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The Creation Story

.. arate columns and that someone may have “read across rather than down the columns”. The first person to introduce the doctrine that Moses may not have been the only author of the entire Pentateuch was the scholar Jean Astruc as he understood that Moses could not have possibly written about his own death at the end of Exodus. In contrast to chapter one, chapters two and three reveal a very different narrative technique. The formal structure and repetitious narrative remains in chapter and does not follow into chapter two. Genesis two is a lengthy narrative which develops differently to that of chapter one as Habel comments “Here, in Genesis 2:4b to 4:16, we meet concise and vivid stories told in a masterful fashion”. Each section in chapters two till four has its own distinctive terminology as chapter one unfolds we can see that the author has used the Hebrew word “baru” which means “to create”, whereas the author of chapter two uses “yatsar”, which is the definition of “to form”.

An aspect of terminology is the names of God used and seen in chapters one and two such as Elohim and Yahweh. Habel says of the theological perspective of God as seen in chapter one, ” The possible ‘anthropomorphic’ expressions of Genesis chapter one (‘God said’, ‘God saw’ and ‘God rested’.) are reserved in chapter one and tend to preserve the transcendence of God. They do not suggest the close proximity of a God who acts and looks like man.” However, in argument to what Habel has stated, God did not build man to be like Him in outward appearance. Man was built by God to be like God in a spiritual way, He created with the power of mind and soul over the other creations. There is no mention of God making man to be like Him in a physical way. In the following books of the Bible, John 4:24, Luke 24:3 and Colossians 1:15, God is described as a ” Spirit” and NOT physical. Looking back to chapter one at how it portrays God in a personal way to show God’s sovereignity and majestic power in His ability to create.

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His transcendence is shown in how everything God does goes according to His plan in order of necessity. The pattern of the seven days of creation also enhance the majesty of God’s power. In chapter one, God creates, He is not intimate with any of His creations, the author (s) of chapter one keeps what has been written formal and distant, with everything being blunt and factual. Everything God says, the author simply says “And it was so”, there are very few other details or descriptions of the events. God is described as separate from creation, His name is Elohim (God) which is formal and impersonal.

In chapter two, however, God’s majesty and transcendance is seen in a more personsal way. Here, God creates a relationship with Adam and Eve on a personal scale. In Genesis two, the writer gives a detailed description of the account, unlike that given in Genesis one. In chapter tow God is portrayed as a bulider, a carpenter and artist for the world in the creation of Eden and of the beasts, separating and joining elements of creation and colours. On the personal note of Yahweh in chapter two we see here, mentioned, the marriage bond between husband and wife with Adam and Eve. With the author’s use of the term ‘Yahweh’ in chapter two allows the reader to relate to God in a personal way as ‘Yahweh’ is a personal name which has been replaced by the name ‘The Lord’.

This term to address God in the Bible allows one to feel a closer and deeper bonding to God, however, it also lowers the posistion God should be revered at. This is because with the name ‘The Lord’, one almost envisages a being closer to man than God. ‘Elohim’ is the name replaced by ‘God’ which is more distant to ones ear yet it recognises God as a much more superior being than we humans. In the literary sense of chapter two, the way in which it has been written is distinctly different from the way in which chapter one has been written. There is a personal way in which chapter two has been written, as it has a less formal structure and there is no repitition or poetic form.

However, chapter two clearly has a fashion in its narrative style which Habel calls ‘Yatsar’ from the Hebrew to ‘form’. Habel believes chapter two contains “concise and vivid stories told in a musterful fashion”. In Genesis chapter three the name of God continues to change alternatively form Yahweh to Elohim. It has become im-personal like Genesis chapter one. However, it does not stay Elohim throughout the chapter as it becomes Yahweh almost halfway through chapter three. This is as if the author, or snake, is treating God as an object rather than a being. God’s name changes back to Elohim when the spiit speaks and the serpen wants to depersonalise God by provoking Him into anger and distance, when God wants to be close to His successful creations.

However to overcome the serpent, God’s name becomes Yahweh again to show His personalbond with Adam and Eve, His first respnding creations. God’s anger towards Adam and Eve for their sins is personal as His name remains Yahweh. I have found in my study of the book of Genesis that Holy Scripture is like the five loaves and two fishes from which Christ fed the multitude. There is no end to the ability of God’s Word to provide for those seeking understanding through the Holy Spirit, with an abundance always remaining to be discovered after one has been filled. Because the King James Version of God’s Word is a comprehensive English translation of all the languages of Holy Scripture, this translation reveals an understanding which may not be apparent to an individual reading only the Hebrew, Chaldee or Greek.

The King James Version offers an understanding of God’s Holy Word that goes beyond the barriers of language or time. An opportunity for revealing the mysteries of Christ that is related in God’s Living Word is given to Christians of the English language because the King James Version offers God’s Word in a single language, translated comprehensively and without bias or prejudice interruption. This work reveals an understanding of Genesis chapter one, which has eluded man for the past two thousand years. The concept provided by this work was revealed through viewing the Bible as a work of God, singular in its message, not as a product of many writers using various languages over thousands of years. From this method, key terms in chapter one such as light, darkness and the beginning derive their definitions from the remainder of God’s Word and not from any dictionary produced by man. In this way, light and the beginning refer to Christ, while darkness refers to Satan.

This method of understanding Holy Scripture renders an entirely different concept of the story of Creation given in Genesis chapter one than that of our forefathers. Because this method of understanding Genesis chapter one has never been attempted, it deserves the attention of those who follow Christ.

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