Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Genesis and the ANE

"Genesis depicts the first man in royal terms, using the nouns 'image' and 'likeness' (which are found in Mesopotamian royal inscriptions) and the verbs 'rules' and 'subdue.' In Mesopotamian cosmogonies human beings are invariably slaves created to maintain the universe for the gods, who are idle by vocation. When Mesopotamian accounts include a king, he is created separately in order to oversee the human race's service of the gods...Genesis 1 portrays the man (who with the woman stands for the race) as a king, and the human task as far broader than temple maintenance. The God of Genesis does not require human servants in the manner of other gods; the human race consequently has a different relation to work and to the world."—Creation Accounts in the Ancient Near East and in the Bible, page 143
<idle musing>
Significant difference, isn't it?
</idle musing>

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