Creation

The Creation Narrative - Genesis 1 & 2 (Part 9)

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Adam, Guard or Keeper?

Genesis 2:15 has recently stirred the imaginations of a whole group of OT scholars. The reason for this is that they think they observe intimations that all was not well with the good world which Yahweh Elohim had made. For one thing, as we have already said, the garden of Eden was an enclosed garden (gan). Why was it enclosed? Well, maybe because it was the initial safe point of departure for the man within the Creation Project? In this view the garden was started by God and was to be a laboratory model for Adam’s own gardening enterprises after his progeny had themselves begun to explore and subdue the rest of the good earth.

But there is another supposed “clue” in the passage that all was not well outside of the enclosure. The Hebrew words usually rendered “to cultivate” (abad) and “to keep” (shamar), may also be translated as “serve” and “guard.” If, as some surmise, evil lurked outside the enclosure, then the picture before us is of a park which God has separated off from the rest of the early earth, perhaps by a wall or fence; hence a sanctuary. Adam’s role in this scenario would not be just pastoral and creative; it would also be; in fact, it would mainly be, to act as a sentry, stopping the repeated attempts of Evil from despoiling the island of beauty which the garden must have been.

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The Creation Narrative - Genesis 1 & 2 (Part 7)

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God’s Transcendence versus Continuity

It is very important to notice the links between the creation accounts and ethical accounts. In one way or another all non-biblical systems of belief paint a metaphysical picture of reality that is at once unified and diverse. The unity is found in the indissoluble connection between heaven and earth, between man and the “higher powers,” or between the human animal and the Cosmos. The diversity is seen in the various ways this connection is explained. It may be explained by saying that we are merely the consequence of blind, purposeless matter coming together and developing in a certain way.

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The Creation Narrative - Genesis 1 & 2 (Part 6)

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Image & Function in Genesis 1:26-28

Another significant fact related by these verses is our creation in the image and likeness of God. We cannot here enter into all the debates about the imago Dei, but some few things should be said.

Firstly, God does not say “according to My likeness.” He says “Our likeness.” The “Let us” statement is no plural of majesty, since it appears to be ideational, and is to be understood (I believe) as a statement of plurality in the Speaker. The question arises then, in what way is God a plurality? This question is not fully answered until the NT era. Or, on the other hand, and as much OT scholarship insists, is the plurality meant to convey some sort of heavenly council scene, such as one finds in ANE accounts of the assemblies of gods?

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The Creation Narrative - Genesis 1 & 2 (Part 5)

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God Words and God’s Actions: Primary Hermeneutics

Something to notice in the creation account is the correspondence between God’s thoughts (and speech), and His actions. The one corresponds precisely with the other.* Put in the most pedestrian terms, God means what He says! This fact is exemplified in what happens on Day Three:

(God’s Words) Then God said, “Let the earth bring forth grass, herb that yields seed, and the fruit tree which yields fruit according to its kind, whose seed is in itself, on the earth”; and it was so.

(God’s Actions) And the earth brought forth grass, the herb that yields seed according to its kind, and the tree that yields fruit, whose seed is in itself according to its kind. And God saw that it was good. (Gen.1:11-12)

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Survey: Darwinism is to blame for eroding belief in human dignity

The survey "asked if 'Evolution shows that no living thing is more important than any other.' Forty-three percent agreed, and 45 percent believe that 'Evolution shows that human beings are not fundamentally different from other animals.' The highest levels of support for the idea are found among self-identified atheists (69 percent), and 18 to 29 year olds (51 percent)." WORLD

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The Creation Narrative - Genesis 1 & 2 (Part 4)

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The Creation & Purpose of Language

Approaching the question of language and meaning can often seem like a chicken and egg scenario. If we had words and grammar first then how did we learn to communicate them so as to be correctly understood by others? But if we had a thought to communicate, how could we do it without the symbols of language (alphabet, grammar, syntax, etc.) to convey that thought?

The Creation account in Genesis represents God as the first Speaker. He employs words to convey His precise intentions. Something of immense importance occurred when God created Adam and Eve. What we witness there is God speaking to them of their dominion mandate, and they understand Him. In the second chapter God gives a specific prohibition to the man with a clearly worded warning appended.

A little examination of this transaction will be helpful.

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The Creation Narrative - Genesis 1 & 2 (Part3)

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The Spirit & Plurality in the Godhead

What is clear from the second verse of the Bible is that the Spirit of God was superintending the process of creation. The word for “was hovering” or “brooded” (merakhepet, 1:2) implies a determination to act. It strains credulity to think that the Spirit brooded over a glob of matter for billions of years before deciding to do something with it. There is no logic to starting the work of creation by bringing forth matter and then leaving it all in idle suspension. The making of the unformed earth was with the intention of forming it!

As we are but two verses into the Genesis account it would be premature to think that the “Spirit (ruah) of God” can be distinguished from “God” in the first verse. But already the verb “brooded” discloses personality. The “S” should therefore be capitalized. This is no inanimate breath. The same Holy Spirit who would come in to a person and regenerate them, making them “new creatures in Christ” (2 Cor. 5:17), is the power behind the formation of the Cosmos.

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