Mesopotamian Mondays: Multiple Creation Myths

The Biblical Review

Creation myths in ancient Mesopotamia explain why things exist in the way that they exist. This is also known as a cosmogony. For example, in a text by Plato, “a divine demiurge (craftsman)… transforms a preexistent chaos into an ordered cosmos in imitation of an eternal model” [1]. Likewise, some Rabbinic Jewish texts are devoted to establishing ties between the Jewish calendar and creation itself [2]. Through reading each of these traditions, modern readers can get a sense of how these respective people-groups made sense of the world. In doing so, the important principles within the respective cultures become more apparent. So, the Rabbinic Jewish text demonstrates how the Jewish calendar was central to Jewish culture, which is therefore explained within a cosmogony, or creation myth. Likewise, the Plato text demonstrates the cultural importance of the eternal model.

And within a single culture, multiple, competing cosmogonies can exist simultaneously, each…

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