Old Testament Study Part 1: In the Beginning

Posted: July 8, 2012 by Scott K. in All The Things

The serpent, being significantly more cunning that man, chose wisely in whom to approach for the great temptation.  While Adam was given dominion over every living creature, Eve was given very little in the way of how to conduct herself in the Garden.  In fact, Eve was created after all the rules were handed down to Adam, so any transgressions she committed were done so with relative ignorance.  I would hate to equate the Word of God to the arbitrary and unfounded laws of say, Michael Bloomberg; but if the shoe fits.  Perhaps the more religious citizens of that utopian nightmare that is Bloomberg’s New York might appreciate the inanity of his laws and keep voting for him because of that.

Eve, having no real idea of why she should obey the word of the Lord, as passed down from a man she barely knows, initiates the fall of humanity with a crime of ignorance.  If anyone should be punished, it should have been Adam, but even still, without any understanding of why he shouldn’t eat of the fruit of the tree, he is easily persuaded.  The serpent, being far less subtle than is described in the text, convinces Eve to partake of the fruit and as it turns out, he is not lying.  He actually disproves God’s word since neither humans die from the fruit.  Granted, the idea of death was not of immediacy but of eventuality, a concept neither would have understood.  But it does come to pass that they would have to know death because of their sin.

Right at the beginning of the text, Man is created in the image of God.  So any curiosity ingrained within him surely came from God.  To punish Adam and Eve because they acted upon their curious nature is akin to beating your child for breathing after telling him not to.  Alas, no such conversation takes place in scripture because the Tree Of Knowledge of Good and Evil does not appear to contain the secondary attribute of command over language.  Indeed, had Adam and Eve been given the gift of argument, perhaps we would have all been spared the toil and pain of human existence.  And what a hateful state of being we would continue to experience then.

Adam and Eve are ultimately convicted of the sin of curiosity.  They could not have been guilty of anything more, since any idea that what they did was wrong could not have occurred until after they took a bite; knowledge of good and evil being still subjective since an important part of the population is incapable of understanding the concept. The first humans are punished undeservedly for a crime they were unable to know was a crime.  In fact, they are still too stupid to ask the Lord why they didn’t surely die, why they would have suddenly been ashamed to be naked, or why they were forbidden from eating of the fruit in the first place.  God said they would surely die, but instead gives them unfair and seemingly random punishments.  Woman shall have pain during childbirth, and man shall toil the fields all his days.  Less harsh than death, I guess, but certainly more excessive than what the crime calls for.  Not only have Adam and Eve been sentenced, but the whole of humankind thereafter is subjected to the same penance.  This concept is hard to imagine in a society that doesn’t allow the children to be punished for the sins of their fathers(in fact one might be tempted to bring this up to anyone who claims our laws are based on scripture), but we’re still in Old Testament days that somehow require no explanation.

It has been said that anyone should be able to understand the message of the Bible.  Anyone who says such things is, of course, insane.  There is very little that’s clear in the book, but perhaps we are lacking because we don’t understand the original Hebrew.  Entire fields of academia are devoted to understanding the Bible.  Basically, the single most important warning label in our possession requires a PHD to understand.  The laws of God are ever changing from impossible to follow to immoral to follow.  Once again, we could blame the devil for our follies, but in the Old Testament, they had no knowledge of him.  In fact, the Devil as God’s enemy isn’t mentioned until Job.  Some say the serpent is the first appearance of Satan, but it’s not made clear.  The way Genesis reads, the serpent did what he did just for a bit of cheeky fun.  However, it all seems irrelevant since the very concept of the most powerful being imaginable having an enemy is fucking bonkers.

Pondering over how Satan would be allowed to exist, we can come to the conclusion that God needs an opposite.  Perhaps a simpler explanation would be that He is just like us, in that without adversity, He is stagnant.  An eternal being would at some point become extremely bored and His only option would have been to create an enemy just to give him something to do.  Even without the serpent, in time Adam and Eve might have eaten from the tree just to break the crippling monotony of perfection.

-Scott

Comments
  1. Marty says:

    Quite the dichotomy that whole original sin thing isn’t it. Kind of falls into the same line as the pig. Why would a “god” create an animal that you can’t touch, look at, or eat.

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