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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of the world and retreated into the heavens, leaving Shu to reign in his place.
In the Beginning: At the beginning of the universe. God created heaven and earth in six days and rested on the seventh. During those six days God spoke to the darkness and created the world, brought forth light, created the sky, land and animals and plants to inhabit them. However, even during this creation he was contemplating the creation of a being made in his own image.
In the book of Genesis, we are introduced to everything. From the creation stories to the sagas in between Genesis is an opening to the old testament and an opening to the book of exodus. This essay will contrast each creation story and describe each stories interest, explain how Genesis 12: 1-3 links the stories of 2: 4b-11 with the ancestral narratives in 12-50 and connect the sagas of Abraham/Sarah, Isaac/ Rebecca and Jacob/ Racheal.
Although there are echoes of Mesopotamian and Greek creation myths all through Genesis, especially the order in which creation transpired, all three also represent the universe as a three tiered dome including heaven, earth, and the underworld. However, the differences are also plentiful. Both the Greeks and Sumerians/Babylonians believed in a polytheistic monarchy whereas the Israelites (particularly after their exile from Babylon) adopted a non-pagan retelling focusing on a single gods omnipotence , however through much of Genesis 1:1-31 we find the LORD addressing another presence; "Let us make man in our likeliness ." evidently their was some difficulty in the complete abortion of a polytheistic belief system when evolving the new creation story.
But that is about all they have in common. In the Jahwist source mankind is formed from dust, however in Enuma Elish mankind is made from the blood vessels of Kingu. Also, literary features in the Jahwist account express that, mankind had more of a significance in the creation story, giving it an anthropological sense, and that God is described more anthropomorphically. Therefore it is no surprise that, in Genesis, mankind is described as being created in God’s “image” and “likeness”, but in Enuma Elish, mankind is called a “savage” and created to do the leading deities bidding and relieve them of their physical labor. The central deity, Marduk states, “He will be charged with the service of the gods that they might be at ease”. This is different to the Jahwist creation story in why mankind was created. Because mankind was created in God’s image, we take on a kind of priestly and kingly role to “subdue” and “rule” over creation. While the creation account in Genesis shows mankind to be God’s workers it is not so that Jahwist can have mankind do his bidding, but instead help him with his responsibilities over creation.
John H. Walton’s Ancient Near Eastern Thought and the Old Testament: Introducing the Conceptual World of the Hebrew Bible is broken up into fourteen chapters. Those fourteen chapters are each part of one of five sections. This book also contains over twenty historical images. Before the introduction, the author gives readers a full appendix of all images used in this published work. The author then gives his acknowledgements followed by a list of abbreviations.
many times in different texts. Some scholars my say that the word covenants is hard to find a true meaning. You will hear the word covenant throughout the Old Testament. I think sometimes when we hear the word covenant only one or two covenants come to mind. There are many covenants throughout the Bible. I will attempt to define and explain five covenants. These five covenants are: Noahic Covenant, Abrahamic Covenant, Mosaic Covenant, Davidic Covenant and the Fifth Covenant or the (New Covenant). In these particular covenants we will find the promises God made with his people. In this paper I will attempted to answer questions which of these
Throughout the Old Testament there are many examples of strong and capable leaders. One of these leaders is Esther. Esther was a very cleaver leader who used the cultural expectations as the queen and Machiavellian leadership principles to increase her power in society. During the Old Testament time period, both within Israel and the surrounding cultures, the queen held little to no power. Her purpose was to serve the king and ensure there was a successor to the throne. When Esther became to queen to King Ahasuerus, this was what was expected of her. She was not supposed to be a leading in any capacity, unlike modern queens. The role of Esther as a leader did not come from her role in her culture, but from her using Machiavellian principles to take power and become a leader.
Studying the religion of the Ancient Israelite People must be done in a careful manner. The ways in which biblical scholars frame significant ideas can have a major effect on how their point is received. Today’s ideas about the religious lives of Canaanites have been drawn on primarily from The Hebrew Bible and archaeological evidence. In their respective works, biblical scholars Benjamin Sommer and Carol Meyers choose to interpret these pieces of religious evidence is varying ways; Meyers takes a more cultural approach while Sommer’s has a theological leaning. Recognizing these different perspectives, I prefer the approach that Meyers takes because of its focus in anthropology.
The Old Testament, the Torah has beautiful chronological order and well organized as well that makes the readers to read it easily because it is streamline and in order moves from story to story. In this I will discuss all the topics of the unit one that we have studies in the class till date regarding moral, main themes and social ethics. Moreover, I will compare some of the famous stories form the Holy Quran and the Old Testament.
The Old Testament consisted of a set of documentations of religious scriptures, which were written by different people at various times for a different audience. Most of the Old Testament contains short stories of traditional stories and those stories of distinguished ways God established mankind. These stories are often told to the people in narrative form, which are guidelines often referred to as laws, songs, genealogies, and a list from these authors that composed the Old Testaments. The pressing of set documentation is essential because it is the framework for the lives of God 's followers. The term “Old Testament” originated as a means to express spoken traditions and God 's creation of that particular era. It is an method of philosophical investigation was designed to answer the why questions within these spiritual text documentations. These religious documentations consisted of four parts. These four sections retrieved from the Old Testaments are the laws, history, wisdom and prophecy. The laws are a rule of behavior enforced within the community. The rules are sometimes called “Torah.” When analyzing this Torah, these rules viewed within the first five spiritual books of the Bible. For example, in the first Torah in Genesis, it explains the creation, Noah’s Flood, Abraham and Isaac, and Joseph’s coats of many colors. However, the laws in Exodus were in regards to the going out. The going out took about 40 plus years, until the people led to
My initial perspective on ancient Israelite religion was what I was taught in church. In fact, in church, the pastor put less emphasis on Ancient Israelites themselves and more emphasis on Christians. For me, when I thought of Israelites I thought of only a small segment of the bible. I thought of the group of people trapped in Egypt kept as slaves. Coming into Intro to Old Testament class, I assumed the class would be nothing more than a lecture about everything I had already learned in church. Because I was very familiar with the stories of the bible I anticipated I would be ahead of the game and already know everything there is to know about the Old Testament. Little did I know, I barley knew anything about the Old Testament. I was
The present day situation in Israel may be the most difficult political situation in world history. It dates back to thousands of years before Christ, and deals with a large number of issues including political, religious, and cultural issues. In order to understand the current day issues, we must first understand the Biblical and historical issues. In this paper, I will first explore what the later books of the old testament, specifically the books of Ezra, Nehemiah, Zechariah, and Malachi, and than talk about the modern day issues. This was an interesting part of the Bible to research, because it is the part that most people know very little
The Old Testament was written over a wide historical period, it describes the relationship of God and the people of Israel before the coming of Jesus. To make it easy to explain the history in the Old Testament, I have seen it best to look at it under the following periods: