Deconstructing Genesis

Discussion in 'Ancient History and Mythology' started by citizenzen, Jul 12, 2009.

  1. immortalitylost

    immortalitylost Say Meow.

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    Sry I just noticed that I hadn't finished my thought. My sister was watching Scrubs with the volume up all the way, and...meh, whatever. Anyway, I used the Christian perspective because in the bible, the writers of the different books quite frequently humanize God. I believe this to just be an effect of their writing style, and it doesn't take away from the stories really for me. They are events beyond human understanding written down so that humans might try to understand, by humans. So in my mind, they're not going to be perfect. Especially since most (not all) were written after the fact. Like a long time after any of the things that the people are writing about happened. And those events are copied into written word from oral tradition in most cases, so that would effect the way it was written also. Not saying it's a bad thing, it just is.

    But, just know that most bible verses posted trying to sway my opinion on the matter won't help much if they quote passages saying how human God is, or trying to explain God in human terms. Just so ya know. :)
     
  2. Dondi

    Dondi Active Member

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    I don't post bible verses to sway anyone (proselytizing is against forum rules). I only post them if I wish to make a point. Since the subject of this thread deals with the biblical story of Genesis, particularly in the current discussion of God making man in His image, the biblical verses I used were to illustrate my point about how God tries the heart, which leads to the possibility that God doesn't know everything, at least not experientially, from a biblical perspective. That's all. If you wish to add something from an extra-biblical source, be my guest.
     
  3. immortalitylost

    immortalitylost Say Meow.

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    I didn't mean that you were trying to sway me, I said that, but crap I've done it again haven't I. I suck at writing down what I'm thinking. I just meant in general, that bible verses that show God in a humanized viewpoint just really don't mean that much to me.

    I didn't mean to make it sound like you were doing something wrong. Sorry if I did. :eek:
     
  4. Dondi

    Dondi Active Member

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    Tis ok. Forget it, I know what you mean. Perhaps we ought to get back to the topic at hand.

    From a few pages back:

    OK, let's toss in another unconventional viewpoint, one that I had been working on some time ago (actually a year ago), but haven't quite completed it. In all this talk about 'allegory' I'd figure I'd try to put some meaning into the account of Genesis 1. And in doing so, I might appear to be shoehorning my own interpretation. Perhaps. But in the interest of our current discussion, in light of some other bizzare theories that have been presented, I'm willing to lay bare another one:

    Ok, I’m about to make an attempt to reconcile the Genesis account with a scientific spin (or sci-fi spin, however you prefer). This might be complete BS as I haven’t studied the Hebrew in any thorough detail. But here it goes.

    Note: For notation purposes, I will abbreviate the references from Genesis 1:1 to G1:1 and so forth.

    G1:1 - In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.

    Seems to be a declarative introduction, a summary of the rest of the chapter…if left to itself. But there is that conjunction ‘and’ in the beginning of verse 2 that connects these two. So I’m going to assume that the creation really starts here.

    It is obvious that the earth did not begin at the start of the universe. But what if the word ‘earth’ is meant to convey the whole of the universe? In ancient times, to a primitive tribal nation the earth is that’s all really anyone knew; the stars and the sky, the sun and the moon all part of that system. So I’m going with the notion that the ‘earth’ is the physical state of creation, the known universe. What about heaven? Hebrews 8:5 suggests that earth is patterned after heaven, that earth is a shadow of heaven. So heaven here is the spiritual realm. It is where the angels and souls of the dead reside. It was co-created with the universe.

    G 1:2 - And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.

    In the beginning, the universe was without form, without substance, it was a singularity (void) that exploded on the scene, having it’s beginnings with all the energy and matter and time and space compacted smaller that an atom in an enormous gravitational hold (face of the deep). God’s Spirit enacted from eternity upon the face of the waters (upon that plasmatic singularity entering time and space).

    G 1:3 – 4 - And God said, Let there be light: and there was light. And God saw the light, that it was good: and God divided the light from the darkness.
    The universe explodes into being, the four fundamental forces (gravity, strong nuclear, weak nuclear, and electromagnetic) unified within the first 10− to 10− seconds. In the compressed density and heat, photons interchanged with particles forming pairs of particles and antiparticles, which annihilated each other, though there is a slight imbalance in favor of the particle side. The photons no longer had the energy to enact on the remaining 1/billion particles and separated from them.

    G 1:5 - And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And the evening and the morning were the first day.

    Photons and dark particles expand increasingly out as the universe cools, separating from each other.

    G1:6-7 - And God said, Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters. And God made the firmament, and divided the waters which were under the firmament from the waters which were above the firmament: and it was so.
    Along with these particles, the universe consists of a quark-gluon plasma (waters), leading to the separation of matter and anti-matter in the universe (dividing of the waters), possibly forming different dimensions and time and space expand.

    G 1:8 - And God called the firmament Heaven. And the evening and the morning were the second day.
    Could it be that one or more of these dimensions contains the biblical Heaven?

    G 1:9 - And God said, Let the waters under the heaven be gathered together unto one place, and let the dry land appear: and it was so.
    The fundamental forces began to act on the particles as decreasing temperature caused the gluons and quarks to form protons and neutrons, solidifying into to the formation of elementary matter of deuterium and helium elements and hydrogen nuclei (dry land).

    G 1:10 - And God called the dry land Earth; and the gathering together of the waters called he Seas: and God saw that it was good.
    Matter (earth) and Energy (seas)

    G 1:11 – 13 - And God said, Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb yielding seed, and the fruit tree yielding fruit after his kind, whose seed is in itself, upon the earth: and it was so. And the earth brought forth grass, and herb yielding seed after his kind, and the tree yielding fruit, whose seed was in itself, after his kind: and God saw that it was good. And the evening and the morning were the third day.
    As these elements gravitationally combined, they formed the gases, star, and galaxies which led to the formation of heavier elements like carbon and other elements (different seeds, each after it’s own kind).

    G 1:14-18 - And God said, Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years: And let them be for lights in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth: and it was so. And God made two great lights; the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night: he made the stars also. And God set them in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth, And to rule over the day and over the night, and to divide the light from the darkness: and God saw that it was good.
    Over the vastness of space and time, the formation of galaxies and stars led to the formation of solar systems, planets, moons, and other celestial bodies, including the Earth. The sun shines by day and the stars and moon by night.

    That's as far as I got. But at least I'm trying.
     
  5. shawn

    shawn New Member

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    I for one, appreciate the effort.
    *Hands out gold star*


    God created the heaven and the earth.
    It is possible that this refers to a spiritual dimension, so we then would have a spiritual and a material realm.
    As above so below.
    Which shows that there is both a physical and a spiritual side to man.
     
  6. wil

    wil UNeyeR1

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    anyone note that in some bible translations the Lord's Prayer says 'thy will be done IN earth as it is in heaven' Now I don't know which one is right, but IN earth, v. ON, seems to me to be an earthly state of consciousness...

    now if anyone is adventerous and would like to listen to a deconstructiong/reconstructing of Genesis from a little old lady visiting preacher....who has been at this for 40 years (deconstructing/reconstructing Genesis, she has a little booklet on it and teaches it at weekend retreats) take a listen. Now for many this will take a 'leap of faith' and a willingness to let it flow over you and not judge...well it is for me anyway... Rev. Rebecca Lynne
     
  7. shawn

    shawn New Member

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    Awesome link bro.
     
  8. immortalitylost

    immortalitylost Say Meow.

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    Dondi, that's pretty awesome. Good goin. :)

    But I wouldn't try too hard to match up words written by people thousands of years ago- who had no knowledge of any of the science that you describe and only had knowledge of earth- to the scientific knowledge that we understand today. I understand that certain parts in the bible state specifically that they are the word of God, the ten commandments for example, but does Genesis? It is a creation story, orally passed down till it could be written. It is written by man, with mans limited knowledge. Trying to link it up with science as understood today may be cool, and interesting to think about, but it's all interpretation trying to make the creation story make sense in the light of the information that we have available to us today. Which is quite a bit more in terms of science.

    Look at the creation story as it would have been heard by people of those days.

    "The heavens" to them would be where the stars reside, not the "Heaven" where God resides in their minds. They're talking about the creation of their world, earth mind you, not the palace of God or however they saw it. They may simply be talking about the sky, what is beyond earth and the sky, the "waters beyond heaven."

    Dividing light from darkness, could obviously be interpreted as day and night light and shadow, and therefore explains these strange things for the inquiring minds of later generations.

    The firmament separating the water below from above, could be the air, what separates the water (reflective, blue in the day black and starry at night) from the waters above (possibly perceived as the same thing in a different location ie. the outer blackness or blue depending beyond the heavens.) Notice that there was no land before this, only water on earth, and no distinction between the water on earth and (what they could have seen as water) beyond the air in the sky. (how would they know what was out there or even if there was an out there?)

    God separating the land from the sea, again explanatory, they didn't know why it was so they say God did it. He's the only one powerful enough in their minds to do such a thing so it's an obvious answer.

    Grass, plants all of that the same.

    The lights in heaven. Notice how far down the list this is. People did not recognize that the stars were the same as the sun only much farther away. The stars of course, in their minds, were mainly put there by God so that man could tell direction, time, and the days months and seasons. They were merely tools to be used by them. They were also thought to reside within the heavens (the air separating the waters of earth from the waters above, beyond the heavens, remember.) The sun was the great lamp that lit the day, and the stars and moon were their guides and a dimmer lamp to light the night. This really puts the point home that people were earth centralized, and were writing their creation story from that perspective. The creation of earth solely, not the universe as it is perceived today.

    It is a fairly ingenious perspective for the times, but only one perspective among many such creation stories.

    So comparing the story of creation in the Bible with science about the begining of the universe doesn't gain much. The story is earth centralized. Coming from man. And from man of the times limited understanding of the earth, let alone the universe beyond the "firmament."

    You can apply the same reasoning to the creation of animals and people. It's a story trying to explain these people's world and how it came to be. That's all I see, because I'm pretty sure that that's what people of the time would have heard in it.

    Does it have divine inspiration?
    Who knows?

    But don't read too much into it. That's where people tend to get into the most trouble in interpretation. Reading it through their eyes instead of the eyes that would have read it when it was first written. The eyes that it was originally meant for, and the mindset behind those eyes.

    Read carefully. :)
     
  9. shawn

    shawn New Member

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    Interesting thoughts.
    Since I started it....
    *hands out gold star*
    (now out of gold stars)

    A thing to consider is that while people at the time were mostly pretty primitive, there are examples of knowledge that are just not in keeping with the notion that all were primitive.
    So this brings up another series of speculations, one of which is the idea that people long ago had reached a level of technological superiority, but catastrophe struck and most people died taking their knowledge with them (except for the odd scraps which have persisted and create such puzzles today)
    Like the Dogon people who knew a lot of detail about Sirius and its astronomical configuration, stuff which we couldn't see until the end of the 20th century.
    And the Mayan calender which is a very accurate device, more so than most others.
    There are many more.
    In any case I just find these things all very curious, and as such invites speculation more than conviction.
     
  10. Dondi

    Dondi Active Member

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    Not to mention that Moses, having grown up in the court of the Pharoah, probably had access to all that elite Egyptian technological knowledge.
     
  11. immortalitylost

    immortalitylost Say Meow.

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    Yeah, it is very possible. Like Romans and medicine. When Rome fell, a lot of the knowledge just disappeared and we didn't catch back up to where they were knowledge wise for a loooong time.

    They had braces. Did c-sections. The dark ages brought a, not loss, but sweeping in the corner and forgetting of most of that medical knowledge.

    Yeah, I don't believe that most people were "Primitive" like intellectually inferior in those times. They just had less knowledge over all they had had less time to accumulate it. And I'm sure they had their philosophers, and "scientists" as well.
     

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