The Return of the Chaos Monsters and Other Backstories of the Bible

The Return of the Chaos Monsters and Other Backstories of the Bible

The Return of the Chaos Monsters and Other Backstories of the Bible

The Return of the Chaos Monsters and Other Backstories of the Bible

Synopsis

Gregory Mobley plunges beneath the Bible's surface to reveal its "backstories" -- the tales that constitute the backbone of the people Israel and of the body of Christ. Viewing the Bible as "essentially, relentlessly story," Mobley provides an easy-to-understand sevenpart thematic overview of the Bible that guides readers through the drama of the Hebrew Bible, highlighting the interconnectedness of biblical stories. Each story is a variation on a single theme -- the dynamic interplay between order and chaos.

Intriguing Ancient Near Eastern myths, personal anecdotes, and popular cultural references from movies, musical theater, and writers ranging from Dr. Seuss to William Blake pepper the book throughout. Arresting chapter and section titles such as "It's Love That Makes the World Go 'Round" and "Lord Bezek's Big Toes" capture the imagination, and Mobley's own lyrical, energetic writing style -- exercised on vibrant biblical material -- propels the reader forward. Readers will find his enthusiasm contagious!

Excerpt

God has subdued chaos, just barely.

The Bible’s best-known creation account is the narrative that priestly editors used to introduce the Torah in Genesis 1:1–2:3, creation by divine command: “and God said, ‘Let there be.’” a different story is told in Genesis 2:4b-25, about creation by divine touch. Here, the Lord God is a hands-on artisan, farmer, and surgeon who molds Adam (ʾadam) from soil (ʾadamah) that — inexplicably — is already there, breathes into Adam’s nostrils, plants a garden, forms the animals and birds, removes a rib from Adam, and constructs Eve from his bone and flesh. the accounts in Genesis 1 and 2 have emerged as the “official” stories of Judaism and Christianity, but there is an alternate creation story alluded to in the Bible.

Priestly theologians buried this story of creation through a competition between the Lord and the dragon of chaos below the surface of their measured prose in Genesis 1, but in the less-constrained discourse of biblical poetry the dragon breaks free. a primordial battle between God and a dragon of chaos, called Leviathan or Rahab, is recalled in these psalms that celebrate creation:

You mashed the [seven] heads of Leviathan….
The day belongs to you; yes, even the night.
    You established the Lights and Sun.

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