I finished reading through the prophets and am interested in reading more of the OT, so I started with Genesis tonight, which promptly led to a whole lot of questions. Here are some of them.

1: 6-8 — Is “expanse” refering to the sky, as the Message translates it? But, there isn’t water above the sky. What was the Jewish understanding of earth, space and heaven?

1: 26 — “Let Us make man in Our image…” How did the Jews understand this prior to Christ and the Holy Spirit and the development of the doctrine of the trinity? Is “our” an accurate translation or a trinitarian bias?

1: 29-30 — Interesting that God only gives plants/fruits as food to Adam and the animals, not animals as food for Adam and other animals. Is carnivorousness a result of the Fall? (I hope not, I like burgers…)

3: 3 — Obviously not a physical death, is it a spiritual one? Or, is it refering to the loss of immortality in :22? Which, by the way, God comes across sounding kind of insecure here. And how could Adam/Eve become like God just by learning about good and evil and being immortal; obviously there’s more than separates Creator and creation than that…

3: 12 — Adam’s kind of a pansy… It’s odd that God doesn’t comment on that but almost accepts the answer by then chastizing Eve without further comment to Adam.

4: 14 — When did other people (not Adam and Eve’s kids) get on the scene?

I get the feeling that this is more poetic wisdom than literal history. Thoughts/resources/burning stakes? A lot of my questions while reading the first four chapters had to deal with the cultural/chronological context, anyone know of any good resources for gaining a better understanding of that?