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The Creation Stories: what do we learn about God from them? . The Goodness of Creation: . The Primeval History. God is revealed as the one, true God who sustains the whole universe. He created the world out of Love, for God is Love All creation is good: for God is true Goodness

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the goodness of creation

The Goodness of Creation:

The Primeval History


God is revealed as the one, true God who sustains the whole universe.

  • He created the world out of Love, for God is Love
  • All creation is good: for God is true Goodness
  • God is Truth
  • God is Faithfulness, for God’s love is steadfast and faithful (hesed (Hb)
the primeval history
The Primeval history
  • The Creation stories from Genesis are part of what is called The Primeval History

Primeval history: the time before the invention of writing and recording of historical data.

  • The Genesis accounts are symbolic: metaphorical
  • Told, refined, and edited together over several centuries
  • From several different ancient Jewish and other sources
  • Inspired by the Holy Spirit
sacred scriptures
Sacred Scriptures
  • Teach religious, not scientific, truths
  • Written in figurativelanguage.
  • Figurative language is not pure fantasy.
  • Religious truth and scientific truth ultimately should not contradict each other.
  • Faith and reason are complimentary.
creation reflects the glory of god
Creation Reflects the Glory of God
  • God created the world to reveal the glory of God.

Scriptures proclaim that creation is a sign of the power of God.

  • Creation is the work of the Trinity. (See John 1:1-3 and Psalm 33:6)
  • Tradition teaches that Creation is the work of all three Divine Persons of the Trinity.
creation the seen and unseen
Creation: The Seen and Unseen
  • Creation also contains the unseen such as angels.
  • They are witnessed to in both Scripture and Tradition as part of the heavenly realm
  • Spiritual beings who are servants and messengers of God.
  • Appear to humans at key moments in salvation history.
human beings the summit of creation
Human Beings: The Summit of Creation
  • We are made in the divine image.
  • We possess a soul.
  • Soul is immortal.
  • Union of soul and body is so complete that they cannot be distinguished from or separated one from another until after death.
  • God created humans to be in relationship/communion with each other.
  • Man and woman meant to be in communion: a reflection of communion between Father, Son and Spirit.
  • In marriage, man and woman share in God’s creative ability to bring new life into the world.
humanity s role
Humanity’s Role
  • To be in communion with God and to respond to God’s love by loving God in return
  • To serve God, specifically as good stewards of creation.

We are the only creatures given free will and self-knowledge.

  • Out of this comes our “dignity” which surpasses all other creatures.

The Incarnation is the greatest testimony to human dignity.

  • From the beginning, humanity was destined to “reproduce the image of God’s son made man.”
the garden of eden the perfect life
The Garden of Eden: The Perfect Life
  • Adam and Eve, the first man and woman, lived in this perfect state: perfect life and perfect place called the Garden of Eden.
  • Figurative language.

In the beginning, humans existed in this perfect relationship with God and each other.

relationship between god and humanity
Relationship between God and humanity
  • God breathes life into Adam
  • Original holiness-the original state of human beings in their relationship with God, sharing in the divine life in full communion with him.
  • God is spoken of in anthropomorphic terms in the book of Genesis.

Original justice-the state of complete harmony of the first humans with themselves, each other, and with all of Creation.

the disobedience of humanity
The Disobedience of Humanity
  • The first humans, Adam and Eve, are told by God to not eat of the tree of knowledge of good and bad.
  • Tempted by the serpent, Satan, they eat of the fruit.

The Results:

  • they notice their nakedness
  • That is, they feel guilt and shame.

In other words, Adam and Eve lost their original justice and holiness.

  • No longer in loving communion with God nor in harmony with each other.
  • Called the Fall
original sin
Original Sin
  • The fall constitutes a misuse of human freedom and a lack of trust in God.
  • Original Sin: a. the sin of the first human beings who disobeyed God’s command and became subject to death. b. the fallen state of human nature that affects every person born into the world.

Good vs. Evil

  • God and Satan
  • It is God’s grace from the Holy Spirit that allows us to resist the temptation from the evil one.
  • Humanity awaits the Parousia.
god s promise to adam and eve
God’s Promise to Adam and Eve:

The Protoevangelium (Genesis 3:15) meaning the “first gospel.”

And I will put enmity    between you and the woman,    and between your offspring[a] and hers;he will crush[b] your head,    and you will strike his heel.”


Literal sense: biblical interpretation that considers the explicit meaning of the text.

  • Spiritual sense: biblical interpretation that goes beyond the literal to consider what the realities and events of the Scriptures signify and mean for salvation.

The Protoevangelium, in the spiritual sense, signifies God’s promise to send a Savior to free humanity from the effects of the Fall, as interpreted by the early Church Fathers.

god s covenants with humanity
God’s Covenants with Humanity
  • Even as sin increased within humankind, God remains faithful.
  • Examples: Adam and Eve’s disobedience
  • Cain and Abel’s dispute
  • God still remains faithful and forms covenant w/humanity
noah and the flood genesis 6 5 9 17
Noah and the Flood (Genesis 6:5-9:17)
  • The covenants all point to the Paschal Mystery and the final covenant in Jesus Christ.
  • The first explicit covenant: God destroys the earth through a flood because of humankind’s sinfulness.
  • Noah, the one just man, and his family are chosen to survive.
  • God promises afterwards to never destroy the earth again by flood: marked by rainbow.
  • God’s covenant extends to all the nations through Noah’s descendants.

The nations are always in danger of the effects of polytheism.

  • The covenants are a sign that God is still at work among the nations.

God calls a chosen people in his plan to restore humanity’s holiness and justice.


Three Promises:

  • To make of him a great nation by promising many descendants
  • A land of their own
  • They will be a blessing for all the nations.
god asks abraham and his descendants
God asks Abraham and his descendants:
  • To walk with God
  • To be blameless
  • To practice circumcision as a mark of the Covenant

Abraham and his descendants-Isaac and Jacob-are called the patriarchs of the Israelites and revered as saints in the Church’s liturgical tradition.

  • Patriarch: the father or leader of a tribe, clan, or tradition.
the mosaic covenant
The Mosaic Covenant
  • The theophany at the foot of Mt. Sinai
  • God’s presence revealed in a dramatic fashion.
  • God summons Moses to the mountaintop
  • God renews the Covenant with Moses and gives him a set of laws for the Israelites

The law is summarized in the Ten Commandments (Exodus 20:1-17)

  • The full law is spelled out in the rest of Exodus and Leviticus
  • Summarized again in Deuteronomy
  • Called the Mosaic Law or Old Law
  • Keeping the Law becomes a sign of faithfulness to the Covenant.
the mosaic covenant cont
The Mosaic Covenant (cont.)
  • The first five books of the Hebrew Scriptures (our Old Testament) come to be known as the Torah- the Hebrew word for “law” or “teaching.”
the davidic covenant
The Davidic Covenant
  • King David is told by the prophet Nathan, “your house and your kingdom shall endure forever before me; your throne shall stand firm forever.”

The kings of Israel and Judah come from the line of David until the destruction of the kingdom in 598 BC.

  • Christians see the New Covenant established in Christ who is said to be a direct descendant of David.
  • The Paschal Mystery is the final and complete fulfillment of the Covenant with God.
the growing messianic hope
The Growing Messianic Hope
  • Judges and monarchies of Israel have a role in God’s plan of salvation.
  • The monarchy firmly establishes the Israelites as God’s Chosen People
  • Jerusalem Temple is the seat of religious ritual practices and worship
  • The great kings, such as David and Solomon, foreshadow the kingship of Christ
the prophets
The Prophets
  • God’s spokespersons
  • Watchdogs of the Covenant and Law
  • Warn the people to be faithful to the Covenant
  • Warn them of the consequences of unfaithfulness
prophets continued
Prophets (continued)
  • Often subjected to ridicule, torture, and even death
  • Israelites faithfulness essential to God’s plan of salvation
  • They begin to sense God’s greater plan to restore right relationship with God and one another and to redeem all humanity.
prophets reveal hope
Prophets Reveal Hope
  • Give a vision of a New Covenant and a new kingdom
  • Brought about through a “messiah” or “anointed one.”
  • Mashiach or
the word became flesh
The Word Became Flesh
  • The Paschal Mystery: The Eternal Son of God assumed human flesh in order to redeem humankind

The New Testament writers showed how many of the Hebrew Scriptures’ (OT) prophecies referred to Jesus.

god prepares the way mary s faith and trust
God Prepares the Way: Mary’s Faith and Trust


  • Annunciation
  • Theotokos
  • Immaculate Conception
  • clement

Mary shows her complete faith and trust in the Annunciation

  • She proclaims, “I am the handmaid of the Lord. May it be done to me according to your word.” (Luke 1:38)

Mary commits to her role in God’s plan of salvation by becoming the Theotokos.

  • By giving her “fiat,” her yes, to the Incarnation, Mary collaborates with the Divine Plan-her Son’s mission of salvation.

According to the Church, Mary was free of Original Sin and remained free of personal sin.

  • This doctrine is called the Immaculate Conception.
  • Mary bears a son through the power of the Holy Spirit
  • Joseph becomes the earthly foster father of Jesus.

Jesus is called the New Adam.

  • He ushers in a new Heaven and earth.
  • Mary remains a virgin her entire life.
joseph s faith and trust
Joseph’s Faith and Trust
  • Joseph, Mary’s husband is called a “righteous man.”
  • Joseph receives the news from an angel (Matthew’s Gospel) that Mary will bear a child through the Holy Spirit
  • Joseph exhibits his trust in God by following the advice of the angelic pronouncements.
st joseph patron saint
St. Joseph, Patron Saint
  • Patron saint of the universal Church
  • Of happy death,
  • Workers
  • Fathers
  • Many countries
  • Feast days: March 19 and May 1.
the gospel and christological prophecies
The Gospel and Christological Prophecies
  • The first Christians came to realize that much of Jesus’ life and mission was foreshadowed in the Hebrew Scriptures (Old Testament.)
  • The Church saw these Christological prophecies as God’s revealing how his plan would be fulfilled in his relationship with the Chosen People.
why the word became flesh
Why the Word Became Flesh
  • The sense that the great mysteries of our faith, the doctrines, fit together and support one another and are connected with the whole of Revelation is called the analogy of faith.
the incarnation
The Incarnation
  • The Word of God became incarnate, that is, assumed human nature without losing his divine nature.
  • “True God and true man” (Nicene Creed)
reasons for the incarnation
Reasons for the Incarnation

To reconcile us with God through the forgiveness of sin.

  • Jesus Christ takes on the sins of humanity.
  • God sent his Son as expiation for our sins.

That we might know the depth of God’s love.

  • In the death of Jesus, God shows his great unconditional love for all humankind.

To be our model of holiness

  • As man, Jesus shows us how to be holy in our everyday lives.
  • At the Transfiguration, the Father says, “This is my beloved Son. Listen to him.” (Mark 9:7)
  • At the Last Supper, Jesus tells his disciples, “This is my commandment: love one another as I love you.” (John 15:12)

To makes us partakers of the Divine Nature

  • God desires us to share in God’s divine life
  • God desires us to become the fullness of the image of God we were made to be.

To destroy the power of the devil

  • On our own, we could not defeat the power of Satan
  • The Son of God destroyed the works of the devil
  • Therefore, strengthened by faith and the gifts of the Spirit, Satan has lost power over us.
the titles of jesus the christ
The Titles of Jesus the Christ

Jesus is given several titles that indicate his role and importance in salvation history.

  • The earthly name given to the son of Mary
  • Means, “God saves” in Hebrew.
  • In Luke, Mary is told she will bear a son and name his Jesus.
  • Comes from the word “Christos” which is Greek translation of the word messiah.
  • Means “anointed.”
  • In the OT, kings, priests, and prophets were anointed.
  • Jesus Christ is anointed by the Father with the Holy Spirit as priest, prophet, and king.
  • Brings hope and salvation to all.
son of god
Son of God
  • In the OT, this title is often used for angels, the people of Israel, and for Israel’s kings.
  • Signifies a special relationship with God.
  • Signifies a unique relationship between Jesus and the Father.
  • In the Baptism and at the Transfiguration, the Father announces, “This is my beloved Son.” (Matt 3:17, 17:5)
son of god cont
Son of God (cont.)
  • Jesus is the one and only mediator who can restore the damaged relationship between God and humanity.
  • A title of respect used in Jesus’ time.
  • Lord is from the Greek used to refer to God instead of “Yahweh.”
  • Indicates a special title of significance for Jesus.