Over at g.girl, the hostess is discussing how goofy Genesis–the first book of the Bible–is. I wrote a reply there, and thought I’d expand on it here:
Being agnostic, I like to think I’ve got a relatively objective perspective on Genesis. True, anybody who actually believes the Bible is literal truth must be something of a nutter. I mean, there’s not much to that argument what with 900 year-old-people and floods, etc.
Most moderate Christians, in my experience, treat much of the Bible (particularly the Old Testament) as parable. After all, what’s the message behind the flood myth? If you’re bad and wanton and what-have-you, you’ll be punished. Or, only those living pure lives, favoured by God, will endure. I’m not advocating these messages, just pointing out what they might be.
Obviously, at the centre of Christianity, are the teachings of Christ. So, the Old Testament is mostly back story.
Here’s a tidbit for you: I happened to be in church over Christmas, and, bored with the whole liturgy, I was leafing through Genesis. If you check out an early section, you’ll see that Cain slays Able. Shortly thereafter, he takes a wife. From Genesis 4:
16 And Cain went out from the presence of the Lord, and dwelt in the land of Nod, on the east of Eden. 17 And Cain knew his wife; and she conceived, and bare Enoch: and he builded a city, and called the name of the city, after the name of his son, Enoch.
Up to this point, there have only been four people on earth–Adam, Eve, Cain and Able. ‘Knew his wife’? Where’d the new missus come from?
I recently put this question (among others) to my wise uncle, Pastor Gerry. He explained that there were several theories about where Cain’s wife came from. The most popular was that Adam and Eve had many children, and so Cain’s wife was just unmentioned up to that point. I suppose that makes sense, though, if you ask me, it’s a pretty convenient explanation for a Biblical plot hole.