Wednesday, January 04, 2006


I hope everyone's holidays were merry. I took a small sabbatical. So I am going to attempt to get back into the swing of things with the ol' blog.

One of my new years resolutions is to start again reading Torah from beginning to end every night. I am not Jewish. I love reading the insights and studying the commentary.

I am using the Guenther Plaut edition. It is a liberal version. I appreciate that viewpoint although I am a very conservative type of guy.

What follows is the information I have learned and opinions that I have formed from this study. I am starting with the Hebrew Book of Bereshit which we refer to as Genesis. Bereshit literally means Beginning and is taken from the first word of the Hebrew text.

Before there was a written Torah, there was the tradition of Oral Torah. Generations upon generations handed down the spoken word and the traditions to their progeny.

Stories of creation abound through differing cultures. Many are similar. Some differ. We consider them to be myths. But what about Genesis? Could we be Christians and accept the account of creation to by myth?

What makes Genesis stand apart is although the creation story could be a myth, there is no mythology. We have only mention of God creating Heaven and Earth, the beasts and man and woman. We no hierarchy of heavenly beings or demi gods or fantastic stories of their lives, triumphs and romances that are pervasive in other cultures. We have a simplistic story of our God, Adonai, creating the Heavens,the light and the darkness, the waters, the Earth and it's inhabitants. I find it interesting that after God created the waters, He created the sky. This would make sense as clouds are made up of water vapor.

When God creates man and woman His Name is then Elohim or Lord. This reflects His status over man. We read that He created the Earth in 6 days and rests on the 7th. After each creation, He states "That is Good." On the day of rest He looks at his work and says, "That is very Good."

This was a story that ancient man could not only understand, but pass on future generations.

Ever since Darwin published his findings, men of faith have stood righteously to defend their God against science. Even Darwin wrestled with his own conscious whether to announce his theories or keep silent. His father was a pastor. His wife voiced her fervant fear for his soul. In Darwins time, just shy of one hundred years ago, it was believed the world was less than five thousand years old. Darwin's explanations was considered blasphemy. Creationists have rallied ever since the Scopes "Monkey Trial". To make their viewpoint sound more scientific Creationist have now relabeled their views as Intelligent Design.

It has to be true that truths beget truth. Many of the stories of creation have similar points. Can we modern believers say that the account of creation was a myth that enabled the ancient Hebrews to offer an explanation to their contemporaries and still maintain our faith in the One God, blessed be He?

I have no problem. My faith is not rocked.

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