A Visual Illustration of the Creation as Depicted in Genesis 1:6-14

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I apologize for my absence. It’s been some time since my last post. My manuscript for Genesis 1 and the Creationism Debate is now complete and has been submitted, so I hope to turn my attention back to this site.

UPDATE: Book is now finished and on sale at publishers website.

Genesis 1 and the Creationism Debate

For those interested, my book attempts to present an unbiased and culturally-contextualized reading of Genesis 1—the primary aim being to re-present as faithfully and objectively as possible this author’s worldview and his beliefs about the nature and origin of the world and of man and woman—not those of later readers or those influenced by later interpretive frameworks. Said differently . . .

Modern readers often assume that Genesis 1 depicts the creation of the Earth and Sky as we know it. But this ancient document and the ancient priestly worldview it represents nowhere supports such modern assumptions.

Far from presenting God creating Earth, a spherical planet orbiting a sun in one of many galaxies in infinite space (none of whose ideas existed to the author of this text), the text of Genesis 1 presents its god forming the substance earth, that is per our text dry, habitable, flat land which now rests on the waters below (see Genesis 1:9-10 — God Creates Dry Land not the Planet Earth!), and encasing it within a finite area of space, itself enclosed and defined by a solid domed expanse called the sky, which further functioned to hold back the primordial waters above it (see Genesis 1:6-8 — Life Inside a Water Bubble). In short, what the god of Genesis 1 creates is this:

Genesis 1:6-14

This illustration was done by a graphic designer I hired to illustrate the textual argument that Genesis 1 is making. I am quite happy with it, as far as it accurately captures the world that the author of Genesis 1 has the creator god of his text create. It is a description of the world as its author and his broader culture perceived it. You can read my textual argument on each section of Genesis 1 and how it leads to this particular worldview in my series of posts entitled Genesis’ Two Creation Accounts.

In the end, my forthcoming book convincingly demonstrates that ancient texts do indeed represent the beliefs and worldviews of ancient peoples and cultures—not those of God, not those of later readers, and especially not those of modern day Creationists.

20 thoughts on “A Visual Illustration of the Creation as Depicted in Genesis 1:6-14

  1. Sarah , historically it was Pharisees ( rabbinic progenitors ) who introduced the new doctrine of resurrection , hell and heaven to the Jewish literature >> Josephus Antiquities , Book 18 , chapter 1 .
    If you do some research on bible study sites you will see that word יהושע/ ihousha ( “joshuah”- English version ) translated as Ἰησοῦς / Iesous in Greek ( and westernized as ‘Jesus’ ) appears multiple times in text of OT designating different characters , as well as the word ‘anointed’ ( משיח in Hebrew , χριστ-ε christ+… in Greek ) . You can even find a TOWN named Jesus ( NEH 11:26 ) . Priests and kings were “anointed” /משיח according to religious tradition of Egyptian culture and from which the idea of Hebrew משיח/” messiah” was plagiarized linguistically and for the religious purpose .”Messeh” was the oil/fat from crocodile ( “msah” in hierpglythic texts ) , hence the word “messiah” was created .
    The rest is just copy-catted verses from OT into NT and twisting them according to the new doctrines , not prophesies , which were written during or after the event took place . This site shows you how it was done ; jesusisamyth.blogspot.com
    Btw, “jonah” means pigeon / dove and its definitely not a name of a person – there are many pigeons/ “jonahs” in books of Pentateuch .
    Word “yhvh”/ existing is related with the word “satan”/oponent and they have been used interchangeably .

  2. Jeremiah 8:8 makes claim against secretaries who worked in sheer falsehood by what they were writing. Therefore how can we attest that the ‘bible’ is completely the unadulterated word of God. Even Yah’shua attested to the writing of Isaiah as written in Matthew 15:1-8 against the hypocritical disciples of the Pharisees and scribes who transgressed by following the doctrines of men. Also Isaiah correctly prophesied that Yah’shua would come from the seed of Jesse Romans 15:12 which Yah’shua fulfilled according to Isaiah’s prophetical writing over 700yrs prior to Yah’shua in the First coming of the Messiah to lead his people from the 12 tribes to come to perfection by following His example. Now in this day that Son of the Most High God has again been brought into this inhabited earth as prophesied by the apostle Paul Hebrews 1:6-14. This is in fulfilment of Revelation 12:4:5 and Matthew 1:23 because this Son is now named Immanuel meaning when translated ‘With Us Is God’. If God was with Yah’shua would they have been able to put him to death? As Immanuel the Son of the Most High God is as God in power by the name given by His Father ‘Yahuaweh-nissi-yireh written in Genesis as Jehovah-jireh 22:14 and Exodus 17:15;16 as Jehovah-nissi which was explained to me to be indicative of the imminent battle in which the Most High God will defeat Lucifer in battle. Should the world of politics not be told this battle is about to take effect because no sign will be given this evil generation except the sign of Jonah. The men of Nineveh repented by the message brought by Jonah is it not that there should be warning given in this day?

  3. @Fesh, you are basing your view of the planet (there is no Biblical Hebrew word for “planet”, since there was no concept as such) from your modern-day mind.
    Here are corrections to your posts (please note, I am Israeli and know Hebrew and Aramaic quite well):

    Isaiah 40:22 – It speaks of the firmament/dome over the world, not a round world.
    I explain: http://apikoris.blogspot.co.il/2015/05/isaiah-4022-explained.html

    Job 26:10 -“He decreed a ring upon the surface of the waters, limiting light with darkness”- a “chug” is a ring, not a sphere. Again, it speaks of a rakia/firmament. (Our kids go to a music “chug” – the term comes from sitting in a circle).

    Plus, according to Genesis (chapter 1), the floating land (“eretz” is not “Earth”, but some earth-material/land) that you are living upon is the oldest created thing in the universe. There is so much that does not match reality with the first dozen chapters (at least) of the Book of Genesis.

    Keep on learning!

  4. @Fesh, The scriptures you mention in no way describe the Earth as a sphere, the word in Isaiah 40:22 has a meaning of “circle” (חוג khug) not sphere. The word Isaiah would have used if he actually meant “sphere” would have been dure (כדור) which is translated in Isaiah 22:18 as “ball” which would have been the closest word in ancient Hebrew to describe a sphere. Aside from that if the Greeks, when they translated the LXX manuscript would have used the word sfairoeides (Greek for sphere). but did not they used the word for circle” koo’-klo).

    The ancient Hebrew pictured the earth as a flat circle surrounded by water held back above by the “Circle” of the earth or “firmament” and was floating on sitting on the water below. There is no indication that they believed the earth was a globe floating in space in any of the Hebrew scriptures.

  5. There is no such item as ” ha-messiah” / “the – anointed” in the entire text of OT . PERIOD .
    There were many “anointed” as priests , kings , even Persian Cyrus was called “anointed/”messiah” even though he had no clue of any Jews or their temple .
    What makes “Christ” interesting is that he never existed , however you will find over 15 men with a name Jesus in Josephus , 3 in Greek version of OT/Septuagint and 5 ( that’s right 5 ) in gospels and a few more in Babylonian Talmud .
    The whole concept of “word made flesh ” was proposed by Philo in his ” On Confusion of Toungues”(146) . NT is nothing more than new story plagiarized from old story – OT . Here is a website : jesusisamyth.blogspot.com where nice , smart man put side by side verses how they got copied into gospel legends .
    If you’re passionate about studying the scriptures take your time and learn Hebrew then you will see how you’ve been fooled .

  6. Disregard what you may call mistranslations or maybe conflicting history by other nations because even as a Mexican American I know that history is written by the winners and they’re definitely corrupted scriptures out there now but the initial promise of God must mean something? A messiah to rule righteously over mankind ensuring no corruption and lawlessness goes abound. He’s a man like us and anointed by God. Yes a lot of cultures have their own messiah but what makes Christ interesting is that nations in the ancient middle east and Greece along with Rome knew of this man claiming to be the son of God who taught men to be humble and to love their neighbor even the foreigner yet he was killed for claiming to be God. Even if you don’t believe I God…to ignore such an event in history and even try to say that their was no Jesus of Nazareth is just inaccurate. Billions still believe in God and many of them are differentiating views but this event in Jerusalem before it’s fall in 70 AD must mean something to historians or there. I was stupid to believe all that Horus/Pagan similarities with Christ nonsense because many of the pagan deities that have been said to have influenced the “Christ myth” don’t compare to Jesus’s actual ministry during His life. One of the main arguments being that they all share the birthday of December 25. I believe the word of God and its message of salvation are clear even if some want to refute little details and mistrasnslations for a word here and there. There is sin out there. Bad people, corrupt governments and violent religions. God made us smart enough to take care of our planet but what’s wrong with some asking for a little help from God? Now believe me, I know many people who say they are of God are not. These people are giving a bad name to God preaching with hate and anger in them living in hypocrisy and living contrary to the examples taught by Jesus and His apostles. Now if you understand Hebrew and have read the old testament, humor me…What does it say in their actual language about the messiah? Are their contradictions within that topic? I’m open to anyone who has anything to say.

  7. You may not know Hebrew but if you studied ancient history , chronology , literature of ancient Near East and perhaps some Egyptian hieroglyphic translations you should know that biblical text is a production of scribal culture that was put together during Hellenistic times .
    Just by examining writings of Artapanus , Philo , Berosus , Manetho , to name a few , you can easy notice that biblical fiction was composed by writing history in backwards projection and borrowed themes , that’s why it doesn’t match histories of other nations and quite frankly makes no sense .
    For somebody who studied Hebrew language and compares the original text with English ( or any foreign ) translation you can’t help but get outraged how theological interpretation corrupted its true meaning. Most of words got left untranslated and other simple got changed into completely different ideas after Masoretic rabbis supplemented bible with niqqud notification system during medieval ages .
    What we have left is religious book full of contractions and misinterpretation that any rational person should have the right to question .

  8. Please be civil if you reply to me. I was atheist and I understand how self righteous zealots can be when defending the bible but I have knowledge as well in science, literature and history though math isn’t my strong point. I may not know Hebrew but I do have faith and its not blind. I have my reasons in believing in God. Some reasons are based on real life experience and others from having my mind opened. Be civil with me and I’ll be civil with you.

    1. Fesh, no one here is questioning your belief in God or faith—least of all myself. Nor is this site in general or in specifics about God, belief in God, faith, theological speculation, etc. It is about a collection of ancient texts that were written by a diverse group of scribes, priests, secular writers, etc. over a time span of a thousand years and which represent the competing beliefs and perceptions endemic of two drastically different cultures, the ancient Near East and the Greco-Roman world, and which were only later codified and labeled “the Holy Book” by a readership that possessed no knowledge of the authors of these texts nor of their historical and literary contexts, when they were written, why, to whom, etc. Modern biblical scholarship—a field of discipline that attempts to study and be honest to these texts, their authors, and their beliefs—not yours about them—can now answer many of these questions. This is what this site, as well as myself as a biblical scholar, is devoted to.

      Additionally, your first comment displays your assumptions and predilections—not mine! Phrases such as “to pervert the bible,” “lies,” “You are angry with God,” “half truths and misinterpreted scripture,” etc. have nothing to do with me, my person, my scholarship, nor I might remind you the texts, which this site is devoted to. For all your appeal to being “logical” you are simply confounding to issues here: God or theology, and academic and objective study of a collection of ancient texts and what these texts themselves reveal about their authors’ competing beliefs, ideologies, concept of God, historical circumstances, literary conventions, etc. In fact, I defend these texts and the beliefs of their authors—that is my goal. I have no predilection or hatred, no ideological basis other than to do my job as a biblical scholar, and that is—to re-present to the best of my objective and academic abilities the beliefs, worldviews, ideologies and theologies of the authors of this collection of texts and to understand these on their terms and from within their historical and literary contexts—not on the terms, beliefs, or contexts of later readers and later imposed interpretive frameworks. My posts are dedicated to the texts, their authors, and their historical circumstances and literary worlds. Your comments, however, display a predilection to reader-oriented belief claims about these texts regardless of the texts themselves, the beliefs and messages of their authors on the terms of these authors—not later readers.

      I am more than happy to engage you on the texts, and am certain if you allowed yourself the time you would discover that my posts are an attempt to put forward the competing beliefs of the Bible’s many and once individual texts and traditions. If the author of Leviticus, for example, has Yahweh proclaim that only Aaronid Levites can be priests, while the author of Deuteronomy has Yahweh claim in the same spot in the narrative that all Levites can be priests (see my post that argues for the texts and their authors’ beliefs on Competing priestly ideologies), then it’s incumbent upon us to be honest and faithful to these authors’ divergent and contradictory beliefs and messages and to understand them—not to interpret them away through the dictates of a centuries-later imposed theological grid, or to insert our beliefs into their texts. That is placing more emphasis on later reader-imposed meanings and beliefs about these texts, than the beliefs and messages expressed in the very texts themselves by their authors. You might also be interested in a similar comment I recently posted to another reader here.

      Finally, I’ll conclude with an excerpt from my forthcoming book on Genesis 1, subtitled Being Honest to the Text, Its Author, and His Beliefs

      I am not discussion God in any metaphysical, ontological, or theological sense. What we are doing here is simply noting the observable textual data and the literary techniques used by ancient authors and the conclusions this evidence leads us to draw about the text. In other words, we are talking about the text and the beliefs represented in that text, and that includes how our author understood and portrayed his god. Thus the text itself and all things in it are an expression of his beliefs, his worldview, his concept of God, and his culturally-defined perceptions about the world. Our task as mature responsible readers of the twenty-first century is to acknowledge this, and to understand the hows and whys behind all of this. Being honest to the texts is our first and most immediate task, albeit perhaps the most difficult.

  9. You can’t say I’m perverting the scripture when I’m giving praise to my God. And no…he is not using unbiased factual information or translating scripture correctly. It seems his only goal is to scoff and mock the one true God…that’s perverting scripture. I’m a man of logic and during my time as an atheist I realized that spirituality doesn’t mean one can’t appreciate science or art. Real believers in God aren’t superstitious and ignorant idiots who despise science. See, Dr. Steven isn’t doing God’s work by saying their are contadictions even if he believes some secret mystery bible exist out there that hasn’t been corrupted. But rebelling against God and declaring it a good work is the real corruption. You and Steven are just like those scribes who persecuted Christ preaching by the precepts of men. It seems you especially like to act like knowing Hebrew makes you more capable of understanding scripture but you’re just blind by your own pride. Why don’t you guys write up the “real” bible then? Because you know your contradictions will be easily refuted by true men of God with college degrees or even a better understanding of history and linguistics in correlation with sound theology. Plus I look at these comments and its not an unbiased discussion. It’s all atheists who have no belief in God all agreeing with each other. Maybe if you wanna have a real discussion on the bible, don’t get fooled by biased research. There are many secular historians who don’t believe in God but still can attest to the historical accuracy of the bible. You don’t like the bible, then don’t read it and stop trying to pass off hypotheses and theories as fact.

  10. Dr Di Mattei does a great job explaining biblical nonsense . It is you who is “perverting ” bible text with your creative interpretations that do not even match the meaning of Hebraic script . There is no phrase ” circular horizon” in Job 26:10 – compare this passage with Job22:14 ” circuit/ volt of heaven” – use interlinear translation since you don’t know Hebrew.
    Neither earth is a circle ( pizza) but a sphere ( three dimensional / ball ) or it has corners Isa.11:12 .
    There is also no such word as LORD in Jeremiah 8:8 : “yhvh” is not equivalent of “adonai” , nor it should be translated as “lord”.
    It seems you should take some Hebrew classes before you attempt to comment on the text you have no slightest clue about .

  11. P.S. The illustration of earth is retarded as Job illustrates that the earth is spherical.
    Job 26:10
    10 He drew a circular horizon on the face of the waters,
    At the boundary of light and darkness
    Isaiah 40:22
    22 It is He who sits above the circle of the earth,
    And its inhabitants are like grasshoppers,
    Who stretches out the heavens like a curtain,
    And spreads them out like a tent to dwell in.
    It seems because you say you are a biblical scholar with a college education that what you write is truth but the bible says…Mark 7:13
    13 thus making void the word of God by your tradition that you have handed down. And many such things you do.
    Jeremiah 8:8
    How do ye say, We are wise, and the law of the LORD is with us? Lo, certainly in vain made he it; the pen of the scribes is in vain.

  12. All these “contadictions” can easily be refuted. It seems your mission in life is to pervert the bible without using sound evidence or unbiased research. I was lied to by atheists and am tired of the lies that nearly led me into sin still being taught as some type of historical and scientific fact when in truth, biblical and secular history and science still has yet to disprove God. You are angry with God so you want others to be angry with God so you spread half truths and misinterpreted scripture. You write long articles of confusing and misleading information and inaccurate historical evidence disguised as fact in order to seem legitimate. I challenge you to email me your most promising arguments against the validity of the bible and I’ll email you back on why it’s not a contradiction and you’re just the blind leading the blind.

    1. Travis, No I do not. I’m only vaguely familiar with his book. If I recall he advocates, as I do, a culturally-contextualized reading of the text, but he also has a specific theological agenda or interpretation. Indeed, the theological interpretation seems to be his primary agenda, whereas mine is a textual interpretation with no theological agenda — other than to understand the theology of this text’s author.

      Having said that, textually Genesis 1 does not present a creation ex nihilo, out of nothing. Rather it is a narrative presenting the creator deity forming form from formlessness, habitable land from a barren desolate earth mass, and keeping at bay the primordial waters through the creation of the sky, which holds back the waters above it. If this is what Walton means by functionality, then yes we do share that much in common. It is a textual detail, in Genesis 1 as well as within other ancient Near Eastern creation myths.

      Ania,

      It’s not so much our lack of an original Hebraic text from the millennium that produced this ancient literature that led to its “corruption” but more so the imposition of later interpretive frameworks which imposed reader-oriented meanings and theological ideas onto this ancient text. So yes, part of my project has been to read and understand the text on its own terms and as a product of its own cultural context, rather than through the eyes and theological concerns of later readers who imposed (corrupted) new meanings, purposes, and beliefs onto these ancient texts.

  13. I wish dr Steven DiMattei translated the biblical text LITERALLY as the original writings go ; without addition of niqqud – with exact transliteration based on Assyrian and Phoenician dictionary from where the Hebraic script had evolved . Then we would get a precise picture how this ancient literature got corrupted to fit later religious doctrine .

  14. This makes much more sense than the modern interpretation. From how people talk in modern times, it seems they imagine the world of Genesis as a spherical world that had some enclosed sphere of water, between the planet and space, around the entire globe.

    Which leads to the question “Why would god do that?”

    This version though, assumes that water is everywhere and we’re in some protected area. Its just interesting to me that whoever wrote this in the distant past had a more coherent idea than the people who believe in it now.

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