Palms Baptist Church Bible Study
House Hunters: The Real Story of Creation Week
January 19, 2021

House Hunters: The Real Story of Creation Week

January 19, 2021

  • Exegesis: To draw out of the text
  • Eisegesis: To read into the text
  • Three Approaches
    • Literalistic: Speaks to the ontological nature of the text i.e. the event and people occurred literally as presented.
      • Example: There was a literal Adam and a literal Eve with a literal Tree of Life and a literal fruit that caused them to sin
    • Allegorical: Speaks to the idealistic nature of the text i.e. symbolic of a real event involving real people
      • Example: There was a real Adam and a real Eve, but the event of Genesis 3 is presented symbolically to describe the ideal of the event
    • Metaphoric/Parabolical: Speaks to a hypothetical event with hypothetical people to describe the nature of a larger concept
      • Example: The Adam and Eve narrative is a biblical parable speaking to a universal truth that all men face
  • Seven Lenses
    • Scientific

*The Bible is not a scientific book, although it does possess scientific material/elements (Job, Luke, etc.); but it is not the lens you read it through

POINT: God is creating something

    • Literary
      • Genesis 1 is not your typical Hebrew structure
        • Has undeniable poetic elements
          • Parallelism

Genesis 1:2a > Genesis 1:2b

Days 1-3: God Separates

Days 4-6: God Fills

          • Assymetric Parallelism

Genesis 1:2b > Genesis 1:2c

          • Repetition of words, phrases, and structure
          • Reverse ordering of phrases

Genesis 1:1 > Genesis 2:4

          • Use of 7 and derivatives of 7

God mentioned 35 times

Heaven and Earth mentioned 21 times

“It was so” and “God saw it was good” mentioned 7 times

7 words in Genesis 1:1; 14 in 1:2

          • Unlike most Hebrew poetry, not built with a rhythmic structure to sing
        • Gives a narrative, but not in a typical prose format as you find in Exodus/Numbers (contrast to historical narratives like Gospel of Luke)
      • Its what we would call an “Elevated Prose,” a narrative told poetically

*Its poetic structure shows that Moses’s message is intended to be beautiful

POINT: What God is creating cannot be

    • Historical
      • Preface: Primeval Waters- Nun
        • Egypt: Infinite Expanse of dark and directionless water (god: Nun)
        • Bible: “Formless and Void” i.e. bohu and tohu (without purpose and lacking direction) and the Darkness of the deep
      • Bringing order: Atum/Ra
        • Egypt: Out of Nun the god of light Atum/Ra came to existence by uttering his own name
        • Bible: God said, “Let there be light” (Genesis 1:3-4)
      • Separated the sky and water: Shu (moist air) and Teftnut (dry air) (offspring from Atum/Ra)
        • Egypt: Shu and Teftnut separated sky and water
        • Bible: God separated sky and water (Genesis 1:6-8)
      • Separated land from water/sky: Geb (dry land) and Nut (sky) –offspring from Shu/Teftnut
        • Egypt: Nun receded, and Geb appeared
        • Bible: God separated sea and land (Genesis 1:9-10)
      • Disorder to Order: Seth (Order) and Osiris (Disorder) – Offspring from Geb and Nut
        • Egypt: Seth and Osiris work counter bringing order and disorder
        • Bible: “evening and morning” = Hebrew: “Erev and Boker)
          • Literally means to bring disorder and to bring order
      • Giving Life: Atum/Ra has a place to “rest” on Geb (Land)
        • Egypt: Atum/Ra ejaculates on Geb, Shu, and Nun producing life (plants, animals, sea creatures, etc.)
        • Bible: God fills the space with living things (Genesis 1:20-25)
      • Creation of Man: Atum/Ra
        • Egypt: Atum/Ra creates man from dust
        • Bible: God creates man “in his own image” (Genesis 1:26-27) out of the dust (Genesis 2)

*Point here is in the differences: God is not produced out of other gods, nor does he battle other gods for supremacy, but He is the One, and only God. (Not the undisputed champion, but the ONLY champion)

POINT: God is creating something and within His Character

  • Hebraic
    • Use of 7’s
      • Completeness
    • Covenant
      • Proposal/Promise
        • Day 2
      • Mikveh/Baptism
        • Day 3
      • Dowry
      • Symbol
        • Day 4
    • Aleph-Tav

*Historical perspective shows us no outside character/will can thwart God’s will, Hebraic perspective shows us God character will not change His will

POINT: Genesis 1’s message God’s ultimate

    • Revelatory
      • What is God revealing in the text that we otherwise would not know/understand?
      • “Spirit of God,” “Light,” Heavy use of Hebraic cycles
      • Genesis 1 belongs to the larger set with Genesis 2-5
        • Temple and priestly language
          • Eden

Eden was the first temple

East entrance to Temple closed (Genesis 3)

Tabernacle entrance must always face east

Temple entrance faced east

Garden of Gethsemane prayers

          • “Working the Grounds”

Genesis 2:5- No temple because no priest

Genesis 3:23

Genesis 4:2

Genesis 4:12

          • Covenant ritual repeated in the temple

Before you entered the temple, you would follow the covenant elements

Prayer/proposal

Mikveh

Dowry/Sacrifice

Partake in the symbols

Incense, lamps, bread basket, etc.

*In the context of the Torah and language of Genesis, earth acted as the “cosmic temple” with Eden acting as the Holy of Holies

POINT: Genesis 1’s message bears witness to as the center of and the one to complete God’s

    • Christo-centric
      • The “Days” of Genesis 1
      • Christ is the light of Genesis 1:3 in John 1:1-5
        • “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome[a] it.” – John 1:1-5
      • The light of Genesis 1:3 is the center of Genesis 1. John places Jesus as the light of Genesis 1.

*If the light centers Genesis 1, and Christ is the light, than the main point is that Christ is the center of creation!

POINT: Genesis 1’s message should initiate

    • Personal

POINT: God is creating precedents

    • Theological/Philosophical
      • Ex Nihilo (Genesis 1:1)
      • Imago Dei (Genesis 1:27)
        • God creates domains (land, sky, sea) and calls out to those domains to fill them (sea creature out of sea, birds out of sky, beasts out of land)
        • But God calls out of Himself to create man!
      • God is personal (Genesis 1:26)
      • God is omnipotent (And God said…and there was…)
      • God is omnipresent (Genesis 1:2)
      • God is omniscient (Genesis 1 totality)

Guided Questions

  1. Moses makes a point to write Genesis 1 in “elevated prose” mixing poetry and narration to emphasize the beauty of the Genesis 1 message. Is the Mission of God and the gospel beautiful to you, or a burden to you? What biblical positions or portions of God’s message gives you more frustration, anxiety, fear, or contention rather than beauty? What elements of your life present a witness of anxiety, frustration, fear, or contention rather than a life driven towards beauty in the gospel (politics, relationships, finances, etc.)?
  2. Moses seems to formulate Genesis 1 using the same narration model as other mythologies within ancient Mesopotamia to contrast the difference between Yahweh and polytheism. His point intends to show God has no challenger therefore God’s will cannot be thwarted. Even today, God battles for our attention, time, energy, focus, and affections; and sometimes, even WE challenge God’s will with our own. Knowing God cannot be thwarted or challenged, does that assure you? Scare you? Both?
  3. Moses uses covenant language to describe the creation week. A covenant is a promise or a decision God makes, and out of His everlasting faithfulness, we know He will not abandon it. The historical lens shows us no outside character can challenge God’s will, the Hebraic view shows us nothing within God’s character will challenge His will i.e. God does not change His mind. This reassures our security in our salvation, Christ’s second-coming, and God’s ultimate plan. What promises of God do you need to remember now? We have entered into a covenant relationship with Jesus, are we as faithful to Him as He is to us?
  4. Genesis 1 reveals what we could otherwise not know by our own capacities: that God is creating a home for Him and us and not merely a house. What elements make a house a home? How does that apply to what God is doing here and in our lives? Does it change perspectives at all? In our worship? Environment? Our purpose?
  5. Genesis 1 sets a lot of theological precedents like God’s all powerful, all knowing, creation out of nothing, and that we were created unique, with value, to fulfill the purpose of God’s home renovation. Would our view of the gospel, our faith, our witness, our identity, or our hope change if those precedents were different?
  6. In the Gospel of John, John mirrors Genesis 1 in the opening of his gospel. He says Jesus was at the beginning and all things that were created were created through Him. He also states that Jesus was the “light” of Genesis 1:3. How does this relate and/or change our interpretation of Genesis 1, if at all?
  7. Knowing all this, what personal responsibility do we bear with this knowledge? God reveals things to drive us to an appropriate response, what is the appropriate response?
  8. Do you view Genesis 1 the same after what we “draw out of” the text? If different, how?

 

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