Saturday, September 10, 2005

Answers to the Genesis Questions

Ok, folks. Here are the answers to the Genesis questions.

1. When were the sun and moon created? What impact does this have on the creation story?

The sun and moon were created on Day 4. So, the question is, where did the light come from? Without the sun, there would be light on the earth, but the sky would still be dark, and not blue, since the blue color is created by light passing through out atmosphere. Just something to think about.

2. Was man created before or after the animals?
3. Prior to creation, was there too much or too little water?
4. Were man and woman created at the same time?

I grouped these answers together for a reason. If you look at Genesis, there are actually 2 creation stories (there are 2 versions of many of the other stories in the Pentateuch as well.) Read Genesis 1 through Genesis 2:4a. Then forget about Genesis 1 and read the rest of Genesis 2. These are obviously 2 different stories by 2 different authors. The first story is very concerned with details, and God is not portrayed as being anthropomorphic (having the physical characteristics of a person) as he is in Genesis 2. The name used to refer to God in the Hebrew also changes. So, lets look at each of the questions and what the text actually says

2. Was man created before or after the animals?
Yes. In the Genesis 1, the animals are created in verse 24 and man in verse 26. In chapter 2 man is created in verse 7, and the animals are not formed until verse 19 when God was attempting to find a suitable helper for Adam.

3. Prior to creation was there too much or too little water?
Yes. In Genesis 1, the dry land appears out of the water in verse 9. In Genesis 2, the earth was dusty, and "a flow would well up from the ground and water the whole surface of the earth.

4. Were man and woman created at the same time?
In Genesis 1, it certainly appears they were created at the same time. (Also look at Genesis 5) In Genesis 2, Eve was created later. By the way, fitting helper could more accurately be translated "companion." Because the subservience implied by fitting helper is not implied by the original Hebrew word. (This is what I am told, I haven't taken Hebrew yet.) Supposedly, this word is even used for God helping man in the Old Testament. There are some really crazy explanations about this.

5. What was the serpent?
I guess I asked the wrong question here. I should have asked who. Tradition tells us that the serpent was Satan. But, there is no hint of that in the text at all.

I am curious to read what you all think of this? For another example, you can look at the Noah story. How many of each animal were taken into the ark? How long was the flood?

Let me know what you think.

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