What facts about God are contained in the book of Genesis?

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Answered by: Jason, An Expert in the Religious Skepticism Category
Popular Christian understanding of the nature of God is that he is omniscient, omnipresent, consistent, and honest. Careful reading of the text of the Book of Genesis proves that he is none of these things, or that the Bible itself is flawed. If we accept that the Bible is the unerring word of God, factual in every detail, then we must accept the statements made concerning the nature of God within those pages. We cannot draw conclusions concerning God's nature that the text does not contain. The Bible is the ultimate authority on facts about God.

For the purposes of this discussion omniscient means possessing complete knowledge of all events and phenomena in the universe, and omnipresent means being everywhere at once. Consistency and honesty relate to how God chooses to treat and communicate with his creation. Is God fair to the creatures he creates? Does he provide honest information to the people of Earth? We will use the New International Version translation to examine these assumptions.

We'll start first with consistency. Genesis 1 states that '29 Then God said, “I give you every seed-bearing plant on the face of the whole earth and every tree that has fruit with seed in it. They will be yours for food."'' Genesis 2 tells a slightly different story '16 And the Lord God commanded the man, “You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; 17 but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat from it you will certainly die.”'

Disregarding the many seed-bearing plants and fruits that modern man knows will cause instant, agonizing death when consumed by a human, these two passages directly contradict each other. God gives us all the seed-bearing plants and fruit with seed for food, but immediately prohibits the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil, telling Adam that he will die if he eats them. God is not consistent, but is he honest?

In interpreting the text of Genesis, the serpent is often seen as representing Satan, the "Father of Lies," but the text itself tells us that the first lie was uttered by God, while the serpent spoke the truth. Genesis 3 states that the serpent tells Eve that if she eats the forbidden fruit '4 “You will not certainly die,” the serpent said to the woman. 5 “For God knows that when you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”'

When Eve eats the fruit, she does not die. She becomes like God, knowing good and evil. God is not honest. Is God omnipotent, omniscient, or omnipresent?

Genesis 3 states that God came to the Garden of Eden and couldn't find Adam and Eve, '8 Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the Lord God as he was walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and they hid from the Lord God among the trees of the garden. 9 But the Lord God called to the man, “Where are you?”'

Genesis 3:11 further underscores his lack of knowledge with 'And he said, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree that I commanded you not to eat from?”'

His ignorance is further illustrated by Genesis 3:13 'Then the Lord God said to the woman, “What is this you have done?”'

These passages tell us in no uncertain terms that God is neither omnipresent nor omniscient, as he was not present while the fruit was being consumed, and had no knowledge of its consumption until Adam and Eve confessed the details. He couldn't even find them as they hid while he walked through the garden.

Apologists for the omniscience and omnipresence of God would put forth that this was part of his ineffable plan, that God was simply setting Adam and Eve up to fail, and playacting at his ignorance of this "original sin." I believe that when it comes to finding facts about God, we shouldn't muddy the waters with rationalization. The Bible tells us that God of Genesis is an inconsistent liar who is not all-knowing and all-present.

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