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October 05, 2005

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Eric Beach

The question you might want to ask is what kind of literature is the beginning of Genesis? Is it a 'true' story or is it a story that contains 'truth' - ie something that may not have actually happened but which is told in order to say something about why we are here and what our relationship with God is all about. It talks about temptation and how we rationalise it; it talks about how all choices have consequences and that our choices affect our relationship with God. It talks about our tendency to try and pass the buck or make excuses. But most of all it talks about how God graciously deals with us when we fall. God didn't kill them. He removed them from the gardenfor their own benefit. He didn't blow them away for their sin but made clothes of skin for them to cover their nakedness. Now that's real grace!

Does this give you some ideas?

andy goodliff

Eric thanks for your thoughts. I'm pretty convinced that Gen 3 is not a historical account of an event but a theological story that tells us the way things are. I think the debate about OT historicity often gets in the way of us actually reading the text as something through which God speaks. I'm interested in any nuances in the story that we often miss or overlook.

Laurence

This story certainly doesn’t present a very ‘high’ theology – it’s ever so interesting in how many layers of meaning seem to be wrapped up in such apparently simple presentation. What strikes me most, looking back again, is the part where they hide themselves from God as he comes walking through the garden. It’s almost as if God begins to lose any tactile presence for them, indeed for humanity in general, once they begin to be ashamed of their nakedness –alienated from their own natural physical place in the world. God becomes less and less of a familiar to us as the narratives of the OT progress, until we get to the mountain with Moses when God is a fully other reality that cannot really be approached but by intermediaries and visions.

Just off the top of my head, like.

Laurence

ok, perhaps it was just waffle!

andy goodliff

Laurence - I don't think it was waffle, it was a good insight, certainly one I hadn't noticed. Thanks for making the effort to comment.

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