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Versions of the Creation Stories in Genesis

The creation stories in Genesis indicate that the human being was created by God and provide a specific description of this process. The account as it now stands was written by looking backward from Israel's experience of God's action in creating and saving it as a people, and the account is derived from different traditions which now present God as the utterly transcendent Creator and Lord of the entire cosmos. The story was written by more than one hand over a period of time, and different versions of the stories in Genesis were combined. The Yahwist tradition, as it is called, was the first to combine the national story of Israel with muythic stories about primeval history. The Priestly tradition has been attriubted to the priets of Jerusalem and takes a different point of view from the Yahwist tradition. The stories offer explanations on different levels for aspects of the human condition and for the establishment of a relationship.

Diversions between the Old Epic version and the Priestly version help to identify when passages were written and by whom. Williams (1972) states that even readers of an English translation can discern variations in style as well as inconsistencies and breaks in the text, such as those that involve references to God as Yahweh in such a way that it is implied that the name "Yahweh" was not known to Israel before this time. Scholars thus designate the writer of this passage as E and attribute to him many of the passages in Genesis which use "Elohim" rather than "Yahweh" to refer to the deity. Those passages using Yahweh are referred to the Yahwist source (J). According to this theory, the Yahwist knew nothing of the revelation of a new name at Sinai and thus used Yahweh throughout his narrative.

Then God said to Noah, "I have decided to put an end to all flesh, for the earth is filled with lawlessness because of them, so I am about to destroy both them and the earth."

The account...

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Versions of the Creation Stories in Genesis. (1969, December 31). In Retrieved 23:26, February 26, 2017, from