THE CREATION STORY – well, sort of
“In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth (Gen 1:1, KJV)” In the beginning of biblical interpretation it meant just that – God made heaven and earth, and then all things in it, in six days. Eight creative processes in six days, with seven declarations of “and it was good.” The exception was the sky, which evidently didn’t deserve a nod of pleasure. Hmm. God made Adam, planted a garden for Adam to tend, made all the creatures so Adam could be entertained naming them, and then fashioned woman from Adam’s rib to be his helper. Of course, we all know how Eve sent all creation on the slippery slope to h… – well, we won’t belabor that point. Besides, it may have had something to do with getting story lines mixed up.
All of these things happened just the way they were related in scripture – nary jot nor tittle anything but fact. Then, in the sixteenth century, God gave man a brain. Man decided he could now read the Bible for himself and know as much or more than the special, superhuman, priestly class of men God created in the first century C.E. and beyond, who were given authority by God to lead and teach the truth to other people. Then, over the next few hundred years, God made man smarter yet, and man decided he could re-interpret and analyze scripture in light of the scientific facts and notions he’d developed about the world. Things were looking good for man, but scripture was beginning to look a little suspect – it didn’t seem to speak with as much authority as it once did.
Eventually, despite man’s efforts to convince her that he was her security, woman started taking a closer look at what man knew (actually she’d taken a keen interest before, but man kept ridiculing her while manipulating and co-opting her ideas). Things began to look a little better for woman, but now man was looking a little suspect and, like scripture, he didn’t seem to have the authority he once enjoyed. Besides that, scripture was beginning to look really inadequate. Then God engendered feminist theology and creation started to take on some semblance of its original design. Started – mind you – it still had a long way to go.
What do Genesis 1:26-28, biblical authority and feminist theology have to do with each other? Well, that’s what I’d like to explore. “The authority of Scripture”, the topic of Part 2, and “feminist theology” are both terms demanding definition, while Genesis 1:26-28 is pretty well set, although not necessarily well explicated or understood. Discussion of the Bible passage shall occur a little later in the series. For now we will delve into the tremendous effects feminist theology has had on understanding scripture more fully.
Go to Table of Contents for the rest of the series.