Collection of the Österreichische Nationalbibliothek, Vienna; photo by Erich Lessing.

ON THE COVER: God the Creator (and Geometer) uses a golden compass to draw the universe, in this illumination from a 13th-century Bible moralisée. Out of chaos, God forms a neat orb, containing a black moon and red sun, stars, blue waves and brown earth.

Since the 19th century, God’s image as an innovative, all-powerful Creator has been tarnished, however, as Bible scholars came to suspect that the Genesis Creation account borrowed heavily from an earlier Babylonian story, Enūma Eliš. But, Victor Hurowitz argues in “The Genesis of Genesis,” the Babylonian tale is not much of a Creation story at all, and any borrowing that the biblical authors did is much more complicated, and sophisticated, than previously believed.