Marc, in a recent post, mentions the whole controversy of evolution /creation. I’m really not up to arguing the validity of creation methods. In fact I think the controversy has diminished our understanding of the first few chapters of the Bible. As Christians, we hardly use these chapters for teaching because we are afraid to get into the various controversies regarding God’s methods of creation.
Recently my seminary studies have included this part of the Bible – the interpretation of the Old Testament, the Pentateuch, which Genesis introduces. One of my assignments involved comparing the Creation accounts in Genesis with the Babylonian and Egyptian creation stories. I’ve known for a long time that other creation stories existed but I have never read or studied them so the assignment to dig into them was interesting. (They are challenging reading though since the stories I read are translations of some old, old records.) You can find some of them here and here.
One of the authors of a text we are using likened the familiarity with these stories, which would have been passed down orally in the history of the ancient people of the near east, to the way in which most young people would be familiar with the accounts of evolution today.