God’s Personality Essay Samples
Does God have a personality? This is a question that has plagued Jewish and Christian scholars for hundreds, if not thousands of years. The God of the Old Testament—the Hebrew Bible—and the God of the New Testament certainly seem to be different in terms of personality. There are a number of things contained in Genesis 1-4 and Genesis 6-9 that seem to indicate that God does, in fact, have a personality, and that this personality had much to do with the ways in which God built His creation. The beginnings of the Hebrew Bible, Genesis, concern themselves with the creation of the world, and how God viewed His creation from the very start.
In Genesis 2:24-27, the Hebrew Bible says: “And that is what happened. God made all sorts of wild animals, livestock, and small animals And God saw that it was good. Then God said, ‘Let us make human beings in our image, to be like us. They will reign over the fish in the sea, the birds in the sky, the livestock, all the wild animals on the earth, and the small animals that scurry along the ground.’ So God created human beings in his own image. In the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.” What does this tell us about the personality of God? The most fundamental thing that Genesis 2:24-27, the story of the creation of the animals and the decision to create man tells us is that God wanted the world to be good, so when He created it, it was good. There was nothing evil in the world when He created the world, and so God Himself must be good in many ways.
Evil did not come into the world until later, and it did not come into the world through God’s hands. It was humanity that later corrupted the perfect world that God created; if humanity had been able to follow God’s rules, then they would not have been able to corrupt the goodness of God’s creation. God Himself is fundamentally good; what He creates is also fundamentally good. He knows so much about His creation, even Man, from the very start. He knows that Man will be tempted by the tree of knowledge, but He trusts Man anyway; in this way, God is a little paternalistic in addition to being fundamentally good in Genesis 2.
It is not until later in Genesis 2 where the reader becomes aware of the creation of the Garden of Eden. The Hebrew Bible says that God created a garden in which He placed all manner of living things; in the center of this garden, He placed the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. God told Adam that if he ate of the tree of knowledge then he was sure to die; at first, Adam heeded his warning about the tree, and avoided it. This tells us, as readers, that God wants what is best for His creations.
God knew that if Adam ate from the tree of knowledge, he would die; God wanted to keep his creation, Adam, with him in paradise for all eternity. Without expressly warning Adam about what would happen if he ate from the tree, He tried to encourage him not to eat from the tree by creating a good environment in which Adam would not want to ever jeopardize or want to leave. The only question this raises is whether or not God could have known that His creation in Woman would be so curious and easily tempted.
However, God does still build Adam a companion, even though He must have known that Eve would break his command regarding the tree of knowledge. Adam is thrilled to have a companion and a partner, in the same way all the other animals are; however, Eve quickly begins to experience temptation in the form of a serpent wound about the tree of knowledge.
Once Adam and Eve eat the fruit from the tree of knowledge, God knows that He must cast them from the Garden because that is what He said He would do. He does cast Adam and Eve from the Garden, but he does not kill them immediately. Instead, He lets them live out long lives on Earth, farming the earth and propagating their species. Adam and Eve have two children, Cain and Abel, which is something that God did not have to allow after Eve broke the rules regarding the tree of knowledge.
In Genesis, there is a sense that God is an authority figure in a very paternalistic way. He cares about His creations, and He wants the best for them; however, when His creations do not listen, He is forced to punish them. However, He is also merciful and loving, and does not punish them without reason or too harshly. Instead, He gives them a punishment and forces them to live out their lives without Him.
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