I apologize for the interruption in the ‘days’ of the Man and Woman He Created Them: A Theology Of The Body series. I had to read and re-read this 3rd day’s message a few times. It is all so important so it was hard to decide what to share here and what to cut out. I know it is heavy stuff so just read a little bit and then re-read it again a few times and it will start to sink in deeper.
This 3rd day focuses on 3 main things: 1. This 2nd story of creation gives us a first glimpse of ”man’s self-understanding” and ”human conscience”; 2. If you are a language nerd like me you’ll be fascinated with the etymology of the words “male” and “female” in section 2. (by the way I could not type the “is” and “issa” with the Hebrew symbols); 3. The 2nd story of creation shows us the difference between man (us) as he was made originally in the beginning and man (us again) as we are now after our fall.
TOB (Theology Of the Body)
Day 3 Second Account of the Creation of Man
1.I n Reference to Christ’s Words on the subject of marriage, in which he appeals to the “beginning,” we turned our attention one week ago to the first account of the creation of man in Genesis 1. Today we will go on to the second account, often defined as “Yahwist” because in it God is often called “Yahweh.”
The second account of the creation of man…has by its nature a different character. ..we must observe that the whole text, in formulating the truth about man, strikes us with its typical depth, different from that of the first chapter of Genesis. One can say that this depth is above all subjective in nature and thus in some way psychological. Chapter 2 of Genesis constitutes in some way the oldest description and record of man’s self-understanding and, together with chapter 3, it is the first witness of human conscience…When we compare the two accounts [Gen 1 and Gen 2], we reach the conviction that this subjectivity corresponds to the objective reality of man created “in the image of God.” And also, this fact is – in another way – important for the theology of the body, as we shall see in the following analyses.
2. It is significant that in his response to the Pharisees, in which he appeals to the “beginning,” the Christ indicates in the first place the creation of man with reference to Genesis 1:27, “From the beginning, the Creator created them male and female”; it is only after this that he quotes the text of Genesis 2:24. The words that directly describe the unity and indissolubility of marriage are found in the immediate context of the second creation account, the characteristic feature of which is the separate creation of woman (Gen 2:18-23), while the account of the creation of the first man (male) is found in Genesis 2:5-7. The Bible calls this first human being “man,” (adam) while from the moment of the creation of the first woman, it begins to call him “male,”is [pronounced eesh]…in relation to issa [pronounced eesha] (“woman, because she has been taken from the male = is). And it is also significant that, when he appeals to Genesis 2:24, Christ not only links the “beginning” with the mystery of creation, but also leads us to the boundary, so to speak, between man’s primeval innocence and original sin.
3. Then, immediately after these verses, Genesis 3 begins the account of the first fall of the man and the woman, linked with the mysterious tree that before this had already been called “the tree of the knowledge of good and evil” (Gen 2:17). A completely new situation thereby emerges…The tree of the knowledge of good and evil is a boundary line between the two original situations about which Genesis speaks. The first situation is that of original innocence in which man (male and female) finds himself, as it were, outside of the knowledge of good and evil,…The second situation, by contrast, is that in which man…finds himself in some way within the knowledge of good and evil. This second situation determines the state of human sinfulness, contrasting with the state of primeval innocence.
…through this description [of the second story of Genesis]…the essential difference between the state of man’s sinfulness and that of his original innocence becomes clear. In these two antithetical situations, systematic theology was to see two different states of human nature, “status naturae integrae” (state of integral nature) and “status naturea lapsae” (state of fallen nature). All of this…has a fundamental significance for the theology of man and the theology of the body.