Most people are completely unaware of the rich background of story and myth which is the setting of the Bible and especially books like Genesis. In the synagogue reading cycle, this week is Genesis 6:9 – 11:32, the story of Noah, Babel, the table of nations, and the genealogy up to Abraham. It is a fitting week to deal with the Noah story and the Mesopotamian mythological background which is so remarkably parallel with it.
Perhaps one reason synagogues and churches rarely discuss the mythological backdrop of the flood story is the potential controversy. How do we deal with the fact that the Bible