Bible Notes

Things the Word is teaching me.

Genesis 1: Origin Story

Do you know what Genesis 1 has in common with other creation stories from other cultures?

I confess, this is not an illustration of a creation myth.  BUT IT SHOULD BE.

I confess, this is not an illustration of a creation myth.  BUT IT SHOULD BE.

Not a whole lot, actually. Try the story we have from Babylonian culture, which came out of the same part of the world as the Hebrew story in Genesis.  I'll give you a fast recap: Two gods exist first, and they "mingle their waters" (hrm) and give birth to a new generation of gods, who give birth to more gods, etc.  The crowd of gods gets bigger and rowdier until the original gods say "Oh. This is not AT ALL what we thought having kids was going to be like." and decide to kill off all the other gods to get their peace and quiet back.  Much violence ensues.  The champion god finally ends the conflict by killing his grandmother in single combat, and then he splits her body in two pieces to create (respectively) the heavens and the earth.  Humans are made out of a different dead god's blood, for the specific purpose of doing all work forever so the gods don't have to.

Nice, huh?

Take a look around at creation stories from other mythologies.  Most of them are not actually that bad, but many of them have at least some aspect of chaos or violence.  The Genesis story, by contrast, is incredibly different.  No chaos, no violence.  It shows a God working intentionally and methodically, making things he likes and then more things he likes and saying "Yeah, this is all really good.  This is what I wanted, I'm really happy with it."  The world he makes is orderly, peaceful, and rich.  If you're looking for drama, it's almost dull.  But compared to the options, it's reassuringly peaceful and kind.  Especially when you look around and realize everything we like about our world and each other -- the one who made it all, likes all of that too.