Book of Beginnings
Primeval History: AdamNoahBabel
 Patriarchs: Abraham (2000 BC), Isaac, Jacob
 Egyptian Sojourn and Exodus/Moses (1400/1200)
 Wilderness wandering - tabernacle
 Conquest of Canaan (Joshua)
 Judges
 United Monarchy: Saul, David (1000 BC),
Solomon [Psalms/Proverbs]
 Divided Monarchy: Israel/Judah kings<->prophets
 Exile: Northern tribesAssyria, Judah Babylon
 Return: Ezra, Nehemiah, Esther, Malachi (400 BC)
 Apocrypha: Maccabees
Creation: so what?
 What
difference does it make whether
the world was created or evolved?
 Could God have used evolutionary
processes to accomplish his purposes?
 How does that affect your
weltanschauung (world view)?
 How old does the Bible say the earth is?
Creation: so what?
 What
is the relationship of Gen 1:1 to Gen
 1:1 “In the beginning God created the
heavens and the earth;
1:2 and the earth was formless and empty,
and darkness covered the face of the
deep… and God said let there be light”
 What are three different ways of looking at
this? Which views allow for the earth to be
billions of years old?
What is the relationship of Gen
1:1 to Gen 1:2 (Gap theory)?
Dinosaur/Satan gap
In the
And God
said, Let
there be
Gen 1:2
Gen 1:3
Gen 1:1
Gap Theory: Pros
 Earth
“BECAME” darkness and void
 Clarifies Satan’s initial work—Ezek 28
 Form & void (tohu va-vohu) = judgment
(Jer 4:23)
 Gives the dinosaur’s a place
Gap Theory : Cons
 Jer
4:23-26 judgment on sin (foreign to
the Gen 1 context)
 Satan not point here either
 “Became” darkness should read “was”
Dependent Clause View
 When
God began to create--the earth
was without form and void and
When God began
to create the earth
was without form
And God said,
Let there be
Dependent Clause View
 How
does that reading change the
meaning of the text?
 What are the problems with this?
Independent Clause View
 Independent
Clause: Initial creation:
in the beginning God created the
 Neg. Circumstantial clause: initial
circumstance: and the earth was
formless and empty
 Main Clause: God said “Let there be”—
God’s activity of forming and filling
Independent Clause View
In the beginning
God created
the heavens
And the earth was
formless and empty
And God
said, “Let there
be light...”
Indepedent Clause Discussion
 Context:
How does Moses write?
 Gen 2:4-7 comparison:
– Gen 2:4 Independent summary statement
– Gen 2:5-6 Negative Circumstantial clause
– Gen 2:7 Main clause (cf. Gen 3:1-3)
 Note
literary pattern
Does the creation argue for the
existence of God?
 Ps
19:1ff Heavens declare God’s glory
 Modernity: universe is rational and
natural no room for God – close system
of cause and effects, no miracles, logic
 Post-modernity – each has its story but
the “God” story is irrelevant to most, me
miracles-sure why not? PCized
Where did Moses get his material?
 Divine
voice or zapping?
 Enuma Elish parallels (Gilgamesh)
– Divine spirit --> primeval chaos
– Light emanated from the gods
– firmament, dry land, luminaries, man
– Gods rested (note similar sequence)
 Was
Moses aware of it?
 Could Moses have borrowed from it?
Toledoth structure of Genesis
 These
are the generations (toledoth)
Gen 2:4; 5:1; 6:9; 10:1; 11:10, 27; 25:19
 Tablet structure: rhythm
– History on front of tablet;
– Genealogy on back
 Note
the oscillation on history and
genealogy in Gen.
Toledoth Tablet Structure of
Did Moses use this structure in
writing Genesis?
 Did
Moses ever use the literary patterns
of his day in writing Genesis? Did God
dictate that style?
 If Moses used the style of writing of his
day is it possible he also used the
content of what the people of the day
 Where did Moses get the language he
wrote in from?
 Can
non-prophets record true things?
Did Moses know …
 Did God accommodate His truth to
express things in a way that was in
harmony with the way ancient man saw
the world?
Why did Moses include the
 Polemic
– Fight against evolutionary theory
– Hermeneutic: original intent
– Polemic against polytheism
– Cosmogony (why) versus cosmology (what)
 Doxology:
Ps 136:5-9; Ps. 8
Psalm 136:5-9
 to
him who alone does great wonders,
his loyal love [hesed] is forever
– who by his understanding made the heavens,
his loyal love is forever
– who spread out the earth upon the waters,
his loyal love is forever
– who made the great lights,
his loyal love is forever
– the sun to govern the day
his loyal love is forever
 What
is the point?
Psalm 8
– O LORD, our Lord,
how majestic is your name in all the earth…
When I consider your heavens,
the work of your fingers
the moon and the stars,
which you have set in place,
what is man that you are mindful of him?...
O LORD, our Lord,
how majestic is your name in all the earth.
Other Doxological Uses
 Rev
4:11 elders in heaven praising
 You are worthy, our Lord and God, to
receive glory and honor and power, for
you created all things and by your will
they were created and have their being.
Does “create” always mean “out
of nothing”
 Bara:
Gen 1:1 out of nothing (ex nihilo)
-- yes
 Ps 33:6 By the word of the LORD were
the heavens made,
their starry host by the breath of his
 Man was “formed (yatsar)” out of the
dust of the ground (Gen. 2:7)

Genesis - Gordon College