Form 1 CRE Notes On Creation And The Fall Of Man
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TOPIC 3: CREATION AND THE FALL OF MAN
THE BIBLICAL ACCOUNTS OF CREATION
Biblical term, creation refers to how God made the universe and everything in it.
The biblical accounts of creation are attempts to answer basic questions about life e.g. how did life come about? Or why do people die?
The Bible contains two accounts of creation at the beginning of the book of Genesis. The first account is found in Genesis 1:1-2, 4 (a) and the second account is found in Genesis 2:4(b) -25.
The first account of creation
Chapter 1 verses 1 and 2 tell us that God was there before creation.
1. On the first day God created light and separated it from darkness. He named it day and darkness night.
2. On the second day, God created the Firmament: the firmament separated the waters that were above the sky and the waters below the sky.
3. On the third day God divided the land and the sea then he created all the plants and trees found on the earth.
4. On the fourth day, God created the three heavenly lights i.e. the sun to give light at daytime while the moon and the star to give light during the night.
5. On the fifth day, God created the sea living creatures such as fish. He also made birds of all kinds.
6. On the sixth day, God created all living creatures on earth. It is also the sixth day that God created man in His own image and likeness. The creation of man is very significant for God says “Let us make man in our own image” all work of creation therefore was completed on the sixth day.
7. On the seventh day God rested and blessed it as a special day of worship.
The second account of creation
(Genesis 2:4(b) – 25)
- The second account is centered on the creation of man and woman.
- It gives a detailed account of how God created Adam out of dust and breathed into him the breath of life. In the same account the creation of woman is brought out more clearly: The woman is made from the ribs of the man.
- In the second account God’s creative activities is seen as work and not utterances.
- For example man is made out of dust and woman out of the ribs of man.
- In the second story the creation of the Garden of Eden is mentioned. In the center of the garden. God placed the tree of life and the tree of good and evil.
- Man is put in the Garden of Eden to take care of God’s creation. Man is commanded to eat from every tree except one; the tree of the knowledge of Good and evil for in so doing they would die.
- It explains the special position that human kind occupies in God’s creation.
What shows that man is God’s special creation?
- God made man in His image and likeness.
-Of the entire creature, it is only man that He created with his own hands.
-He was to take care of God’s creation.
- Man was given the responsibility of naming all the other creation.
- It is only in man that He breathed the breath of life.
- Adam and Eve were blessed by God and commanded to go and multiply and fulfill the earth.
- God has a personal relationship with man i.e. man has the ability to communicate with God.
- Of all the creation, man was created last.
Similarities between the two accounts of creation
-In both cases, God is acknowledged as the one creating.
-God’s creation includes both the living and the non-living.
-In both men occupies a special position.
-In the first account man is created in the image and likeness of God and in the second account man is given dominion over all the creation.
Differences between the two accounts of creation
-There is a difference in order in which the creation is done.
-The first account starts with the creation of light while the second starts with the creation of man.
-In the first account there is the mention of the days, which is omitted, in the second account.
-The creation of the firmament – light, sun, stars, fishes and creeping things are included in first account and are omitted in the second account.
-In the first account, creation is out of nothing but in the second account creation is out of substance. (For example, in the first account God said “let there be” while in the second account He created) and the creation of man is out of dust and plants are made to grow out of garden.
-In the first account everything that God made is seen as good while this is omitted in the second account.
-From the second account woman is made from the ribs of man but omitted in the first account.
-In the first account, marriage is for procreation while in the second account marriage is for companionship.
-In the second account there is the mention of the Garden of Eden and the forbidden fruit, which is omitted, in the first account.
- In the first account God rested on the last day but rest is omitted in the second account.
Responsibilities given to man during creation
- To till the land.
- To take care of the environment.
- To eat all plants except the tree of knowledge of good and evil.
- To be in charge of God’s creation.
- To rule over the earth
- To name the living creatures.
- To be fruitful, multiply and fill the earth.
The nature of God from the creation stories
- God is omnipresent (everlasting).
- He was there before creation, which brought space, time and matter into being.
- God is the sole creator. He created everything from nothing.
- God is the source of goodness and happiness, this we can realize from the saying that (“And God saw that it was good”).
- God is living; he created human beings to be like him so that they may enjoy the personal and loving relationship with God.
- God is omnipotent (call powerful).
- God is God of order. All the creative arts of God were done in an orderly manner.
- God is all knowing. All knowledge and wisdom is His.
- God is the provider. He provided man with necessities of life.
What are the teachings of the Genesis stories of creation?
- God is the creator of the universe.
- Everything that God made is good.
- God is a God of order. He created the universe and all that is in it in orderly manner
- Human beings were put in charge of all God’s creation.
- God is a God of power. He calls things into existence by His spoken words.
- Plants and animals were made for the benefits of man.
- God ordained work. He told man to fill the land.
- Marriage is ordained by God. For God said, “Be fruitful multiply and fulfill the earth.
- The woman is created to be a happy companion of man for God said, “It’s not good for man to live alone.”
- Human beings should continue with the work of creation.
- Human beings should obey God. Punishment comes as a result of man disobeying God.
AFRICAN CREATION MYTHS
- They call their God Were Khakaba meaning the provider. Were Khakaba created the world alone.
- First he created heaven as His dwelling place which was very bright and which was supported on pillars like a hut to stop it from falling. Then He created His two assistants Mukobe and Murumwa. Later on He made the moon and the sun; the two quarreled and fought. Moon was defeated and thrown down into the wind to prevent him from shining brightly.
- Were ordered the sun to shine during the day on all people while moon was to shine only at night.
- Were then made the clouds and the stars. He made a big red rock which crows whenever it thunders warning people of the coming rain.
- He created rain and put it in the clouds. He created rainbow, female and male to stop the unwanted rain from falling. Air was created next.
- Mysteriously were created the earth with mountains and valleys as a place for His two assistants to work in.
- He created man for whom the sun would shine. Since man needed someone to talk to, water to drink, were provided rain, which filled up the valleys to form lakes, rivers and streams.
- Were then created plants, animals, birds and other creatures, which live on land, water and in the soil.
- The Bukusu further believe that the whole work of creation was completed in six days. On the seventh day, were rested because it was a bad day.
- Were Khakaba gave restrictions to the first human beings on some of the things for instance, they were not supposed to eat animals with single hooves, like donkeys and horses, crawling animals like snakes, lizards, chameleons and scavengers such as vultures hawks and eagle.
- They call their God Ngai or Mugai, which means the divider of the universe.
- Gikuyu the founder of Agikuyu community was called by God and was given land with forests, rivers, valleys, animals and all other natural things.
- The same time Ngai made a big mountain called Kirinyanga also known as Mount Kenya; The Mountain of mystery. He also dwelt on the mountain when He was on inspection tours. It was also a sign of His splendor and mystery. After calling Gikuyu, He took him to the top of this mountain and showed him the land he was to give him.
-It was beautiful and full of fig trees (Mugumo) in the center of the country. God then ordered him to go and establish his homestead at the place he had showed him. This place was called Mukuruwe wa Nyagathanga that is in Muranga District.
- Before Gikuyu parted with God, he was advised to make a sacrifice and raise his hands towards Kirinyaga if he wanted anything or had problems.
- When he went to the Promised Land, he found a wife called Mumbi (creator or molder) that god had provided for him.
- They lived happily and were blessed with nine daughters. Gikuyu was so disturbed by the fact that he did not have sons to inherit his property.
- He then remembered what Ngai had told him to do. He decided to make sacrifice and told God his needs. God told him to take his family home and come back alone. On the process God revealed to Gikuyu that he would provide young men would be willing to marry his daughters.
- When he came back, he found nine handsome young men and took them with him home. The next day in the morning the issue of marriage was discussed and the young men agreed to marry Gikuyu’ daughters.
- Gikuyu ordered that the young men would go with the daughters if they agreed to live in his homestead. The young men could not resist the beauty and the hospitality offered to them. They all agreed to marry them. All the nine daughters were married and each established their own family set. These were joined together under the name Nyumba ya Mumbi (The House of Mumbi).
Similarities between the African and biblical accounts of creation
- The Biblical and traditional view is that God created the universe and everything in it.
- In both accounts man was originally innocent and God was closer to man.
- The separation of man from God came as a result of disobedience.
- In both cases, God provided man with all the necessities of life.
- In both accounts man was given a wife to keep him company and to be a helper.
- In both accounts man is given authority over all other creatures.
- Man is considered as a special creature.
What lessons can Christians learn about work from the Genesis stories of creation?
- Work is ordained by God. For God told man to till the land.
- Work is good.
- Work is to be enjoyed and not to be seen as a burden.
- Just as God did creation in an orderly manner, therefore work should also be done in an orderly manner.
- Man should continue with God’s creative activity.
- Work should be accompanied by rest just as God vested on the seventh day after finishing creation.
- Human beings should work as a team.
- Work is necessary.
- Human beings should be committed to work.
How Christians care for God’s creation
- Keeping their bodies holy as man was created in the image and likeness of God.
- Christians should develop responsible parenthood.
- Christians should be willing to help the needy.
- Christians should preserve life e.g. care for the animals.
- Should teach the rest environmental conservation measures.
- Should conserve vegetation e.g. planting of trees.
- Christians should prevent soil erosion.
- Avoid pollution of the environment.
- Christians should use the natural resources responsibly.
How does man continue with God’s act of creation?
- Through procreation, God commanded man, be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it.
- Caring and conserving the environment. Man was put in charge of every living creature.
- By caring for the under privileged and giving assistance where necessary.
- By using the God’s talents well
- By observing the Ten Commandments and by teaching that life is sacred and should not be taken away.
- Respecting the property of others.
- Opposing unjust laws which discriminate against others especially the less fortunate.
- Through Scientific and technological discoveries that help in the improvement of the lives of human beings.
- Opposing scientific and technological advancement that destroys the environment.
ORIGIN OF SIN AND ITS CONSEQUENCES (GEN: 3-11)
- The word sin can be described as an act at rebellion and as a condition of being alienated from God.
- From the creation stories of Genesis one and two, the word is portrayed as perfect, in which there is no evil, unhappiness, diseases or even death.
- The first human beings, man and woman lived in harmony,
- However, this beauty and order is shattered due to sin.
- But the question is; how did sin enter the world.
- In Genesis 3, the serpent or snake is introduced as one of the beasts in the Garden of Eden.
- The snake asked Adam and Eve if they were told not to eat any tree in the garden.
- Eve replied, we may eat the fruit of any tree in the Garden except the tree in the middle of it.
- The snake replied ‘that is not true ---God said that because He knows that when you eat it you will be like him.’’
- From the statement the serpent claims God is Jealous and does not want to allow man to know what He knows.
- After eating the fruit their eyes were opened, but instead of seeing beautiful things they noted they were naked.
- Man is afraid to meet God because of the guilt. When God asks where they were the man accused God saying “The woman you gave me”. The woman also blames the snake for misleading her to the fruit.
- The judgment is pronounced on the first parent.
The consequences of sin
- The relationship between man and God became strained leading to alienation of man from God.
- Man started feeling guilty because of his behavior. After eating the fruit, instead of being like God, they noted that they were naked and were ashamed and lied.
- When God asked them when they were or whether they had eaten the forbidden fruit the man accused God saying ‘the woman you gave me”.
- The woman also blamed the snake for misleading her.
- The serpent was cursed above all animals.
- Enmity was put between man and the serpent, “he shall bruise your head and you shall bruise his heels” (Gen 3:15).
- The woman was to feel pain during child birth. “Will greatly multiply your pain in child bearing” (Gen: 3:16).
- The woman was put to be subordinate to man and to have the desire for the man.
- Man was to toil and struggle to meet his needs.
- The earth itself was put under a curse “cursed is the ground because of you.” (Gen 3:17)
- Death came upon man.” In the sweat of your face you shall eat bread till you return to the ground for out of it you were taken.” (Gen: 3:19).
- Man was dismissed from the Garden of Eden and cherubim were put to guard the garden.
- Murderous feeling began to enter man’s heart for example Cain killed Abel. (Gen: 4:8).
- The life span of man was reduced “I will not allow people to live forever. They will no longer live for more than 120 years (Gen: 6:3).
- God confused man’s language after the flood. God said, “Let us go down and mix their language so that they will not understand each other (Gen: 11:1-7).
Causes of sin according to the Biblical stories of creation
1. Desire to be like God made Adam and Eve to eat the forbidden fruit.
2. Disobedience of Man to God’s instruction.
3. Man succumbed to temptation after the serpent approached Eve in a very convincing way.
4. Lack of self-control.
5. Man was also anxious to know what is right and what is wrong.
6. Human weakness made Adam to accept the fruit that he was given by the wife.
7. Jealousy made Cain to kill Abel.
AFRICAN TRADITIONAL UNDERSTANDING OF SIN AND EVIL
- Most African communities believed that God did not create evil.
- Some communities attribute the origin of sin to evil spirit.
- Others believe that evil is caused by “bad people” such as sorcerers, witches and magicians.
- Others believe that evil is caused by ancestors being angered. This could bring bad omen to the living e.g. Death of children or animals.
- Sin could also come as a result of offending members of the community.
- Parents or elders could also curse some people.
- Evil things could also come as a result of God being angered.
- Some myths trace the origin of sin to a time during creation of the rules he was to observe which man disobeyed.
The results of sin in the traditional African society
1. Sin causes death as the affected sometimes suffered to death.
2. Sin causes diseases to the living as some of the misfortunes caused sickness.
3. Sin causes drought and famine.
4. Causes barrenness and childlessness.
5. Evil causes suffering, agony and misery.
6. It causes unstable families where there is no peace e.g. rebellion of children.
7. It causes environmental disasters such as floods and earthquakes.
8. It causes birth of physically and mentally handicapped children.
9. Evil cause’s war between clans.
How sinners or offenders are treated in the traditional African societies
-Sinners and offenders are treated according to the seriousness of the offence.
- Sometimes a council of elders would sit down and if the offence is light, the offender could be warned and pardoned.
- Some offenders could be cleansed using special medicine.
- If the offence is so serious e.g. murder then the offender could be stoned to death.
- Offences such as incest or witchcraft could result in the ex-communication of the offender.
- In some cases the offender can be cursed especially in cases where he or she was not known.
- At times the offender could be fined. For example, in a case where a boy makes a girl pregnant before marriage he could be made to pay heads of cattle, sheep or goats.
- Suspects could also be put to swear for example a boy who is suspected of having made a girl pregnant would be put to pass in between the girl’s legs.
Similarities between African concept of evil and the biblical concept in genesis
-Both agree that God did not create evil or sin. God is portrayed as good.
-In both cases sin is related to human disobedience.
-In both cases it results in man suffering or epidemics and other calamities.
-In both it destroys the good relationship between man and God.
-In both Biblical and African concept of evil brings death.
-In both cases it does not only bring suffering to the individual but to the whole community.
-Sometimes it is shown to come to people through Satan or evil spirits.
PAST KCSE REVISION QUESTION ON INTRODUCTION TO BIBLE
1. Explain the steps taken by God towards healing the damaged relationship with mankind.
2. (a) Identify the causes of the original sin
(b) Explain the comparison between the Biblical concept of sin and the Traditional African concept of evil.
3. Explain the steps taken by God towards healing the damaged relationship with mankind.
4. Give the relationship between man and woman according to Genesis Accounts of creation
5. (a) State seven instructions given to man by God in the creation stories (Gen. 1 & 2)
(b) Mention six causes of evil in Traditional African Society
6. Identify ways in which Christians care for God’s creation today
7. (a)Give reasons why it is important for Christians to obey God
(b) What are the consequences of breaking taboo in Traditional African Communities?
8. a) Explain five differences between African concept of evil and biblical concept of sin
b) Discuss five steps God took to heal broken relationships with mankind after the fall
9. Identify similarities between traditional view of evil and Biblical concept of sin
10. (a) Outline the differences in the two accounts of creation in Genesis 1 and 2
(b) Give six lessons that Christians learn about work from the Genesis stories of creation
(c) State four ways on how Christians can care for God’s creation today
11. State the provisions given to man by God in the creation stories
12. a) Mention the relationship between God and man as seen in Genesis chapter 1 and 2.
b) Outline the consequences of evil according to the African concept.
c) What are the causes of death in African communities?
13. a) State the similarities between traditional African view of evil and biblical concept of sin.
b) Describe six ways in which Christians continue with God’s work of creation
c) Mention the relationship between God and man as seen in Genesis chapter 1 and 2.
14. a) Outline the consequences of evil according to the African concept.
b) What are the causes of death in African communities?