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Comparison Of The Two Creation Narratives Of Genesis

2097 words - 8 pages

The book of Genesis, as found in the Old Testament of the Bible, displays the two stories of God’s creation of the world and all that abide within it, most notably human beings. Without question, the story told in Genesis is a compelling one, ‘the greatest story every told’ as it is often called. Whilst some might perceive it as an historical event, a term often inappropriate for such a blend of real and legendary events, others might perceive it as the most significant narrative ever told. Most simply, the narratives reflect upon the nature of the human condition and humans’ relationships with each other and with God.The two creation stories in Genesis (Gen 1:1-2:4a and Gen 2:4b-25) differ markedly in both style and literary structure. The arrangement of the creation story in Genesis 1 is more systematised and ordered. The ‘creative acts’ are developed and organized into six 24-hour days, implying that God’s design had deliberate intention. One could perceive God as impersonal and force-like: ‘In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth’ (Gen 1:1) God’s presence is powerful and glorious. After human person was made, God stopped creating thereby implying humanity as the ultimate creation.Specific and deliberate choices of language are employed to convey particular meaning. Repetition of the central theme that God created all is utilised to emphasise that this God is the greatest God of all. The repetitive nature of this passage is seen in phrases such as: ‘And God said’ (Gen 1:2) ‘And God saw’ (Gen 1:4) ‘And God called’ (Gen 1:5) ‘And God made’ (Gen 1:7) ‘And God created’ (Gen 1:21) ‘And God blessed’ (Gen 1:22). Expressions like this are repeated through the majority of the verses for the days of creation in Genesis 1. This repetitive language compels the reader to put emphasis on the power that God has to take action, whilst adding to the rhythmic and flowing style of the passage. Repetition serves to create a beautiful, lyrical quality of Genesis. This formulaic language is characteristic of poetry. The redundancies of the phrases in Genesis are not monotonous, but instead, remarkably effective, a form of foreshadowing. They serve to remind the reader of the majestic power of God. God’s words become God’s deeds.The culmination of the creation story in Genesis 1 ends with God bringing into existence his ultimate creation, humanity. ‘So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them’. (Gen 1:27). God gave humanity the right to be dominant ‘over the fish of the sea, and over thee birds of the air, and over cattle and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps upon the earth’ (Gen 1.26). More importantly God made man ‘in our image’ (Gen 1:26). Just as God is supreme over all things, humanity is supreme over all visible...

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