Monday, September 24, 2012

The second creation story

Last week we covered the first creation story - the one with seven days and God resting on the 7th day.

This week we get the second creation story:

It doesn't quite fit with the other one.  In this one God starts with the plants - he brings forth water and with the water he tills the ground and brings forth plants - including the trees of life and of the knowledge of good and evil.

Then we get man made from the earth and placed in the garden and told not to eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.

Then God wants a companion for the man and brings every creature on earth past the man - but the man doesn't find a fit companion - so God makes woman.

Now enter the snake - who talks the woman into eating from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil and the woman gets the man to eat and God comes and they all get expelled from the garden so that they don't eat from the tree of life and live forever.

A couple of points:
1. Human beings are created to be in relationship - "It is not good for the man to be alone"  We are created to interact with one another.
2.  It is doubt (in the story introduced by the snake) that causes the problems - and that is true in our relationship with God and in our relationship with each other - when we doubt the problems come
3. In this story God is both singular "he" and plural "we"  God is not confined by our grammatical constructs
4. It is doubt and disobediance that causes humans relationships with God to be broken - both for Adam and Eve and for us.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Genesis Chapter 1

The first chapter of Genesis contains one of the two stories of creation that are found in the book.

I love the first couple of verses of this:  In the beginning when God was creating the heavens and the earth.  The earth was a formless void and the breath of God moved over the face of the waters.

There are a few things about this creation story to note:

1. The days are evening and morning - this is still the way that both Judaism and the Catholic and Episcopal churches count the days - from sundown to sun up  rather than the Roman way from sun up to sundown.

2. God refers to himself in the plural - let us make

3. God refers to the creation as good or pleasant but not perfect

4. God creates human kind - literally earth beings - in his own image.  The verses read:  "So God created humankind in his image, in teh image of God he created them; male and female he created them."  - We are made in the image of God

5. And God rests on the seventh day.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Genesis - in the beginning

This year in Bible Study we are studying the book of Genesis.  We are trying an experiment and in addition to our Monday morning class we will have a monthly evening class and every monday I will post a synopsis here and on our Facebook page. 

You can comment or ask questions in a comment here and I'll try to get back to you as soon as I can.

So - Genesis - the first book of the Bible.  You probably know some of the stories, and there are some you think you know and some that you have never heard before.

To start - Genesis is actually a Greek title that was given to the book by Christians in days of the Christian church.  The Hebrew title is the first word of the book - Barashet - which litterally means "in the beginning"

Genesis is made up of really ancient stories that have been told and retold for countless generations.  The final editing of the book happened in the 6th century B.C. - so the book, pretty much as we have it, has been in existance since 600 years before Christ.

There are two interconnected themes in the book.
1. God calls the world into being
2. God calls human beings into relationship with him.

Those calls and the responses to them make up the core of Genesis.  We'll be exploring them until June - come along for the journey.