"Psalm 23," John August Swanson. Used by permission from the artist.
Image © by John August Swanson. Artwork held in the Luther Seminary Fine Arts Collection, St. Paul, Minn.
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Garden of Eden
Genesis 2:4b-25 Commentary
by Mark Throntveit
It will come as no surprise to readers of Working Preacher that there are two creation accounts in the early chapters of Genesis.
It will also come as no surprise that these texts have been interpreted in various ways, for example: as Bishop Ussher’s means of dating the creation to 4004 BCE, as evidence in the perpetual battle between science and religion, and as a narrative describing a massive flood that strikingly parallels similar narratives in other ancient civilizations.
More recently, attention has turned to seeing these accounts as coming from different authors, addressing different situations in the lives of their people, in different contexts. Genesis 1:1--2:3, though first in canonical order due to its function as the final redactor’s introduction to the Torah, is actually from the exilic period in Babylon and depicts creation as God’s bringing order out of a watery chaos, familiar to Israelites living in Mesopotamia, the land “between the rivers” that flooded every year. Here, the human couple comes at the end of the created order.
Genesis 2:4-25 coming from the earlier time ...
| Bible Text
2020-21 Readings (Year 3)
2020-21 Worship Resources
The narrative lectionary is a four-year cycle of readings. Read more.
NL Podcast 371: Garden of Eden
September 08, 2019
Podcast on Genesis 2:4b-25, the Narrative Lectionary readings for Sept. 8, 2019, (Garden of Eden) featuring Profs. Rolf Jacobson, Craig Koester, and Kathryn Schifferdecker. Recorded at Luther Seminary, Saint Paul, Minn., for Working Preacher.