Book of Genesis

From The Bible and Its Influence:

The Book of Genesis is peopled with fascinating figures, but no portrayal is more striking or memorable than that of God. Whether the reader sees the Bible as divinely inspired or as the work of human ingenuity (or both), the power of this text is undeniable. The God of Genesis is deeply etched into the culture and history of Europe and the Americas.

Where many creation stories from other cultures show the forces of order and chaos, or good and evil, locked in equal combat, Genesis 1 describes a God whose goodness alone is the source of all life and all form. The abyss – the primal chaos that is “formless and void”—before creation is not depicted as an evil force that must be overcome. Rather, the abyss needs to be ordered to reach its full potential.

Other origin stories tell of many different gods who themselves are created, and who work together or fight against one another, to create out of the remnants of previous creations. In contrast, the first part of Genesis describes one God who is self-sufficient, powerful, and benevolent. The God of Genesis, who needs nothing, chooses to create anyway. God creates not from leftovers but out of that chaos, or as the contemporary scholar Robert Alter translates it, “out of welter and waste.”

The description of God continues to expand throughout the Book of Genesis, gradually revealing a God who loves zealously, who chooses favorites, who inflicts terrible punishments, and shows mercy beyond measure—but who is never distant or detached. Genesis is the account of this very personal God’s powerful relationship with humanity.

Schippe, Cullen and Stetson, Chuck. The Bible and Its Influence. New York: BLP Publishing, 2006. Print. (29.)

If you’re trying to improve your grammar on your own

This is the most helpful advanced grammar workbook I’ve found.

Grammar and Language Workbook, Grade 12. New York: Glencoe/McGraw Hill, 1999. Print.
ISBN-10: 0028183126
ISBN-13: 978-0028183121
Paperback: 348 pages
Publisher: Glencoe/McGraw-Hill; 1 edition (September 1, 1999)
Language: English
$9.20 at

Language Arts Grammar & Language Workbook, Grade 12: Teacher’s Annotated Edition
ISBN: 0-02-818311-8
You can usually find used copies of the Teacher’s Edition at Amazon. If you don’t, Google the title of the book and the ISBN number to find used copies elsewhere.

Table of Contents
Handbook of Definitions and Rules

Grade 11 Workbook:
Grammar & Language Workbook, Grade 11, Teacher’s Annotated Edition (Glencoe Literature) [Paperback]
Paperback: 392 pages
Publisher: McGraw-Hill Book Company Ltd (August 1, 1999)
ISBN-10: 0028183010
ISBN-13: 978-0028183015

Compound sentence

A compound sentence consists of two or more complete sentences (independent clauses) combined into one:

Toes are chopped off; severed fingers fly through the air.*
Toes are chopped off; [INDEPENDENT CLAUSE] severed fingers fly through the air. [INDEPENDENT CLAUSE]


There are 4 ways to combine independent clauses:

How to join independent clauses (compound sentence)
Important: these methods do not apply to joining a dependent clause with an independent clause (complex sentence)
Comma and FANBOYS (for, and, nor, but, or, yet)   Toes are chopped off, and severed fingers fly through the air.
Semicolon   Toes are chopped off; severed fingers fly through the air.
Semicolon, “fancy FANBOYS,” & comma
(“fancy FANBOYS” = adverbial conjunctions or conjunctive adverbs)
Toes are chopped off; moreover, severed fingers fly through the air.
Colon The main reason that Zipes likes fairy tales, it seems, is that they provide hope: they tell us that we can create a more just world.*
DO NOT join two independent clauses with a comma! **   Toes are chopped off, severed fingers fly through the air. WRONG!
DO NOT simply run the two independent clauses together! ***   Toes are chopped off severed fingers fly through the air. WRONG!

* source:
Acocella, Joan. “The Lure of the Fairy Tale.” The New Yorker. 23 July 2012. Print.
** As with so many grammar and writing rules, the comma-splice rule has an exception. However, I wouldn’t worry about it for college writing. When you are writing papers for college classes, do not use a comma to combine independent clauses.
*** There are no exceptions to this rule that I’m aware of.

5+2: the canonical sentence (clause) patterns
Independent clause
Compound sentence – how to punctuate
Complex sentence
3 ways to combine the 7 clause patterns

Commas after “introductory elements”

For example, [INTRODUCTORY PHRASE] the story of “Little Red Riding Hood” has appeared in many guises.

Reading “Little Red Riding Hood,” [INTRODUCTORY PARTICIPLE CLAUSE]* I am struck by the story’s lack of logic.

When I was little, [INTRODUCTORY ADVERBIAL CLAUSE] my mother read me the story of “Little Red Riding Hood.”

NEVER use a semicolon after an introductory element!

For example; the story of “Little Red Riding Hood” has appeared in many guises.
Reading “Little Red Riding Hood;” I am struck by the story’s lack of logic.

Doesn’t work!

* The participle clauses are often called the participle phrase.

SVA sentence

SVA = Subject + Verb + Adverbial

Elephants live here.
Elephants [SUBJECT] live [VERB] here. [ADVERBIAL]

In SVA sentences, the adverbial is required; without it, the sentence is grammatically incomplete:

Elephants live ??

Adverbs and adverbials are optional in the other 6 sentence patterns. You can include adverbials in any sentence you like, but the only sentence pattern that requires an adverbial is the SVA.

Explanation of adverbs/adverbials
John Seely on the 5+2 sentence patterns
Adverbs at CCC
5+2: the 7 canonical sentence patterns in English
Grammar for Teachers by John Seely