Myth and Truth in Genesis 1-11, God’s Image?

MandM had a wonderful post a week or so ago, that I am just now getting to posting. Sorry about that! But, take a gander:

In Naturalism Defeated, Evan Fales attacks the biblical teaching that man is made in the image of God. One reason he gives is, “How seriously, then, should one take the testimony of Genesis 1:26-27? … There is the generally mythical character of Genesis; many of the themes in the first 11 chapters are borrowed from, or influenced by, the myths of other ancient Near Eastern cultures.”[1]

Read the rest here:

Myth, Truth and Genesis 1-11.

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Joel L. Watts
Joel L. Watts holds a Masters of Arts from United Theological Seminary with a focus in literary and rhetorical criticism of the New Testament. He is currently a Ph.D. student at the University of the Free State, analyzing Paul’s model of atonement in Galatians. He is the author of Mimetic Criticism of the Gospel of Mark: Introduction and Commentary (Wipf and Stock, 2013), a co-editor and contributor to From Fear to Faith: Stories of Hitting Spiritual Walls (Energion, 2013), and Praying in God's Theater, Meditations on the Book of Revelation (Wipf and Stock, 2014).

7 thoughts on “Myth and Truth in Genesis 1-11, God’s Image?”

  1. The record of Genesis 1:26,27 stands true along with the other ten chapters.One only needs to believe that the sons of Noah,Shem,Ham and Jepath (sp?) did in fact repopulate the entire earth after the deluge.The confounding of the language of the children of the sons of Noah and their scattering (Gen 11) testifies to this.

    It's no wonder then that the writings of other Near Eastern cultures and societies came first.Even that the Hebrew scriptures seem to mimic these unauthorized writings.I would guess that the children of Shem 'the chosen ones' were to give us the Hebrew scriptures in God's time.By this the Hebrew scriptures Genesis 1-11 can neither be myth or legend.They are in fact God authorized.The Hebrew scriptures do not prove other Near Eastern writings to be myth or legend,only that they lack the inspiration of God.Nevertheless those writings and scripture are in the same family of the sons of Noah.

  2. Seroled, I think that often times, we forget what 'myth' may mean. Further, I am unaware as to God 'authorizing' anything or have other writings of other cultures as 'unauthorized'.

    I do think that there is a common lineage among cultures – of course I would – and that myths, legends, tales, and stories generally have a singular source in tradition (although the secular and the sectarian may argue this Source). I also think that things can be 'true' and not be 'literal.'

  3. Hi Joel

    I think that i failed to make my point.The Genesis account is God spoken.Written by the hands of Moses.Therefore for those of us how believe the account of the creation of the earth,of mankind made in the image of God,the flood and later the scattering of humanity over the face of whole earth-see the Hebrew writings as God authorized God inspired scripture (2 Timothy 3:16)

    Where as the Sumerian flood story or Enuma Elish, Atrahasis Epic etc.etc are not God inspired.The point is only that these stories,myths or legends if you prefer,were written before the Hebrew scriptures.Still they were written by the children of the sons of Noah 'a preacher of righteousness'

    I have no doubt that Noah himself received by word of mouth of his 'fathers' the TRUE account of creation of the earth,of mankind and Eden.Then he passed them unto his sons by the same means and of course before they were written by Moses.

    ' Further, I am unaware as to God 'authorizing' anything or have other writings of other cultures as 'unauthorized'.

    To that point Joel,neither am i.

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