Bible Creation – In the Beginning

The merging of state, religion, and science was nowhere more complete than in Babylon. There the original Sumerian Epic of Creation was translated and revised so that Marduk, the Babylonian national god, was assigned a celestial counterpart. By renaming Nibiru “Marduk” in the Babylonian versions of the creation story, the Babylonians usurped for Marduk the attributes of a supreme “God of Heaven and Earth.” This version—the most intact one found so far—is known as Enuma Elish (“When in the heights”), taken from its opening words. It became the most hallowed religious-political-scientific document of the land; it was read as a central part of the New Year rituals, and players reenacted the tale in passion plays to bring its import home to the masses. The clay tablets on which they were written were prized possessions of temples and royal libraries in antiquity.