Some times the Bible is best taken in small doses. I’m no technical guru, but I do know that Twitter doesn’t always display the Bible bits I type in daily. Perhaps in some far distant future civilization that has learned how to recover “data” from fried pieces of digital storage devices, the Bible will be woefully incomplete. Maybe not woefully, depending on whose point of view sees it. Reading over passages worn smooth by timeless repetition, it is sometimes difficult to notice the harsh undertones. My twittering is up to Genesis 3 now, the infamous Garden of Eden episode. Over the last few days I’ve tweeted, “And the Lord God called unto Adam and said unto him, Where art thou? And he said, I heard thy voice in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked; and I hid myself. And he said, Who told thee that thou wast naked? Hast thou eaten of the tree, whereof I commanded thee that thou shouldest not eat? And the man said, The woman whom thou gavest to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I did eat. And the Lord God said unto the woman, What is this that thou hast done?”
The weary “blame it on the woman” trope aside, several things stand out. God seems to be interested only in Adam. Perhaps the divine Dad wants to take his boy aside for a man-to-man chat, but it seems more likely in the context that Eve is simply irrelevant. Even Adam’s response is completely void of Eve, “I heard,” “I was afraid,” “I hid.” For a man about to shove the blame off onto his significant other (sorry, Tea Partiers, nowhere does Genesis say Adam and Eve were ever married), he is strangely circumspect about his recondite female. Even God sounds surprised, “Who told thee that thou wast naked?” Hmmm, who else is there in the Garden? Adam suddenly abandons the first person singular and begins his response with, “The woman whom thou gavest…” Blame anyone but Adam. The tragic disappearance of Eve until blame is to be attributed should warn us that the remainder of the Bible will not be a happy book.
The first chapters of Genesis have a lot of uncovering going on. God, like a detective in a CSI drama, tries to uncover the mystery of the naked man. When man is found naked he blames the woman, not even bothering with her name. Much is revealed here. Coming as it does as the first biblical story of human interaction, this tale sets the stage for all subsequent developments. From this point onward, with rare exceptions, the story will be a male narrative. Women will be assigned to, literally, support roles. Is it any wonder that women gather to protest against women’s rights, when under the thumb of such teaching? I suggest that what is required is even more uncovering. If we examine the bare facts of the Bible, we might be able finally to get to the root of this problem. That root lies deep in the literal interpretation of mythology.