Focusing specifically on Genesis chapters 1 and 2, it will be analyzed how Gerhard Von Rad, Davies and Clines, and the author of this paper view those chapters. The methodologies of the different authors, their presuppositions, and their constructions of meaning will all be taken into account here.
As it is told by two perspectives, the savvy reader of Genesis 1 and 2 must resolve the at-times conflicting accounts and make sense of them as best as one can, according to the available resources at hand.
The beginning of the world is a major cosmic story that begs to be analyzed. How the planet and its people came into being is still hotly-debated and is the cause for many a rift in theological circles.
Still, what is so compelling about these two stories is the way in which one creatively is able to reconcile the difference between the two accounts. Hopefully, this is what will be able to be achieved here through analysis of both chapters.
Gerhard Von Rad says in his book Genesis: A Commentary, "Faith in creation is neither the basis nor the goal of the declarations in Gen., chs. 1 and 2. Rather, the position of both the Yahwist and the Priestly document isfaith in salvation and election[undergirded] by the testimony that this Yahwehis also the creator of the world."1
It is obvious that by the eloquence of the language in chapter 1 of Genesis is Priestly writing due to the fact that it is so staid and orderly. It is a cosmic vision of the beginning, and about how creation came into being through the words of God being spoken.
Von Rad points out that it is precisely because of this orderliness that Genes ...