Friday, September 17, 2010

In The Beginning...


Genesis 1

Genesis 1

Our first discussion was over the first creation story presented in Genesis. Yes, there are two (maybe you disagree).

In order for these post not to be several pages in length I am only going to briefly discuss some of the ideas brought up in our discussion and try not to go into much detail for hopefully there will be a need for more detail in the discussions that follow/

So one of the first topics that was brought up after reading through the chapter was about the interpretation of the text. Is Genesis 1 literal or non-literal? This is something that has come up in every chapter so far.

As I said earlier… there are many different opinions about the text at these discussions so there are some of us who take the account of creation as literal, claiming that the events of Genesis 1 give an accurate and somewhat historical account of how the world came into existence. However, there are also some of us that see the text as non-literal and more of an allegory rather than describing a factual event.

So many of our conversations have been centered on what to take from the text if it is literal and what to take from the text if it is not so literal and more of an allegorical story. (As we have seen, depending on which understanding of the text you have will affect the way you see other text and topics such as age of the earth and evolution and so on..)

So that’s where we will start. How do you read Genesis 1? Literal or non-literal and subsequently what do you get from the text? What is the point? What is the author(s) trying to say?

I encourage you all to contribute to the discussion, but I again want to stress that this is intended to be a SAFE place for everyone so lets be respectful with those you do not agree with.

Grace and Peace

1 comment:

JustinGaynor said...

So excited that your house-church is going well and feel privileged to be invited into the living-room conversation. Thank you for the opportunity.

Well I think it's unfortunate that we as Christian's have tucked Gen 1 and scripture in general into those categories (literal vs non-literal). The message we've been sent with is one of reconciliation and that unfortunately gets a backseat to what we think we know about stuff far too often. Thanks again for offering a safe place.

Gen 1/2 is in effect both of these (literal/non-literal)and neither of these. Did God literally create the heavens and earth, did he literally knit them together in a very special way that not only accomplishes the task but also reveals His character, nature and heart. Absolutely. Was the intention of God in producing Gen1 to give a detailed scientific account of the process of creation. No.

We can start with what we know. Genesis 1 is written in Hebraic poetic form, a special form of parallelism seen throughout scripture - see
http://www.ancient-hebrew.org/23_genesis_1.html

We also know that Gen1 was written by a man and so it has been informed by observation...observation of natural order/creation itself (Romans 1v18-20), observation of creation myths from other Sumerian and Eastern creation myths and (of particular importance) an understanding of (Hittite)covenant structure...(This is EXCELLENT)see

http://faculty.gordon.edu/hu/bi/Ted_Hildebrandt/OTeSources/01-Genesis/Text/Articles-Books/Merrill-Gen1-3Theology-CTR.pdf

We also know that it purposes to establish a monotheism that gives purpose and direction to both creation itself and establish the point of and purpose of these odd creatures called humans in particular.

We also know (by faith/trust) the poetic myth that is Gen1 has it's power breathed by God...it is authoritative (as all scripture is) in the sense that God exercises His authority through it, moving us to trust in Him and all that He has done and continues to do, what He intends to do WITH us and so establishing us and giving us peace and foundation through its revelation.