Tuesday, June 30, 2009
I''m re-reading the Bible. Not for any particular reason, except that I can, and I feel it will legitimize my nonbelief. The first time around it led me out of faith. Who knows? Maybe the second time around, I'll be led back into it ...
I'm on Chapter 6 of Genesis.
When I left off last time I was at Chapter 3, where God plays hide and seek with Adam and Eve, and later punishes the both of them for eating from the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil, and even admits there are other gods (see the last note).
Adam and Eve ate the fruit and became ashamed. When they heard God WALKING and TALKING in the garden, they hid and God couldn't find them. God called unto Adam, and said unto him, "Where art thou?"
Keep this version of God in mind because Yahweh changes later on in the Bible. He becomes more ephereal and not so limited to the physical realm. At this stage of the Israelite evolution, the God of the Bible is nothing more than one god out of many - a myth with concepts borrowed from previous Canaanite/Sumerian myths like the Epic of Gilgamesh and the Enuma elish.
Chapter 4 is similarly filled with problems. To summarize, Adam has sex with Eve, presumably for the first time, and they have kids. Cain and Abel. Cain is an agricultural kind of guy, and Abel is an animal herder. When they give a sacrifice to God, God likes Abel's sacrifice (presumably because God likes the smell of blood and gore). Cain is then jealous of Abel, and so he kills his brother. After coming to the conclusion that Cain murdered his brother, God banishes Cain.
Here's where it gets weird - Cain is actually worried that other people will find him and kill him! First of all, how many people are there in the world? At this point, I just thought three - Cain and his parents. Even stranger, God is just as worried that someone will kill Cain, so He puts a mark on Cain and then sends Cain packing eastward (the land of Nod).
And then Cain "knew his wife". Where the hell did he get the wife!!???!! After knowing his wife, Cain's wife gives birth to Enoch and they built a city. A CITY FOR ONE FAMILY!!??!!
Okay, so Chapter 4 is pissing me off. I must have glossed over this stuff the last time I read the Bible.
Chapter 5 fares no better. It's just a list of Adam's offspring, from Cain's son Lamech and Adam's other son Seth. These people live to be 900 years plus. Holy crap! At the end, the infamous Noah is born.
And that leaves me at Chapter 6. There's a lot of things happening in Chapter 6, so I'm going to leave that for the next note, or blog (whatever). Tune in next time as I try to tease out some meaning from this turning point for mankind, when God kills off almost all of humanity, and then feels bad about it afterwards!
Monday, June 29, 2009
I've mentioned before that I'm re-reading the Bible. Not for any particular reason, except that I can, and I feel it will legitimize my nonbelief. The first time around it led me out of faith. Who knows? Maybe the second time around, I'll be led back into it!
More recently, I've read most of the Koran, and a lot of Hindu and Buddhist stories and sutras. I'm also very familiar with Greek mythology and even some Native American lore.
Since I'm reading other books, the going will be slow, but I think the analysis of it will be more thorough. I'm currently at Chapter 3 in Genesis. First off, I would like to say that anyone that says the Bible is inerrant has not gone past the first two chapters! There's two contradicting creation accounts right there!
God also tells Adam that if he eats from the fruit of the tree of good and evil, that he will die the SAME DAY!!! But Adam lives on for another 930 YEARS!!! Did God just lie? Yes, it seems He did.
Also, is it me or is God SURPRISED at Adam's actions. An all-knowing deity can not be surprised! And in just the first few chapters, God even implies that there are other gods as well. In 3:22, for example God is upset that Adam ate of the fruit of knowledge of good and evil, and has just made him animal skin clothes. God says, " Behold, then man is become as one of us, to know good and evil."
Upon further research, This fits right in with the fact that the ancient Israelites started off as pagans. They were basically Canaanites and Sumerians. Genesis was probably first being compiled in the 10th century BCE and was in its current form by the 5th century BCE.
The writing that took place in 1000 BCE represents the first stage when the ancient Israelites broke off from the surrounding Canaanite/Sumerian cultures, and started focusing not on many gods, but on one particular god named El. At the time that the authors of Genesis were first writing (1000 BCE?), the Israelites still recognized that other gods existed, which I will bring up later when I get to them.
Friday, June 05, 2009
This video takes place in the El Pasos, which is actually close to Inyokern, California.
The Desert Dogs try for their third and final time to find a Paiute 'mummy'. Along the way, they come across some 'tuuwaruugidi', a Kawaiisu word for 'bad omen'.
Also in this episode, what to do if you forgot your eating utensils, training dogs to stay away from rattlesnakes, and a shout-out to all the other desert adventurers out there, like the Dzrt Grls, Panamint Charlie, Antelope Valley Haunts, and Adventure Space.