Tuesday, June 07, 2011

Actually, that is in the Bible, CNN

Ho hum.

Yet another "Debunk the Bible" piece in CNN.

The premise is fair enough: there are a lot of sayings people think come from the Bible but actually don't, such as "God helps those who help themselves" and "This too shall pass."  But in the midst of these rather dull "revelations" comes this:
"Those details may seem minor, but scholars say one popular phantom Bible story stands above the rest: The Genesis story about the fall of humanity.

Most people know the popular version - Satan in the guise of a serpent tempts Eve to pick the forbidden apple from the Tree of Life. It’s been downhill ever since.

But the story in the book of Genesis never places Satan in the Garden of Eden.

“Genesis mentions nothing but a serpent,” says Kevin Dunn, chair of the department of religion at Tufts University in Massachusetts.

“Not only does the text not mention Satan, the very idea of Satan as a devilish tempter postdates the composition of the Garden of Eden story by at least 500 years,” Dunn says.

Getting biblical scriptures and stories wrong may not seem significant, but it can become dangerous, one scholar says."

The problem with many scholars is that they're not very scholarly.  While it's true that the tree was not the Tree of Life, nor is there any mention of the fruit being an apple, and indeed, Genesis does not identify the Serpent as Satan - contrary to the title of the article "Actually, that's not in the Bible," well, actually, the identification of the Serpent with Satan is in the Bible.  Twice. See Rev 12:9 and 20:2.

I mean, is it really too much to ask of a Bible scholar to actually read the whole book?  Sadly, the level of biblical illiteracy is what allows slipshod scholarship and reporting to go unchecked, and people actually believe such nonsense.


Michael L. Anderson, M.D. said...

The description of fierce combat between the Seed of the woman, and the offspring of the serpent, points to a profound meaning with eternal verities; one lost to the average Bible scholar consulted by CNN.

That's no "simple" serpent, lurking there inside the Garden; and the thought is communicated with an arresting and dark clarity, virtually from the start of the Book.

"Hey, buddy! Speak slower for the professor, willya!"

Fr. Gregory Hogg said...

I noticed the same thing when I read the CNN story. Good post!