Chapter One and Chapter Two of Genesis were composed by different groups.

Wednesday, 2/11/15

With our first readings from Genesis we might notice passages using different names for the Almighty.

In Chapter One he was God. In Chapter Two he is the Lord God, or simply the Lord. 

Our English language Bible's two names for the Almighty translate the two Hebrew names in the original text. In Chapter One the Almighty is called God, which translates the Hebrew Elohim. In today's Chapter Two he is called Lord, which translates Yahweh.

The differences between Chapter One and Chapter Two go deeper. They were originially composed by     two different classes of people. Chapter One was composed by the priestly class and it reflects their concern with what foods can be rightfully consumed, and with the times to be observed for religious functions. Chapter Two, which refers to God as the Lord, or Yahweh, was composed by Solomon's court story tellers who added  human touches to their interesting stories.

The name Yahweh is explained for us in Chapter Three of Exodus. The voice from the burning bush had commissioned Moses say to the Pharaoh, "Let my people go!"

Moses inquired of the voice from the bush, "Whom shall I say sent me to speak for the People?" and the voice replied, "I am who am."  "This is what you shall tell the Israelites, "I Am sent me to you." In the original Hebrew it was "Yahweh" who sent you." 

Scholars identify passages composed by the priests as P texts. Then, with Yahweh sometimes spelled as Jahweh, as J texts. After the age of Solomon a third source known simply as D began contributing passages. 

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