First, let me say that I'm not deliberately trying to pull out things to make the Bible look bad, but some things are just too hard to pass by without mentioning. My first surprise when I started reading was that the stories weren't in actual chronological order. As much as the Bible is used by Christians as a book of history, and it is written in that tone as well, I didn't expect the stories to not follow a timeline. Other than that, my overall attitude about what I've read so far is it feels like a history book I would be assigned in high school and I'm scared that one of the many people listed in the lineage are going to be on the test and I will fail based on my lack of being able to memorize the long list of who was the son of who.
I was also surprised at what feels like the lack of good role models thus far and moral stories. I knew there are some pretty sketchy accounts of prophets in the Bible, but I thought I remembered reading about great things they had done when I was in Sunday school as a kid. Now reading through it verbatim, I'm overwhelmed with the lying! Either people are lying about who they are, who their wife is, or what they have done... I'm anxiously awaiting some good moral story to prove to me my Sunday school lessons weren't a lie. I know it's there! I should give credit to Abraham for following God's command and following through though.
I was a bit taken aback by the anthropomorphic nature of these verses:
Gen 1:10 ...And God saw that it was good.
Gen 3:8-10 And they heard the sound of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God among the trees of the garden. 9But the LORD God called to the man and said to him, "Where are you?" 10And he said, "I heard the sound of you in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked, and I hid myself."
Gen 18:33 And the LORD went his way, when he had finished speaking to Abraham, and Abraham returned to his place.
Angels are also mentioned in an anthropomorphic fashion:
Gen 19:1-2 The two angels came to Sodom in the evening, and Lot was sitting in the gate of Sodom. When Lot saw them, he rose to meet them and bowed himself with his face to the earth 2and said, "My lords, please turn aside to your servant’s house and spend the night and wash your feet. Then you may rise up early and go on your way." They said, "No; we will spend the night in the town square."Some curiosities. I just put links to the verses to make it easier on the eyes and save space:
Gen 19:8 Behold, I have two daughters who have not known any man. Let me bring them out to you, and do to them as you please. Only do nothing to these men, for they have come under the shelter of my roof."
Sons of God have children with daughters of man? Gen 6:4Things I like:
What is significance of the animals being clean? Gen 8:20
What is the bow in the cloud? Gen 9:13
Why must Isaac's wife be from the land they left? Gen 24:3-6
Why does Rebekah cover herself in front of Isaac but not his servant? Gen 24:65
What exactly is Esau's birthright? Gen 25:32
Is this a support for tithing? Gen 28:22
They use divination?? Gen 30:27
Gen 1:14 And God said, "Let there be lights in the expanse of the heavens to separate the day from the night. And let them be for signs and for seasons, and for days and years,
I think I like this one because it reminds me of how Allah tells us in the Qur'an that the stars are signs for those who reflect
Gen 2:24 Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.
Gen 1:28 And God blessed them. And God said to them, "Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth."
I think people in the US especially (just because that is largely what I know) need to remember that with dominion comes responsibility. Do people think their actions upon Allah's creation are going to go unnoticed? The Bible goes further in Gen 3:16 mentioning that man has rule over his wife. This seems to be a harsh tone, but I know the meaning that one would give behind it. All I have to say is if this was in the Qur'an, people would be pointing to it left and right saying, "See?! Men can do whatever they want to towards their wives!!"
And the disturbing accounts of the prophets:
Gen 9:20-21 Noah began to be a man of the soil, and he planted a vineyard. 21He drank of the wine and became drunk and lay uncovered in his tent.
Gen 19:33-36 Lot's daughters get him drunk so they can sleep with him and get pregnant
Gen 20:12 Besides, she is indeed my sister, the daughter of my father though not the daughter of my mother, and she became my wife. (Abraham is speaking in this passage)
Gen 26:9 So Abimelech called Isaac and said, "Behold, she is your wife. How then could you say, 'She is my sister'?" Isaac said to him, "Because I thought, 'Lest I die because of her.'" (Abraham did the same thing: hiding that a woman is his wife. It isn't a huge thing, but the continued lying when convenient became disturbing)
I'm a bit bothered by the account of Isaac and Ishmael. Not that Ishmael needs to be the firstborn because he's the "father of the Arabs" or anything like that, but I don't get how things like Gen 13:16 is ignored, and how was Sarai wronged (see Gen 16:5) when she chose this path? I understand a wife having jealousy, but for Ishmael to be completely ignored as the first born seems extreme.
Whew! I should write the updates quicker because getting that all compiled again was quite a bit of work! And, I'm sure it is a bit to read through. Anyway, inshaAllah I'll get some more reading done over the next few days and share with you all. Tomorrow is very, very busy. InshaAllah I'm not totally fried at the end of it!
Peace and Blessings!