Adam and the Babylonian Oblates: The Untold Backstory to the Garden of Eden


Im Rahmen des Colloquiums, das gemeinsam von der Altorientalistik und der Vorderasiatischen Archäologie veranstaltet wird, finden in regelmäßigen Abständen Vorträge zu neuen Forschungen am Institut sowie von auswärtigen Gelehrten statt.


Am Donnerstag, dem 11.02.2021 um 18 Uhr c.t.
spricht Prof. Dr. Bruce Wells (Austin, Texas)
über das Thema:


Adam and the Babylonian Oblates:
The Untold Backstory to the Garden of Eden

The biblical story of the Garden of Eden has fascinated readers for centuries. In some ways, it seems like a magical garden that grows by itself, but it still requires work. After being created by YHWH, Adam is placed in the garden to "tend it and keep it." Scholars have connected Adam's assigned tasks to priestly activity mentioned elsewhere in the Hebrew Bible but have not compared them to the activities of temple servants who are required to watch over and take care of temple-owned gardens and orchards. This lecture will propose that the Babylonian texts describing the work of temple servants identified as širkū ("oblates") help to provide important background information for understanding the story. More specifically, it will argue that the author of the Eden narrative sought to portray Adam as an oblate working in an orchard on YHWH's sacred estate. Adam's eventual decision to eat from the Tree of Knowledge was an attempt to usurp a prerogative that was reserved only for that temple's highest echelon of personnel -- namely, YHWH and the members of his divine assembly.


Der Vortrag findet online statt.


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                  Altorientalistik                                                                                                                    Vorderasiatische Archäologie

K. Kleber                                                                                                                                       F.J. Kreppner