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Creation Theories?

post #1 of 20
Thread Starter 
It seems to me the Bible has two separate creation theories. The first "God creates the world in 6 days and on the seventh he rests" and the second is the Adam and Eve story. It seems to me that these are two totally different creations. What do you think is meant by this?
post #2 of 20
I never saw it as two seperste stories. The 6 days is like a grand overview and then the Adam Eve story like a focusing in on an important event in the bigger picture. I'm gonna go reread it and come back.
post #3 of 20
If you get a copy of an Oxford Annotated Bible, you can read how the Tanakh (old testament so called) is made up of different editors' voices.

The Priestly creation story, where god(s) (Elohim) rest on the 7th day was written after the great exile to Babylon, ca 7th-6th centuries BCE. When the Hebrews lost their homeland and the Temple worship, they then depended on things like the Sabbath rest, the kosher diet and the circumcision to keep a national identity. The priests (Zadokites) wrote this story to make it legitimate.

The Yahwist (2nd) story is older, from an oral tradition, explaining such things as, why are we Yahweh's tribe? Why are we ashamed to be naked? Why do men dominate women? Why do we have to work so hard to live? etc.
post #4 of 20

This is fascinating.
post #5 of 20
OK, lab, you want more? Quoting from the Ox An:

...it has long been noted that chs 1-3 of Genesis twice narrate the creation of the world. People are created first in 1:27-- "So God(s) [elohim]created humankind in his image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them."--and then again in 2:7- "then YHWH God formed man from the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life and the man became a living being." Furthermmore, the second creation account does not simply mirror or repeat the first, but differs from the first in both outline and detail. Gen 1:1-2:3, the first account, narrates the creation of a highly symmetrical world by a very powerful diety who creates through the word.[my emphasis]
paraphrasing the rest

1st acct
1)man and woman created together
2)after land animlas

2nd acct
1)the man first
2)then animals (note, YHWH "comically" creates animals as potential mates for the man)
3)then woman

First acct God creates by the Word ("let there be"), 2nd acct, an anthropomorphic god directly forms by hand.


Thus these are two separate stories, written by two authors, representing two different worldviews about the nature of creation, humanity and God.
post #6 of 20

1:11-12 & 26-27 vegetation created before man
2:4-9 Man created before vegetation

1:24-27 animals were created before man
2:7, 19 Man created before animals

1: 9-13 water first covered the world and dry land made o the third day
2: 5-6 the earth was dry land and before water was added

1:20-25 animals created on the 5th and 6th day before man
2:18-19 created after man to find man a companion

I can't seem to reconcile these (and other) differences which is why I've all but lost my faith in the bible as inspired word. The other big trouble spot in genesis is that ont he first day he made light and day but he didn't make the sun, moon, or stars until the 4th day. I can't rationalize that one either.
post #7 of 20
DaryLLL!!!! Rainbow!!!

You guys are great! This is perfect lead in to begin a dialogue between my husband and I.

And I won't be bringing up any of the books I've been reading. I'll be using the BIBLE!

Yes DaryLLL! I want more!

post #8 of 20
Another one that gets me is Jesus lineage at Matthew 1:1-16 is completely different than his lineage at Luke 3:23-31. I never noticed before because one lists it from end to beginning and the other lists it from beginning to end. So I took each on and wrote it out- from Jesus to the end... and after Jesus and then Joseph they don't match up even a little. There are some theories here- some say one is Mary's and one is joseph's. I can't swollow that, because this was a time and place where women were not allowed to read and write. Their lineage was considered unimportant. Plus, it lists joseph- so why wouldn't it say mary if that is who they were tracking. The other is that one is the biological line and one is the family line- because of BIL marriages when a male died the wife was to marry his brother to produce children in his name. I can see this for maybe a few- but not every single generation, you know? Anyway- those were two that really stuck out to me that I've been unable to find resolve in.
post #9 of 20
I like to point out that it says ---male & female He created them.

Many people think it means -males & females separately.
Edgar Cayce readings say it means androgenous or mixed with male & female in the spiritual sense --positive & negative in one soul---later on came the separation into separate beings /individuals.

The first creation was a spiritual one & the second was a physical one.
post #10 of 20

left this out

A great Edgar Cayce book to read is -EDGAR CAYCES STORY OF THE SOUL .`

written by W.H. Church
post #11 of 20
This is not snarky, I swear! But are you saying God made everything spiritually- the first story, and then the 2nd is the physical one, in which he chose to do everything opposite as he had done spiritually (see my previous post)?
post #12 of 20
Quote--"Everthing in the material universe,as Cayce puts it,is patterned after that in the spiritual,though in a deflected form,much like a shadow manifestation"
"All comes from One Central Vibration-the Word,the Light-taking different form in its continuously unfolding manifestation throughout the universe."

If you are not familiar with Edgar Cayce readings -I am sorry to interupt this thread.
I am not an expert--just an interested person who has found some ideas that resonate with me as truthful & helpful to me .
post #13 of 20
I didn't mean to chase you way... just trying to understand your explanation of the two creation stories.
post #14 of 20
Dont have much time..baby fussy. But am currently reading "Reading the Bible again for the first time" by Martin Borg and he addresses this very issue. As I understand what he is saying, one must learn to read the bible again in a metaphorical-historical way (nuts...can't remember the exact word and book is unavailable right now). Anyway - it was an interesting take and is really making a lot of sense to me. I think (based on your posts) that we're in a similar place on the spiritual path and you might find this book really interesting.

Basically, the differing accounts have to do with how people *in those times* thought/understood about where they came from, G-ds relationship to them, etc. So, the truths that come from the bible are not based on accurate details. (Geez - am making a hash of this. I don't speak very articulately about spirituality and religion...don't know why as I'll blab off my mouth about almost every other subject I know anything about.)

Anyone else read this? If I get the time tonight, I'll try to articulate his theory more clearly.

post #15 of 20
Thread Starter 
Looks like an interesting book. Has anyone else read it?
post #16 of 20
Originally Posted by Nelybel
But am currently reading "Reading the Bible again for the first time" by Martin Borg and he addresses this very issue.
Do you mean Marcus Borg?
post #17 of 20
Dang - I just wrote a long, semi-incomprehensible post...and lost it!

OK - lets try again.

Yeah - I did mean Marcus Borg. I'd blame my slip on pregnancy brain -but I'm always like this.

Now to try to add something to the discussion at hand (and my apologies to Professor Borg).

Its an interesting read and quite approachable. I only get to read while nursing ds and its pretty easy to pick-up and put down. He gives a lot of interesting context for the various ways *we* (collective) read the bible. He likes a 'Historical-Metaphorical approach. This combines looking at historical context and meaning with recognizing that most of the bible has many layers of meaning (metaphor/myth). He comments on how we've lost the true meaning of the term 'myth' and need to recognize what a powerful method it is for discussing the ineffable, the sacred, G-d's relationship to the world.

Anyway - he goes on to apply this approach to various sections of the bible, starting with creation. According to him, (and others I've read) the 2 stories were written by different authors in different times. That there were practical reasons for some of the details being given the way they were. For ex: During exile Israel needed ways to set themselves apart from others. One way was was Sabbath. So the 6 day creation story shows that God values the Sabbath. He gives other examples as well. But this is already long.

Its a good book - hope some others have read it...would be fun to discuss.

My 2 cents - For a number of years I've thought that what we called 'G-d' was so much bigger, more mysterious/wonderful than anything we could imagine that any attempt to talk/write about G-d would come up short. So, I'm not to worried about discrepancies in the bible. I've also felt quite alone in this stance so haven't/don't speak about it much. I do think there are truths in the bible...as I also think there are in many other sacred texts of many different faiths. But I haven't really gotten down to actually trying to read and study with this in mind. Still been coasting on a lot of my past education. So, its exciting to finally start doing some reading about this.

post #18 of 20
Just a bump cause I'm not sure my post last night got counted. (commentary of some sort?

post #19 of 20
Hi-I read your posts!

That book sounds like one I would enjoy.

I have been reading the Bible the past few months --(slowly)
I am still on 2 Kings--
I tried 3 different versions of the Bible --some translations have one or two different words that to me change a whole lot of meaning.
Edgar Cayce says the Bible is to be taken 3 ways -physical-mental & spiritual.
This has made me reread some passages-interesting thread.
post #20 of 20
Originally Posted by Jazmommie
Edgar Cayce says the Bible is to be taken 3 ways -physical-mental & spiritual.
This has made me reread some passages-interesting thread.
Well, then he has been reading Paul closely b/c Paul sees life in a Greek neo-Platonic way, using those same terms.

As far as the creation, in the Garden, some gnostics (1-4th century Xtians) read it as a spiritual creation too. When the first "man" was created "he" was androgynous of course (man/woman, or as in Hermes and Aphrodite's child, hermaphroditic). You can see this b/c the Hebew word we see translated as "rib" can also (and perhaps more accurately) be trans as "side." In other words, men and women are 2 halves of a whole and are always trying to get back together.

More proof for it being a spiritual (need I mention mythological?) story, when YHWH made them "clothes from skins" after they recieved gnosis from the (goddess) tree, this was b/c they didn't have skin before! they were Other than us before then.

None of this makes any sense at all taken literally, IMO. But taken metaphorically, yes of course it does.
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