I started this challenge a little late, and because I'm doing this Chronologically my posts will be grouped a little differently than a weekly checking post. I'm starting off with this first section of Genesis then chronologically it moves to Job.
I will be using The Catholic Youth Bible. I received this one when I was a senior and leaving the Youth Group at my church. One of the reasons I've held onto this particular version is that before each book there is a section that describes what you are about to read. It gives you a bit of history, there is also a side by side timeline of Bible History and Human History, it was just where I would go whenever I had questions about faith and religion.
The Book of Gensis is divided as follows:Here are some passages and footnotes I found the most interesting:
1. The Primeval History (1-11)
2. The Patriarch Abraham (12-25:18)
3. The Patriarchs Isaac and Jacob (25:19 - 36)
4. Joseph and His Brothers (37-50)
Gn 1, 5 God called the light "day," and the darkness he called "night." Thus evening came, and morning followed - the first day.Starting early, this sets up the idea that the bible is a collection of stories written in a way to teach a lesson. They are fables, written maybe to collect the oral traditions or to write history, but mainly to teach people morals. We start off with a story that is meant to teach readers to respect the Sabbath. You may have worked all week and feel like there is more work but look even God rested and so must you. Looking at it this way, the story of creation is no different than say the story of the Tortoise and the Hare.
In ancient Israel a day was considered to begin at sunset. According to the highly artificial literary structure of Gn 1-2 God's creative activity is divided into six days to teach the sacredness of the sabbath rest on the seventh day
Gn 2, 7 the Lord God formed man out of the clay of the ground and blew into his nostrils the breath of life, and so man became a living being.There was a lot of wordplay in these few first chapters. This being the first one, gives a clear example of the importance of naming in the bible. Along with the importance of naming is this image of God working with clay. At the time I believe this would have been something people could relate to, working with their hands to create something. Whether it was as an oral story told or once it was written down, the idea that creating something is hands-on connects with a lot of people. These images make the work more relatable.
God is portrayed as a potter modeling man's body out of clay. There is a play on words in Hebrew between adam (man) and adama (ground). being: literally, soul.
GN 5, 1-32 Generations: Adam to NoahI honestly have always found these chapters borning. I understand their importance, but I tend to just skim over them. This time I read them and this footnote gave me a better appreciation of the genealogical connection between these men and the importance it has on the story. Reading them instead of this long list of men who lived way too long, it's more a list of important men and the connections that lead from the first man to another very important man. The older their age at fatherhood and the longer they live is a representation of their worth.
Althought this chapter, with its highly schematic form, belongs to the relatively late "Priestly document," it is based on very ancient traditions. Together with Gn 11:10-26, its primary purpose is to bridge the genealogical gap between Adam and Abraham. The long lifespans attributed to these ten antediluvian patriarchs have a symolic rather than historical value. Babylonian traditon also recorded ten kings with fantastically high ages who reigned successively before the flood.
Gn 6, 1-4 Creation of the Nephilim This is apparently a fragment of an old legend that had borrowed much from ancient mythology. The sacred author incorporates it here, not only in order to account for the prehistoric giants of Palestine, whom the Israelites called the Nephilim, but also to introduce the story of the flood with a moral orientation - the constantly increasing wickedness of mankind.I am a Supernatural fan and now that we're dealing with Nephilim in the series this was really an interesting chapter for me to read this time around. I can't say that this short section ever really made an impact on my memory. When they introduced the Nephilim on the show I had to look it up cause I had no idea what the heck a Nephilim was let alone where it connected to the bible.
Just a quick note on the flood. A number of years ago I listened to the audiobook version of Don't Know Much About Mythology by Kenneth C. Davis. In it, he discusses a number of creation stories and nearly all of them talk about a great flood.