JHWH, Erschaffer des Himmels Zu Herkunft und Bedeutung eines monotheistischen Kernarguments

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The article asks when and why YHWH became the creator of heaven(s). Based on the observation that the heaven(s) play a more and more dominant role in exilic-postexilic texts, the article begins with an overview of the development of creation theologies as part of monotheism since Deutero-Isaiah and »P«. All the notions of YHWH »stretching out« or »making« the heaven(s) occur in late texts. Mostly we find the formulaic use of »heaven and earth« as objects of creation, but there are also a few instances where heaven is the sole object of YHWH's actions (Ps 96:5 parr. 1Chr 16:26; Ps 33:6; see further Isa 40:22; Ps 8:4). Here – and in some other more indirect instances – the creation of heaven is stressed as a monotheistic core argument showing YHWH's predominance (often with lebadô »he alone«). A second part of the article undertakes a survey through ancient Near Eastern sources in order to collect comparable material for the creation of heaven(s). The most striking parallel comes from the Babylonian creation myth Enuma elish where Marduk establishes the heaven(s) after his killing of Tiamat. Here we find the notion of »stretching out a skin« as part of his deeds. This could have been reinterpreted in Deutero-Isaiah since Isa 40:22 and other texts use this concept in particular. The third part of the article examines this in more detail and gives an additional overview of the topic in »P« (Gen 1), in the Psalms, and in late creation texts of wisdom literature (Prov 8; Iob).

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1628/004435413X13835622623311

Publication date: December 1, 2013

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  • Founded in 1891. The Zeitschrift für Theologie und Kirche (ZThK) is a scholarly journal devoted to all areas of theological research and the teachings of the church. Contributions from all disciplines within theology concentrate in depth on major issues in theological reflection and Christian practice. They are addressed to students, teachers, clergy and members of the academic profession who wish to participate in contemporary theological debate and to remain abreast of current development.

    Language: German

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