Tuesday, 29 June 2010

Genesis Chapters 1 to 3

Genesis chapters 1 to 3, the first chapter deals with the order of the universe and that God created it; there is no scientific sense to the text, it just deals with the idea of order, the six days of creation, says that the world is created, we live in a universe which does seem almost exceptionally perfect. The writer of the text seems to be trying to say about how perfect the order of the world actually is from their observation of what is around them and how the universe works.

Genesis Chapter 2 v4 to v7 actually is another creation story, one that gives a different view on how man is created, that he is in the image of God from the dust of the ground. This gives the idea of dust to dust, ashes to ashes, when we die we go back in a form of burial to the ground that has provided us with life, through food, therefore the cycle of life begins again and we are part of creation.

Genesis Chapter 2 v8 to v25, humans are innocent of right or wrong, not knowing a moral compass or laws of living together, therefore they felt no shame in the fact that they are naked and are just enjoying the earth, they were in a perfect innocent state. Adam and Eve are in state of perfect bliss, knowing only peace and not what sin was.

Genesis Chapter 3, is the fall of man, in other words human beings learning the difference between right and wrong, the serpent, is the villain of the piece, a creature that that is tempting Eve to eat forbidden fruit, then Adam also eating the fruit, I feel the writer is transmitting the point that when we get the idea of learning what is right or wrong, that to live together laws need to exist, also we could say that our inner feelings and knowledge of sin have separated us from the perfect peace that only God can give and we need a way to get back to that peace, answer to this is the Lord Jesus.

In the Islamic tradition, in the Koran Chapter 7 verses 10 to 27, that in the story of the fall of man, it is not the serpent, but Satan who is the villain of the story. In Islam, Adam is the first prophet of God. The Koran was written around 600AD, this could be considered a change of the story from Genesis, using Satan as the villain instead or the serpent, also Adam and Eve are equally guilty. As the Koran was written at least 1000 years after Genesis, the oldest version of Genesis is from the Dead Sea Scrolls, which were written between 150BC to 70AD, but the time of the final completed text is estimated to have been between 1450BC for Biblical Conservatives to 300BC for Biblical Minimalists, the problem of any date before about 1000BC, is that we have no example of Hebrew writing before then, a lot of modern scholars date Genesis to the either the exile and restoration period of between 600BC to 450BC.

Adam, is used in Gnostic works such as the “Testament of Adam” and the “Apocalypse of Adam”, which are likely to be 4th century AD and have been found in the Nag Hammadi library, a Coptic Gnostic Codex.

I am personally a Theistic Evolutionist, in that I believe that the evidence for evolution is overwhelming, but God is behind the whole process, the Natural History Museum, Pitt Rivers Museum in Oxford, in Cambridge I would recommend the Zoological Museum, Archaeological & Anthropological Museum and the Sedgewick Museum, have more than enough evidence, combine this with DNA, the Genome project and finally that masses of research that has been done, it is impossible to accept anything else as the way life began on Earth. I recommend the book “Creation or Evolution: Do we have to choose?” by Denis Alexander if you have any doubts about evolution and Christianity being compatible.

The following website is helpful: http://www.theisticevolution.org/

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