Old Testament creation stories from Cananite mythology?


#1

I saw a program that said that psalms 74 and 89 are actually creation accounts that show god tearing apart a Leviathan in the creation of the world. This they claimed is exactly the same as some Canaanite myths about Baal killing Yam in the creation of the world. Any one know about this?


#2

The ancient cultures shared similar myths…but in them God’s truth is there of the human condition and its relationship with God.


#3

I've read the Babylonian creation myth. Those Psalms don't sound similar at all


#4

Psalm 74 is not a creation account. Psalm 74 is about the salvation that God brought for the people of Israel through the hand of Moses. It’s poetic and uses imagery.


#5

Yes but this program said that this shows ancient Israelites had creation accounts identical to those of the Canaanites about the world being created from the destruction of the leviathan showing the victory over chaos. They said that this psalm pre-dates genesis. It also said that the Israelite monotheism evolved out of Canaanite paganism which is why they have similar myths.


#6

If the show presented an apple and called it an orange, would you believe it too? If the show said so it must be true right? Trust in the authority of of the Church. In doing so, you are trusting in the authority of God Himself. Don’t let your faith waver over some show based on opinion.


#7

Except that the psalm was written after Moses because it talks about the deliverance of Israel by the saving hand of God. The really scary beast destroyed was the Egyptian army, the divided sea was the Red Sea.

This is not the only Psalm to deal with this topic the Jews would often repeat this marvelous event of deliverance in virtue of thanksgiving and praise to God.


#8

Something to keep in mind is that in prehistoric times there were no written languages. Stories were passed down in an oral format from generation to generation, and this occurred over an enormous expanse of time. The prehistoric cultures of the Middle East shared many of the same experiences, but interpreted these events and taught them in different ways. There are a handful of similar events common (in a very basic sense) to Babylonian mythology and the Book of Genesis, and the written account of Babylonian mythology is, indeed, older than the written account of Genesis. But this does not prove that the Hebrews took material from the Babylonians. All it shows is that after writing developed, the Babylonians simply committed their oral version of prehistoric events to writing before the Hebrews did.

Pax et Bonum,
Fr. Read


#9

Something else to keep in mind.

Our first parents, lovingly known as Adam and Eve, did have many children with God’s blessing. (Genesis 1:22). Like children today, many left the nest to do their own thing. Like children today, some kept the teachings of their parents; some did not. Some of Adam and Eve’s children passed on the truth of human origin and human nature; some created their own versions.


#10

Excellent post, Fr Read.

I think similar stories, and as you aptly explained…with different perspectives and values, also reflects the same universal condition in all of us.

Who are we, where did we come from, where are we going, what value does my own life have.


#11

Agree. Excellent post by Fr. Read.

When all is said and done,
it is Catholic doctrines, which correctly explain who we are, where we came from, where we are going, the value of our own life, and the universal condition of the state of original sin.
(Source: Catechism of the Catholic Church, Second Edition, paragraphs 355-421)


#12

The creation story of Genesis is a polemic against the ideas of the Babylonian creation story of the Enuma Elish. By using the outline of the Babylonian creation story, the fundemental contrasting ideas are emphasized. Here in the Jewish story of creation the Babylonian creation story is turned on its head. We have a single eternal God who in what can be seen as a challenge to all other cultures and peoples, is declared to be the source of all things. There is no birth of God or death of God. There is no violence or metamorphosis. Things come into being by the mere will of God.


#13

And yes…all creation exists by the will of God, the free will of the Loving God.

I would also agree with Granny that the Catholic Church best articulates…but much theology is based on the intellectual side of Dominican theology, whereas the Franciscan theology, which affirmed Mary’s immaculate conception is based on that God only can love reality.

So in the most mundane condition, this beautiful May flower you are gazing upon was freely willed by God to be created, and in Franciscan theology, there is no other flower created like this one, and likewise we are all unique.

We can go back and say we came from unique parents and we all share the same dna.


#14

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.