Friday, October 30, 2009

Genesis 1-2

You can read the 4 chapters for yourself if you want. It will add validity to my commentary.

First rule of Bible interpretation... Context, context, context. You have to interpret what you read based not only on the passage it is in, but by the whole overtone of the Bible. I'm going to start from the mindset that I have never read the Bible before. I am trying to look at the pages as a new convert would. Someone who doesn't have a long history of mentors trying to tell her what each verse is supposed to mean.

That said, I'm going to isolate specific portions of scripture as they pertain specifically to women, and I'm going to paraphrase the rest of it.

Chapter 1:
First, God creates everything. On the sixth day here's what He does.

26-28 God spoke: "Let us make human beings in our image, make them
reflecting our nature
So they can be responsible for the fish in the sea,
the birds in the air, the cattle,
And, yes, Earth itself,
and every animal that moves on the face of Earth."
God created human beings;
he created them godlike,
Reflecting God's nature.
He created them male and female.
God blessed them:
"Prosper! Reproduce! Fill Earth! Take charge!
Be responsible for fish in the sea and birds in the air,
for every living thing that moves on the face of Earth."

29-30 Then God said, "I've given you
every sort of seed-bearing plant on Earth
And every kind of fruit-bearing tree,
given them to you for food.
To all animals and all birds,
everything that moves and breathes,
I give whatever grows out of the ground for food."
And there it was.

In this part of the passage God is talking about humans. He's not isolating male from female. The same information applies to both sexes. Humans were the last beings created. They are God-like... posessing His nature. They were given specific jobs: reproduce, take care of plants and animals, and take control of everything else in creation. They were also told to eat plants not animals.

It seems to imply that men and women are equal beings with the same role. Keep in mind, this is before any sin entered the world, so this is God's ideal setting. They are equally God like, there is no authority over each other... only equal authority under God, their creator.

Chapter 2:

God rested on the 7th Day, and then the chapter seems to make a U-turn. It goes into much greater detail about the creation of each sex.

18-20 God said, "It's not good for the Man to be alone; I'll make him a helper, a companion." SoGod formed from the dirt of the ground all the animals of the field and all the birds of the air. He brought them to the Man to see what he would name them. Whatever the Man called each living creature, that was its name. The Man named the cattle, named the birds of the air, named the wild animals; but he didn't find a suitable companion.

God wanted to make sure that every creature had a means of reproducing and companionship. He seems to want to drive home the point to men that they NEED women. Ideally, they are not supposed to carry out their life's work without female companionship and help. I find it interesting that he made the man do a bunch of work and follow a thought to it's logical conclusion.

God: "Ok Man, Here's what you're supposed to do. I made all these things and you have to name them."

Man: "Hmmm... these two look the same, I'll name them ---. Hey, these two look the same, also. Hey, how come everyone else gets a double, and I don't?"

Here's where I could go on a long rabbit trail about the meaning of the word "help", and how it applies to the idea of "co-dependence." Are we supposed to help by simply fetching and carrying, or does this apply to the concept of helping them become better human beings? Where is the fine line between being a helper who works alongside, and a helper who teaches a better process?

I've heard teachings about why God used a rib. I find it interesting how people like to take this little section and create entire theologies about their interpretation of these two little verses. For now I'm just going to say, the fact is this: He used a part of the man to make a woman. I happen to think that it's just a continuation of the emphasis on the fact that man isn't supposed to try to do things by himself. Women should see themselves as facilitators.

23-25 The Man said,
"Finally! Bone of my bone,
flesh of my flesh!
Name her Woman
for she was made from Man."
Therefore a man leaves his father and mother and embraces his wife. They become one flesh.
The two of them, the Man and his Wife, were naked, but they felt no shame.

Ok, so this is the ideal. Men are supposed to pair up with women and make their own unit. Women are supposed to see themselves as half of a two piece puzzle. They aren't supposed to be alone either, and they're original purpose was to "help" their male counterpart.

Also in this ideal, pre-sin situation they don't waste any energy worrying about how they look. They are completely without barriers. Nothing to hide behind, but also no reason to hide.

No comments:

Post a Comment