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Bible as Literature Week 1 Notes

by: Asmita Joshi

Bible as Literature Week 1 Notes ENGLIT0597

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Asmita Joshi


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Notes from first week of class on Genesis
Bible as Literature
Class Notes
Bible English Literature Genesis
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This 4 page Class Notes was uploaded by Asmita Joshi on Wednesday January 13, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to ENGLIT0597 at a university taught by Brumble in Winter 2016. Since its upload, it has received 14 views.

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Date Created: 01/13/16
Genesis 1:1 - 4:27 First Creation Story 1.1 - 1.31 On the first day constructs the dome of creation. Separated the light from the darkness. On the second day he divided the waters and formed the firmament, which he called heaven. On the third day he created land or Earth, and called the waters Seas. He made grass, trees and plants. On the fourth day he created the stars, the moon and the sun On the fifth day he created birds and sea animals. On the sixth day he created land animals and man. Notes about First Creation Story ● God preexisted creation and created everything there is ● Ruach (Hebrew) means the spirit or the breath of God, that blows over the waters ● Dichotomous relationships: Good/bad Water/Land Light/Darkness ● 2.14 God created the sun, moon and stars on the 4th day, relatively late. Different from other religions where these were the focus of the belief and preexisted earth. Animists​- believe that the world is full of spirits. Mountains, seas, plants, animals all contain spirit powers. Emphasis on the idea that the moon is not God, a tree is not God either. Trying to push how the Animists were wrong. ● God only has to say something for it to happen. ● God is very orderly and has quality checks. “God saw that it was good” ● Everything has an order to creation. Plants before beasts. Water before fish. Earth before humans and creatures. ● God makes man in his image, so can infer what God looks like ● Humans and animals supposed to be vegetarians (changes after the flood) ● Ancient Hebrew had no punctuation, so that’s what each verse starts with a conjunction ● Why does God use the pronouns “we” and “our” 1. Imperial “we” 2. God has heavenly court and is referring to them Another Account of Creation 2.4 - 3.25 God created the Earth and the Heavens, and before there were any water, plants or animals, a spring came out of the earth. Man was created from dust. God planned the garden of Eden, and he put man and every tree inside the garden. Inside the garden he also put the Tree of life and the Tree of knowledge of good and evil in the garden. God commanded the man to not eat fruit from the tree of knowledge. God created a partner out of of man’s ribs and man named her woman. Man helped God name every living thing. Both were naked and were not ashamed Asmita Joshi Bible as Literature David Brumble Notes about 2nd Creation story ● Different names for God. Yehweh or Lord God. Much more personal name for God ● Progression of creation has less detail and much less hierarchical. Starts almost readily with man. ● No detailed description of how many days and order ● Man is made out of dust, which is much more humble than creating him in God’s image. ● Earthly quality of man suggests that he will work in the soil ● Man takes the breath of life, suggests that he is alive only when he is breathing ● Man and God have a much more personal relationship ○ Man helps with naming all the animals ● Less emphasis on good, not repeating it as often and no “God saw that it was good” ○ Suggests of evil or bad Issac La Preyere (1594-1676) ● French Protestant ● Argued that there were 2 creation stories meaning two separate creations happened ○ Idea spread quickly 1. First one for the rest of the world 2. Second one for Adam’s people, the Jews (people who look like Adam) Documentary Hypothesis ● Many different authors to the old testament 1. J - Jawist: Refers to God as Yahweh. Wrote the story of Adam and Eve. Master story teller. Better at showing stories. 2. E - Elohist: Refers to God as Elohim. Interested in dreams, angels and prophets 3. P - Priestly Source: Used priests and temple. Wrote the first creation story 4. R - Redactor 5. D - Deuteronomists The First Sin and It’s Punishment 3:1-3:24 The serpent is the most crafty animal that God made The woman eats the fruit from the tree of knowledge As soon as they eat the fruit, they immediately become aware of their nakedness and cover themselves. Aware of good and evil They hide themselves in the forest God finds them and asks them if they have eaten the food - redundant question Man immediately points to the woman and tells God it was her God curses the woman ● Curses her with the pain of child labor and birth ● Curses her with desire to be with a man and the discovery of sexuality ● Purpose of curse: desire -> sex -> childbirth ● Also curses her that her husband will rule over her God curses man ● Curses him to toil over the earth and you will return to dust when you die Asmita Joshi Bible as Literature David Brumble ● Curses him because he listened to his wife Adam names the woman Eve because she is the mother of all that is living God makes clothes for the two Cast out of the garden of eden, so they cannot eat from the Tree of Life, to grant them immortality God has cherubs guard the entrance to the garden - creatures of combined human, animal, bird characteristics Notes about The First Sin and Its Punishment ● It is implied that they understand good and evil right away because they immediately recognize they are naked - storytelling method ● Parental Traits of God and Childlike Behavior of Adam and Eve ○ God asks a question he knows the answer to ○ Adam and Eve hiding in the forest after feeling ashamed ○ God gives them a warning before hand to not eat the fruit. ○ After they are cast out, God still provides for them and clothes them. ● When they are cast out of Eden and they cannot gain immortality from the tree of life, God creates a division between the divine and human. Implying the divine is reached with the knowledge of good and bad along with immortality ● Adam only names Eve after she is cursed with childbearing ● Juxtaposed representation of God in first and second creation story. God is still all powerful and omniscient but is also a father that cares for his children --> more personal name for God given, Yahweh Cain Murders Abel 4.1 - 4:16 Adam and Eve have two children Cain and Abel. Cain works in the field and Abel is a shepard God doesn’t accept Cain’s sacrifice of fruit from his field, but accepts Abel’s sacrifice of firstborn lambs Implies that God prefers Abel and his offering, not just Abel’s offering Cain takes Abel into the field and kills him God immediately asks Abel where Abel is and what he has done Curses Cain to never be able to work the field again and casts him out as a fugitive Also God says that no one can kill Cain, or they will suffer as well Notes about Cain Murders Abel ● Parallels between Adam and Eve and Cain and Abel stories ○ Theme of temptation, sin and punishment ○ God again asks questions he knows the answers to ○ Cain becomes fugitive and is cast out ○ Sets earth against him, as thorns and thistles against Adam Asmita Joshi Bible as Literature David Brumble Asmita Joshi Bible as Literature David Brumble


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