The Old Testament And The Ancient Near East

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THE OLD TESTAMENT AND THE ANCIENT NEAR EAST I. Summary of Scholarly Debate Looking back, we can see glimpses of the lives of those who lived in the Ancient Near East, known as the ANE, through their stories and myths that have survived over centuries of time. Many of these stories contain unique elements that make each one personal to the civilization that they belong to, but there are common themes and ideas that are virtually shared between the traditional stories stemming from this region of the world. In fact, these parallels even extend into Old Testament literature; laced within the stories that we’ve come to know and love. It is not surprising that the Old Testament contains similarities found within ANE tradition, seeing that…show more content…
Even more so, Hittite suzerainty covenants, or treaties, almost always included six elements that are identical or very similar to the six parts that are found within the structure of Deuteronomy. II. Assessment of Arguments Now that we have been introduced to similarities that exist between what we find within the Old Testament, and what we find from the Ancient Near East, we must know explore what specifically the similarities are, as well as finding some differences among them. First, we should start by comparing the origin stories found in Genesis 1-11, and their ANE counterparts. The Mesopotamian Enuma Elish starts off by describing a cosmic conflict that is occurring between two deities, Marduk and Tiamat. After killing the evil Tiamat, Marduk uses her carcass to create heaven and earth, and then, with help from his father, uses her and her co-conspirator’s blood to create humankind to do the hard labor on the earth. Coming from an Old Testament background, we can infer that the conflict between Marduk and Tiamat points to Cain and Abel the first murder, as well as Adam and Eve, where the women, Eve, first partakes in the sin which eventually brings evil into the world. In addition, the fact of human kind being the labor force on earth refers to God’s creation of Adam and His curse to him saying he would have to work the land in order to
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