punkwalrus (punkwalrus) wrote,

Link - Skeptic's Annotated Bible

I was never allowed to read the Bible as a kid. My father hated religion, I am assuming, because the very thought of some greater God watching over his actions must have been too terrifying to comprehend. My first exposure to the book was some bad horror film where the book was mentioned repeatedly. I thought it was a fictitious plot vehicle, kind of like the Necrinomicon. I mean, the movie also had people coming back from the dead, witches who did their magic with a weird electric blue fluid in a flask, and had the skill to summon herds of cats to kill people (anyone who commands herd of cats to do anything as ludicrous... imagine the infighting, you'd never get anything done). Next, some of my Catholic friends mentioned it in passing, and I was like, "There really IS such a thing?" My mother said to never mention it in front of my father. By high school, I knew such a thing existed, and then my World Civilization Class (some honors thing my school was doing at the time, combining history and literature into one 2-hour class for GT kids), it was required reading for a week.

By dad found out. Oh my God, I thought he'd completely lose it. It was then that the seed of, "My father hates the thought of a God... there might be something in this God concept after all..." was set. By this time, my father hated things so irrationally, I found new and exciting things to do because if he hated them, they must have some power over him. So I tried to read the damn thing at school, during lunch. Holy Crap, what a lot of garbage. It was written like a bad translation of a Shaespearean play. It wasn't until I lived with Bruce, an ameteur Jewish scholar who actually co-wrote a book on the subject, that I understood that the text was never meant to be taken literally. I mean, you read Aesop's Fables, and don't actually think those animals talk, right? Bruce bought me a copy of Asimov's Guide to the Bible. I still have it. I have to admit, I didn't read it all the way through, because it was almost as boring as the Bible itslef, but I gained a lot of insight into people who took the text literally. Some of the Bible has great historical value, but it's more than that, it's the archetypes of Western Culture that are seeded from this book. I also learned how this work was altered, misused, and became a vehicle for awesome and terrible leadership power. But like most fears, when you break it down, you see it for what it is. And that's why wise people don't take the works literally.

So last night, I was browsing the web, and came across this wonderful gem, The Skeptic's Annotated Bible:


(3:22-24) God expels Adam and Eve from the garden before they get a chance to eat from that other tree -- the tree of life. God knows that if they do that, they will become "like one of us" and live forever. A spooky thought indeed for an insecure god. Notice that God refers to himself (themselves?) in the first person plural, suggesting, contrary to many other Bible verses, that there are several gods.

Although God told Adam not to eat from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil (2:16-17), he never told him not to eat from the Tree of Life. God said that Adam would die the day that he ate from the forbidden tree (2:17). Well, Adam ate from that tree (3:6), so why was God worried that Adam might eat from that other tree (the Tree of Life) and live forever?
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