Book of Beginnings
10+1 OT: P-PEW C-JU D-ERA Primeval History: AdamNoahBabel Patriarchs: Abraham (2000 BC), Isaac, Jacob Egyptian Sojourn and Exodus/Moses (1400/1200) Wilderness wandering - tabernacle Conquest of Canaan (Joshua) Judges United Monarchy: Saul, David (1000 BC),
Solomon [Psalms/Proverbs] Divided Monarchy: Israel/Judah kings<->prophets Exile: Northern tribesAssyria, Judah Babylon Return: Ezra, Nehemiah, Esther, Malachi (400 BC) Apocrypha: Maccabees
Creation: so what?
What difference does it make whether the world was created or evolved?
Could God have used evolutionary processes to accomplish his purposes?
How does that affect your weltanschauung (world view)?
How old does the Bible say the earth is?
What is the relationship of Gen 1:1 to Gen 1:2?
1:1 “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth; 1:2 and the earth was formless and empty, and darkness covered the face of the deep… and God said let there be light”
What are three different ways of looking at this? Which views allow for the earth to be billions of years old?
Creation: so what?
What is the relationship of Gen 1:1 to Gen 1:2 (Gap theory)?
In the Begin
And Godsaid, Letthere be
Gen 1:2 Gen 1:3
Gap Theory: Pros
Earth “BECAME” darkness and void Clarifies Satan’s initial work—Ezek 28 Form & void (tohu va-vohu) = judgment
(Jer 4:23) Gives the dinosaur’s a place
Gap Theory : Cons
Jer 4:23-26 judgment on sin (foreign to the Gen 1 context)
Satan not point here either “Became” darkness should read “was”
Dependent Clause View
When God began to create--the earth was without form and void and darkness...
When God began to create the earthwas without form
And God said,Let there be light
Dependent Clause View Discussion
How does that reading change the meaning of the text?
What are the problems with this?
Independent Clause View
Independent Clause: Initial creation:in the beginning God created the heavens
Neg. Circumstantial clause: initial circumstance: and the earth was formless and empty
Main Clause: God said “Let there be”—God’s activity of forming and filling
Independent Clause View
In the beginning God created the heavens
And the earth was formless and empty
And Godsaid, “Let there be light...”
Indepedent Clause Discussion
Context: How does Moses write? Gen 2:4-7 comparison:
– Gen 2:4 Independent summary statement– Gen 2:5-6 Negative Circumstantial clause– Gen 2:7 Main clause (cf. Gen 3:1-3)
Note literary pattern
Does the creation argue for the existence of God?
Ps 19:1ff Heavens declare God’s glory Modernity: universe is rational and
natural no room for God – close system of cause and effects, no miracles, logic rules
Post-modernity – each has its story but the “God” story is irrelevant to most, memiracles-sure why not? PCized
Where did Moses get his material?
Divine voice or zapping? Enuma Elish parallels (Gilgamesh)
– Divine spirit --> primeval chaos– Light emanated from the gods– firmament, dry land, luminaries, man– Gods rested (note similar sequence)
Was Moses aware of it? Could Moses have borrowed from it?
Toledoth structure of Genesis
These are the generations (toledoth) Gen 2:4; 5:1; 6:9; 10:1; 11:10, 27; 25:19
Tablet structure: rhythm – History on front of tablet; – Genealogy on back
Note the oscillation on history and genealogy in Gen.
Toledoth Tablet Structure of Genesis
Did Moses use this structure in writing Genesis?
Did Moses ever use the literary patterns of his day in writing Genesis? Did God dictate that style?
If Moses used the style of writing of his day is it possible he also used the content of what the people of the day knew?
Where did Moses get the language he wrote in from?
Can non-prophets record true things? Did Moses know …
Did God accommodate His truth to express things in a way that was in harmony with the way ancient man saw the world?
Why did Moses include the creation?
Polemic – Fight against evolutionary theory– Hermeneutic: original intent– Polemic against polytheism– Cosmogony (why) versus cosmology (what)
Doxology: Ps 136:5-9; Ps. 8
Psalm 136:5-9 to him who alone does great wonders,
his loyal love [hesed] is forever– who by his understanding made the heavens,
his loyal love is forever
– who spread out the earth upon the waters, his loyal love is forever
– who made the great lights, his loyal love is forever
– the sun to govern the day his loyal love is forever
What is the point?
Psalm 8– O LORD, our Lord,
how majestic is your name in all the earth…–
When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingersthe moon and the stars, which you have set in place, what is man that you are mindful of him?...
O LORD, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth.
Other Doxological Uses
Rev 4:11 elders in heaven praising God
You are worthy, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things and by your will they were created and have their being.
Does “create” always mean “out of nothing”
Bara: Gen 1:1 out of nothing (ex nihilo) -- yes
Ps 33:6 By the word of the LORD were the heavens made, their starry host by the breath of his mouth”
Man was “formed (yatsar)” out of the dust of the ground (Gen. 2:7)