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The Value Of Genesis Essay

1220 words - 5 pages

Many teens today have a habit of questioning books that are too ‘old’ or ‘stuffy’ to apply to their lives. Some of them may find connections to works by William Shakespeare or Jane Austen, but what about the other books, such as those from the Bible? These are usually regarded as too religious to have any relations to life, but that is not necessarily true. Take, for example, Genesis. Although it is thousands of years old, the stories, themes, and modern-day allusions contained within it can still apply to everyday life- even to those teenagers who feel disconnected from this book.
To begin with, many stories in Genesis relate closely to books that exist today. In fact, some of them are actually based completely on the stories of Genesis and Genesis itself. For example, John Milton’s Paradise Lost is a classic epic that relates especially closely to a story in Genesis. It depicts an in-depth version of the story of Adam and Eve’s rise in Eden and eventual fall into temptation, adding in multiple viewpoints to an originally one-sided story. Without having read Genesis, one finds oneself a little lost while trying to delve into the depths of Paradise Lost. Having read Genesis, it is easier to keep yourself somewhat on track with Paradise Lost. It’s not only classical novels, too. In addition to Milton, many other authors have based their books on Genesis. Son of Laughter, by Frederick Buechner, is the story of Jacob and Esau, told from the point of view of Jacob. Without reading the story in Genesis, would this book make much sense? Probably not. Beyond that, other novels, such as Joseph and His Brothers (based on the story of Joseph, written by Thomas Mann), and Eve: A Novel of the First Woman (based on the story of Adam and Eve from Eve’s point of view, written by Elissa Elliot) have also been published.
It’s not just the stories themselves that have been incorporated into modern literature and media. Many of the themes presented in Genesis have been motifs for many other works. One of the most common of these themes is that of temptation. For example, The Lord of the Rings series displays a very obvious sense of temptation. Almost everyone in the series- including Frodo himself- is tempted by the Ring in some way or another. While most are tempted to use the Ring’s power for themselves, Frodo also has the added burden of struggling with the temptation to get rid of it, as well. Temptation is also the driving force in Paradise Lost, as mentioned before. The epic would not exist without this theme. In addition, the theme of creation is a prevailing theme in art and literature. For example, the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel in Vatican City, painted by Michelangelo, depicts the creation of the world and Adam. Many side paintings on the ceiling show various images of creation, but the central work shows God touching Adam’s finger, bringing him to life with one touch. Not only that, but Elohim Creating Adam, a painting by William Blake, shows God...

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