I had a hard time reading this from a strictly non-Christian perspective, just because I have read the Old Testament previously, and from the perspective of a Christian. So I’ve read it seeing the “fulfillment” of things as they happened in the New Testament. Now I am trying to read Genesis, not as one part of The Bible, but instead as it’s own piece, or as part of a larger whole, but one that has not seen fulfillment yet and that made me think twice about things as I read. It was interesting to read the genealogies and not see them as tracing from Adam to Noah and from Noah to Jesus, but instead as their own unique thing. When I read Genesis as a Christian, that was the point of them, was to see the lineage of Christ from the beginning, without that, it gives me pause. I know there is a weight to them that I am missing, something from the Jewish perspective that is just out of my reach and I wish I could understand. I hope that coming back in a few months and reading on into Exodus, that I will be able to see some connections.
The language in Genesis, and the storytelling, were both very interesting to me as I read stories repeated several times as if to drive home their importance and other stories, even stories that are considered some of the most interesting stories of the Old Testament (specifically the story of Tamar Gen 38) are told as…interruptions, pauses in the middle of other stories – in this case, the story of Joseph’s life).
At the end of Genesis we will move on to another sacred work, only coming back to the story of Abraham’s line after we begin the story of each of four other religions. I believe it will be interesting to see the creation myths of each religion, the founding documents, as it were, in the constitution of religions.It was good to begin here, with stories I find familiar, and to try to look at them through foreign eyes. It will be better to see the connections in the next works. And thus… onward to the sacred text of Christianity, to the book of Matthew and the story of Jesus.