To achieve this type of study, one should study another religion’s tradition in its
own cultural setting
2. What are the principal characteristics of ELOHIM, the GOD in GENESIS
(Chapter 1, verse 1) “Who created the Heavens and the Earth”, and what are the
two principle CREATION THEORIES found in GENESIS 1?
•Elohim is a Hebrew word which expresses concepts of divinity in Genesis chapter 1,
• In Genesis 1 god who created the heavens and the Earth otherwise known as the cosmos
is referred to as Elohim.
•Moreover, many important characteristics of Elohim are revealed in the beginning of
genesis chapter 1. It is known that Elohim is pluralized and transcends gender meaning
that the word represents both the male and female.
• Furthermore, Elohim can only do good as all that he created was good such as light, the
heaven and Earth.
• Elohim leaves the choice of evil to the individual as supported by the story of Adam and
Eve where they both choose to eat from the tree and were not forced to.
• In addition, Elohim is a divine being who creates with his word out of nothing as
evidenced when God said “let there be light,” and there was light.
•Elohim is the first cause because if there was a cause of god, God would not be God, thus
God is the first uncaused cause and also the efficient cause. In addition, Elohim is not the
material cause as Elohim remains apart from his creation in both theories of creation.
•The two principle creation theories that are found in genesis one are different because of
the way how God creates.
•The first creation theory is where god created something out of nothing, and god said “let
there be light” and there was light and he saw that light was good-he created out of his
word, out of nothing.
•In the second creation theory god created from preexistent matter. The Hebrew word
Tehom refers to the waters as deep is related to the word Tiamat which is the wicked
female dragon that encompoasses the waters. The God of wind, Marduk, slays Tiamat
and makes the heavens and the earth from her body. However, I Genesis this myth is
demythologized and thus the waters become the pre existant matter out of which Elohim
creates the cosmos like how a potter takes chaotic lump of clay and creates a nice pot, in
the same way, God takes waters and shapes it into the cosmos.
•God said let there be a firament in the midst of the waters and let it separate the waters.
He separated the waters which were under the firament from the waters which were
above the firament and called the firament heaven and then he said let the waters under
the heaven gather together and let dry land appear- he called it earth.
3. What is the significance for the Historian of Religion of the relationship of the
HEBREW WORD TEHOM in Genesis 1 Verses 2, 6 and following to the
BABYLONIAN WORD TIAMAT in the Babylonian Myth of Creation?