1. How many stories about origin and/or ordering of the world are found in Gen 1-11?
2. How does the account of creation in the Enuma elish compare with Genesis 1:1-2:4a? For help see Heidel's chart (Babylonian Genesis, p. 129) (reserve).
3. Compare the style and content of Gen 1:1-2:4a with those of Gen 2:4b-25.
4. What are the purposes of Genesis 3, the story of "the fall"? Think in terms of human psychology and social structure.
5. Compare the Noah flood story with the story of Utnapishtim in the Gilgamesh Epic.
6. Do you notice any double-tellings or seemingly unnecessary repetitions in the story of the flood in Gen 6:5-9:28? Are there any contradictions in the account as a whole? In class we will discuss the implications of your findings and the theory of Biblical sources to which scholars have been led.
7. Gen 6:1-4 and 9:20-27 are two interesting snippets of ancient mythology. How does each passage fit in its current context in the Bible? Can you think of any purpose for each of the tales? How does each strengthen society or increase human beings' acceptance or understanding of themselves?
8. What do you think may be the role of the genealogies in Gen 1-11?
9. How might Gen 11:1-9 be considered a creation story (given that one might define creation as a process of origin and ordering)?
10. Do you notice any repeated narrative patterns in Gen 1-11, recurring themes?
11. Does Gen 1-11 as it now stands present a particular world-view or implicitly support a certain social structure?
The Patriarchs: Genesis 12-50 II. September 19, 21, 24, 26