"..an essential book for the serious student of Theology & anyone interested in the Bible generally..."
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"The Firstborn of God. Resolving the Contradictions in the Bible" is a controversial study that challenges accepted orthodox interpretation. Evans has for the last fourteen years researched and studied not only the Bible, but the Nag Hammadi Texts including the Gospel of Thomas and The Sea Scrolls.
She advocates that the Bible has two threads running through it from Genesis to Revelation and that these two threads advocate two completely different religious, social, economic and political philosophies. Evans proposes that these two threads start with the creation stories, where in Genesis 1, male and female, in fact the whole human race is created in the image of God and as such have everlasting life. She believes that politically this translates into democracy. Whereas in Genesis 2, one male is created and a female is made from his rib in order to serve him and both are denied the tree of everlasting life. Politcally, she believes this this translates into an autocracy.The author proposes that we must make a choice between the two and that the choice that we make will determine how we interpret the rest of the Bible.
Evans bases the premise for her choices and conclusions on the fundamentals of democracy being equality, a justice of liberty and self-empowerment, choices and conclusions that more often than not overturn accepted orthodox faith and belief; though she does substantiate her arguments through quotes from the Bible as well as from the Gnostic Scriptures and the Sea Scrolls.The author believes that in order to arrive at a workable religious framework for the 21st century, it is for us to question, that we must make a choice between the two threads that she clearly lays out in the beginning of her book, in order to find the answers that we are looking for.
Throughout history our religious beliefs have been instrumental in shaping our social and political structures.Whether we are devout or not, the fundamental philosophies of any given religion will dictate the way in which we interact with each other on a mental, social and political level. The Western world is no exception and has based its theology on a text known as "The Bible." But what is "The Bible?" Is it a collection of scrolls written by a group of old men? Or is it the word of God as so many claim it to be?
If the Bible really is the word of God, then it should follow that the chapters and verses will be clear cut, easily understood and lack ambiguity. But this is not the case.The Bible is ambiguous and many of its texts contradict each other which in turn implies that the scribes who wrote them had differing views on the divine word of God. Interpret the Bible one way and you get Ecclesiastes 5:3:
"For a dream cometh through the multitude of business:....."
Interpret it another way and you get Job 33:15 & 16:
"In a dream, in a vision of the night, when deep sleep falleth upon men, in slumberings upon the bed; Then he openeth the ears of men and sealeth their instruction."
Ecclesiastes regards dreams as nonsense and suggests that we pay little attention to them. Job, on the other hand, regards dreams as the vehicle through which God communicates with people. Such contradictions suggest that the Bible is not so much the hard and fast word of God, but a collection of scrolls, written by various people, who had opposing views on our relationship with the Supreme Being.