"Greek, Mesopotamian And Biblical Accounts Of Creation."

956 words - 4 pages

Greek, Mesopotamian and Biblical Accounts of CreationPerhaps many are well-acquainted with "the glory that was Greece." While Greece may have been quite glorious, when it comes to creation stories, they have to share their glory with many, many others. The Greeks were not the only ones with an explanation of how this world came into being, and what man's purpose is in the world: the creation myths of Hesiod and Homer are up against much competition. Among the most well-known creation stories, the one in the Bible probably comes to the mind of many, as well as the stories of ancient Mesopotamia, commonly known as Enuma Elish. While each story has its own peculiar differences, they all deal with the questions Hesiod addressed in his Theogony--namely, the origin of the earth, and the place that God or the gods have in ordering the affairs of mortals.When compared to the Greek and Mesopotamian accounts, the Bible stands in stark contrast. Although the Greek and Mesopotamian stories are definitely quite different from each other, their differences pale in comparison with their differences from the Bible. Yet it seems quite obvious that there is some common thread, a common base of creation myths, from which both the Greek and Mesopotamian myths are drawn, as well as some parallels between Biblical stories and their Greek and Mesopotamian counterparts.The first common thread that is easily visible is the fact that in all three cases, Man is a relative latecomer. The rest of the world, and the gods or God, already existed before the human race came to be. In the Bible, Man is created on the sixth day of the creation week; in Mesopotamian myths, men are created to liberate the gods from their work in the canals (obviously, the gods, and the world which made canals necessary, must have previously existed); and Hesiod relates the story of men in Works and Days, almost an addendum to the Theogony, which tells in which eras of the gods the various races of men lived.In this parallel, we also see a contrast in attitudes: in the Enuma Elish and Hesiod's Theogony, the human race seems to be an afterthought; but in the Bible, God says to man,Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it:and have dominion over the fish of the sea; and rule the fish of thesea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing thatmoveth upon the earth. Behold, I have given you every herb bearingseed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in thewhich is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat.(Genesis 1:28-29)This raises two points: First, that Man is meant to have dominion over the earth; second, that the plants--and also the animals--were created for Man, to be in subjection to him. This indicates that...

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