Click here to get the answers to the most commonly asked RBL questions.

Review of Biblical Literature Blog

In the Beginning: Essays on Creation Motifs in the Bible and the Ancient Near East
Batto, Bernard F.

Winona Lake, Ind.: Eisenbrauns, 2013 pp. vi + 241. $42.50

Series Information
Siphrut: Literature and Theology of the Hebrew Scriptures, 9

Description: Bernard F. Batto spent the bulk of his career examining the ancient Near Eastern context of the Hebrew Bible, with particular interest in the influence of the surrounding cultures on the biblical creation stories. This collection gathers six of his most important previously published essays and adds two new contributions. Among the essays, Batto identifies various creation motifs prevalent in the ancient Near East and investigates the reflexes of these motifs in Genesis 1-11 and other biblical accounts of the primeval period. He demonstrates how the biblical writers adapted and responded to the creation ideas of Mesopotamia, Egypt, Ugarit, and elsewhere.

The articles in the volume were written as independent essays. Nevertheless, they are united by theme. Throughout, Batto makes clear his understanding of the Hebrew Bible as a patently unique text, yet one that cannot possibly be understood independent of greater cultural sphere in which it developed. In the Beginning will serve as an indispensable resource for those interested in both the biblical ideas of creation and the mythology of the ancient Near East that influenced them.

Subjects: Bible, Hebrew Bible/Old Testament, Pentateuch, Genesis, Ancient Near East, Literature, Methods, Literary Approaches, Narrative Criticism

Login to Read the Review(s)

You must be a member of SBL to read the review(s). In May 2019, SBL improved security of its main site with a new login procedure that requires an email address and a password, instead of an SBL member number. RBLís login procedure is now synched to SBLís. Please use your email address and SBL password to log in to RBL. Your use of this site indicates your acceptance of RBLís Terms of Use.

Email Address
SBL Password
 Forgot Your Password
 Join SBL or Renew Membership

Review by Thomas Wagner
Published 1/7/2015
Citation: Thomas Wagner, review of Bernard F. Batto, In the Beginning: Essays on Creation Motifs in the Bible and the Ancient Near East, Review of Biblical Literature [] (2015).

Adobe Acrobat Reader
All RBL reviews are published in PDF format. To view these reviews, you must have downloaded and installed the FREE version of Adobe Acrobat Reader. If you do not have the Reader or you have an older version of the Reader, you can download the most recent version now.


Privacy PolicyTerms of UseContact Us