Essay on Contrasting Genesis I and II of the Holy Bible

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Contrasting Genesis I and II

Where Genesis I describes a more ordered creation - the manifestation of a more primitive cultural influence than was responsible for the multi-layered creation in Genesis II - the second creation story focuses less on an etiological justification for the physical world and examines the ramifications of humankind's existence and relationship with God. Instead of Genesis I's simple and repetitive refrains of "and God saw that it was good" (Gen 1:12, 18, 21, 25), Genesis II features a more stylistically advanced look at "the day that the LORD God made the earth and the heavens" (Gen 2:4). While both stories represent different versions of the same Biblical event, Genesis II is significantly more
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(Genesis 2:4-7)

The second account of creation differs from the first story in three important distinctions: the indication of creation in a single day, the creation of man "from the dust of the ground" (Gen 2:7) rather than "in our image" (Gen 1:26), and the submissive role of women as a man's "helper" (Gen 2:18) rather than the equal created in the first story.

The single-day creation indicates a combination of separate biblical traditions, rather than a specific discrepancy in the believed happenings, as well as implies that the society of the second creation placed less value in God's creation of the physical world than in the role of humankind in that environment. Where the creation told in Genesis I centers on God's process of shaping the world from a "formless void" (Gen 1:2) into an ordered, comprehensible physical world - a transition that parallels the Hebrews' change from nomadic life to a settled society - the second creation's fully-functioning world is merely a background for the greater role that man and woman will play.

And the LORD God commanded the man, "You may freely eat of every tree of the garden; but of the tree of knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall die. (Gen 1:16-17)

It is with the introduction of the tree of knowledge of good and evil that the drama of creation at God's hands is no longer comparable with the drama that will unfold for man and woman.
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