Unsettled Christianity

Gloria Dei homo vivens – St Irenaeus
March 31st, 2015 by Joel Watts

CTP Bible Study Class – Genesis 4–5

English: Cain and Abel; as in Genesis 4; illus...

English: Cain and Abel; as in Genesis 4; illustration from the Sunrays quarterly (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

This week, we will begin to cover Genesis 4–5. This is not a lot because you can skip chapter 5 after Genesis 5.1-2. Indeed, 5.1-2 seems to be real important.

So, what happens in Genesis 4? Well, this is the first sacrifice. The first jealousy. The first anger. The first murder. The third baby boy.

As you can imagine, there exists several millennia of commentary on these chapters. This is a summary of some Jewish commentary. Here is a singler, modern, source. This is from the Book of Jubilees.

This is a set of stories that shows Cain and Abel in different cultural contexts.

This is a modern commentary, not necessarily Jewish or Christian.

One of the things you need to look at is 5.1-2 and how Seth, the third child of Adam and Eve re-creates Creation.

This is the book of the generations of Adam. When God created man, he made him in the likeness of God. Male and female he created them, and he blessed them and named them Man when they were created.

That returns us to Genesis 1.26–27 but adds to this. Now, we have a blessing and a naming.

Why does that happen? Why does the editor/author/redactor feel the need to restate this seminal point at the beginning of Seth’s line?

Joel Watts
Watts holds a MA in Theological Studies from United Theological Seminary. He is currently a Ph.D. student at the University of the Free State, analyzing Paul’s model of atonement in Galatians, as well as seeking an MA in Clinical Mental Health at Adams State University. He is the author of Mimetic Criticism of the Gospel of Mark: Introduction and Commentary (Wipf and Stock, 2013), a co-editor and contributor to From Fear to Faith: Stories of Hitting Spiritual Walls (Energion, 2013), and Praying in God's Theater, Meditations on the Book of Revelation (Wipf and Stock, 2014).


3 Responses to “CTP Bible Study Class – Genesis 4–5”
  1. Know More Than I Should says

    It is quite likely — in an age of oral traditions — repetitions were a way of reinforcing the stories in the ears of the hearers. Then, although perhaps modified, that methodology didn’t necessarily change when oral mythology became written word.

    One can still hear this today — pun intended — when the chorus of songs reiterates core messaging.

  2. “Who Wrote the Bible”…
    “Gen5:1-28, 30-32; 7:6; 9:28-29; 11:10b-26, 32
    These passages are drawn from the “Book of Generation,” which apparently was originally a separate document, containing terminology similar to P. The redactor cut it into segments and then distributed these segments through the book of Genesis. This unified the stories by setting them within a chronological flow of generations.”

    Easy as pie.

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