Bible Verses Your Pastor Won’t Bring Up, Genesis Edition

Everybody knows some of the broad themes of Genesis: God creates earth, the Garden of Eden, the story of Noah, etc. Here are some things that may not have been brought to your attention in Sunday School.

~ God creates day and night on the first day, but doesn’t create the sun or the stars until the 4th. (Genesis 1:3-5, 16-19)

~ God repeatedly refers to himself as “us,” though why (and why only in Genesis) is never explained. (Genesis 1:26, 3:22, 11:7)

~ Adam was not kicked out of the Garden of Eden for eating the forbidden fruit. God became nervous that his newly-enlightened creation would also eat fruit from the tree of life and become immortal. (Genesis 3:22-23)

~ Adam and Eve are only stated as having two children, Cain and Abel. Where following generations came from is left up to the reader’s imagination. (Genesis 4:1-2)


~ Cain killed Abel because God liked Abel more. Why? Because as a farmer, Cain could only sacrifice plants to God. Abel was a herdsman,and so could sacrifice animals. (Genesis 4:2-5)

~ God’s sons come down from the heaven to have sex with earth women. (Genesis 6:1-2, 4)

~ “There were giants in the earth in those days” isn’t an accurate translation. The word translated into giants was “Nephilim”, which nobody actually knows how to translate. (Genesis 6:4)

~ Noah gets drunk on wine from his vineyard and passes out with his genitals exposed. Ham, his son, accidentally sees this. When Noah wakes up, he punishes Ham by making his youngest son a slave. (Genesis9:20-27)

~ God makes a covenant with Abraham and demands that he and all his descendents become circumcised. God never explains why cutting off the foreskin is important, but it seems quite contradictory to all the other laws about never exposing one’s genitals. What good is a distinguishing self-mutilation that nobody is allowed to see? (Genesis17:10)

~ Rachel and Leah battle for Jacob’s favor by giving him their maids as sex partners. There is no indication that they asked their maids for permission. (Genesis 30:1-11)

~ God has a wrestling match with Jacob and loses. To honor the occasion, God changes Jacob’s name to Israel. (Genesis 32:24-30)

~ The “sin of Onan” is not masturbation. Onan wasn’t punished because he “spilled his semen on the ground” but because he didn’t impregnate his sister-in-law.  God kills Onan. (Genesis 38:1-10)

Of course, many of these issues have light shed upon them when the Bible is viewed from a critical, rather than inerrant perspective. For example, God referring to himself as “us” is explained by Wellhausen’s documentary hypothesis. For a great book on how to read the Old Testament in a historical-critical perspective, I highly recommend Brettler’s How to Read the Jewish Bible, which was used quite a bit in my Hebrew Bible (that’s the Old Testament) courses in college.


Read this book. READ IT!


~ by kriskodisko on August 15, 2013.

4 Responses to “Bible Verses Your Pastor Won’t Bring Up, Genesis Edition”

  1. Brettler’s book is excellent, and those who read the Old Testament literally are pretty much doomed to a psychotic breakdown, at some point. The Creation story itself refers to the unfoldment of spiritual awakening, rather than physical creation. Also, Adam was the first human, in the Historical Age, to recognize a Higher Power. There were plenty of ignorant humans around, already, at that point. Cain and Abel each married from among them.

  2. Fun things I’ve also learned: The Jewish people were actually polytheistic in their very early history. I like viewing the Old Testament within a historical background better… it makes more sense that way. Remembering that “winners write the legends” also kinda helps… lol.

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