01 July 2013

Genesis 1-3 and the definition of marriage

In the Bible's first creation story (Genesis 1:1-2:3), God created humans in his own image, male and female.
God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness … So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them. Genesis 1:26-27
Which seems a strange thing for a macho God to do.

Is God both male and female? Or were humans, as originally created by God, neither? Did sexuality come later, after the fall? (Notice that this story doesn’t say how many humans were created or what their names might be. There was no Adam, no Eve, or even Steve in this version.)

In the second creation account, God formed man from the dust of the ground.
God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul. Genesis 2:7
And here too, the man is unnamed, and he remains unnamed until after God creates the animals in a misguided attempt to find a proper “help meet” for him, at which time God finally gives him a name (Adam).
God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him. And out of the ground the LORD God formed every beast of the field, and every fowl of the air; and brought them unto Adam. Genesis 2:18-19
(You have to wonder what God was thinking here. Did he expect Adam to fall for a raccoon or a blue-footed booby perhaps? Did he create 350,000 species of beetles thinking they might make good matches for Adam? And if God was OK with that, could he object to Adam and Steve?)

After the newly-named Adam examined and rejected the millions of species of animals that God created to be his “help meet,” God tried again, this time creating something from Adam’s rib.
The LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, and he slept: and he took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh instead thereof; And the rib, which the LORD God had taken from man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man. Genesis 2:21-22
This newly-formed rib-creature was much more to Adam’s liking. And he immediately named it “Woman” (not “Eve”--that name didn’t come until later).
And Adam said, This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man. Genesis 2:23
So what was this “woman” like, anyway? Was she a clone of Adam, since she was created (or cloned) from his rib? Did she have the same genitalia as Adam or did they both lack sexual organs, since there was no need for reproduction before the fall?

In any case, Adam goes on to explain the purpose of marriage in the next verse.
Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh. Genesis 2:24
Now that may seem like a strange thing for a man with no father or mother to say, but there it is. The point Adam was making was this: the purpose of marriage is companionship, not procreation. And Jesus seemed to agree with this in Matthew 19:5.
For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh.
It wasn’t until after the fall that sex and procreation became a part of marriage, when God punished the (still nameless) woman with the pain of childbirth, and the desire for(?) and subjection to her husband.
Unto the woman he said, I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children; and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee. Genesis 3:16
Everything changed after the fall. Death entered the world, and along with it, the need for procreation. Adam recognized this and renamed “the woman” accordingly.
Adam called his wife's name Eve; because she was the mother of all living. Genesis 3:20
So according to the Genesis creation stories, heterosexual reproduction was an unintended consequence of the fall. Marriage, as originally created, was for love and companionship so that two “shall be one flesh.”

And that works for either Adam and Eve or Adam and Steve.


John B (SiftingReality.com) said...

That's kind of a stretch. Pain in child bearing is a result of the fall, but you seem to be reading into the passages a bit.

Steve Wells said...

Both of the Genesis creation stories are stretches, John B.

You say that pain in child bearing is a result of the fall, which is about all most believers know about the creation stories. But the other crazy stuff in my post is right there in Genesis. God created all the animals as potential mates for Adam. That's not a stretch, that's what it says in Genesis 2:18-19.

You say I'm reading into the passages a bit. But have you even read the passages?

Stephen said...

@ John B.
Pain in childbearing is due to a number of factors, including our upright posture and the evolution of our large brains compared to other primates. Sadly, you seem to have failed to use your brain to its capacity to understand the world around you. "We are risen apes, not fallen angels."
Try reading another book.

A nice short one is Andy Thomson's "Why We Believe in Gods; a concise guide to the science of faith".

Steve Weeks

yminoh said...

Baruch Hashem. I really like this interpretation. Do you mind if I share at Torah Study when we start over in Genesis?

What do you know ? said...

There are no contradictions in The Holy Bible. The Holy Scriptures are of no private interpretation. [ 2 Peter 1:20 ].
The Holy Scriptures are written in such a way that Scripture interprets Scriptures so that "..in the mouth of two or three witnesses, everything is established..". [ Deuteronomy 17:6 ; Deuteronomy 19:15; Matthew 18:16 ; 2 Corinthians 13:1 etc ].

No doctrine can be established by a single Scripture.Doctrines are established on two or more Scriptures in respect of the dispensational period.

For example , we have what Bible Scholars refer to as "..The Dispensation of Law .." and we also have what Bible Scholars refer to as the Dispensation of Grace.

In John 1:17 we read :

"... For The Law was given by Moses, but Grace and Truth came by Jesus Christ...".

".. Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith...". [ Galatians 3:24 ].

"... For by Grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of GOD :..". [ Ephesians 2:8 ].

Doctrines based on a single Scripture are private opinions which are private interpretations that result in confusion.

The Holy Bible Says That GOD is a Spirit. [ John 4:24].

In Romans 4:17 we read that GOD "...calls things that are not as though they already were...".

For example, when an inventor has an idea, he has a concept of what he wants to invent in his mind.

The invention exists in his mind as a thought, then he puts it on paper and the idea exists on paper either as sketches on a draft plan which he then uses as a draft blue print to bring his invention into manifestation.

Before children are born, dad and mum will make preparations for the manifestation of the children.

The children will exist in the genes of dad and mum ,that are brought together by the act of procreation.

We were once Thoughts of GOD, then we came into manifestation.

Human beings are created in the Image of GOD.

Human beings have a body , mind , soul and spirit.

Genesis Chapter One deals with The Creation of heaven and earth , in the beginning. [ Genesis 1:1 ].

In Genesis 1:1 we see that GOD is The Creator of heaven and earth.

Heaven refers to everything in the first heaven, and the second heaven and the third heaven.

We get to know in the rest of The Holy Bible that GOD dwells in the first heaven with The Host of Angels that didnot rebel with Lucifer and the rebellious angels.

The second heaven is where the fallen angels occupy, i.e. the prince of the power of the air a,k.a. the prince of darkness ... in other words "..spiritual wickedness in high places...".

The first heaven is what we see when we look up with tinted glasses during the day i.e. the sun..or a telescope at night..

In the third heaven ,we have the sun, we have the moon, we have the stars and the planets, the galaxies and the universe etc.

In Genesis 1:1. we see the Origin of Space, Matter and Time.

".. In the beginning [ TIME ] GOD created the heaven [ SPACE ] and the earth [ MATTER ].

Notice in Genesis 1:1, Time begins.
Before Genesis 1;1, there was Eternity . There is no Time in Eternity.

Time began when the heaven and the earth were created...when the sun, earth, moon and stars, planets, galaxies, universes were created...

Between Genesis 1:1 and Genesis 1.2 , we do not know what time period elapsed. We do not know how many AEONS elapsed. There is no record. It could have been billions of years in what we understand as time.

... Space on your blog limits the answer, but if you are interested you may read a more detailed "..commentary.." on Genesis 1:1-5 on this link :


Tony said...

...or Madam and Eve.

Shawn said...

"and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh." I don't know, that seems like sex to me, or procreation. But i'M not really hung up on that. Ask 1000 people, you'll get 1000 different answers, all claiming to be the right answer. Which is the biggest problem with religion. Those that believe forgo thier own instincts and beliefs to accept some not thier own in the beginning, and then ultimately become biased by them.

As for what Errol above said about time, it's wrong. Einstein's theory of Relativity say's that time is relative to the planet, or moon, or sun, or galaxy, or any object in the universe. There is no one track of time, it is different for every object in the universe and affected by gravity. And so far, that hasn't been disproven.