The Seperation of Genesis


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A widely held belief in the scholarly community is that there are two creation stories in Genesis: the first creation story takes place in Genesis 1, while the second takes place in Genesis 2. Scholars categorize these two stories into two separate time frames. The first is known as the Priestly (P) account because it is associated with the priestly caste of ancient Israel, while the second is known as the Jahwist (J) account because the J writer always calls the Creator, Yahweh.
Genesis 1-2.3 presents the P account. This first part of Genesis provides chronological framework and has a rigid repetitive style. The story of creation is laid out in a set pattern: "And God said…Let there be…And it was so…And God saw that it was good…And there was evening and there was morning, X day." This very structured writing points out God's specific works in order. God is only creating and letting things be so to speak.
While the style of the P account leaves things in a set form, almost as if following a time line, the J account allows things to flow together more in the form of a story. In Genesis 2.4-3, the creation of the world is told in this form. God is actively involved in shaping, breathing, and planting. The story comes back and puts a picture in ones mind and helps him to better see what was happening. The separation of the two sources better facilitates with the human mind. First the information is laid out in a set sequence to where one knows exactly what has been created. Then all that has been laid out is brought together with God's interaction showing how, in a sense, He created.
As opposed to having the two sources separated clearly in Genesis 1-3, the authors of the two sources are intertwined in Genesis 6-9. The jump back and forth between the two sources makes the material harder to understand. Things are not laid out, and then put together. Intertwining the two sources together interrupts the values that each represent. The very structured method the P account uses stops the flow of the J account. The two do not work well together. The essence of what makes each one useful seems to be compromised by the other.

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Also when the two sources are mixed with one another, there is much more room for inconsistency and contradictions.
The J account and the P account each have their qualities, but these are just qualities that do not compliment each other well when the two are mixed together. When used in conjunction with one another and separated by a fine line, the two sources have a much more powerful effect on the reader. Their individual qualities can better compliment one another as opposed to harming one another.


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