Enuma Elish I

The Seven Tablets of Creation
Ancient Near East

When the heavens above had not been named, And earth beneath had not been given a name There was Apsû, the first in order, their begetter, And demiurge Tia-mat, who gave birth to them all; They had mingled their waters together Before meadow-land had coalesced and reed-bed was to he found — When not one of the gods had been formed Or had come into being, when no destinies had been decreed, The gods were created within them: Lah(mu and Lah(amu were formed and came into being. While they grew and increased in stature Anšar and Kišar, who excelled them, were created.

Genesis 1:2

Hebrew Bible

1 In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. 2 Now the earth was without shape and empty, and darkness was over the surface of the watery deep, but the Spirit of God was hovering11 over the surface of the water. 3 God said, “Let there be light.” And there was light! 4 God saw that the light was good, so God separated the light from the darkness. 5 God called the light “day” and the darkness “night.” There was evening, and there was morning, marking the first day.

 Notes and References

"... It is often supposed that the narrative in Genesis 1 not only supports, but is actually intended to articulate, a doctrine of creatio ex nihilo: and although the problem is strictly independent of the question of translation, this is understood most readily on the basis of the common translation of 1:1, when understood to be a complete sentence ... There is a literary splendour about this as a theological statement. It contains within it the seeds of all that is to follow. But for many commentators there is unfortunately a problem with this interpretation of the text as it stands ... If the second version is preferable, which is increasingly the view of scholars, and which I am inclined to share, we have to look elsewhere for the main clause of the sentence ... On this reading the passage makes no reference to creatio ex nihilo, but rather presupposes the existence of raw material, already present in v. 2, before the cosmogonic process begins. Some scholars have drawn attention to the similar structure of the opening lines of the Babylonian creation narrative, the Enūma Eliš (i 1-9) ..."

Wyatt, Nicolas "Distinguishing Wood and Trees in the Waters: Creation in Biblical Thought" in Watson, Rebecca S. and Adrian H. W. Curtis (eds.) Conversations on Canaanite and Biblical Themes: Creation, Chaos and Monotheism (pp. 203-252) De Gruyter, 2022

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