Preacher: David Smith
Daily Walk: David Smith
Refresh: Open with prayer. Read or listen to Psalm 76:7-12.
Read: Genesis 1-2 (ESV). Re-read in the English Standard Version for new insights/questions.
As mentioned earlier, there are of course many creation stories that exist from many people and faith groups around the world. Sometimes the stories differ greatly from the one told in Genesis 1-2. but many times there are direct parallels to the account we find in the Bible. Perhaps the story that most closely mirrors what we find in Genesis is the Enuma Elish. The parallels are so clear that scholars have termed it the “Babylonian Genesis”. As outlined by biologos.org, both stories describe God ordering chaos, show darkness as preceding creative works, have light existing before the creation of the sun, moon, and stars, and show the waters being separated above and below with a barrier keeping the upper waters above.
These kind of similarities have of course caused many to question whether the creation story as told by Genesis was actually borrowed and adapted from other earlier writings. But there is another way to interpret the similarities of Genesis and Enuma Elish. Rather than being written in a vacuum, Genesis appears to have been written with language that intentionally reflects creation stories. However in spite of the many similarities there is also plenty that is unique. And by paralleling creation stories in some ways, the unique offerings are underscored.
For example, in the Enuma Elish, the creation is the product of the drama and interaction between various deities. In the Genesis account, God is a solo agent. There are no other gods to deal with. God simply creates. Even more striking, in the Enuma Elish, humans are created by Marduk “to serve the god who had supported him” (The Old Testament: A Short Introduction). In Genesis God appears to create humans out of delight and to have a relationship with them.
Respond: Pray for a deeper relationship with God.
Research: What are other creation stories that resemble our own?