September 18, 2016 – Gen. 1:1 – 2:3 – Creation

Torah Reading – Gen. 1:1 – 2:3 – Creation

We’re also celebrating Rosh Hashanah!

Psalm 1 – Delight in the Torah

Haftorah – Isaiah 42:5-13 + 21; Isaiah 44:24 – 45:5, 7;
Isaiah 45:18-25; 46:9-10
Isaiah 65:17-25; 66:22
Special: Hosea 14:2-10; ‎ Micah 7:18-20

See some additional notes.

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3 Responses to September 18, 2016 – Gen. 1:1 – 2:3 – Creation

  1. admin says:

    In the book of Genesis, we will continually read stories of alienation – Adam and Eve driven from the Garden, humanity scattered at the Tower of Babel, Abraham leaving Ur, nomads wandering in strange lands, Joseph sold into slavery in Egypt. It’s also a story of God’s faithfulness, and his promise to provide a place for them, and to dwell with them.

    Just remember that these readings have one over-riding focus, to reveal Christ.

    “And beginning at Moses and all the prophets, he expounded unto them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself.” – Luke 24:27

  2. Gus Mujica says:

    We will be joining you guys as well. Please,add,commenta here so we can add to our discussion. Gus and Jess

  3. admin says:

    Got some questions from a friend, Michael Carlson, so I thought I’d add it in:

    1. So the ancient peoples didn’t think the way we do today. Does that mean it didn’t enter their mind about whether the creation story was literally true or if it’s even an important question? I would like some examples of how their thinking was unlike ours today, please.

    No, the concept of “literally true” as we interpret it today did not enter the minds of people in ancient times.

    We think of “literally true” as reflecting what a newspaper reporter, a scientist or a trained observer would have observed and reported had he been there. Or more to the point, what a video of the action or a transcript of the conversation would have revealed to us.
    (Even today we’re arguing over what “really happened” during events though we have videos of police shootings!)

    But, as Northrop Frye says about the Gospels in “The Great Code” (his book on the Bible and literature), “This may not be what you would have seen if you had been there, but what you would have seen would have missed the whole point of what was going on.”

    Torah really means “essential information.” In other words, “what you MUST know.” It’s that kind of truth.

    In a classic study on this, “Hebrew Thought Compared with Greek,” Thorleif Boman stresses that Hebrew thought was mostly dynamic, while Greek thought was more static.

    Commenting on the “tohu and bohu” of Gen. 1:2, he says that in English, “was” can equate the subject and predicate, which would mean the earth – erets, always an ordered and settled land, the region of civilization and humanity – was the same as chaos, an impossibility.

    For us the difference between sentences like “The earth was waste and void” and “The altar was wood” is not the same fundamental sort for the Hebrews. We first conceive of an altar, its form, and then the material out of which it is made – the altar could have been made out of anything. For us the form and the matter are separate, and the form is the principal consideration. In Hebrew, the material is the thing. If an altar is wooden, then it could not possibly be made of copper, for that would result in a totally new and different altar, a copper one. the wood and the altar “belong” to each other dynamically.

    Similarly, the location of something is not just a description, it is where the thing belongs, it is attached to it dynamically and actively.

    In New Testament interpretation, similar considerations come into play. For instance, scholars have only recently discovered that most of Paul’s letters follow classic rhetorical styles that open up meaning that have been hidden from us.

    Our experience with foreign exchange students over the years has shown us that even among modern-day people, there is not a uniformity in understanding concepts. All are influenced somewhat by culture and language. Add in centuries of time, and the differences multiply.

    2. Gen. 1 says that God created the two lights on the 4th day. We know that the Sun (and possibly Moon) existed before what was created on the first three days. Shouldn’t God at least have told them to move the 4th day account up to the first day?

    The days are grouped according to a pattern – three areas, heavens, firmament and ocean are formed, and then each is filled with its appropriate “residents.” No consideration is given to our modern concern about whether things line up according to modern, western logic or reason.

    The story is not there to satisfy our curiosity about how things happened, but to confirm Who the Creator is. Also, Jewish mystics believed the world had the “primordial light” before the sun and moon were created, which was later reserved under God’s throne for the days of Messiah.

    3. How does Genesis 1 reveal Christ?

    John 1 describes the Logos/Word specifically participating in creation. The prophetic chapters associated with this 3-year cycle readings point to Messiah as well. It’s all over the place.

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