The Book of Genesis:
Two Creation Stories

The Sun by Edvard Munch

1863 - 1944

This is the day that the Lord hath made;
Rejoice and be glad in it.
Psalm 118:24




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Creation by Bible Basics from Genesis 1:1-31 and Genesis 2:1-3 Artwork: The Sun by Edvard Munch 1863 - 1944 Music: "Morning Mood" by Edvard Grieg June 1843 September 1907 Reflective and Medatative Video Presentation by Bible Basics "Grieg: Peer Gynt Suite:


The Bible and Genesis are not Science books or History books (even though there are historical events recorded.)  The Bible and Genesis are about the Nature of God, Understanding God and having a Realationship with God. 

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The Bible is not a book but a library, joining together dozens of writings, stories, poetry, and letters. The common factor between them is that they all speak to us of God , revealing God’s Nature, his awesome sovereignty and his tender love.

-         The New Jerusalem Bible Forward by Henry Wansbrough. 


Who wrote Genesis?

The Jewish Torah, The Law, the first five books in the Old Testament (also called the Pentateuch) were attributed/written by Moses.


· Pentateuch means 5 volume Book.

 

· The Torah canon was authoritative for all Jews and later for all Christians.

 

· The Hebrew Scriptures, known later to Christians as the Old Testament, were originally written in Hebrew, but when they were translated into Greek-language this translation was called the Septuagint.

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What Are the J, E, and P Texts of Genesis?

http://web.cn.edu/kwheeler/Genesis_texts.html



The documentary hypothesis, (DH) (sometimes called the Wellhausen hypothesis), proposes that the Pentateuch (the first five books of the Bible) was derived from originally independent, parallel and complete narratives, which were subsequently combined into the current form by a series of redactors (editors). The number of these is usually set at four, but this is not an essential part of the hypothesis.

The short version is as follows: "J" wrote a story representative of Southern Judean interests. "E" wrote one about Northern Israeli interests. When the North and the South united, the Priests in charge could not get rid of either well known document, so he (they) wrote "P", making the story more to his (their) liking. King Josiah "took charge" at age 8. Because of his age, he was heavily influenced by the priests. After he attained young adulthood, the main priest conveniently found "D" (mainly a set of laws) that so impressed the young king that he had the whole tome read aloud to the masses.


All these sources and editions were put together by an editor, called the "Redactor" into the final 5-book work. The Redactor may have been Ezra, a priest of the Second Temple after the Jews returned from exile in Babylon.

 These four sources came to be known as the

·        Yahwist, or Jahwist,J (J being the German equivalent of the English letter Y);

·        Elohist, E;

·        Deuteronomist, D, (the name comes from the Book of Deuteronomy, D's contribution to the Torah);

·        Priestly Writer, P.[1]

 ·                    the Yahwist source ( J ) : hypothetically written c. 950 BCE in the southern Kingdom of Judah.

·                    the Elohist source ( E ) : hypothetically written c. 850 BCE in the northern Kingdom of Israel.

·                    the Deuteronomist ( D ) : hypothetically written c. 600 BCE in Jerusalem during a period of religious reform.

·                    the Priestly source ( P ) : hypothetically written c. 500 BCE by Kohanim (Jewish priests) in exile in Babylon.

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Bible Genesis Paradoxes

Chapters  1 & 2 contain two accounts of the creation of the world by God.  According to the first (Genesis 1:1-2:4a), man was created, male and female (Genesis 1:26-27), after the creation of plants (Genesis 1:11-12) and animals (Genesis 1:20-25); according to the second (Genesis 2:4b-25), man was created first (Genesis 2:7), then the trees (Genesis 2:9), then the animals (Genesis 2:19), and finally woman (Genesis 2:21-22).

 

In view of these discrepancies, to say nothing of the differences of style and feeling so obvious as to need no detailed enumeration here, the two stories cannot come from the same hand.

 

The first is basically from the second from J2; both of them bear the marks of having been elaborated by writers other than the original authors. –  1 Creation (1:1-2:4a)

-         The Interpreter’s Bible 

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Genesis 1-2:4a

Genesis 2:4b-3:24

Creation is divided into days.


No days or other periods of time are mentioned.

Creation has a cosmic scope.

Creation has to do with the earth only.

Animals are created before man


Man created before animals.

Animals are part of a cosmic design (along with plants and everything else)

Animals are created for a limited purpose: to keep man company or be "a helper"--though they turn out to be unsuitable for Adam, forcing God to make Eve instead.

Man is to rule the world.

Man is to have charge of Eden only and, presumably, is never to leave it.

Woman is created simultaneously with man.

Woman is created after (and from) the body of man.

No names are given to creatures

All creatures, including man and woman, are given names.

Only the deity speaks.

Four speakers engage in dialogue, one of them an animal (serpent/snake)

The deity makes a day of the week holy.

The deity forbids eating the fruit of a tree (Tree of Knowledge.)

Chapters  1 & 2 contain two accounts of the creation of the world by God.  According to the first (Genesis 1:1-2:4a), man was created, male and female (Genesis 1:26-27), after the creation of plants (Genesis 1:11-12) and animals (Genesis 1:20-25); according to the second (Genesis 2:4b-25), man was created first (Genesis 2:7), then the trees (Genesis 2:9), then the animals (Genesis 2:19), and finally woman (Genesis 2:21-22).


In view of these discrepancies, to say nothing of the differences of style and feeling so obvious as to need no detailed enumeration here, the two stories cannot come from the same hand.

 

The first is basically from the second from J2;  both of them bear the marks of having been elaborated by writers other than the original authors. –  1 Creation (1:1-2:4a)

The Interpreter’s Bible

 

Creation Story 

Creation Story I

Genesis I

M. C. Escher

The Beginning

In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.


In the beginning God creates:

·        The heavens

·        and the earth

The Hebrew 'bere shith' seems to mean "in the beginning of" rather than "in the beginning." - IVP 

Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, 

The earth is formless and empty. Darkness was over the surface of the seas.    

Darkness was already in existence

and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters.

The Spirit of God is hovering over the waters.

The "Spirit of God" not the uttered spoken word, as the agent of creation moved upon or was moving over the waters. - IVP 

And God said, 

God speaks and it comes into being.  

And God said: The representation that the divine word was the agent of creation is found in Babylonian, Egyptian, and Indian cosmogonies but as Gunkel points out (ibid, pp 104-5), in these myths the word is a magic word--the correct formula however, the word is an expression of God's will,         "He spake, and it was done; he commanded, and it stood fast." (Psalm 33:9) - IVP


"Let there be light,” and there was light. 

“Let there be light,” and The sun, moon, and stars are not created yet ... but there is Light!  

Let there be Light: The representation that light was the first creation, found also in Indian, Greek, and Phoenician cosmogonies - IVP

Light was therefore created before even the sun-one of the features, which renders impossible all attempts to bring it into line with modern scientific knowledge. Indeed, it must be said that where the story does correspond with scientific fact, the correspondence is purely coincidental. 

The authors main purpose was to set forth his conviction and that of his people—a conviction arrived on religious grounds, not on scientific grounds—that the universe and all that is in it had its origin solely in the will of God.

At the same time he was trying to give an ordered and reasonable account of the way in which it came into being. To this extent the author was trying to be “scientific,” as were those responsible for the other creation myths of the ancient world. - IVP 

God saw that the light was good, 

What God Creates is Good! 

and he separated the light from the darkness. 

God separates light from the darkness.

Separated Light from the darkness: In this act God imposed some degree of order upon the darkness and gave it meaning.  - IVP 

God called the light “day,” and the darkness he called “night.” 

Light is called “day” & darkness called “night.” 

With the naming of light and darkness the night came...

And there was evening, and there was morning 

—the first day.



The First Day 

followed my the dawn, the first day was over, the second day had begun.  - IVP 

6 And God said,

God speaks and it comes into being.

M. C. Escher

“Let there be a vault between the waters to separate water from water.”

7 So God made the vault and separated the water under the vault from the water above it.   

The waters are separated. Sky above and water below.

And it was so.

God speaks and it comes into being.  

8 God called the vault “sky.” 

God called the vault “sky.” 

and there was evening, and there was morning

 —the second day.


The Second Day

M. C. Escher

And God said,

God speaks and it comes into being.

“Let the water under the sky be gathered to one place, and let dry ground appear.”

God gathers the water to one place creating dry ground (land.)  

Presupposes the existence of water with land already formed beneath it. – IVP 

And it was so.

God speaks and it comes into being.   

10 God called the dry ground “land,” and the gathered waters he called “seas.” 


God calls the dry ground “land.”   God calls the waters “seas.” 

And God saw that it was good.

What God Creates is Good!    

11 Then God said,

God speaks and it comes into being.  

“Let the land produce vegetation: seed-bearing   plants and trees on the land that bear fruit with seed in it, according to their various kinds.”

The land produces vegetation, seed bearing plants, and trees are created.  



And it was so.

God speaks and it comes into being.     

12 The land produced vegetation: plants bearing seed according to their kinds and trees bearing fruit with seed in it according to their kinds.  

The land produces:

  • Vegetation
  • seed bearing plants
  • fruit bearing trees

Seed the reproductive activity of nature.

And God saw that it was good.

What God Creates is Good!   

13 And there was evening, and there was morning -

the third day.



The Third Day 

The Third Day like the Sixth Day; they both include two acts of creation.

M. C. Escher

14 And God said,

God speaks and it comes into being. 

“Let there be lights in the vault of the sky to separate the day from the night, 

God creates the Sun and the moon to separate the day from the night.  


 The purpose of the lights in the firmament, according to vs. 14a, is to separate the day from the night. i.e., they are not to give light—for light has existence independent of the sun.

(cf. vs. 3)—but to determine when day shall give way to night.

 

15 and let them serve as signs to mark sacred times, and days and years,   

The sun & moon are not to be worshipped. Their purpose is to mark the sacred times, the calendar, and the seasons.


In vs. 14b a further purpose  is stated: they are to be for signs and for seasons and for days and years.

and let them be lights in the vault of the sky to give light on the earth.”

The sun and moon … they had no power beyond that with which God had endowed them. So absurd was it to think that they were gods, and so objects of worship.

  And it was so. 

God speaks and it comes into being. 

16 God made two great lights—the greater light to govern the day and the lesser light to govern the night. 

God made two great lights - greater light (the sun) to govern the day and the  lesser light (moon) to govern the night.   God also made the stars.

"Even after all this time
The sun never says to the earth,
You owe Me.'

Look what happens with
A love like that,
It lights the Whole Sky"

by Hafiz


He also made the stars. 


1God set them in the vault of the sky to give light on the earth, 

18 to govern the day and the night, and to separate light from darkness. 

And God saw that it was good. 

What God Creates is Good!      

19 And there was evening, and there was morning    

—the fourth day.



The Fourth Day  

M. C. Escher

20 And God said,

God speaks and it comes into being.  

“Let the water teem with living creatures, 

God creates the fishes & living creatures in the waters. These creatures are to flourish.  

Like in vs. 11, the waters are now endowed with productive powers.

and let birds fly above the earth across the vault of the sky.”

God creates the birds to fly in the sky.   

…there is no suggestion that only a single pair of each kind was produced, but rather that the whole species appeared in considerable numbers. - IVP

21 So God created the great creatures of the sea and every living thing with which the water teems and that moves about in it, according to their kinds, and every winged bird according to its kind.   

God creates the great creatures of the sea; every living creature in the sea.  

The great sea creatures (monsters) suggest that these words…. That these mythological beings (cf. Ps. 74:13; Isa. 27:7, 51:9; Job 7:12) the existence of which was doubtless still believed in, derived their being from God. – IVP

And God saw that it was good.   

What God Creates is Good!  

22 God blessed them

God “blesses” the birds of the sky and the living creatures in the sea.  

and said,

God speaks and it comes into being.  

“Be fruitful and increase in number and fill the water in the seas, and let the birds increase on the earth.”

It is God’s plan in the beginning that the fish of the sea and the birds of the air “Be fruitful and increase in number and fill the water in the seas, and let the birds increase on the earth.”  

The fishes and the birds are now endowed with reproductive powers.

23 And there was evening, and there was morning  

—the fifth day.



The Fifth Day  

M. C. Escher

24 And God said,

God speaks and it comes into being.  

“Let the land produce living creatures according to their kinds:  the livestock, the creatures that move along the ground, and the wild animals, each according to its kind.”

God says, Let the “land” produce living creatures. 

·  Livestock/cattle domesticated animals Herbivores

 ·   Creatures that move  along  the ground. (retiles, insects, very small quadrupeds    -IVP)

 All Creatures that move along the ground.  very small quadrupeds    -IVP)

Small four footed mamals.

And it was so.  

God speaks and it comes into being.

25 God made the wild animals according to their kinds,

 ·   Wild Animals Carnivores

And God saw that it was good. 

 What God Creates is Good!

26 Then God said,  

God speaks and it comes into being.  

“Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness,  

“Let us make mankind in our image, in “our” likeness,  

so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.”

Man is to rule over all creatures of the:

·        Fish of the sea

·        Birds of the sky

·        Livestock

·        Wild Animals

·        Creatures that move upon the ground. 

God gives man dominion over all life it has enumerated in its species in vss. 20 & 24.


27 So God created mankind in his own image, 

Mankind is created in the Image of God;

not original sin!


in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.

Adam is not even mentioned!

(Male & Female gender are now created; no ribs taken from Adam!)  

Male and Female are created at the same time.

28 God blessed them 

God “blessed” them (mankind) the same way God blessed the birds of the sky and the fish of the sea in verse 22; Genesis 1:22  

God blesses Mankind the same way he blessed the birds of the air & the creatures of the sea:  

“Be fruitful and increase in number and fill the water in the seas, and let the birds increase on the earth.” 

-         Genesis 1:22    

The power of procreation is given to man, with a special blessing.   -IVP

and said to them,

God speaks and it comes into being.  

“Be fruitful and increase in number;  fill the earth and subdue it.  

Similiar to God's blessing of the animals

“Be fruitful and increase in number and fill the water in the seas, and let the birds increase on the earth.” 

-         Genesis 1:22  

Taking dominion over the earth and subduing the earth does NOT mean that the earth should be treated as an  enemy and abused.

Be fruitful and increase in number This is in contrast to man and wife attained consciousness of sex only as a result of eating the fruit of the forbidden tree.

fill the earth and subdue it God gives man dominion over all life it has enumerated in its species in vss. 20 & 24.

Taking dominion over the earth and subduing the earth does NOT mean that the earth should be treated as an  enemy and abused.

Rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky and over every living creature that moves on the ground.”

Mankind is to rule over

  • the fish in the sea, 
  • birds of the air, 
  • and every moving creature that moves on the ground

God gives man dominion over all life it has enumerated in its species in vss. 20 & 24.

We are called to be "good stewards" caretakers; the custodial caretakers of planet earth.

29 Then God said,

God speaks and it comes into being. 

“I give you every seed-bearing plant on the face of the whole earth and every tree that has fruit with seed in it. They will be yours for food. 

Every seed bearing plant and every fruit bearing tree are given to us for FOOD!    

Man is to be a vegetarian.

The point of vs. 29 is not what man may eat, but rather that he may not eat flesh. -IVP

30 And to all the beasts of the earth and all the birds in the sky and all the creatures that move along the ground—everything that has the breath of life in it 


People and animals seem to be portrayed originally as vegetarian. 

-NIV note Genesis 1:29-30


I give every green plant for food.”

Every creature that has breath in it God provides every green plant for food.

Animals are not given to Mankind until Genesis 9

The fear and dread of you will fall on all the beasts of the earth, and on all the birds in the sky, on every creature that moves along the ground, and on all the fish in the sea; they are given into your hands. 

Everything that lives and moves about will be food for you. Just as I gave you the green plants, I now give you everything.

Genesis 9:2-3

And it was so.

God speaks and it comes into being.  

31 God saw all that he had made,  and it was very good.  

God looks over all of creation.   And it is all Very GOOD! 

"Very Good" too often we get the idea that because man was created that God called the day "very good." This is NOT what the scripture says!

God saw all that he had made,  and it was very good. 

All of God's creation working together in harmony is "Very Good."

And there was evening, and there was morning             

 - the sixth day.



The Sixth Day


The earth is the LORD’s, and everything in it.
The world and all its people belong to him.
Psalm 24:1


To the LORD your God belong the heavens,
even the highest heavens, 
the earth and everything in it.

Deuteronomy 10:13-15




Genesis In the Beginning by Bible Basics Creation from Genesis 1:1-31 and Genesis 2:1-3 Artwork: "The Sun" by Edvard Munch Music: "Morning Mood" by Edvard Grieg Buy "Grieg: Peer Gynt Suite:



The love for all living creatures is the most noble attribute of man.

Charles Darwin




This is a great book for children and adults; a good simple way to explain Genesis to a child and a new and different perspective to challenge an adult!

The Blessing Seed: A Creation Myth for the New Millennium

by Caitlín Matthews, Alison Dexter (Illustrator)

4.36 of 5 stars 4.36  ·   rating details  ·  14 ratings  ·  5 reviews Goodreads

When God makes the world, the first Man and Woman are amazed by the mountains and valleys, the sea and the stars, and the wonderful animals and plants with whom they share their home.
But what is their task in life?

To find out, they decide to eat the fruit of the tree of knowledge, although God has advised them not to do so before it is ripe.

When God sees what they have done, he gently explains to them that it is time for them to explore the four paths: the path of wonder, the path of emptiness, the path of making and the path of coming home.

With his guidance, the Man and the Woman begins to understand their place in the world, and they set out to explore it with the song of the blessing seed in their hearts. 





"Walk as if you are kissing the Earth with your feet."

― Thich Nhat Hanh

We do not have to die
To arrive at the gates of Heaven. 
In fact, we have to be truly alive. 
The practice is to touch life deeply
So that the Kingdom of God becomes a reality. 
This is not a matter of devotion. 
It is a matter of practice. 
The Kingdom of God is available
HERE and NOW! 

― Thich Nhat Hanh


Really hearing the bird sing
Or really seeing the blue sky, 
We touch the seed of the Holy Spirit within us. 
― Thich Nhat Hanh


When you stand up and your feet touch the ground, 
You know the earth belongs to God. 
When you wash your face, 
You know that the water is God. 
Piety is the recognition that everything 
is linked to the presence of God
in every moment.

― Thich Nhat Hanh


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