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God is the Creator
Christianity is a religion which embodies the teachings of Jesus Christ. Christ is completely divine and mortal. He is God. He is truly unique in that He fulfilled the Old Testament prophecies of a coming Messiah. The aforementioned prophecies were explicitly communicated through the Bible, a guidebook for followers of Christianity. Specifically, the Old Testament is the foundation of many religions (i.e. Judaism, Islam and Christianity). The Bible (the Scripture) is composed of several books; each book is regarded as both a historical as well as allegorical source. The Bible is the canon of the Scripture, the basis of Christian beliefs. Every story chronicled throughout the scripture is factual. Although each story has a separate author, they all share a common link; they were inspired by way of revelation; therefore they are the truth.
The Bible can be interpreted in three different ways: the divine oracle paradigm, the historical paradigm, or the literary paradigm. These biblical interpretive techniques are described in an article by Carl R. Holladay called “Contemporary Methods of Reading the Bible.” Using “A Historical View of Texts” under the umbrella of the literary paradigm, particular claims of the scripture will secure credibility and further meaning. “A Historical View of Texts” does not take into account the Bible’s development over time especially in terms of cause and effect how those shaped the texts; rather, it scrutinizes the Bible in its entirety, as a “finished product.” More importance is given to literal than historical interpretation, “spatial rather than temporal (Holladay, p.138).” Historical references are only made when the text requires the reader or interpreter to do so. The net-effect of being oblivious to time whilst interpreting a piece is a purely literal breakdown of the text.
This form of biblical analysis has two offshoots: diachronic and synchronic analysis. Holladay explains:
In diachronic analysis, the interpreter thinks in terms of a linear time line along which the development of language and texts can be plotted. Synchronic analysis, by contrast, focuses on a single point in the time line and draws comparisons from other texts that are either roughly contemporary or otherwise relevant. In the literary paradigm, synchronic analysis may also involve comparing texts, or aspects of language, from different chronological periods, but doing so as if they occupied the same moment in time (Holladay, p.138).
The implementation of diachronic analysis will provide context when attempting to define words in their original and contemporary usage; however, that will not be the sole method of interpretation. The Bible is inundated with a multitude of truths. Biblical citations in conjunction with diachronic analysis will serve to justify that God is the Creator.
In the beginning when God created the heavens and the earth, the earth was a formless void and darkness covered the face of the deep, while a wind from God swept over the face of the waters (Gen 1:1).
The earth had already existed before God decided to mold it. The world did not come from nothing. God did not ‘create’ the earth in the modern sense of the word which is “to bring into existence.” As a matter of fact, He is more like the sculptor of an amorphous slab of clay. In the quotation above and the story that follows, God is an artist and within six days He created a masterpiece (the universe) from the raw materials before him. Once He had shaped the nebulous blob into a substantial whole, He created the darkness of the night and the light of the day.
God made the great lights – the greater light to rule the day and the lesser light to rule the night – and the stars (Gen 1:16).
He created the sky, the light, the darkness, the waters, the land, the birds, and “living creatures of every kind: cattle and creeping things and wild animals of the earth of every kind (Gen 1:24).” He established himself as the divine ruler through his creation of all natural things known to man. Life for humans and animals alike began by God’s decree.
So God created humankind in his image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them (Gen 1:27).
God breathed life into inanimate creatures and objects; He created a soul in all living things; He created the individual; He created the human race. Amongst the populace were the chosen people, the Hebrews.
Since the fall of Eden, humans have been inherently flawed. God was once vexed by the extent to which debauchery pervaded the earth.
The Lord saw the wickedness of humankind was great in the earth, and that every inclination of the thoughts of their hearts was only evil continually. And the Lord was sorry that he had made humankind on the earth, and it grieved him to his heart (Gen 6:5-6).
Thus, to display the magnitude of his power, he cleansed the planet of iniquity with a great flood. He saved Noah, his family, and two of each animal. With the power to create comes the power to destroy. He continually saves the chosen people. The underlying theme of the Bible is forgiveness and the continual prospect of second chance. This is evidenced by God’s many covenants with the Hebrew people. He does not necessarily ‘bring into existence’ the chosen people repeatedly but often creates a better life for his people.
God made many covenants with the Hebrew people. He promised Abram that He would protect the Hebrew people.
I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you, and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and the one who curses you I will curse; and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed (Gen 12:2-3).
One example of God upholding His promise is in the book of Exodus. Whilst the Hebrew people were enslaved to the pharaoh of Egypt, they toiled endlessly to appease him. God acknowledged their plight and pledged to put an end to their suffering. God revealed Himself to Moses and bestowed the task of liberating the Hebrew people upon him. “Let my people go (Exodus 7:16).” God acted through Moses, His missionary, to unshackle the Hebrew People. After being freed from subjugation, the fickle Hebrew people affronted God by wishing they were in slavery again because they now suffered from hunger which yielded acrimony. But God being merciful and forgiving alleviated their cries nonetheless. The story of Moses shows how God frees His people from a life of servitude and guides them towards righteousness. He gives them a second chance to live their lives as He had promised to Abraham.
Diachronic analysis helps dissect the Bible without historical bias; the only chronology taken into consideration is that implied through the texts. Despite the over-arching messages intended to guide Christian followers, God as the Creator of the human race and Hebrew people is reaffirmed.