The Book of Genesis / Книга Бытия
At first glance, the creation story in the book of Genesis appears to be a simple account of our world’s construction. However, it is necessary to explore the importance of both accounts presented, as well as how one story compares to the other. Both versions provide insight to the fundamental question of the creation of our universe, a topic that has had endless controversy throughout history. In light of this controversy, however, Six Days and the Sabbath (the «first» account) and Another Account of Creation (the «second» account) provide different representations of the same «God», as if to add further substance to this mystery of creation. I feel that the Bible leaves this open for the reader’s interpretation of which supreme figure is more personally suitable. A decision as monumental as one’s belief in their God and the world He created is a strong commitment of faith and deserves options.
The first account displays God as an omniscient Creator that brought order to the earth which was nothing but emptiness. In only six days, God created the heavens and the earth; and «it was very good» (Gen. 1 .28).The Bible repeats the term «good» through the first account whenever God creates a new part of the universe. The usage of repetition provides the reader with the notion that God is a good character and is the creator of everything pure in the world. For example, in the opening lines God uses light as his means for transforming what was a desolate void of darkness into his idea of a «good» world (Gen. 1.2-5). This alludes to the idea that darkness is essentially evil and God is the Creator of what is only good in the world. This point is further reinforced at the end of the passage when God sees «everything that he had made, and indeed, it was very good» (Gen. 1.31).
God’s final creation in the first account, humankind, is clearly the most significant and most closely related to God, Himself. God creating all humankind «in His image» is a very important concept of the first account that outlines God’s rationale behind His creation of the universe (Gen. 1.27). It becomes apparent that in the preceding five days of creation, God has been creating a world intended for humankind to inhabit. The text displays this thought when God said, «Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth and subdue it; and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the air and over every living thing that moves upon the earth» (Gen. 1.28). This mutual relationship between God and mankind in the first account is contrasted well by the second account’s representation of God.
The second account provides an alternative belief, the reader’s second option, as to what events constituted God’s creation of universe, as well as the character of God. It provides the reader with an initial impression that God is a more powerful figure than in the first account. For example, this characteristic can be seen in the opening lines of the second account, «In the day that the Lord God made the earth and the heavens,» (Gen. 2.5). I feel this title, «Lord God,» conveys God is in a much higher seat of power than compared to the first account. The word «Lord» expresses royal or sovereign grandeur to Him in this version. This portrayal of God being the supreme ruler of His creation rather than a contributor to humankind, as seen in the first account, is a common theme throughout the second account.
God’s creation of man, in the second account, also displays this theme that God is to be viewed as more powerful than the first account. Unlike the first creation episode, man is not created in the likeness of God but, «the Lord God formed man from the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life» (Gen. 2.7). This image of man being created of dust and God’s breath suggests that man is insignificant when compared to the Lord God. This is the first demonstration which displays the contrast between the relationship mankind holds with God in both accounts.
Another notable aspect of God’s disposition is seen following the creation of man, when the Lord God speaks to His creation for the first time. Lord God’s authoritative characteristic can be seen in this initial conversation following the of Eden and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil:
«And the Lord God commanded the man, You may freely eat of every tree of the garden; but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall die» (Gen. 2.16-17).
This quote is very significant since the Lord God’s first encounter and conversation to His creation is very condescending and demanding. This tone and demeanor is achieved through the text’s usage of the word «commanded» and the Lord God’s threat to man if he disobeys what He says. By using this language, the second account gives a fearful attribute to the representation of God due to the almighty power He holds over the universe.
These two different representations of God, «God» in the first account and «Lord God» in the second account, provides the reader with an important dilemma of which representation one wants for their image of God. While the first account provides a close personal relationship with a «good» God, the second account features an almighty power that rules and watches over the universe He created. These two heavy contrasted.
Personally, I believe the first account is suitable as a representation for my image of God. I feel that humankind is gifted since we currently have supreme rule over the planet and its resources. At times it feels almost as if this world was intended for humankind to, «Be fruitful and multiply: and fill the earth and subdue it» as stated in the first account of creation (Gen. 1.28).
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