Historians call accounts of the beginning of things creation myths. A myth is not necessarily an untrue story, but rather a story that shows what a society considers to be the deepest truth about man and universe. Nearly all societies tell such myths (in my History 121 class, we look especially closely at the Sumerian and Babylonian creation myths), and one could argue that, in a certain sense, we have creation myths today: two of them widely believed in our society: the Hebrew account in Genesis and the Darwinian theory of Evolution.  It’s important to understand here that what is at stake is *not* science but two very different concepts about man and his place in universe.

As you do the assigned readings in Genesis, please think about the study questions below:

1.  To what extent does Darwinian evolution resemble creation myths?  What does it say about man and his place in the universe?  To what extent is it anti-myth?

2.  To what extent do the opening chapters of Genesis resemble creation myths?  What do they say about man and his place in the universe?  To what extent is the Genesis view anti-myth?

3.  Why does the book of Genesis give no account of the beginning of God himself?  What's the essential difference between this and the Mesopotamian and Egyptian view of things?

4. Why does the writer give the specific details of creation he does?  Why doesn't he just say, "God made everything" and be done with it?

5.  What is the writer's basic view of creation?  Of men?  Of women?

6.  Why does author talk about six days of creation?  How does this story differ from other creation accounts?

7.  Note the covenant made with man. What's man supposed to do?   What restrictions are put on him?  What is he given in return?  How does such a view of man affect behaviour of people toward natural world?

8.  How does writer explain how good creation of God becomes corrupted?  Is this a good explanation of why there is evil and suffering in the world?  Who is at fault here?  Adam? Eve? The Serpent?

9.  What are basic consequences of disobedience? What are differences in Hebrew view between men and women initially and as a result of fall. How does this compare to Greek story of Pandora.  How do you account for similarities here?

10.  Why does the writer include the stories of Noah, Abraham, and Abraham's descendents?  Which of these stories do you find most interesting?  What message/messages is the author teaching through these stories?

11.  Who would you guess wrote Genesis? When?  What internal evidence is there for dating the book? Where does the author get his information?

12.  How do you account for the differenct names used for God in Genesis 1 and 2 and elsewhere?