My wife has agreed to join me in this Bible study. We are using the Message Bible, the NIV study Bible, and the Wesley Study Bible, as well as http://bible.cc/ which is a great website with many other versions of verses, commentaries, and cross references. I also use the Essential Bible Handbook by Abingdon Press out of Nashville, Tenn 2009. I also have many other reference books that I will use from time to time.
The 2nd Chapter of Genesis is about the creation of man in the Garden of Eden and the creation of Eve. It is the second creation story of the Bible and does differ from the first in a few ways. In Chapter One it says that God created men and women and gave them dominion over the earth. This second tale of creation describes the Garden of Eden and the first man and the first woman.
It was a minor revelation to me that Adam was created to look after the earth, to till the soil. I had always believed and been taught that Adam and Eve did not have to work in the Garden, but that is not the case. It was Adam’s role to be the earth’s keeper, which implies work.
Another thing that I had read before, but really didn’t understand was that God created man physically, and then gave him the breath of life (which was the spiritual creation of man). The shaping of man from the dust links man forever to the earth as its caretaker. The breath of God forever linked man’s soul to God.
The name Eden actually translates as “delight.” The garden is described as a place of abundant fruits and animals with two very supernatural trees: The Tree of Life and the Tree of knowledge of Good and Evil. Many different ideas about this have emerged, some believing that the Tree of Life gave immortality and full sustenance to Adam, while the Tree of Knowledge was there so God could experience our obedience to His will.
Adam needed an equal companion to take care of the earth. So God created Eve from Adam’s rib. This forever binds man and woman together as one flesh, one body. It was revealing to me that several commentaries discuss how the original Mosaic writings regarding “helper as his partner” does not imply subordination or inferior rank, but rather another to help cultivate the earth and someone suitable for procreation of the species and marriage. With the creation of Eve, God is no longer a potter, but He rather creates a living work of art out of flesh. Women are definitely works of art to me and I love this reference.
Genesis 2:24 to 25 refers to marriage being defined as a reuniting of two parts of a single whole
So questions and thoughts that we shared after reading and studying this chapter:
1. I will admit that I do not see anything in Genesis that goes against my ideas of God’s creation, whether he did it by evolution, or by actually mixing clay. Perhaps I’ll grow in understanding but as of today, it doesn’t really matter to me how God did it, but that He did it.
2. The crux of the Gay marriage debate amongst Christians goes back to this Chapter of Genesis. Marriage is for procreation of the species and a reuniting of two parts into a single whole. (BTW I’m not stating my own beliefs about this, just pointing out where Christians get their ideas about Marriage from).
3. Tracey wanted to know about the Lilith story and we spent some time in study about Lilith, which was interesting, but neither of us thought it to be very important.
4. It is awesome to be able to pray with my wife, study the Bible, and learn with the one who completes me.
Until next time,
God Bless all of you.