Posted 26 January 2011 - 05:53 PM
We were talking about the bible as myth in the politics forum so I figured I'd move the convo here. I've been thinking about it the last week or so and was reading Genesis, the early stuff to see if I could find some examples. First off, let me say, it's been a while and as a guy who reads alot, it really doesn't get better than this stuff. I mean it's got a little for everyone. It also made me think of why the gnostics always thought God was the bad guy. I mean he pretty much is a vindictive, jealous asswipe.If you read it with the perspective that it's written about 1000 years after Abraham died (who it's mostly about) and that these people were nomadic tribesmen it makes alot more sense then it has to me previously. A quick thing about how old the people lived. It was nothing for the people pre-flood to live to be 600 up to 1000 years. Abraham died happy and content at the ripe old age of 137. I have to think the writers knew how long they and their ancestors lived, but why did they give superhuman aging powers to the their early ancestors? If you look at it as the writers, simply writing down myths that had been passed down for generations it makes more sense. Stories seem to get grander and grander the longer they are spread around and passed down. "Oh and he lived to be 80, no I mean, 280, no I meant he lived to be 8 HUNDRED YEARS OLD! They could speak to Gods, fought angels, dealt with angels, their towers reached the sky, they seemingly lived forever. This really isn't much different than Aesops fables or Chinese/Japanese mythology etc.The other thing is that being nomadic tribesmen, God seemed to favor humans that were decietful, tricky and conniving over those that were generally your typical loyal follower, especially with Jacob over Esau. Jacob tricked dear old dad, Isaac into blessing him instead of Esau by wearing goatskin to have the hairy appearance of his brother (dad was old and blind and near death but still managed to live a long time afterwards for some reason) while he gave him a bowl of stew. It worked and Jacob became the son blessed and favored by God and apparently there weren't any "take-backs" in those days because after Isaac found out, it was tough luck for Esau. Years later when Jacob was trying to win back his brothers affection (because he was afraid Esau was going to kick his ass for the bullshit he's pulled), he tried to bribe him with hundreds of animals. But, no, Esau was a good guy and said, "**** it, keep your sheep" and gave him a chest bump and a big hug and was very altruistic and forgiving about the matter. The real question is why everyone names their kid Jacob? He was a snot. You never hear of poor old Esau and he was really the good guy in the affair. Virtually every story in Genesis is filled with sibling rivalry. Heck, Cain killed Abel because when they both made plates of food as gifts to God, God prefered the Abel's meat over Cains vegetable platter. God wasn't a Vegan apparently. That sent Cain into a rage so he killed his brother. God didn't seem to mind though since Cain went on to prosper with God's help. Anyway, I suppose in all these Genesis stories God favored only one of the sons and only conniving tricky women survived, because you know, that's the way it was back then. There probably wasn't enough to pass on to more than one son. Women were treated like sheep, much like today's tribal muslims still do. The stories just got carried away to epic proportions over time. I don't think there's much of a chance that what they thought the story meant is what we think the story means.
As Eric Idle wrote: You know, you come from nothing - you're going back to nothing. What have you lost? Nothing!