Genesis is the first book of the entire Bible. It was named as so, because it literally means “In the Beginning” in Greek. According to scholars, the account is not the work of only one author but also of a “redactor”, or someone who later made revisions, and collected stories from various traditional sources, who then collated them into one volume. The first eleven chapters of Genesis authoritatively tells the story about the beginnings of the world.
The first eleven chapters of Genesis has a major thematic link. The story of creation is told in such a way that the structuring of the world is around a system of contrasts and parallels. The metaphorical descriptions of how light broke into darkness, land separated water, and how the sun’s “greater light” opposed the moon’s “lesser light”, are few of the many parallelisms and abstract storytelling in Genesis. There are in fact more complex occurrences of parallel and contrast, specifically in the account of man’s creation. It is described in Genesis that not only is man made in the image of God, making man parallel to god, but woman, also contrasts with man, because of how she was created from man’s rib. To highlight the parallels and contrast in the creation of man, the Genesis writer has also used antistrophe, a poetic device which is characterized by the repetition of lines in reverse order.
The use of antistrophe in the accounts and storytelling in Genesis suggests that the world has been created in such a way it is logically organized around basic opposing forces, or binary opposites, an equilibrium of positives and negatives, work and rest, darkness and light. Good and evil is one of the most consistently explored theme in the Old Testament. The story of Cain and Abel, which is in the first eleven chapters of Genesis, Cain deceiving and killing his own brother, Abel, and his AN ARTICLE ON GENESIS 1-11 equivocal response to God’s questioning describe the evil presented as an inherent trait in his character. Another establishment of the parallelism of good and evil is God’s punishment for Cain. These are a few among the many themes of binary opposites and parallels that are described in the first chapters of Genesis.
In summary, the introductory chapters of Genesis, has been structured and presented by its authors to explain and address etiological concerns, the origins of the world, including why man has had to suffer evil.
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