“But Noah found favor in the sight of yhwh” (Genesis 6, 8): the Biblical Noah in context

  • Hans Ausloos Université catholique de Louvain
Palavras-chave: Genesis, Noé, dilúvio, Antigo Testamento, literatura do próximo Oriente, história da receção


The Biblical Flood narrative is part of Israel’s so-called primeval history as narrated in the book of Genesis (Gen 6–9). However, this story about Noah, a human hero and his family, who are saved by God from a devastating flood – sent by the deity itself – in order to be the father of a new era, has not been invented by the Biblical authors themselves. Undoubtedly, they have been inspired by much older texts such as the Mesopotamian Atrahasis or Gilgamesh epics. In its turn, however, the Biblical Noah narrative has again given rise to many interpretations, both in Jewish and in Christian literature. This paper demonstrates that an adequate understanding of the biblical narrative should take its literary context into account. In addition to that, it aims at illustrating how Noah has become an important and influential theological motif.