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Babel, babble, and Babylon : reading Genesis 11:1-9 as myth

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dc.contributor.advisor Van Dyk, P. J. Oosthuizen, Neil T. 2009-08-25T10:49:48Z 2009-08-25T10:49:48Z 2002-02 2009-08-25T10:49:48Z
dc.identifier.citation Oosthuizen, Neil T. (2002) Babel, babble, and Babylon : reading Genesis 11:1-9 as myth, University of South Africa, Pretoria, <> en
dc.description.abstract The story of the Tower of Babel (Gen 11: 1-9) has been interpreted in various ways down through the centuries. However, most commentators have ignored the genre of the text, and have not sought to interpret it within its mythological framework - therefore most interpretations are nothing short of babble. A working text is ascertained, and the complexity of the text investigated. The text is then identified as 'myth': within its mythological framework the tower is seen as a temple linking heaven and earth, ensuring the continuation of the royal dynasty (i e 'making a name'). When used by the Yahwist Levites during the Babylonian Exile, our story was inserted in the great Pre-History as polemic against the Babylonian concept of creation, temple, and dynasty; and served as both a warning and an encouragement to the Exiles. The post-exilic Priestly Writer re-interpreted our story as a warning to the returning exiles that their society, and their temple, should be reconstructed as YHWH determines. Interpreting the story as myth enables it, finally, to speak clearly into our context today, especially that of South Africa. en
dc.language.iso en
dc.subject Genesis 11: 1-9 en
dc.subject Tower of Babel en
dc.subject Myth en
dc.subject Mythological framework en
dc.subject 'Enuma Elish en
dc.subject Ziggurat en
dc.subject Creation en
dc.subject Genesis 1-11 en
dc.subject Temple en
dc.subject Tabernacle en
dc.subject Documentary hypothesis en
dc.subject Yahwist Levites en
dc.subject Priestly writer en
dc.subject South African society en
dc.subject.ddc 222.11068
dc.subject.lcsh Bible. Genesis XI, 1-9 -- Criticism, interpretation, etc. en
dc.subject.lcsh Babel, Tower of en
dc.subject.lcsh Myth in the Old Testament en
dc.title Babel, babble, and Babylon : reading Genesis 11:1-9 as myth en
dc.type Thesis en
dc.description.department Biblical and Ancient Studies en D. Th. (Old Testament)

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