Creation and Chaos in the Primeval Era and the Eschaton (Biblical Resource Series)
Hermann Gunkel's groundbreaking "Scvpfun und Chaos," originally published in German in 1895, is here translated into English in its entirety for the very first time.The first major historical study of creation and chaos motifs in the Bible, Gunkel's volume has...
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Hermann Gunkel's groundbreaking "Scvpfun und Chaos," originally published in German in 1895, is here translated into English in its entirety for the very first time.The first major historical study of creation and chaos motifs in the Bible, Gunkel's volume has exercised a profound influence on the development of modern biblical studies. Discovering a number of parallels between the biblical creation accounts and a Babylonian creation account, the "Enuma Elish," Gunkel argues that the ancient Babylonian traditions shaped the Hebrew people's perceptions both of God's creative activity at the beginning of time and of God's re-creative activity at the end of time. Though some of Gunkel's arguments have not withstood the test of time, his "traditio-historical" methodology has become a major foundation of modern biblical scholarship.
Foreword by Peter Machinist
Hermann Gunkel (18621932) taught at several German universities and is widely recognized as a father of the form-critical and history-of-religions methods in biblical criticism. His influential works include commentaries on Genesis, Psalms, and 1 Peter.
Hermann Gunkel, a high-ranking biblical scholar, was born in Springe, Germany, near Hanover, and obtained his formal education at the Universities of Gottingen, Giessen, and Leipzig. After teaching New Testament for one year at Gottingen in 1888, Gunkel devoted the rest of his academic career to Old Testament studies at Halle (1889--93), Berlin (1894--1907), and Giessen (1907--20) before returning to Halle (1920--27). Gunkel's methodological insights and conclusions are most readily evident in two masterful commentaries on Genesis (1901) and Psalms (1926). Above all, Gunkel emphasized the significance of the community as opposed to individual biblical authors and spelled out the ways in which tradition is handed down orally within the community. His isolation of various family and cultic legends in the book of Genesis and his identification of different types of psalmic composition---such as the psalm of individual thanksgiving, royal psalm, and hymn---in the book of Psalms has assuredly shaped subsequent scholarly treatment of not only these two key Old Testament books but also other books in the biblical canon.