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Genesis: The Creation Week

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GENESIS: the creation week

Introduction

* This presentation is about the book of Genesis in the Old Testament. Its main purpose will be to educate you, the audience on hermeneutics, the literal and contextual interpretations of the creation story, as well as the history, author, date and importance of the book of Genesis.

* Throughout history, people have asked the ultimate question 'Where did it all begin?' For the majority of fundamentalist Christians, the belief is that the beginning of all life itself came from the supreme power of the Almighty Lord God. This point of view appears in the Bible, but can this be taken in a completely literal sense? Did one God create it all? Through examination of the literal and contextual meanings truth and fiction can be separated.

The Creation Week

* Genesis is the first book of the Bible and serves as an introduction to the rest of its writings and the overall history and basis of the Jewish religion. Scientifically, it presents rather irrational concepts, but has been widely accepted in a literal sense by most Jews and Christians.

In short the text says that on the first day 'in the beginning God created the heavens and the earth' and created light, thus separating the night from the day.

On the second day the sky is created and 'then god made the sky and he separated the waters above from the waters below'

The third day God separated land from the waters 'God called the dry land earth, and the waters he called the seas.' And drew forth grasses and plants and other foliage.

The fourth day God adds the sun, the moon and the stars

The fifth day comes and god then creates the fish and birds show in the text as, 'let the waters bring forth in great numbers moving creatures that have life, and let the birds fly above the earth in the open sky of the heaven.'

The sixth day is said to be the busiest because it in on the sixth day that God puts the final touches so to speak with the addition of animals and humans 'let the earth bring forth creatures of all kinds, cattle and creeping things and beasts of the earth.' And 'so god created man in his own image. In the image of god he created man and woman. Male and female created he them'

On the seventh day God decided 'The heavens and the earth were finished and filled with life' and 'god rested from his work and all that he had made'

Each day interpretation

On the first day God creates the foundation on which the rest of the earth and surrounding universe is built. This begins with his command 'let there be light'. He then goes on to separate the light from the darkness, naming them night and day.

On the second day God creates the sky, which is described as separating 'the waters above from the waters below' and the sky is named heaven

On the third day god creates the land and the sea through the command to the water 'be gathered together in one place and let the dry land appear'. Next he creates the grass and other foliage such as trees and plants with fruits and seeds.

On the fourth day god creates the 'lights in the sky of heavens to divide the day from the night', in simple terms this means the sun, moon and the stars.

On the fifth day God adds life to the earth, 'let the waters bring forth in great numbers moving creatures that have life, and let the birds fly above the earth in the open sky of the heaven.' He then commands that they breed and fill the earth.

On the sixth day God introduces animals of the land through the command 'let the earth bring forth creatures of all kinds, cattle and creeping things and beasts of the earth.' Along with the beasts of the earth, man is created on this day 'in our image'

This day also draws to a close the creating segment of the creation week with the phrase 'and god saw that it was good' which has been repeated throughout.

The seven and last day of this creation week is simply a reflection by god over the past week and his work, finishing with him blessing everything and giving man a soul by the action '[God] breathed into him the breath of life'

Literal Interpretation:

* A literal interpretation of the creation week as a whole is that through the actions and authority of God over the earth He commanded and created a world. In the book Genesis this is described through a series of dualisms, heaven and earth, day and night, land and sea etc. In its literal sense this it is saying that God took the formless void and created an earth and gave it the night and day, the trees and plants, the land and sea, the birds, animals and creatures of the sea, and everything else that we experience now. However, it is widely disputed that Genesis should not be taken literally and is in fact meant to be taken as a metaphor for the creation of the earth.

Contextual Interpretation:

* Literal reading of Genesis can be seen to conflict with many scientific theories. Therefore many people take Genesis as an allegory. If the creation story was to be viewed in a contextual manner, it could be seen as a metaphor for how God created the world, not in a seven-day period. Through the gradual phases and changes that occurred and brought about our own existence God is seen the instigator. It is also a way of describing how God is governing everything, and that from chaos and a complete void He can create something amazing. The translation from Aramaic to English should make clear that the earth was made in seven periods of time and not

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