Creation and Fall
A Theological Exposition of Genesis 1-3


General Editor’s Foreword to Dietrich Bonhoeffer Works Abbreviations
. Bible. O.T. Genesis I-III-Commentaries. 2. Creation. 3. Fall. I. De Gruchy,john W. II. Bax, Douglas S. III. Title. IV. Series: Bonhoeffer, Dietrich, 1906-1945. Works. English. 1996; v. 3. BR45.B6513 1996 vol. 3 [BSI235.B653] 230′.044-dc21 [222′.1106] 97-36937 CIP Introduction 19 21
The Beginning (Gen. 1:1-2)
The Word (Gen. 1:3)
God’s Look (Gen. 1:4a)
The Day (Gen. 1:4b-5)
That Which Is Firmly Fixed (Gen. 1:6-10, 14-19)
That Which Lives (Gen. 1:11-13,20-25)
The Image of God on Earth (Gen. 1 :26-27)
Blessing and Completion (Gen. 1:28-31, 2:1-4a)
The Other Side (Gen. 2:5bff.)
The Human Being of Earth and Spirit (Gen. 2:7)
The Center of the Earth (Gen. 2:8-17)
(Scanned up to this point)
The Power of the Other (Gen. 2:18-25)
The Pious Question (Gen. 3:1-3)
Sicut Deus (Gen. 3:4-5)
The Fall (Gen. 3:6)
The New Thing (Gen. 3:7)
The Flight (Gen. 3:8-13)
Curse and Promise (Gen. 3:14-19)
The Mother of All That Lives (Gen. 3:20)
God’s New Action (Gen. 3:21)
The Tree of Life (Gen. 3:22ff.)
Editor’s Afterword to the German Edition, Martin Riiter and Use Todt
Chronology Bibliography 1. Literature Used by Bonhoeffer 2. Literature Consulted by the Editors 3. Other Literature Related to Creation and Fall Index of Biblical References Index of Names Index of Subjects Editors and Translator 147 174 178 178 183 191 194 196 198 207 vii
[edit] Acknowledgment

Translated from the German Edition
English Edition Edited by JOHN W. DE GRUCHY
DIETRICH BONHOEFFER WORKS General Editor Wayne Whitson Floyd, Jr.
This series is a translation of DIETRICH BONHOEFFER WERKE Edited by Eberhard Bethge, Ernst Feil, Christian Gremme1s, Wolfgang Huber, Hans Pfeifer, Albrecht Schonherr, Heinz Eduard Todtt, Ilse T6dt
This volume has been made possible through a generous gift from Dr. John and Cleo Young of Eau Claire, Wisconsin, a grant from the Umversity of Cape Town, as well as the ongoing support of the Lilly Endowment, Inc., the Aid Association for Lutherans, the Bowen H. and Janice Arthur McCoy Charitable Foundation, and the LuskDarnen Charitable Gift Fund.
[edit] Copyright

First Fortress Press paperback edition 2004
Originally published in German as Dietrich Bonhoeffer Werke, Band 3, by Chr. Kaiser Verlag in 1988. First English-language edition of Dietrich Bonhoeffer Works, Volume 3, published by Fortress Press in 1997.
Schopfung und Fall first published in German by Chr. Kaiser Verlag in 1937. Original English-language edition of Creation and Fall published in 1959 by SCM Press, Ltd., and in 1965 by Macmillan Publishing Company. New English-language translation of Creation and Fall with new supplementary material first published in 1997 by Fortress Press as part of Dietrich Bonhoeffer Works.
Dietrich Bonhoeffer Works, Volume 3: Copyright © 1997 Augsburg Fortress. All rights reserved. New Dietrich Bonhoeffer Works English-language translation of material first published as Schopfung und Fall (Creation and Fall): Copyright © 1997 SCM Press, Ltd. and Macmillan Publishing Co. All rights reserved. All other material original to Dietrich Bonhoeffer Works edition of Schopfung und Fall (Creation and Fall), including the General Editor’s Foreword, Editor’s Introduction, abbreviations, bibliographies, indexes, and some notes: Copyright © 1997 Augsburg Fortress. All rights reserved. .
Except for brief quotations in critical articles or reviews, no part of this book may be reproduced in any manner without permission of the copyright holder. Write to permissions at: Augsburg Fortress, Box 1209, Minneapolis, MN 55440; Macmillan Publishing Company, 866 Third Avenue, New York, NY 10022; SCM Press, Ltd., 9-17 St. Albans Place, London, UKNI0NX.
The Library of Congresss has cataloged the hardcover edition as follows: Editor’s Introduction to the English Edition, John W. de Gruchy Creation and Fall: A Theological Exposition of Genesis 1-3 Jacket design: Cheryl Watson Cover photo: Dietrich Bonhoeffer. Used by permission of Chr. Kaisery’Cutersloher Verlagshaus, Giitersloh, Germany. Internal design: The HK Scrip tori urn, Inc. ISBN 0-8006-8323-4 Bonhoeffer, Dietrich, 1906-1945. [Schopfung und Fall. English] Creation and fall: a theological exposition of Genesis 1-3/ Dietrich Bonhoeffer ; translated from the German edition edited by Martin Ruter and Ilse Todt : English edition edited by John W. de Gruchy ; translated by Douglas Stephen Bax. p. em. – (Dietrich Bonhoeffer works; v. 3) Includes bibliographical references (p. ) and indexes. ISBN 0-8006-8303-X (alk. paper)
The paper used in this publication meets the minimum requirements of American National Standard for Information Sciences-Permanence of Paper for Printed Library Materials, ANSI Z329.48-1984.


THE CHURCH OF CHRIST witnesses to the end of all things. It lives from the 21 end, it thinks from the end, it acts from the end, it proclaims its message from the end. “Do not remember the former things or consider the things of old. I am about to do a new thing” NL-A 31.3 (Bonhoeffer’s own manuscript) has only “the words, “Remem¬ber not what happened before”; above the dots Bonhoeffer added the word, “create.” From this it appears that he had in mind Isa. 43:19a (“I wish to create something new”). For the 1933 edition the quotation was completed in the words of the LB. (Isa. 43:18-19). The new is the real end of the old; the new, however, is Christ. Christ is the end of the old. Not the continuation, not the goal, the completion in line with the old, but the end and therefore the new. The church speaks within the old world about the new world. And because it is surer of the new world than of anything else, it sees the old world only in the light of the new world.

The church cannot please the old world because the church speaks of the end of the world as though this has already happened, as though the world has already been judged. The old world is not happy to let itself be declared dead. The church has never been surprised at this. It also is not surprised that again and again there appear within it people who think as the old world does. Who after all does not still at times think like this? What must certainly arouse the church to real indigna¬tion, Instead of the word for “indignation,” the 1933 edition printed another German word meaning “uproar, agitation, turmoil, revolt.” “Indignation” occurs also before this in a deletion from NL-A 31.3. however, is that these children of the world that has passed away wish to claim the church, the new, as belonging to them. They want the new, and they know only the old. And in that way they deny Christ, the Lord.

Only the church, which knows of the end, knows also of the beginning. It alone knows that between the beginning and now there lies the lame breach as between now and the end, that the beginning and now ire related in the same way as life is to death, as the new is to the old. The church therefore sees the beginning only in dying, from the viewpoint of the end. In NL-A 31.3 the words follow, crossed out: “The world, which does not wish to know about the end, because it does not wish to die, sees.” The 1933 edition reads “the end” in place of “dying.” It views the creation from Christ; or better, in the fallen, old world it believes in the world of the new creation, the new world If the beginning and the end, because it believes in Christ and in noth¬ing else.

The church does all this because it is founded upon the witness of Holy Scripture. In NL-A 31.3 this replaces: “because Holy Scripture is its only authority.” If The church of Holy Scripture – and there is no other church’ -lives from the end. Therefore it reads the whole of Holy Scrip¬ure as the book of the end, of the new [vom Neuen], of Christ. In NL-A 31.3 the words follow, crossed out: “Christ is the center of Scripture.” Where Holy Scripture, upon which the church of Christ stands, speaks of creation, of the beginning, what else can it say other than that it is only from Christ that we can know what the beginning is? The Bible is after all nothing other than the book of the church. It is this in its very essence, or it is nothing. It therefore needs to be read and proclaimed wholly from the viewpoint of the end. In the church, therefore, the story of creation must be read in a way that begins with Christ and only then moves on toward him as its goal; indeed one can read it as a book that moves toward Christ only when one knows that Christ is the beginning, he new, the end of our whole world.

Theological exposition takes the Bible as the book of the church and interprets it as such. This is its presupposition and this presupposition :onstitutes its method; its method is a continual returning from the text as determined by all the methods of philological and historical re-search) The parenthesis is a late addition in NL-A 31.3. to this presupposition. That is the objectivity [Sachlichkeit] in the method of theological exposition. And on this objectivity alone does it base its claim to have the nature of a science [Wissenschaft¬lichkeitj] See above, 7.

When Genesis says “Yahweh,” it ‘means’, from a historical or psycho¬logical point of view, nothing but Yahweh; theologically, i.e., from the 23 viewpoint off In NL-A 31.3 the words follow, crossed out: “God’s revelation in.” the church, however, it is speaking of God Cf. Hans Schmidt, Die Erziihlung von Paradies und Siimdenfall, 29: “The god whom this ancient story [of the tree of knowledge] knows is not the God in whom we believe; nor is this god Yahweh, the God of the great Israelite prophets, or the God of Moses” but the Canaanite god Baal.
For in the whole of Holy Scripture God is the one and only God [der Eine Gott ] In NL-A 31.3 Bonhoeffer replaced “God is God” with this wording. with this belief the church and theological science [Wissenschaft] stand or fall)Bonhoeffer wrote the Introduction and the Preface, in this order (see NL-A 31.3), for the 1933 edition, after the lecture course. Erich Klapproth gives an impression of how the lecture course itself started on November 8, 1932: “The word of God [is] neither fiction nor fairy tale nor myth; on the contrary one must read it word for word [buchstabieren] like a child and learn to rethink completely what the historical critical commentaries teach us. One can never hear it, if one does not at the same time live it – and this involves especially exercitium [‘practice’]. For us the word of God always lies hidden like a treasure in a field [Matt. 13:44], for we always have to come to the knowledge of God via the cross of Christ. In its catechumenate the ancient church allowed the story of creation to be discussed only at the end of the course of instruction [for baptism]; in the same way we come to it not just with a speculative approach but from the center of the Bible. We must place ourselves under the same Lord under whom the Bible stands. That is the only ‘methodological presupposition'” (EK [1]). The comment about the catechumenate of the ancient church appears also in FL (1). In Hilde Pfeiffer’s notes taken down during the lecture the conduding sentences of the introduction read: “In these three chapters the very God speaks to us as those who are under judgment, as those who have been put to death in and with Christ, as children and heirs of Adam who was driven out [of Paradise], as those who know about the church. We take the Bible into our hands here as the church of Christ” (HP [1]).

That Which Lives

Gen. 1:11-13,20-25.

That Which Lives <ref> At this point the fifth lecture period began, which HP (19) and FL (21) date Dec. 6, 1932. </ref>

: And God said: Let the earth put forth grass and plants that bear seed and trees that bear fruit, each bearing fruit on earth according to its kind and with its own seed. And so it came to be. And the earth put forth grass and plants that bore seed, each according to its kind, and trees that bore fruit with their own seed, each according to its kind. And God saw that it was good. And with evening and morning the third day came to be.

: And God said: Let the water swarm with living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth near the firmament of heaven. And God created the great sea animals and all the living creatures that gambol about, with which the waters swarm,<ref> The text on the third day (vv. 11-13) mostly follows LB, while that on the fifth and sixth days up to v. 25 mainly follows Kautzsch, 10-11; d. LB (vv. 20-21): ” … let the waters be agitated with creatures that live and move, and birds fly over the earth under the firmament of heaven. And God created great whales and all kinds of animals that live and move there, with which the waters were agitated …. ” </ref> each according to its kind, and also every kind of feathered bird, each according to its kind. And God saw that it was good. And God blessed them and said: Be fruitful and multiply and fill the water in the sea, and let the birds multiply on the earth. And with evening and morning the fifth day came to be. And God said: Let the earth bring forth living animals, each according to its kind.<ref> Here in v. 24 the words are left out: “Cattle and reptiles and wild animals each according to its kind” (Kautzsch, 11). </ref> And so it came to be. And God made the wild animals, each according to its kind, and the cattle according to their kind, and every kind of reptile on the earth according to its kind. And God saw that it was good.

LIKE A WATERFALL that plunges from the heights down into a valley, creation moves from on high down to its final work. First there is the formless, then form in rhythm, and then a second form in law, in numbers. More and more creation attains its own being, more and more sharply it stands out in distinction from the form of the Creator, and more and more jubilantly it proclaims the Creator’s nearness.

The peculiar being of what has been created so far is dead, however. It does not praise the Creator by carrying on the Creator’s work but only by its own existence. But now something totally new occurs, with no continuity with what has happened before. The Creator wills that the creation should itself, in obedience, endorse and carryon the Creator’s work – wills that creatures should live and should in tur<ref> Instead of the German word wieder (translated here as “in turn”), to which HP (19), FL (21), and EK (6) bear evidence, the 1933 edition incorrectly reads weiter, “further.” </ref> themselves create life. That which is living differs from that which is dead in that it can itself create life. God gives to God’s work that which makes God Lord, namely the ability to create. God calls it to life. And that God does so, and that what lives belongs to God now as something that itself creates and lives in an obedience of its own – that is the new way in which the Creator is glorified by the Creator’s work. God does not will to be Lord of a dead, eternally unchangeable, subservient world; instead God wills to be Lord of life with its infinite variety of forms.

Thus at God’s word there breaks forth out of the dead stone, out of the unfruitful earth, that which is alive and fruitful. It is no process of evolution from death to life; instead it is God’s command which creates that which lives out of what is dead – it is God’s being able to raise up children to Abraham out of these stones.<ref> Cf. Luke 3:8b. </ref> and calling Christ to rise up from the dead earth. The earth becomes the mother of the living; from now on life will break forth out of her dead darkness, and the world of plants, with their seed and their fruit, comes to be. This means that what comes to be is life, the peculiar nature of which is to create life again _ plants with seed according to their kind, which means in all the manifold variety of things that live.<ref> Cf. UK, which reads “in all the manifold variety of the individual” (ll). HP also has “individual” (19, 20). </ref> Not only the earth but also the sea, which is without life, and heaven, which is fixed, become animated with living creatures that move about. While the plants cling to the ground, the animals move about; they are in control of the ground, free to move over it, and are not bound to it. Fish and birds according to their kind and cattle and reptiles and wild animals according to their kind with their seed, in their fecundity.

It is not the Creator’s own nature that the Creator here places within what lives and creates life. That which lives and is creative is not something divine; instead it is and remains a work that is creaturely, that has been created, that is separate from the Creator and under the Creator’s free command. In the lively process of its coming to be, however, the Lord wills to look upon the Lord’s own doing in what now stands over against the Lord; the Creator wills to see the Creator’s own self in the process of creating, and the work is obliged to honor the one who made it.

One could suppose that God has now handed over to living creatures the work of upholding, so that the world or nature would provide for itself and so that the fixed nature of law and the fecundity of living things are the powers that together uphold the world. The clock is wound up and now runs on its own<ref> Christian Wolff (1679-1754) compared the world t~. a clock or a machine, so that no chance accident was conceivable for it. See Uberweg 3:452. FL refers to the “Deists” (22). Deism was the way in which God was conceived in the English and French Enlightenment. It assumed that once the world was created, its author no longer intervened in the course of things. [The Enlightenment rebelled against a dogmatic Christianity that claimed to be based on scriptures that were inerrant and on a revelation that was ‘proved’ by prophecies and miracles and was not subject to rational evaluation. The Deists thus attempted to substitute for traditional Christianity a ‘natural’ or rational religion. In content this was a belief in a benevolent God, who had created the world so that it was governed by natural laws that precluded miracles, and in an unchanging moral law.] [JDEG] </ref> But what the Bible knows is just this, that in the created world nothing runs ‘on its own’. Law and life that creates life are, as God’s work, created out of nothing and exist only in the midst of nothingness, only in the freedom of God’s word. If God withdraws the word from the work, it sinks back into nothingness. Thus neither the subjection of the course of the world to law nor the living nature of what has been created is to be identified with God’s upholding activity; on the contrary, law and life are upheld only by the free word of God. Neither law nor life is worthy of adoration – they are creatures like everything else; only the Lord of the law and the Lord of the living is so worthy.

This section too closes with the words that the text repeats again and again: “and God saw that it was good.” For us this has two meanings. On the one hand God’s work in the unspoiled form in which God’s will has shaped it is good. On the other hand it is “good” only in the way that the creaturely can be good, that is, by the Creator’s looking upon it, acknowledging it as the Creator’s own, and saying about it, “It is good.” That God looks upon God’s work is the only thing that makes the work good. This really means, however, that the work is good only because the Creator alone is good. The work never has its goodness in itself, but only 5: in the Creator. The goodness of the work consists precisely in its pointing emphatically away from itself to the Creator and to the Creator’s word alone as that which is good – that is, in its pointing out that “none is good but God alone.”<ref> Mark 10:18b. LB translates, “No one is good, except the one God.” EK reads, ‘Jesus is good in that he points to God as good” (6). UK adds: ” … and does not make the claim for himself that he is good” (12). Cf. FL (22). </ref> It is in the sense of this word of Jesus that the first creation is “good.” If none is good except God alone, then God alone will be given the glory. And the creature’s being good – but now being genuinely good – consists in this: that it lets the Creator, as the only Lord, be good and receives its own being good from the Creator’s word alone and knows this word alone to be good. One is saying the same thing in other words when one says that the peculiar being of the creature, that is, its creaturely being, is wholly suspended and sustained [aufgehoben]<ref> See page 28, editorial note 12. </ref> in God’s being and is fully obedient to God. After all, the being of that which is without form – of that which in greater and greater intensification of its own being<ref> The 1933 edition incorrectly reads Tun, “activity,” instead of Sein, “being,” both at this point and later in the sentence. </ref> is given form as rhythm, as what is fixed, and as what lives – always remains wholly created being, that is, obedient being. It never knows about its own being except by looking at the word of God, at the freedom with which God creates and upholds.

The Day

: ”And God separated the light from the darkness and called the light day and the darkness ~ht. So with evening and morning the first day came to be. <ref> The text is close to that of LB; d. Kautzsch, “And it became evening and became morning, a first day” (10).</ref>”

THE FIRST FINISHED WORK of God is the day. God creates the day in the beginning. The day bears along everything else; the world exists in the process of one day’s turning into another [im Wechsel des Tages]. The day has its own being, its own form, its own power. It is not to be understood in physical terms as the rotation of the earth around the sun or as the change of darkness and light that can be calculated as a period of time; it is something beyond all that, something that determines the essence of the world and of our existence. It is, one might almost say if the term did not suit the context here so badly, what we call a mythological entity. To be sure, the gods of the day and of the night who in pagan belief animate and fill the world are here wholly dethroned; the day nevertheless remains God’s first creature, something wondrous and mighty in God’s hand.

The day in its creatureliness and wonder is wholly lost to us. We have withdrawn from its power. We no longer allow ourselves to be determined by it. We count up the days and tick them off. We do not accept the day as a gift; we do not live it. Today we do so less than ever, for technology wars against the day. The Bible itself already speaks of days in the way we speak of them, namely, as periods of time that can be counted. But the Bible still knows that days cannot simply be counted up as periods of time determined by the earth’s rotation but are instead the great rhythm, the natural dialectic <ref> Cf. Friedrich Gogarten, Ich glaube, 55.</ref> of creation. What the Bible means when it speaks of the creation of the day is that what is formless becomes form in the morning and sinks back into formlessness in the evening, that the clear and distinct existence of things over against one another in the light dissolves into oneness in the dark, that the noise of life dies away in the silence of the night, that expectant wakening in the light is followed by sleep, and that there are times (reaching far beyond the physical day) of wakening and of slumbering in nature, in history, and in the nations [in den Volkern], The Bible means all of that when it speaks of the creation of the day, of the day without humankind, a day that sustains everything, including the fate of humankind.<ref> The German has an untranslatable wordplay, “von dem menschenlosen Tag, del’ alles, auch das Menschenlos, tragt,” in which los as the suffix in menschenlosen means “without” and as a noun in Menschenlos means “fate, destiny.” [DSB].</ref> The rhythm that is both rest and movement, that gives and takes and gives again and takes again and so points forever to God’s giving and taking, to God’s freedom beyond rest and movement – that is what the day is.

When the Bible speaks of six days of creation, the term “day” may well have been meant in the sense of a day of morning and evening. Even so, however, it did not mean such days as periods of time that one could just count up; instead what is being thought of is the power of the day, which alone makes the physical day what it is: the natural dialectic of creation. Where the Bible speaks of the “day,” it is not at all the physical problem that it is discussing. Whether the creation occurred in rhythms of millions of years or in single days, this does no damage to biblical thinking. We have no reason to assert the latter or to doubt the former; the question as such does not concern us. That the biblical author, to the extent that the author’s word is a human word, was bound by the author’s own time, knowledge, and limits is as little disputed as the fact that through this word God, and God alone, tells us about God’s creation. God’s daily works are the rhythms in which the creation rests.<ref> EK reads, “For the Bible thesix days are nothing other than the rhythm which God put in his creation and to which God gave the power to bear along the world” (5). </ref>

The Other Side

THE OTHER SIDE<ref>In the notes of the students who attended the lectures this stands under the heading, “Second Main Part.” </ref>

IT WAS LONG AGO REALIZED that what we have here is a second creation 67 story that is quite different from, and substantially older than, the first.<ref>UK reads, “From the Yahwist’s source” (16). During the lectures Bonhoeffer used the technical terms of textual criticism. Kautzsch refers to the source of the ”’Yahwist’ (called J, because from the beginning it uses the divine name, Yahweh fJahwe in German] [DSB])” (3). The first, but later, creation story comes from the source P, the “Priestly document.” Kautzsch maintains thatJ was written between 900 and 750 B.C.E. and P between 600 and 450 B.C.E. (4, 7). The French medical doctor Jean Astruc first differentiated two interwoven narratives in Genesis in 1753 (see Kautzsch, 2). [Later in the eighteenth century J. G. Eichhorn discovered additional evidence for these narratives as source documents. The work of these and other scholars culminated in the second half of the nineteenth century in the well-known hypothesis ofK. H. GrafandJulius Wellhausen that the Pentateuch was compiled from four source documents of diverse age and origin.] UDEG] </ref> What are we to make of that?<ref>HP reads, “The opposition of the sources P and J can be used to demonstrate their relativity” (27). EK records the same almost word for word (8). </ref> What does it mean for our exposition? When one first looks at both creation stories together, it is plain that the first and the second accounts are only representations [Darstellungen] of the same thing from two different sides; indeed it must even be said that the first without the second, like the second without the first, would not express what there was to say here. (To be sure, this judgment in turn arises only from listening to and understanding scripture as a whole.)

The first account is thought out wholly from above, from where God is. Humankind is here the final work of God’s self-glorification. The world is created for God, for God’s honor alone, and humankind is the most precious receptacle, the very mirror of the Creator. It is totally for the sake of God’s glory and honor as Creator that everything comes to pass. In spite of the creation of humankind, the world remains the world in the deep,<ref>Cf. Gen. 1:2. [DSB] </ref> the strange, distant world. The second account by contrast is about the world in its nearness and about the Lord who is near on earth, living together with Adam in Paradise. The first account is about humankind-for-God, the second about God-for-humankind. The first is about the Creator and Lord, the second about the fatherly God who is near at hand.<ref>HP says, “The second account portrays the gentle fatherly God who is near at hand” (27). The expression milde, “gentle,” also occurs in UK (17). </ref> The first is about humankind as the final work of God, with the whole world created before humankind, the second just the other way around: in the beginning humanity is created, and around humankind, for the sake of humankind, God fashions animals and birds and lets the trees grow. The second account tells the story of humankind – the first is about what God does; but the second is about the history of humanity with God – the first is about the work of God with humanity; the second is about the God who is near at hand – the first is about the strange God; the second about God in human form, the God of childlike anthropomorphism – whereas the first is about the deity of God. Yet both are only human words, childlike but humble words, about the same God and the same humankind. Hence Genesis 2 [is ]<ref>In Bonhoeffer’s text there is a colon in place of the verb ‘is,’ which here has been supplied by the translator. [DSB] </ref> the other side of Genesis<ref>As Kautzsch points out, in v. 4b the Hebrew text reads “earth and heaven, not as in 1:1 and 2:1, the heaven and the earth” (12, note b). Kautzsch renders v. 5 “caused it to rain upon the earth.” Otherwise the text largely follows Kautzsch, 12. Instead of “Yahweh God,” LB always reads Cott der HErr [printed in this way], “God the LORD.” Cf. LB, which reads “and every kind of tree in the field was not yet on earth, and every kind of herb in the field had not yet grown, for God the LORD had not yet caused it to rain on earth, and there were no human beings who tilled the land. But a mist went up from the earth and made all the land damp.” (Only) FL noted the reference to literature at this point: “Hans Schmidt history-of-religions problem popular lectures” (33). Schmidt’s study, Die Erziihlung von Paradies und Sundenfall (The story of paradise and the fall), appeared in the series “Sammlung gemeinverstandlicher Vortrage und Schriften aus dem Gebiet der Theologie und Religionsgeschichte” (Collected popular addresses and essays in the area of theology and the history of religions). By the translation “the rainclouded heaven” Schmidt sought to show that “What is here in mind is the idea of a ‘marriage’ between heaven and mother earth” (37). Bonhoeffer rejects this thesis, which Schmidt extended to Gen. 1:2 (38); see above, page 38 and editorial note 41. </ref> – not an arbitrary but a necessary side, at any rate once the whole has been understood.

This corresponds roughly to the state of being “formless and empty” in the first account.N<ref>Schmidt draws attention to the fact that according to the second account humankind “is created on the wasteland of a still wholly barren earth” (7). </ref>