So just to let everyone know, this study will not be a verse by verse exposition style study of the bible. I wouldn’t want to bore you with that. What this series of articles will be is an explanation of how these stories were described to me, as well as how I taught it during my time as a minister. Within various Pentecostal denominations, the stories of the bible can be taught in many different ways. Some churches choose to teach them exactly as they are written, others teach the stories as allegories, while still others add their own strange spin. I will try to describe all of these as best as I can.
If you would like to follow along, this article deals with chapters 1-3 of Genesis.
Chapter 1: Let’s Make Some Shit!
So the book of genesis begins with the creation story, first god moves over the face of the waters seeing that the earth is formless. So he decides to do something about that…Now some will ask, how did he just happen to come across this giant water planet, well that is explained by how you view the first verse of this chapter.
“In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.”
So if you are a biblical literalist, you read this scripture as god created the earth and then he moved over it. If you are an allegorist you teach that this was billions of years after the big bang and so the earth had cooled and was covered in water. Either way the earth is already made when god begins his real creation work.
So to give a synopsis of creation.
Day 1: Light
Day 2: The Firmament (We live in a giant dome…)
Day 3: Dry Land and plants
Day 4: Two big light bulbs, the sun and the moon.
Day 5: Fish and Birds
Day 6: All the animals and humankind
Now a few things to note from this first chapter. Light is created before the sun, the moon, and the stars. That’s pretty damn impressive isn’t it? I mean, if it were me, I’d probably have to create nuclear fission prior to any light being shone, but hey, I’m not god….am I? Secondly, god explicitly creates a firmament, no question about it, we live in a giant dome with water below it and water above it. No wonder people can’t breathe in space, it’s all water.
You might also note that plants are created before their ability to grow is, plants require sunlight to grow and so you’d think they would need the sun to be created, but once again, I’m not god and I wasn’t there, so who knows how plants grew 6,000 years ago. I mean maybe they didn’t require any light to grow back then, who knows….
So if you aren’t a literalist, you basically consider the first 2 days to be billions of years. Everything else you explain as a biblical description of evolution, however this is a poor way of describing it. Notice that fish and birds are created on the same day? Does evolution even come close to describing fish evolving into birds? Of course not. Secondly, no one who has studied evolution would state that the sun came after plant life. That’s simply ridiculous.
Chapter 2: Beastiality and Boobies!
Chapter 2 begins with god taking a nap. Omnipotent beings are still incredibly lazy and they need their beauty sleep. It then goes on to give us a summary of the information that we just read, in case we weren’t paying attention the first time. Strangely though this creation story is decidedly different from the first one.
In chapter two we have god creating just one dude, Adam. He takes some dust, makes Adam and then breathes life into him. This forms the basis of the belief that man has a soul and animals do not, god breathed a soul into man but just spoke animals into existence. God then walks Adam through the garden of Eden, showing him all the cool shit he just made. Adam is told that he can eat any fruit from any tree, except one, the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, this is god’s special tree and he doesn’t like it when people touch his shit. I heard he hides his weed in the trunk.
After a while, God sees that he forgot to make something for Adam to stick his peepee into, so he creates all the animals and brings them to Adam. Note in the first chapter that these were created before man, but hey, who is paying attention. Adam isn’t into beastial pleasures, but he does at least name everything, before getting bored and lonely again.
So god puts Adam to sleep, takes a rib out of his chest, and forms a woman. Why Adam’s rib had two X chromosomes instead of one X and one Y, we will never know? Adam wakes up and is like, “Holy Shit, Boobies!” They are both naked and not ashamed of being naked.
Chapter 3: Walkin and Talkin Snakes
Chapter three begins with a snake talking to eve, just having a chat, it never states that this is odd to Eve, so we must assume that animals could talk back then. So the snake says to Eve, “Hey, God’s a fuckin liar, you know that tree where he stores his weed, that shit is fucking delicious and it makes you smart. You eat that shit and you’ll be like God.” Eve says, “God told us we would die if we ate it.” The serpent then asks, “Do you know what death is? It means get smart, duh…”
So Eve eats the fruit and then gives it to Adam. Adam was having a rough day and really didn’t want to get into an argument with his new spouse so he goes ahead and eats it. They then look at each other and realize they are naked, “OH NO!.” No reason is given why being naked would be considered a bad thing as it was how they were created but anyway they take some leaves and get a bit more modest.
God shows up and says, “Hey, Adam and Eve, where the fuck are you guys? I’m Omniscient but my dealer gave me some really strong shit which is messing with my perception. Come on guys, where the fuck are you?”
Adam and Eve come out and say, “Hey, just noticed we’re naked and so yeah….we didn’t want you to see our naughty bits.”
God, still not come down from his high asks, “Who told you that you were naked?
Eve blames the serpent, Adam blames Eve, and the serpent is just like, “What the fuck are you gon do about it?”
God gets pissed, curses the serpent to crawl on its belly and eat dirt.
God curses Eve by making her menstruate and have painful childbirth.
God curses Adam by making him work hard for his living.
God even curses the earth, why? Because Reasons.
He then kicks them out of the garden to prevent them from eating from the tree that would give them immortality, because god is scared of losing his status. He places a flaming sword and some angels at the gate of the garden, just to prevent them from sneaking back in.
Now, having spent a good deal of time in the Pentecostal church, I’d like to describe some of the weirder beliefs about Adam and Eve’s time in the garden.
1.) Adam And Eve Were Beings of Light
Some teach that Adam and Eve didn’t actually have a physical form prior to eating of the fruit. This is to explain why, when they eat the fruit, they are ashamed of their physical forms. Adam and Eve were also sexless beings that, like angels, lack sex organs and butt-holes. Only when Adam and Eve ate of the fruit did their bodies take on a physical form and their sex organs developed. The first fart must have really freaked them out.
2.) The Serpent Was Another Woman Who Gave Eve Her First Orgasm
This stems from a Jewish tale of Adams first wife, Lilith. She wanted to have an equal say in everything, especially in sexual positions, and so god banished her from the garden. She is then said to have given birth to all the evil that exists in the world. It was even taught at one point that she was the cause of wet dreams. Anyway, she returns to the garden and shows Eve her cunning lingual ways, which opens Eve’s eyes to sexual pleasure. Eve then takes this knowledge and blows Adams mind. Thus they understand the mind expanding abilities of orgasms and god gets pissed off.
3.) The Fruit Of The Tree Was Sodomy
So in this interpretation the serpent is more human than animal and teaches Eve the joys of butt sex. Eve then teaches this to Adam, and they feel the shame of the sin of sodomy. So it wasn’t Adam and Steve, it was Adam and Eve and butt-sex snake dude. To be perfectly honest, I have absolutely no idea where this idea came from. I only know about it because this is how my grandfather taught it as well as how I have heard several other ministers teach it over the years.
If you’ve taken anything away from this it is that sex is evil, in order to make that fact a truth, the story is interpreted in a way to include way more sex.
How I Taught It
To be completely honest, I rarely taught about the creation story. As a child I had been a bit of a young earth creationist, but by the time I became a minister I viewed the book of Genesis as decidedly unimportant to the Christian faith, especially the first three chapters. When I did speak on the topic I would say that the only message we really need to take away from it is this.
1.) God created the world as perfect
2.) Humans chose to sin
3.) Humanity fell due to that sin
Looking back I see that this is still incredibly simplistic. If god created us as perfect then how could we do anything that would be considered as sinful? Why would humanity’s ability to choose to go against something god has said be considered sinful? How could humanity even know what sin was if they had been created in a sinless world? If they had never experienced immorality, how could they even have an idea of what immorality was or what it might do? Why did god lie about what would happen if they ate from the tree? I mean personally if he had said, if you eat from this tree, your women will bleed and be in pain, both monthly as well as during childbirth, and your men will have to really work hard to survive. Maybe then I might steer clear of the tree.
Basically though, this creation story is one of the more basic stories of the ancient world. God simply speaks things into being and they exist. It’s a silly story and one that causes a huge amount of contention in the church today. If this creation story hadn’t been included, would evolution be an issue? Would Christianity have such issues with science? I don’t think they would, but they do and it’s foundation is built upon this strange, strange, story.