Oh, this is going to be entertaining -- Blogging Tory Raphael Alexander wants to get into thoughtful, nuanced Biblical apologetics, which should be amusing, given the embarrassing and illogical dog's breakfast of inconsistencies and self-contradictions that is the Old Testament. Where, oh dear Lord, where to even begin? There is so much airheaditude in the Book of Genesis alone that this is going to take a while, so let's start slowly. We don't want to scare the children.
Despite the best of intentions, Raphael starts off badly by reproducing complete crap:
God creates Adam from the dust of the earth and breathes life into him, making him a living being. God first created the animals, and Adam named them. Finally, God makes Adam a helpmate fashioned from his rib.
Um ... no, Raphael, that's not how it happened. At least, that's not how it happened depending on which chapter of Genesis you read since there are (as any decent Biblical scholar is well aware) two entirely independent creation myths in Genesis, and they blatantly contradict one another.
There is (as people like myself who have actually read the Bible appreciate) the first creation myth that begins, well, at the beginning, and lays out the chronology thusly:
20 And God said, "Let the water teem with living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth across the expanse of the sky." 21 So God created the great creatures of the sea and every living and moving thing with which the water teems, according to their kinds, and every winged bird according to its kind. And God saw that it was good. 22 God blessed them and said, "Be fruitful and increase in number and fill the water in the seas, and let the birds increase on the earth." 23 And there was evening, and there was morning—the fifth day.
24 And God said, "Let the land produce living creatures according to their kinds: livestock, creatures that move along the ground, and wild animals, each according to its kind." And it was so. 25 God made the wild animals according to their kinds, the livestock according to their kinds, and all the creatures that move along the ground according to their kinds. And God saw that it was good.
Now, did you catch all that, Raph? All the beasts of the fields, and birds of the air, and reptiles of the legal profession, and so on -- all done in chapter one, verses 20-25. Are we good here? Seriously, are we all in agreement that that's what's happened above? Good, because now we head on to verses 26 and 27 where, astonishingly, we read:
26 Then God said, "Let us make man in our image, in our likeness, and let them rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air, over the livestock, over all the earth, [b] and over all the creatures that move along the ground."
27 So God created man in his own image,
in the image of God he created him;
male and female he created them.
Whoa, whoa, whoa ... what the fuck? That doesn't match what Raphael reproduced at all, does it? No, it doesn't ... and that's because Raphael is reading from the other creation myth -- that would be the one that starts fresh at Genesis, Chapter 2, Verse 4 and tells the story all over again (albeit written by someone totally different):
4 This is the account of the heavens and the earth when they were created.
How curious -- that after God has just finished explaining how everything worked, he feels the need to tell you again, just to play it safe. And, apparently, he gets it wrong this time:
7 the LORD God formed the man [e] from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being.
Uh oh ... this doesn't quite sound like the first account, does it? Man and man alone -- that's not how the first story went, is it? But let's read on, as the hilarity is only beginning:
19 Now the LORD God had formed out of the ground all the beasts of the field and all the birds of the air. He brought them to the man to see what he would name them; and whatever the man called each living creature, that was its name. 20 So the man gave names to all the livestock, the birds of the air and all the beasts of the field.
Wow -- a full dozen verses later, and God finally gets around to all those beasts of the field and birds of the air and ... well, you get the idea. Methinks somebody needs to work on their chronology. And, in all of this, where's the chick? Oh ...
But for Adam [h] no suitable helper was found. 21 So the LORD God caused the man to fall into a deep sleep; and while he was sleeping, he took one of the man's ribs [i] and closed up the place with flesh. 22 Then the LORD God made a woman from the rib [j] he had taken out of the man, and he brought her to the man.
Whoopsie, that doesn't quite match the first account, does it? No, it doesn't. Not even remotely. And, no, you don't get to start redefining words to make them compatible. They don't match, end of discussion. Not an auspicious beginning for the inerrant, infallible Word of God, is it?
Don't go away, kids, we are just getting started. Next time: God as Tommy Flanagan.
P.S.: If you're not aware that even the first two chapters of Genesis had at least two independent authors, you are (and I say this with the utmost respect) way too fucking stupid to participate in this discussion.
Aesthetically alone, you can see that the Book of Genesis up to Chapter 2, Verse 3 invariably refers to the big guy as "God" whereas, starting at Genesis 2:4, the appelation used is "LORD God" -- that's because these were two different authors.
If you've never noticed that, then, seriously, you should not be discussing the Bible as if you knew anything about it.