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2010-11-09

If you remember back, Abram and Lot had so much wealth and their flocks were so immense that they had to move apart from each other because the humble land couldnít support both of their fat greedy lifestyles. Well, now, Jacob and Esau have to move apart for the exact same reason. Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob seem to keep having the exact same problems and deal with them in the exact same way. Doesnít that seem just a little bit suspicious? How much can we really trust the bible when it comes to a literal telling of these ancient stories?

If you assume the bible is the inerrant word of God, itís very hard to accept the stories at face-value without a major suspending of disbelief. However, if you approach the bible as an collection of oral stories that were compiled into a single narrative by editors who tried to give them a coherent structure, then suddenly everything makes sense. In fact, most of the Christians I know do view the Old Testament as a collection of stories, not literally believing in a young Earth, or an actual Garden of Eden, yet they maintain that the New Testament is literal and not allegorical. The problem with this manner of thinking is that the entire reason Jesus was born and sacrificed was to remove our supposed inherent sinful nature which we got from Adam and Eve. If the story of Adam and Eve was simply an allegory, then Jesus didnít have to die, and the whole sacrifice becomes a meaningless violent execution.

Back to the story at hand; Esauís journey to Mt. Seir takes place in Genesis 36:1-8. By the way, Seir means ďhairy or shaggyĒ, which is also what Esauís name means, I guess fate brought the two together, right? Golly, what a coincidence! The rest of chapter 36 is just a long boring lineage of Esauís occupation of the lands around Edom and Mt. Seir with very tiny bits of story mixed in. Iíll try to sum up the remaining dead weight in a single comic.

 

Comments

Ray writes:

 

How would Esau even have gotten to Mt. Seir with all those sheep? From what I've heard, they're rather difficult to herd. Heck, how would he have distinguished his livestock from Jacob's? I doubt fences were around back then.

Maju writes:

 

"In fact, most of the Christians I know do view the Old Testament as a collection of stories, not literally believing in a young Earth, or an actual Garden of Eden, yet they maintain that the New Testament is literal and not allegorical. The problem with this manner of thinking is that the entire reason Jesus was born and sacrificed was to remove our supposed inherent sinful nature which we got from Adam and Eve. If the story of Adam and Eve was simply an allegory, then Jesus didnít have to die"...

They think that the allegories reflect real issues even if not necessarily specific events. The exact viewpoints may vary but a random Christian may say, for instance, that if there was no "sin", then Jesus would not have been killed (as only sinners would kill him).

Also for Christians is typically central the story of the Resurrection, which they believe as a victory over death. This story has other mythical roots in Egypt (Osiris) or Greece (Dyonisos), so it indicates how much Hellenized was the Jewish messianic sect of Christians when the made up all that, and maybe why this new (recycled) myth had such a big impact in the Hellenistic world and by extension the whole Roman Empire.

Anyhow, selling an afterlife is the best scam ever: pay now and reap the benefits when you're dead ("if you can" in the invisible ink small type). Maybe that's why other ancient religions, including traditional Judaism, could not compete with Christianism and later also Islam (similar promise and similar scam). The only thing that can compete with them is Materialism, which offers more tangible benefits now and here (but this is denounced as "sinful" and immoral by all those salvation hordes of wishful thinkers lead by con men).

Baughbe writes:

 

They should be able to separate the flocks without too much trouble. Remember Jacob had genetically engineered his with striped sticks and other inanimate objects.

TheAlmightyGuru writes:

 

@Maju: Agreed. The afterlife simply plays on everyone's innate fear of the unknown which gives believers an automatic advantage.

However, to quote Mark Twain, "I do not fear death. I had been dead for billions and billions of years before I was born, and had not suffered the slightest inconvenience from it."

Bb5mes writes:

 

You said Joseph where I think you meant to say Jacob. Unless, of course, it's Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, AND Joseph, which at the rate it's going... :P

TheAlmightyGuru writes:

 

@Bb5mes: Right you are.

 

Oh the irony!