Preaching Christ from the Narrative of the Fall -- By: Sidney Greidanus

Journal: Bibliotheca Sacra
Volume: BSAC 161:643 (Jul 2004)
Article: Preaching Christ from the Narrative of the Fall
Author: Sidney Greidanus


Preaching Christ from the
Narrative of the Falla

Sidney Greidanus

Sidney Greidanus is Professor of Preaching, Calvin Theological Seminary, Grand Rapids, Michigan.

Some interesting differences exist between Genesis 1 and Genesis 2–3. Genesis 1:1 begins, “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth,” that is, the entire universe. Then with verse 2 the focus narrows to the earth: “The earth was formless and empty.”

Genesis 2 narrows the focus even more; it zeroes in on a garden and the first man and woman. Whereas Genesis 1 refers to God as אַוֹּהִים, the almighty King of the universe, Genesis 2–3 uses the name יהוה ַאַוֹּהִים, “the Lord God,” the God who made covenant with His people Israel. And whereas in Genesis 1 God speaks as almighty King and the universe comes into existence, in Genesis 2 He is seen in more human terms as an artist, a potter, who stoops down and fashions a delicate object.

Narrative Features

The Narrator

The narrator reveals that he is writing from a later perspective when he comments, “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother, and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh” (2:24).1 But he also knows about a time when there were no plants on the earth (2:5), he knows Eve’s mind when she contemplates the tree (3:6), and he knows the thoughts of God as God considers

what to do about these rebellious creatures, Adam and Eve, who still have access to the tree of life (v. 22).

In Genesis 2 the narrator does not intend to give a precise chronological account of what happened in the beginning. This is most evident from the order in which he sketches the creation of various creatures. Genesis 1 records the ascending order of complexity: vegetation, animals, and, as the climax, human be...

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