There are a number of different ways of reading the Genesis creation account (e.g. historical, mythological, theological, polemical etc.). Briefly survey at least three of these. Which approach do you favour and why?
The Genesis creation account (GCA) is one of the most familiar passages of scripture for both Christians and the general populace. The character of God, the nature of the world, the meaning of human existence, and the fall of humanity are themes it expounds
The central issue to GCA is that of genre
Approaching the text as mythology contains several problems, the first being the lack of scholarly consensus on a definition
Varying definitions may explain varying opinions of Genesis as mythology
A polemic approach to reading the text was developed after George Smith noticed the parallel between the biblical GCA and the Gilgamesh Epic
This approach gains momentum as when the accounts are most similar the GCA ‘deliberately undermines the assumptions of the Babylonian story’
Holding the text as scientific and historical appeals to the desire to hold scripture in high esteem by accepting its teachings a literal (Proverbs 1:7, John 6:60). This approach is popular amongst modern day creationists
Genesis was written by people with a pre-scientific worldview to describe an event at which initially no human was present
After reflection of the GCA I believe it is first and foremost theological and kerygmatic – its message is about God
The text’s polemic is used to teach theological truths. ‘Genesis retells familiar oriental stories about the origins of the world, [and] dramatically transforms them theologically’
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