Saturday, June 23, 2012

The Books of the Bible: A Critical View Series – Genesis Chapter 01

I believe the bible was written by man, not the Judea-Christian god. I cannot prove this to be true except for the lack of evidence that this god does exist. It doesn't take a learned scholar to raise questions as to the contradictions and irregularities rampant throughout holy text. This is my drop in the sea of opinion. This writing is as much for me to get what is in my head out as it is for my desire to share my thoughts with the world.

This is my first participation in a Humanist/Freethinkers view on books in the bible. My plan is to provide the passage along with my interpretation and questions, if any. I will do my best to explain my rationale behind my decisions when necessary. Comments and suggestions are always welcome. Please remember I hold civility over any other social action. I will have no issue deleting your post if you are not civil. Disagree with me until the sun falls from the sky, but do not lose your civility.

Let me explain how I define words and regulate interpretations. The Bible is translated into almost 2300 different languages (, English is one of these languages. I can only assume that if the bible is translated and sold in English that modern theologians and the lay reader would agree that using an English dictionary/thesaurus to clarify definitions or synonyms is acceptable. I will be using ( as my dictionary & thesaurus for definitions, synonyms, and antonyms. This is widely distributed and accepted in many professional and educational institutions.

My format will be as follows. I will provide the book as the title of the article. This will be assumed throughout that particular article as I have no intention of repeating the book title for every reference. Within the article each section will begin with the chapter and verse followed by the direct quote from each. I will be using the online bible from ( The choice of bible was primarily because it is the downloaded version on my iPad but also because of its global accessibility. And if I can be frank here, the specific version of the English bible is not important as I will have detractors regardless of the translated version that I use. Specifically I will be using the version 4.0.1 for Genesis Chapter 1.  I will post any newer software versions when applicable.

 1:2  And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.
-          If the earth was without form, and void, it could not be the same object that we call “Earth” now. Why would God call this formless concept Earth?
-          Without form is also labeled as formless. Formless synonyms include amorphous, shapeless, unshaped, bodiless, ethereal, nonphysical.
-          How could God move upon the face of the waters if there was no form to the Earth?

1:7  And God made the firmament, and divided the waters which were under the firmament from the waters which were above the firmament: and it was so.
-          In 1:8 he called this firmament heaven. How can he create heaven again after he already created it in 1:2 prior to calling it of the same name in 1:7?
-          If heaven and earth were two separate creations (1:2), why did it take until 1:7 to separate them? Were they one entity or two in 1:2? The bible says they were two however 1:7 indicates God had to separate them.

1:9  And God said, Let the waters under the heaven be gathered together unto one place, and let the dry land appear: and it was so.
-          This is saying that God gathered together all bodies of water that were physically separated, then put them together to form one solid water mass. From the joining of these bodies of water, land was able to appear.
-          Does this passage point towards a single global ocean, Panthalassa?
-          Does this point towards plate tectonics?
-          I will agree that this does not admit to a single solid land pass, Pangea (supercontinent).

1:10  And God called the dry land Earth . . . 
-        God already accomplished this in 1:2. Why did he create something formless and name it Earth, then create land, and call it the same thing?

1:11  And God said, Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb yielding seed, and the fruit tree yielding fruit after his kind, whose seed is in itself, upon the earth; and it is so.
-          This subtle passage helps in an ongoing opinion that I hold to with great strength. Most passages you come across do not provide a scale of passing time. I bring this to light for one very important reason; you cannot prove or disprove evolution based on lack of a documented time scale. It is very important that we recognize when a time scale is presented to us and when it is not. Without a time scale, one cannot prove or disprove the passing of time, or more importantly when an incidence occurred in biblical record in relation to the present.

1:14  And God said, Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years:
-          God already accomplished this in 1:3.
-          Why would he find the need to create light again?

1:16  And God made two great lights; the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night: he made the stars also.
-          This passage explains there are two lights that are distinct and separate from each other and from the stars. The greater light to rule the day can be universally assumed to be the sun. The lesser light to rule the night can be assumed, with a reasonable sense of accuracy to be the moon. Even though Aristotle (384-322 B.C.) hinted that the light from the moon is reflected, this passage specifically states God made two lights.

This passage is very “enlightening” (pun intended) as it hints to the idea that the writers of the bible were not aware or chose to ignore that moonlight was reflected light from the sun. This is highly important as it is without argument that the sun is the source of moonlight. But the writers of Genesis state God created the lesser light to rule the night. This can only be a reference to moonlight. This to me is a glaring and irrefutable fact that the bible was written by man, as God would not make this mistake.

1:18  And to rule over the day and over the night, and to divide the light from the darkness: and God saw that it was good.
-          God already accomplished this in 1:5.

1:20  And God said, Let the waters bring forth abundantly the moving creature that hath life, and fowl that may fly above the earth in the open firmament of heaven.
-          This passage would indicate that the firmament is the sky? But isn’t the firmament heaven?
-          This could be another indication that man, not God wrote the bible. All space from the ground upwards was not very well understood. The idea that the bible would call the atmosphere heaven due to a lack of understanding of the layers of atmosphere to include space is, in my opinion, an obvious example of men being the original authors of the bible.

1:24  And God said, Let the earth bring forth the living creature after his kind, cattle, and creeping thing, and beast of the earth after his kind: and it was so.
-          God already accomplished this in 1:20.

1:26  And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. . .
-          Who is the “us” and the “our” that God speaks of.
-          With nothing more to go from since we are supposedly reading the beginning of time, this passage cannot be interpreted any other way than there was more than one God.

1:30  And to every beast of the earth, and to every fowl of the air, and to every thing that creepeth upon the earth, wherein there is life, I have given every green herb for meat: and it was so.
-          This is a big one so I will do my best.
-          If we include 1:29 with this verse, we can only conclude that God meant for man to be vegetarians.

Here’s why:
-          God gave man every herb bearing seed and every fruit of a tree yielding seed for meat. God gave every green herb as meat to every beast of the earth and to every fowl of the air, and to every thing that creepeth upon the earth.
-          At this time God does not intend for man to eat meat only because he doesn’t say that man can.
-          This passage does not seem important, and overall it probably isn’t, but it is clear that the original intent of God is for man to rule the animal kingdom (1:26), but never does God allow, up till now, man to eat the animal kingdom.


  1. Hi Danny,

    I think that it's great to read the Bible with such a critical lens. A lot of the bolded questions you've posed are best answered when the authorship of the Bible is considered in its historical and cultural backdrop of the Ancient Near East. The similarities between the biblical creation story and creation stories of other ancient Near Eastern cultures are astonishing. I've personally found Christine Hayes' course on Open Yale Courseware to be helpful in this direction. I think that your undertaking would be greatly aided by watching some class sessions. Here's the link:

    1. Thank you very much for the link. I have used open courseware in e past and hope to learn much. I have been an atheist for years, but have just recently began sharing my views. I should be able to apply this to my writing.

      Again, thanks.