Genesis 1-3: Who Was God Talking To?

creationism

The night before October 23, 4004 BC, God, you know, THE God, the one and only God, decided to create the universe. For the next six literal 24 hour days, God created the sun, moon, stars, planets, earth, animals, insects, fish,and plant life. Oh, and don’t forget God’s super-duper,special creation on day six:

And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.

Wait a minute…what’s this US thing all about? Do I detect polytheism? Whoever US is, they created a human man and woman in their image. (Genesis 2 says it was the LORD God that created Adam and Eve) After creating Adam and Eve, the God’s closed up their creation shop and went on vacation. This October 23rd we will celebrate the 6,019th anniversary of the first day of creation. Time for a new Hallmark card, yes?

Now I am being a bit silly here, but let me point out something very important. It is clear, based on Genesis 1:27, that there is more than one God involved in creating humans. Once we get to Genesis 3 we see that there is one God called LORD God. It is this LORD God that comes to the Garden of Eden to talk to Adam and Eve. It is this LORD God that tells Adam and Eve their punishment for eating of the tree of knowledge of good and evil. An interesting point here is that Adam and Eve can see God and talk to him, yet the Bible says that no man has seen God at any time.

After Adam and Eve ate of the forbidden fruit their eyes were opened and both knew, for the first time, that the other was naked. While we don’t know how long the time span was between the creation of Adam and Eve and their act of disobedience, it’s hard to imagine that neither Adam or Eve paid any attention to their partners nakedness. Surely they were created with a sex drive. Sooooo, I don’t know about you, but I think I would notice that the only other living person, the person who snuggled up to me around the Camp Eden campfire, was naked.

The LORD God, being the prude that countless fundamentalist preachers have said he is, was quite disturbed over Adam and Eve’s nakedness. The LORD God took it upon himself to get some clothing for Adam and Eve. He spotted a bear or maybe a buffalo or mountain lion, and in the first act of violence on earth, the LORD God killed the animals so he could make Adam and Eve clothes to wear. Using a process that humans to this day have not discovered, the LORD God killed the animal (s), dried and tanned the skin, and sewed the skins into clothing quicker than a Chinese sweatshop worker sewing a shirt for Walmart.

The LORD God then had a conference call with the other Gods. He said, look, remember those two humans we created? Remember the one rule we gave them? Yeah…those dumb asses picked fruit off the tree and ate it. Now they are like us, knowing good and evil. We need to do something immediately lest they eat from the Tree of Life. We don’t want them to do that, right? If they do, they will live forever, just like us. Can’t have humans living forever.

So the LORD God, acting on behalf of the other Gods, evicted Adam and Even from the Garden of Eden. Of course, they didn’t want to go. After all, they only had one set of clothes. But, the LORD God was insistent and he drove them out of the Garden of Eden. To make sure that Adam and Eve could not eat from the Tree of Life, the LORD God put a flaming sword that turned every which way near the tree.

Reading Genesis 1-3 without importing Trinitarian theology into it presents a very different creation story than what countless Evangelicals have been told. Go back to the text and read it for yourself. Is what I have written here plausible? On what basis do we say there was just one God? Is it not just as plausible to say that there were more than one God, a LORD God and other Gods that were perhaps subservient to him/her?

But Bruce, in the first five days of creation the Bible say God (singular) created. True, but since humans weren’t created until day 6, who was God talking to on the first five days when the Bible says, and God said? Was he talking to himself? Perhaps he was talking to the other Gods, just like he did in Genesis 1:26 and 3:22?

And I am just getting started. Go back to the text, take off your Trinitarian, orthodox Christian glasses, and read it again. Is my story any less plausible than the one Evangelical children are taught in Sunday school?

Notes

There is textual evidence for God creating Eve AFTER the six days of creation in the second creation story found in Genesis 2. This conflicts with the first creation story in Genesis 1.

6 Comments

  1. Melody

    When I was about 11, I came home from school once with a question for my dad. Our teacher had just explained that very morning that there were 2 creation stories and that this perhaps suggested that it hadn´t actually happened that way, but that it was a lovely metaphor. So I asked my dad which one was true and how they could be different. My dad was not amused. He tried to tie the two stories together somehow but that still didn´t explain why Adam was created last in one of the stories and first in the other… He became quite angry and upset so I stopped bugging him. How and when Eve was created also differs in the two versions.

    For the nakedness, I´ve heard several explantions. One could be that they were inoccent, just like children, no ideas of lust, sex, or sin yet. One that I´ve always rather liked, because it made us (the human race) a bit more divine :), is that because they were created after God’s image and God is light, Adam and Eve shone and so they hadn’t seen their nakedness, nor had God been offended by it. When they sinned the divine light left them and so it became visible…

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  2. mikespeir

    Elyon sired Ge and Anu by Bruth.
    Anu overthrows Elyon and becomes Anu Elyon.
    Anu, by his sister Ge, sires four sons, the eldest of which was El.
    El overthrows his dad and become El Elyon. (Gen 14)
    El, by his wife Asherah, sires 70 gods, one of which was Yamm, the god of the sea and therefore of chaos. Yamm is sometimes depicted as a seven-headed sea serpent.
    Yamm was sometimes called Yaw or Yawu.
    Ignaz Goldziher, the great Jewish-Hungarian scholar, opined that the etymology of the name of the tribe Levi in the Bible was a fiction. In fact, “Levi” meant “serpent.” The Levites were originally the priests of the Leviathon, so it’s little wonder that they became associated with the god Yahweh.
    Now, the path from Yamm to Yahweh is not unbroken, and some scholars protest that there is no connection. But it’s hard not to wonder.

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  3. Sarah

    Excellent! One thing I’ve always thought was interesting was that God told Adam & eve to be “fruitful, and multiply, and REPLENISH the earth” (Genesis 1:28); to me this almost seems to imply that humans once lived but were wiped out, now God was telling them to have another go at it. Of course it’s untrue, but still interesting nonetheless

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  4. Karen the rock whisperer

    In one of Karen Armstrong’s earlier books, where she still tends to make sense, she traces the history of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. Can’t remember the title. One of her points about the bible is that there is lots of early evidence for polytheistic beliefs among the Jews. Eventually that is replaced by pretty solid monotheism. I found that really interesting, because as she reads it, it’s a window into the progression of belief over time.

    Okay, I checked on Amazon: It’s A History of God, 1994. Worth a read. The book is around here somewhere still, but I live in a sea of paper; books read long ago are hard to find. Probably in a box in the shed.

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  5. Geoff

    What I find telling is the bit about god giving man (he doesn’t mention woman, so he’s not very PC) dominion over animals. Unfortunately, the writer of Genesis didn’t know about microbes, or bacteria, or all the countless viruses that we have very little ability to control in any way.

    Every word, every sentiment expressed in the bible, NT or OT, is so clearly a reflection of the level of ignorance of the time at which they were written. Their failure at any point to reveal knowledge unavailable to mankind at the time is so clearly evidence of writing not inspired by any deity that it’s truly depressing that such a large proportion of the modern, educated world continues to hold them in esteem.

    Reply
  6. Sarah Tuscany-Andreski

    Try reading Genesis 1 followed by Proverbs 8:1-9:10, it provides some interesting food for thought.

    Reply

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