Thursday, October 19, 2006

Authorship of Genesis

Who wrote Genesis? Tradition points to Moses. Can we trust tradition? What does Scripture say? In youth group last night we dug into Scripture to see whom it pointed to as the author of Genesis. First, we made some general assumptions about the author. For example:
- He had to have had a lot of alone time with God to really know the entire creation story.
- He had to be well educated. Smart.
- A Hebrew who understood the language and how to write.
- Organized.
- Thoughtful.

We dug into several Old Testament passages (mostly in Exodus) and learned:
*Click on the Scriptures to read them
- Moses was well educated in Egypt and later in the desert by God. (Exodus 2:1-10)
- He was a Hebrew. (Exodus 2)
- He had 40 days alone with God on the mountain. (Exodus 24:12-18)
- God, face to face, spoke to Moses. (Exodus 33:7-11)
- After receiving the Lord’s commands, Moses gave them all to the Israelites. (Exodus 34:32)
- Even Jesus mentions Moses as an author of Old Testament books. (Luke 24:27)
- Paul does the same thing. (Acts 26:22)

So, was Moses the author of Genesis? It seems pretty clear where the tradition comes from and why we have it. What do you think? Could it be possible that Moses had help writing some of the Old Testament books? Could it be possible he had nothing to do with writing any of the Old Testament books? What do you think?

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Imago Dei (Part 2)

Being created in God’s image implies:

1. We treat all human beings with respect. If you read further into Genesis (Chap. 6,7,8,9) you would come across a story about a man named Noah. He built the massive wooden boat for all animals and his family to protect them from the flood. During Noah’s time all flesh was corrupt on earth. God wasn’t happy with His creation and was about to destroy everything, but He found an obedient man that He could rebuild humanity through (Noah). After the flood, God told Noah,

“Whoever sheds the blood of man, by man shall his blood be shed;
for in the image of God has God made man.”

It’s interesting to note God’s reminder to Noah that man still carries the image of God. This should teach us that humanity is priceless to God. Everyone, even terrorists, was made in the image of God. Do you believe that?

2. It also implies that we have a responsibility to take care of God’s planet. He put Adam and Even in the Garden of Eden to cultivate and work it. He asked them to rule over His creation. Do you believe that?

Your thoughts?

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Imago Dei (Genesis 1)

The imago Dei is Latin for God’s image. Genesis 1 teaches us that we’re made in God’s image. Genesis 1:26 reads,

“Let us make man/woman in Our image, according to Our likeness.”

This short sentence packs so much truth it’s overwhelming. What does it mean? What does it imply? What does it teach? Did we lose this image during the Fall? The book of Genesis is helpful in that it does offer an explanation of what it means to be made in the image of God. Here’s what it teaches:

1. God only created humans in His image. (Genesis 1:26-27)

2. After creating man/woman in His image, God tells them to rule over the earth, blesses them, tells them to be fruitful and multiply, and to fill the earth and subdue it. (Genesis 1:26-28)

3. If we read a little further into the book of Genesis (Chapter 5) we learn a little bit more about what it means to made in the image of God. We also see that man/woman haven’t lost completely the image of God (in them) during the Fall (Genesis 3). Genesis 5:1-3 reveal that Adam’s own son (Seth) was created in Adam’s image. So, we see a comparison of the divine/human image to the parent/child image.

What does all of this teach us? Here’s a short compilation of what we can deduct from Genesis about being made in God’s image and likeness:
- We are His representatives on earth
- We have a responsibility to rule over the earth
- We were created for relationships
- We can think and reason (can animals do this?)
- We can create (e.g., imagination, new life)

This is all I have time to write now, but we’ll continue this next week and prowl further into the implications of being created in the image of God.