Creation, Sin, Wisdom: Interpreting Genesis 1- 3 In Its Ancient Near Eastern Context

  • Luca Mazzinghi Pontificia Università Gregoriana
Keywords: Ancient Near East, Creation, Freedom, Genesis, Interpretation, Sin, Wisdom


The paper studies Gen 2-3 as one large narrative unit consisting of the second creation narrative (Gen 2:4b-25) and the account of the fall (Gen 3) to answer two questions: Who are human beings? Why is evil present in the world? An attentive reading of Gen 2-3 in the light of the Exodus event reveals that a human being is a free and responsible creature of God, who does not know how to deal with his/her freedom and responsibility. Though humans refused God’s offer of salvation and crossed the limits of their createdness, and consequently were punished, they have also experienced the forgiveness of God. Therefore, while Gen 2 represents God’s creative action and his plan for humankind, Gen 3 epitomizes human failure to welcome God’s gift, which God punishes, offering at the same time his mercy and forgiveness.