Your initial response along with 3 responses to classmates (because of Labor Day interruption) will be due Monday, Sept. 13, 2021, by 11:59 p.m.
This is the opening chapter of the Bible, King James Version. It contains the first creation account that the Hebrews passed down through the generations. Read the text first, then I’ll offer some interpretive comments at the end of the text.
21 And God created great whales, and every living creature that moveth, which the waters brought forth abundantly, after their kind, and every winged fowl after his kind: and God saw that it was good.
26 And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.
28 And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.
29 And God said, Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in the which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat.
First note: there is no discussion of God’s origin. The Hebrews believed God to be outside time and space. The story begins with the creation of time (in the beginning) and space (heavens and earth). The second verse portrays the cosmos as a murky, undefined material, until the Spirit (better translated “wind” or “breath) “moved” (a better word is brooded, ruminated, pondered). Then you will note the world was created by God speaking. The ancient Greek word for “word” (logos) actually means “gathering together.” The Greek word refers to the act of organizing, pulling together. As you read through the successive stages of creation you will note that God created by dividing, over and over again. The heavens and earth, initially a chaotic mass, were organized by a series of divisions.
According to the ancient Hebrews, God’s crowning act of creation was the human race. Again he divided, male and female, and it says he made them in his own “image” (In Latin, the imago Dei—“image of God”). Many have reasoned over what was meant by being created in God’s image. Maybe because I am an artist, I like to think that God’s “image” is that of creator. God’s first appearance in the biblical literature is as creator. And when God turned to creating people, he created them to be like him. I believe every human, by nature, is a creative being. Humans create, organize their world, because that impulse is in them. They were created to create in turn.
As you thoughtfully read this narrative, write a response of what ideas come to you from the text. If you wish to consult commentaries and references on the creation story, that is fine. But we want to know what ideas you yourself have gleaned from this study. As you post your response on the discussion board, follow these guidelines:
Your initial response should be at least 300 words. You will offer your observations on the Genesis creation narrative.
Use complete sentences and work-appropriate vocabulary. Demonstrate courtesy and respect to your responses to classmates, even if you disagree. Let’s make sure our discussion is university worthy.
I have written my responses to the creation story. Now, it is time to hear from you . . .
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