Genesis 1 & 2
ben.crick at argonet.co.uk
Wed Dec 1 07:10:59 EST 1999
On Wed 1 Dec 1999 (10:19:46 +0100), jonathan.bailey at gmx.de wrote:
> Anyway, back to my opening sentence, I really fail to see that the 2nd
> chapter can be considered an account of the creation of the world, and
> am wondering what makes this illustious fraternity of PhD laden Hebrew
> scholars think that Gen 2 is an account of the creation of the world
> that has any place being compared to Gen 1 at all? If my presumptions
> are correct, the culprit is the religionsgeschichtliche worldview, which
> causes scholars to believe that Gen 2 is a much older account of creation
> of the world than Gen 1, as it cannot be as highly evolved, because it
> completely fails as an account of the creation of the world. But isn't
> the fact that Gen 2 seems to be a primitive failure of an account of the
> creation of the world also evidence that it is not an account of the
> creation of the world?
If this non-PhD-laden, non-scholarly functioning preacher may be permitted
a brief word:
You express very cogently my own unease with the analysis-paralysis of
Documentary Analysis. I would far rather treat Genesis *as we have it* as
a *unified compilation*, without trying to identify and label each
individual source block.
There is an older Creation Account than that of the First Book of Moses,
and it is in the 38th to 41st chapters of the Book of Job (albeit couched
in highly rhetorical language). This certainly fills out the bare account
of Genesis 1-2 with much 'scientific' detail. Take ReYM as Rhinoceros, and
B:HeMoWT as Elephant. Look at the astronomical and meteorological data.
But to Genesis 1-2. There seems to be a middle wall of partition between
Theology and Anthropology. "Know then thyself; presume not God to scan. The
proper study of mankind is man" (Alexander Pope). The 'aDaM of Genesis 1 is
palaeolithic, in that he is a hunter-gatherer, not a farmer (1:29-30). By
stark contrast, the 'aDaM of Genesis 2:7 is Neolithic, the first farmer of
the Neolithic Revolution. This neolithic culture originated in Anatolia in
the plateau around Lake Van in about the ninth millennium BCE: which is
where Genesis 2:8-15 locates it and dates it (forgetting Ussher). I don't
know if there is a "Gap" in Genesis 1:2a; but there seems to be a yawning
"chasm" between Genesis 2:3 and 2:4.
It seems that the Biblical Revelation is to the "first farmers" and their
descendants through the line of Seth and Eber and Abraham. All nations are
to be blessed through Abraham's Seed. The older Palaeolithic Man was
*religious*, as his cave paintings and burials show; but if there was any
"Word of God" to Palaeolithic Man, we know nothing of it, unless Genesis
1:28-30 preserves a bare fragment. Palaeolithic Man did have a worldwide
spread, before he died out completely.
David Rohl is not the favourite scholar of this List; but he has a lot of
interesting things to say in his latest book /Legend, the Genesis of
Civilisation/ which IMHO should not be dismissed out of hand just because
they fail to chime in with Documentary-Analytical orthodoxy.
I am not advocating fundamentalist biblical literalism; but I am asking
that the Bible be allowed to speak for itself, and not be chopped or
racked on the Procrustean bed of JEDP.
Revd Ben Crick, BA CF
<ben.crick at argonet.co.uk>
232 Canterbury Road, Birchington, Kent, CT7 9TD (UK)
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