As many of you know, my book Genesis 1 and the Creationism Debate: Being Honest to the Text, Its Author, and His Beliefs—Not Ours has been accepted for publication and should hopefully be out in the Winter. One of the goals of this project is to present an unbiased, objective, and culturally-contextualized reading of Genesis 1—being as honest as possible to the text and the beliefs and worldview expressed therein, and not the beliefs that later readers hold about the text.
UPDATE: Book is now available on publishers website:
After discussing this project and the worldview expressed in Genesis 1 with one of my students, he painted this, which I feel wonderfully captures the world that the author of Genesis 1 perceived and experienced, and thus the world which the god of Genesis 1 creates!
Even though the painting is not yet finished—he is still working on it—I wanted to share it with my readers to get their general impressions.
I have written extensively on Genesis 1, but as a review of what the author of this text has the creator deity create:
- The domed barrier—Hebrew raqî‘a (traditionally translated as the ‘firmament’ or ‘vault’)—which God creates to separate the waters, so that we now have the waters above and the waters below. This domed barrier is then called “the sky” (Gen 1:6-8). This is illustrated above by the domed shaped transparent ‘bowel.’ For more, see my Genesis 1:6-8—Life Inside a Water Bubble.
- The waters below are then commanded to collect together into one place (Gen 1:9)—nicely shown above. Our author probably even had the Mediterranean sea in mind.
- Earth, defined by the text as dry habitable land (yabbashah)—never the planet—is then commanded to emerge from the now tamed waters below (Gen 1:9-10). For more see my Genesis 1:9-10—God Creates the Material Substance Earth, Not the Planet!
- And finally the luminaries are created and placed within or upon the sky, that is the domed barrier holding back the waters above (Gen 1:14).
I also think having a 3-dimensional illustration does a better job representing the creation of Genesis 1 than, say, the illustration I have on the sidebar, which I’m going to replace with this one.
The illustration also complements my verbal textual demonstration in chapter 1 of this book and does a nice job providing a visual re-presentation of the creation of the world as perceived and experienced by the author of Genesis 1.
What are your thoughts?