Origins: Greek versus Hebrew

Photo by Daniel Watson on

There are many theories for the origin of the universe – where did it come from, and was it chance or was there a true purpose behind it all? Was it unordered chaos, or the will of a supreme being?

Both the Hebrew and Greek outlook on the origin story was that all creation began with one supreme being. However their stories are as different as night and day. Using as source documents the ancient poem “Theogony” by the Greek poet Hesiod, and the first chapters of the book of Genesis, part of the Bible and essential to the study of Hebrew creation, in this post I will compare the different methods of creation.  The study of comparing ethics and theology will come into play as well.

The Hebrew story of Creation, beginning in Genesis 1, tells how Yahweh created the heavens and the earth. Then, simply by speaking things into existence, He created all the rest of the world – vegetation, ocean and other waters, and all the animals. On the sixth day of creation, He created mankind, one male, who named all the animals yet found no partner. So then Yahweh made a woman out of Adam’s rib, and Adam called her Woman, because she was created out of man. (He later named her Eve.) And the humans were in the image of God.

Then, on the seventh day of creation, Yahweh rested from his creating, and everything he had created was good.

I would rest in this beautiful story but now I must compare this with the Greek story of Creation.

The Greeks believed that creation came about through one deity, called Chaos. They believed that Chaos created Heaven and Earth, then Heaven and Earth gave birth to gods and gods gave birth to gods with names like Ocean and Strife, Time, Age, and Friendship. Therefore nature and all the forms were created by the procreation of the gods, namely, sexual union.

To summarize the Genesis account …

  • There is one creator God, and no other.
  • The physical is simply creation from Yah’s mouth. Yah spoke, and it came into being. There’s no deific sexual union, no creation as a cause of strife, no immortality but that which comes from the One True God.
  • Man was created in the image of God, and woman was created from man to be his helper.
  • Sin of the world comes to humans because of the choices of humankind.

To summarize the account found in Theogony …

  • The story began with one god, but soon many gods entered the picture and also began ‘creating and procreating’.
  • The method of creation is sexual union.
  • First the gods lay with gods to produce nature (and more gods), then the gods lay with humans to produce demigods.
  • Zeus was called the “father of men”, but woman was created to punish and plague men.
  • Sin of the world comes to humans because of the union of the gods.

How can humans possibly achieve ethical coherence, or find out what sin is? There is no concept of ethical standards in this story! There is no rule about getting married first: There is no right and wrong! The gods got revenge on whomever they felt had wronged them.

The stories are integrally different.

For example, their views of fear. All Greece lived in fear of the changeable gods and their hot tempers, but the fear with which we regard Yahweh is not anguish, but reverence. Fear of the unknown or unexperienced cannot come between us and God.

“For we have not been given a spirit of fear, but of power and love and of sound mind.”

1 Timothy 1:7

This is important to keep in mind during this coronavirus phase our entire world is going through. We cannot be so scared of the virus that it blinds us from what God would have us do during this time. He created us for His worship and for authority over creation. We must remember to continue to worship Him during this time, instead of being scared of a virus (potentially a man-made virus). The fear with which we should regard Yah is a respectful and healthy fear and obedience.

We were made in Yah’s image, yet brought our hardships upon ourselves. Who will rise up? Who will say, “I am a child of Yah!”

I will. Will you?



Ethics in the Bible

What is the view of the biblical materials on the role of ethics in the development of history?

In this essay, I will give a general overview of some of the ethical concepts in the stories of creation, the flood, the giving of the law at Mount Sinai, and in the Psalms and Proverbs.

Creation (Genesis (sin, fall, must obey, etc.)

The birth of ethics begins in Genesis. The first command in the Bible where God told man to not do something was: “Do not eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.” Man disobeyed the command, therefore he got the negative sanctions associated with the disobedience of that command – eventual death. The concept of ethics was formed very early on in the creation story, and likely the very “first sin”, was the rebellion of the serpent, which led to the first human sins (Adam and Eve eating the forbidden fruit.) Thus sin entered the world.

How do we know that the Bible contains ethics? Because it has a concept of right and wrong. How do we know what is right and wrong? Obedience is right and sin is wrong. What is sin? Sin the transgression of the law of God (righteousness). We could not know what sin was, except through the law and through commands like “Do not eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.”

The Flood

When all men but Noah and his family had stopped following Yahweh’s ways, Yah sent a flood to destroy all the evildoers, and saved Noah and his family in a boat. This story follows similar construction as the creation story: Yah allows people to live, yet they disobey, so he brings negative sanctions (death) upon the wicked. This time, however, Yah saves the righteous remaining. The message this sends is that He will not destroy those who obey and follow Him.

After the flood, a disgraceful thing happens in Noah’s family. Ham (one of Noah’s three sons) sees his father’s nakedness. Instead of keeping his mouth shut, he goes and tells his brothers, who go and cover up their father, turning their faces away that they might not see Noah. Noah wakes up and finds out what happens, and becomes very angry, cursing Ham’s son Canaan, and blesses his other two sons.

What can we learn from this? Don’t take or see what is not yours to take or see.

Giving of the Law

The people of Israel had just been freed from slavery and had come out of Egypt. Yahweh gave his Law to Moses, the chief spokesman of the people, to tell the assembly of the Israelites. Because of this, it is often referred to as the “law of Moses”, however Moses didn’t command the law, Yahweh did. Therefore, we may also call it the Law of God.

In giving a Law, Yahweh was giving His people a choice; either to obey or disobey him. He was telling them that in order to be His people, they must obey Him. What were the sanctions for obedience?

“Honor your father and your mother: that your days may be long upon the land which the LORD your God gives you.”

Exodus 20:12

Positive actions (such as honoring your father and mother) warrant positive sanctions.

Moses had gone up to the mountain to receive the Law from Yahweh. But the people, becoming anxious at waiting for Moses for 40 days, decided to worship a golden calf, an idol, instead of obeying Yahweh’s command, “You shall not have any other god before me.” When Yah told Moses what happened, he came down from the mountain to carry out Yah’s punishment.

Moses made them melt down the golden calf, grind it up, and put the gold in water to drink. Then the Levites carried out a massacre and killed about three thousand people. Then, a plague broke out among the people.

So we see that negative actions (disobedience of the law) warrants negative sanctions.

I believe the law is still applicable today, and we know that Yahweh never changes. Therefore, in the development of history, the law has remained a way for us to show others our morality comes from Yah.


This book, written by David, contains songs and poems of praise to Yahweh. Themes David stresses are worship, obedience, resolution of inner conflicts, sovereignty of Yahweh, and many more. How does David want to be treated? He wants to be saved from the persecution of his enemies, because he obeys Yah. How does David want his enemies to be treated? He wants them to be destroyed for their unlawful acts.

Again, negative actions means negative sanctions.

ProverbsConsequences of choosing to follow the right path …or choosing not to.

Proverbs is a book written by the wisest created man in the Bible, Solomon. Throughout the entire book, Solomon gives his son advice on wisdom, integrity, obedience, and interacting with people. He uses metaphors and contrived circumstances to emphasize the importance of being moral, wise, and humble. Proverbs 7 and Proverbs 31 compare the wayward woman with the righteous one.

Solomon holds to the principle that if you associate with immoral people, you may be affected, and if you are immoral, you will face negative sanctions such as poverty, shame, and death. But the sanctions of being moral and wise include prosperity, happiness, and long life.


The Bible has TONS to say on ethics. I’ve only scratched the surface. But these five stories/books can teach us that there IS morality, and the Biblical consequences of immorality are hardships, curses, and death. But the consequences of obedience and faith are positive sanctions.

Week 2 – Flood and Causation

When Noah was around 600 years old, Yahweh Elohim of the universe told Noah to do something crazy. He had looked upon the mankind which had multiplied and he saw that it was evil and perverse and sinful.  Noah was the only righteous man on earth, so God would spare only him, his wife, his three sons, and his son’s wives.

Yah hated the depravity that his created humans had become, and he regretted making them. So he was going to bring a great Flood upon the earth, that would wipe all of the evil that existed. In order that Noah and his family would live, Yah told them to build an ark that would contain all that he was to save – seven of every clean animal, two of every unclean animal, and seven of every kind of bird. (One interesting thing to note about the clean vs. unclean animals is that even though the first definition of clean vs. unclean animals is commonly referred to as being during the giving of the law at Mount Sinai, we know that Noah, at least, knew the definition.)

Before the flood hit the land Noah loaded all of the animals and himself and his family into the ark he’d built. On the seventeenth day of the second month (of the Hebrew calendar), during the 600th year of Noah’s life, water flooded the whole earth, and Yah shut them in. And everyone – EVERYONE – died, all but those who were in the ark.

The waters were mighty upon the earth for 150 days, and eventually the ark rested on Mount Ararat. After over a year of being in the ark, Yah told Noah and his family to come out.

As we have already established, sanctions are the direct results, or consequences of a decision. In this case, many decisions. All of mankind had turned away from Yahweh, and the Bible says that every thought was evil. That’s pretty evil! So in this case, the sanctions for the peoples’ sins was death – immediately.

This was a completely legitimate punishment. Yah had given his people a chance, and they let him down by sinning against him and his law. And it has probably been said millions of times, YHWH hates sin!! So in order that the law be upheld, he needed to dole out punishment. The main idea that Yah needed to show was that they had broken covenant with him, which is a big deal!

After Noah and his family left the ark, Noah offered Yah a lot of sacrifices, one of each clean animal! And Yah was pleased with the aroma (and likely with the heart of thanks that Noah had) and he put a rainbow in the sky to symbolize his covenant with Noah. In Genesis 9:8-17, Yahweh tells Noah about his covenant – that he would never again flood the whole earth, and would remember that promise every time he saw a rainbow. The rainbow has since then come to represent other things, but for me it will always represent Yahweh’s promise to Noah.


Hierarchy in Genesis

Is hierarchy important? Should we allow people to be in power over us? Do we have power? What should we do with the power we have? What can we do wrong? What is the result of our doing wrong?

Let us begin with the elements of a Worldview. Our worldview affects every action we make, every word we say, every step we take.

1. God – Sovereignty
2. Man – Authority
3. Law – Command
4. Causation – Sanction
5. Time – Inheritance

(I retrieved the material for the above from Dr. Gary North.)

God is sovereign. He created the world, he created man, and he created the law. The first command God gave was “Do not eat of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil.”

Sovereignty is the highest position of authority possible. God is at the top of the food chain. Any power or authority man has, he has because it was given to him by God. God can take it away if he wants to, or if man oversteps his bounds and assumes authority that was not given to him.

If you’re an oldest sibling like me, you will identify with this example. I am the only girl among three younger brothers. I have sovereignty (parents) to deal with my brothers if they do something against the law (of our home.) But I have not been given authority to deal with my brothers. Only my parents have that authority. MY authority is to protect myself, provide boundaries around MYSELF. (ie, don’t come into my room without asking, don’t hit me, etc.)

But I am banned from bossing my siblings around (ie, don’t touch that, don’t say that word, come load the dishwasher, etc.) UNLESS I have been left IN authority. Namely, as a babysitter.

Another example, directly relevant to the account of the Fall, begs for mention. (Disclaimer: This is not a true example!!! 😊) If my sovereignty (parents) tell me I can go anywhere in the house, but I cannot go into their bedroom, then I have to stay out of their bedroom, because they gave me a LAW. A law that I need to follow. If they tell me that if I go into their bedroom, I cannot live in their house, then they are giving me a CAUSATION. A sanction. The penalty for going into their room would be leaving the house.

Now we have Adam and Eve classified. They are authority, because they have been GIVEN authority. What do they have authority over? The animals, and the plants, and all on earth. But God has authority over them, because he is Sovereignty. And the law was the command from God to man, that man would have to obey, or else there would be a penalty. A CAUSATION.

And Adam and Eve violated the boundary of the law, by choosing to listen to the voice of the Nachash (commonly translated as “serpent” but also meaning “shining one”) instead of God. Therefore God gave them the penalty of their sin – life outside the garden. Adam was promised hard work and toil to bring his food and life out of the ground. Eve was promised that her husband would rule over her and that she would have pain in childbirth. And the Nachash was promised a curse … and future destruction.

Some people, including myself, have wondered why God created the Nachash if the creation would lead man astray. The truth I found in Dr. North’s video is that the creation went astray, and led other creation astray. This is the issue of free will. God can’t create robots and be happy about it. He wants a real relationship, with two willing parties, who aren’t just following his laws because they have to … They need to WANT to.

Finally we come to Time. Time corresponds to Inheritance because an inheritance is a result of two things – what you did in the time you had (your life) and what you did with the things you accomplished and acquired. Adam and Eve left both figurative and literal inheritances.

The figurative inheritance they left was … their sin. The results of their sin: hard work, pain in childbirth, a man being over his wife.

The literal inheritance they left was … their descendants, each with a sin nature. But God chose to use Adam and Eve’s descendants to someday bring someone onto the earth to save all the nations of the world from the wages of sin: death. That man would be God’s own son, Jesus, known to the Hebrews as Yeshua.

Stay strong in the Word, y’all!