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Genesis as DialogueA Literary, Historical, and Theological Commentary$
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Thomas L. Brodie

Print publication date: 2001

Print ISBN-13: 9780195138368

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2003

DOI: 10.1093/0195138368.001.0001

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Creation and Its Harmony (1:1–2:24)

Creation and Its Harmony (1:1–2:24)

Creation from God: The Grandeur (The Universe, 1:1–2:4a)

Creation for Humankind: The Groundedness (The Garden, 2:4b–24)

(p.123) 16 Creation and Its Harmony (1:1–2:24)
Genesis as Dialogue

Thomas L. Brodie

Oxford University Press

The two creation accounts are pervaded by the complementarities: time and space; humanity as in the image of God, and humanity as made of clay; humanity as ruling the earth, and humanity as serving the earth; the divinity as transcendent (Elohim), and the divinity as closer to earth (YHWH Elohim), and so on. Even in the first words (1:1; 2:4b):“In the beginningGodcreatedthe heavens and the earth.”

“On the dayYHWH God madeearth and heavens.”

each word or phrase of the second line involves a precise complementarity with the first. It reflects the first, but in a down‐to‐earth way. The two accounts do not warrant the reconstruction of two hypothetical sources (P and J, priestly and Yahwistic, as in the documentary theory). Rather, the two accounts form a diptych, a single harmonious picture that is true to the complexity of creation. The account of the creation of woman (2:18–23) counterbalances the misogynistic account of Hesiod.

Keywords:   account, complementarity, creation, documentary theory, Genesis 1–2, Hesiod, priestly, woman, Yahwistic

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