I have participated in studies that concentrated on a book, but never the whole thing. Since I believe the entire book has value, I wanted to study the whole thing. Since I've failed at my attempts in the past, I wanted to do it in a group setting.
Tonight, along with three friends, we started. We took turns reading until we finished a chapter. Then we discussed our thoughts. Questions were asked, theories were put forth. It was interesting and enlightening.
I'm not going to do a rehash of what we discussed but I will give some highlights:
- God having Adam name the animals is a sign of man's dominion over them
- In the first chapter God is referred to as Elohim (el - god; him - people), later he is referred to as Yahweh/Jehovah (I am), indicating that the story of Creation is much older than the rest; perhaps passed down by oral tradition where nothing was changed in the retelling, even to make the language fit with the language of the day
- the command to not eat from the Tree of Knowledge was given to Adam before Eve was created, and when she quotes it to the serpent she gets it wrong
- the Fall of man was Adam's fault, not Eve's, contradicting things I've heard from various sources and historical tradition
- the serpent is not referred to as anything but a serpent; the Devil is not mentioned
- animals may have talked before the Fall, nobody was shocked at a talking serpent
- Adam was with Eve when she took the fruit
- meat may not have been eaten by any animal before the Fall