Wrestling With the Interpretation

My theology friends: weigh in on this when you get the chance! I want to hear your thoughts.

I’ve been chewing on some insight I recently read in The Story of B. This is a repeat thought from Ishmael, but it’s a thought I’ve left undiscussed since my reading of Ishmael. Such thoughts have a tendency to explode when they go undiscussed.

Alright, here’s what I read. B is explaining to Fr. Osborne views regarding why totalitarian agriculture became central to a group of people known as “The Takers” or “The Tak,” of which he, the priest, and presumably the reader, are a part of. Beginning with the statement that everyone’s culture seems strange to everyone else, what B talked about was how a certain group, the Zeugen, perceived the Tak. They had a belief, as it were, that:

“The gods have a special knowledge that enables them to rule the world. This knowledge includes the knowledge of who should live and who should die, but it embraces much more than that. This is the general knowledge that the gods employ in every choice they make.”

The Zeugen also believed that, with every choice the gods made, what affected one organism was bad for another.  For example, if a fox was hunting, and the gods sent a quail, this would be good for the fox and bad for the quail.  Just the same, if the gods hid the quail, this would be bad for the fox and good for the quail.

What the Zeugen observed about the Tak is that they had eaten of the tree of the gods wisdom, the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.  This led to a new mind set for the Tak, that of totalitarian agriculture, the decision to rule over the Earth and its inhabitants.  It was this mind set that, the Zeugen agreed, would lead to the death of Adam.

Now, without attempting to get into the creation vs. evolution debate (that horse is long dead at this point) what do we think of this interpretation and understanding of Genesis? Quinn seems to be posing the idea that even the author of Genesis saw in the people around him a Taker mentality. (which would make sense if Moses is the presumed author, especially with his experiences within the Egyptian empire), this idea that one must consume and own the land for oneself, and anyone or anything that infringes on that survival must not only be killed, but their entire race exterminated.

I hope I’ve given enough information for the forming of opinions.  Ladies and gents, your thoughts, please!  Are we the descendants of this Taker culture? Does the Bible evidence this? Was such a position inevitable, or was it avoidable?

Looking forward to hearing on this!


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