Tuesday, November 3, 2009

59: Compensating for Something?

Deuteronomy 3-4
Deuteronomy 3 recounts the complete destruction of two more civilizations. There is one king they are unable to kill (Og, king of Bashan). Moses seems to reconcile this by saying that his bed was thirteen feet long. Obviously if your bed is thirteen feet long, you're impossible to kill. Just as a side thought, if you feel your bed needs to be thirteen feet long, you're obviously compensating for something.

At the end of Deuteronomy 3 Moses begs God to let him cross the Jordan into Lebanon. God tells him to go up to the top of the mountain and look at the land, because he's never going to get to go there. Now God is just being a jerk. And this is punishment for Moses slightly hesitating in following his orders? Or taking more credit than he should have for God's miracles? I still don't really know.

Deuteronomy 4 repeats how idolatry is naughty. There is a moderately interesting section titled "The Lord is God". Moses says how wonderful it was that God came out of the clouds and spoke to the Israelites, and how this proves the glory of God. But does it really? Why does an all powerful God hide in clouds and show his glory through the destruction of other civilizations? An even bigger question is how did the Israelites get to be the lucky people to see God's glory? I guess they really weren't that lucky because they seem to be getting killed by God as much as anyone else.

*Bible News*
This is fairly recent news, Robert Crumb has published an illustrated version of Genesis. This may not seem terribly interesting, but do you recall what's in Genesis? This is apparently a no holds barred illustrated version. Including Lot getting raped by his daughters, in graphic detail, and Adam and Eve frolicking in the nude, among other things.

The New York Times article is here. There is also a pretty good (NSFW) article by The Good Atheist here.

I feel like Christians are going to be upset with this. But why? It seems to be pretty accurate in it's portrayal of Genesis' sex and violence. They may also be upset because Crumb may or may not be religious.

I think I want this book. Genesis would have been more interesting in graphic novel form.


  1. God tells him to go up to the top of the mountain and look at the land, because he's never going to get to go there. Now God is just being a jerk.

    Wait - NOW he's being a jerk? I'm fairly certain his jerkiness has been a major theme of the last few chapters. In fact, if there's a major theme to the whole damn Old Testament it's the theme of the poor smacked-around Israelites whose jerky God treats them like crap. It gets like watching a Lifetime made-for-tv movie after a while - you keep rooting for them to tell the old man to shove it and walk out the door, but they never do.

    I looked at the Crumb book in Barnes and Noble the other day - it's actually a pretty faithful rendition of Genesis, no snark involved. The nudity and sex in the book is presented just as matter-of-factly as it is in the Bible.

    My prediction is that some Christians (mostly conservative) will get angry because Crumb did some of his own translation rather than relying on the handed-down-by-Yahweh-Himself King James Translation of the Bible. Some Christians (mostly liberal) will get angry that Crumb is mocking their religion by illustrating exactly what's in the big book of myths at the start of the Bible (which he isn't - he's pretty damn respectful. I'd like to see Crumb do the Epic of Gilgamesh, actually, because I think he'd do a great job of it).

  2. I should say, he's being a jerk in a different way. He's moved on to psychological torture as well as the standard fire and brimstone.

  3. i wonder if god still hides in the clouds?



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