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Concluding Thoughts on the Genesis Posts

There are three additional myths that I addressed in my thesis which were not included in these posts because, well, this is a blog and I want to keep things at a reasonable length (I am probably failing miserably, but that is beside the point). Two of the stories in question are called the Theogony of Dunnu, and Adapa. Dunnu is a cosmology which has opening lines highly similar to the opening lines of Genesis 1, and Adapa is about Ea being an asshole to the titular sage-king; it relates to the section of the Adam and Eve narrative where god tells Adam not to eat the apple but then the snake is like LOL HE’S A LYING LIAR and Adam ends up getting screwed out of immortality.

The third is an obscure Ugaritic text called Snake Bite Text/KTU 1.100 and 1.107. The implications of that story are basically that, at one point in one incarnation of the tale, Eve and the snake were the same entity. If you want to read it you should probably learn German and haul ass up to Yale (one day I will tell you about my secret fantasy of going to Penn/UChicago/Yale after finishing my MA/MLIS and learning how to read cuneiform languages).

It would be silly to hold up everything I’ve discussed in these posts as “proof” of the fact that the events and characters which feature in the opening chapters of Genesis are nothing more than the appropriated, plagiarized tales and figures of forgotten cultures. A more accurate statement would be to say that the opening chapters of Genesis—and the entirety of the Hebrew Bible—are reflective of the oral, cultural, and religious motifs, character types, and narrative structures predominant throughout the Ancient Near East and ought to be treated as such. To treat them as a separate, independent entity would be to ignore the rich context and civilization from which they derive.  

The Theogony of Dunnu and Adapa can be found in Myths from Mesopotamia: Creation, the Flood, Gilgamesh, and Others by Stephanie Dalley, as can the Epic of Atrahasis. I’ll make a full book post later today or early tomorrow.

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