It’s amazing how many people make their livings reading and then explaining the Bible. Even move interesting is the growing group of secular/atheist scholars earning a living at this as well.
I’m drawn to the atheist scholars who, even though they do not all agree with each other, discuss the Bible in a detached way. Scholars who are believers, even well known ones, can get all misty eyed when explaining the Bible.
Reading a secular review of Genesis yields some insight into where the Old Testament came from and the conflicts going on at the time. The first disagreement is on whether the text was referring to a single “god” or many “gods”.
As you can read below, there are arguments for both interpretations. One conclusion is this imprecision happened because authors were combining different versions of the Adam and Eve story when both beliefs in the one and the many gods existed.
While it seems clear the Adam and Eve story was lifted from earlier creation stories, it has a unique aspect. It is that its deity is more powerful than the leading human characters in older religions. That is to say, the Biblical authors’ created a god which they used to intimidate strong competitors around them.
The control technique began with the Old Testament God punishing with genocide. The NT Jesus played a mind game of guilt to accomplished control.
An honest reading of the Bible must include determining the motives of its authors.
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