In the beginning, when God began to create the heavens and the earth, the earth had no form and was void; darkness was over the deep and the Spirit of God hovered over the waters. God said, "Let there be light," and there was light.
In the same way, our group wants to show light on the second chapter of the Book of Genesis. This paper would serve as an instrument in further understanding the passage through biblical criticism. We would utilize several approaches. Hermeneutics is the first approace. This is the theory of reading, interpretation, and understanding of a text whether written or serving as documents. It answers the question: what is the text saying to us today. Second is textual criticism, which aims to reconstruct what actually is the "original text" on the basis of many different copies. Historical criticism is third, which attempts to understand the political structures, religious and cultural events and institutions of the time and place of the writing of a given biblical book. Biblical authors drew both their imagery and their thought patterns from the setting to which they lived. It attempts to verify the historicity and understand the meaning of an event that is said to have taken place in the past. The basis for the evaluation is the tools of historical science. The historical-critical method assumes the autonomy of the human scientist from the Bible as the word of God. It assumes that one must start with the secular world as a norm for determining meaning and for deciding what has happened in the past.
Fourth is source criticism. This attempts to establish the sources which a given biblical writer may have used in compiling his work in order to resolve existing discrepancies and inconsistencies. It attempts to determine whether or not there is a unity or compositional in character. It also attempts to determine the nature of the sources used and the stages of composition. The setting within which the sources emerged and the motives are important for directing the production of the various sources. The sources are identified through the changes in literary style, shifts in vocabulary and phrasing, breaks in continuity, types of connectors, changes in theological viewpoint, duplications, and logical, thematic, chronological, and factual inconsistencies. Such items indicate different sources. Wellhausen hypothesized four sources for the PentateuchJ E D P. These sources were composed in different centuries ranging from the tenth to the sixth century. At approximately the time of the exile they were brought together into the form of the Pentateuch. Fifth is through form criticism. It tries to pay attention to the variety of literary expressions employed by the author in order to express religious truth of our salvation. Form criticism attempts to classify units of written and oral material in their relation to an assumed sociological setting. It assumes that the literary style, structure and content of a unit of literature exist because of a particular motive and sociological setting. The form critic attempts to reconstruct that motive and life setting. Form criticism accepts the work of source criticism but builds upon it. Sixth is redaction criticism, which is the analysis of the process through which the text was written and altered, and how it was elaborated through the final editor's point of view. This permits the readers to identify the quality and degree of an editor's own input to the literature and to reveal the theological inclinations and the compositional tendencies of the writers. This criticism causes the readers comprehend more correctly the objective of the authors and editors of the bible, as well as the idea which they directed to their first readers.
Seventh is literary criticism. This examines the vocabulary and grammatical style of the text. Bible experts compare the use of a word in a passage and see how the same word is used in other books of the bible...
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