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Biblical Creation Stories

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					Biblical Creation Stories
              anthropomorphism
              Adam and Eve
              covenant
              Yaweh / Elohim
              Yahwist or Jehovist writer
              Elohist writer
              Priestly writer
              Garden of Eden
              immanent god
              Israelites
              Leviathan
              Moses
              paratactic
              syncretism
              polytheism
              puns
              Rationalization
              transcendent god
              tree of knowledge
              Crum’s Genesis
              Altdorfer
Biblical Creation Stories


             Cover

             Chapters 1-3
 Examples of Paratactic Storytelling

• Genesis: two accounts of creation, one after the
  other
     Genesis I-2:3 (God as Elohim) PRIESTLY
     Genesis 2 (God as Yahweh)

COMPARE
• Two accounts of creation of Pyramid Texts

                  paratactic = placed side by side
         Authors of Genesis, 1
•       950 B.C.E. The Yahwist
    or Jehovist (often referred to as
    Y or J). This writer referred to
    God by the Hebrew word
    “Yahweh,” which was sometimes
    rendered “Jahweh.” To help in
    identifying this source, the
    translation used here always
    renders “Yahweh” as “Lord.”

    Origin: Judaea, South Israel.
         Authors of Genesis, 2
•       850 B.C.E. The Elohist
    (often referred to as E). This
    writer referred to God by the
    Hebrew word “Elohim.”


    Origin: Ephraim, North
    Israel.
        Authors of Genesis, 3
•      721 B.C.E.      Yahwist-Elohist
    version (often referred to as J-E).

    Origin: After the fall of the Northern
    Kingdom, Judaean editors combined parts
    of the J and E traditions. In parts of
    Genesis they were so effective in weaving
    these sources together, that we can no
    longer separate them.
           Authors of Genesis, 4
•        550 B.C.E.        The Priestly writer (often referred to as P).
    This writer also referred to God by the Hebrew word “Elohim,” but
    his account can be distinguished from the Elohist by what he writes
    about. He demonstrates the concerns of a priest: he writes about
    how Jewish rituals and holy days began, and he keeps track of the
    generations – the so-called "begats." This is because a person's
    ancestry determines eligibility for religious functions. To help in
    identifying this source, the translation used here always renders
    “Elohim” as “God.”

    Origin: In 587 B.C.E, the Jews were captured by Nebuchadnezzar
    and carried off to Babylon. This is known as the Babylonian Exile.
    It ended in 538, when Cyrus allowed the Jews to return to their
    homeland, Israel. In his creation story, the Priestly writer is largely
    concerned with refuting the Babylonian religion, so we can tell he
    wrote after the Exile, expressing ideas that were current during it.
Sistine Chapel
Michelangelo Buonarotti
(b. 1475, Caprese, d. 1564, Roma)



For more information on the ceiling
paintings, see
http://gallery.euroweb.hu/tours/sistin
a/index1.html
      The Priestly Version of Creation
Day   1: 1 In the beginning God
1     created the heavens and the
      earth. … 1: 3 And God said, "Let
      there be light"; and there was
      light. And there was evening and
      there was morning, one day.
Day   1: 6 And God said, "Let there be
2     a firmament in the midst of the
      waters, and let it separate the
      waters from the waters." …
  The Priestly Version of Creation (2)
Day 3   1: 9 And God said, "Let the waters under
        the heavens be gathered together into
        one place, and let the dry land appear."
        …
Day 4   1: 14 And God said, "Let there be lights
        in the firmament of the heavens to
        separate the day from the night; and let
        them be for signs and for seasons and
        for days and years…
   The Priestly Version of Creation (3)


Day 5   1: 21 So God created the great sea
        monsters and every living creature that
        moves, with which the waters swarm,
        according to their kinds, and every
        winged bird according to its kind. …
 The Priestly Version of Creation (4)

Day 6   1: 24 And God said, "Let the earth bring forth living
        creatures according to their kinds: cattle and
        creeping things and beasts of the earth according to
        their kinds." …
        1: 26 Then God said, "Let us make man in our
        image, after our likeness; and let them have
        dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the birds
        of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth,
        and over every creeping thing that creeps upon the
        earth." 27 So God created man in his own image, in
        the image of God he created him; male and female
        he created them.
God as Immanent or Transcendent?
  The Priestly Version of Creation (5)

Day 7   2: 2 And on the seventh day God
        finished his work which he had done,
        and he rested on the seventh day from
        all his work which he had done. 3 So
        God blessed the seventh day and
        hallowed it, because on it God rested
        from all his work which he had done in
        creation.
  Creation of humans in the Bible: P

1: 1 In the beginning [when] God created the heavens and
   the earth. 2 The earth was without form and void, and
   darkness was upon the face of the deep; and the Spirit
   of God was moving over the face of the waters.

1: 24 Then God said, "Let us make man in our image,
   after our likeness; and let them have dominion over
   the fish of the sea, and over the birds of the air, and
   over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every
   creeping thing that creeps upon the earth."
Creation of Humans in the Bible: J-E
2: 4b
In the day that the LORD God made the earth and the heavens,
   5 when no plant of the field was yet in the earth and no herb
   of the field had yet sprung up-for the LORD God had not
   caused it to rain upon the earth, and there was no man to till
   the ground; 6 but a mist went up from the earth and watered
   the whole face of the ground– then the LORD God formed
   man of dust from the ground, and breathed into his nostrils
   the breath of life; and man became a living being. 8 And the
   LORD God planted a garden in Eden, in the east; and there
   he put the man whom he had formed. 9 And out of the ground
   the LORD God made to grow every tree that is pleasant to the
   sight and good for food, the tree of life also in the midst of the
   garden, and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.
  The J-E Version of Creation
2: 25 And the man and his wife were both naked, and
   were not ashamed.…
3: 6 … when the woman saw that the tree was good for
   food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the
   tree was to be desired to make one wise, she took of its
   fruit and ate; and she also gave some to her husband,
   and he ate. 7 Then the eyes of both were opened and
   they knew that they were naked and they sewed fig
   leaves together and made themselves aprons.…
3: 20 The man called his wife's name Eve, because she
   was the mother of all living. 21 And the LORD God
   made for Adam and for his wife garments of skins, and
   clothed them.
      Comparison of the J-E writer
        and the Priestly writer
            Priestly                 J-E
            Genesis 1:1-2:4a         Genesis 2:4b-3:24

Landscape Wet. Originates in         Dry. Originates in the
          Mesopotamia, a fertile     deserts of Palestine.
          land irrigated by the
          Tigris and Euphrates       This account
          rivers.                    describes the planting
                                     of a garden, an
            This account begins      important event in a
            with the Spirit of God   desert.
            "moving over the face    Man is made from
            of the waters."          dust.
       Comparison of the J-E writer
        and the Priestly writer (2)

            Priestly                  J-E
            Genesis 1:1-2:4a          Genesis 2:4b-3:24
Order of    Man is made last,         Man is made first,
creation    showing his importance    showing his importance to
            to God. The world is      God. After man's creation,
            prepared for him before   everything else is created
            his creation.             for his use.


Nature of   Created male and female The man is created first.
humans      from the first            The woman is created
            Does not sin against god. later, after all other
                                      creatures. Sins against
                                      god.
      Comparison of the J-E writer
       and the Priestly writer (3)
          Priestly                   J-E
          Genesis 1:1-2:4a           Genesis 2:4b-3:24
View of   Aloof from his creation.   Involved with humans,
God       Seems to delegate his      and the act of
          work: "Let there be        creation: forms man of
          light."                    dust, breathes life into
                                     his nostrils; walks in
                                     garden (Genesis 3:8)
          TRANSCENDENT               IMMANENT
       Comparison of the J-E writer
        and the Priestly writer (4)
           Priestly              J-E
           Genesis 1:1-2:4a      Genesis 2:4b-3:24
Concerns Explains the reason     Focuses on the
           behind religious      relationship between God
           ceremonies like the   and Israel.
           Sabbath day.
 Similarities Between P and J-E
• Human beings matter to God
• Covenant appears in both:
  – A covenant, like a contract, binds both God and his
    people Israel. Under it, God, functions as a patron &
    promises to take care of his people, who also promise
    to be loyal to him.
  – P: Implied in the relationship between man and God,
    as represented by the Sabbath
  – J-E: And the LORD God made for Adam and for his
    wife garments of skins, and clothed them.
     Puns in Hebrew Genesis
• 2:7 ‘adham (“man”) is created from
  ‘adhamah’ (“ground”) and is named Adam
  at 3:17
• 2:23 ishash (“woman) incorporates the rib
  of ish (man)
• 3:30 hawwa = Eve (“mother of all living”)
  sounds like hay (“life”)
           Babylonian Captivity
• Babylonians took over the entire Assyrian Empire, and
  its army reached Jerusalem, the capital of Juda, the
  southern Kingdom of the Jews, in 597 BCE
• The prominent citizens of Judah -- anyone who had
  influence to exert, money to invest, valuable skills to
  employ, or the ability to read and write -- were deported
  to live together in Babylon. When the deportations were
  finished in 587 BCE, the city of Jerusalem, with its
  Palace and Temple, was demolished completely.
• The Babylonian captivity came to an end in 538 BCE
  when the Persian leader Cyrus (who had captured
  Babylon) released the Jews
   Priestly Creation Story Refutes the
         Cosmogony of Babylon
• Priestly version of Genesis shows, by describing each
  aspect of creation as coming from the God of Israel, that
  it is not Marduk who is responsible for the creation of the
  world
• “darkness was upon the face of the deep; and the Spirit
  of God was moving over the face of the waters.”
  Hebrew 'tehom.' is the equivalent of the Babylonian word
  “Tiamat.” Tiamat was the Babylonian deity identified with
  salt water and killed by the head god Marduk. Here the
  Priestly writer is showing that Yahweh, not Marduk,
  prevailed over the deep.
• The heavenly bodies are not gods but lights produced by
  God on the fourth day
                             Babylonian Ishtar

                                                    • Goddess of animal and
                                                    human fertility
                                                    • Her influence was felt
                                                    throughout the world
                                                    • Worshipped by recourse
                                                    to temple prostitutes

                                                    In Genesis it is not the fertility of Ishtar
                                                    which causes animal fertility but God, on
                                                    the sixth day.
http://www.astroconsulting.com/FAQs/goddesses.htm
   Workshop of Albrecht Altdorfer
     The Rule of Bacchus, c. 1535
National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.
          Samuel H. Kress Collection
                1952.5.31.a

               SYNCRETISM
Biblical Creation Stories
              anthropomorphism
              Adam and Eve
              covenant
              Yaweh / Elohim
              Yahwist or Jehovist writer
              Elohist writer
              Priestly writer
              Garden of Eden
              immanent god
              Israelites
              Leviathan
              Moses
              paratactic
              syncretism
              polytheism
              puns
              Rationalization
              transcendent god
              tree of knowledge
              Crum’s Genesis
              Altdorfer

				
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