“In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.” Yep…it’s about to get good.
Right off the bat, we know the writer of the Bible is a pro at getting people to keep turning the pages. I mean, this is a pretty good hook. The beginning of what? The beginning of the known universe? The beginning of time? Does this mean there are other universes? Other times? And does the God of this book come from one of those universes or times? I guess we’ll have to keep reading to find out, but I have to say, I’m excited.
God makes a form out of a void and light. Pretty heavy stuff. Or not, I don’t know, how much does light weigh?
Then the writer kind of loses the thread a bit.
“And God said, ‘Let there be an expanse in the middle of the waters and let it separate the waters from the waters.’ And God made the expanse and separated the waters that were under the expanse from the waters that were above the expanse. And it was so.”
We get to read the word expanse no less than eight times in one page as well as phrases like “the waters swarm with swarms”.
I have to say, I’m a little disappointed. My two year old is just learning sentence structure and talks like this. “When I’m running I go running and I’m running and I’m running! And I like it!” But maybe I’m being too hard on the author. Maybe this guy is being paid by the word, like a content writer and the content doesn’t really have to be great.
So God makes the heavens and the earth and a shitload of expanses and then he makes all the things that swarm in the swarms of the swarmland as well as some birds. But I have a question. We know that birds come from dinosaurs, it’s pretty clear from the fossil record. So are you telling me that not only is the author of the Bible not writing great content and his editor is definitely buying him a Thesaurus for his birthday, he is also not fact-checking anything at all? Lame. At least he remembered to make God say, “Let birds multiply on earth,” because otherwise they might have got stuck in that swarm maelstrom and we never would have even had birds.
Now, I don’t want to get too picky about definitions. We could argue that literature is art and art is subjective and loads of authors have used words in ways that the words were not originally meant for. But I have one more word I would like to discuss with the author of the Bible before I can move on. That word is livestock.
Apparently, God made livestock “according to their kinds” – whatever that means. Livestock, by definition, is, “Farm animals regarded as an asset.” For something to be an asset, there has to be money. For there to be money there has to be capitalism. And for there to be capitalism, there have to be other living things that God is trading livestock for. Now, even before I picked up this book, I was pretty sure I knew enough about God to know he doesn’t need to trade livestock to make a living. He can make fucking expanses like nobody’s business. There’s got to be a huge market for that. Why is he wasting time with cows?
Moving on from the total lack of appreciation for story progression, we reach the beginning of humans.
“So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.” Neato. Then God told them to be fruitful and multiply, the same command he gave to the birds and the swarms. He did not specify whether humans should be fruitful and multiply on land or in the water because God totally knows what’s up with water sex. It’s great. Just not salt water and also not hot tubs. I kind of wish God had had enough foresight to make a commandment about no sex in hot tubs because that’s just nasty.
Anyway, God gave the humans dominion over the whole earth. That’s a lot of responsibility. It’s kind of like when you get a plant at the store and you think, “Cool, I’ll have a plant and it will get rid of the bad air and make the good air and I’ll put it in the window and water it every day,” and then you get it home and it turns out it’s the kind of plant that needs only morning sunlight on the seventh day of the twelfth month when Mars is in the house of Saturn and you have to water it from the bottom up but you can only use a third cup of water and you have to water it every two and a half hours. In other words, more responsibility than the human race was asking for, I can assure you.
Once he’d made humans and looked around a little, God decided he’d made some good shit and he was super proud of all his expanses and swarms and livestock that couldn’t exist. “So God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it God rested from all his work that he had done in creation.”
I kind of feel like God left it a little unfinished myself. Like…maybe none of this tectonic shit so everything we have and love is not dumped into the ocean. Or maybe we get a handle on the cells in the human body that fruitfully multiply into cancer. That’s probably a bug that needs to be worked out of the system before we roll everything off the assembly line. I feel like God was cooking something fancy and halfway through realized he didn’t have all the ingredients and just went, “Meh.”
But now we’ve gone into Chapter 2, so I’m going to stop here. Let me know what you think of Chapter 1!