Theories Of Creation In Judaism

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November 28, 2010 RESEARCH PROJECT Stories of origin from Hebrew Scriptures Theories of creation in Judaism The problem of creation in religion and philosophy The nature of creation has been one of the major issues in the borderland where the domains of religion and philosophy meet. Religion has usually asserted that world has been created by a creator with will and purpose. With the development of theology, a doctrine of creation out of nothing was formulated, mainly to emphasise the utmost freedom of God relative to everything outside Him. Whereas religion is dependent on divine revelation, philosophy is based on human reason. The domains of religion and philosophy did not remain separated, as inquisitive minds sought to reconcile reason with revelation and belief. This was not always an easy task. The Hellenistic schools of philosophy either considered the world eternal, or at least having been formed out of pre-existent matter. Furthermore, for them the God was the first cause of all, either as the Unmoved Mover of Aristotle or as the Neo-Platonian One, out of which everything was emanated by necessity. Whereas theological and philosophical investigation has been an occupation for an intellectual elite, the popular religion has often tended to look for myths as a source of inspiration. It is given though, that the biblical account of creation in Gen. 1 is widely different from creation myths of the ancient Near Eastern world. The first verse is totally devoid of myth, stating the simple fact that God has created the heaven and the earth. The second verse is, surprisingly enough, perhaps the most mythical in the whole creation account. A number of primeval elements are introduced: tohu and bohu, usually translated as unformed and void; darkness; water; wind or spirit of God; an abyss. The indefinite character of these elements

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