The Cultural Context of Genesis

History is Interesting 🙂

Just by chance, I stumbled upon a cool insight into the study of the Bible in a secular light. The Genesis narrative is well known to many being in a Judaeo-Christian society and tells how the world came into being. Most people understand the world “creation” to be creating physical things and in this case, physically creating the universe out of nothing. However, one scholar, John Walton in his book  Ancient Near Eastern Thought and The Old Testament, has evidence of a different interpretation of what the ancient Hebrews meant by “creation”:

“The word bara is translated as “created” in English, but the concept it embodied was not the same as the modern term. In the world of the ancient Near East, the gods demonstrated their power over the world not by creating matter but by fixing destinies: so the essence of the bara which God performs…

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