The story of Creation, or cosmology, that opens the Book of Genesis differs from all other such accounts that were current among the peoples of the ancient world. Its lack of interest in the realm of heaven and its economy of words in depicting primeval chaos are highly uncharacteristic of this genre of literature. The descriptions in Genesis deal solely with what lies beneath the celestial realm, and still the narration is marked by compactness, solemnity, and dignity.
There is abundant evidence that other cosmologies once existed in Israel. Scattered allusions to be found in the prophetic, poetic, and wisdom literature of the Bible testify to a popular belief that prior to the onset of the creative process the powers of watery chaos had to be subdued by God. These mythical beings are variously designated Yam (Sea), Nahar (River), Leviathan (Coiled One), Rahab (Arrogant One), and Tannin (Dragon). 1 There is no consensus in these fragments regarding the ultimate fate of these creatures. One version has them utterly destroyed by God; in another, the chaotic forces, personalized as monsters, are put under restraint by His power.
These myths about a cosmic battle at the beginning of time appear in the Bible in fragmentary form, and the several allusions have to be pieced together to produce some kind of coherent unity. Still, the fact that these myths appear in literary compositions in ancient Israel indicates clearly that they had achieved wide currency over a long period of time. They have survived in the Bible solely as obscure, picturesque metaphors and exclusively in the language of poetry. Never are these creatures accorded divine attributes, nor is there anywhere a suggestion that their struggle against God could in any way have posed a challenge to His sovereign rule.
This is of particular significance in light of the fact that one of the inherent characteristics of all other ancient Near Eastern cosmologies is the internecine strife of the gods. Polytheistic accounts of creation always begin with the predominance of the divinized powers of nature and then describe in detail a titanic struggle between the opposing forces. They inevitably regard the achievement of world order as the outgrowth of an overwhelming exhibition of power on the part of one god who then manages to impose his will upon all other gods.
JPS Torah commentary
Man has always looked at the things around him and wondered about its existence, how it could come into being or what caused it to be. Seeing and feeling that nature had greater powers than man himself it was understandable that many thought nature itself had all the power in its hand. As such elements of nature were given divine powers. Light or Sun, Lightening or Thunderstorm, got heightened into the position of a divine power.
Having many forceful elements,like water and wind, man wondered also if there would not be one power above that all, arranging all things or having everything in control.
It is that major force which has everything in control we are looking at in these pages. It is that Most High Power we call the Elohim, God. It is also that Maker of all things and Controller of all things we consider to be the Most High Supreme Being.
- Means of creations
- “Before” and “after” the Big Bang
- Background to look at things
- From waste and void coming into being by God’s Word
- Genesis Among the Creation Myths
- Scripture about Creation and Creator Deity
- Approachers of ideas around gods, philosophers and theologians
- Pascal’s Possibility
- Did the Inspirator exist
- 3rd question: Does there exist a Divine Creator
- Is there no ‘proof’ for God? (And why that statement is not as smart as you might think.)
- Is faith rational?
- Why think there’s a God? (1): Something from Nothing
- Why think there is a God? (2) Goldilocks Effect
- Why think there is a God (4): And the Rest …
- Scientific Evidence for God
- Science and God’s existence
- Why think that (4) … God would reveal himself in words
- The very very beginning 2 The Word and words
- Creator and Blogger God 1 Emptiness and mouvement
- Creator and Blogger God 7 A Blog of a Book 1 Believing the Blogger
- Creation of the earth and man #14 Formation of man #6 The Uncreated One, neshemet ruach chayim and nephesh
- Are people allowed to have doubts
- Being Religious and Spiritual 3 Philosophers, Avicennism and the spiritual
- Being Religious and Spiritual 4 Philosophical, religious and spiritual people
- Where did God come from?
- God isn’t dead though for many He is not relevant
- To come to live in the peace of fulfilment of our own Divine Identity
- Gone astray, away from God
- Does He exists?
- Caricaturing and disapproving sceptics, religious critics and figured out ethics
- Science, scepticism, doubts and beliefs
- Two states of existence before God
- Non-supernaturalism vs. naturalism
- Is God, as First Cause, a Numerical First of Many Causes?
- The Word
- “An Ointment”
- How to Handle Talking About God
- Stop saying that it’s ‘obvious’ that God exists
- Essential Doctrines (Part 1): The Doctrine of God’s Existence
- Fine-Tuning of the Universe: Pro, Con, or Neutral to the Existence of God
- Clues of God
- Proofs for Existence of Allaah
- A Response to John MacArthur’s Take on Natural Theology.
- Claim: “Qur’an mentions the big bang … so it must be of divine origin”
- The ripples of existence
- the theory of life
- The Historical Argument (VII)
- The Incoherence of Theism (I)
- The Incoherence of Theism (II)
- Why the Religion?
- Can You Dissect God?
- Is Atheism Growing?