A literary analysis of the mythology of genesis

God, a spirit hovering over an empty, watery void, creates the world by speaking into the darkness and calling into being light, sky, land, vegetation, and living creatures over the course of six days. God places the two people, Adam and Eve, in the idyllic garden of Eden, encouraging them to procreate and to enjoy the created world fully, and forbidding them to eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.

A literary analysis of the mythology of genesis

The creation story laid out in the Bible parallels the Enuma Elish in some aspects, yet differs in others.

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This Paper will attempt an examination of the two epics in order to assess their similarities and differences, and view them in the light of modern scientific theories of evolution. The purpose for creation of both these myths was a religious one, in order to highlight the divine element that was responsible for creation and in bringing forth life upon this Planet.

Water is the primeval element in both these accounts. In Genesis, the creation story spans a period of six days within which all the elements were created, while the Enuma Elish is also set out over a similar period of six days which are represented as six generations of Gods.

Each of these generations of Gods represents the creation of a particular element of nature. In the genesis story, God completes his creation in six days and rests on the seventh day, with the process of creation having been completed.

In the Enuma Elish, six generations of gods exist in a state of conflict until the sixth generation Babylonian god Marduk turns man into a slave so that the gods can rest on the seventh day. The Genesis myth is believed to have been derived from the Enuma Elish in some aspects, since both epics begin with the existence of a formless void and complete darkness, which are also represented in Apsu, the God of water and Tiamat, the God of primeval chaos.

Similarly the fourth and fifth days of creation as detailed in Genesis of the Bible involve the origin of the sun, stars and primitive life forms while in the Babylonian myth, these two generations are represented by the birth of the God of the sky.

Conflicts erupt between the gods that result in the evolution of wild beasts and monsters. On the sixth day of creation according to Genesis, God creates man. The Babylonian epic depicts this in the birth of the god Marduk, who is described as a savage God-man whose function is to be of service to the gods, so they can be at ease.

In making man a slave, Marduk thereby brings rest to the gods, in a similar manner, Genesis of the Bible describes God as resting on the seventh day.

This implies an inherent tension in the process of creation, which is also represented in the Babylonian myth through the spirit of primeval chaos that Tiamat represents. This spirit of chaos must first be overcome before the process of creation is successfully completed and Babylonian myth presents the god Marduk as defeating Tiamat and splitting her up to form the various components of the Universe.

Genesis 12–36 consists of an assortment of ancestral tales, in the course of which three generations of nomadic Hebrews get married, have children, and encounter various chronic” than the text it studies. In other words, literary analysis of Genesis should incorpo- . The meaning to be derived from the Genesis creation narrative will depend on the reader's understanding of its genre, the literary "type" to which it belongs: "it makes an enormous difference whether the first chapters of Genesis are read as scientific cosmology, creation myth, or historical saga". The Genesis creation narrative is the creation myth of both Judaism and Christianity. The narrative is made up of two stories, roughly equivalent to the first two chapters of the Book of Genesis. In the first, Elohim (the Hebrew generic word for God) creates the heavens and the earth in six days, then rests on, blesses and sanctifies the.

This is one of the most striking aspects of the creation process of Genesis which is highlighted by the Babylonian myth that reveals the struggle between order and chaos that underlies the text in Genesis, so that the turbulent creation process needs to be followed by a period of rest.

Therefore, in some ways it is possible that the story of creation as laid out in the Bible is derived from the myth of Babylonian creation which spanned a period of sex generations.

However, the similarities that are significant are the beginning of creation from a watery chaos to its end in a period of rest.

From the SparkNotes Blog

The intervening period presents significant differences, because it is full of paganism and references to multiple gods and their conflicts which is anathema to the Judean faith, hence the Genesis story is believed to have been derived from the original version after having being stripped of all heathen elements Harrison For example, matter is eternal in Enuma Elish while it is a creation from nothing in Genesis where the creation period spans six days as opposed to primarily two days in the Babylonian epic, with the rest being devoted to conflicts among the Gods.

According to Harrison the events laid out in the Bible must be studied from a historical perspective that presumes the Old Testament to be a historically valid document p The unearthing of the Babylonian tablets detailing the story of creation together with the accounts of the flood Gilgamesh lend credence to the theory that the events narrated in the Old Testament may have some historical basis in actual events such as a flood that may have occurred years ago.

Hence the differences between the Genesis account and Enuma Elish become significant in that the Hebrews never regarded nature itself as the life of God, but rather conceived of God and his creations as separate and distinct entities.

Moreover, rather than seeing the Divine Being as being represented by various gods, they viewed him as a Supreme Being who has provided hope for man in his divine promises.The Genesis myth is believed to have been derived from the Enuma Elish in some aspects, since both epics begin with the existence of a formless void and complete darkness, which are also represented in Apsu, the .

In Genesis, the creation story spans a period of six days within which all the elements were created, while the Enuma Elish is also set out over a similar period of six .

SparkNotes: Bible: The Old Testament: Genesis, Chapters 1–11

But if Genesis 1 is “myth,” are we not forced to identify Genesis as “myth” as well? In Mark , Jesus appeals to the reality of creation and to the origin of Adam and Eve in order to defend the divine design of the marriage covenant between one man and one woman.

The name 'Genesis' is an English translation of the Hebrew word for the first book in the Torah, Bereishith. The word literally means 'in the beginning.' Genesis is the first five books of the Written Torah as well as the Christian Old Testament.

Introduction

It is generally believed to be written by Moses. The goal of the analysis of the text of Genesis is to consider such aspects of this written document as a broad descriptive overview of it, its major theological themes, and its literary characteristics, in order to derive a synthetic structure of the text as a whole.

A literary analysis of the mythology of genesis

LITERARY ANALYSIS. Introduction it will make a difference in the interpretation of Genesis if the section is classified as a collection of myths comparable to other ancient Near Eastern literature.

[10] “ The Literary Form of Genesis

SparkNotes: Bible: The Old Testament: Genesis, Chapters 1–11