Posts Tagged ‘authorship’

Why does the bible tell us two slightly different creation accounts?

January 5, 2010

There are a couple reasons for this, neither is exclusive of the other.

1) The two creation accounts tell us different information.   The first account is a larger over-arching account that covers all of creation, while the second account focuses more on the creation of humans, and specifically the man and the woman.

2) The other reason is that these two accounts may have come from  dual sources.  Authorship for Genesis is attributed most often to Moses, but obviously the contents of Genesis happened before he was alive.  Moses likely collected these accounts that had been handed down from his ancestors, some written perhaps some oral.  And it is possible that these two accounts originated from two different sources.  In other words, authors who had been inspired long before Moses, wrote or told different versions of the creation accounts.  Then, generations later, Moses played the roll of God’s editor, and he put in Genesis the accounts of creation that were true to communicating the truth.

Neither account contradicts the other.  They just give us deeper insight into who God is and who we are.

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Who wrote the book of Genesis?

January 5, 2010

First of all, we hold that the Bible was divinely inspired, in other words, God wrote it through people.  So at the end of the day, whatever human hands wrote Genesis, it was inspired by God.  This is a critical part of our faith, see About the Bible.

Tradition holds that Moses wrote the book of Genesis and the other books of the Law, or Torah (Genesis-Deuteronomy).  Yet clearly, Moses lived long after the creation accounts so he could not have written eyewitness accounts of creation.  Thus it is likely

Tradition holds that Moses is the author of Genesis and the other books of the Law.

that there were several generations of oral tradition.  Even this though is debatable, as written tradition may have existed earlier then Moses.  Whether it was written or oral Moses is traditionally the one credited with putting the Torah together for the first time.  It is important though that when we consider the idea of ‘oral tradition’ that we understand that it was a much more sophisticated tradition then we can comprehend.  Our spiritual ancestors used very unique memory devices to ensure the proper passing of history from generation to generation.  They sang songs, they wrote poems, and structured stories in a way that allowed them to remember.  You’ll see the depth of details in places like the genealogies in Genesis 5.

One of the toughest things to understand is how the creation account could have been recorded, remembered, or understood.  Rather then getting into the different areas of debate (between believers, and between believers and non believers) I would rather emphasize the fact that God was there, and he communicated with his people.  That is important for us, and while it may be difficult for some of us to understand or swallow, it is also a great comfort to me that God does speak to his people, and inspire his people.