Before this first chapter of Genesis was put into writing it was handed down by priests, and it reflects their concerns.

Monday, 2/11/ 13

Today, as we begin the readings from the Old Testament, you might note that in some Old Testament passages the almighty is referred to as God, but in others as Lord. There is a good reason for that.

In 600 B.C. the Jews were made prisoners in Babylon, and they discovered that those people had put all their ancient stories into writing. Decided on their doing that too, they began by calling in their scholars who had been trained in orally passing on their sacred stories over the centuries.

There were two major groups of such scholars. One was made up of the priests from the tribe of Levi, while the other group consisted of families attached to the court. Those families, from father to son, from century to century, had practiced their art of reliably passing on their stories about Moses and David.

One difference between the two schools was that the priests referred to the almighty as Elohim, while the court scholars called him Yahweh. Our English translations preserve that difference by translating the priests’ Elohim as God, while we translate the court group’s Yahweh as Lord.

Through this first chapter of Genesis the almighty is referred to as God. That tells us that this first chapter came from the priests. They pictured God as completing his work in six days, so he could give a good example by resting on the Sabbath. They saw God creating heavenly bodies as aids in separating religious holidays rather than as sources of energy for the photosynthesis that promotes plant growth.

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