Unit Three: Studying Africa through the Humanities
Module Fourteen: Religion in Africa
[New Living Translation of the Bible]
The Account of Creation
1In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. 2The earth was
empty, a formless mass cloaked in darkness. And the Spirit of God was hovering
over its surface. 3Then God said, "Let there be light," and there
was light. 4And God saw that it was good. Then he separated the light from
the darkness. 5God called the light "day" and the darkness "night." Together
these made up one day.
6And God said, "Let there be space between the waters, to separate water from water." 7And so it was. God made this space to separate the waters above from the waters below. 8And God called the space "sky." This happened on the second day.
9And God said, "Let the waters beneath the sky be gathered into one place so dry ground may appear." And so it was. 10God named the dry ground "land" and the water "seas." And God saw that it was good. 11Then God said, "Let the land burst forth with every sort of grass and seed-bearing plant. And let there be trees that grow seed-bearing fruit. The seeds will then produce the kinds of plants and trees from which they came." And so it was. 12The land was filled with seed-bearing plants and trees, and their seeds produced plants and trees of like kind. And God saw that it was good. 13This all happened on the third day.
14And God said, "Let bright lights appear in the sky to separate the day from the night. They will be signs to mark off the seasons, the days, and the years. 15Let their light shine down upon the earth." And so it was. 16For God made two great lights, the sun and the moon, to shine down upon the earth. The greater one, the sun, presides during the day; the lesser one, the moon, presides through the night. He also made the stars. 17God set these lights in the heavens to light the earth, 18to govern the day and the night, and to separate the light from the darkness. And God saw that it was good. 19This all happened on the fourth day.
20And God said, "Let the waters swarm with fish and other life. Let the skies be filled with birds of every kind." 21So God created great sea creatures and every sort of fish and every kind of bird. And God saw that it was good. 22Then God blessed them, saying, "Let the fish multiply and fill the oceans. Let the birds increase and fill the earth." 23This all happened on the fifth day. 24And God said, "Let the earth bring forth every kind of animal--livestock, small animals, and wildlife." And so it was. 25God made all sorts of wild animals, livestock, and small animals, each able to reproduce more of its own kind. And God saw that it was good. 26Then God said, "Let us make people in our image, to be like ourselves. They will be masters over all life--the fish in the sea, the birds in the sky, and all the livestock,
wild animals, and small animals."
27 So God created people in his own image; God patterned them after himself; male and female he created them.
28God blessed them and told them, "Multiply and fill the earth and subdue it. Be masters over the fish and birds and all the animals." 29And God said, "Look! I have given you the seed-bearing plants throughout the earth and all the fruit trees for your food. 30And I have given all the grasses and other green plants to the animals and birds for their food." And so it was. 31Then God looked over all he had made, and he saw that it was excellent in every way. This all happened on the sixth day.
1 So the creation of the heavens and the earth and everything in them was completed. 2On the seventh day, having finished his task, God rested from all his work. 3And God blessed the seventh day and declared it holy, because it was the day when he rested from his work of creation.
4This is the account of the creation of the heavens and the earth.
The Man and Woman in Eden
When the LORD God made the heavens and the earth, 5there were no plants
or grain growing on the earth, for the LORD God had not sent any rain. And
no one was there to cultivate the soil. 6But water came up out of the ground
and watered all the land. 7And the LORD God formed a man's body from the
dust of the ground and breathed into it the breath of life. And the man became
a living person.
8Then the LORD God planted a garden in Eden, in the east, and there he placed the man he had created. 9And the LORD God planted all sorts of trees in the garden--beautiful trees that produced delicious fruit. At the center of the garden he placed the tree of life and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.
10A river flowed from the land of Eden, watering the garden and then dividing into four branches. 11One of these branches is the Pishon, which flows around the entire land of Havilah, where gold is found. 12The gold of that land is exceptionally pure; aromatic resin and onyx stone are also found there. 13The second branch is the Gihon, which flows around the entire land of Cush. 14The third branch is the Tigris, which flows to the east of Asshur. The fourth branch is the Euphrates. 15The LORD God placed the man in the Garden of Eden to tend and care for it. 16But the LORD God gave him this warning: "You may freely eat any fruit in the garden 17except fruit from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. If you eat of its fruit, you will surely die."
18And the LORD God said, "It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a companion who will help him." 19So the LORD God formed from the soil every kind of animal and bird. He brought them to Adam to see what he would call them, and Adam chose a name for each one. 20He gave names to all the livestock, birds, and wild animals. But still there was no companion suitable for him. 21So the LORD God caused Adam to fall into a deep sleep. He took one of Adam's ribs and closed up the place from which he had taken it. 22Then the LORD God made a woman from the rib and brought her to Adam.
23"At last!" Adam exclaimed. "She is part of my own flesh and bone! She will be called `woman,' because she was taken out of a man." 24This explains why a man leaves his father and mother and is joined to his wife, and the two are united into one. 25Now, although Adam and his wife were both naked, neither of them felt any shame.
The Man and Woman Sin
1Now the serpent was the shrewdest of all the creatures the LORD God had
made. "Really?" he asked the woman. "Did God really say
you must not eat any of the fruit in the garden?"
2"Of course we may eat it," the woman told him. 3"It's only the fruit from the tree at the center of the garden that we are not allowed to eat. God says we must not eat it or even touch it, or we will die."
4"You won't die!" the serpent hissed. 5"God knows that your eyes will be opened when you eat it. You will become just like God, knowing everything, both good and evil." 6The woman was convinced. The fruit looked so fresh and delicious, and it would make her so wise! So she ate some of the fruit. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her. Then he ate it, too. 7At that moment, their eyes were opened, and they suddenly felt shame at their nakedness. So they strung fig leaves together around their hips to cover themselves.
8Toward evening they heard the LORD God walking about in the garden, so they hid themselves among the trees. 9The LORD God called to Adam, "Where are you?" 10He replied, "I heard you, so I hid. I was afraid because I was naked."
11"Who told you that you were naked?" the LORD God asked. "Have you eaten the fruit I commanded you not to eat?"
12"Yes," Adam admitted, "but it was the woman you gave me who brought me the fruit, and I ate it."
13Then the LORD God asked the woman, "How could you do such a thing?" "The serpent tricked me," she replied. "That's why I ate it."
14So the LORD God said to the serpent, "Because you have done this, you will be punished. You are singled out from all the domestic and wild animals of the whole earth to be cursed. You will grovel in the dust as long as you live, crawling along on your belly. 15From now on, you and the woman will be enemies, and your offspring and her offspring will be enemies. He will crush your head, and you will strike his heel."
16Then he said to the woman, "You will bear children with intense pain and suffering. And though your desire will be for your husband, he will be your master."
17And to Adam he said, "Because you listened to your wife and ate the fruit I told you not to eat, I have placed a curse on the ground. All your life you will struggle to scratch a living from it. 18It will grow thorns and thistles for you, though you will eat of its grains. 19All your life you will sweat to produce food, until your dying day. Then you will return to the ground from which you came. For you were made from dust, and to the dust you will return."
20Then Adam named his wife Eve, because she would be the mother of all people everywhere. 21And the LORD God made clothing from animal skins for Adam and
22Then the LORD God said, "The people have become as we are, knowing everything, both good and evil. What if they eat the fruit of the tree of life? Then they will
live forever!" 23So the LORD God banished Adam and his wife from the Garden of Eden, and he sent Adam out to cultivate the ground from which he had been made.
24After banishing them from the garden, the LORD God stationed mighty angelic beings to the east of Eden. And a flaming sword flashed back and forth, guarding the way to the tree of life.