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Scholars Day: April 15, 2009

Expiration Dates Exceeded

Genesis is the story of creation and the story where readers of the Bible begin to see the abilities of God and what he can accomplish simply through speaking. Yet as the humans that “God created in his image” (Genesis 1:27) begin to reproduce and live, most often for a period well over five hundred years (Genesis 5:1-32), “…the LORD said, ‘My breath shall not abide in the human forever, for he is but flesh. Let his days be a hundred and twenty years.’” (Genesis 6:3). This is a troubling statement that God makes, as numerous characters (most often those that God favors) are allowed to live well past this stated age limit. Perhaps the most troubling aspect of the entire command and what follows is this: by allowing the reader to become aware of God’s command well before it is actually put into practice (versus just before Joseph dying) the text forces the reader to consider whether God himself has reasons for breaking his own commands.

Presenter: Tracy Dinkmeyer (Undergraduate Student)
Location: 216 Hartwell
Time: 2 pm (Session III)