HairyTicks – “Covenant Creation” presentation 

I.) What I’ve heard and learned 

Origins book – 

Dr. John Walton – Cultural Background Study Bible

The Biblical Narrative
(The easiest way to understand Genesis 1-11 is to read the Genesis 50 and go backwards). 

II.) What I know and teach 

Standing upon the shoulders of Giants
(teachers and resources)

Understanding Genesis chapters 1-3 

  • The Covenant/ Order – Genesis 1:1
  • Image – Genesis 1:26-27  
  • The Temple/ Presence  – Genesis 2:8  
  • The Image/ Order & Presence – Genesis 2:15  
  • Ensuing Narrative 

“But man alone is in the image and likeness of God, and I mean by man, not one who performs actions similar to those of animals, but one who has advanced far beyond mere humanity – to God Himself”. – Tatian, Address to the Greeks (2nd century)

III.) More Than Meets The Eye 

  • Needs to be continually surveryed and cared for, akin to looking around a garden scene. 
  • The Jewish perspective…

“What exactly is being said in the first chapter of the Torah? The first thing to note is that it is not a stand-alone utterance, an account without a context. It is in fact a polemic, a protest, against a certain way of understanding the universe. In all ancient myth the world was explained in terms of battles of the gods in their struggle for dominance. The Torah dismisses this way of thinking totally and utterly. God speaks and the universe comes into being. This, according to the great nineteenth century sociologist Max Weber, was the end of myth and the birth of Western rationalism. More significantly, it created a new way of thinking about the universe. Central to both the ancient world of myth and the modern world of science is the idea of power, force, energy. That is what is significantly absent from Genesis 1. God says, “Let there be,” and there is. There is nothing here about power, resistance, conquest or the play of forces. Instead, the key word of the narrative, appearing seven times, is utterly unexpected. It is the word tov, good. Tov is a moral word. The Torah in Genesis 1 is telling us something radical. The reality to which Torah is a guide (the word “Torah” itself means guide, instruction, law) is moral and ethical. The question Genesis seeks to answer is not “How did the universe come into being?” but “How then shall we live?” This is the Torah’s most significant paradigm-shift.” – Rabbi Jonathan Sacks

In other words, as Elder Steve Hernandez from BPBC recently said to me in discussion, “There are a lot more layers once you put the culture back into it”. (Meaning your interpretation) 

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