Reading the Bible: Genesis - Creation (again) and Fall

Author: Discipulus_Didicit ,

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  • Discipulus_Didicit
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    Discipulus_Didicit
    This is a follow-up to the previous thread with a similar title. In that thread the most contentious topic seemed to be what version of the Bible I should be reading. Specifically the KJV and NKJV were claimed to be objectively superior to the NIV. I have decided that we should all take this opportunity to perform a small experiment. Instead of stating which version I am now using, I'll simply say that it was randomly chosen from the three above (via rolling a six sided dice).

    If I am right and the stories are essentially the same then my interpretation and commentary on the version I am reading should be indistinguishable from commentary on any other version I might read, in other words it will be hard to tell which version I am talking about unless I paste a direct quote from the text or some other dead giveaway. If I am wrong then the message from the different versions is different enough from each other that commentary on one cannot necessarily be applied to commentary on another and it will eventually become clear which version I am using as a source. I wouldn't expect it to be obvious right away even if they are different, but it should eventually. If I am wrong.

    With that hopefully out of the way, we continue. Previously I read the first chapter of Genesis. God created the universe and everything in it in a suspiciously similar way to the creation stories existing in several other much older mythologies, all within six days. For this thread I will be reading Genesis 2-3.

    The first thing in chapter two is Gods famous weekend break on the seventh day. Based on this the chapter seems to be a continuation of the story in the first chapter, but the very next thing that happens is the creation of all plant life, which of course happened already during the last chapter. If this is a retelling of the same story then I am curious as to why the first three verses of chapter two were not put instead at the end of chapter one. This is just poor formatting on the part of either the people that originally recorded these stories or one of the people in the line of translators from the original to the modern versions and I would like if it was more clear in the book itself whether this is a review, a retelling, a continuation, or what. Today we can use the internet to instantly get information like that directly from people that spent their entire lifetimes studying this book, but it is not at all clear just from a basic reading of the actual text.

    Anyway, God makes man out of some dust picked up from the ground and a rough geography lesson in regards to the location of the garden of Eden is given (bookmark this section for if we ever get a biblical literalist in here, they have a lot of explaining to do). Some foreshadowing of the fall is also included in verses 9 and 17 of chapter 2. I remember from the last time I read the Bible (and did not make it all the way through) that the authors do include lots of foreshadowing in many of their stories. In this case I think they did a pretty good job of it. They made it feel natural by working the creation of the trees of knowledge of good and evil and of life into the creation of the worlds overall vegetation so props to them on that. Someone just needs to teach them how chapters work.

    I now think that we should take some time to talk about common understanding of the Bible and its stories. Regarding the story of the fall, the serpent in Genesis 3:1 is commonly understood in popular culture to be the fallen angel Satan despite a plain reading of the text not lending any credibility to this interpretation. There are numerous examples of technically 'incorrect' elements in Bible stories being believed to be part of the narrative that actually aren't which I will point out as we get to them in this series. It is important to acknowledge these inconsistencies in a study of the book itself despite these ideas not coming directly from the book because this book is the basis of many beliefs, and a cursory understanding of the beliefs based around the book can help to understand the greater context of some of the later parts of the book.

    The last thing I will touch on, because this OP is way too long already, is the way in which the stories resemble fables such as those used in some other mythologies, the basic summary of many of which being "Because ______ happened, that is why we now have ______." Compare for example the Native American fable explaining why bears have short tails and make groaning noises (http://www.oneidaindiannation.com/the-legend-of-how-the-bear-lost-his-tail/) to the various things that this story claims to explain, including:

    • Modern agriculture (God created us for the purpose of maintaining vegetation)
    • Why animal species have names (Adam named them)
    • Why men and women leave their parents to get married and become "one flesh" (woman was created from mans flesh)
    • Why people wear clothes (Adam and at-the-time nameless woman realize nudity is inherently bad after eating of the tree of good and evil)
    • Why men perform physical labor to survive (Part of Gods curse for disobedience)
    • Why childbirth is painful (Part of Gods curse for disobedience)
    • Why serpents don't have legs (Part of Gods curse for disobedience)
    • etc.
    Like I said this OP is getting way too long. I am going to close it here. Let the discussion begin.
  • WisdomofAges
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    --> @Discipulus_Didicit
    Bible ?   it started with the JEWS..prior to the JEWS and their MOSES meets GOD hoax...YOU would not have a Bible Comic Book....

    Check out William Tyndale...he was instrumental in much of the KJV Comic book farce....it was Tyndale who translated the Hebrew/Greek
    versions into ENGLISH...and it was the Roman Catholic Concentration Camp Church Vampires that declared huma HERETIC for his 
    translation effort...and in 1536 Tyndale was strangled and burnt at the stake .....about 50 years later the Parasite Vampire Psychopaths 
    of the Roman Church used much of histranslations and twisted them to suite their KJV comic Book...and as the printing press was invented
    they monopolized and capitalized on the KJV comic Book release....= it's all VAMPIRISM...money and power...

    The Bible is a compilation of SELECTED (by church vampires) shorts mostly by unknown authors...SO WHAT !  it's a money maker and
    powerful TOOL used to HYPNOTIZE-DUMB DOWN-and enslave weak minded humans into servitude and slavery for the CHURCH !  

    No one plays "GOD" better than the Roman Vampire Church !   they invented the word !  "GOD" in 400 AD..when one of their CLOWNS
    was translating the Bible into GOTHIC...a now extinct East Germanic language...the word "GOD" never existed...it was pieced together
    from other words....words that had noting to do with SUPREME BEING CREATOR !

    YOur so FULL of CRAP with this pathetic attempt to interpret some absurd Comic Book knockoff of other "GOD" / DIVINE BEING playbooks
    from many civilizations....

    Wake UP ...FOOL....present day HUMAN FORM is a genetically modified result of off world Alien space faring species.....Ancient Architecture
    and civilizations like SUMERIAN 6000 years ago in IRAQ are PROOF of their presence and influence....they are doing as HUMANS are doing with lab rats and genetic modification of plant and animal forms....IDIOT...

    Why do YOU think the Library of Ancient Alexandria in Egypt was destroyed by CHURCH PARASITE VAMPIRES bringing humanity into the DARK AGES...FOOL....this is about POWER and CONTROL of the masses by the FEW...their greatest THREAT is the OPEN MINDED critical thinker...

    of which YOU ARE NOT....now OBEY...fall to the floor and shake for your GOD...repent, confess, surrender, BORN SINNER...!  this is the stuff
    of world class PSYCHOPATH HYPNOSIS "GOD" PSYCHOSIS conditioning....YOU are a sheeple drone slave....you are not able to think and reason
    independently....your conditioning turns YOU into a combative argumentative  defender of Bible verse VOMIT....you are programmed to OBEY....

  • Mopac
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    You are not going to come to understand anything reading the bible like this.
    I think you should just give up. I'd be surprised if you even made it through Genesis let alone the Old Testament reading like this.


    Something that we Orthodox understand that the sola scriptura crowd doesn't... is that even heretics can use the bible to try and justify themselves. Here, that is what you are doing. This is not an attempt by you to understand the faith, it is simply a way for you to make pretense that you know better.

    You are wasting your time. 


  • Discipulus_Didicit
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    This is not an attempt by you to understand the faith, it is simply a way for you to make pretense that you know better.

    I am not trying to understand the faith OR prove any point (both of which have been stated previously). I am reading the book. Respond to the actual points on what I am saying about the book and we might have a useful conversation.
  • Mopac
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    --> @Discipulus_Didicit
    If you aren't trying to understand the faith, you are wasting your time. And you certainly are not simply "reading the book". 
     







  • keithprosser
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    --> @Mopac
    I think isaac asimov does it better.

  • Mopac
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    It is hard for me to not feel sorrowful over how ignorant and even hateful people are concerning the faith. It feels me with grief that people like you who make joke of these things will never understand, nor care to.


    And when they start killing us off, you will probably look away and claim no responsibility.


    It is hard for me sometimes. To you it is fantasy, isn't real. But my people are being killed this very moment in places where the people mock and scoff just as it is seen here.


    Just send us to the gas chambers, look the other way.

  • keithprosser
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    --> @Mopac
    Atheists and secularists get killed too.

    I think the asimov book is a very good introduction to the bible.  i wonder if you have looked at it.


  • Mopac
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    --> @keithprosser
    Whatever justifies you consenting to the genocide of my people.



  • Discipulus_Didicit
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    --> @Mopac
    If you aren't trying to understand the faith, you are wasting your time.

    This is debateart.com. Presuppositionalism is boring and runs completely counter to the spirit of the site's purpose. Please try to bring yourself to actually have a reasonable conversation.
  • keithprosser
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    Whatever justifies you consenting to the genocide of my people.
    i have no idea why you addressed that remark to me.  

  • Mopac
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    --> @Discipulus_Didicit
    Ok, I see you are beyond instruction.

    By all means, mister know it all, frustrate yourself and draw further and further from God while spreading your ignorance abroad and justifying in the minds of those who take us Christians as a disease that our beliefs need to be eradicated... which will only be done through the eradication of our people because what Orthodoxy teaches is THE TRUTH.


    And you, being ignorant to the intent and purpose of scripture are not truly debating. You are just as guilty of presuppositionalism. You presume the bible is just a book you pick up and read. It's not. It is a part of church tradition. and detaching it from church tradition and the church runs contrary to the intent of the book.


    I am not being unreasonable at all, and there is nothing reasonable about you dismissing my reason. But I see that making pretense is in the spirit of debateart.com. eh? 
  • Discipulus_Didicit
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    Just send us to the gas chambers, look the other way.

    Whatever justifies you consenting to the genocide of my people.

    Justifying in the minds of those who take us Christians as a disease that our beliefs need to be eradicated.

    Umm... citation needed? How did a thread about reading the Bible turn into genociding Christians? I know that evangelical Christians tend to suffer from at least moderate persecution complex but this is a bit over the top even by what I am used to hearing, and I am used to hearing some really insane shit.
  • Mopac
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    Considering there have been over 20 million Orthodox martyrs in the last century, I think my "paranoia" is justified. And the number one culprit is a government that had "scientific atheism" as its state religion.


    Shit, if we were Jewish, we'd get our own country! Oh, did you know that before the palestinians were kicked out of Israel they were mostly Christian? Good chunk of them Orthodox too. Just ran out of their homes, because screw us, right?

    Well, what are we Orthodox called to do? To bless those who curse us and pray for those who despitefully use us. And I do not hate anyone. I am here to be humiliated and take abuse for the sake of The Truth, which I want everyone to have because I love them as I can't help but doing.

    I'm not complaining at all, but for me, being here is work. To most people this is how they have fun. I don't like to argue. I am here to educate. I am here because I care about the people here. Yes, sometimes it feels like an excercise in masochism. But that is how I live my life. My whole life.

  • Discipulus_Didicit
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    --> @Mopac
    I think I follow this to a certain point. The creation of the modern state of Israel - half a century before I was even born - by people that were intimately familiar with modern interpretations of Biblical end-times prophecy and pushed for such interpretations to be a part of national foreign policy is something that is a very bad thing for a variety of reasons as well as something that I and other secularists would obviously support, therefore I would potentially be in favor of doing such a bad thing again.

    I guess the only missing links are:

    • Actual evidence that I would or should actually be in favor of religious beliefs having such a strong influence, or any influence at all in fact, on any sort of national policy.
    • How this relates to me reading the Bible.

    Please cite your sources on both points at your earliest convenience.

  • Mopac
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    --> @Discipulus_Didicit
    Though there have been and are governments that have adopted Orthodoxy as a state religion, the church has always, even in this situations,  maintained that church and state should not be the same entity.


    In fact, it is considered the heresy of Caesaropapism, of which there are several examples of in history. Not the least of which is The Roman Papacy especially during the time of the Papal States, and during certain periods both Byzantine Rome and Czarist Russia.

    The Orthodox Church is the rightful interpreter and guardian of scripture. We compiled the new testament, and ours is the church founded by Jesus and the apostles. None of these protestant churches with their wild end times interpretations of scripture can claim the same. Theres is a religion 2 steps removed at least from the church. First step through Roman Catholicism, which broke away from us and has not been in communion with us for over a millennia, and then second step through the protestant reformation which in a great way was a reaction against this schismatic church.

    We use scripture to teach people to love The Truth and be charitable toward one another. To help people be better at these things. We have been doing it for 2000 years. 

    If Orthodox religious beliefs were to have an influence on national policy, and that would be natural if people voted and had this as their religion, there would only be benefit because Orthodoxy is entirely moral.

    In fact, if everyone was a practicing Orthodox many of the problems that governments try to legislate away would be minimized or even eliminated. We don't persecute others. We are environmentally friendly. We are honest. We are hard workers. We do not revolt against the government. 


    How does what I'm saying relate to you reading the bible? You can't detach the bible from how it is used and what it is used for. You can't detach the bible from church tradition and read it skeptically while expecting to get anything out of it.



  • Discipulus_Didicit
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    Though there have been and are governments that have adopted Orthodoxy as a state religion, the church has always, even in this situations,  maintained that church and state should not be the same entity.

    Okay... You made the claim in post 14 that I, Discipulus_Didicit, would be against that and that I would be in favor of the creation of the modern state of Israel. Nowhere in post 14 or 16 to you back that claim up.

    I will once again request that you...

    1. back that claim up OR
    2. Withdraw it.

    I am making my posts short and easy to read so that they will be easy for you to respond to. There is no need to dance around this point or any other.
  • keithprosser
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    --> @Discipulus_Didicit
    I think I follow this to a certain point. The creation of the modern state of Israel - half a century before I was even born - by people that were intimately familiar with modern interpretations of Biblical end-times prophecy and pushed for such interpretations to be a part of national foreign policy is something that is a very bad thing for a variety of reasons as well as something that I and other secularists would obviously support, therefore I would potentially be in favor of doing such a bad thing again.

    You seem to be saying that the creation of Israel a) 'is a very bad thing' and b) 'something secularists would support'.  Are you saying secularists support things because they are bad?  I'd appreciate a restructuring of that convoluted sentence - my parsing ability isn't upto untanging it!
  • Mopac
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    Never made the claim that you were in favor of creating Israel.


    And if you contradict me on that, you won't go anywhere, because I am not being deceitful.

    What I am claiming is that it is perfectly acceptable to spread hatred toward my people. It is bad enough that we get blamed for every evil a heretic does in the name of Jesus, but we have people openly spreadin the same propaganda the Soviet Union spread around while they were systematically trying to erase the idea of God from their culture. While they were demolishing our churhces. While they were slaughtering our priests. While they murdered millions of us to the blind eye of a world who is content to get rid of us.

    So yeah, it does matter to me that people actually come to understand our faith and what we believe in. But anytime someone like me comes out to educate people, we are drowned out in a chorus of irreverence, invincible ignorance, hatred, unreasonableness, know-it-allism, etc.

    And obviously, we think it is important. The most important thing. And in a world of nihilism and pride in one's arbitrariness, for anything to be so important sounds like MADNESS.

    I'm sorry the Romans and the protestants ruined Christianity for you all. This secularism you love is a direct result of their heresy. Our way is superior, and that is only right, because we are the original and true church.


  • Mopac
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    I want to make it clear that since Israel exists, and what is done is done... I am not by any means anti-Israel or even pro-Israel. I am merely pointing out a historic reality. that most people are ignorant of.

    Most Palestinians were Christian, not Muslim as people believe today.
  • Discipulus_Didicit
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    --> @keithprosser
    Just to be clear, the part of my post that you quoted was me summarizing my interpretation of Mopacs position. I do not agree with the conclusion nor do I neccesisarily agree or disagree with the individual premises.

    I do not think he was saying that I (a secularist) would support the creation of the modern state of Israel because it is a bad thing to do. I think he was saying that I (a secularist) would support the creation of the modern state of Israel and it is a bad thing to do, or at the very least that there were bad things done in the name of that goal.
  • Discipulus_Didicit
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    --> @keithprosser
    Basically he tried to play the victim card by conflating me with past persecution in order to support his previous claims that you and I would be in favor of genociding people that disagree with us (see post 13, this thread) and I called him out on it. Now he is trying to backtrack without withdrawing the statements that I quoted in post 13.
  • keithprosser
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    I hope it's restricted to a few internetters but it does seem that some theists believe atheists want to kill everyone who believes in god.   I suppose that they can point to historical examples where (usually) communist regimes have persecuted believers as 'proof' of it.

    I would not support any political movement that made atheism or anti-theism its main plank.  Perhaps the distiction is between atheism as a belief and as an ideology.  Ideologies cause people to lose perpective and to think that 'the end justifies the means'; the result is that ideologues end up behaving in the same way regardless of the ideology they espouse.   Hitler and Stalin were supposedly at opposite ends of the political spectrum of left and right, but they were brothers under the skin.

    ideological atheism has caused countless deaths, but not because it was atheism but because it was an ideology and killing lots of people is what ideologies do, whter it it is reigious, nationalist, political or any other sort of ideology.   


  • Mopac
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    I am not backtracking at all, you are misinterpreting something.

    I am not saying that you or keith are in favor of genociding people.

    I did imply that there might be some looking the other way whem the people who are trying to do that go through with their plans. After all, they tend to mock and scoff at the faith in much the same way. There is a historic precedent that gives me much reason to think these things.

    So really, you xan hardly blame me for being a bit offended. I am not going to stop you. I don't think there should be anti-blasphemy laws or anything like that. You certainly have a right to your beliefs.

    So really, it is a matter of respect. How many Orthodox Christians do you even know? They are a small minority in my country, The United States. Mostly immigrant. The kind of Christianity you are likely exposed to and more familiar with is either Roman Catholicism or Protestant/Evangelical anarchism. We Orthodox think very differently and our theology is superior in every way. Why? Because we know our God. The protestants rarely seem to even know God, and Roman Catholicism has done more evil in the name of Christ than just about any institution. They aren't with us.

    I am here to educate, so it wouldn't hurt to take advantage of the opportunity.


  • Mopac
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    The problem with atheism at the core, as you have no doubt heard from me countless times, is that The Ultimate Reality is God.


    That being the case, atheism can never be respected as valid. Quite the contrary, it might even be denial of The Holy Spirit(the spirit of truth), which means that to us it is a big elephant in the room that can't be overlooked. After all, if you don't believe in the truth, you simply cannot be trusted. You certainly don't deserve to be trusted. You are, after all, practically if not outright admitting that you don't believe anything you say. You have no conviction. Any claims to the contrary can simply be dismissed as lies, because, being that the atheist denies truth, nothing they say is really any more true or false than anything else.

    And atheists will take this as a strange thing, but that is because they don't understand how atheism looks in the context of religion that acknowledges The Truth as being God.

    And being offended about it won't do any good, because the atheist by nature has embraced a position of arbitrariness. It is they who are really making war, not those who are pointing out the untenability of such a worldview.

    Atheism at best is a position of ignorance. At worse, a position of nihilism. It cannot be entertained as being valid to us. It is self defeating.