The book of Genesis in 700 words or less

ID-100110273

One day God got bored, so he decided to make an entire universe and fill a single little planet full of life for him to watch. So he did, creating absolutely everything in six days.

He then got tired and took a nap, and the humans he had created stole his fruit, which made him so angry he cursed everybody and sent them to suffer and die.

Whilst God was busy his humans had children, who created the world’s first homicide.

Time went on, and the humans, who must have been inbred freaks by this point, built a giant tower to visit God.

This made him angry, so he smashed the tower and threw the humans all across the land, inventing languages to stop them from doing this again.

Soon enough God awoke from his nap and saw that the world as corrupt. So he drowned everyone.

But he made sure to save a handful of people and two of every 30,000,000 species on the planet. Or was that seven?

God promised not to drown everyone again, and he invented the rainbow.

Afterwards Noah, the only man who wasn’t corrupt, ran around naked in his garden, cursing anyone who looked at him.

People bred like crazy again, and God found a new guy to stalk. His name was Abraham, and he became obsessed with building altars.

After a lot of empty promises, mind changing, and waiting around, Isaac was born. Abraham took a break from building altars, renaming things, and using rocks as pillows to try and sacrifice him, but God stepped in at the last minute.

Soon enough Abraham keeled over dead, and Isaac was next in line to receive God’s empty promises. Isaac had two children, one of which was the world’s first Bigfoot.

Jacob, the other child, got angry, so bought Bigfoot’s birthright and stole his blessing, before running away and living with his distant relative Laban, where he worked for seven years in return for a wife.

But he got the wrong wife, so he had to work ANOTHER seven years for the right one!

God went away for awhile to stalk someone else, and Jacob practiced some impossible selective breeding and classic Biblical trickery.

Worried that Laban was onto him, Jacob took off with all of his people, starting the world’s first cross-country race.

As they were travelling God wrestled with Jacob and won by cheating, renaming him to Israel.

Jacob met up with his Bigfoot brother, who had taken 500 soldiers to the meeting just in case, and all was well again.

Still not receiving the land his father and grandfather were promised, Jacob had lots of children, including an annoying one called Joseph who kept having dreams.

Eventually everyone got sick of Joseph, so they sold him into slavery. You know, as you do.

Joseph ended up in prison for a crime he didn’t commit, until God returned and made him the overseer of all of Egypt. Joseph found his calling – dream interpretation – and learned that God was going to give them seven years of abundance and then starve them all – for fun.

Joseph collected all the extra grain, and when the famine begun, SOLD it to all of the people. Eventually the people ran out of money, paying instead with land and livestock.

Then they ran out of that and sold themselves into slavery. As Joseph and the Pharaoh were celebrating their little scheme Joseph’s brothers showed up, not recognizing him.

Joseph decided to mess with them, hiding silver and his cup in their grain sacks, and accusing them of being spies. Eventually Joseph got bored of this and made himself known, telling his brothers to move to Egypt with all that they had.

Jacob, whom God had renamed Israel a second time, blessed everybody and died, but not before blessing Joseph’s sons and making Joseph agree that somehow his children belonged to him now.

Everybody mourned Jacob, then traveled north, then mourned him a bit more, before finally burying him. But not before some more mourning.

When they returned to Egypt Joseph died, telling everybody that he wanted to be buried with his ancestors up north if God ever got around to giving them the land he had promised them all.

Image courtesy of Janaka Dharmasena at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Advertisements

The New Bible – Genesis 50

ID-100316079

The book of Genesis concludes with Joseph burying his father and dying. Everyone seems to be dropping off like flies.

  1. So Jacob died, and Joseph had him embalmed, which took a full forty days. And the Egyptians then spent more than two months mourning him.

2. When the days of mourning passed Joseph took some of his men and headed north, to bury his father in the land of Caanan.

3. Luckily they had embalmed Jacob, or he would have really started to smell.

4. All of the pharaohs officials went up with him, along with his brothers and many horsemen. They had taken a small army.

5. Once they reached the land of Canaan they all spent another seven days mourning, and when the Canaanites saw them, they renamed the place to Abel Mizraim. You know, as you do.

6. When they were finished burying Jacob they returned to Egypt, and Joseph’s brothers were worried that Joseph was going to kill them as payback for what they had done to him now that Jacob was out of the picture.

7. So they did a little classic Biblical trickery. They sent word to Joseph, saying that their father had ordered him to forgive them, and Joseph bought it without a second thought.

8. Soon it was time for Joseph to die. He was 110 years old – maybe God was keeping his 120 year rule after all.

9. He said to his brothers, “Surely God will come to your aid and take you to the promised land. You know, the one he promised to Abraham… and Isaac… and Jacob… And me… in fact, never mind.”

10. “Just make sure I am buried with my father in the land of Canaan.”

The New Bible homepage can be found here.

Image courtesy of vectorolie at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

How anti-gay is the Bible?

ID-100207224

The answer is pretty obvious, but just how bad is it?

Some of the most-quoted verses against homosexuality come from Leviticus:

“If a man lies with a male as with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination; they shall surely be put to death; their blood is upon them.”  Leviticus 20:13

“You shall not lie with a male as with a woman; it is an abomination.” – Leviticus 18:22

But Leviticus also lays out a ton of ridiculous rules – you’re not allowed to eat certain foods, wear gold, shave, wear clothes made from two or more materials, and all sorts of other crazy things. If Christians don’t follow these rules, why follow the ones about homosexuality? I also find it amusing how the Bible only talks about if men lie with with other men, it says nothing about women being gay!

So Leviticus can be ignored because of the illogical and hypocritical cherry-picking that takes place. Also because some people claim that the OT doesn’t matter anymore because Jesus came to abolish the law, except for the fact that he said he didn’t.

“Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. For truly I tell you, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished.” – Matthew 5:17-18

The funny thing is, Jesus himself never said anything about homosexuality. If it was that bad, why did the son of God himself not say anything about it? Mark 10:6-9 is often cited as evidence against it, but Jesus was talking about divorce, so those people are guilty of quote-mining their own Holy Book!

Paul went on a handful of rants, but there are some issues there too:

Firstly, Paul never gave any reasons about why homosexuality is bad. As far as I can recall, he only ever said that it was immoral and detestable, without giving a good reason. Secondly, Paul said a bunch of other things that are ignored today. For instance, Paul said that no women should teach or have authority over a man.

A woman should learn in quietness and full submission. I do not permit a woman to teach or to assume authority over a man; she must be quiet. For Adam was formed first, then Eve. And Adam was not the one deceived; it was the woman who was deceived and became a sinner. But women will be saved through childbearing—if they continue in faith, love and holiness with propriety.” – 1 Timothy 2:12-15

So with all of these things combined, Christians don’t have much of a reason to condemn homosexuality. Plus, why can’t homosexuals just repent? Some say they can’t because they are actively practicing sin, but the Bible condemns divorce, so why do divorced people get a free pass?

Christians don’t have much to worry about when it comes to homosexuality anyway. The destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah is used as an example of what will happen to places that are full of homosexuality and corruption, but God let Lot escape, and even promised that he would spare everyone if he could find a handful of good people there.

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

What to call yourself…

ID-100369789

There seems to be a huge amount of confusion surrounding the definitions of the words atheist, agnostic, and anti-theist, among others, so in this post I’m going to attempt to sort out this confusion and offer my knowledge on what these terms mean, and how they should be used.

Now lots of people prefer to call themselves ‘agnostics’ instead of atheists, but in reality most atheists are agnostics anyway. Atheism deals with belief, whereas agnosticism deals with knowledge. The way I see it, you can’t just be an agnostic – it’s all well and good saying you don’t know, but that doesn’t deal with the question of whether you believe or not. You have to be either an agnostic atheist, or an agnostic theist.

Atheism is specifically defined as a disbelief in deities, so therefor does not say that you believe that there is no God. That would be Gnostic atheism, or as far as my knowledge goes, anti-theism. But anti-theism itself can mean a range of things, from holding the belief that there is no God, to just actively opposing theism.

Sometimes there is the misconception that atheists believe that life is meaningless, but atheism doesn’t even cover that either. The correct terminology for someone like that would be Nihlism, which is the rejection of all religious or moral principles and the belief that life is meaningless.

Now all of this seems like a lot of terminology and confusion, and, as one of my earlier posts showcased, it can get a bit complicated. Some may think that it is better to abandon all of these seemingly pointless little classifications altogether, but someone on YouTube brought up a very good point a few weeks ago, which is that these labels, while seemingly annoying, help to better define a group of people into subsections for easier identification. This may all seem obvious to some, but after being around a lot of people that hold the view that we should abandon all of these little labels, it came as a sort of revelation to me.

What are your thoughts on the matter?

The New Bible – Genesis 48 & 49

ID-100316079

Both Jacob and Joseph die, and some weird blessings are given.

  1. Some time later Joseph was told that his father was soon to die, and to be honest it was about time too.

2. When Joseph approached Jacob he sat up out of his bed and said to him, “God appeared to me once, he told me that my descendants number many, and the land of Canaan will be a gift to my people.

3. I know he told this to both Isaac and Abraham, but maybe he’ll finally get around to keeping his promise.”

4. “Now, the only catch is that the two sons that God gave you will be counted as mine, and any after will be counted as yours” Jacob said, being sure to carry on the tradition of weird terms and conditions, and making sure to credit God for something he didn’t do.

5. Joseph brought his two sons, Ephraim and Manasseh, before Jacob, and he blessed them.

6. But he placed his right hand on Ephraim’s head when he blessed them, even though he was younger. Joseph was annoyed at this little detail, and complained about it.

7. “Now now, you know how God decides people’s life stories for them, well I thought I’d give it a try,” Jacob said, “Both will have great kingdoms, but Ephraim’s shall be greater.

8. In fact, Ephraim’s descendants shall be a group of nations!”

9. And Jacob said to Joseph, “Because I like picking favorites, I shall give you one more ridge of land in Canaan than your brothers. It’s the one that God gave to me, telling me to kill the Amorites who already lived there.

Chapter 49

  1. Jacob called for his sons and told them to gather around so that he could tell them what was going to happen in the years to come.

2. “Reuben, you are my firstborn, the first sign of my strength, excelling in honor, excelling in power. But no longer will you excel, because you went up onto your father’s bed, onto my couch and defiled it” – another one of those weird verses.

3. “I shall bless Simeon and Levi by curing them and scattering them, for their anger is too fierce.”

4. “Judah shall be a great king, while Zebulun shall live by the beach.”

5. “Issachar will submit to forced labor, while Dan will be some sort of weird bandit of justice.”

6. “Gad will be attacked by raiders.” – Wait, I thought this was supposed to be a blessing?

7. “Asher will be a good chef, and Naphtali won’t really do much of anything.”

8. “Benjamin will be like a wolf,”

9. “And Joseph… Keep on being Joseph.”

10. “And you shall all be the twelve tribes of Israel”

11. Jacob finished his weird blessing-thing, and died. But before he died he told Joseph that he wanted to be buried with his ancestors in the cave that Abraham had bought from the Hittites all those years ago.

 

The New Bible homepage can be found here.

Image courtesy of vectorolie at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

 

What we learn about God by reading Genesis

5546445871_c7271fe778_z

The New Bible series is approaching the end of Genesis, and to commemorate it here is a list of the things we learn about God by reading the first book in the Bible.

  • He has trouble making up his mind

God promises Abraham several times that he will make sure that he has many descendants, but he just can’t decide exactly how many. First he decides that Abraham’s descendants will be as numerous as the stars in Heaven, and then he changes his mind and says that they will be as numerous as the dust on the earth, and then he finally settles with more than can be counted.

  • He is forgetful

After having a wrestling match with Jacob and cheating, God renames him ‘Israel’, but then forgets and keeps calling him Jacob, only to change his name to Israel a second time later. But he STILL goes on to continue calling him Jacob!

  • He likes sacrifices

Many of the altars that were made to God were used to burn animal meat as an offering. Why God likes this is currently unknown. He even tried human sacrifice once – He may have said that making Abraham nearly kill Isaac was just a test, but the whole thing seems pretty suspicious if you ask me!

  • He loves killing people

After everybody on the planet becomes corrupt God decides to kill everything, except for a handful of people and animals. And rather than using a faster, more logical method, God covers the planet with water for over a year. Some time later, he wipes out Sodom and Gomorrah with a meteor shower, and proceeds to turn Lot’s wife into a pillar of salt.

  • He has a hard time keeping promises

God promises the Holy Land to a lot of people, and seemingly never gives it to them. Sure, they all live in the land of Caanan, but he goes on and on to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob that he will give them all this land.

  • He comes up with people’s names, occupations and life stories for them

God must have been bored around about the time when Hagar was bearing one of Abraham’s children, because he ordered that the child’s name would be Ishmael, he’d be a hunter, and everyone would hate him. He also decides that Jacob and Esau will be the leaders of great, opposing nations.

  • He’s a freeloader

A few days before God destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah, he came to Abraham’s place for lunch. He showed up, ate his food, and judged his life.

  • He pretends to not be omniscient

Maybe he really isn’t omniscient, but there are times in the Bible when God asks unnecessary questions that he should already have known the answer to. For instance, he loses Adam and Eve in the garden of Eden, asks where Sarah is in a meeting with Abraham, and fails to see the problem with putting a forbidden tree in a sacred garden with innocent people in it.

And…

  • He’s a stalker

God’s always following people around and watching them. it’s kind of weird if you think about it.

The New Bible – Genesis 46 & 47

ID-100316079Jacob – er, I mean Israel, goes to Egypt and has another dream, where he has a nice chat with God.

  1. So Israel set out to Egypt, just as Joseph had commanded, and he made a sacrifice to the Lord when he reached Beersheba.

2. And the Lord came to Israel in a dream and said, “Jacob, I’m here to stalk you again!”

3. And Jacob replied, “Wait, I thought you renamed me Israel?”

4. “Did I? I really don’t think I ever did,” God said, “Anyway, I am the God of your father, and I tell you not to be afraid of going to Egypt. I will make you a great kingdom there, and Joseph himself will see you die.”

5. “Well, judging by the success of your other promises I won’t hold my breath” Jacob replied.

6. Then Jacob left Beersheba and headed down to Egypt, bringing with him a hell of a lot of people with all sorts of crazy names.

7. When Jacob met Joseph he was ready to die, for he had seen that Joseph was not dead for himself.

 

Chapter 47

 

  1. The Pharaoh gave Jacob and his sons the best land in Egypt, and even put some of them in charge of his own flocks.

2. The famine was still severe, and the lands of Egypt and Canaan suffered. The people of the land gave everything they had in exchange for grain, and soon Joseph owned almost all of the money in the entire land.

3. He took it to the pharaoh and they celebrated their ingenious money-making scam.

4. When all of the money in the land of Egypt was gone, the people came to the palace and complained. “We have no money to pay for grain, are you going to sit here and watch us die?”

5. “Sounds like a good idea” Joseph replied, before having an idea.

6. “I know,” he said, “Instead of giving you grain for free, we will now accept payments in livestock!”

7. The year went well, but the following the people were all out of livestock. So, still eager for more power, Joseph bought all of the land in Egypt, and every single person as a slave.

8. Finally, after everything the people had was taken from them, Joseph gave them all seeds and set them to work on the land he had bought. “Don’t forget to give a fifth of all of your produce to the pharaoh” he reminded them.

9. So the people celebrated being slaves while Joseph and the pharaoh celebrated that their scheme had worked. Instead of a protest, the people had given in, and Joseph and the pharaoh now owned every single thing in Egypt.

10. Jacob grew old, but it’ll be a few chapters before he actually dies, and he made Joseph swear to bury him in Canaan with his fathers.

The New Bible homepage can be found here.

Image courtesy of vectorolie at FreeDigitalPhotos.net