Genesis creation narrative

The Genesis creation narrative is the creation myth[lower-alpha 1] of both Judaism and Christianity.[1] The narrative is made up of two stories, roughly equivalent to the first two chapters of the Book of Genesis. In the first, Elohim (the Hebrew generic word for God) creates the heavens and the Earth in six days, then rests on, blesses and sanctifies the seventh (i.e. the Biblical Sabbath). In the second story, God, now referred to by the personal name Yahweh, creates Adam, the first man, from dust and places him in the Garden of Eden, where he is given dominion over the animals. Eve, the first woman, is created from Adam and as his companion.

It expounds themes parallel to those in Mesopotamian mythology, emphasizing the Israelite people's belief in one God.[2] The first major comprehensive draft of the Pentateuch (the series of five books which begins with Genesis and ends with Deuteronomy) was composed in the late 7th or the 6th century BCE (the Jahwist source) and was later expanded by other authors (the Priestly source) into a work very like Genesis as known today.[3] The two sources can be identified in the creation narrative: Priestly and Jahwistic.[4] The combined narrative is a critique of the Mesopotamian theology of creation: Genesis affirms monotheism and denies polytheism.[5] Robert Alter described the combined narrative as "compelling in its archetypal character, its adaptation of myth to monotheistic ends".[6]

In recent centuries, some believers have used this narrative as evidence of literal creationism, leading them to subsequently deny evolution.[7] Most scholars do not consider Genesis to be historically accurate.