Wednesday, November 23, 2011

The role of humanity in creation

“Differences that are even more remarkable can be observed in the centrality of humankind, both in the Genesis account and in the cosmos as portrayed in Genesis. This centrality is apparent in that, in the seven-day structure of Genesis 1, all of the functions are established in relation to people—not to provide an environment for a god or the gods. This is in stark contrast to Mesopotamia, where the cosmos functions as a world that exists for the sake of the gods, and the role of people vis-à-vis the world is secondary: they are to serve the gods in their world.”— Genesis 1 as Ancient Cosmology, page 176


“The station of humanity in the cosmos as portrayed in Genesis 1 is, therefore, almost precisely opposite of the picture in Mesopotamian literature, where people are slaves of the gods and thus involved in helping the gods do their work. In Genesis, humanity is a partner in the work of ruling. Furthermore, people are given a role as partners because the functional nature of humanity is identified with its maleness and femaleness, both in the image of God. This is a radical departure, to view women as partners with men, but is essential to the first aspect of the blessing: being fruitful and multiplying.”— Genesis 1 as Ancient Cosmology, page 177

<idle musing>
I always have found the difference from ANE myths most encouraging...
</idle musing>

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