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JudaeoChristian influences on philosophy of religion
The concept of God as Creator
The Bible opens with accounts of God and creation. There are 2 creation stories in Genesis. Genesis
1(Priestly account) the universe is created piece by piece and finally humanity is placed on the earth to
rule it God creates the world in 6 days and rests on the seventh concerned primarily with the creation of
the universe. Genesis 2(Yahwist account) briefer account of God's creation of the earth and plant life but
it is clear that these were set up ready for God's most important creation, humanity creates woman from
man's rib talks directly to the humans created set out in more detail God's relationship with humanity
also includes the first sin of Adam and Eve and their expulsion from the garden.
The creativity of God is described in the Bible as being deliberate God has a mind and purposes, and
the creation of the world is done in accordance with these
The traditional Christian and Jewish view is that God creates `ex nihilo', out of nothing. Matter comes
into existence where there was no matter before.
God is believed to be the creator of everything that exists, which raises problems when people try to
account for the existence of evil and suffering in the world.
God's creation of the world is ongoing and continual. God did not just see the world off in motion and
then go away he created the world as the beginning of a process and a relationship.
The way the Bible presents God as involved with his creation:
Intimately involved with his creation at all stages. Priestly account his involvement is in Word commands
each part of the creative process and it occurs, "and so it was". Yahwist account involvement seen
through action God "planted, made, fashioned" demonstrate activity of God. Shown to care for his
creation provides for humanity's needs "you are free to eat of all the trees in the garden". Provides
for needs of other beings of creation "I give all the foliage of the plants as their food". God
recognised humanity needs emotional care and companionship "it is not good for man to be alone, I
will create a helper for Him".
Relationship of humanity + God shown as climax of God's involvement with creation. Priestly account
creation of humanity last everything in place for humanity's survival humanity is created in "God's own
image" humanity given responsibility for all creation destined for relationship with God. Yahwist account
humanity created first woman formed from man and coexist in a relationship with God. God creates
humanity with the intention of being in a relationship with them. In Yahwist account humanity turns against
all that God has donehumanity leaves their unique relationship with God for the possibility of knowledge.
However, God remains involved in his creation humanity is punished, but not ignored God continues to
provide for humans he "clothed" Adam + Eve after they left the Garden of Eden.
Imagery of God as a craftsman:
Benevolent craftsman creates everything goodend of Priestly account, "indeed, very good" his skill as
craftsman is in the attention he pays to detail caring + intricate creator doesn't design impersonal
processes or show little interest to the working of creation ensuring that his creation is designed to fulfil
future plans, e.g. puts seeds in the fruits on the trees wants to continue creation and the smallest details of
Holy craftsman creation is "blessed" by him sets it apart from human creation which is flawed his
creation is a divine process. God is the ordered creator speaks with clear instructions on the process and
appearance of creation begins by the ordering of the earth and then by filling it with a variety of things.
Yahwist account "shaped man from the soil of the ground" presented as a potter, moulding man
from the earth stresses the interwoven nature of creation man is not separate from the world as God
created from all sources
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Concept of omnipotence:
God is an all powerful being. Not questioned that he created the world accepted that he did. Presented as
a transcendent being during creation he is distinctive from the universe he is creating, "created heaven
and earth" Gen 1. Only creator not a number of Gods. Priestly account God can create with a
command at one statement, God can bring things into existence, "Let there be light, and there was
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For Christians, the goodness of God is revealed most completely in the person and work of Christ
According to Christian teaching, the Holy Spirit is the means by which Christians can share in and
demonstrate to others the goodness of God.
The ways in which the God of the Bible is seen as morally perfect and the source of human
Christians and Jews believe God is perfect because the Bible states he is. They find evidence to support
this in the world he created.…read more