Religious Studies Paper on the book of Genesis: Composition, Reception, and Interpretation

Discussion Board 1

Interpretation of Biblical texts provides evidences for the existence of Trinity, God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit.[1] The analytical approaches given in the entire interpretation of the Biblical views of Genesis 1:1, Genesis 1:2, Genesis 1:26 and Genesis 3:15 concerning Holy Trinity follow either eisegetical interpretations or exegetical interpretation.[2] The passages supporting existence of Trinity can be presented in a survey tool as shown below. Exegetical interpretation takes into consideration some of the evidences outside the Biblical readings as a proof for the existence of Trinity.[3] On the other hand, an eisegetical interpretation digs deep into textual understanding of every chapter of the bible. The discussion proceeds as follows:

 

  Passage description Exegetical interpretation eisegetical interpretation
Genesis 1:1 In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth  

+ 1

 

– 9

Genesis 1:2 The earth was formless, darkness was over the surface of the earth and the spirit of God was hovering over the waters  

 

+ 5

 

 

-5

Genesis 1:26 God said, let us make man in our own image, likeness and let them rule over the earth and its creations.  

 

+3

 

 

-7

Genesis 3:15 And I will put enmity between you and your offspring  

+6

 

-4

Cumulative measurement   +15 -25

 

From the text survey on existence of Trinity, we observe that the proof for existence of God in three forms follow eisegetical interpretation with a strong negative score of 25.[4] This would mean that other than individual thoughts about the existence of Trinity, the bible in its original form provides an inner understanding of the existence of Trinity.[5] In genesis 1:1, we are introduced to God who is the creator of heaven and the earth. This text is an eisegetical interpretation of the existence of God who actually is the initiator of all creations.[6] However, the text is not yet open to the form in which God exists. An individual interpreting the text would consider God one whole being and particular in His creation process.[7]

Genesis 1:2 opens our mind to the spiritual component of God, “the earth was formless and the spirit of God was hovering over the waters”. This encounter subjects our either thought to a two way process, which can either be exegetical or eisegetical interpretation. The reading is a proof of God’s existence in spirit. In genesis` 1:26, we find God saying that “let us make man in our…” The words us and our, would be interpreted to mean God is not one but at least two in one. This biblical text however does not reveal the existence of the third component of the Trinity.[8] An outer interpretation would therefore be important in describing the second and the third component of the Trinity as God the son and the Holy Spirit.

Genesis 3:15 talks of God in person spelling curse on man and the serpent. The statement introduces our mind exegetically to the existence of a superior component of the Trinity who in this case must be God the Father. Significantly, we become convinced for the text that God the Father has power over every living being.[9]

In general, both eisegetical and exegetical interpretation of biblical scriptures on existence of Trinity become realistic when we consider that elements of that act as proofs. For example, biblical scriptures were written by individuals who were under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. This links to the description of genesis 1:26, “darkness was over the surface of the earth and the spirit of God was hovering over waters.

 

Bibliography

Carlson, Richard F., and Tremper Longman. 2010. Science, creation and the Bible: reconciling rival theories of origins. Downers Grove, Ill: IVP Academic.

Evans, Craig A., Joel N. Lohr, and David L. Petersen. 2012. The book of Genesis: composition, reception, and interpretation.

Longman, Tremper. 1999. 3 crucial questions about the Old Testament. Grand Rapids, Mich: Baker Books.

Miller, Johnny V., and John M. Soden. 2012. In the beginning– we misunderstood: interpreting Genesis 1 in its original context. Grand Rapids, MI: Kregel Publications.

Miller, Johnny V., and John M. Soden. 2013. In the beginning– we misunderstood: interpreting Genesis 1 in its original context. Grand Rapids, MI: Kregel Publications.

[1] Carlson, Richard F., and Tremper Longman. Science, creation and the Bible: reconciling rival theories of origins. (Downers Grove, Ill: IVP Academic, 2010) p. 23-29.

[4] Evans, Craig A., Joel N. Lohr, and David L. Petersen. The book of Genesis: composition, reception, and interpretation. (Grand Rapids, MI: kregel Publications, 2012, press) p. 41.

[5] Longman, Tremper. 1999. 3 crucial questions about the Old Testament. (Grand Rapids, Mich: Baker Books, 1993) p. 67-84

[7] Miller, Johnny V., and John M. Soden. In the beginning– we misunderstood: interpreting Genesis 1 in its original context. (Grand Rapids, MI: Kregel Publications, 2012) p. 77-89.

[8] Miller, Johnny V., and John M. Soden. 2012. In the beginning– we misunderstood: interpreting Genesis 1 in its original context. (Grand Rapids, MI: Kregel Publications, 2012) p. 77-89.

[9] Miller, Johnny V., and John M. Soden. 2012. In the beginning– we misunderstood: interpreting Genesis 1 in its original context. (Grand Rapids, MI: Kregel Publications, 2012) p. 77-89.