Today we have multiple generations that are
diversified more than at any time in the past and so to analyze and re-apply information written so far in the past is both
complex and difficult. Perhaps, since so much of the bible is biblical narrative, understanding the literature and the approaches
to dissembling the information and applying it can help our modern generations.
With this in mind I reviewed and considered three books:
Bouteneff, Peter C. Beginnings
: Ancient Christian Readings of the Biblical Creation Narratives, Grand rapids, Michigan : Baker Academic, 2008.
Amit, Yairah, Reading Biblical Narratives: Literary Criticism and the Hebrew Bible,
Minneapolis : Fortress Press, 2001.
Kinnamen, David. Lyons, Gabe.
unChristian: What a New Generation Really Thinks about Christianity... and Why It Matters, Grand Rapids, Michigan : BakerBooks,
Bouteneff was chosen since this was a unique opportunity to not only address one of the most
fought over narrative portions of the bible, but because he was unveiling how this subject had been addressed over the ages.
Yairah provides the tools, methods and processes to review this as literature and Kinnamen provides the statistical information
and classification schemes into which the applicability of this information would need to reside.
The material and subjects are diverse, but there is a common theme that
runs through the works, one of the complexity of God’s work and the care with which we as humans have to approach and
expose the content. Content is time dependent. Bouteneff makes this patently obvious and Kinnamen points out that our times
are complex, diverse and dangerously close to becoming pivotal for the Christian world at large. While his research is based
in the U.S.A., we cannot neglect the warning bell he rings since we can consider that the modern “scientific”
approach of first world nations is tracking similarly across the world.
So what do we learn from the past? How do we gain value from the simple subject housed in
chapters one to three of Genesis? Can we take the lessons of the past and use them effectively? If so, how do we interpret
them into our context?
starts off by pointing the Genesis creation is broken into two parts. The first which comprises Genesis 1 through to Genesis
2:3 is given the title the Hexaemeron and refers to God’s work on the six days of creation. He points out that,
“The Hexaemeron narrative emerges as the
work of the alleged “Priestly writer” (P) and the paradise narrative as that of a less distinct, probably
earlier “Jahwist” (J). The particulars of Wellhausen’s Documentary Hypothesis have been debated and challenged,
yet the respective details and narrative styles leave no doubt that we are dealing with two related stories or an overarching
event described from two perspectives.”
His statement bears
some scrutiny since I do not subscribe to Wellhausen’s Documentary Hypothesis, rather believing that it is one author
who is perhaps using literary techniques to describe two different aspects of the creation in two different ways. I can however
agree that we are dealing with two related stories, but to describe it as an overarching event is again making the assumption
that the central event being described is the same. While the event has overlapping components, the pure fact that it is repeated
seems to me to force the conclusion that it is two different points that are being made, so to see this as portraits’
of the one event may in fact cloud the issue.
The second narrative is referred to by Bouteneff as the “Paradise narrative” and this covers the remainder
of chapter two through to chapter three. Disconnecting these two narratives from interpretive discourse, Bouteneff explains
the former as “showing” an interest in the cultic order and points out that the days are not historical or chronological.
Again I have to point out that a statement such as this cannot be proved and is an opinion. I do however agree the movement
of the narrative is one from chaos to an orderly cosmos.
The latter narrative is referred to by Bouteneff as “telling” from a future perspective. The
narrative introduction, or exposition as Yairah would call it, refers back to the time of the first narrative. This again
shows a difference in intent between these two narratives.
When care is taken not to interpret Genesis in light of later discussions, some rather astounding aspects
can be noted.
The first day in
the Hexaemeron occurs before the sun and moon are created resulting in an understanding that the word “Day” as
we interpret it cannot be the simple interpretation of 24 hour periods that we know today.
Then, the name “Adam” is clearly described by Bouteneff as being
deliberately used by the writer in a way in which it’s multiple meanings are being used simultaneously in the text.
It is used similar to the way we use puns today, but not used with the intent to provide amusement as a pun is, but rather
to provide additional layers of meaning. “Adam” in the Hebrew can refer to the individual person (not necessarily
male or female) and also to mankind as a group. It could also mean a person with the proper name of Adam. The perceptions
of a first century Hebrew person would have also tied the words meaning to that of a forefather of the Hebrew nation, and
possibly as a reference to a land mentioned later in the bible as Adamah. These meanings are contextually combined by the
author in deliberate ways to convey complex thinking patterns, helping the reader understand the abstract subject being imparted.
We have lost these nuances today!
we distil the narrative down to early humanity and what we know that the initial creation of individuals and that humankind
was not necessarily only a single male member, it changes the understandings somewhat. That these humans were given the responsibility
of the cooperative planning and management of Earths resources, that they were naked without shame, and were commanded by
God to procreate and perform the tasks he had given them, adds in the overall understanding of humankinds original tasks.
Bouteneff points out that nowhere in Genesis 1 to 3 does it suggest the first humanity was immortal! It is the expulsion from
the garden, and the limiting of their access to the “tree of life” that limits them to their existing degenerative
condition. Man was created for life and is the epitome of immortality intent failing to achieve its purpose, as Adam transgresses
in this first chapter of life. Bouteneff also points out that the “fall of man” is nowhere mentioned in the accounts,
and is a later construct, not in the content of the Genesis text itself.
Bouteneff also points out that this story (or these two stories) are only the first in a large
number of narratives about the decline of humankind. He discusses the fact that these other narratives (particularly that
of Noah’s flood) also show judgment and dealing with man’s demise. He points out that non-biblical texts such
as the Atrahasis and Enuma Elish epic support this decline motif at these early times.
Perhaps to fully comprehend this isolationist view of Genesis, one would
need to also understand the literary components of this same text. By applying the five levels of a narrative that Yairah
elaborates as a “pediment” structure, one can learn more about the text by treating it as literature. She uses
this term “pediment” since the phases according to her are “exposition”, an increasing “complication”
followed by the “change”, and decreasing or “unraveling” to the “ending” with the complication,
change and unraveling being analogous to the triangular rise and fall of that Greek building element.
When the Hexaemeron is reviewed with this perspective,
and when additionally chiasmic components are applied to the structure, the tip of the triangle or the apex of the narrative
is seen to reside in Genesis 1:27 which states
“ So God created man in his own image,
in the image of God he created him;
male and female he created them. “
This key central portion can be seen to be chiasmic itself with the central concept that needs
to be understood as communicated is “in the image of God he created him”. The two outer bracketing sentence
constructs make up the second point that also works with itself “So God created man in his image, male and female
he created them”.
bracketing chiasmic structure extends outwards from this point and it is of some interest to see that sections that go together
appear to be as follows:
1:26 and 1:28(a) – Mankind’s responsibility
Genesis 1:20 to 25 and 1:28(b) – Fish, birds and living creatures established
Genesis 1:11 and 1:29 – Vegetation established
Genesis 1:2 and 1:31 – beginning and end of Earth
creation. (bookends of creation)
1:1 and 2:1 – The physical universe creation started and completed.
To fail to understand that Genesis 1:1 is the “exposition”, that the verses from
1:2 to 26 are the “complication”, Genesis 1:27 is the “change”, versus 1: 28 to 31 the “unraveling”,
and Genesis 2:1 the “ending”, means we miss key constructs the author established. This structural analysis helps
understand the text in itself without the support of the rest of the bible. This is not to say the rest of the bible is not
important, it is critically important, but it is good to look at the text in isolation before layering further meanings onto
Structures like this do not
develop by themselves, they are constructed, and so this means we must ask why and for what purpose. The purpose is clear
from the positioning of the information, it is to show “God” created, and man is “in the image of God”.
The exact means of creation are
not detailed! Bouteneff also points out there was no reason for the original author to prove God created as this was an assumed
fact for everyone who read these texts up until the time of Christ, and for a good way beyond this point as well. It is a
modern question, that of the existence of a creator! Ancients knew a creator existed!
The paradise narrative when deconstructed using the pediment structure reveals
the following sections,
Exposition – Genesis
2:3 to 2:14 – locating the narrative in the creation landscape
· Complication – Genesis 2:14 to Genesis 3:4 – God
and mankind’s relationships and the key role of women.
· Change – Genesis 3:5 to 3:7 – Mankind’s opposition
to God’s desires
Unraveling – Genesis
3:8 to Genesis 3:20 – Snake, woman and man’s relationship with God degenerates.
· Ending – Genesis 3:21 to Genesis 3:24 – Gods protection,
covering and re-location of man.
analysis of the text without reference to the rest of the biblical literature shows us clearly the key concept of this second
narrative is humankind’s opposition to God’s desires. It is interesting that the beginning locates man and the
ending re-locates man, The complication and unraveling both have to do with relationships. This narrative is less focused
on any order of creation and more on relationships between God and his creation as well as the cause and effects of the interactions
This is therefore the
base information to be built upon by subsequent ages of scholars as they attempt to unravel the texts meaning. Bouteneff describes
how the Hebrew language was translated into Greek as the Septuagint. This in itself provided for subtle changes to the story
since converting the Hebrew to Greek uncovered decisions that had to be made. For example there was no specific Greek construct
for Adam, so the translators used two different Greek constructs and decided when each would be used. Bouteneff also points
out that Tobit 8:6 refers to Adam and Eve as those “from whom the race of humankind has sprung”, Jubilees recasts the creation stories, 2 Esdras makes the astonishing point that the
garden of Eden was planted before the Earth appeared and that Adam was named before given the breath of life, 2 Baruch points
out Adam is shown the heavenly Jerusalem, that he is the father of sin, but we each are the authors of our own “fall”.
These are not considered books of our canon, but they
do provide insights onto the thinking at the times they were written. In summary, before Christ, Genesis narratives were not
there to describe the cause of the disease of sin, or death, until well after the exile. The key rise of this knowledge started
in the second and first centuries before Christ.
The next most impacting change in the emphasis of the Genesis narratives came when Philo introduced the allegorical
meaning of the works. Philo lived while Christ walked this Earth. Philo introduced the start of a class consciousness related
to understanding God’s word. Here it was pointed out that specific people would understand the allegorical meanings
of the bible texts while others could only understand the literal meaning. Subtly a class distinction was arising between
those “in the know” and those identified as lesser capable outsiders. Philo totally disregards any timeline of
Genesis or that it is a physical garden, in his analysis and, according to Bouteneff, comes to five main conclusions:”(1) God exists, (2) God is one,(3) the cosmos exists,(4) the cosmos is one, and
cares for the cosmos.”
A good summary, but some
of the allegorical components used to get to this are dubious from my perspective.
Now we come to the New Testament thinking and of this perhaps the apostle
Paul is the key contributor, pointing out God calls things into being out of nothing, that Adam is a forefather and ancestor of the human race, and contrasts “Adam”
the “old man” with “Christ” the “New man”. Paul also indicates that Jesus did the creating. Paul seems to mainly have used the Septuagint (LXX). It is of note that again there
was no need to point out to Paul’s readers that God was the creator, because that would have been assumed. Paul uses
the fact that Jesus is the creator of all to extend the gospel to all men rather than to Israel alone. It is also important
to see that Paul does not allegorize Jesus. He points out sin is collective in meaning representing the combined sins of all
people. He does not propound that there was “original sin” by Adam that somehow infects the human race, but does
point out with the provision of the law that sin increases it’s penetration of humankind. Paul and the pastoral epistles
agree that man was “created” first then woman.
Now we consider the second century understanding. Justin Martyr expands on the type and antitype concepts
to extend the allegorical interpretations. He points out the plural form of “us” in reference to God in Genesis,
and stresses Adam was the first sinner. Melito of Sardis agrees with much of this, but significantly excludes Adam from his
list of the “types” of Christ. Theophilus of Antioch introduces the importance of discerning myth from history,
but gets lost in allegory as well. Ireneus of Lyons comments on Genesis by pointing out that Adam in Genesis 1 is the same
Adam as in Genesis 2. He however doesn’t see Adam as royal or to blame for human sin and in fact blames Eve for Adams
The key aspect of these
times was the need to use these texts to combat the influences of gnosticism, logic and aesthetics. In many ways they considered
Adam and Eve like simplistic children who did things that they should only have done later. They support that the creation
occurs from nothing (ex nihilo) and use allegory to argue for specific aspects of interpretation. In my opinion they misused
As we move into the third
century with the key commentators on Genesis being Tertullian and Origen, the creation from nothing(ex nihilo) is firmly established
and the levels of exegetical interpretation increases. Origen propounds three levels of meaning, the bodily level which is
the lowest and most carnal of interpretive levels. This is primarily the literal meanings of the text. It was also called
the historical level. His next level was the soul or psychic level and his most abstract level was the spiritual level at
which the allegorical and typological interpretations were exposed. Origen even believed that specific “stumbling blocks”
were inserted in the texts by Holy Spirit such as the “morning” of the first day before the sun was created. He
allegorized paradise to a huge extent and in fact ridiculed anyone who took Genesis 1 as literal. According to Bouteneff he
talks of “humans fall” rather than “Adam’s fall”. Origen sees Adam as the antitype of Christ
since he led many to “death” while Christ leads to “life”.
Basically the allegorical meaning of the texts was taking over from the
literal meaning by this time. The sense of the human fall was increasing and was at times being attributed to the sin committed
in the Garden of Eden.
As we enter
the fourth century, the Cappadocian fathers and others start to apply their abilities to discerning the meaning of Genesis.
Why was man created and how did we get to where we are today? The question is answered by leaders of that time such as Athanasius
of Alexandria, Basil of Caesarea, Gregory of Nazianzus and Gregory of Nyssa.
The overall conclusions are the world was not created randomly but for a purpose, a training
place for souls, that it was created out of nothing. The “days” really show God’s systematic structures
rather than specific times. They are cycles rather than specific periods. More and more the analogy of Adam to us is extended
as a viable option and the sin is indicated to be ours. The story of Genesis is becoming the story of humankind.
Gregory of Nyssa introduces two questions according
to Bouteneff. These are:
“how can God have created a humanity that suffers and
sins and still be considered good, all-knowing, and all-powerful?”
· “how can the human person, who is mortal, passionate, and gendered, be said to be in the image of
the immortal, dispassionate, and genderless God?”
He points out that we are in God’s image but also have added some characteristics of human nature.
The century ends with many understanding God is the
one who provides, that we need to distinguish between God’s “timeliness” and our chronological time. The
rule of faith is understood to be mandatory in correct interpretation and is in fact the hermeneutical key which in turn opens
Perhaps it is now worthwhile
considering what Yairah discussed regarding the narrator and the role of God in our understanding of a literary text. The
leading character in these initial stories is God himself, although this is a difficult character to develop since we see
the character developing only by the intervention and supervision activities that occur. God is the focus of interest in these
chapters and present in much of the writing. Without this character the story would fall apart and have not central theme.
The difficulty is that there is
a kaleidoscope of sub-themes and it is in these we often falter and become mired. The application of post Genesis writing
and ideas influence the generations of readers in their interpretations and understandings and worse than this, the environments
within which people historically have found themselves, influenced the interpretations.
Today we live in a very different world. The way that the young generations
react to these creation concepts is layered in non-religious evaluation techniques. Logic has grown from a whelp to monster,
and criticisms are sharp, thorough, and pointed. The church is coming under considerable attack due the positions, or lack
thereof, in many areas of life. The attitudes and questions with which Genesis is approached could never have been considered
of, or thought of, from the time of authorship up until the last century.
Kinnamen’s book, unChristian, shows how the attitude to Christianity is changing considerably.
The young people are viewing those of us in the church as pushing outsiders away through our opinions and attitudes. Unfortunately
many of the criticisms of the church as gathered by the statistics of Kinnamen can be reviewed in light of the content of
Genesis, and understood from that perspective. Darwin with his treatise on Evolution changed some things forever.
Unfortunately this has been underscored by failure of our churches to stay current and accurate
with regards to the happenings. Commentary is confused and conflicting within the church and reasonably aligned and consistent
outside the church. As such, the youth today level severe criticisms at the church, and these perceptions are what we need
to address to enable progress to occur. Unfortunately, we do this rather badly as Kinnamen alludes in his opening chapter
on Christianity and the new directions. We have an image problem that needs to be addressed. This is very true when we apply
these criticisms to Genesis chapters one to three.
Let’s consider the six key criticisms leveled at Christians as researched by Kinnamen in light of Genesis.
These are general criticisms and I am adapting them so that they will each be discussed together with the relevance to Genesis.
The six failure points are that outsiders see when looking
at Christians are that we are:
2. Too focused on getting converts
5. Too political.
Kinnamen’s research provides analysis of this in relation to four different generational groups that he calls, Mosaics
(born between 1984 and 2002), Busters (born between 1965 and 1983), Boomers (ages forty-two to sixty) and Elders (ages sixty-one-plus),
we will simply consider the Mosaics and Busters conclusions on Christianity(I will term these the “youth”) and
how they can be fortified or relaxed based on the current approaches to Genesis chapters one to three.
Kinnamen points out the youth consider Christians hypocritical,
which is seen as having double standards. This he indicates is tied into self preservation from younger generations perspective
and is seen to be part of “protecting-your-image-at-all-costs”. How do we deal with this as
Christians? Particularly when he also points out that the statistical data indicates that Christians have no significant lifestyle
changes to that of outsiders. The area that I want to investigate in Genesis is related, particularly to the Hexaemeron and
its conflicts with the science of our day. The outside youth perceive the views of the Christians as rejecting science “facts’
and yet propounding a ludicrous set of postulates that cannot be supported. Yet, they fail to see Darwin’s own criticism
is incredibly valid and often do no actually correctly know it. Few understand Darwin himself felt there was a gap and stated:
“On this doctrine of the extermination of an
infinitude of connecting links, between the living and extinct inhabitants of the world, and at each successive period between
the extinct and still older species, why is not every geological formation charged with such links? Why does not every collection
of fossil remains afford plain evidence of the gradation and mutation of the forms of life? We meet with no such evidence,
and this is the most obvious and forcible of the many objections which may be urged against my theory. Why, again, do whole
groups of allied species appear, though certainly they often falsely appear, to have come in suddenly on the several geological
stages? Why do we not find great piles of strata beneath the Silurian system, stored with the remains of the progenitors of
the Silurian groups of fossils? For certainly on my theory such strata must somewhere have been deposited at these ancient
and utterly unknown epochs in the world's history. I
can answer these questions and grave objections only on the supposition that the geological record is far more imperfect than
most geologists believe”
have not yet been adequately answered. However the youth are correct in pointing out our hypocrisy. They
exclaim that when a Christian gets ill, that same person is only too glad to get services using the exact same scientific
technology and tools that these same Christians have rejected in the arguments around the scientific dating of creation events.
This is an example of a significant double minded, or dual standard approach that rarely bothers the conservative Christian,
but fundamentally disturbs these outsiders.
It is necessary to bring to the fore our intelligence and knowledge to bear to show how these can be aligned.
We need to understand that we have brothers and sisters in Christ that live and work in these areas, and need to start to
utilize their expertise to consolidate a good logical message to the outsider youth if we are not to appear hypocritical in
our interpretation of Genesis 1-3. The suppressed hatred evidenced between people in these areas within the Christian world
tarnishes the Christian witness.
Kinnamen says “The problem is not fundamentally hypocrisy. We're all hypocrites at some level. The problem is the
air of moral superiority many of us carry around. We stop acknowledging imperfections in our lives”. We need more
love compassion and respect for those who criticize us!
Kinnamen’s chapter regarding our focus on winning souls rather than building disciples has little
correlation to the creation stories, with the exception that we need to perhaps re-focus on the fact that it is not only Adam’s
sin that “infects” the human race ( a point the youth will take as condemnation without reason) but rather that
sin upon entering the world in the first transgressions of humankind enabled us each to be responsible for our own failures
and sins, and since we know there is no-one than lives a sinless life, we are now all subject to a need for God’s grace
as a result of our own inabilities. This is a logical and simple fact that can be presented in a way that is acceptable to
youth. Then we need to take Kinnamen’s advice and point out to the outsider youth that they are not living successfully
until they understand the full meaning of discipleship which is vital, spiritual and ongoing process of which they can freely
Kinnamen also points out
that outsider youth are highly relational and will fiercely protect their relationships against others. This is no more true,
than when they perceive the church as being vindictive and prejudiced against homosexuals. This is something that is propounded
by the Genesis teachings interpreted by Christians pointing out that God said that “For this reason a man will leave
his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh.” This and other texts do speak to marriage as between a male and female, and we as Christians need to stand fast to what
God’s word says, but while the Genesis explains this aspect, it we should not be coming across as “arrogant,
self righteous, and uncaring”. Kinnamen points out that the new generations are making up a greater share of the
public and will enable homosexuals to get greater rights soon. We must be careful of presenting the church as unloving to
these people who need God’s love desperately, and we need to acknowledge the complexity of the issue, engage in discussions
on the topic, while having the right perspective.
Compassion and grace should be used to win respect while we uphold the truths in the bible without escalating
one sin to a higher position of evil over another. Lies, extramarital sex, and homosexual sex are not tiered into different
levels of sin, so we should not treat sinners differently or with distain. We are all sinners!
The key criticism of the youth when it comes to Genesis 1-3 is that Christians
are too sheltered. In genesis terms the youth’s perspective is we do not know and understand the facts of science when
referring to the texts in the bible. This is unfortunately one area in which I do agree with the outsider youth, having spent
considerable time in this specific area. Incompetent arguments with little substantiation and understanding of the total context
of the discussions are lacking within the average church attendee. Probably because their teachers are very poorly informed
in this area! Few Christians can explain the chiasmus inherent in Genesis 1 and less have any idea of how to dissemble the
narrative of Paradise in Genesis 2-3. The age of the earth is 6000 years to some Christians (and I don’t disagree that
this is possible, but by now we know it’s highly unlikely), and it is a proven fact that the original calculation was
flawed from the start[dating and numerical systems obviously varied ). Christians also bring out arguments against carbon
dating as if they understand it, and it is patently obvious they don’t because the criticisms don’t tie into the
known aspects such as the correlation going back for over 6000 years of carbon dating to tree ring correlations. A physical
reality against which this method has been conclusively correlated! Then aspects such as the lake in Japan that has yearly
bands that go back 55000years is not considered as valid and is disregarded out of hand. The fact that we gladly
use medical procedures and generate power using the same technology we reject in dating is hardly respected by many Christians.
If God blesses us with this technology, how come we say it’s true in one context and lies in another! Can we not agree
to rather postpone opinions until further knowledge is obtained and meanwhile seek truth? God is truth is he not? Sheltered
living with double standards is the criticism leveled at us by outsider youth. We need to get more up to date, spend time
with honest logical evaluation of truth, and then explain our bible with accuracy. There is no way that science disproves
Genesis 1 to 3, and in studies over the past years it has become more evident that there is more agreement that we thought
possible. We need to present good facts that youth can understand with love and compassion for our critics. We need to shrug
off the sheltered and old fashioned perceptions the youth have of us with depth of study, love and compassion, as well as
a willingness to listen without preconceptions. Our traditions are causing us to resist progress (which is often provided
to us by Christian biblical archeologists and Christian geologists) in a way analogous to the way allegory damaged the interpretation
of Genesis 1-3 for centuries.
political level of the arguments around Genesis 1-3 has also been escalating. Kinnamen warns us that while we need to be politically
active we must not be seen to be promoting right wing politics at the cost of disrespecting others or finding solutions to
complex issues. The question of evolution has been tempered with the promotion of the need to teach intelligent design. The
number of Christians who fail to see this as a step forward and are vindictively critical of intelligent design without understanding
the overall context is astonishing. We need to counter inaccurate arguments with logically correct ones. It is our method
and attitude that Kinnamen points out need to be changed to correctly change perceptions of youth from negative to positive.
Kinnamen suggests we should be cautious about too much emphasis on politics since we are to win at the relationship level,
and politics can divide. We need to respect those who go against us and beware of myopia. Our society needs the truth, but
endowed with respect, compassion, and a keen watching out for our own hypocrisy.
Finally we need to be sure that we are not judgmental. If history has taught us anything,
it is when we make decisions as a church to exclude certain communities, like the early church looked down on those who didn’t
agree to allegorical interpretations, we must be careful. We must be sure not to be judgmental and should ensure that grace
is forefront in our dealing with truth. Kinnamen points out that too often we are criticized as coming to the wrong verdict,
at the wrong time, with the wrong motivation while favoring our “in-crowd”.
It is critical that we understanding what we read, determining the meaning
and are able to rework it to apply it within our modern culture that is changing dynamically. Busters and Mosaics view life
differently from Boomers and Elders. Absolute statements without backup are rejected, and we need to build
our reserves of intelligent loving arguments to change the tide of disillusionment sweeping through our outsider world as
they view the church. Part of understanding this requires a review of the reasons for our creation. The
failures in the understanding of the early church on this subject should act as a warning sign. Today, our multiple generations
need to analyze and re-apply information written in past millennia so as to re-evaluate it in our new context since as hermeneutics
points out, the context of the author and readers differ. Perhaps since so much of the bible is biblical narrative, a deeper
understanding of literature and the approaches to dissembling the information and applying it can help our modern generations.
At least, when it comes to addressing who we are, why we are here, what ultimately it is important to understand and do, such
an approach is warranted!
Bouteneff, Peter C. Beginnings : Ancient Christian Readings of the Biblical
Creation Narratives, Grand rapids, Michigan : Baker Academic, 2008, Kindle Location 242.
Bouteneff, Peter C. Beginnings : Ancient Christian Readings
of the Biblical Creation Narratives, Kindle Loc. 569-71 Romans 4:17, New International Version of
the bible, Zondervan, 1984 Darwin, Charles, On the
Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, or the Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life. London:
John Murray, Albemarle Street, 1859 , chapter 14.