What is the Relationship Between the Creation Accounts in Genesis 1 and 2?


(Matthew Pevarnik) #41

Do you have the particular reference on hand as to what you’re thinking about with dual theodicies?

I probably sound like that during one of my lectures, changing what I’m saying almost completely halfway through using different language and with slightly different explanations of things. What are some other things you might add beyond the different theodicy question as to the dual authorship? I also am not aware of general scholarship thinking it was a single author beyond the group you noted but was just curious some of your additional thoughts.


(Don Huebner) #42

Regarding the dual theodicies, the theodicy for Gen. 1 requires a bit of explaining. I sent an E-mail to Rendsburg a number of years ago for source info on it, but he wasn’t sure where he heard about it. I actually learned about it on his Great Courses class on Genesis. Anyway, the theodicy comes from the darkness, deep and chaos of Gen. 1:2-3. In the ANE, all 3 represented evil. Both God and evil thus existed for all time previous to the creation episode described in Gen. 1. God created and separated the light, sky, and earth (land) - in an orderly fashion - labeling each as ‘good’ to differentiate them from the pre-existing evil. Note that God created good while allowing it to co-exist with evil - the situation we all live with today. it is also worth observing that this view of evil does not obviate the need for a Savior. It just provides a different source and origin of the evil we all possess.

It is worth considering that the theodicy of Gen. 2 raises real questions if it is read critically. For instance, God threatens Adam with death if he eats the forbidden fruit. But how would Adam even know what death (which clearly is the ultimate evil) was if he had no knowledge of good and evil. Furthermore, disobeying God is also clearly evil - but if Adam/Eve did not know this, how could they be held morally responsible? Thus, it is difficult to read this pre-literate folklore-like narrative as an actual occurrence with the critical eye characteristic of the literate world we all live in.

I’ll answer your other question in a separate post. Got to run now.


(Don Huebner) #43

Comparison of Gen.1 and Gen.2 creation narratives from a dual authorship view:
Gen. 2 Gen. 1
When written: Single monarchy Exilic/early post-exilic
Author: Yahwist (J) Priestly §
Divine name; Yahweh Elohim
Style: Pre-literate, oral folklore Literate (orderly, logical)

  • Heavily etiological - Very little etiology
    Theology: Monolatrous Monotheistic
  • Divine entourage (cherubim) - Entourage in name only
  • Eminent divinity - Transcendent divinity
  • Creation by action (potter) - Creation by speaking
  • Theodicy: Adamic disobeying - Evil eternal
  • Neighbor view: “Othering” of Canaanites - None indicated
    Created people: Israelites All people (diaspora)

Note that the redactor later had to try and combine/reconcile these two views, although his position was much closer to P. Thus, he changed God’s name in Gen. 2 to Yahweh Elohim so it wouldn’t be so different from Gen. 1. He also added the Garden of Eden location pericope and the brief genealogy of Gen. 4 to try and make the local divinity of Gen. 2 appear as a worldwide creator.


(Don Huebner) #44

The post came out incorrectly as I placed the two author contributions in columns - and the result was the two jammed together without any spacing. I will redo it later today and try two sequential columns to clarify.


(George Brooks) #45

@heubnerdon

You can repair the spacing using periods ". . . . " insert as many as needed to re-create the separation that used to be there.


(Don Huebner) #46

i tried George’s suggestion and the columns were still messed up. So I will list the two columns in sequence. I will try this to list the primary differences of which I am aware between Gen. 1 and Gen. 2. They come from numerous sources plus my own studies:

Gen. 1
When written: exilic/post-exilic period
Author attribution: Priestly § source
Divine name: Elohim
Style: Literate (orderly, logical); very little etiology, anti-Enuma Elish
Theology: monotheistic
Divine entourage: possibly indicated by plural name
Divinity presence: transcendent
Creation activity: creation by spoken word
Neighbor view: None indicated
Created people: All people (diaspora)
Theodicy: Evil eternal

Gen. 2
When written; united monarchy
Author attribution: Yahwist (J)
Divine name: Yahweh (changed to Yahweh Elohim due to redactor)
Style: pre-literate, oral folklore, very etiological, modified mythic elements
Theology: monolatrous
Divine entourage: includes cherubim
Divinity presence: imminent
Creation activity: creation by physical activity (potter)
Neighbor view; “othering” of Canaanites (Cain/Abel)
Created peoples: Israelites (plus Canaanites(?))
Theodicy: man (Adam) disobeying divinity (Elohim)

Note that the redactor later had to try and combine/reconcile these two views, although his position was much closer to P. Thus, he changed God’s name in Gen. 2 to Yahweh Elohim so it wouldn’t be so different from Gen. 1. He also added the Garden of Eden location pericope and the brief genealogy of Gen. 4 to try and make the local divinity of Gen. 2 appear more like the worldwide creator of Gen. 1.