Saturday, September 27, 2008

It's a matter of perspective

And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die: For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.
Gen. 3: 4-5

The Nude Snake Charmer, Paul Désiré Trouillebert, circa 1880.


Mary said...

Great picture.

I love apples. And having my eyes opened. And being as a goddess. And knowing good and evil.


Cynthia said...

Your blog is simply sublime,
bittergrace, well done!

Adore this painting.

Bozo said...

Powerful stuff.

BitterGrace said...

It's just not Sunday without a little Bible lesson.

Perfumeshrine said...

Oh, I always had intellectual trouble with this particular tale...
Why was the serpent in the Garden of Evil in the first place? Had it sneaked in (in which case someone was careless and how can that possibly be?) or was it always there (and if so, someone knew there would be an evil trick played on us, which is even worse)?
And why would the snake, the most savant of all beings, be the incarnation of temptation and ultimately evil? And why would Eve be more susceptible to temptation; which come to think of it might also indicate a higher need for spiritual awakening which is not adverse to the religious ideal, is it?
And why would those two be cast out for trusting a being that was sanctioned through its very own existence within the confines of Garden of Eden (surely they must have placed trust to it believing it to be an equally good creature made by God)? And since they didn't know good from evil anyway (as attested by the fable itself) how were they supposed to judge whether this proposition was good or evil?

Ah...but the real sin is the hubris of being "as gods", huh? Competition is frowned upon, gotcha!

whodat said...

Nice girls stay sweet and let their husbands decide what's right.

HA! ahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha

BitterGrace said...

Dave wonders why you are laughing, R.

E, you sound like me as a kid. My hangup was always with the story of Cain and Abel. I could never understand why Cain was condemned, since God started the whole thing.

whodat said...

That's because God was wack back then,cranky and temperamental. He's put Jesus in charge of most of it and retired -- I think he's off forming new worlds at the moment. That's the memo I got, anyway.

And tell Dave I wasn't laughing -- it's this cough!

Perfumeshrine said...

And the two argued about what, a plate of legumes, if I remember correctly? Duh!!
Not to mention the inexplicable cruelty of asking Abraham to sacrifice his son! Whom Sarah, who apparently wasn't being tested, would mourn with tears of blood, having him at the dusk of her life, no?
Or the blood-curling Pharaonic plagues.
Or again the cruelty on Job's children... (why are always children that have to suffer to test someone else's faith?).
I am severely questioning the reason Christianity retained this strict, omni-punishing figure of the OT.

And quick question (always bothered me): why did the dogs not eat the palms of Jezebel? "And they ate her whole but the palms of her hands". If I'd ask one person who knew, that'd be you!

(btw, I am featuring Kus Kus by BF on today's post ~thanks!)

BitterGrace said...

Well, I'm all for the retirement of cranky gods, but that Jesus kid needs to get on the job. We seem to be sliding back toward chaos.

BitterGrace said...

E, I do not know why the dogs did not eat the palms of Jezebel. Perhaps they were too hairy. (Sorry, couldn't resist--not sure that joke works cross-culturally.)

As for the rest, I think R pretty much has it covered. Never underestimate the destructive power of cranky gods. Your question about Christian retention of the God of the OT is pretty interesting. There's a great book by a very respected New Testament scholar, A.J. Levine, called "The Misunderstood Jew" which is all about how Jesus' teachings were actually not a break with Old Testament law or world view. It's a very readable book, meant for a general audience. I recommend it:

Now I am off to your blog to read about Kus Kus ...

Perfumeshrine said...

Yes, R said it wittily and well :-)

I think the hairy palms stand for solitary pleasures? (don't know how much more delicately to put it!)Hope I'm not horribly misunderstanding all this, LOL

And thanks for the book rec, sounds like something to gnaw my teeth on next :-))