Genesis (Part 3)

Questions to think about during this lesson…

  • According to Genesis, the earth produced vegetation (Genesis 1:11-12) BEFORE the creation of the sun (Genesis 1:14-19) — which scientifically doesn’t make any sense. How does St. John Chrysostom explain this?
  • Some people have used Genesis 1:14 (“let them be for signs”) to defend astrology. According to St. Basil the Great, what’s the problem with this?
  • According to St. John Chrysostom, why were poisonous plants and wild animals created? (Hint: The answer is the point of the Genesis narrative.) 
  • St. John Chrysostom talks about how many people do not believe that God created the world because of our behavior as “Christians.”  He says that to the extent that we do not live our lives as Christians – instead living lives of vice — we are scandalizing them and are responsible for them losing their salvation. What are your thoughts on this?
  • What are some examples of how St. Basil the Great uses science to praise God and His creation and to show how every living thing was not only created for our use but also for our benefit spiritually? 
  • Christians have always seen Genesis 1:26 (“Let us make man in our image and likeness”) as evidence of the Holy Trinity. What is the Jewish explanation of this passage and how does St. John Chrysostom refute this explanation? (Hint: Chrysostom shows why this explanation is not a proper interpretation by using other passages in the Bible.)
We’re always looking for ideas to get the most out of Dr. Jeannie’s lessons. With this in mind, the following questions were provided by Marianna Sayeg from the Bible study group at St. Mary’s Orthodox Church in Cambridge, MA.

Review Questions:

  1. In the Genesis story of creation, what is important for us to note about the creation of the sun and the moon? Where do they fall in the order of creation and what does this mean? How was Genesis 1:14 (“let them be for signs”) misinterpreted?
  2. What do Chrysostom and Basil say about the creation of the animals (Genesis 1:22-25)?
  3. What is the central theme of the Genesis narrative? How can we see this theme displayed in the text? How has this message become lost/ obscured?

Discussion Questions:

  1. What are some of the consequences of the prevailing secular belief that life came into being spontaneously, not deliberately?
  2. How can we display the truth of Genesis in our lives?

Download this lesson or listen to it below: