The Basic Aspects of the Torah / Pentateuch. Primeval History: Genesis / Bereshit 1-11,26

The first part of the lecture commences with an explanation of the terms Torah, respectively Pentateuch. This is followed by a discussion concerned with aspects of genre. Such further questions as whether the Torah/Pentateuch may be considered a biography of Moses, or a national history, or whether one is dealing with simply torah or law and why five books are included in it, are also being tackled. The second part of the lecture elaborates the following topics: ancient near eastern parallels to Genesis/Bereshit 1-11, Genesis’/Bereshit’s transformation of oriental origin stories, the organization of Genesis/Bereshit 1-11 and the New Testament’s use of Genesis/Bereshit 1-11. Further topics to be discussed include: the opening lines of the Sumerian King List, the definition of myth, retelling modern cosmology theologically, significant days in Genesis/Bereshit 1, Genesis/Bereshit and Ecology, the symbolism of Eve, the protevangelium, did Methushelah really live 969 years, palistrophe, was there a universal flood and Noah’s drunkenness.