Saturday, May 15, 2010

ToB: Analysis of the Biblical Account of Creation

Jesus, in Matthew 19, quotes from both of the creation accounts in Genesis. The first quote is found in verse 4: 'male and female he created them.' This is from the first creation story in Genesis. Interestingly, apparently the account that comes first in Genesis is chronologically actually a *later* creation story.

The second story of creation (which will apparently be dealt with in more detail in the next section), is the more ancient. 'This more ancient text is defined as "Yahwist" because the term "Yahweh" is used to name God. It is difficult not to be struck by the fact that the image of God presented there has quite considerable anthropomorphic traits. Among others, we read that "...the Lord God formed man of dust from the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life" (Gn 2:7).'

The first, later account is held to be the more theologically mature. Because of the lack of anthropomorphising? It's very straight forward, but highlights the difference between the majority of the created world, and man. God creates man in His own image (Gn 1:27), and gives him dominion over the earth. Man is placed over the world - though he is bound to the physical world, the Bible does no speak of his likeness to the other created beings. Only of his being an image of God.

In the seven day cycle there seems to be a deliberate gradation of procedure. 'Speaking of non-living matter, the biblical author used different predicates, such as "separated", "called", "made", "placed". However, speaking of beings endowed with life, he used the term "created" and "blessed". God ordered them; "Be fruitful and multiply". This order refers both to animals and to man, indicating the corporality is common to both (Gn. 1:22, 28).

'However, in the biblical description, man's creation is essentially distinguished from God's preceding works. Not only is it preceded by a solemn introduction, as if it were a case of God deliberating before this important act, but above all, man's exceptional dignity is set out in relief by the "likeness" to God of whom he is the image.

'Creating non-living matter, God "separated". He gave the order to the animals to be fruitful and multiply, but the difference of sex is underlined only in regard to man ("Male and female he created them") by blessing their fruitfulness at the same time, that is, the bond of the persons (Gn. 1:27, 28).'


  1. Wow! I love this! Please keep sharing as you read more! :-D

  2. But of course. It's really very fascinating. :)


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