Friday, January 7, 2011

In The Beginning...

     I have been scanning through some of the ancient Near Eastern creation accounts as part of my Old Testament survey.  While there are some interesting similarities there are definitely three major differences between the biblical creation account and all other creation stories that I have seen thus far.

1: The creation narrative in the bible is the only one that is monotheistic.  

2: Without exception, in all of the other creation stories the gods created out of existing materials as opposed to the biblical version which claims that God spoke things into existence and created out of nothing.  For instance in one called “The Enuma Elish” a smaller deity named Marduk kills the monstrous goddess Tiamat and uses her now divided corpse as the raw materials to create the heavens and the earth. 

3:  The third difference would be the purpose of creation.  God’s intent for His creation was tender and loving. The God of the bible personally cared for provided for His creation as they delighted in Him and enjoyed close fellowship with Him. (until the fall of course) However in the other creation accounts people were created  to be essentially slave labor for the gods.  As “The Enuma Elish” put’s it:  “I will establish a savage, ‘man’ shall be his name… he shall be charged with the service of the gods that they might be at ease.”

It would seem the reason for gods creating mankind in many of these stories is for no other reason then the fact that the gods were lazy and wanted to get out of work.  

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