Genesis 1-3: Myth-Busting?

This article sets out three possible interpretations of Genesis 1-3: ‘mythical, miscommunication or myth-busting’. I agree that the mythical and miscommunication options are wrong, but is myth-busting the only other option? This is based on a view that, because Genesis was written by Moses, and because there are creation myths dated from before the time of Moses, Moses was writing with a view to debunking the false creation myths around at his time.

This could be the case, but it seems to assume that before Moses came along, God’s people had no idea how God made the world. They didn’t yet have the book of Genesis, but does this mean they didn’t know anything about what this book would eventually describe about events before Moses, stretching back to creation?

Did they have no idea about the global flood either? It is often noted by creationists that there are flood legends all over the world. People don’t tend to say that Moses wrote the Genesis flood account with a view to debunking these flood myths. Moses wouldn’t have known about many of them anyway because of the great distances separating these people groups.

Rather, I think it makes more sense that, with the flood and with creation, Moses was simply writing an account of what his people generally already knew. This could have been known through oral tradition and/or written records predating Genesis.

Any similarities between Genesis and creation/flood myths of other cultures is I think better explained in that Noah and his family will have known the true accounts of both of these. As people separated after Babel, the accounts would have been distorted by cultures adapting the stories as they were passed on.

I’m not aware of any culture on the planet today that doesn’t have a story about how the world began or how they came to be where they are. The stories vary a lot, from fantastical creation myths to beliefs of Darwinian evolution, but it seems to be an inherent property of humanity that we want to know such things. That’s why I find it so surprising to think that, before Genesis was written, the people of Israel had no knowledge of such things or didn’t ask such questions themselves.