Essay on The New Identity of Exodus as a Myth

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The New Identity of Exodus as a Myth The story of the tooth fairy has become a part of the cultural tradition of generations. Many American children discover the legend of the tooth fairy at an early age. Furthermore, this mythical tale explains the meaning behind children losing their baby teeth. It marks a rite of passage between infancy and early childhood. In the strictest sense of the definition of a myth, however, the tooth fairy does not qualify as a mythical story. It does not have all of the essential traits. So what precisely is a myth? The Greek word for myth is “mythos”, meaning “story.” According to Dr. Dennis Doyle, “A myth is a story that expresses the root meanings and values of a culture.” Although it may seem…show more content…
Primordial myths distinguish the beginnings of the universe, and how it was created. Foundation myths, on the other hand, relate the story of the “origins of a people and their rituals” (Doyle, 29 Aug. 2002). Therefore, the Exodus story is a foundation myth because it explains how the ancient Hebrew community established its roots. An authentic foundation myth also serves basic functions. The religious function of a myth explains how the people of the universe will worship and what they will fear. The question of how the society and culture will be structured is answered in the social function. The psychological function of a myth establishes how and why the society behaves in the ways that it does. Finally, the historical perspective of a myth provides background knowledge to increase in a myth’s credibility. When all of these factors are combined, one attains a better understanding of a myth (Doyle, 29 Aug. 2002). The religious function of the Exodus story introduces the major characters that play a role in this myth. Moses, a descendant from a long line of Israelites, becomes the main character in determining the fate of the Israelites in Egypt. He first experiences the voice and wisdom of God in the form of a burning bush (Ex. 3:3). While in the physical form of a fire, the Lord instructs Moses to “rescue them (the Israelites) from the hands of the Egyptians and lead them out of that land into a good and spacious land, a land flowing
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