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Interpreting Genesis

By David Young - posted Monday, 16 February 2009

Before I start there is a disclaimer. This is a commentary article. It is how I read parts of Genesis that gives an alternative interpretation to the conventional Christian stance. I do not claim it to be true or false. Genesis could be no more than a writer explaining a principle using a story telling technique. Of all the possibilities this is the one that appeals to me the most, and I provide this commentary on that premise.

Genesis is usually seen as a Christian text. It is not. It is a stand alone writing that the Christians have adopted to include in their Bible, but they do not have copyright. Genesis belongs to everyone, and if alternative readings are put forward for debate by anyone Christianity can only legitimately debate on equal terms.

So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female he created he them. Genesis 127 KJV


This was long before Adam and the woman, so Adam was not the first “man”. Christian dogma is that it is commonly accepted as an error and that Adam was the first man. I choose to reject the “error” claim and accept it as written.

What was the purpose of man (male and Female)? To have “dominion” over the earth and everything that lived on it. Basically man was God's caretaker. It is interesting that according the Genesis that at this stage man and all the animals where vegetarian.

And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.

29 And God said, Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in the which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat.

30 And to every beast of the earth, and to every fowl of the air, and to every thing that creepeth upon the earth, wherein there is life, I have given every green herb for meat: and it was so.

31 And God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good. And the evening and the morning were the sixth day. Genesis 128-29 KJV

With man as his caretaker and everything ticking over nicely God had a rest.

And on the seventh day God ended his work which he had made; and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had made. Genesis 22 KJV

For some reason God decided to continue with the work. Who knows why? Maybe gods just get bored when they have nothing to do.


And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into hid nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul. Genesis 27 KJV

If man (male and female) already existed then this verse is nonsense. I don't like the Christian version that somehow a mistake had been made and “man” did not exist before this. If that were true the whole story becomes incoherent. The possible explanation is that God took man and gave man a living soul exactly as stated. We had been promoted from caretaker to a caretaker with a soul.

The next section of Genesis, from chapter 2 verses 8 to 14, describes how God created the Garden of Eden. Surprisingly from such a detailed description there is no place on earth that has the physical features of the Garden of Eden. But there is one place that fits. That place is the human brain. The circular river flowing out into four lands is a match for the Circle of Willis, the blood supply to the human brain.

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About the Author

David Young has been a writer for 20 years. At other times he has been an architect and a flying instructor. Details of his books and writings can be found at his website

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