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 Genesis vs. Ishmael 
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I was looking at the cover page for Book One of The Poisonwood Bible and noticed the scripture from Genesis. And God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth. GENESIS 1:28
To dominate means to have control over. That is a complete contradiction to the point Ishmael was trying to make. I guess he would say that the Bible was written by the Takers and everything in it has no real meaning. I, however, do not share that opinion. (I know that Ishmael is a fictional character and I do believe in the Bible and go by its preaching not Ishmael's.) I was wondering if anyone else had any feelings on this matter.

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Kelly Drum


Sun Oct 29, 2006 9:38 pm
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Kelly, I think you made a great point about the verse from Genesis quoted in The Poisonwood Bible and Ishmael teachings. You are right, Genesis 1:28 does contradict what Ishmael was trying to say. I do not share Ishmael's opinion either. I do believe that God meant for man to have dominion over every living creature.

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Elizabeth Lawson


Mon Oct 30, 2006 10:02 am
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I agree that Genesis does say that man is to have dominion over the earth. But, I also believe that God expects man to take responsibility for the environment and the other creatures that share our planet. God does not want us to be wasteful and careless about his creation. As parents, we admonish our children to take care of the things that we give them, especially their pets. I think Ishmael was trying to point out that man has been careless and selfish.

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Beth Barber


Mon Oct 30, 2006 7:23 pm
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I agree with Beth. I do believe that God intended for us to have dominion of the earth, however don't believe that by dominion it was intended for man to treat earth and its inhabitants disrespectfully. I think that a tremendous amount of responsibility comes along with having dominion over anything.

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Melanie Huss


Mon Nov 06, 2006 12:33 pm
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Excellent and clever point, Kelly! But I also agree with Beth, and I think her point is well made throughout The Poisonwood Bible.

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Bobbi Faulkner


Thu Nov 09, 2006 9:03 pm
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You ladies are really insightful! I love how you "connected" these two texts Kelly. I have to say that while I will not choose between the "teachings" of Ishmael and the teachings of Genesis, I will say that we as humans who have created terrible environmental situations, must take responsibility for what previous generations have done and what we ourselves have done. It is up to us to try and keep the balance between nature's creation and our own creations harmonious.

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Nora Vines


Sun Nov 12, 2006 1:53 pm
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I agree that we have dominion over the earth but I do think that we could do a much better job of working with all the creatures on the earth. With leadership comes responsibility. After reading and discussing Ishmael I find myself thinking about situations in terms of leavers and takers. I do feel that we as a society think that we know better and will decide things that are not always good for all mankind.

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Mitzi Story


Mon Nov 13, 2006 12:22 pm
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