Creation

It Is Not Good For The Man To Be Alone

Everything God created functioned as intended – it was good, very good (Gen. 1:4, 10, 12, 18, 21, 25, 31). However, God said the man’s situation was not good because, as a solitary human, the man could not function as God intended. There were no others like the man and because of this, for the first time there was dysfunction in God’s creation. God’s solution to the situation was to make the man a counterpart:

“Then the LORD God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper corresponding to him.”” (Gen. 2:18 CSB)

The man had been given the task of naming all the animals God created (Gen 2:20). This was God’s way of demonstrating to the man that while all the animals had mates that were similar to one another, there were no beings who corresponded to him.

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Posted by Eddie Lawrence in Creation, Genesis, Marriage

Are There Two Creation Stories In Genesis?

In Genesis 1 God is called Elohim whereas in Genesis 2 He is called Yahweh. In Genesis 1 the creation order is plants, animals, then man and woman. In Genesis 2 the order is man, plants, then animals. In Genesis 1 God created man and woman at the same time, but in Genesis 2 He created man alone and later made a woman from the man’s side. Genesis 1 is more structured and formulaic while Genesis 2 has a narrative style.

Based on these textual differences some people have concluded that there are two distinct creation stories. Furthermore, it is reasoned that the stories were written by two different authors with two different agendas. Others portray these differences as contradictions arguing this is evidence that the Bible is nothing more than a book of ancient myths and fables. 

The literary structure of Genesis

Each book of the Bible has a literary form. Scholars and textual analysts have observed a structure composed of sequences and recursions in Genesis. The sequences advance the narrative forward in time and the recursions backup in time to focus on a different character or event.  

Most Christians believe that Genesis 2 is a recap of Genesis 1 where Moses goes into more detail about the events of creation. Those who argue in favor of two creation stories say that nowhere else in Genesis is there a narrative which goes into greater detail (recapitulation) about a previously documented event. Therefore, it is reasoned that Genesis 2 is probably not a recapitulation of Genesis 1.

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Posted by Eddie Lawrence in Creation, Genesis

The Implications Of Reading Genesis Like An Ancient Israelite

In our Genesis study so far we’ve considered John H. Walton’s ideas concerning the creation account. Walton proposes an interpretation of Genesis 1-2 which he describes as a “cosmic temple inauguration view.” That is, the focus of the seven days of creation is not about how God brought matter into existence, rather it is the inauguration of God’s cosmic temple.

Walton contends, convincingly, that Genesis chapters 1 & 2 do not tell the story of how God brought the Universe into existence ex nihilo (out of nothing). Obviously there was a physical creation, but Genesis 1 is not that story. Instead, it is the story of how God brought order out of chaos by creating the functions which established a habitable place for humans where they could live together with God. In this view, God built a temple (the Universe) where He could dwell with his creation. The “hot spot” of God’s presence was in the garden of Eden where He placed Adam. A temple, by definition, is a sacred space where man and God commune.

As I’ve said before, it is exceedingly difficult for most of us to read Genesis and see what Walton is describing. We are used to reading the creation account in terms of material and physical origins. We expect to see God making matter and forming it into something useful, so that’s what we see. If you’ve been reading along so far, you may be contemplating what the practical implications of a functional (as opposed to material) creation are. Here are a few that come to mind.

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Posted by Eddie Lawrence in Creation, Genesis

The Idol In God’s Temple

“Then God said, “Let us make humankind in our image, after our likeness, so they may rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air, over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over all the creatures that move on the earth.” God created humankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them, male and female he created them.” (Gen. 1:26–27 NET)

Adam and Eve were made in God’s image. What does this mean? Some have concluded that our physical appearance is modeled after God’s appearance. Others object pointing out that God is a Spirit and therefore does not have flesh and blood like we do (Luke 24:39). So, it is reasoned that to be made in God’s image must refer to the intangible attributes we share with Him such as emotions. While it is certainly true that we share several of God’s traits, there is a different and lesser known third option of what being made in God’s image entails.

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Posted by Eddie Lawrence in Creation, Genesis

The Cosmic Temple

Cosmic Temple

There are two main concepts in Genesis 1-2 that aren’t on most people’s radar:

  1. Genesis describes the functional origins of the Universe, not necessarily the material origins.
  2. Genesis portrays creation as a cosmic temple.

In the prior articles we have summarized the functional origins of the world. The first six days were leading to the most important day of the creation week: day seven. What makes day seven such a big deal? After all, the Bible simply says God rested, so what makes day seven so important?

“In the traditional view that Genesis 1 is an account of material origins, day seven is mystifying. It appears to be nothing more than an afterthought with theological concerns about Israelites observing the sabbath—an appendix, a postscript, a tack on

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Posted by Eddie Lawrence in Creation, Genesis