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Book of Genesis: Theological Themes - Essay Example

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Book of Genesis: Theological Themes The importance of the Book of Genesis for a Christian believer cannot be overlooked, for it contains the core teachings of Christian religion on such issues as creation of the world by the God, the nature and origins of human sin, God’s judgment on it, and the essence of Divine grace…
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Book of Genesis: Theological Themes
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Download file to see previous pages The very beginning of the first verses in Genesis is a testimony to this unfolding principle: “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth” (Genesis 1:1 New International Version). The newly created world is however empty, with only “the Spirit of God” watching over the primordial waters. Therefore it was God’s wish to make His world more amenable (as such phrases as: “And God saw that it was good” (e.g. Genesis 1:18 New International Version) point at) that animated the Creation and made the world the one we are currently accustomed to. The main aspect of the Creation story as laid down in Genesis is its emphasis on the correlation between God’s works and the principle of necessity. That is, the creations of God are to serve some functions in the whole world order. So, for instance, the Book of Genesis indicates that the stars and other celestial bodies were created “to separate the day from the night”, as well as to “serve as signs to mark sacred times, and days and years” (1:14-15). Likewise, the creation of animals and plants proceeds “according to their kinds”, i.e. in accordance with some pre-destined plan or purpose. Finally, but most importantly, the issue of human beings’ creation is posed in the Book of Genesis in a rather mysterious way. The humans are to be created in “our [i.e., God’s] image, our likeness”, to “rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky” – in short, over all the other living creatures of the Earth. In that sense, humans are viewed as God’s special creatures that are to be stewards and owners of the nature God created for them (Arnold & Beyer, 2008, p.67). They are to “be fruitful and increase in numbers” (Genesis 1:28 New International Version), indicating that human pro-creation is viewed by God as a thing of utmost importance. To summarize, the image of God Creator in the Book of Genesis is strongly connected with the idea of providentiality of the Divine plan for Creation itself. In this sense, the world is conceptualized as a heritage of human species bestowed upon it by Lord God. This idea stands in direct contradiction to some modern “deep ecology” philosophies and points directly at the human-centered approach typical for a Biblical view on environment. The Christians may use it to counter some of more pessimistic outlooks that are currently widespread in our society. The ‘seriousness’ of sin The issue of Adam and Eve’s Original Sin has always irked the theologians, for it seemingly comes into conflict with the usual assertion of God’s eternal magnanimity and compassion. Surely, the harsh punishment for eating from the ‘tree of knowledge of good and evil” was far in excess of the deed itself? However, the more precise theological analysis of the narrative of the Original Sin reveals the more serious connotations of the act of eating from this Tree from the Biblical point of view. In fact, the fruit of the Tree is said to grant the qualities of “God, knowing good and evil” (Genesis 3:5 New International Version). Consequently, the eating of the forbidden fruit is more than just an act of childish disobedience; it is an attempt, whether conscious or not, of breaching the correct order of the functioning of the world. Subsequently, an act of expulsion of Adam and Eve ...Download file to see next pages Read More
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