Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Blogging the Bible part 8

Well, after a short break it is back to the unfettered absurdities of the Bible!

Genesis, chapter 8.

For a much more detailed look at the absurdities of the flood story, check here.

So, here in verse 1 we have God remembering Noah and his Ark full of impossibilities. You have to admit, it was nice of him to remember. It had been forty days and nights after all. So, all those animals (and remember there is some confusion over just how many there are onboard) had to have food for 40 days and 40 nights. And there had to be food for Noah and his family too. That's a big ass ship.

So, God remembers and he sends a wind over the earth and the waters receded. Why send the wind? Does that blow the water away? Where does it blow it to? Where, precisely, does the water that covered the Earth go to? How did the Ark handle the wind?

Apparently the springs of the deep and the floodgates of the heavens were now closed (GEN 8:2) and the rain stopped. But, where did the water go? Well, verse 3 merely says it receded and that:

At the end of the one hundred and fifty days the water had gone down (GEN 8:3)

Wait, after the one hundred and fifty days? Where was 150 days specified before? Oh that's right, in GEN 7:24. Of course, then it says that the waters flooded the Earth for 150 days. Then GEN 8:3 says the waters had "gone down" after these 150 days. Then Gen 8:4 says it was in the seventh month that the Ark catches on Mt.Ararat. But then GEN 8:5 says that by the tenth month only the tops of the mountains are visible. Oh dear literalists, please explain the mix up.

How long did the waters flood the Earth for?

So anyway, on the seventeenth day of the seventh month (there's that number 7 again - and does forty days and forty nights sound familiar to anyone?) the Ark comes to rest on Mt. Ararat. And then three months later the tops of the mountains become visible. And then it says that after forty days Noah opened the window he had made in the Ark. Forty days after what? After the mountains became visible? After the Ark became stuck? After the Flood began? All that time with the windows closed? Holy crap! Literally.

Then it gets weird. Noah sends out a raven (verse 7), and it keeps flying back and forth until the water had dried up from the Earth. Which presumably means it is still flying somewhere since water has NEVER dried up from the Earth in the time period we're looking at. Approximately 71% of the Earth's surface is what again?

That's some raven.

Then in verse 8 comes the famous dove, sent out to see if the waters had receded from the ground. Because apparently Noah couldn't see the ground around him from up there on top of a fucking mountain. Or are we looking at yet more confusion over just how much the waters receded and how long the flood waters lasted? After all, how was he to know he was stuck on a mountaintop and not a rock out to sea somewhere? How long did those flood waters last literalists?

The dove "could find no place to set its feet because there was water over all the surface of the earth; so it returned to Noah in the ark." (GEN 8:9). Over all the surface of the earth except the now revealed mountain tops though (GEN 8:5), right? Here comes our useless continuity editor again. I thought there were no contradictions in the Bible? Were the mountaintops now visible or did the water still cover all the surface of the Earth?

Noah waits seven days and sends the dove out again. (GEN 8:10). This time the dove returns with a freshly plucked olive leaf (GEN 8:11). Which is interesting, since the Flood was supposed to have killed everything that wasn't in the Ark. In case we need reminding GEN 7:23 says:

Every living thing on the face of the earth was wiped out

Every living thing. So where did the freshly plucked olive leaf come from? Please do explain this one Biblical literalists. The Flood killed every living thing. Which means the only live olive tree specimens would have to be on the Ark. But no-one had left the Ark. And the waters still covered all the surface of the earth just seven days before this. How long does an olive tree take to grow and then sprout leaves?


Apparently though, Noah (like most believers) then bases his next important decision on a massive assumption - he assumes that one freshly plucked leaf from god knows where means the flood waters have receded. Because, apparently, he couldn't see the enormous mountain underneath his boat where there used to be an enormous ocean.

Now, I know that goat herders living 6000 years ago weren't exactly sophisticated but come on - a bloody two year old can tell the difference between a raging torrent of god induced ocean and a dry mountain range and its environs in dry and very hot Turkey. It appears that God chose the village idiot to be the father of mankind. Which certainly explains people who do believe he was the father of mankind at least.

I can't emphasise the absurdity of this strongly enough. The Ark apparently comes to rest on Mt. Ararat. That's a mountain. Mountains are tall. From the tops of mountains you can see a long way around you. If you were on a mountain surrounded by water, you would be able to see it. If that water went away, you wouldn't be able to see it anymore. If you can't see it anymore, that means it went away. If the water had receded, Noah could have seen this from the window he made in the Ark. But instead, he waits to see if the ancient equivalent of a homing pigeon brings him a bit of foliage that, according to what God told him, shouldn't exist anyway. Was Noah doubting God's word by sending the dove out? That seems to be the only explanation. It's like Noah saying "I'll bet there is some life out there, and if the dove can find it then that's proof the waters are receding." If not, what was he hoping the dove could do to prove the waters had receded that not being able to see the water anymore hadn't proven to him? Was it supposed to take pictures?

You know, there's a reason that they stop telling this story to anyone past the age of five. It's because most five year olds are smart enough to figure out that this story is fucking ridiculous. The ones who aren't grow up to be creationists and literalists.

Now, just to be sure that the water had receded (try looking you blathering idiot) Noah waits a further seven days after the dove brings a leaf back before sending it out again, and this time it doesn't come back and Noah takes that as proof that the waters have gone. I mean, its not like there was anything else that could have prevented the dove returning.

Really God, Noah was the best you had? He was an addle-brained buffoon with less intelligence than a pile of Buffalo droppings. Much like anyone who believes this story is factual actually.

So, finally, on the first day of the first month of Noah's 601st year he decides the water has dried up (how long literalists?). Noah removes the covering of the Ark. Because, as we know, all important moving decisions should be based upon whether your dove returns or not. Anyway, upon removing the covering of the Ark he sees that the ground is dried up (GEN 8:13). Which apparently he didn't see out of the open window he let the raven out of. Then the dove. Then let the dove back in from. Then out again. Then back in again. Then out of again. Did he close his eyes or something? Or was he just a total gimboid?

Or is this story just complete bollocks?

Then, in verse 14 it says that "By the twenty-seventh day of the second month the earth was completely dry."

The earth was completely dry. Good grief. Literalists, explain. Or do you just pick and choose what is to be taken literally?

God tells Noah it is OK to come out of the Ark now and that they should bring everything out so it can go forth and multiply and be fruitful (GEN 8:15-16). So everything and everyone comes out of the Ark (GEN 8:18-19). Then, because in a survival situation this is the first thing everyone should do, Noah builds an altar to the Lord. Someone should tell Ray Mears. And then burns some of the animals God told him to keep alive. What an ass - there's just been a mass extinction event and he decides to burn some survivors as an offering to the person who caused it. That's fucked up right there, but what an insight into the religious mindset.

The Lord smelled the BBQ smell and was pleased. God is, apparently, Australian. And because Noah invented BBQ's, God decides not to risk losing them and promises never to "curse the ground because of man even though every inclination of his heart is evil from childhood." (GEN 8:21) Well you made us that way so fuck you.


He also, very graciously, promises never to destroy all living creatures again. All because he likes BBQs. Is there anyone reading this who doesn't think God is a massive dickhead by now?

Then this chapter closes with a statement of the bleeding obvious:

As long as the earth endures,
seedtime and harvest,
cold and heat,
summer and winter,
day and night
will never cease. (GEN 8:22)

Well, duh. Not exactly promising though is it, given how fickle God has already turned out to be?

Do people really believe this shit?

And I didn't even get in to the actual history that we know about for this time period and how it proves none of this nonsense in Genesis ever happened.


  1. Thanks, Jimmy. I would never have gotten this far into the Bible if I tried by myself. How anyone can read this stuff without puking, I'll never understand. It's even crap mythology. And friends of mine are often saying there are good things in it, and if you know how to interpret it it all has a meaning.

    Well, from what I've seen so far, the stuff that is coherent enough to draw a meaning from is utterly hostile and demeaning human dignity, and the rest is gibberish. The details are really absurd, when you really look at it. I had scripture classes at school, and somehow it stuck with me, not to judge it according to normal standards of common sense.

    At this point I'd be willing to bet that a single Grimm's tale holds more wisdom than the entire Bible - and I'd be willing to bet I will be able to back that up with evidence in about 23 years when we're through it.

    I looked at a few commentaries for this chapter, and they emphasise the connection between God's promise not to flood the world anymore, and him sending Jesus to die for our sins instead. It's a really strong connection between arbitrary "sin" and the most extreme punishments imaginable.

    Lots of stuff for kids of course - sure, there might be the makings of a nice story there - old man with a beard rescues animals in a boat, and the all come in two by two - all the right ingredients. But how does the background affect small minds - global destruction by God's overwhelming brutal powers. Sugar coat this poison for the little kiddies, and plant a seed of fear to drive them to Jesus.

    God told Noah there's going to be a floodie, floodie
    God told Noah there's going to be a floodie, floodie,
    Get those animals out of the muddie, muddie
    Children of the Lord....

  2. I tell you what you need - you need a volunteer to start from the back of the bible and work towards the front and then maybe you'll meet in the middle.