The second parashah in the annual cycle of Pentateuchal readings is called Noah. This teaching reveals an underlying structure of the Bible’s Book of Genesis whereby the stories that we know were originally arranged by an ancient editor or redactor. This ancient structure organizes several separate stories into a flowing narrative. In this class, we demonstrate this process by showing how distinct source texts relating to the story of Noah were woven together into the epic that we know and love. The ancient stories of the Biblical Noah, the Sumerian Ziusudra, the Akkadian Utnapishtim, all seem to point to the historicity of a man saved from a deluge. What can we learn from a new look at Noah as his story is told in the Pentateuch?
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