Genesis 1-2 & 4G
Thank you for your explanation of Monday, July 26, 2004 11:46 AM. It is
based on an in-depth reading of 4G. It shows a cultural affinity between an
old and a new text.
I will now ask, if I may, a second question.
You seem to imply that the second creation story is deliberately put aside,
as representing another culture and perhaps a more "primitive" one. Going
back to the text of yours I had mentioned in my first post, I will ask you
to comment on its second part, which reads as follows:
<Instead, Jesus sets about correcting the effects of the second
creation story from Genesis upon his contemporary culture.>
What is so bad in "his contemporary culture" that needs to be corrected? How
is this related to the second creation story?
I see here a clear opposition between the Johannine and the Markan Jesus.
Speaking of marriage, the latter goes back to the two creation stories, and
bases his argument in favor of indissolubility on the second story (cf. Mark
Would you say that the argument in favor of the indossolubility of marriage
is based on a questionable exegesis on the part of the Markan Jesus, or on
his use of the "primitive" story?
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On 7/28/04 12:42 AM, "Joseph Codsi" <joseph5@...> wrote:
> back to the text of yours I had mentioned in my first post, I will ask you
> to comment on its second part, which reads as follows:
> <Instead, Jesus sets about correcting the effects of the second
> creation story from Genesis upon his contemporary culture.>
> What is so bad in "his contemporary culture" that needs to be corrected? How
> is this related to the second creation story?
In order to understand how the second creation story of Genesis (2C) might
be bypassed in Jesus' teaching we must first look at the creation myth and
its possible underlying message. Where the first creation story of Genesis
(1C) differs will be helpful in the examination of the problems 2C brings to
In 1C all that God creates is good. Humanity, both male and female are
created in God's image, apparently simultaneously. In 2C the female is
created out of the male rather than directly in God's image.
I propose that 2C represents the establishment (or justification) of
patriarchy within a herding culture which is diametrically opposed to its
agrarian counterpart. The egalitarian agrarian culture held that 'woman and
serpent' (wisdom) were the operative forces in living in harmony upon the
earth. The herding culture of the Hebrews denigrates the symbols of 'woman
and serpent'. By assigning blame to woman and the serpent the difficulties
of life are explained.
We can imagine that early Hebrew herders were often thrown out of the
agrarians' gardens as they attempted to pasture their flocks on the ready
food supply it offered. Obviously, the areas that were suited to
agriculture were also the best grazing areas. It doesn't take a great deal
of imagination to understand how the difficulties of nomadic life became
equated to being 'banished from the garden'.
A look at the imagery in the story of Cain and Abel explains the dichotomy
further. Cain's offering of the 'fruits of the soil' is found unacceptable
while Abel's offering of the 'best firstling of the flock' is found worthy.
ISTM that Cain's offering is the symbolic offering of the agrarian culture
who are the nomadic herders' enemy. Of course an agrarian offering must be
rejected in founding a society that is in direct opposition to it.
The result of the lack of acceptance of Cain's offering is Cain's resentment
which, in turn, causes him to kill his brother.
Now Abel's blood cries out from the earth. It is another symbol in direct
conflict with the agrarian symbol of the blood of menses making the earth
fertile. And, even though Cain's act is a terrible thing, he is protected
by God with a mark upon his head that assures that he will live. So Cain
goes off to a nearby town and gets him a wife and, by Genesis 4:22, a few
generations later their descendants are workers of iron and bronze. And
thus is the nature of the fallen state of humanity explained.
If we initially look at the portions of John 1-5 that I have already covered
as paralleling 1C there are signs of correction of 2C in play:
1. There is at least one unknown disciple who comes to Jesus from JB who may
be either male or female.
2. At the Wedding at Cana we are told 'when the wine ran short'. This does
not necessarily imply that they were running out of wine, but that, as was
custom, only the officials and immediate family were served wine while the
rest got plain water or something inferior to 'wine'. Jesus uses the water
that is designated for ceremonial purification associated to preparation to
'sin offerings' (animal sacrifice of the firstlings of the flock) and
converts it into the wine of gladness.
3. Jesus then cleanses the Temple by removing the means of exchange for sin
offerings that were established by 2C. He 'raises up' a new temple - his
own body. In this he also raises up all who follow his teachings as temples
of the spirit. God is shown to be dwelling within man again as if 2C never
4. In the story of Nicodemus establishes how the new temples will come about
by explaining that one may be 'born from above'/'born of the Spirit'.
5. The final witness of JB shows that the system that existed before Jesus'
ministry of which JB is a part is diminished and passing away as the
'bridegroom' now has a bride, the people are now espoused to Jesus as the
6. Jesus chooses a Samaritan Woman as his first envoy to convert a whole
town. Jesus breaks tradition by speaking with her and by using her to
convey his message, the teaching of a rabbi. The matter of her many
husbands and whatever the relationship may be called concerning the man she
is with at that time is dismissed without comment other than that it is so.
The 'living water' of 1C (spiritual wholeness) begins to spread out beyond
the borders of the tribe.
7. The Cure of the Royal Official's Son hints that faith is being spread to
people who are in league with the Herodians. Even the son of a royal
official will 'live'.
8. The Cure on the Sabbath at the Pool of Bethesda (House of Mercy) takes
place at the Sheep Gate. A man who cannot get down into the water when the
water is 'stirred up' is made whole by the 'living water' coming from Jesus
in the form of spiritual impetus to which the crippled man is quickened to
believe. That it takes place at the Sheep Gate is significant as the man
becomes a follower of Jesus by his faith that cures him.
Joseph, I will consider your question concerning opposition between Mark's
Jesus and the Johannine Jesus. I'm not prepared to comment on it impromptu.
Do you have questions about what I've offered?
- Dear Elaine and others (and Frides)
It has been a long time since I have engaged with the list but I
have kept an eye on it. However, it is hard for me not to respond
when a post like "Genesis 1&2 and 4G" comes up. As most
would know I have always maintained that John (1:1- 20:29) was
structured around Gen 1&2. It reflects every movement of the
creation narratives - though my parallels do not match those you
have suggested, Elaine, and I certainly do not accept your idea
that Jesus rejected or was correcting the second creation
narrative. The reason for my silence has been because the time
involved can be significant and I am trying to rewrite my book on
the structure of John. Hopefully I am only a few months away
from completing that task.
When I have completed it I will also update my website. Until
then my outdated but still reasonable parallels between John
and Genesis can be seen at
http://homepages.picknowl.com.au/sherpub . Follow 'Kym's
Book' to chapter 6.
Concerning Frides post on the date of John, I have also argued
for an early date which, even so, is post-Revelation. That date, I
believe, is late 68.
St Andrew's School
- On 7/28/04 10:59 PM, "kymhsm" <khs@...> wrote:
> Dear Elaine and others (and Frides)(snip)
> Elaine, and I certainly do not accept your ideaDear Kym,
> that Jesus rejected or was correcting the second creation
> narrative. The reason for my silence has been because the time
> involved can be significant and I am trying to rewrite my book on
> the structure of John. Hopefully I am only a few months away
> from completing that task.
I will read your part 6 references with interest. Thank you for pointing
out your work.