Noah

Day 151

This is the Mew of project days. If we were going by the Hebrew calendar, which features 30-day months, I’d be just over five months. And honestly, that’s about right anyway. It was just in my mind because I had a conversation about end-time prophecies with a Jehovah’s Witness friend of mine, and he was explaining some of the Biblical rationale behind the significance of the year 1914. It involved the Hebrew calendar. So that’s that.

Anyway, on to today’s news.


Numbers 34

We’re down to three days ’til Deuteronomy. Huzzah!

Numbers 34 outlines, literally, the boundaries of the land that God has granted to Israel. I wasn’t really sure what to make of this chapter, so I turned as I do to Matthew Henry’s commentary.

“Canaan was of small extent; as it is here bounded, it is but about 160 miles in length, and about 50 in breadth; yet this was the country promised to the father of the faithful, and the possession of the seed of Israel. This was that little spot of ground, in which alone, for many ages, God was known.”

So this is what confused me. This issue raises questions.

If God eventually through Christ wants to save all men, then why did he not reveal himself to all mankind? I don’t really like the Calvinist view that some are simply condemned to Hell no matter what. To me, that presumes that free will is nothing but an illusion, as those who make the choice to accept God/Christ have already been predestined to do so.

I mean, let’s presume we’re talking about sometime between 1000-2000 years BC. In China, the dynasties are already in full force; there are millions of people the world over that are essentially denied salvation due to God’s selection of the Israelites as His chosen people. Why? Is every single one of the people in the world so corrupted? Then why send Christ later, to give everyone a chance?

I’m not going to get into Revelations for answers; it’s too far off. But in terms of ideas related to Heaven and Hell, I’ll post these helpful links.

The first is related to the Jewish tradition, the second and third are from the Jehovah’s Witnesses. Their beliefs may be a tad unorthodox but damn if they don’t know how to cite the Bible. As for me, I’m not sure how I feel on this yet. The only thing I can say is that a full and complete denial of salvation to a huge part of the world sounds unthinkable.

I did find this, an article about the Seven Laws of Noah. Apparently, gentiles are not only not obligated to follow Jewish law, they are in some sense prohibited from following it, as they are not God’s chosen people. But according to the Noahide law and interpretation from various Hebrew scholars, the intention was that even gentiles had the chance to be righteous by following the law. Apparently, it was important to recognize God as the reason behind the law as well.

Anyway, I’m sure I’ll revisit this theological discussion at several points throughout the course of this project, and maybe by the time I’m done I’ll have a satisfying answer.

Good day, all. Peace be upon you.

Day 10

Woo! Ten days in a row. So far so good!

So I added a new page, which I will be sure to whore out every day until it starts receiving regular attention. Basically I’m soliciting interpretations from the good people out there reading this blog. I have my opinion and I have Matthew Henry’s opinion, but I want to hear from a broader variety of people. I’m interested to see what people from different walks of life think about the Bible.

The submission page and guidelines can be found here. Click the link and go at it!

Also I want to clarify something before I get into today’s chapter: I keep referring to my partner as just that, my “partner.” I know someday she is going to read this and probably be confused as to why I chose that word. A few reasons:

  1. It does signify a close bond, as we go through our lives together.
  2. Saying “girlfriend” seems cheesy, even though I’ve already outed her gender.
  3. Part of it seems distant and mysterious, and for purposes of this blog, I kind of like that.

That’s all there is to it, really. Just wanted to clear that up because I know someday she’ll read this. (Yes, you. ♥)

Genesis 10

Today we have the weird inbred genealogy of the sons of Noah. I know Biblical genealogy is concerned with the lineages of sons, and that daughters are not mentioned, but seriously, either back in the day people knew that these were stories and that there were other people to be found on Earth… or people were just totally a-okay with a lot of incest and inbreeding. Maybe they just didn’t read into it.

What was that about inbreeding?

“Well, golly! Only people round here to beget with are my cousins, my sisters, and my mother!” ¹

So we have the sons of Japheth (see above), who become the Gentiles, who “separated into their lands, everyone according to his language, according to their families, into their nations” (Genesis 10:5).

Then we get into the sons of Ham: Pork, Bacon, Loin, Cubed, Shaved… Alright, I’ll stop. But seriously, the sons of Ham. Eventually through his lineage, we get one of Canaan’s nephews, the mighty hunter Nimrod, whose reputation lasted right up until Bugs Bunny came along and turned him into an insult. I wasn’t going to write much about him but then I looked up the Matthew Henry commentary. I’ll just leave this here:

“Nimrod was a great man in his day; he began to be mighty in the earth, Those before him were content to be upon the same level with their neighbours, and though every man bare rule in his own house, yet no man pretended any further. Nimrod was resolved to lord it over his neighbours. The spirit of the giants before the flood, who became mighty men, and men of renown, Genesis 6:4, revived in him. Nimrod was a great hunter. Hunting then was the method of preventing the hurtful increase of wild beasts. This required great courage and address, and thus gave an opportunity for Nimrod to command others, and gradually attached a number of men to one leader. From such a beginning, it is likely, that Nimrod began to rule, and to force others to submit. He invaded his neighbours’ rights and properties, and persecuted innocent men; endeavouring to make all his own by force and violence. He carried on his oppressions and violence in defiance of God himself. Nimrod was a great ruler. Some way or other, by arts or arms, he got into power, and so founded a monarchy, which was the terror of the mighty, and bid fair to rule all the world. Nimrod was a great builder. Observe in Nimrod the nature of ambition. It is boundless; much would have more, and still cries, Give, give. It is restless; Nimrod, when he had four cities under his command, could not be content till he had four more. It is expensive; Nimrod will rather be at the charge of rearing cities, than not have the honour of ruling them. It is daring, and will stick at nothing. Nimrod’s name signifies rebellion; tyrants to men are rebels to God. The days are coming, when conquerors will no longer be spoken of with praise, as in man’s partial histories, but be branded with infamy, as in the impartial records of the Bible.” ²

Come on, Matthew! You’re making me look bad, over here. I’m making incest jokes about Gen 10 and he’s busy analyzing that Nimrod is a tyrant, a “rebel to God,” which would make a kick-ass band name. But seriously, wow. Matthew Henry expands on this point in his analysis of the line of Canaan. I can’t not share this.

“The posterity of Canaan were numerous, rich, and pleasantly seated; yet Canaan was under a Divine curse, and not a curse causeless. Those that are under the curse of God, may, perhaps, thrive and prosper in this world; for we cannot know love or hatred, the blessing or the curse, by what is before us, but by what is within us. The curse of God always works really, and always terribly. Perhaps it is a secret curse, a curse to the soul, and does not work so that others can see it; or a slow curse, and does not work soon; but sinners are reserved by it for a day of wrath. Canaan here has a better land than either Shem or Japheth, and yet they have a better lot, for they inherit the blessing. Abram and his seed, God’s covenant people, descended from Eber, and from him were called Hebrews. How much better it is to be like Eber, the father of a family of saints and honest men, than the father of a family of hunters after power, worldly wealth, or vanities. Goodness is true greatness.” ²

Wow. This is a beautiful description, an amazing interpretation. It reminds me of everything I have read thus far related to goodness and success. It reminds me especially of that wonderful book, The Four Agreements, where Don Miguel Ruiz describes the dream of Hell in which mankind is living.

“We cannot know love or hatred, the blessing or the curse, by what is before us, but by what is within us.”

— Matthew Henry

This reminds me especially of something written in The Myth of Sisyphus:

“It is probably true that a man remains forever unknown to us and that there is in him something irreducible that escapes us. But practically I know men and recognize them by their behavior, by the totality of their deeds, by the consequences caused in life by their presence.”

— Albert Camus

All these authors and writers are privy to a truth that many of us feel but have no words to describe. No matter what shows on the outside, man suffers in the absence of God. In the Bible, Noah curses Canaan and his lineage, but in truth he need say nothing; Canaan curses himself and his children by his actions, by leading them down a bad road, away from the grace and love of the Lord.

Ruiz knows that we live in Hell, that men suffer in silence in the depths of their souls because we have abandoned love and truth and beauty. We are wounded, lost children, and we strike at others out of fear and anger. No matter the heights of our success, in the end we are empty and miserable. We cannot be placated with material things; gold does not fill the coffers of the soul.

Camus would not be thrilled that I suggest turning to God to rectify this, but let me clarify: the feeling, the knowing of God can be had on Earth by mortal men. One does not have to cling to a hope of a distant heaven. Ruiz says as much himself: Heaven is a state of mind, and it is possible to attain. There are people on Earth who live lives of happiness, who do not suffer despite having excuses to do so.

I recognize God, I love God, and I accept God, in my own way, but I also recognize and accept the absurdity of “the human condition.” I cannot prove God to you. But my experiences and my life have been nothing short of miraculous, and if you have the eyes to see it, you will realize that your life is the greatest miracle and the highest truth. God works his magic through you. Look at all the “coincidences,” learn from them, see where your life has come from and where it has gone. There is no place you could be but here, no time you could be but now.

This moment is yours.

Seize it.

 

¹ http://www.dvdtalk.com/reviews/25574/gomer-pyle-usmc-the-complete-first-season/

² http://www.christnotes.org/commentary.php?com=mhc&b=1&c=10

Day 9

One of my three best friends is now the only person who knows the extent of this project. I probably should not have told anyone. I feel as though my drive to complete it has lessened.

Perhaps this is my challenge, and this is my way of overcoming that lazy aspect of my psychology. This is the day when I can tell people of my plans and see them through nonetheless.

I can complete this project. I will complete this project. I must complete this project.

For when I have shown myself that I have the dedication to read the Bible and write every single day for the next three years and then some… I will know that I can do anything.

I am tired today, and from the past week and from yesterday I am fairly overwhelmed. This overwhelmèd-ness probably doesn’t help my mood and my desire to write, but I must press on. I am not a failure and I am not a coward and I will do this; I will complete this project by the grace of God because I must.

So, yay, day 9 (of 1189). Only 1180 more days to go!

Overconfident Drinker

This is pretty much how I feel right now. I know I used Comic Sans. Deal with it!

I better just shut up and get on with it.

Genesis 9

Here we have the end of the flood story. The flood ends, God is satisfied at the offering from Noah, and God gives unto Noah a promise or a covenant. God tells Noah that never again will he destroy the Earth via flood.

A lot of people, including Jehovah’s Witnesses, I believe, use this story and any related later verses as proof of the fact that God will never destroy the Earth. Not now, nor 10 billion years from now. Although explicitly that goes back to yesterday, Genesis 8:21, where the Lord says “nor will I again destroy every living thing as I have done.”

But I suppose destroying the Earth would not necessarily entail destroying all living things. We have space travel now, and we’re getting better at it. We’ve identified several “earth-like” planets, and it’s likely that one or more of them would be habitable. My JW friend once said, describing the Lord not destroying the world, “You don’t build a house for your children just to destroy it.”

His logic is admirable. I told him I disagreed, seeing as the Earth is a tiny fraction of all the matter in the universe, and probably an even tinier fraction of the near-infinite volume of the universe. The number of planets that are like earth in our own galaxy, let alone neighboring galaxies…. Yes, granted, any neighboring galaxy is insanely far away my the standards of modern space travel, but in the future, who knows? I retorted to my friend that “One does not build a cradle for His children and expect them to live in it forever!”

It seemed in the olden days that the garden of Eden, the Fertile Crescent was the cradle of civilization. But our view of the universe has expanded considerably. We are no longer the center of everything. There is a vast emptiness beyond the sky of our tiny planet, and speaking practically, it gives absolutely zero f***s about humanity.

Pale Blue Dot

Yeah, that’s right, Earth. You want some of this? ¹

That tiny pixel circled above is the Earth suspended in a sunbeam as viewed from Voyager 1. Carl Sagan’s writings regarding this image are awesome, and you should read them: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pale_blue_dot#Reflections_by_Sagan

But I digress. So God tells Noah some stuff, like “Don’t eat the flesh while it still has blood,” Genesis 9:4, and “I swear you guys, I won’t do it again.”

The blood thing confused me and especially the continued writings about things like “From the hand of every man’s brother I will require the life of a man” (Genesis 9:5). I turn of course to Matthew Henry. Henry, take it away.

“The main reason of forbidding the eating of blood, doubtless was because the shedding of blood in sacrifices was to keep the worshippers (sic?) in mind of the great atonement; yet it seems intended also to check cruelty, lest men, being used to shed and feed upon the blood of animals, should grow unfeeling to them, and be less shocked at the idea of shedding human blood. Man must not take away his own life. Our lives are God’s, and we must only give them up when he pleases. If we in any way hasten our own death, we are accountable to God for it.” ²

Seems fair? So we have blood sacrifices to keep in mind the necessity of atonement. This is like what my partner told me that I related to all of you a few days ago: before Christ, there was a need to give early man a way to redeem themselves of their sins. So, animal sacrifices and other ways to show humility and faith were necessary. For a time.

So anyway, let’s wrap this up. I have to leave for work in short order.

Noah gets plastered (Genesis 9:21). He seriously cannot handle his alcohol. I get it, Noah, he’s a holy man, God’s chosen to save the world, etc., but really. Even I know my limits. The good Mr. Henry says that we need to be careful not to use God’s gifts to excess. Seems fair. Especially the “green herbs,” if you know what I mean (Genesis 9:3). It’s probably for the best that there’s no record of Noah getting really high.

Double Rainbow

“Oh my God! Double covenant, all the way across the sky!” ³

So, the jerk son of Noah, Ham, goes and gossips about his father. Nope. The other two brothers, Shem and Japheth, don’t look at their naked father but instead cover him with a garment. When Noah woke up, he was expecting to be naked apparently, because after seeing the clothes, he realized that someone had gone gossiping about his nakedness. So he curses Canaan, son of Ham.

Matthew Henry points out that Shem is the father of the Jews, Japheth the father of the gentiles, and Canaan, well, the father of the Canaanites, coincidentally enough. Matthew Henry condemns it, but he points out that this chapter was used for a long time to justify black slavery the world over, since Noah curses Canaan to be a “servant of servants,” pretty much the lowest of the low (Genesis 9:25).

Django

“And buddy, that’s pretty f***ing low.” ª

Anyway, Matthew Henry points out that when Noah prays for God to allow Japheth to “dwell in the tents of Shem,” he is expressing his desire that these families, these groups will someday be united. Mr. Henry asserts that this foretelling will come true through the death and sacrifice of Jesus Christ.

…Who we won’t even see or hear about for another 505 pages of this Bible. Oy.

Have a blessèd day, everybody. Thanks for reading, and peace be upon you.

 

¹ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:PaleBlueDot.jpg

² Henry, Matthew. http://www.christnotes.org/commentary.php?com=mhc&b=1&c=9

³ http://i3.kym-cdn.com/entries/icons/original/000/003/128/doublerainbow.jpg

ª http://www.eonline.com/eol_images/Entire_Site/20121112/reg_1024.Django.mh.121212.jpg

Day 7

You know, I really hope when this goes live, that I can still find the font I like. (Update: Nope.)

My partner is resting in the other room. She still doesn’t know about this project because I don’t want to the pressure yet of her reading it. But this means I have to work quickly.

While doing some cleaning this past week, I found my copy of The Myth of Sisyphus and Other Essays by Albert Camus. Two confessions:

  1. I have not actually read any of the other essays because they are not nearly as exciting or as engaging as The Myth of Sisyphus.
  2. Even though I know he is French, I almost cannot help pronouncing his first name with a hard “T” sound and his last name as “CAY-muss.” Somehow, “Cah-MOO” just doesn’t have the same ring to it.

But anyway, finding this book and reading it has helped me, at least partially, to resolve my crisis of faith by re-solidifying my position as an absurdist. For those not familiar, there are roughly three schools of philosophical thought when it comes to the meaning of life and the universe. I know there are probably more but I will break it down simply:

  1. Existentialism: There is some meaning to life/the universe.
  2. Nihilism: Nothing means anything.
  3. Absurdism: Who can tell?

This is basically a great oversimplification, as existentialism actually posits a more human- and individual-focused philosophy, and there are often more facets to nihilism… but for my purposes, this is sufficient.

Absurdism basically recognizes that man is or feels essentially alone in a confusing universe that appears to be devoid of meaning. The absurd condition is not an inherent property of the universe, nor is it a property of man, but rather it arises seemingly naturally from man’s existence within the universe. The absurd is what arises when man tries to find objective meaning and comes up with nothing. Camus writes that there are two ways of escaping this: hope, and suicide.

But neither is necessary! He says instead embrace the absurd, be comfortable with “those waterless deserts where thought reaches its confines.” Many try their best to escape, or to quit their lives and end the confusion, but Camus writes that “[t]he real effort is to stay there, rather, in so far as that is possible, and to examine closely the odd vegetation of those distant regions.” I just love his writing. If I knew French, I would read it in French.

Odd Vegetation

After beginning again The Myth of Sisyphus I was plunged back into awareness of the absurd and I reveled in it. I forgot what it felt like to be free. My entire crisis of faith revolved around my trying to escape the desert, but what I really needed to do was embrace it.

Do I believe in God? No. I am aware of God and I know that God exists in some form. But God is neither an escape nor a diversion for me. My particular spirituality, which I feel I will need to explain soon, is based on nothing but my personal experience. It works because it works for me. It does not help me escape absurdity because that is not my goal, but it does help me make the most of my life. Spirituality is important for me, but I’m happy to remember the absurd and the place that it has for my personal philosophy. I am happy to remember it, happy to stop clawing for hope and escape.

I am happy to bask in the desert.

Genesis 7

I feel like this is a chapter that I don’t need to talk a great deal about. I’m sure the Matthew Henry Commentary (who is that guy, anyway?) has plenty to say that has much more Biblical pertinence than my ramblings here. But regardless, here we have the beginning of the flood.

I read somewhere that the number “forty” was often used to simply mean “a big number.” This could possibly be the case. God tells Noah in Genesis 7:4 that He “will cause it to rain on the earth forty days and forty nights.”

Either way, that is a long time. So on whatever the ancient equivalent of February 17th was, “all the fountains of the great deep were broken up, and the windows of heaven were opened” (Genesis 7:11). This seems to correspond to the old Hebrew mythology I read about yesterday that describes the Earth floating in the midst of waters both above and below. Because in the real world… where would all this water come from? Where would it go afterwards? On the other hand, I think some scientific something-or-other just found a bunch of water trapped underground somehow. Or maybe that was oil. If I find what I’m thinking of I’ll come back and post a link.

But seriously. The Bible says that “all the high hills under the whole heaven were covered” (Genesis 7:19). Even Everest? Because that is a s***load of water.

Genesis 7 ends with Gen 7:24, where the Bible tells us that “the waters prevailed on the earth one hundred and fifty days.”

I always heard the bit about the forty days and nights of rain, but I didn’t realize it was literally five months at sea. Noah gives Kevin Costner a run for his money.

Why the neck flaps?

“You son of a bitch! Let me out of this movie!” ¹

So God destroys all of man (and possibly those pesky giants) and “all living things which were on the face of the ground” (Genesis 7:23). Fun times!

I still think the Noah story is an important story but that it is mostly based on myth and speculation likely stemming from the fact that ancient peoples could see that at one point there had been water-dwelling creatures where there is now land. There may very well be some basis in fact, perhaps related to a filling of the Persian Gulf after the last ice age, but at this point it seems impossible to tell.

Also, my partner is up and about, and besides that I’ve said just about all I want to say today regarding Genesis 7. I’ll touch on the conclusion of the flood tomorrow and go from there. Soon, I plunge into uncharted Biblical territory. Thus far, everything has been fairly familiar. I’m excited to head into parts unknown (to me, anyway), and I hope you’re excited to join me!

Have a wonderful day, dear readers.

Peace be upon you.

¹ Waterworld, 1995 Universal Pictures, from http://moviecultists.com/2010/03/01/cult-movies-to-watch-waterworld/waterworld-kevin-costner-mariner/

Day 6

Part of the reason I don’t want to talk about this project with people, especially my partner, is because of a peculiar property of my psychology, wherein talking about things with others helps to relieve me of pressures or feelings of incompleteness. I seem to handle things best by expressing them, “venting” and talking about my emotions.

I don’t want to lose my drive to complete this project and part of me has a fear that I will not make it. This project, when seen to completion, will have taken over three years of my life and several thousand hours of my time.

The other thing that freaks me out, which I touched on yesterday, is this whole crisis of faith thing. I realized this morning just before I sat down to write this that just because I’m reading the Bible and immersing myself in Christian mythology dogma, that doesn’t mean that my previous memories and spiritual experiences are false.

"Why? Because I'm a black man!"

The thirteenth apostle reminds us that “God hates it when it’s referred to as ‘mythology.’” ¹

I have a feeling that at some point during this lengthy process, I will be reading other spiritually-focused works, such as the Bhagavad Gita or books on different Native American faiths in order to maintain my sense of balance. As it stands now… honestly, the Bible freaks me out.

I have a hard time not taking it literally, perhaps because so many vocal and outspoken “Christians” do so. I have a hard time feeling like it is okay to see the book as metaphor. I just read a pamphlet from the Jehovah’s Witnesses that discusses interfaith organizations and how they seem to deny the Bible. They cite Matthew 15:14, where Jesus calls other religious leaders “blind guides.” They also cite verses from 2 Corinthians 6, where Paul tells Christians “Do not become unevenly yoked with unbelievers.” His reasoning? “What does a believer share in common with an unbeliever?” I would argue a great deal. Hope for the future, the ability to love, live and respect other human beings, a desire for safety and security… many things do humans have in common with other humans, no matter what our beliefs.

In Romans 10, Paul says that “Because of not knowing the righteousness of God,” people are “seeking to establish their own.” The JW pamphlet cites Matthew 7:21-23 to say that without God, people’s faith is “in vain.”

I have a difficult time reconciling this. I don’t understand how God can create all these cultures or allow them to exist if he’s going to send more than two-thirds of humans on earth to hell. This just does not make sense to me or seem fair. I don’t f***ing get it, and it frustrates me and freaks me out. According to most Christians I’ve ever talked to, the more than 4 billion people in the world that do not accept Christ as their savior are going to go to hell. Part of me wants to scream right now.

The Jehovah’s Witness pamphlet likens the Bible to a blueprint which “contains God’s standards.” I guess this is why I’m reading this, so I can better understand what that means.

Genesis 6

Genesis 6 describes some things that are explained in much greater detail in the apocryphal Book of Enoch, so much of this is not terribly clear. For example, it states that “sons of God saw the daughters of men” and took them as wives (Genesis 6:2).

The Matthew Henry commentary on Genesis 6, accessed via biblestudytools.com, interprets the “sons of God” as preachers or holy men, saying that they took wives based solely on physical attractiveness and allowed themselves to be corrupted along with the rest of the world.

This interpretation says that the “giants” in Genesis 6:4 are simply large, powerful men of renown. I like the explanation found in the Book of Enoch, where the “sons of God” are corrupted angels, and the giants are their half-mortal offspring. Of course, there’s no record of this on the earth as far as I can tell, but it sure makes for a kick-ass story.

So in Genesis 6:5 God realizes that man is continually evil, that evil fills the hearts of men, and in Genesis 6:6-7, the Lord laments.

“And the Lord was sorry that He had made man on the earth…”

— Genesis 6:6, NKJV

The Lord vows to destroy mankind. So if God is omniscient, He would have seen this coming, right? If anyone’s read the graphic novel Watchmen, this reminds me of Dr. Manhattan. He can see all possible timelines, he can see the past and future simultaneously, and when asked why he didn’t intervene to prevent a catastrophe, he remarks that he is “a puppet that can see the strings.”

God knew the Fall of Man had to happen to Adam; He knew where it would lead… but when the time came, the Lord was filled with sadness nonetheless. God sees Noah and realizes that Noah, of all people, “was a just man, perfect in his generations. Noah walked with God” (Genesis 6:9).

And now we get to the ark. There are lots of interesting theories and commentary on the ark. I’m just going to go ahead and copy this section from Wikipedia:

“The story of the flood closely parallels the story of the creation: a cycle of creation, un-creation, and re-creation, in which the ark plays a pivotal role.[20] The universe as conceived by the ancient Hebrews comprised a flat disk-shaped habitable earth with the heavens above and Sheol, the underworld of the dead, below.[21] These three were surrounded by a watery “ocean” of chaos, protected by the firmament, a transparent but solid dome resting on the mountains which ringed the earth.[21] Noah’s three-deck ark represents this three-level Hebrew cosmos in miniature: the heavens, the earth, and the waters beneath.[22] In Genesis 1, God created the three-level world as a space in the midst of the waters for humanity; in Genesis 6-8 (the flood story) he fills that space with waters again, saving only Noah, his family and the animals with him in the ark.[20]” ²

So Noah’s ark represents rebirth and recreation. Another article states that the universality of the flood story around the whole world could possibly be because of people finding seashells and fish fossils very far inland or on mountains.

Criticisms of the literalism of Noah’s ark and the flood story revolve around a few major points, such as: how did all the animals and people spread back over the whole world? and how did animals and people reproduce without producing horribly inbred offspring? I suppose in either case you could simply say, “God did it,” but that’s rarely been a good enough explanation to me, and it often feels like a hand-waving justification.

Regardless, it is impossible to deny that the story of the flood and the ark has connections and parallels to myths and legends the world over, such as Hinduism, Mesopotamian mythology, and Greek mythology. I reiterate my point that stories employed to teach a lesson are more effective than the lesson itself, because human beings connect emotionally with narratives. If God wanted this lesson to be taught, then it seems reasonable that before the writing of the Bible, the narrative would still exist in some form or forms in the rest of the world.

Interested readers will direct their attention to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flood_myth if they wish to learn more or compare flood stories from around the world.

I myself am tired and hungry, in need of food, a haircut, and a shower. My partner and I have been together for six months today, and it is an occasion which we will be celebrating this evening. I am looking forward to it. I think I’ll stop at a nearby Christian bookstore and see if I can find her a little present. I would usually buy her a book or something but she needs support, not more things to consume her limited time.

Anyway, thank you for reading. I was going to apologize for the short post today but I realized it’s still three typed pages and almost 1500 words long. So nevermind, haha. I hope your day is as good as mine, if not better.

Peace be upon you.

¹ Pic credit: Dogma, 1999, Lionsgate Films and View Askew Productions, from http://i1.ytimg.com/vi/hxBY50A0Sqo/hqdefault.jpg

² http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Noah%27s_ark