- Overview of the Book of Genesis
- Overview of the Gospel of Matthew
- Overview of the Psalms
- Overview of the book of Proverbs
Any botanists in the crowd? What are the chances that an olive tree could grow and have leaves within just a few months of the land where it was growing was at least 22 feet underwater? Apparently, we don't get a follow-up to the flood because God really liked the smell of the first sacrifices. Good thing God doesn't break a promise since we don't really do animal sacrifices any more. Or maybe God likes the smell of fossil fuels burning just as well.
I wonder if it was the delicious smell of burning animals that convinced God to let humans eat meat. Of course, In non-mythical development, human food consumption went from foraged plants to meat to raised plants and animals not from foraged plants to raised plants to meat.
As far as Genesis 8:5-6 is concerned, the death penalty is not just a good thing, it is required for murderers. Still, the story of the rainbow's origins is pretty (although I find the imagery of a million tiny prisms to be just as pretty and not nearly as morally questionable).
The bit about Ham's descendants being cursed because Ham mocked his father's nakedness has always struck me unfair. While one could make a halfway feasible case that Adam and Eve introduced sin to all humanity and, therefore, all humanity deserves God's curse, it is hard to say that it is fair of Ham's descendants to be cursed just because he disrespected his father. Sounds to me more a lame explanation of why the Israelites felt justified in their enmity with the Canaanites.
It must have been sad for Noah (and perhaps Ham, Shem, and Japeth). Since Noah, or at best Noah and his sons, were the last people to have the ridiculously long life spans, they must have had to see the death of their descendants. Children, grandchildren, maybe great grandchildren. What a depressing prospect.
So, we finally reach the beginning of Jesus' ministry. The problem with the author of Matthew, however, is that he is so concerned with showing that prophecies are "fulfilled" that we do not get much content as to what Jesus was actually teaching. I do have to compliment the author of Matthew in today's readings though. I think this might be the first time that the Old Testament verse he quotes is not obviously being taken out of context. Kudos!
Psalms and Proverbs
Nothing of particular note today.