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Genesis 1-3 and The Documentary Hypothesis

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Presentation on theme: "Genesis 1-3 and The Documentary Hypothesis"— Presentation transcript:

1 Genesis 1-3 and The Documentary Hypothesis

2 Q1) What is the ‘documentary hypothesis’ concerning the first five books of the Hebrew Bible? Q2) Which aspects of chapters 1 – 3 of Genesis support the documentary hypothesis? How do the aspects you’ve identified support the documentary hypothesis?

3 The Documentary Hypothesis
Modern scholars, observing what seemed to be inconsistencies in the text, questioned whether chapters 2 and 3 (the Adam and Eve story) had even been written by the same hand that wrote chapter 1 (creation of the world in six days).

4 When did God create woman?
Chapter 1: 27 So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them. Chapter 2: God creates Adam. At first he is alone. Almost as if the creation recounted in chapter 1 had never happened. Then creates all the animals and has Adam name them and only then creates Eve.

5 When did God create birds?
[On the 5th day, prior to creation of man and woman on the 6th day] 20 And God said, “Let the water teem with living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth across the vault of the sky.” 21 So God created the great creatures of the sea and every living thing with which the water teems and that moves about in it, according to their kinds, and every winged bird according to its kind.” [Man and woman created on the 6th day]. Gen 2:19 Animals and birds created after Adam, in conflict with chapter 1.

6 When did God create plants?
Gen 2:4-7 seems to announce a wholly new beginning. Seems to say humanity was created before plant life but Chapter 1 has vegetation created on the third day (along with the earth) and humanity created on the sixth.

7 What is God like? Chapter 1: God is a cosmic sovereign.
Chapters 2 and 3: God is a divine craftsman. He Himself shapes Adam out of the mud and breathes air into his nostrils. God walks about the Garden (Gen 3:8). When Adam and Eve hide from him, he calls out “where are you?” Apparently, he does not know. At the end, God makes clothes for the pair – another hands-on act.

8 ‘God’ vs ‘Lord God’ God is referred to quite consistently in chapter 1 by the word “God” (elohim). Starting at Gen 2:4, exactly where the story of Adam and Eve begins, he suddenly becomes “the Lord God”. The word “God” is now preceded by YHWH (the proper name of the Hebrew god). “The Lord God” is used consistently until the end of chapter 3. The writer who referred to him as God saw him as a cosmic deity. The writer who used the name “the Lord God” conceived of him in more personal terms, a sort of divine humanoid who walked around and shaped things and made clothes.

9 The Documentary Hypothesis

10 J Story of Adam and Eve a product of the author known as J: uses YHWH; anthropomorphic conception of God; focused on humanity; the effect of past events on humanity’s present condition People have to work for food, women have to suffer the pain of childbirth because of the first humans’ disobedience. Human beings are called man (adam in Hebrew) because that’s what the first created human was called. This in turn was because he was made out of the ground (adamah)

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