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Genesis 1-2 and Recent Studies of Ancient Texts

Richard S. Hess
S & CB 7 (2)
October 1995


This essay surveys recent applications of ancient Near Eastern philology and literary study to the interpretation of the first two chapters of the Bible. It considers the significance of the seven days of creation and the reason for two accounts of creation. It examines a variety of expressions including: formless and empty, Image of God, Sabbath, Adam and Eden. The results of recent comparative research provide a rationale for the structure and organisation of Genesis 1-2 as well as new significance to the meaning and antiquity of many of its key expressions. At the same time the study touches upon some of the wealth of ancient Near Eastern literature available for the interpretation of the Bible.

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