Sunday, September 25, 2016

Lessons in Genesis 1-6

Genesis is one of the most compelling books of the Bible both for what is says and does not say. We will read between the lines to fill in some gaps from the explicit statements of this most important book.
The first chapter contains 2 significant developments in history – the construction of the earth, and the creation of man.
In consideration of the creation of the earth, we note it had no shape or form as the scripture states, but the creation act does not involve the universe for such a container does not exist. The earth is a terrarium with a canopy called the firmament protecting us and preventing us from escaping the planet. Man did not go to the moon, let alone walk on it.
Genesis is clear that the sun, moon, and stars are lights and not spheres on which to land or inhabit. Even the earth itself is a flat plane whose waters are kept from overflowing its bounds by the great arctic ice wall which supports the firmament.
One other important point regarding creation is that the days of creation are literal. They are not indefinite periods of time. We know this by the diurnal rhythms established by the first verses and by the use of the Greek word ἡμέρα whose ordinary meaning is always day. It is at best a fantasy and worst blasphemy to suppose that God used long periods of time to create the earth when he clearly states that he accomplished his work in units of time called day and night. If God used indefinite periods of time for his creation days, the Greek word αἰών would have been used, the word from which we get the English word eon. αἰών, however, does not mean for eternity, forever, a long time, or any other nonsensical definition imputed to it by ex-post facto definitions.

We should also note that we do not consult the Jewish Masoretic text which is a corruption of the true scriptures, and produced centuries and millennia after the fact. Jesus, the apostles, and the early church fathers were quite satisfied with the Septuagint, and it thus is the canonical reference for the Old Testament.

One other interesting sequence in Genesis 1 is the creation of herbs and plants on the third day, and then the creation of the sun, moon, and stars on the fourth day, an apparent inconsistency or proof of fallibility of scripture according to some. In other words, how could plants which depend upon photosynthesis and moderate temperatures survive without light?

Since our days are literal days, it would not be a problem for plant life to go a day without sunlight. On the other hand, the brightness of the glory of God would be more than sufficient to provide light for life as well as warmth. The sequence of the order of creation in these 2 verses is a subtle paean to the splendor of God.

We finally come to the subject of man, whom God created in his likeness, both male and female. We would note that the plurals of the male and female give us sufficient room to suppose that he created more than one couple. As we go further into Genesis, we find that Cain built a city after murdering his brother, which means that there were substantial populations on the earth to warrant such investments. Such populations would not have occurred in such a short period of time from a single pair, although we could argue against that point with sufficient lapse of time.

We need to jump quickly to chapter 2 to resolve some conflicts in the narratives of chapter 1 and 2. The vast majority of commentators believe that the first two chapters of Genesis tell of the same event. We hold that chapter 1 and chapter 2 creation events are distinct and sequent. In other words, chapter 2 does not present a recapitulation of Genesis 1.

We could cite several reasons for this, but one is that 2 different words are used to indicate the realization of man, distinctions which appear in both Greek and Masoretic texts. Man was made or created in Genesis 1:27 whereas he was formed in Genesis 2:7.

We should note that there is a school of Christians who make much about the word used for man, resorting to the Edomite Jewish text to support their theory that the Hebrew word for man derives from a root meaning red or ruddy. We believe that they make too much of the primitive origins of this word in order to justify that God created only white people. The LXX translates the word as ἄνθρωπον (anthropon) from which we get the English word anthropology. Thus the emphasis of the word is not on ruddiness, as these critics state, but on humanness.

But there is an important distinction between the 2 classes of man. In Genesis 2 God says that there was not a man to till the field, meaning that the humans already in existence were hunter-gatherers – wanderers, and not of the highest spiritual order, though by no means stupid or slow.

The formation of man in Genesis 2 suggests a careful well thought out design and process in which the creator goes into the very inward parts – into the DNA – to generate something very special. This race of mankind, the race of Adam, is the white race which we know descends from its progenitor down through Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, down to Jesus.

It is not just the difference between creation and formation which distinguishes Adam from the other peoples living on the earth. God breathed into Adam the breath of life  which makes him, as Luke calls man, the Son of God. Thus Adam and his descendants are the very kith and kin of God. The astounding relationship to the creator is one which he guarded jealously, and against which he brooked no opposition.

The special nature of Adam was that he was called out from among the common man to tend a secluded garden owned by God. Not only was Adam to work, but he was to commune with God, making him a priest-king. God did not consort with any of the people outside of the garden.

Yet there is still one other fascinating detail lurking in Genesis, namely the command to be fruitful and multiply. God gave the command to the men and women he created in Genesis 1, but that command is not repeated to Adam and Eve, who are described as man and wife – not male and female – thus investing them with a dignity which the common man did not have.

Such an exalted position would undoubtedly lead to jealousy and plans to injure, precisely what Satan planned to destroy God’s children, bringing us to Chapter 3, where we find that the serpent was the most crafty of the beasts of field as the KJV puts it. The LXX uses the term beast of earth to distinguish the serpent as from the commoners.

We thus come to an important interpretive principal in Genesis – namely that a good deal of chapters 2 and 3 use symbolism to convey their message. Some go so far as to say that the trees represent family trees or people, and that eating of the fruit of the tree represented sexual intercourse, an interpretation with considerable merit.

On the other hand, this need not necessarily be the case. But in furthering our interpretation of symbols, we can confidently conclude that the serpent was one of the Genesis 1 people, described as craftier than the other beasts of the field, a term which the Bible uses to describe carnal, earthly, unregenerate man.

It was one of these clever people who seduced Eve with the fruit of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. We have gone back and forth about whether the fruit of the tree represented sexual relations with one of these base people, or if the fruit was an aphrodisiac which caused Eve to have sex with Satan. Remember that Adam and Eve were not commanded to be fruitful and multiply, meaning that they were not given to cohabitation.

Thus our preference leans towards the fruit being a sexual stimulant which permanently altered their libido placing them in the category of mere mortals who procreated to sustain their line. Jesus said that people neither marry nor are given in marriage in heaven, which is a reference to the kingdom of God on earth. While there are certainly other interpretations to Jesus’ words, they seem most consonant with the conditions in the garden where Adam and Eve did not have sex nor produce children.

Satan thus robbed Adam and Eve of their glory. Instead of walking in the garden naked in an aura of life, they were immensely impoverished by resorting to fig leaves to cover their genitalia because they were changed by the fruit of the forbidden tree. Thusly, Satan need not be a phantasmagorical supernatural creature, but may have simply been one of the more clever persons on the earth to whom Eve lost her virginity in the absolutely most catastrophic one night stands in all of human history. Naturally she gave the fruit to her husband.

God pronounced a curse on Satan and his seed which would continuously harass that of Adam and Even until such time as the offspring of Adam would crush that of Satan – ie the base men of Genesis 1. This means that Cain, the firstborn of Eve, was the byproduct of Satan and Eve, whereas Abel was second and the progeny of Adam and Eve. Because Adam and Eve left their first estate for the beast of field, God punished them as well, sending them out of Eden with grievous burdens for their sin. Although the immediate sin was sex, the real sin was consorting with the men of Genesis 1.

Chapter 4 recounts the conflict between Cain and Abel which God had so forcefully prophesied. Cain was a half-breed while Abel was pure in his genetics. Although God tells Cain that he would be accepted if he did righteously, Cain refused the invitation, preferring instead to rob Abel of his right standing before God by murdering him.

God’s interview with Cain is fascinating:

And the Lord God said to Cain, Why art thou become very sorrowful and why is thy countenance fallen? 7 Hast thou not sinned if thou hast brought it rightly, but not rightly divided it? be still, to thee shall be his submission, and thou shalt rule over him.
Many teach that Abel’s sacrifice was honoring to God because of its nature – ie, it was of a living creature, and foreshadowed the Mosaic requirements to bring animals to sacrifice. The Bible does not teach this notion. Reading carefully what God said, we see that Cain’s sacrifice would have been acceptable if he had rightly divided it. Apparently Cain was bringing the second best, keeping the finest of his fruits to himself.

More intriguing is God’s reminder that Cain, being the first born, would have ruled over his brother, yet that was not sufficient for Cain who was by nature a greedy acquisitive thief – and murderer and liar.

Genesis chapter 5 gives the genealogies of Adam and Cain, but we will focus on that Adam for the writer goes to great pains to state that Adam had an offspring Seth who was in his own image, after his own kind. Normally this kind of statement would seem absurd. Of course all humans have offspring after their own kind.

Only in the case of Adam’s line does God meticulously inspire Moses to record that Seth was in the very image of his father for Adam was the very son of God. Adam is God’s progeny and expected Adam to keep his generations – ie his race – pure. God goes to extreme lengths from Genesis to Revelation to warn this line to keep itself genetically pure lest it lose out on the great reward offered through the redemption of God’s second son Jesus.

The climax of this idea comes in Genesis 6 when man had so corrupted his race that God wiped out it with a flood. After 10 generations, only Noah and his 3 sons were racially pure, a devolution which Genesis 6:1-4 describes.

This passage of scripture conjures much debate, with a very common interpretation that the sons of God cohabitated with women to produce the men of renown. The sons of God are usually said to be angels, and we have even stated that they were indeed sons of God but of a heavenly nature.

We have reformed our views by the understanding that the Sons of God were precisely the sons of Adam who noticed that the daughters of the base humans were quite beautiful and intermarried with them in violation of God’s command, thus repeating the sin of Adam and Eve.

When God said that it repented him that he made man, he was not speaking of Adam, but of the man he created in Genesis 1. The proscriptions against miscegenation are repeated in the Mosaic Law, all throughout the Old Testament, into the New Testament, down to Revelation where Jesus sternly warns against the doctrines of the Nicolaitans, Jezebel, and Balaam – all of whom taught interracial marriage and sex, along with idolatry. God is a very jealous God who will not tolerate the diluting of his race or the corruption of his flesh.

Before closing, we should note that the flood was a relatively local phenomenon which did not cover the entire earth. The best evidence is that Noetic civilization which God destroyed was centered in the Tarim Basin is west central Asia where surprising findings of white people have been discovered.

We could say much more about these first chapters of Genesis, but we have covered the major themes and topics while also addressing some myths and falsehoods about the early history of human existences.