Christian theologian Peter Enns recently wrote an interesting article on Genesis, Creation, and Ancient Interpreters: A Crafty Serpent
Genesis says God created the serpent (“the wisest beast of the field that the Lord God had made”) and cursed the serpent (not Satan) “to go on its belly and eat dust all the days of its life.” SO, NO “SATAN” IN GENESIS.
The serpent was first identified with SATAN in the INTERTESTAMENTAL writings that Enns mentioned in his article. But such writings never became part of the canon of recognized inspired literature in either the OT nor the NT.
Serpents have no vocal apparatus to “speak” with. No voice box, no muscular tongue, cheeks and larynx.
The “curse” to “eat dust” is not a “curse” scientifically speaking. The serpent uses its damp tongue to capture air borne molecules and drag them back to the roof of its mouth where its smelling aparatus is located, pressing its tongue with those molecules against the roof of its mouth so it can “smell.” And its sense of smell is essential when it comes to tracking prey, finding mates, learning about its environment, etc., which are all blessings, not curses.
The idea that humankind once lived in paradise is as untrue as stories invented to explain how we “left” that “paradise.” The past contains evidence of mass extinctions, including the suffering & extinctions of our upright primate ancestors and ancient human species, none of whose lives were “paradisical.”
The Bible begins and ends with myths. (What about the middle?)
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