Discovering Genesis 2: The Garden of Eden
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In this lecture, Professor Neiman explores the rich language and imagery found in the Biblical story of the Garden of Eden. Drawing on parallels from ancient Near Eastern literature and mythology, Dr. Neiman demonstrates that the garden wasn’t simply a verdant paradise dreamed up by the Biblical writer, but was actually understood to be the royal palace and gardens of the Israelite God Yahweh, and the place from which his divine power emanated to all corners of the earth. The lecture then follows Adam and Eve through their various trials in the garden, from the creation to their expulsion from Eden, and at each episode, focuses on the ways in which the Biblical writer artfully expresses the realities of the human condition.
Dr. David Neiman (1921–2004) was professor of Jewish theology at Boston College and specialized in a broad range of fields, including archaeology, Biblical studies, Jewish history and Catholic-Jewish relations. He also organized Boston College’s Institute of Biblical Archeology and participated in nearly a dozen archaeological excavations in Israel. He was the author of Domestic Relations in Antiquity (Little Acorns Press, 1994) as well as a commentary and selected translation of the Book of Job (Massada, 1972). He also wrote several important articles for the Encyclopedia Judaica. His lectures on the Book of Genesis were delivered in 2000 at the University of Judaism in Bel Air, CA.