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  • The book of Genesis is the first book of the Bible and it's storyline divides into two main parts

    創世紀是聖經的第一卷書,而它的故事內容主要分為兩個部份

  • There's chapters 1-11, which tell the story of God and the whole world, and then there's chapters 12-50

    第一部份是第 1-11 章,書中描述了上帝和這整個世界的故事,之後的章節

  • which zoom in and tell the story of God and just one man, Abraham, and then his family.

    則仔細描述了上帝和一位叫做亞伯拉罕的人及其家族的事蹟

  • And these two parts are connected by a hinge story at the beginning of chapter 12.

    將這兩個部份連繫在一起的,是起於第12章新展開的故事

  • And this design, it gives us a clue as to how to understand the message of the book as a whole and how it

    這樣的安排,讓我們得可以明白這本書所要傳遞的訊息,以及如何

  • introduces the story of the whole Bible. So the book begins with God taking the disorder and the

    介紹整本聖經的來龍去脈。所以在聖經的開頭,上帝從空虛混沌

  • darkness described in the second sentence of the Bible and God brings out of it order and beauty and

    以及第二句所提到的黑暗中,上帝建立起秩序、美善

  • goodness and he makes out of it a world where life can flourish. And God makes these creatures called humans

    和良善,祂建立了一個生命可生存繁衍的世界。接著上帝造了「人類」

  • or "adam," in Hebrew. He makes them in his image, which has to do with their role and purpose in God's world.

    即希伯來文中的「亞當」。祂用自己的形象造了人,與他們在這世上的角色和意向有關

  • So humans are made to be reflections of God's character out into the world.

    所以人類被造,是用來反映出在這個世界中上帝的性格

  • And they're appointed as God's representatives to rule his world on his behalf, which in context

    人類被上帝指派為祂在這個世界上的代理人,來管理這個世界

  • means to harness all its potential, to care for it, and make it where even more life can flourish.

    即運用這世界的無窮潛力、照料它們、並且讓更多的生命能在此蓬勃發展

  • God blesses the humans. It's a key word in this book. And he gives them a garden, a place from which they

    「上帝賜福予人類」是這本聖經的核心觀念。上帝並且給予人類一座花園,做為

  • begin starting to build this new world. Now the key is that the humans have a choice about how they're

    建造新天地的一個開始。而現在的關鍵是人類面臨了一個選擇

  • going to go about building this world and that's represented by the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.

    即如何動手來建造這個新天地,這即象徵了分別善惡的知識之樹

  • Up till now, God has provided and defined what is good and what is not good. But now God is giving humans the

    在這之前,上帝已經界定了善惡的定義,但現在上帝更賦予了人類

  • dignity and the freedom of a choice: Are they going to trust God's definition of good and evil or are they

    尊嚴和自由意識。人類要去相信上帝對於善惡的判斷,還是他們要

  • going to seize autonomy and define good and evil for themselves? And the stakes are really high.

    取得自主權、自行判斷善惡?這個賭注可真是很大

  • To rebel against God is to embrace death because you're turning away from the giver of life himself.

    遠離神就代表了投向死亡的懷抱,因為你離開的是賜予你生命的造物主

  • This is represented by the Tree of Life. And so in chapter 3, a mysterious figure, a snake, enters into the story.

    這代表了「生命之樹」。在創世紀第 3 章中,「蛇」這個神秘的角色在故事出現了

  • The snake's given no introduction other than it's a creature that God made.

    「蛇」的身份是個謎,只知道牠也是上帝的創造物

  • And it becomes clear that it's a creature in rebellion against God and it wants to lead the humans into rebellion and their death.

    很明顯地,這隻蛇屬於敵對上帝的陣營,並且想要促使人類反抗上帝、引他們到死亡之地

  • The snake tells a different story about the tree and the choice.

    這隻蛇編造了另一個關於「善惡樹」和「選擇」的故事

  • It says that seizing the knowledge of good and evil are not going to bring death and that it's actually the

    牠說:獲得判斷善惡的知識不會導致死亡,反而

  • way to life and becoming like God themselves. Now the irony of this is tragic because we know the humans

    會獲得新生,變得如同上帝一般。這個悲劇最反諷的地方在於:我們知道

  • are already like God--they were made to reflect God's image. But instead of trusting God, the humans seize autonomy,

    人類本來就和上帝相似 - 因為他們是依據上帝的形象而受造的。但是人類不相信上帝,卻要自力更生

  • they take the knowledge of good and evil for themselves, and in an instant the whole story

    打算用自己的標準定下了善惡,於是整個故事一瞬之間

  • spirals out of control. The first casualty is human relationships. The man and the woman

    如脫韁野馬失控變了調。人與人之間的關係首當其衝。男人與女人

  • they suddenly realize how vulnerable they are. Now they can't even trust each other. And so they make clothes

    突然發現了他們脆弱不堪,他們無法彼此信任,於是他們製作了衣服

  • and they hide their bodies from one another. The second casualty is that intimacy between God and humans is

    用來遮掩他們的身體。第二個受害的就是上帝與人類失去原有的親密

  • lost. So they go, run, and hide from God. And then when God finds them, they start this game of

    所以人類奔跑、遠離上帝。當上帝找到他們時,他們就開始

  • blame-shifting about who rebelled first. Now right here this story stops and there's a series of short poems

    相互指責、推卸責任。至此故事告一段落,接著記述了一首詩

  • where God declares to the snake, and then to the humans, the tragic consequences of their actions.

    在詩中,上帝要蛇和人類為他們的行為付上悲慘的代價

  • God first tells the snake that despite it's apparent victory, it is destined for defeat, to eat dust.

    上帝首先告訴蛇說,儘管牠看起來獲得了勝利,但最終必將以失敗收場。牠必須終身以土為食

  • God promises that one day a seed, or a descendant, will come from the woman, who's going to deliver a lethal strike to the snakes head.

    上帝同時說女人的後裔必將擊傷蛇的頭部

  • Which sounds like great news, but this victory is going to come with a cost because the snake, too,

    這聽起來雖然像是好消息,但這勝利的代價是蛇必會

  • will deliver a lethal strike to the descendant's heal as it's being crushed.

    在被擊殺時咬傷女人後裔的腳跟

  • It's a very mysterious promise of this wounded victor. But in the flow of the story so far, you see that

    對這位負傷的勝利者而言,這真是情何以堪的預言。但這個故事進行至此,你可以觀察到

  • this is an act of God's grace. The humans, they've just rebelled. And what does God do?

    這其中仍有上帝的恩典。至於背叛上帝的人類,上帝對他們又如何呢?

  • He promises to rescue them. But this doesn't erase the consequences of the humans' decision.

    上帝承諾會拯救他們,但這無法挽回人類已下的決定

  • So God informs them that now every aspect of their life together--at home, in the field--it's going to be

    所以上帝告訴他們:他們生活的每一個方面 - 無論是在家、在田野

  • fraught with grief and pain because of the rebellion, all leading to their death.

    都因為他們背叛而充滿了勞苦,最終的結局就是引到死亡

  • From here, the story then spirals downward. Chapters 3-11, they trace the widening ripple effect

    故事至此開始急轉直下。在第 3 - 11 章中,因背叛而產生的連鎖效應愈演愈烈

  • of the rebellion and of human relationships fracturing at every level.

    人類之間的各層關係都產生了裂痕

  • So there's the story of two brothers, Cain and Abel. Cain is so jealous of his brother that he wants to murder him.

    其中有一對兄弟的故事,該隱和亞伯,該隱因為嫉妒他的弟弟亞伯,因此想要謀殺他

  • And God warns him not to give in to the temptation but he does anyway. He murders him in the field.

    他無視於上帝的警告,使自己屈服於私欲,最終犯下了殺人罪行

  • So Cain then goes on to build a city where violence and oppression reign. And this is all epitomized in this story

    所以該隱離去他鄉建造了一個城市,該處充滿了罪惡與壓迫。這就是這個故事的概要

  • of Lamech. He's the first man in the Bible to have more than one wife. He's accumulating them like property.

    至於拉麥這個人,他是在聖經中第一個娶兩個老婆的人,他視妻小如同累積財產

  • And then he goes on to sing a short song about how he's more violent and vengeful than Cain ever was.

    然後他唱起了一首短歌,歌詞是他是如何的暴力、比起該隱更是有仇必報

  • After this we get an odd story about the "sons of God, " which could refer to evil, angelic beings,

    緊接著是一個關於「神之眾子」的奇怪故事,這個是在描述一群墮落的天使

  • or it could refer to ancient kings who claimed that they descended from the gods.

    當然也有可能只是古代的君王想要藉此證明他們是神的後裔

  • And like Lamech, they acquired as many wives as they wanted and they produced the Nephilim, these great warriors of old.

    如同拉麥這個人,這些神之眾子也照著自己的欲望娶了許多老婆,他們之中還生育出巨人。

  • Whichever view is right, the point is that humans are building kingdoms that fill God's world with violence and even more corruption.

    不管那一個說法是對的,重點是人類嘗試在上帝的世界中建立自己的國度,其中充滿了暴力與腐敗

  • In response, we are told that God is broken with grief, humanity is ruining his good world and they're ruining each other.

    聖經說上帝對此傷心欲絕,人類不但摧毀了這個美好的世界,又自相殘殺

  • And so out of a passion to protect the goodness of his world, he washes it clean of humanity's evil with a great flood.

    所以上帝決意保護這個世界的良善,打算掀起一場大洪水,來清除人類的罪惡

  • But he protects one blameless human--Noah, and his family. And he commissions him as a new Adam.

    但是上帝開恩赦免了一個正直清白的人 - 諾亞和他的家人。上帝希望他成為新的「亞當」

  • He repeats the divine blessing and commissions him to go out into the world. And so our hopes are really high

    上帝再次賜下了祝福,並且命令諾亞去到外面的世界。這時人類看起來充滿了希望

  • but then Noah fails too. and also in a garden. He goes and he plants a vineyard and he gets drunk out of his mind.

    但是諾亞仍辜負了上帝的期許 - 事情同樣發生在花園。諾亞栽種了一個葡萄園,並且有次喝醉到不省人事

  • And then one of his sons, Ham, does something shameful to his father in the tent. And so, here we have our new "adam," naked and ashamed,

    諾亞的其中一個兒子「含」,在帳篷中做了讓他父親感到羞恥的事(看到父親的裸體),所以我們這個裸身、羞愧的「新亞當」

  • just like the first. And the downward spiral begins again. It all leads to the foundation of the city of Babylon.

    如同他的祖先一般,墮落命運又再次重演,最後促使了巴比倫城的建立。

  • The people of ancient Mesopotamia, they come together around this new technology they have--the brick.

    古代美索不達米亞的居民們,他們掌握了一門新技術 - 造磚,於是集合起來

  • And they can make cities and towers bigger and faster than anybody's ever done before. And they want to build

    他們以史無前例的速度與規模來建立城市和高塔,而且他們打算建造

  • a new kind of tower that will reach up to the gods and they will make a great name for themselves.

    一個新的通天高塔來紀念他們自己

  • It's an image of human rebellion and arrogance. It's the garden rebellion now writ large.

    這個高塔是人類對上帝的背叛、自我傲慢的象徵。有如在伊甸園中背叛的放大版

  • And so God humbles their pride and scatters them. Now this is a diverse group of stories but you can see

    於是上帝使他們自慚形穢、驅散了他們。這是一個多元化族群的故事,但你可以發現

  • they're all exploring the same basic point: God keeps giving humans the chance to do the right thing

    他們全部都在描述一個重點。上帝一直給人類機會在世上去做正確的事

  • with his world and humans keep ruining it. These stories are making a claim that we live in a good world that we have turned bad--

    但人類總是一再搞砸。這些故事告訴我們:我們所居住的世界是美好的,但我們卻變壞了

  • that we've all chosen to define good and evil for ourselves and so we all contribute

    因為我們以自己的標準來定義善惡,所以我們每個人都無可推諉

  • to this world of broken relationships, leading to conflict, and violence, and ultimately death.

    對於這個世界破碎的人際關係、紛爭衝突、暴力頻仍,最後不免一死

  • But there's hope. God promised that one day a descendant would come--

    但是希望仍在。上帝應許在有一天,一個上帝之子會降臨

  • the wounded victor who will defeat evil at its source. And so despite humanity's evil, God is determined to bless and rescue his world.

    這個負傷的勝利者會擊潰邪惡,儘管人性邪惡,但上帝決定要祝福和拯救這個世界

  • And so the big question is, of course, "What is God going to do?" And the next story, the hinge, offers the answer.

    所以最大的問題,理所當然是「上帝會做什麼?」而下一個如同轉折點的故事,提供了答案

  • But for now, that's what Genesis 1-11 is all about.

    但到目前為止,這就是創世界 1-11 章的內容大意

The book of Genesis is the first book of the Bible and it's storyline divides into two main parts

創世紀是聖經的第一卷書,而它的故事內容主要分為兩個部份

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閱讀經文。創世記第一至十一章 (Read Scripture: Genesis Ch. 1-11)

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