The Story of Creation and the Fall (in the beginning)

Found in: Genesis 1-11


Once upon a time… no, wait. Before that. God said, “Let there be light". And BANG! The universe took shape. As God organized it he called each step of the way good. When he created man and woman in his own image, he called it all very good.

Adam & Eve

The world and everything in it was theirs to watch over and enjoy, on the condition that they did not eat from the tree of knowledge of good and evil, or they would die. The cunning serpent came along and manipulated the truth: “You won’t die. You’ll be just like God, knowing good from evil”. Tempted by how good it looked, they disobeyed and ate. As a result, they lost their harmony with God, with the world, and with each other. God placed an angel to guard another tree, the tree of eternal life, so that they would not eat from it as well and stay stuck forever in their fallen state. God then announced that the offspring of the woman and the offspring of the serpent would be enemies, with the former crushing the head of the latter. After this mysterious announcement, the man and woman were told to go and populate the earth.

Cain & Abel

The influence of the original sin led to another when Cain, one of Adam and Eve’s sons, grew jealous over his brother, Abel, after God had accepted Abel's sacrifice but not Cain's. God warned Cain not to give in to his anger for he still had a choice, but Cain still murdered his brother in cold blood, and sinfulness continued to spread with humanity.

Noah & the Flood

Sin had become so widespread at one point that God decided to send a flood to wipe everything out and start over, sparing the good man Noah and his family. He instructed Noah to build an ark to save them and to take a pair of each animal so that the earth could be repopulated. After the flood God established a covenant with Noah, with the rainbow as a sign.

The Tower of Babel

In time, men again tried superseding their place as creatures, this time by trying to build a tower in Babel tall enough to reach Heaven. Seeing through their plans, God dispersed them throughout the world with different languages to confound such efforts again. Humanity continued to spread, with all of the good and the bad.




Other Mesopotamian myths of creation present the origins of the universe as chaotic, with man serving the whim of uncompassionate gods. Genesis, by sharp contrast, describes creation as being orderly, with us as its crowning achievement. 

The pronouncement against the serpent is sometimes called the proto-evangelium ("first gospel"), a hint of the good news to come. The woman and her child prefigure a new Adam and new Eve whose obedience would undo the disobedience of the first man and woman. The second Adam (Christ) would make available the eternal life forfeited by the Fall, amd would enable an even closer relationship with God than was there before the Fall.


Review questions:

What sets Genesis radically apart from other creation stories?

When it seems unfair that we suffer the consequences of the original sin of our ancestors, what announcement in the first story hints at the possibility of something even better than what was there before?

One, two, three, four, 
stories tell us what's in store,
Five, six, seven, eight, 
but first it's time to recreate

Let there be light... 
BANG! There's day and night.
Let there be a sea and sky 
for fish to swim and birds to fly.
Land, be green with everything. 
Twinkle, little stars.
Sun and moon, split day and night. 
And it's all good so far.
Then came all the creepy, crawly creatures 
and the rest.
Then came all the animals, but man? 
He was the best. Now rest.

One, two, three, four, 
stories tell us what's in store,
Adam and Eve, Cain and Abel, 
Noah and the flood, and the tower of Babel.

In our image, Adam and Eve, 
the snake got them to disbelieve.
Take a bite and know good from bad 
and forfeit everything that they had.

God took Abel's sacrifice 
and then rejected Cain's,
Killed his brother in stone cold blood, 
although he could refrain.
Killed his brother in stone cold blood, 
although he could refrain.

Four, three, two, one, 
evil spread to everyone
Except for Noah and the kin; 
time to let the rain begin.
Forty days and forty nights, 
the rain fell down 'til it was right.
Dried it up and let's start again, 
but man conspired to ascend:

A tower built to touch the sky 
and rival heaven's glory.
Scattered Babel all around, 
but we repeat the story.
Scattered Babel all around, 
but we repeat the story.

One, two, three, four, 
the fall from grace opened the door.
Five, six, seven, eight, 
the woman's seed will crush that snake…