Reading Guide for Genesis 1-4

Human and Woman Durer 1507
Adam and Eve [The First Human and his Woman]. Durer, 1507 Abel & Cain. Giovanni Antonio Sogliani, 1492-1544

Cast of Characters:

Adam and Eve
Cain and Able

The snake

Place Names:

Tigris and Euphrates


Can you locate these places on a map?

Technical Vocabualary:

the rule of primogeniture

Common Vocabulary:

lapis lazuli


The Narrative:

Genesis 1-3
According to the footnote, how many creation stories are there in Genesis and what is one specific and significant difference between the two?  Why do you find this difference significant?

Lots of playing around with names in early Genesis:  What is Adam's name before it is Adam [trick question], the first name given to Eve, and what's the joke about "human" in the first 2 books of Genesis?

Who is the first character in Genesis to name something and who the second?  Why do you suppose this power of naming is so important?

God says that he gives Adam every "herb" for what purpose? How do you make sense of that apparent contradiction or non sequitar at the end of chapter 1?

What is the difference between the way God germinated plants in Chapter 1 as opposed to Chapter 2?

What is the difference between the description of Human creation in Chapter 1 as opposed to Chapter 2?

The forbidden tree has two names: What are they and why do you think it has two names? Are the two names contradictory or do they complement each other?

In Chapter 1 God names the Human function of and relationship to nature, plants and animals one way, then in Chapter two defines and names the relationship another way: Are they contradictory in some way? Are the two named relationships different in kind and function?

Briefly compare/contrast what the serpent says to Eve to what God says at the end of Chapter 3? Does the serpent tell the truth or lie to Eve when talking her into eating the fruit?  Explain your reasoning briefly.

Some Christians belief that doctors are contradicting God's law when delivering babies:  How so according to Genesis 3?  Are these doctors who ease the birth process violating God's intentions given the dictums of God in this chapter?

Genesis 4:

The Genesis God must be a carnivore:  Why do I say this?

What is the antecedent to the pronouns "his" and "him" in God's speech to Cain just before he kills his brother?

What will happen to anybody who lifts a hand against Cain and, given what Cain did, why do you think would God make this rule?

God changes Cain's relationship to the earth and nature: How so and what do you think he means by that?

How will God warn people about lifting a hand against Cain? More specifically, what form do you think [or have you heard] does the warning signal take? Has what you have heard about this warning signal match the account here in Genesis?

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Forward to Genesis 6-9