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I've been reading the book of Genesis (started in chapter 6) and I'm currently on chapter 16. So far my experience with Genesis has been one of a paranoid child walking through the woods at night jumping at every sound he hears. I'm skeptical of every verse I read thinking to myself "how close is this to the original, how many errors are here?" I know the 8th article of faith but it doesn't answer my question. Its getting to the point where I'm only accepting a minority of what I'm reading. For example, the account of Ham's cursing is so vague that, if read literally, Noah cursed Ham for seeing his penis. It's described as "this thing you have done" it's obvious there's something missing in the account. And for some reason I doubted that Abram had hundreds of servants, imagining him as some kind a vagrant with a small flock. "He couldn't have that many servants back then" (I don't even know what this statement means.) Apparently certain theological groups in Judaism altered certain passages of the Old Testament to remove any indication that Yahweh was subservient to the most High God. How prevalent was this practice? So, basically, here's the question. Am I reading a great fiction penned by scribes and poachers? Is it a bad plastic surgery? Or is the Old Testament fundamentally accurate in it's rendering of the original text? How should I understand the Old Testament?