Genesis 1 & 2 (trying again)

Ian Hutchesson mc2499 at
Thu Dec 2 22:16:25 EST 1999

At 23.33 02/12/99 +0100, Jonathan Bailey wrote:
>Actually it does mention a fairly complete cosmology when it mentions sun,
>and stars. Remember, we are talking about a people that call bats birds
and says 
>rabbits chew their cud. 

This is what I was talking about, you project your own understanding into
the past. You want the second account to be something more satisfying to
your understanding of creation for it to be a creation. As it isn't you
relegate it to some nice box.

>>>Mentioning of the rivers seems to locate the story in a specific
>>geographical area, 
>>The known world.

Clutching at straws.

>>If you mean by creation of the world, creatio ex nihilo, then neither
>>account fits your expectations.
>The second account is obviously not ex-nihilo, 

As is the first account. Please note the ancient understanding in Wisdom

>and while I agree that the 1st need no 
>absolutely be interpreted as an ex-nihilo account, a plain and logical
reading will lead 
>you to such a conclusion. It does meet my expectations of an ex-nihilo
account. If you 
>think it is not, then can you show me an account that IS ex-nihilo?
>>It's very normal, given the construction of the biblical texts, that there
>>come to be "contending" or "contradictory" accounts of things. How many of
>>each animal did Noah bring into the ark? Who killed Goliath, David or
>>Elhanan? (Look at how Chr obscured the problem by making Elhanan kill
>>Goliath's brother!) Who was the king who the patriarch tricked into
>>thinking his wife was his sister, pharaoh or Abimelek? Who was the
>>patriarch, Abraham or Isaac?
>Well, the old "are there contradictions in the bible" question 


Oh my. Not of contradictions. Of variations in traditions. Groan.

>>Because it is neither plain nor more logical. You would like God to have
>>created everything in the first account then go on to recreated things
>>specifically for the garden of Eden. The second account cannot be taken
>>literally: it is richly emblematic. It later wants you to understand that
>>all human beings were the children of Adam (and Eve), yet the first account
>>has the creation of humankind (in God's image) as the last act of creation.
>>(Either they all came from Adam or they were all created on day 6.) But you
>>seem to want God to created human beings and animals on day 6 and then go
>>on to specially create them again for the garden of Eden.
>Both accounts are emblematic. Now if reality is also emblematic, which it


>>To get here you sublimate the creativity in Gen2. What you say doesn't have
>>any reflection on Gen2 as a creation account. Ignoring the fact that it is
>>a creation account -- we get the four rivers of the world, the garden, all
>>the plants and animals , and naturally humankind. The bits you don't get
>>are basically the cosmological bits. Neither account talks of creation of
>>mountains and valleys, islands, etc., but they never wanted to. How does
>>the fact that Gen2 is a creation account impinge on the sociological
>>content that you note? How does the first creation impinge on the fact that
>>it institutes the sabbath? No creation account I know of was written only
>>to be an account of a creation. They are usually attempts to deal with the
>>world that is, with aetiology -- how it came to be.
>You get four rivers, not necessarily the whole world. Where does your
conjecture that 
>that was the known world come from? What evidence do you base that on? Yuo 
>most certainly do not get all the plants and animals. You get pretty and
edible plants, 
>and some large domesticatable animals. Where are the fish? Even the
>fished. Chapter 2 is obviously a complete failure to explain the existence
of the world.

When you expect more than you get, you make the result a failure. It
doesn't reflect on the failure of the reader, does it? You want kangaroos
and wombats.

>>>Apparently the primitives that wrote it lived in an area of only 
>>>beautiful and edible trees? With no fish or bugs? 
>>Where are the bugs in the first account? And where is the opportunity to
>>talk about fish in the second?? And where exactly in the first account are
>>any trees created?
>remes make good bugs. And though the question is loaded (because the
second is 
>not designed to talk about fish because it is not an account of the
craetion of all 
>animal life) 

Neither is the first, though it is more comprehensive. You seem to want the
second creation account to be more comprehensive and so, as it is not, you
then want to turn it into a local creation, ie God creates the whole world
then recreates animals and humans especially for the garden, making all
humankind come from the specimens created in the garden -- let's forget all
about those created in the first account.

>I would, if describing the creation of all animal life, mention fish
>around verse 19.

Perhaps you should have written the account, then you would now be happy.

>>>Nice place! Completely contradictory to every creation account the world 
>>>has ever known, however, which state that we came from Chaos.
>>Would you like to list some of these accounts that are contradicted?
>Egypt starts with nun, Greece starts with chaos, etc. ad nauseum.

The world was formless and void. What does formless mean to you? Remember
the KJV: "waste and void" -- waste = chaos. Very Greek to me.



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