No 'paradise lost'

For the Lesson titled "Adam and Fallen Man" from May 6 - 12, 2013

In this week’s Bible Lesson, titled “Adam and Fallen Man,” a timely request comes to us from the prophet Isaiah: “Come now, and let us reason together, saith the Lord” (1:18, citation 1).

So then let’s examine the two conflicting Hebrew creation stories found in Genesis. In the first story, man is created in the image and likeness of God, Spirit, and “behold, it was very good” (see Genesis 1:26, 31, cit. 2). The second story begins with a mist (one might say, mystification) and tells us the Lord God created man from “dust” (see Genesis 2:6–7, cit. 5). The Responsive Reading informs us, “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness” (II Timothy 3:16).

These two independent, contradictory creation stories, written approximately 400 years apart, are not in chronological order in the biblical text. The earlier, matter-based Adam story tells us Yahweh, the Lord God of the Covenant with Israel, created a material man capable of sin, and then punished him by exile from His presence. It is attributed to the Yahwist documents written from the tenth to ninth centuries bc . The later spiritual creation story tells us God, Elohim, created perfection by divine declaration. This story is attributed to the Priestly narrative documents, written during the time of the Babylonian Exile between the sixth to fifth centuries bc . During the Exile, the worship of the Lord God of Israel evolved into an understanding of the universal God of spiritual creation.

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Bible Translations: Old & New
A way to love
May 6, 2013

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