The Concept of Etiology
To begin with, it is important to understand the concrete reality and meaning of etiology. Etiology, as it is known, draws its origin from the Greek word ‘aitologia’ which means giving a reason or explanation behind a particular event. To this far, therefore, the concept is fundamentally used to explain the causes or origins of almost everything that exists or has existed before. The term is commonly used in disciplines or arenas that are majorly concerned with offering explanations behind certain events or in explaining why things are the way they are, like in philosophy and positive sciences.
In analyzing the concept of etiology, as used in the book of Genesis, it is important to look at the events documented from Genesis 1-11. These chapters are concerned with explaining creation of the universe and everything in it. For instance, the beginning verses of chapter one introduce God as a spirit that moves over an empty void and creates the world by a simple word of mouth. For the first five days, the book clearly documents that God used the word of mouth to create things such as animals, trees, the universe among other things, and on the sixth day, He changed course and used His own hands to create man in his own image. What these accounts simply mean is that they are offering a Christian and religious explanation to the things we see today and those that happened in the past. In this perspective, therefore, etiological explanation revolves around the supreme God who has magnificent powers to cause everything to happen, hence, when human beings are faced with complexity of explanation, they should look no other but to God who is the originator of everything. It is important to note what is pronounced in Genesis 1: 4 where it is declared that all that He created was good. Etiologically, this means that everything we see on Earth was made out of purpose, however bad and unworthy it may look in our site.
Etiology in the book of Genesis is also found in the events that led to the origin of sin. The book clearly documents that the sins we experience today have their origin in the Garden of Eden in the caucus association between Eve and the Serpent, which culminated into eating of the forbidden fruit in the middle of the land. Etiologically, therefore, when we see somebody kills his neighbor, steals, commits adultery, rapes or engages in any evil action, we may think off, and we automatically know that such actions have their origin in the Garden of Eden.
Etiology can also be used to explain the events surrounding the Tower of Babel. The book of Genesis clearly illustrates that after the great floods that swept the whole world, the remaining humanity became united in diverse fronts, especially in terms of language as they virtually spoke the same language. After the floods, they (survivors) started to migrate towards the east and came to settle at Shinar (Hebrew) where they unanimously resolved to build a town tower that could go up to heaven. Genesis 11, 1-9 documents that God, having seen that these people were strongly united and determined to build the tower to heaven, decided to descend down and confounded there speech. The tower fell and everybody began to speak a different language, besides, being thrown to different parts of the world. This kind of action etiologically can be used to explain the origin of different languages and tribes of the Earth. From the explanations above, it is crystal clear the book of Genesis stands out to be the etiological power point that offers Christian explanations about the origin of the Earth and everything in it.