Comparing Creations World Views The world and how it came to existence is an interesting concept that the human race feels a great need to try and explain. For centuries many religious leaders, philosophers and basically every day human beings have felt a need for an explanation; why are we here? How did we come into being? What caused the universe? These are the question that we’ve been asking since as long as we’ve lived. Today, we have so many explanations to these questions, however, which ones are valid? How can we even verify if they are legitimate? Many people find the answers to these questions in creation stories.
A creation story is defining how our world came into being “and how people first came to inhabit it” (Wikipedia contributors. “Creation myth. ” Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, 11 Nov. 2012. Tues. 13 Nov. 2012. ) Through comparing, analyzing and interpreting two creation stories (the Christian Genesis and the Enuma Elish), I will determine which world views each story expresses to humanity.
Genesis is the Christian’s creation story that is the first book of the Old Testament. Genesis tells the story of how a higher being known as God creates the earth and the heavens.
In six days, he creates all living creatures. He creates male and female giving them full domination over God’s other creatures. God creates man from dust and names him “Adam”. He mentions to Adam that he is free to eat from any tree except for the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. God then creates women from the man’s rib and names her “Eve”. She is convinced by a serpent that it is okay to eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Eve eats from this tree and convinces Adam to do so as well. This resulted in God punishing them for disobeying his wishes.
God states that the serpent will now have to crawl on its belly, that childbirth for women will be a painful experience and that men will rule over women. God then forces Adam and Eve to leave Eden. There are many world views that can be expressed if one interprets Genesis. One world view that is very evident is that this story is spoken from a monotheistic point of view. There is only one God whom is responsible for all of the creations in our universe. “It is thoroughly monotheistic, taking for granted that there is only one God worthy of the name and opposing the deas that there are many gods (polytheism), that there is no god at all (atheism) and that everything is divine (pantheism). ” (“Theological Theme and Message. ” Biblica. The Zondervan NIV Study Bible. N. D. Web. Tues. 13 Nov. 2012). Therefore, this text is purely meant from the ideology of monotheism. Another world view that Genesis communicates can easily be an existentialist theist. A belief that human beings are fully responsible beings. This is shown in Genesis when Eve chooses to disobey God even though he obliged no one to eat from the tree of knowledge. Even though God guides us, we still make our own choices.
These choices we are fully responsible for. An additional world view that is understood through Genesis is Leibniz’s principle of sufficient reason. This is the belief that our universe was created by a necessary being (God) and gives evident support to why this is. Genesis clearly is a story of creation where the universe and everything that comes with it, is created by a necessary being. Although the concept of Leibiniz’s principle of sufficient reason does not arrive until way later on, the ideas of the principle of sufficient reason connect to the Biblical worldview.
The Enuma Elish (When on High) is the Babylonia creation myth that is estimated to have been composed in between 1900 and 1600 BC. It tells a story of two bodies of water, (fresh water was a male named Apsu and salt water was a female name Tiamat) whom merge together to create more gods. However these gods were disruptive and Apsu saw them as having ways of evil. Therefore, Apsu planned to kill them. But one of the gods (Ea) discovered this plan and told Tiamat. Tiamat disagrees with Apsu’s ways and allows Ea to slay him. Ea and Damkina have a son Marduk.
Tiamat then decides to avenge the killing of her husband Apsu, Tiamat marries Kingu, Tiamat gives birth to monsters, serpents and dragons. Ea and Anu (god of the sky) both try to defeat Tiamat however, fail to do so. So Marduk is summoned and agrees to vanquish Tiamat on the condition that he be made king. He destroys Tiamat and makes the sky and earth from her corpse. The defeated gods were made servants of the victorious gods, however, eventually they ask Marduk for relief. Marduk allows this and instead of the defeated gods being servants he creates humans from dirt and Kingu’s blood (after slayig him) to replace the position.
The Anunnaki (gods) then build Babylon and Marduk’s temple in gratitude for their freedom. Unlike Genesis, this creation myth is from a polytheistic point of view, where many gods together create the universe. Enuma Elish is very different to Genesis, the myth consists of a lot of violence and does not necessarily emphasise that humans are good as much as God declares in Genesis. Although Enuma Elish is a much more negative and dark tale due to all of the violence and chaos, it shows less contradictions than in Genesis.
Genesis is contradictory because God mentions numerous times that his creations are all good. Yet he does not make them in any way equal because he tells humanity that they rule over all creatures. God also punishes Adam and Eve and the serpent posses evil traits. Which opposes his idea that all of his creation are good. One could say that the creation myth of Enuma Elish can both express the world view of incest or express that incest is wrong. Tiamat marries her son Kingu and together they give birth to monsters, serpents and dragons.
This could be interpreted that incest is okay or that it is wrong and leads to bad things (giving birth to vicious creatures). In both Enuma Elish and Genesis, humanity is created from the earth. In Genesis, man is created from the dust of the earth and in Enuma Elish humans are made from dirt and a god’s blood. Both creation stories demonstrate that human being will not live life with full harmony and simplicity. In Genesis, God punishes men and women by giving them obstacles in their lives (painful childbirth and labor). This is similar to Enuma Elish where humans are only created as servants to the gods.
This reflects a bad view towards humans. Conclusively, even though both creation stories were made in the same place of origin, they are very different in many aspects. They show different reasons for why humans were created, one consists of harmony while the other consists of violence. Furthermore they each express different world views such as monotheism and polytheism. Both creation stories have differences in what they portray to humanity. While both creation stories do give answers to the questions of existence, each reader can interpret these answers very differently.
This applies to why many different worldviews can be expressed through these tales of creation. Work Cited Wikipedia contributors. “Creation myth. ” Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, 11 Nov. 2012. Tues. 13 Nov. 2012. Bruce Metzger and Roland Murphy (EOS. ), The New Oxford Annotated Bible (Oxford, 1991) Stephan A. Hoeller. “A Brief Summary of Gnosticism. ” The Gnostic World View. Tau Stephanus, Gnostic Bishop. N. D. Web. Tues. 13 Nov. 2012 “Theological Theme and Message. ” Biblica. The Zondervan NIV Study Bible. N. D. Web. Tues. 13 Nov. 2012
Cite this Comparing Creation Stories
Comparing Creation Stories. (2016, Sep 30). Retrieved from https://graduateway.com/comparing-creation-stories/