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Everyday Life in Ancient Mesopotamia$
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Jean Bottero

Print publication date: 2001

Print ISBN-13: 9780748613878

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9780748613878.001.0001

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How Sin Was Born

How Sin Was Born

(p.246) Chapter 15 How Sin Was Born
Everyday Life in Ancient Mesopotamia

Jean Bottéro


The Semites always attributed responsibility for all the happenings that affect and cause problems in this world to supernatural beings: gods. For that reason, they were regarded as the promoters and guarantors of all the infinite obligations – positive or negative – that govern human life. All stemmed from the explicit decision of the gods, and whoever infringed so much as one of them was thus resisting their will, scorning their commands or neglecting them, rebelling against the gods' authority – shades of meaning which, in the Semitic languages, synonymously contributed to a definition of that disobedience towards the gods which was the fundamental essence of sin, through which one might at any moment enter into conflict with the supernatural world, since no area or moment of life eluded their authority.

Keywords:   Semites, supernatural, gods, obligations, authority, disobedience, sin

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