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The two creation accounts

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What is the relationship between Jesus and the creation? Lately I was reading an interesting book entitled, "Answers to tough questions skeptics ask about the Christian faith." by Josh Mc Dowell and Don Stewart. Published by Here's Life Publishers, Inc. Beginning on page 170 we read, "Throughout
the history of the church, various portions of the Holy scriptures have been interpreted, analyzed, questioned, dissected and attacked, and sometime
dismissed, both by theologians and others. Whenever there is a passage of Scriptures that is difficult to explain or understand at first reading, or
that seems to contradict some scientific fact, or in some way poses an apparent difficulty to the occidental, modern intellect, somebody, somewhere
erects a theory to try to resolve the seeming difficulty. Just such a situation exists with regard to chapter 1 and 2 of the book of Genesis, which are alleged by many commentators to be two contradictory accounts of creation.

"According to the theory of the critics, the author of the second account (Genesis 2:4 2:5 had no prior knowledge of the first account in Genesis 1:1-
2:4 and when they are joined together they contain hopeless contradictions. James sums up the position of the critical school quite strongly: `When it
is realized that there are two distinct creation stories in Genesis belonging to two different periods and derived from two different sources, inconsistency becomes intelligible. That it exists at all, however, is sufficient to discredit a theory of divine inspiration that is obviously out of accord with the facts.'

"The critics themselves differ on the nature of the evidence. The relative importance of these differences are summarized by Kitchen: `Only two lines
of evidence have been urged in favor of a double narrative: a differing style and theological conception in Genesis 1 and 2, and a supposedly different order of creation in each narrative. A sampling of some of the critics' statements will show this to be the major portion of their case. Rowley, in his discussion of the contradiction between the two chapters, stated:" The first two chapters of the Bible contain two irreconcilable accounts of the creation. According to the first account, man and woman were created tighter as the crown and climax of  creation, after the birds and
animals, whereas according to the second account the creation of man
preceded the creation of the animals and birds while the creation of woman
followed their creation..'

"Rowley thus sees a disagreement as to the sequence of creation, a
difference in the USAGE OF THE DIVINE NAMES, a different CONCEPTION of God
and a difference IN STYLE. Driver, who wrote just about the last detailed
account of the difference, has this to say: `Chapter 2:4b differs firstly
from chapter one in STYLE and FORM. The style of chapter one is stereotyped,
measured, and precise; that of 2:4b is diversified and picturesque, there
are no recurring formulae, such as are so marked in chapter one; the
expressions characteristic of chapter 1 are absent here (e.g. to create) and
where common ground is touched (as in the account of the formation of man),
the narrative is told very differently, and without even any allusion to the
representation of chapter 1 (to THE IMAGE OF GOD). "Chapter 1 displays,
moreover, clear marks of study, and deliberate systematization: 2:4bff is
fresh, spontaneous, and, at least in a relative sense, primitive.... The
present narrative differs secondly from chapter 1 in representation. Both
the details and the order of the events of creation (insofar as they are
mentioned in it, for the narrator deals briefly with everything except what
relates directly to man) differ from the statements of chapter 1. "The
earth, instead of emerging from the waters (as in 1:9) is represented as
being first dry (2:5), too dry in fact to support vegetation: the first step
in the process of filling it with living forms is the creation of man (2:7),
then follows that of beasts and birds (v.19) and lastly that of woman
(v 21); obviously a different order from that of chapter 1'

"Theodor Gaster, writing from more recent times, noted also, `Attentive
readers of the Bible can hardly fail to remark a striking discrepancy
between the two accounts of creation of man recorded in the first and second
chapters of Genesis" Though the conclusion the critics draw may be disagreed
with, IT IS IMPOSSIBLE TO DENY the following statement from James. "A
comparison between the two creation stories is full of interest, largely
because of the striking differences between them, which though more apparent
in the Hebrew, may still be recognized in the English translation.'

"Cassuto notes, `It is manifest that the two sections differ considerably in
character. About this there can be no doubt. The divergence is obvious if we
approach the text without bias. In the first section, we are vouchsafed a
sublime vision of the totality of creation, portrayed with great synthetic
power, which unifies into a clear and  comprehensible order all the
endlessly changing categories of existence; WE PERCEIVE THERE, ENTHRONED ON
HIGH, the idea that rises above the accidental, THE TEMPORAL AND THE FINITE,
and depicts for us with complete simplicity of expression the vast expanses
of
the universe to their utmost limits. God reveals Himself...... as a
transcendental Being dwelling in His supernal abode without direct contact
with CREATURES. On the other hand, the second section contains a graphic and
dramatic narrative that captivates the heart with its details, imbued as
they are with the magic hues of the oriental imagination, and seeks to
inculcate religious and ethical teachings under the guise of actual
happenings, addressing itself more to the feelings than to the intellect of
the reader. YHWH APPEARS THERE, as we have already noted, in direct touch
with His creature man and with the other created beings of His world. The
difference, therefore, is profound from several aspects and only one who
closed his eyes to the obvious could deny it.'

"There can be no denying that the two chapters differ generally, and on the
surface, at least, appear to contradict each other in specific detail. The
first general difference the critics note IS THE DIFFERENT USAGE IN DIVINE
NAMES. It is a fact that chapter 1 uses ELOHIM EXCLUSIVELY, WHILE CHAPTER
TWO USES JEHOVAH-ELOHIM. THE SECOND MAJOR DIFFERENCE THE CRITICS POINT OUT
IS THE DIFFERENT CONCEPTION OF GOD. The first account sees God as majestic
and dignified, aloof from creation, while the second views God as having
HUMAN LIKE traits, such as walking, speaking and ACTING LIKE A MAN. The
latter account, therefore is characterized by anthropomorphism. The third
general difference noted, which is hard to completely distinguish from the
first two, is actually a compound of different vocabulary, style and
grammar. Elohim, in the first account, is the name of the universal God
(thanks heaven!). He is dignified, aloof. The style of the first account is
measured and precise. The vocabulary is distinctive; Elohim creates, calls
into being, rests, ceases to make. In the second account, Jehovah, A
PERSONAL GOD, the NATIONALIST God, is in direct touch with HIS creation. He
forms, breathes, plants, makes. The style is more personal, story telling,
with its own vocabulary."

On page 181 we read, "The name of God is, in the first section, invariably
Elohim, while in the second account it is almost as constantly
Yahweh-Elohim. This combination would seem to imply that Yahweh is the
Elohim who created the world and that both words designated the same
being......... Often liberal scholars will point out the fact that the
compound Yahweh_Elohim is NOWHERE ELSE REPEATED IN scripture, thus betraying
diverse
authorship...........the entire conversation with the serpent not
Yahweh-Elohim, but simply Elohim is used (Genesis 3:1-5)

"In the first creation narrative, man is referred to as one creature AMONG
MANY and he is mentioned only as a link in the great chain of creative
events. The manner of his creation is described only in general terms. By
the simple phrase "male and female created He them" we are not told HOW THEY
WERE MADE OR if they were CREATED AT the same time. There is only the
indefinite statement that they were created."

I am so glad to have this book, reading it gave me more testimony in what I
believed already and I saw how much the teachings of the Church of Jesus
Christ of Latter-day Saints are so true and precise. To just say few words
I'd like to point out that there is no conflict between the two accounts.
The first one is about the spiritual creation, done by Elohim (the Father).
For this reason Adam is never mentioned in this account, Elohim created all
the spirits not just one. No fall is mentioned because there was no fall at
that time. John explained that Jesus was the creator for our physical
universe John 1:1-4 "IN the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with
God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All
things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was
made. In him was life; and the life was the light of men."

Jesus was the firstborn in spirit Revelation 3:14, Colossians 1:15

Psalm 2:7 Acts 13:33 and Hebrews 1:5

For this specific reason John said "no man saw God." He was referring to the
Father, because Jehovah has been seen many times, even though Adam clearly saw the Father in the garden,. Jesus became our mediator
between Elohim and mankind for that reason in the second chapter is
mentioned Yahweh-Elohim. Elohim and Yaweh until the transgression were
visiting the garden, but after the fall there was just one mediator. For
this specific reason the name Elohim disappeared from the scriptures. Yaweh
was the natural God of Israel and the only one allowed to talk to mankind.
The physical creation was made by Jesus or Yaweh and for this particular
reason mother earth rejoiced when He was born and suffered at His death, for
this I suggest to read my article "Mother Earth". and The two creation accounts

Last Updated on Monday, 17 May 2010 09:51  

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