THE BABYLONIAN CREATION OF THE EARTH – HUMANITY -THE GIFT OF IMMORTALITY – GENESIS 1 AND GENESIS 2 AND THE BABYLONIAN NOAH

GENESIS 1 AND GENESIS 2

The two Genesis creation storiesCGenesis 1:1-2:3 and Genesis 2:4-2:25Care BOTH COMPARABLE WITH OTHER NEAR EASTERN STORIES

NOTABLY NARRATIVE 1 HAS CLOSE PARALLELS WITH THE ENUMA ELIS (57-58)

and Narrative II has parallels with the ATRA-HASIS. (59)

ENUMA ELIS: – THE FORMATION OF THE HEAVEN AND THE EARTH AND THE CREATION OF HUMANITY – ADAM:

“According to the ENUMA ELIS the original state of THE UNIVERSE was a CHAOS formed by THE MINGLING OF TWO PRIMEVAL WATERS,

the female saltwater TIAMAT

and the male freshwater APSU. (60)

The opening six lines read:

When the skies above were not yet named
Nor earth below pronounced by name
APSU, the first one, their begetter
And maker TIAMAT, who bore them all
Had mixed their waters together
But had not formed pastures, nor discovered reed-beds. (61)

[footnote: 60: Barry L. Bandstra,(1999), Enuma Elis,Reading the Old Testament: An Introduction to the Hebrew Bible, Wadsworth Publishing Company;61: Oxford World Classics,

Stephanie Dailey, Myths from Mesopotamia: Creation, The Flood, Gilgamesh, and others.

Oxford University Press, p. 233, AThe Epic of Creation, Tablet 1., ISBN 0192835890 I-CIAS.com

“Through the fusion of their waters six successive generations of gods were born.

BABYLONIAN “CREATION OF THE UNIVERSE AND THE CREATION OF HUMANITY BY MARDUK AND ADAPA WHO WAS GIVEN WISDOM BUT FORBIDDEN THE FOOD OF IMMORTAL LIFE:

THE FORMATION OF THE HEAVEN AND THE EARTH AND THE CREATION OF HUMANITY BY MARDUK:

[The story (62: Adapa Babylonian mythical figure) is first attested in the Kassite period (14th century B.C.- 1300-1400 B.C.)

Mario Liverani (63: Myth and Politics in Ancient Near Eastern Historiography, Cornell University Press (August 30, 2007) (Ch :

“Adapa, guest of the Gods, pp. 21-23) points to multiple parallels between the story of Adapa, who obtains wisdom but who is forbidden the ‘food of immortality’ whilst in heaven and the story of Adam in Eden.]

A war amongst the gods began with THE SLAYING OF APSU

and ended with THE GOD MARDUK SPLITTING TIAMAT IN TWO

TO FORM THE HEAVENS AND THE EARTH,

the Euphrates and the Tigris rivers emerged from her eye sockets.

“MARDUK

THEN CREATED HUMANITY FROM CLAY MINGLED WITH SPIT AND BLOOD, to tend the earth for the gods,

WHILE MARDUK HIMSELF WAS ENTHRONED IN BABYLON IN THE ESAGILA, ‘THE TEMPLE WITH ITS HEAD IN HEAVEN.’

Adapa (cognate with Adam) was a Babylonian mythical figure who unknowingly refused the gift of immortality.

The story (62: Adapa Babylonian mythical figure) is first attested in the Kassite period (14th century B.C.- 1300-1400 B.C.)

Mario Liverani (63: Myth and Politics in Ancient Near Eastern Historiography, Cornell University Press (August 30, 2007) (Ch :

“Adapa, guest of the Gods, pp. 21-23) points to multiple parallels between the story of Adapa, who obtains wisdom but who is forbidden the ‘food of immortality’ whilst in heaven and the story of Adam in Eden.

THE SERPENT AND THE TREE OF LIFE OR IMMORTALITY:

“Ningishzida was a Mesopotamian serpent deity associated with the underworld. He was often depicted protectively wrapped around a tree as a guardian.

Thorkild Jacobsen interprets his (Sumerian word) in Sumerian to mean ‘lord of the good tree.’(64: The Treasures of Darkness: History of Mesopotamian Religion Yale University Press, New edition, edition (1 July 1978) ISBN 0300022913 (page 7)

Despite apparent similarities between Genesis and the Enuma Elis, there are also significant differences.

“The most notable is the absence from Genesis of the ‘divine combat’ (the gods’ battle with Tiamat) which secures Marduk’s position as king iof the world, but even this has an echo in the claims of Yahweh’s kingship over creation in such places as Psalm 29 and Psalm 93,

where he is pictured as sitting enthroned over the floods.

(60: [Footnote: 60: Barry L. Bandstra,(1999), “Enuma Elis,”Reading the Old Testament: An Introduction to the Hebrew Bible, Wadsworth Publishing Company;61: Oxford World Classics,
Stephanie Dailey, Myths from Mesopotamia: Creation, The Flood, Gilgamesh, and others. Oxford University Press, p. 233,

“The Epic of Creation, Tablet 1,” ISBN 0192835890 I-CIAS.com] and Isaiah 27.1:

‘In that day, the Lord will punish with his sword; his fierce, great and powerful sword, LEVIATHAN THE GLIDING SERPENT, LEVIATHAN THE COILING SERPENT, HE WILL SLAY THE MONSTER OF THE SEA.’

“THUS THIS CREATION ACCOUNT MAY BE SEEN AS EITHER A BORROWING OR HISTORICIZING OF BABYLONIAN MYTH.”
==============
Alexander Heidel, Babylonian Genesis, Chicago University Press; 2nd edition edition (1 Sep 1963) ISBN 0226323994; Mark S. Smith,

The Early History of God: Yahweh and the Other Deities in Ancient Israel,

William B. Eerdmans Publishing Co; 2nd edition (18 Oct 2002) ISBN 080283972X,

Mark S. Smith, The Origins of Biblical Monotheism: Israel=s Polytheistic Background and the Ugaritic Texts Oxford University Press USA, New Ed edition (27 Nov 2003) ISBN 0195167686,

Frank Moore Cross, ACanaanite Myth and Hebrew Epic: Essays in the History of the Religion of Israel@ Harvard University Press; New edition edition (29 Aug 1997) ISBN 0674091760]

Or, in contrast, may be seen as a repudiation of Babylonian ideas about origins and humanity.

(66: K. A. Mathews, vol. 1A, Genesis 1-11:26, The New American Commentary (Nashville: Broadman & Holman Publishers, 2001), p. 89.

Creationism: Biblical literalists are committed to interpreting the Bible by adhering closely to the explicit words given in the text. (72: Lindbeck 2001, p. 295)

Since the 18th and 19th centuries literalist interpretations of Genesis have been in conflict with the growing body of scientific evidence. (73: Stenhouse 2000, p. 76) that now estimates the age of the earth at around 4.5 billion years.

Strict literalists view Genesis creation as a historical event that transpired exactly as written. (74: Scott 2005, pp. 227-228) but do not all agree on how literally to interpret the creation account in Genesis.

Young earth creationists, for instance, maintain that the Genesis creation took place between 6,000 and 10,000 years in the past, and that the seven ‘days’of Genesis 1 correspond to normal 24-hour days.

Creation scientists, maintain that the science behind the age of the earth and evolution is flawed, and claim to have scientific evidence of their own that fully supports the Genesis account. (75: Eugene Scott (2001), Antievolutionism and Creationism in the United States, National Center for Science Education.

‘Day’ age creationists believe that each ‘day’ in Genesis’s opening represents an ‘age’ of perhaps millions or billions of years while Progressive creationists infer that each day of creation represents an eon of development rather than a 24 hour day, but place importance on both the numerical and naturalistic features in the account and claim these Genesis passages can be seen to have anticipated later scientific findings regarding the creation of the planet and solar system. (76: Hyers 1984, Chapter 4, p. 80)

Gap creationism is a form of Old Earth creationism that posits that the six-day creation, as described in the Book of Genesis, involved literal 24-hour days, but that there was a gap of time between two distinct creations in the first and the second verses of Genesis.

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About Harold L Carter

Bachelor of Science, Columbia University Masters degree, Ohio State University Undergraduate National Officer, Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Eastern Asst Vice President, when a student at Columbia University Profile Photograph: Mom & Me, when I was a graduate student
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