Term Paper: Compare Yahwist Priestly and Magician's Nephew

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Yahwist, Priestly & Magician's Nephew

The Yahwist and Priestly traditions can be separated in the first two books of the Bible. The author of each one has a distinct intention, a distinct way of showing us God and distinct perspective on God's dealing with mankind. The Priestly narratives are called "Priestly" because they are supposedly -- or at least believed to be -- written by people who were a part of priestly circles. They were written in order to focus on the priestly tradition, offering us different types of laws and rituals as well as explanations for those laws and rituals. The Yahwist tradition, on the other hand, is believed to be Jesus' word and the work is intended to explore the relationship between God and mankind as well. The Yahwist tradition depicts God as a very good and a very forgiving God (West & Weigel 2003). The Yahwist account explores more of the human aspects of emotion and temptation. For example, in the case of Adam and Eve, the Yahwist tradition would warn the people from trying to be Godlike. Yahwist tradition would say that when man is tempted to sin, this is his impulse to try and be like God. It is an insult to God therefore. When comparing these traditions to C.S. Lewis' The Magician's Nephew, one would see the same themes of creation and destruction -- or the beginning of everything that God had created and, of course, the end. The similarities can be seen between the Priestly and Yahwist narratives and The Magician's Nephew when we look at the creation of Narnia and the destruction of Charn.

The Priestly narratives begin with Genesis and the Creation. It begins with the words "And God said…" Before this, there was nothing. The world was bleak and desolate. In The Magician's Nephew we see the same beginning when Digory and Polly arrive in Charn. Charn is desolate and cold and there is nothing there that lives besides them. Just like at the beginning, before God created everything, there was nothing of life until God gave those things life. The lion, which is all-powerful and great, begins to create Narnia. There are trees formed and animals begin to inhabit the place. The sky becomes a beautiful color blue and the sun appears to be brighter than any sun that humans have ever seen. Everything in the place of Narnia turns to beauty. The sounds are all lovely and the scents of the new creation are heavenly. There is obviously a direct reference to the creation that God made as well. In Genesis, God made everything beautiful. He created the Earth and the glorious trees, the heavens, the stars, and He created man to be like Him.

The main goal of the Priestly narratives is to illustrate God as the be-all-end-all. Without God, there is not anything. God gave life to even the smallest creatures on Earth. He made light out of darkness, and turned the cold nothingness into a nice, warm place for people to live and thrive. God is the ultimate power in the Priestly narratives.

Digory Kirke is the main character in C.S. Lewis' tale. We meet Digory with his ill mother and his aunt and throughout the story Digory matures (Bandstra 1999). He is much like Adam and Eve at the beginning of the story. He is impulsive and he is determined to do whatever he likes -- much like Eve wants to taste the apple no matter how severely she has been warned. When Digory is on Charn, the only way he can… [END OF PREVIEW]

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