Bible And Mythology Creation Essays

Bible And Mythology Creation Essays-89
Some features of myth are less controversial than others, and most writers agree on the following points:a. Myths may be distinguished from legends, in that they depict gods, rather than men, as their central figures. There is total agreement, however, that myths use only narrative form. But is this worldview exclusively the expression of pre-scientific notions? Biblical eschatology uses the imagery of a renewed nature (Isa 11:6ff.) and sometimes may depict redemption as a reversal of the fall (see under Son of man). Others have viewed it as part of the general dragon mythology of the E, associating it with Tiamat, Leviathan, or the Ugaritic Tannin (see below). A number of passages depict cosmic or historical combat in terms of conflict with “Leviathan” (Job 41:1; Pss ; 1; Isa 27:1); “Rahab” (Job ; Ps ; Isa 51:9), and , “dragon” (Ps ; Isa 27:1; 51:9).

Some features of myth are less controversial than others, and most writers agree on the following points:a. Myths may be distinguished from legends, in that they depict gods, rather than men, as their central figures. There is total agreement, however, that myths use only narrative form. But is this worldview exclusively the expression of pre-scientific notions? Biblical eschatology uses the imagery of a renewed nature (Isa 11:6ff.) and sometimes may depict redemption as a reversal of the fall (see under Son of man). Others have viewed it as part of the general dragon mythology of the E, associating it with Tiamat, Leviathan, or the Ugaritic Tannin (see below). A number of passages depict cosmic or historical combat in terms of conflict with “Leviathan” (Job 41:1; Pss ; 1; Isa 27:1); “Rahab” (Job ; Ps ; Isa 51:9), and , “dragon” (Ps ; Isa 27:1; 51:9).

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Childs argues that Genesis transforms myth into “broken” myth. Young argues that in Genesis 1:2 it would be wiser to abandon the term “chaos” altogether, since the terms in question simply mean that the earth was not yet ready for man (but cf. Opinions vary as to whether this correspondence necessarily indicates some kind of relationship. 24, 50-69; Gen -16); (3) the family and many animals enter (XI. 96ff.; Gen ff.); (5) birds are sent out three times and these include a dove and a raven (XI. the mythical sequel in Gilgamesh is that Enlil is rebuked for having jeopardized the gods’ food supply, while the other gods crowd “like flies about the sacrificer” (XI. On the other hand, the many similarities of narrative detail, together with the inclusion of a cosmic flood in the Sum. There is abundant evidence that the terms can be used metaphorically (e.g.

The OT reflects the conflict, he suggested, primarily in its poetic books. Although the parallels are not exact, the order of creation is roughly the same in Genesis as in Babylonian myth. 187; Gen ); (2) a boat is built according to careful measurements, and sealed with bitumen (XI. For example, the sequel to the Flood in Genesis is a solemn covenant (-). However, the origins of the terms are less significant than their actual functions in the Biblical writings.

The issues at stake, however, are chiefly (1) whether polytheism constitutes an essential, or merely a usual, feature of myth; and (2) whether, given either definition, writers use it consistently and unambiguously.b. Myth presupposes a particular understanding of the world. On the other hand, Mircea Eliade follows Jaspers and Jung in insisting that myth remains fundamentally relevant to modern man (op.

But to Emil Brunner (The Mediator [1934], 377-396), John Knox (Myth and Truth) and other writers, “myth” remains compatible with Biblical monotheism. work on the OT from Eichhorn onward (Der Ursprung des Mythosbegriffes in der Modernen Bibelwissenschaft [1952], esp. In this cent., apart from the questions raised by Bultmann, the philosopher Ernst Cassirer has elaborated a view of myth as a distinctively pre-philosophical tool of knowledge and communication.

Eissfeldt contends that “a real myth presupposes at least two gods” (The OT: An Introduction [1965], 35). Sachs have shown how deeply their answers influenced 19th-cent.

Rather, it is the mythical concept of time, whereby the great archetypal events of the past can be “repeated” to give fresh shape or meaning to the present (cf. Myth, in practice, is an extraordinarily complex phenomenon (cf. Few Christians would deny that God’s saving acts of the past become “contemporary” in the sense of shaping, and giving meaning to, the present; but when Eliade speaks of “reactualizing” the Passion of Christ specifically in liturgy, this is a different matter altogether (cf.

Stählin; Sallustius, “On the Gods and the World” in G. The other writing is the Babylonian Epic of Atrahasis. But how direct is the connection, and what significance is to be attached to it?

Aristotle express simultaneous criticism of the traditional myths (cf. In spite of these and other difficulties, it has been argued repeatedly that Genesis reflects borrowings from this source.

If Genesis had genuinely borrowed from the myth of Tiamat, why does it not seem to reflect a conflict theme? Gunkel suggested an answer, and modifications of his theory have been widely held. In Genesis, however, Eden remains “part of a traveled road that cannot be traversed again” (G. It was published in 1872, and is dated by Speiser and Heidel at about 2,000 (cf. Heidel, The Gilgamesh Epic and OT Parallels; and N. It includes the following similarities with Genesis: (1) a divine decree is revealed (XI. Estimates of the significance of these parallels vary. In terms of history, the similarities are more striking than the differences; in terms of myth the differences are more striking than the similarities. c.), and the Ugaritic texts suggest a different source for the , nexus of ideas.

As Childs rightly argues, the new creation contains an additional content above and beyond the original Urzeit (loc. One difficulty about all these conjectures is that the serpent in Genesis 3 enters the scene as a created animal; but chiefly the emphasis of the whole narrative is on man and his responsibility, rather than on the serpent.3. Allusions to a great flood appear not only in mythology, but also in the ancient Sumer. Probably the Epic of Gilgamesh constitutes the best-known parallel to the Flood account (Gen 6-8). Much of it tells of ordinary human life, and might better be called legend than myth; but the famous tablet XI tells of a cosmic flood in the setting of polytheistic myth. Atrahasis, the Babylonian Noah, is saved for his distinctive piety. Lack of space prevents more than a bare mention of other passages which have been said to reflect foreign myth. Gunkel’s theory that all this imagery reflects the conflict theme of Tiamat mythology has met with difficulties (see 1.

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