THE CANAANITIC BACKGROUND OF GEN. I-III BY FLEMMING HVIDBERG late Professor at the University of Copenhagen I In that stage of the history of Old Testament research which is generally known as the period of literary criticism, it was tacitly assumed that the account of the creation given in Gen. i was a purely narrative, didactic story, intended to describe the creation of the world, and with no further aim than to answer those questions people are apt to ask when they begin to consider the problem of where things and human beings really come from. We probably all remember WELLHAUSEN'S words in his Prolegomena : "Er will ohne Zweifel den tatsachlichen Hergang der Entstehung der Welt naturgetreu schil- dern, er will eine kosmogonische Theori geben. Wer das leugnet, verwechselt den Wert der Geschichte fur uns und die Absicht des Schriftstellers. " Later, GuNKEL attempted to trace a connection with the Babylonian Marduk-Tiamat myth, whose association with the cult of the Baby- lonian New Year feast was generally known. GUNKEL did not however arrive at an actually cultic interpretation of Gen. i, but in fact, like WELLHAUSEN, stresses the sober, priestly-didactic nature of the account. Thus speaks the
Vetus Testamentum – Brill
Published: Jan 1, 1960
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