Genesis and Near Eastern Cosmologies
Understanding Key Similarities and Differences in Genesis 1
The first chapter of the book of Genesis recalls the story of creation. But it provides far more than merely an Israelite cosmology.
It offers an understanding of Near Eastern cosmologies or the remnants of the former still existent in Israelite society's memory. More importantly, it responds to these ideas. Yet, it does so as Umberto Cassuto describes in a manner that is “tranquil, undisturbed by polemic or dispute.”
Genesis conveys the concept of the one God created the world according to His will, without restraint or limitation. It provides the foundation for Jewish theology.
This lecture provides an introduction to this fascinating topic by discussing elements of the Babylonian epic, Enuma Elisha and discussing the key differences with the Biblical tradition.