Genesis was an interesting read, though I’ll admit that at times it was difficult to stay focused while reading it. This was largely because of the passages that focus merely on who begat who, at what age they did so and how long they lived. Despite this, there was still an incredible amount that was very intriguing when given the right amount of focus and consideration. Being an atheist, I view the text from a different perspective than those who are religious, so I’m trying to take into account that this is a very important text to many.
One aspect of Genesis that I really enjoyed reading was the beginning, as various creation stories have always been very interesting to me. I found it fascinating the way different elements of Earth were said to be created, and what came before what, and how it all happened in seven days. One interesting thing about the first part of the text that a friend pointed out to me was the slightly different way it was written. The repetition and style of the first section is not seen again in quite the same way. The theory, they said, was that someone different wrote the first bit and then someone else continued it.
I found things happened both very quickly and slowly, depending on the event, and because of this I may have missed a few things while reading. I surprised by the minimal justification God gave to “blot out from the earth the human beings I have created”. There were all of a few lines of observation of wickedness before the plan for the flood was created. This was a very different feel from the gods of The Odyssey and Medea, as one of them would not single handedly be able to wipe so much life from the earth without consequences. On this point, as I read Genesis I found myself continually comparing this god to the Greek gods, and was fairly focused on the role of the divine throughout the text. However, in hindsight there are many more aspects about humanity and the societies of the time that are depicted to focus on. For example, Joseph’s story was particularly interesting to me with its issues of anger, jealousy, revenge, and forgiveness. I wondered, for one thing, how the brothers dealt with the guilt of having sold Joseph as a slave. Many very emotionally charged events were slightly downplayed I felt. If I were Joseph, having been sold and then wrongly accused of sexual assault, I would be far more damaged and faithless. But I suppose that’s where the role of God came in. that’s another thing I found very interesting, was the total faith that is portrayed in Genesis. With the Greek gods, the characters know that the gods are not always dependable or helpful. But with this god, anyone who is favored by Him must display complete faith.
I would like to comment on the portrayal of women in Genesis, but unfortunately there is simply too much to say. This is a topic I feel I could write multiple essays on for each of the books we’ve read so far, but I’d like to simply not comment on it in this blog post as I would likely ramble for far too long.
Over and out,