1.)What levels of meaning can be found in Genesis 1.1-2.4a?
From Genesis 1.1-2.4a it can be discerned that God is the creator of all. He created the world and its inhabitants from a vast nothingness. The text reflects upon who God is and what His capabilities are through the act of creation. The verses allow that God is communicating with us. It is communicated what Gods will is for man and gives us a history of our beginnings. From the data provided in the verses, scientists can conclude as to the how and why the order of creation came about. For example, light was first, land second, and then plants. Light and land are needed for plats to survive. The passages allude to the fact that He and He alone is the one true God and is the creator of all that exists.
2.)What are the similarities and differences between the Biblical and the Babylonian presentation of cosmic beings?
The differences between the biblical and Babylonian versions of creation are vast. In the Babylonian version of creation there are many gods. Marduk is the king of gods which suggests that there is a hierarchy. For each act of creation there is a god that receives credit or is responsible for being its keeper. The Babylonians version (Enuma Elish) tells a story of how these gods had disagreed and then fought. The consequent results are the creation of the world. However, in the Biblical version of creation God created all and in a specific order to ensure life would survive. God’s purpose was deliberate not a byproduct. His purpose was to provide a place for man. Whereas, the Babylonian version has depicted that man was created to serve them. God is depicted to be magnanimous and the Babylonian gods to be greedy and selfish. The similarities between the two presentations of the cosmic beginnings are thus; the world and man were created. The J account is similar in order of creation to that of the Babylonian.
3.) What levels of meaning can be found in Genesis 2.4-3.24?
The levels of meaning that can be discerned from Genesis 2.4-3.24 are the origins of how and from what man was created. Upon creation of man God establishes the hierarchy (God/man/animals). The verses tell of how man was lonely and God created woman. Outlined is the bond between man and woman and what the expectations are of a husband and wife at the time of entering marriage. Reflected upon are the concepts of sin, temptation, choice, and good versus evil. The passages also bring to light the subjects of disobedience and consequences for one’s actions. Also, revealed in the text is the location of the Garden of Eden. The rivers named provide landmarks and a geological location. Once again, God’s might is established by His actions to create life and establish laws that govern man.
4.)Compare the two accounts of creation in Genesis 1-3. What are the differences in order, style and vocabulary?
In the two comparisons of creation depicted in Genesis 1-3 there are several accounts that differentiate. P is written in a manner that tells all of creation step by step and how God did it. P focuses on God being omniscient and creation. J is written in a folklore manner. It focuses on the human view of creation, mainly, the moral and psychological aspects. P shows God in a celestial view, whereas J shows Him to be more human and fallible, that man’s relationship with God is troubled. The sequence of creation differs also. P is written in a manner that supports one part was created to support another part, to sustain life. However, J‘s cornerstone of creation is that one aspect was created because of the other (i.e., man, animals, then woman). The wording of J and P are altered also. P refers to the Almighty’s name as God. J lists his name as YHWH and refers to Him as the Lord God. J also reverses phrases which changes the focus and therefore making the phrase and meaning more down-to-earth.