Interview: discussing Flood Mythologies with Erica Mongé-Greer

Erica Mongé-Greer returns for another interview. If you haven’t watch our discussion of Creation Mythologies, I recommend doing so. But if you have, or Flood Mythologies just happen to be more your thing, you can jump right into this one!

In this video, we discuss ANE Flood Mythologies such as the Atrahasis, the Epic of Gilgamesh, and Genesis 6-9.

Here’s the list of questions I asked:

1. This week my students will have read about the Great Deluge in Genesis 6-9. In the context of the Book of Genesis, what’s the point of this story? Why does Yahweh God flood the earth?

2. The Hebrews/Israelites/Judahites weren’t the only people from the Ancient Near East to talk about a giant flood. The Epic of Gilgamesh, which seems to have Assyrian and Babylonian influence, and the Atrahasis does the same. Can you tell us about these stories?

3. Chronologically, what’s the relationship between these three stories? Which one do most scholars think came first and how does this impact our understanding of the Bible?

4. How does the character of Noah compare to the characters in the Atrahasis and Gilgamesh?

5. In Genesis, what’s the Creator’s rationale for destroying humanity with a flood and how does this compare to the rationale in the Flood Mythologies?

6. Why is it important for students of the Bible to understand the Ancient Near East, Israel’s neighboring cultures, and comparative flood mythologies?

7. Some readers are concerns with the question ‘did this flood really happen?’ How important is this question? What should our focus be when reading these narratives?


Interview: discussing Creation Mythologies with Erica Mongé-Greer.

Today I interviewed Erica Mongé-Greer, a PhD candidate at University of Aberdeen in Scotland. Erica is also an adjunct professor who teaches courses in Hebrew Bible, ancient Near Eastern culture and Semitic languages, like Hebrew and Akkadian. Her most recent faculty postings were at Northwest Christian University and University of Oregon in Eugene, where she lives with her partner, Joshua, their two children, Caleb and Emma and adopted dog, Zuzu. Erica’s research includes justice for the poor in the Hebrew Psalter, biblical ethics, and religion in science fiction.

We discuss ANE Creation Mythologies such as the Enuma Elish, the Memphite Theology, and Genesis 1-2. It’s a fascinating discussion that I believe my students will enjoy! Here’s the list of questions I asked:

  1. First, tell us about your professional training and what it is that you research and teach?
  2. This week my students will have juxtaposed the First and Second Creation Narratives of the Book of Genesis, so they’ve seen how these stories, while stitched together, are different. In the context of the Ancient Near East, how are these Israelite/Judahite accounts unique?
  3. My students will be reading excerpts from the Enuma Elish. Can you provide us with an overview of this creation account?
  4. How is Marduk, the patron god of Babylon, similar to and different from how the Hebrew account presents their god?
  5. In the Book of Genesis, taking both Creation Narratives into account, how would we summarize the purpose of humanity and how does this compare with the Enuma Elish?
  6. While my students won’t be asked to read from the Memphite Theology, it’s still relevant to this discussion. What is it and what story does it tell?
  7. Why is it important for students of the Bible to understand the Ancient Near East, Israel’s neighboring cultures, and comparative creation mythologies?