the experience of a human life, human pain, human hopes and dreams, achievements and failures, love and loss, and a human death. He experienced what it was like to be on the other side of wrath, mysterious ways and a plan for everybody. He experienced fear and loneliness and immense suffering, just like everyone else. God became more merciful and less angry when He gained a human perspective of His own world and Himself. Imagine you made yourself live as one of your Sims for thirty years or so. You'd probably be less inclined to go back to removing doorways so you can watch someone cry til they wet themselves and fall asleep in the puddle.
He did not seem to go much against people for being mildly rude, mostly going after those attempting or having committed mass murder. The plagues in Egypt for instance went against those who had killed presumably thousands of babies and toddlers. Going from flood to brimstone to the other curses from above, there also seems to be a far greater selectivity as time goes on, with those areas being punished becoming smaller and smaller.
Another explanation is simply that God never was all fire and brimstone. This idea comes from narrow reading of the book. God's wrath is spread out between long spans of mercy, and never over trivial matters. - Ultimate CK
Why was Cain "protected" by his mark? Because it's a metaphor for vengeance and war. If Cain is killed, his sons will avenge him then they will be the targets, so on and so forth. - Damus2300
Ever wonder what was so bad about the man and woman eating the fruit and gaining knowledge? So did I for the longest time. Then it hit me: when questioned about it, they pass off blame to God, the woman, and the serpent. They failed to take responsibility for their own actions. This is further complemented when you notice the emphasis on the serpent as a "beast of the field." What's significant about that? The humans were supposed to rule over the beasts of the field (in addition to everything else on the Earth), not take their orders from one! They were betraying their very identity as humans, who are capable of shaping their own destiny. Cain then does the same thing, blaming Abel for his shortcomings. I could go on, but that would get tedious.
The story of Jesus healing the 10 lepers in Luke 17:11-19 ends with only one of the lepers coming back to thank Jesus - and he was a Samaritan. I initially assumed his ethnicity was meant to be some sort of contrast to the other 9 who should have been the grateful ones instead, being the ones waiting for the Messiah and all. Then it hit me, Jesus told the lepers to go show themselves to the priests, which was normal Jewish custom to do if you wanted to be 'officially clean'. The problem is that Jesus wasn't exactly a popular figure back then with the high priests and all, and it was most likely said priests would dissuade the lepers from going back to Jesus. Of course not all the lepers were told this - the Samaritan was left out because he would be ostracized by the priests! He would then be the only one who felt a need to go back to Jesus! - Pachylad
There's an instance in the new testament where Jesus healed a blind man by spitting into his hand and rubbing said hand over the man's face. Up until recently, this seemed like a random and gross thing for Jesus to do, considering there are other points where he heals people without even touching them. However, with the development of modern biology and forensics, saliva is known to be the most pure and potent source of DNA, the building blocks of life. Going on the assumption that Jesus is the son of God, then the blind man had just received a face full of super-duper holy DNA. A case of modern science adding a layer of context to biblical lore.
Saliva was actually used a lot in the folk medicine of the time. It is true though that as far as we know, Jesus used it only that once.
In the book of Mark Jesus explains one of His parables; "Are you so dull? he asked. Dont you see that nothing that enters a person from the outside can defile them? For it doesnt go into their heart but into their stomach, and then out of the body. (In saying this, Jesus declared all foods clean.)" Mark 7:18-19. In this time, for example, the Egyptians still thought that the heart was the center of thought while the brain was useless and the Romans still practiced bloodletting using leeches. Also, using a corpse for anything other than interring the deceased was strictly forbidden in Hebrew society, so there wouldn't be medical exams of that nature (much of the knowledge we have of human anatomy today came from illegal autopsies and studies carried out hundreds of years later). Adding to this, Jesus lived as the son of a carpenter in a time and place a man did the same job as their father and career choice was almost non-existent. In conclusion, He wouldn't have had a natural opportunity to learn about anatomy, so how did Jesus understand digestion? Then I realized, Jesus is the Son of God, and it was God who made the human body; who else could understand the workings of the human body better than its Maker?
Any person can feel that food goes into their stomach to digest there. This really isn't compelling evidence of divine knowledge. Everyone knew this.
What's up with the different portrayals of Satan between the Old and New Testaments? In one, he seems to be just another angel doing his job, which happens to involve tempting people to test their moral fortitude and accusing those who fail to God. In the other, he's the lord of all evil bent on destroying everything. How did this happen? Consider what his job means. He's effectively the agent of God's wrath towards sin. When Jesus comes along and is forgiving people of their sins and healing them and all, Satan can't take it. This would put him out of a job, or at least displace him from a job he has learned to do quite well over the centuries. He snaps and blames Jesus, putting him to death on a cross. When God vindicates Jesus' message by resurrecting him, Satan declares all-out war and moves to trying to destroy anything he can find to spite God. This makes sense of statements that God spares us from his wrath; Satan was the guy for that!
There is very little difference between OT Satan and NT Satan. This troper is confused about the premise of the above comment. In both Satan is a tempter, liar, accuser, proud, and both capable and willing to harm people. His "job" was to lead God's praise up until his rebellion. The accusations afterward are just his hobby. - Ultimate CK
Ah, but who's to say that working through the serpent wasn't part of his job as tester of men's faiths? In fact, viewing the whole temptation as a divinely ordained test makes a lot of sense. God doesn't even really punish the serpent; he just details what will happen between it and humanity as a result.
The serpent was also condemned to lose his legs and having to crawl on the ground for all eternity. So no, he was not let off the hook at all!
If one looks at the first chapters of Genesis as an allegory, rather than a literal account, then the events described make a great deal of sense. The Earth is initially described as "formless" and "without shape". The implication is that it hasn't even come together yet, and is still a cloud of space dust. However, the greatest evidence for Genesis chapter 1 being allegory is that the order in which God creates the Earth is anachronistic. The first three days see the creation of Sky, Sea and Land, while the second three days see the Sun and Moon, then Birds and Fish, then Animals and Man. If the chronology were correct, the order would be Sky, then Sun and Moon, then Sea, then Birds and Fish, then Land, then Animals and Man. Instead, the order presented shows God creating the Realms for the first three days, then next three days are spent populating those Realms.
Genesis chapter 3, the fall of Man, God may seem overly cruel in condemning women to painful childbirth for Eve's part in eating the fruit, considering Adam gets off with having to toil in the fields to survive. However, recall that the fruit is specifically referred to as the "Fruit of Knowledge of Good and Evil". After they ate of said fruit, Adam and Eve actually became smarter and more aware of their surroundings (and gained the capacity to commit evil, which is likely the main reason for their removal from the garden). Remember that knowledge is stored in our brains, which are located in our heads, and during childbirth, the head is the first thing that comes out, and is also the only real obstacle (everything below the neck pretty much just slides out after). Pain in childbirth may not have been an actual punishment, but an unfortunate consequence of the newfound knowledge of humanity requiring us to have larger heads and more advanced brains to store it all.
It seems like they both were forced to evolve into what would be the ideal gender roles way into the 20th century. Women had to become the legal property of their husbands and give birth to children, and men had to become the bread-winners of their families (the farmer bit shouldn't be taken so literally; a man could just as well live in a city and have a more urban occupation, as long as he had a job and supported his wife and children).
Language barriers were created at the tower of Babel when humanity tries to make itself equal to God and was at the height of hubris. The language barriers get removed at Pentecost after God has made himself human and accepted death humbly.
Why is the serpent in Eden able to talk? A lot of Christians would appeal to Revelation 12, where Satan is referred to as "the ancient serpent," but this doesn't appear anywhere in Genesis, and it still doesn't mean that Satan possessed the snake. However, compare the other talking animal in the Torah: Balaam's donkey. The angel opened its eyes and it was able to talk. After the man and woman ate from the tree "their eyes were opened." Wouldn't it make sense if the serpent ate of the tree and gained the ability to talk? That explains his sentiment, "You will surely not die!" because he knows from experience.
Why just the serpent, then? Multiple creatures eat fruit. There's another option: the angel opened the donkey's eyes. Satan was an angel. Jesus once moved demons into some pigs. There's precedent for a fallen angel to possess an animal and change its abilities, assuming it isn't just an example of Voluntary Shapeshifting a la The Screwtape Letters (wherein Screwtape gets agitated and turns into a large centipede).
In Matthew, Jesus says "Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me." We don't think twice about this mention of the cross today, but wait a second: Jesus was still living when he said this. The cross wasn't yet associated with him. "Taking up the cross and following him" was only given its full weight later. Yeah, he talked about his death several times, but never so specifically (at least as far as this troper can remember). Even if you believe this was a later addition, it's still a nice, subtle bit of foreshadowing. Besides, according to traditional Christian lore, many of the disciples did in fact die on crosses.
Or he forgot that not everyone could see the future like him.
The crime Jesus was actually crucified for was sedition. The punishment for sedition was death via crucifixion. When Jesus says that his followers must take up their cross, it might have been less of a reference to the symbology associated with Jesus and the cross and more that he was telling his followers that to follow him is certain death. Whether you subscribe to the Kingdom of Heaven being an actual physical place (which would require a physical king) or an otherworldly realm, it was an insult to Rome and inherent challenge to its authority.
I've heard a number of times the criticism that an eternity of bliss would become boring and eventually be even worse than Hell. But today I noticed this verse which sums up the philosophy of Ecclesiastes: "A man can do nothing better than to eat and drink and find satisfaction in his work. This too, I see, is from the hand of God." That reminded me of another verse from Isaiah about the New Earth: "They will build houses and dwell in them; they will plant vineyards and eat their fruit." It's not an eternity of just sitting around being happy and other saccharine ideas; it's a lifelong employment, in which you will be forever content.
On the same topic, it's worth pointing out that, in the bible, God (who has already lived forever) seems to consider immortality a good thing. If one accepts the Bible's logic, the logical conclusion is that spending eternity in Heaven is most certainly a good thing.
In the story of Abimelech being king and being overthrown, he asks to be stabbed by his armor bearer so that no one would know that "a woman killed him". A part of my brain can imagine the armor bearer told the story exactly as requested, something like "Abimelech is dead. He wishes it to be known that he was not killed by a woman dropping a millstone on his head"
Yeah, someone must have spilled the beans. Otherwise, we wouldn't have known about it.
Why does King Hezekiah of Judah turn out so differently from his father Ahaz? Because Ahaz fathered Hezekiah when he was eleven years old. Since Ahaz would not be able to be properly raise a child at that age, the young Hezekiah may have been raised by someone who actually obeyed God and taught Hezekiah to do the same.
The whole idea that God can't allow sinners into Heaven almost makes it seem as though God demands that humans become doctrinal androids of perfection in their faith or else He will personally destroy them or send them to Hell. This is in fact a frequent cause of people rejecting Christianity, as they cannot reconcile this with the idea that God is supposed to actually love all life despite hating so many of the things we do. However, there are numerous Biblical excerpts/phrases which talk about how God is destined to consume all sin, and that sin cannot exist in His presence. One such expression, which is frequently repeated throughout the Bible, states that God is an all-consuming fire (which is backed up by the Holy Spirit being represented as a flame). Take these hints literally, combined with the also-frequent statements about sin in fact causing death and decay, and it tells an entirely different story than the one the Rage Against the Heavens crowd believes. It's not that God is a prick who arbitrarily demands people copy His perfection and punishes those who can't just for the sake of it. It's that sin is like a virus which erodes the ability of anything it taints to withstand the all-consuming fire that is God's presence. Those afflicted with sin literally cannot survive in God's realm, thus He refuses to allow such beings to even enter His realm without special protections attached to ensure they don't get vaporized on arrival.
This interpretation throws out half of Paul's epistles, especially Romans and Galatians. God doesn't ask us to become perfect, because that's impossible. He asks us to take Christ as our substitute, and our life. - Ultimate CK
Looking at the story of Joseph in Genesis, at first glance, it appears to be a Rags to Riches story about a guy who really earns his happy ending. Fred Clark, in a Slacktivist blog entry titled "Joseph and the Appalling Tyrannical Despot", shows the Fridge Horror behind this, discussing how the story credits Joseph with establishing the system of despotic tyranny and slavery that characterized the Pharaohs' regime in Egypt. He concludes that this is a "just-so story", about how Egypt got its tyranny. However, taking the story in combination with the Exodus narrative leads to an alternative interpretation - as a cautionary tale. The lesson advanced is that an absolute government might serve you well for the present, especially under a benevolent ruler; however, in creating such a state, you are in fact fashioning the tools of oppression that can be used by a less ethical successor. Nice Job Breaking It, Hero! indeed. note This anti-absolute government interpretation would certainly be in keeping with Samuel's warnings to Israel about the dangers of having a king (cf. 1 Samuel 8). Such an interpretation, if accurate, would make the Bible a very revolutionary text for its time; when the Bible was written, people generally took it for granted that absolute government was the way to get things done. The notion of the enlightened despot who brings prosperity remains with us even now, motivating such disparate entities as ISIS, North Korea, and the People's Republic of China.
In Matthew 17 (the Transfiguration), Jesus takes three disciples onto a high mountain. Moses and Elijah show up. Moses - the great prophet who never got to set foot in the Promised Land while he lived. -Robinton
Peter then offers to build a tabernacle to all three, to which the Father responds by darkening the sky and saying "This is My Son, hear Him!" And then Moses and Elijah were gone. Moses, who brought the law, and Elijah, the chief among prophets, the two defining aspects of the previous covenant. Peter was putting the Old Testament on the same level as the New, and God wouldn't have that! - Ultimate CK
It is kind of understandable even for a modern audience, that Haman, the villain of Book of Esther, was executed when he tried to have all Jews in the Persian Empire killed after he was insulted by one man (Mordecai, who just so happens to also be Esther's cousin and foster father). But it's much harder to accept that Esther also asks her husband the king to have Haman's sons (who seemingly had done nothing wrong) executed, so much that most modern re-tellings of the story will ignore that detail. But when you think about it, Esther's insistence that Haman's sons must die too makes some sense. She had just seen how close her whole nation had come to going extinct, and she probably was really afraid that if Haman's sons would live, they would attack both her and Mordecai and maybe also the other Jews, so they could have revenge for their father's death. All of this will be lost on a modern audience though: Most people today are reluctant to believe that a whole family can be evil and deserve to die.
After Adam ate of the fruit, God asked "Where are you?" Of course, He being omniscient, He knew where Adam was, so why ask? For Adam's sake, as it always is when God asks questions. In this case though, what did Adam gain? Well, by answering, Adam was willingly coming to God, not waiting to be found. This is the first instance of repentance and coming to God in the Bible. After this, God gave Adam and Eve clothing made of a lamb's skin. And Who is the lamb? Jesus, of course, covering our sins as the skin covered Adam and Eve's nakedness. By asking this question, God set the pattern of repentance, and foreshadowed Christ's sacrifice in the very first chapters of the Bible!
Why didn't God stop the serpent from deceiving man? It was the seventh day, He was still resting!
Since humans were created to rule over animals, the rest of the animals were moved out to make that possible.
While we're on the subject, the snake is punished for his actions by being forced to walk on his belly for the rest of time. Which begs the question - how did the snake move before it was punished? Did it have some kind of snake-legs? Why then, in every illustration of the story, is the snake depicted as a modern, legless snake?
Because they're illustrations.
It is thought that there are as many as five million distinct species of beetle. Given the dimensions of the Ark stated and the surface area of the average beetle, Noah and family (and everything not a beetle) must have spent the entire 40 days and 40 nights swimming in a sea of 10 million beetles, making sure not to crush any. And then there's the issue that colony-based insects like bees or ants can be considered as each colony being a single individual...
Eh, what are kind of issue is time or space to one who cannot be contained by the grand total of his whole creation? All Noah had to do was show his devotion by building the arc and searching for that with which to fill it, God could provide the rest. Consider there is not even enough water on Earth for the flood described leading some Rabbis to suggest God went back in time (tehom) to make sure there was enough rain.
Noah most likely didn't look up on Wikipedia how many species he had to take. More likely, he did what everyone did before Linnaeus: classified things by phonetics. If there's no obvious visual way to tell the difference between two species, he probably just assumed they were the same. So he would have only had, say, 2 ants, 2 bees, 2 wasps, 2 beetles, etc.. Not to mention, "the world" to Noah may have just meant Europe, Africa, and Asia. So if that's true, then that means that perhaps the Americas and Australia were uneffected and so any species that lived there wouldn't have been effected either - and beetles and ants live just about everywhere.
Some Arbitrary Skepticism there yes? We are dealing with an event that flooded the Earth, which even if Big G melted Antartica there isn't actually enough water on Earth to do that, plus it then all disappeared. Heck has anyone examined the logistics of if the Ark could house sufficient resources to sustain Noah's family and domestics for a long enough time. And that's not even getting into a question about globalized flood damage. I believe the traditional Fan Wank on the matter is that much like this site when in doubt... Noah was Time Lord and the Ark his TARDIS
If Adam and Eve were the first humans, how did they manage to populate the entire human race? Wouldn't their kids (assuming that they had more than just Cain and Abel) have had to commit incest to help populate the world? And if they found other people to populate the world with, then where did those people come from?
This doesn't even warrant being mentioned. If you read the rest of Genesis, incest is clearly mentioned many, many times. There is no fridge logic here, just a troper who didn't read the Bible. - Ultimate CK
If you read Genesis carefully, you may notice that the part about God telling the land to produce plant-life comes before the part where he creates the Sun, the Moon, and the Stars. In other words, plants, which depend on sunlight, existed before the Sun. Presumably, A Wizard Did It was considered a viable explanation back in biblical days.
He created the plants, then realized the next day that he would need a way for them to sustain themselves while he was taking care of other problems, so he created photosynthesis.
OR the plants were already feeding on the day 1 light and since God is pretty OCD with context, established the rule on an object to generate said light. IE, he didn't create fire until the point for having a fire in the first place was present.
But that only leads to a new question: If there was no sun on the first day, where exactly did that light come from?
God is light, 1 John 1:5.
The sun is a big, burning ball of gas. Light isn't just generated by gas, mind you. Though, plants do need sunlight to survive. However, think about what kind of plants these must have been to survive in a world without life.
Maybe the plants did what life in the deepest parts of the ocean do.
What was God doing before He created the Earth?
We live on an Insignificant Little Blue Planet, out on the arm of one of many, many galaxies, themselves made of many stars, varying radically in size and composition, each possibly containing several other orbiting bodies. I'm sure He kept Himself occupied somehow.