These are some comments based on a reread of Genesis from a post-Christian perspective. When I was a Christian, reading the Bible was almost always done from a devotional perspective. Even if it wasn’t explicitly for Bible study, there was the necessity to view everything as true, to not question too much, and generally to take away some spiritual lesson. When I was actively deconverting, reading the Bible was for research and questioning, laced with all kinds of emotion. This reading treats the Bible as a book – acknowledging the Christian education that I had, but attempting to read with a minimum of bias or cross-referencing, considering what a story would look like without pressure to believe it true or prove it false.

The translation that I used and the commentary that I reference is from The Five Books of Moses by Robert Alter.











And now that I’ve finished Genesis, I don’t feel inspired or repulsed. I wasn’t overtaken by spirituality or any revelation that I was reading something full of truth and morality. I wasn’t filled with shock and rage that the Biblical god was monstrous. It was like 1001 Nights or the Aeneid or countless other stories with mythological underpinnings. But it was part of the reason that I was always an unbeliever, and was part of the crux of my deconversion – how do you make yourself believe something that you don’t believe – in this case, don’t believe to have spiritual truth or significance. I do think that there are truths in Genesis – the kind of truths that deal with people’s behavior. But one could make a canon of that sort with no religiosity.


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