This was my first time reading a whole book from the bible. Up to the age of eleven, my mom took me to a United Church which is the equivalent to a frat when it comes to churches. This is to say that I am familiar with the stories, but have never read them in full. I will be honest in saying that I may have used Genesis to help me take naps because my eyes just did not want to stay open while reading it. My own moral values and opinions made Genesis a difficult read for me, but when I pushed these aside and read this as literature all I could think was “sweet, only 10 more pages!”.
Despite having difficulties with the text, there are interesting aspects brought forth throughout Genesis. One thought that was continuously recurring in my mind was that The Lord and god in Genesis is very similar to the gods in The Odyssey. The Lord is seemingly omnipresent and omniscient, but he also makes a corrupt world that he tries to fix by sending the flood. This is similar to Zeus and his place on the hierarchy of the Greek gods, and of how they seek guidance from Zeus. Zeus and The Lord both have their faults, and quirks that make them imperfect, which typically cause more extreme consequences for the mortals they are dealing with. With this in mind, one could say that Genesis is the modern day Odyssey. I argue this from the perspective that the Odyssey was not a “novel” to the Greeks, but the story of gods who existed and of how they influenced the life of men. If we look at how Genesis (and furthermore the Bible) as the word of God to men, and The Lord’s word and will being done, influencing the life of the human race then there is an easy line to draw connecting the two.
Ok, I don’t want to offend anyone, but I feel as if the whole perspective of God having unconditional love for mankind is contradicted throughout Genesis. God is constantly threatening the men to do Gods bidding and wishes, and rewards Abraham for his dedication and fear of the Lord. This goes along to God’s treatment of women, condoning of slavery and acceptance of adultery by men. This starts with God’s treatment of Eve in the garden, where there is a rather hash punishment on Eve for falling into the snake’s ploy, compared to the punishment placed on Adam. For having unconditional love, God appears a tad biased. This enters into many of the other stories, where women are often portrayed to be the root of men’s suffering and hard work, as is seen with Joseph and his master’s wife. Joseph is one of the few characters who is not led into temptation by a woman, but her own spite leads to his imprisonment for several years. This is a topic that could be discussed for hours, days or years, and I don’t think you would reach any more of a conclusion.
All in all, I’m grateful to have read this just to have some experience with the text, and a bit more of an understanding of another perspective. Alas, I apologize if there was anything within these paragraph’s that offended people, but that is part of my opinion on a somewhat touchy subject.