The value of human life in the story of the flood in Genesis 6-9
The aim of the thesis is to explore the question of the value of human life in the story of the flood in Genesis 6-9. It is here that the command not to take human life comes for the first time in the Bible, and its placing in the account of the deluge is suggestive for ethical considerations. There has been considerable debate over method in study of the Old Testament in recent years, particularly with regard to the Pentateuch and its documentary analysis. This dissertation does not aim to offer a thorough study of source critical issues, but having noted that there are probably two sources in Gen 6-9 (J and P), there is an examination of the text first at the level of J and P separately, and then secondly a study of J and P together, with a focus on the extra resonances which are created by reading the text as a whole at its canonical level. Little has been done on a reading of the text with J and P together, and the originality of this work lies in its analysis of both historical sources and of the complete text. The dissertation examines the causes of the flood, in particular, Don, the righteousness of Noah, God's repentance in Gen 6:6, the theme of creation, un creation and re-creation, the post-diluvian promises of 8:20-22, 9:8-17, the commands of 9:1-7, and the imago Dei in the context of the flood. The imago Dei is interpreted in terms of man as vice-regent of creation. The thesis argues that human life finds its value in its relation to God.