Commentaries on the Creation Story in the Bible

The Genesis 1 creation.

Genesis 1 Creation Examined, part 4

4   Commentaries

One recurring problem with extant interpretations of the Bible texts is that most of them tend to take for granted that the texts were written as meticulously as if their writers were aware of their future importance. Of course, that cannot be taken for granted. The choice of words, the order of events, and so forth, might not have been pondered more than any storyteller would.

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This book examines Freudian theories on myth and religion, from Sigmund Freud to Erich Fromm. Click the image to see the book at Amazon (paid link).

       When the text shifts between bara, create, and asah, make, the intention may have been simply to avoid repeating one and the same word too much, and not at all a way of distinguishing between different methods of creation. Instead of assuming that the texts were written with some precognition of their future importance, we should at first examine them at "face value", with the words stripped bare of the symbolic loads they received through the many centuries of their use in religious contexts.

       This tendency is also found with modern interpretations and commentaries.

       Another problem is the mere volume of it. Through the many centuries of European Christianity, innumerable texts have been produced about the Bible and how to understand it. A complete survey just is not possible. For the purpose of my treatment of Genesis, I have settled with the thoughts of two persons — chosen for their significance in Christian history: Augustine and Martin Luther. Both have treated the subject at depth, and their writing is intact.

       I am not curious about how they integrate their views on Genesis with their religious beliefs, although this angle is unavoidable for the simple reason that it is tied into their interpretations. Instead, I search to extract how they explained and understood the acts of creation as they are presented in Genesis.


5   Augustine of Hippo

Genesis 1 Creation

The first creation of the Bible

  1. Genesis — The Text

  2. The seven days

  3. Good for man

  4. Commentaries

  5. Augustine of Hippo

  6. Martin Luther

  7. Some conclusions

This article was originally written for a seminar at the Department of History of Ideas and Learning, Lund University, as a part of my dissertation in progress on creation myths and their patterns of thought. Transforming the text to webpages, I have excluded footnotes, or edited them into the text.

© Stefan Stenudd

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Cosmos of the Ancients. Book by Stefan Stenudd. Cosmos of the Ancients
The Greek philosophers and what they thought about cosmology, myth, and the gods.

Life Energy Encyclopedia. Book by Stefan Stenudd. Life Energy Encyclopedia
Qi, prana, spirit, ruach, pneuma, and many other life forces around the world explained and compared.

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Creation Myths Around the World
How stories of the beginning began.

The Meanings of Mythology
Theories through history about myth and fable.

Archetypes in Myths
The mythological symbols and what they stand for.

The Logics of Myth
Patterns of creation.


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Creation in Rig Veda 10:129
The paradox of origin, according to an Indian myth.

Genesis 1
The first creation story of the bible scrutinized.

Enuma Elish
The ancient Babylonian creation myth.

Xingu Creation of Man
The insoluble solitude of gods and humans.


Psychoanalysis of Myth
What Sigmund Freud and C. G. Jung thought about myths, their origins and meanings.

Myth of Creation
An introduction to the subject of creation myths and the patterns of thought they reveal.

Cosmos of the Ancients
What the Greek philosophers believed about the cosmos, their religion and their gods.

Life Energy
The many ancient and modern life force beliefs all over the world explained and compared.

Taoism, the ancient Chinese philosophy of life explained. Also, the complete classic text Tao Te Ching online.

Stefan Stenudd, Swedish author of fiction and non-fiction. Stefan Stenudd

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I'm a Swedish author and historian of ideas, researching the thought patterns in creation myths. I've also written books about Taoism, the Tarot, and life force concepts around the world. Click the image to get to my personal website.