Finding Myth and History in the Bible - Scholarship, Scholars and Errors - Lukasz Niesiolowski-Spano

Finding Myth and History in the Bible - Scholarship, Scholars and Errors - Lukasz Niesiolowski-Spano

Dividing the image of God: the creation of man and woman in Genesis

Finding Myth and History in the Bible - Scholarship, Scholars and Errors - Lukasz Niesiolowski-Spano

Caterina Moro [+-]
Independent Scholar
Caterina Moro obtained a Ph.D. in Semitic Philology at the Oriental Institute of Naples (Istituto Orientale di Napoli). As adjunct professor, she taught History of the Ancient Near East at the Sapienza University of Rome and History of Religions at the Chieti-Pescara University “Gabriele D'Annunzio”. Her fields of interest are Hebrew Bible (textual analysis, ancient versions and historical context) and Second Temple Judaism. Her last book is I sandali di Mosè (Studi biblici 167; Brescia: Paideia 2011). moroclarab@libero.it

Description

The book of Genesis narrates the creation of man and woman in two stories that modern criticism ascribes to different authors and periods. The centre of the first story (P) is creation of humanity as an image and a representative of God on earth, like the king in Near Eastern and Egyptian culture. The example of Egypt shows that this pattern, though rarely, could be applied also to women. The very syntactical structure of Gen 1:27 emphasizes human sexual differentiation in contrast with a God seen as male for historical reasons - he had probably a goddess wife in pre-exilic times - and symbolic ones - he is the ‘bridegroom’ of Israel. In the second narrative (J) God creates first a male individual and then animals and a woman as his helpers. In the combination of the two narratives made by ancient Jewish interpreters, God created the male only as ‘His image’. According to Bereshit Rabba, God created first an androgyne and divided him afterward in a male and a female part, as in Plato’s Symposion. Another tradition recorded by the same midrash explains Gen 1:26f. not as an alternative narrative of man’s creation but as the generation of every man as an action shared by God and human parents: a part of this argument, perhaps with a different meaning, appears also in 1 Cor 11:11-12.

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Citation

Moro, Caterina. Dividing the image of God: the creation of man and woman in Genesis. Finding Myth and History in the Bible - Scholarship, Scholars and Errors. Equinox eBooks Publishing, United Kingdom. p. 103-115 Mar 2016. ISBN 9781781791271. https://www.equinoxpub.com/home/view-chapter/?id=23753. Date accessed: 14 Oct 2019 doi: 10.1558/equinox.23753. Mar 2016

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