Theology Of Genesis 111 Essay Research Paper

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Theology Of Genesis 1-11 Essay, Research Paper (A) Introduction Pentateuch is considered to be the most important part in the Old Testament. It recorded the account of creation, the fall of man, the Law Code as well as the experience of the Ancient Israel. Among them Genesis is the first book recorded incidents happened from the creation of the world to Joseph’s time. In chapter one to eleven, the origin of the world and human race are introduced and in chapter twelve onwards are the stories of the Ancestors. In this passage, we will concentrate in discussing the theology of chapter one to eleven which contained much valuable and important message for the readers who were probably Israelites in post-exilic period (which would be discussed later). In order to understand the

text it is important to have some knowledge about the background of the readers as the author should compose his work under their background so that they may understand easily. Hence brief introduction of the background of Ancient Israelites and Genesis as well as its authorship would be given before we go into discussing its theology. The discussion will be within four topics —(a) Yahweh has supreme authority and power, (b) Man—as image of God, (c) Mankind’s failure and God’s reaction and (d) Creation—a continuing process. (B) Background of Canaanites’ Religion and Ancient Israelites Both Biblical record and archeological evidence showed that beside the Israelites, there were many other people living in Palestine. They included Kenites, Kenizzites, Kadmonites,

Hittites, Perizzites, Rephaim, Amorites, Canaanites, Girga*censored*es and Jebusites. In this passage, they are all regarded as Canaanites. Basically, the Canaanites’ religions are polytheistic. They believed in many gods in many different levels including those national god, functional gods and family gods or ancestors. In the following paragraphs, a brief introduction of Canaanites’ religions would be given as a background for the studies of religion of ancient Israelites. Religion in Ancient Near East Although the gods they worshipped were different, tribes in Ancient Near East did have similar although not exactly the same doctrines. As mentioned above, their religions are polytheistic. Each god in their religion had different function and statues. They had different

characters and might fight among themselves. We are going to discuss the religion in Canaan and Babylon as examples. One point must be noted is that the functions of the gods in Canaan are closely related to natural phenomena . For example, Baal Hadad was known as the thunder god who was responsible for raining. Other examples included El Elyon who was known as the sun god , Yamm who was the god of the sea and Mot who was the god of death . Some of the gods were related to daily life. For instant, Anath was the goddess of war and Astarte was known as the goddess of love and fertility and also of war. Another function of Baal was related to fertility. The Canaanites always explained natural phenomena using myths. The alternation of the seasons and the death and renewal of

vegetation were believed to be explained through the following myth. When Baal had his temple built, he sent a message to the god of death Mot in which he threatened Mot’s life. After that there was a struggle between Mot and Baal and Baal was killed in the battle. After some times Baal’s sister Anath went down to the underworld and defeated Mot. Baal was resurrected from death and returned to his power to bring about raining to the Earth. The Canaanites believed that the death and resurrection of Baal happened every year. The defeat of Baal indicated the death of vegetation due to winter frosts or summer drought. The resurrection of Baal revealed the vegetation grew because of annual or seasonal flooding. In this myth, one could easily observe that other that a thunder god,