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Monday, August 17, 2015

M3 Bible: Creation: Peoples

            Okay, day six, when God finally gets around to people—
            Time out!
            I know, the story hasn’t really started yet, but I’ve got to address something before we get too deep. See, Genesis has two creations of mankind.
            Yes. The first begins in Genesis 1:26. The second begins in Genesis 2:7. The first has Man created with Woman simultaneously. The second has Eve’s creation after Adam. This is problematic, obviously, as these stories don’t mesh. The second story is more detailed, so, in my experience, that is the one people favor. Certain Jewish faiths look to the Talmud or the Midrash for explanation as the belief is that the first five books of the Old Testament (known as the Torah) were either directly inspired to Moses by God, or dictated to Moses by God, so that every word must be correct.
            In short (too late), Both creation accounts would have to be correct. The two creations of man show that Adam was created, and that a woman was created simultaneously. However, this woman is not named as Eve. The rabbis of the Talmud theorize that Adam actually had two wives, which is where the story of Lilith comes in. Since this is not included as part of the Bible itself, I won’t delve into that story (at least not now). But this is one way that both stories are reconciled.
            The other method is what’s known as Documentary Hypothesis. The short version is simply that the Bible was told orally before it was written down. And when it was written down, many different people wrote it down. Scholars then tried to compile all of these versions together, but when it came down to it, they couldn’t decide on which version was the correct one, so they included both versions.
            There are different versions of the creation of mankind, the flood, and other stories. Biblical scholars have actually combed through and looked at specific language patterns and sentence styles to come up with four distinct authorial voices within the first five books. They are listed as J, E, P, and D. I won’t go into more info on this, but it is something to be aware of to avoid confusion as we look at the creation story.
            And, time in!
            So the creation goes that either man and woman are either created simultaneously, or that man was created first. The second creation is often looked at as the more definitive version because it has more detail, so let’s focus on that.
            Personally, I think this is the more logical method, too, as it fits in better with the progression of steps previously seen in the creation.
            So, Adam gets made, and he has this Garden to himself, and he’s lonely, so God zonks him out, yanks a rib, presto change-o we have Eve.
            The end, right?
            Not quite. At least not for me.
            See, there are some interpretations, by some unsavory people I don’t subscribe to, that believe that because Adam was made first, he is supposed to be superior to Eve. But that isn’t said anywhere in the text. It’s not even implied throughout the creation. If anything, we have to examine the processes of creation again, as this is where we will gain our understanding.
            As stated last week, the progression of days is also a refinement process. This refinement process culminates in the creation of mankind because, obviously, we are the best. Mankind is given dominion over the earth. The animals must listen to us; we are large and in charge. Everything that is created culminates in the creation of man. Or does it?
            See, that refinement process had one more step.
            Eve is the ultimate creation. She came after Adam. She was refined from the stuff of Adam. This is in holding with the pattern established over the previous days.
            Heady stuff, huh?

            P.S. This idea even holds true when taking into account the Lilith story.

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