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Another way to learn from the past is to examine other ancient documents of recorded history. Read Chapters 2 and 3 of Cosmology & Scripture which discusses Ancient Near Eastern Cosmologies and Cosmology in the Scriptures. We will spend some time studying their cosmologies and comparing them to the Biblical Cosmos. This is not to pit ‘us’ vs. ‘them’ in the sense of the Bible vs. other creation stories. We can imagine the Bible falling down from heaven on golden plates where God gave people a supernatural revelation that went far beyond what they could ever imagine or understand. Yet, the Scriptures reveal God working with people and their current struggles and understanding from the beginning to the end. In the New Testament for example we see Jesus speaking to His audience in a very, well Jewish way. Paul specifically addresses real problems that churches were having in his various letters and the book of Revelation records specific messages from Jesus to seven different churches. In other words, it important to get into that ancient culture as best we can and see how God was meeting people where they were at.
In this week’s Dialogue Post, we will try to get into the Ancient Near Eastern worldview and you will craft a post where you do the following:
- Choose an element of cosmology that you want to focus on (Earth, Heavens or Sea)
- Find two cultural perspectives (other than the Hebrew perspective in the Scriptures) and describe how they thought of the element you chose.
- Find the equivalent perspective in the Hebrew Scriptures and describe how they thought of the element you chose.
- Be sure to note any similarities and differences and include any relevant sources
In your response post, you will use the evidence presented by one of your classmates to defend or deny the following claim:
The similarities exist because the Hebrew writers borrowed from other creation stories.
Your response(s) should comply with the formatting, content, and word count guidelines, along with the style manual requirements, indicated in the syllabus. Review the grading rubric provided for this discussion forum to ensure the best outcomes for your dialogue assignment.
Submit your original post and response in the Group Dialogue area under Week 2 forum. You can either click on the link above to directly access the Group Page or on Group Dialogue link on the side menu. When you are on the Group Page, click on the group highlighted for you. Once inside, click on Discussion Board option, then click on Add Thread to create a space for your post. Click Submit to make your post available to the rest of the class. To respond to other students’ threads, click on Reply button in the bottom left corner inside of a message.
Read chapters 2 and 3 of Scripture and Cosmology by Kyle Greenwood (Chapter 2: Ancient Near Eastern Cosmologies and Chapter 3:Cosmology in Scripture), p. 33-102.