PrimevalHistory - Primeval History(Gen 3-11a I Introduction...

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Primeval History (Gen. 3-11a), 1/25/08 I Introduction Recall the two creation stories that open up the Bible, particularly the position/identity of human being. Note the sense of closeness and intimacy that’s established between God and humans, men and women Gen 1: Made in God’s image and likeness; male and female simultaneously Charged to be lords over the earth, have dominion over “every living thing” Commanded to be vegetarian (“every plant and tree yielding fruit”) Told to be sexual, reproductive: “increase and multiply.” More life! Gen 2: Personal, hands-on Creator, with man and woman as prize handiwork Man out of the soil, woman out of man’s ribcage “Placed” in the garden; given the task of caring for it Charged with a commandment to eat every fruit except Intimacy of second creation story: God perceives man to be solitary, needing a partner, a mate God forms animals, Adam names them, but they are not “it” (Midrash type question: Did God not realize that they wouldn’t be enough? Or did he want man to experience the need and realize that only another human would do? Woman formed not from soil but from man: they share a root connection that is unique among creatures: they are bone/bone, flesh/flesh, their mutuality revealed in the word play of ish/ishah , man/(wo)man. “And the two shall be one flesh”: sex act alone? No, partnership. Sudden shift in tone and reality: The biblical story that follows upon the two creation accounts is about the loss of partnership, the breakdown of union and communion, God’s anger God’s recurrent attempts to reconnect, to forge a link between God and humans, and among humans. A link first with humanity as a whole (today’s reading), then with a particular people descending from Abraham, Isaac, Jacob . . . Theme for today’s lecture: loss of partnership and God’s attempt to reconnect with God’s
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This note was uploaded on 04/24/2008 for the course RN 101 taught by Professor Hawkins during the Spring '08 term at BU.

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PrimevalHistory - Primeval History(Gen 3-11a I Introduction...

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