I am very excited to begin our Epiphany study of the first Creation Story in Genesis 1:1-2:4. Tonight, we are going to briefly look at some of the ancient creation mythologies that were current when the Genesis story was written. I have attached a very brief discussion on the similarities and differences between the Jewish and pagan understandings of saying “God is the Creator” from the JPS Torah Commentary on Genesis (p.382). We will then read the creation story together, discuss the text from a reader-response perspective, and look at its overall structure. We will try to read the story as it is written, and not as our contemporary knowledge of astronomy may influence our interpretation, since the ultimate purpose of Genesis is not to provide information like a textbook, but to give us an avenue to contemplate God and to come into a more excellent knowledge of him. We will also briefly begin to address how this story bears witness to Jesus. (John 5:39).
He is the image of the invisible God, the first-born of all creation; for in him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or authorities—all things were created through him and for him. He is before all things, and in him, all things hold together. He is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning, the first-born from the dead, that in everything he might be pre-eminent. For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross.Colossians 1:15-20