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Creation Myths

20 Jun
Many people deny the veracity of the Genesis account of our origins and they do so based upon not only science but also on the existence of so many other creation accounts around the world. After a few paragraphs of quotes from different sources, we will be providing links to those different accounts so you can see what they say for yourselves

While we believe the biblical account, we will not be making any comment on the quotes or the links. In our research we have come to the conclusion that the reason for the existence of so many different accounts is due to the truthfulness of the story of Babel.

In other words their existence helps prove the changing of languages and dispersal of the people  after the flood. As we read the text in Genesis we see that Noah and his family would have taught their descendants the truth and as man strayed further and further away from God, they altered that truth to fit their new beliefs which arose through the influence of evil and its deceptive work.

We come by this conclusion realizing that God only changed their languages and location and not their memories. This conclusion is supported by the rise and acceptance of the theory of evolution. As modern man has strayed from God they have rejected the truth of Genesis and constructed their own ideas of our origins

QUOTES:

{The source of each quote will follow the quote.}

1. It is not correct to say that “Enuma elish” was adopted and adapted by the Israelites to produce the Genesis stories. As Lambert holds, there is “no evidence of Hebrew borrowing from Babylon” (1965: 296). Sjöberg accepts Lambert˒s opinion that “there was hardly any influence from that Babylonian text on the Old Testament creation accounts” (1984: 217). Hasel thinks rather that the creation account of Genesis 1 functions as an antimythological polemic in some cases (e.g., with the “sun,” the “moon,” and tnnm (˒sea monsters˒?), etc. (1974). One thing is clear with regard to the religious nature of the creation story of Genesis: in Genesis 1 and 2 no female deity exists or is involved in producing the cosmos and humanity. This is unique among ancient creation stories that treat of deities having personality

(1996). Bible and Spade (1996), 9, 13.

2. Also de Moor recently demonstrated that Baal in Ugaritic literature is never treated as a creator-god (1980)

(1996). Bible and Spade (1996), 9, 13.

3. One hundred years ago Hermann Gunkel identified the Chaoskampf—the Battle Against Chaos—as a fundamental biblical myth. Working from the then recently published Enuma Elish, the Babylonian creation epic, Gunkel drew a picture of the events before creation, in which the sovereign god (in Babylon, Marduk) had to establish his sovereignty by defeating watery opponents. Gunkel showed that many poetic biblical passages in the Psalms, prophets and wisdom literature refer to this same mythical concept. Moreover, he demonstrated that biblical ideas of the eschaton (the end of time) mirrored these conceptions of the beginning, that is, God’s ultimate kingdom will also be established after a defeat of enemies.
Shanks, H. (Ed.). (2004). BR 14:03.

4. Once we realize this, we begin to see how fundamental the chaos myth is to our culture’s vision of reality. First, it is a highly gendered myth, for whether the force to be conquered is the devouring mother (as in Babylon) or the greedy rapacious brother (as in Canaan), the hero is always a brave warrior. Whether the warrior goes on to create a nation (as in Babylon and Israel) or to face another contender to his rule (as in Canaan), he is the heroic male (in Babylonian, quradu; in Hebrew, gibbor) who uses his might to bring order to the world. He is the Near Eastern counterpart to the dragon- or witch-slaying heroes in the myths of Western culture, the men who rescue damsels so that they can live happily ever after.

  Shanks, H. (Ed.). (2004). BR 14:03

5. The “Rest” after the “Creation”:

Scholars have looked for the concept of a day-of-rest in Babylonian texts. But outside Israel there is no Sabbath in ancient near eastern cultures anywhere, neither in Mesopotamia nor in Egypt.

In Babylonian the word sabbatu is found. But it has something to do with the moon and only occurs once a month, or at most, every 15 days. It has nothing whatever to do with the Old Testament concept of a day of rest. The Sabbath was instituted by Yahweh in the very beginning for His followers to keep as a sign of their belief that He is the Creator. There is no “Sabbath” in this creation myth at all

(1992). Bible and Spade (1992), 5(3), 85.

6. Since Darwin, it has been fashionable to understand primitive religious concepts in an evolutionary sense: humanity has moved from an initial polytheism toward monotheism. This theory, however, has encountered difficulties. For many primitive peoples believe in a “high god” in addition to a number of lesser gods. “Such a high god appears early in the creation myths of such people as the Australian aborigines and primitive Indians.”7 We find creation accounts contained in religious ideas coming from Egypt, Mesopotamia, and Samaria. These myths have parallels in early Hellenistic cultures. So this once popular, nineteenth-century evolutionary view has given way to recent critiques.8 Further, this evolutionary view of the development of the concept of God is contrary to Scripture (cf. Rom. 1:18–23). Also, it overlooks the early monotheistic views of God in other cultures. The Ebla Archives which contain hundreds of tablets to patriarchal times (no. 239), for example, tell of a monotheistic God who created the world from nothing: “Lord of heaven and earth: the earth was not, you created it, the light of day was not, you created it, the morning light you had not [yet] made exist.”9

According to Catholic scholars, Greek philosophers introduced a higher concept of God. In Plato, the role of the “supreme being” became more prominent. “Certainly the overall impression given by Plato’s writings is an atmosphere of great reverence for the divine, an exalted notion of it, and a strong desire for assimilation to it in some intimate personal relationship. To be more precise than this would be to state explicitly what Plato merely hints at implicitly.”10 To be sure, Plato’s Demiurgos (God) falls short of Judeo-Christian monotheism, since for him God is limited and is subject to the Good which is beyond him. Nonetheless, Plato transcended traditional polytheisms.

Geisler, N. L., & MacKenzie, R. E. (1995). Roman Catholics and Evangelicals: agreements and differences (pp. 36–37). Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books.
7. Richard Dawkins, professor of zoology at Oxford University, is an aggressive proponent of evolution whose contemptuous view of the Biblical creation account is typical of those who dismiss the Bible as being the inspired truth of God. He writes,

Nearly all peoples have developed their own creation myth and the Genesis story is just the one that happened to have been adopted by one particular tribe of Middle Eastern herders. It has no more special status than the belief of a particular West African tribe that the world was created from the excrement of ants (1986:316).

(2002). Bible and Spade (2002), 15(3), 93.

8. However, the damage caused by these false assumptions had been done, and the Bible had been discredited in the eyes of many. In the mid-1800’s, Charles Darwin proposed the theory of evolution which many intellectuals quickly latched onto as a way to explain the existence of a creation without a Creator. His theory quickly found fertile ground and paved the way for a widespread belief in a creation without a Creator.

It wasn’t long before many intellectuals, particularly those teaching in European universities, began to “deconstruct” the Bible. They soon concluded that, among other things, the books of the Bible couldn’t have been written by their reputed authors—and, for that matter, the Bible couldn’t have been written until hundreds of years after their lifetimes. All in all, they decided, the Bible’s stories and characters were simply a collection of myths and legends pieced together by writers many centuries after they supposedly happened.

(2002). Bible and Spade (2002), 15(3), 92.

9. Through his translation and analysis of a small portion of the large corpus of Sumerian poetry, the world renowned Sumerologist, Samuel Noah Kramer, provides us with an entree into the world of ancient Sumer. The creation myths hint at the evolution of a society where men and women are equal, to a society where men dominate; the glorification myths describe the attributes of the ideal king who ultimately becomes the model for the ideal man; the adoration myths describe the often promiscuous and entertaining adventures of the goddess Inanna, the most ubiquitous deity in Sumerian literature.

Shanks, H. (Ed.). (1980). BAR 06:02 (March/April 1980)

10 Evolution and Christian Faith

Phillip Johnson

Whenever I speak from the pulpit on creation and evolution, this is always my text. I start with the beginning of the gospel of John and not with the beginning of the book of Genesis. The reason that I have made this choice is that the first 14 verses of the gospel of John are really the Bible’s most important teaching on creation. This is where we get the meaning of the doctrine of creation. If you start with Genesis you are immediately led into historical questions, questions of interpretation, and very complex scientific questions: are we talking about 24-hour days or is this symbolic of some different concept? Starting with Genesis gets you into very complex questions that are beyond the capacity of most people to answer. We have to talk about geology and physics and Biblical interpretation and a great many difficult subjects. In John we have the plain meaning of creation and its importance to our lives.

Another problem with starting with the book of Genesis is that many get the impression that the creation/evolution debate is only about the book of Genesis. After all, there are 65 other books in the Bible, so it cannot be that important a debate on that basis. However people settle that issue, we still have all the rest of the Bible with Jesus, sin, salvation, the cross, resurrection, and so on, so it does not really matter very much, does it? Well, that would be a big error, because the debate over creation and evolution is not just a debate about the historical details of Genesis. It is about every single one of those books of the Bible. It is about whether God is real or imaginary. That is what the debate is about. Is God real or imaginary? Did God create man or did man create God? This is the subject.

(2002). Bible and Spade (2002), 15(1), 11.

11 I. The Idea of Creation. — In order to form a proper conception of what creation is, we must concede the absolute dependence of the world upon God. We err in limiting it to the mere beginning of the world. It is true that it was that divine act by which all objects were brought into being. It therefore stands as the beginning of all divine operation in the world, and of the universal development of the world. But that God created the universe implies not only that he gave a beginning to its existence, but that he continues that existence, and that he is the only fountain of its present being. The world is not self-derived nor self-sustained; it is only from and by God that it now exists. But creation is not a mere accident of the divine character, nor a temporary moment in the divine life, nor an impartation and manifestation of God, nor a blind, passive, and pathological evolution or emanation of the divine essence. Yet it is God’s work alone, and was as unconstrained as any other deed performed by divine power…

In the Mosaic account of the creation, we find that magnificent testimony of the faith which recognizes God’s creation in the surrounding world  (compare <581103>Hebrews 11:3, Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear). This testimony possesses a strong religious and canonical worth, apart from our views of the peculiar character of the cosmogony of Moses, whether we shape them according to the opinions of the old Church theologians, who held that the Mosaic account was actual history; or whether we harmonize with the modern allegorists, who claim that it is prophecy reversed, or prophetic vision; or whether we take the low view of attributing to it a mythical character. The most important portion of this, as of other scriptural statements concerning the creation, is contained in the proposition that God, in his eternal, infinite love, is the only highest cause; that he is limited by no principle beyond himself; that he is the independent Founder of the world

McLintock & Strong’s Cyclopedia vol. 2 Ages Software Edition

12 Much negative ground has been cleared away for any modern discussion of the doctrine of creation. No idea of creation can now be taken as complete which does not include, besides the world as at first constituted, all that to this day is in and of creation. For God creates not being that can exist independently of Him, His preserving agency being inseparably connected with His creative power. We have long ceased to think of God’s creation as a machine left, completely made, to its own automatic working. With such a doctrine of creation, a theistic evolution would be quite incompatible.

Just as little do we think of God’s creative agency, as merely that of a First Cause, linked to the universe from the outside by innumerable sequences of causes and effects. Nature in her entirety is as much His creation today as she ever was. The dynamic ubiquity of God, as efficient energy, is to be affirmed. God is still All and in All, but this in a way sharply distinguished from pantheistic views, whether of the universe as God, or of God as the universe. Of His own freedom He creates, so that Gnostic theories of natural and necessary emanation are left far behind. Not only have the “carpenter” and the “gardener” theories — with, of course, the architect or world-builder theory of Plato — been dismissed; not only has the conception of evolution been proved harmonious with creative end, plan, purpose, ordering, guidance; but evolutionary science may itself be said to have given the thought of theistic evolution its best base or grounding. The theistic conception is, that the world — that all cosmic existences, substances, events — depend upon God.

It is enough to know that God has in Himself the powers and resources adequate for creating, without being able to define the ways in which creation is effected by Him. It is a sheer necessity of rational faith or spiritual reason that the something which conditions the world is neither [u[lh, hule], nor elemental matter, but personal Spirit or originative Will. We have no right to suppose the world made out of nothing, and then to identify, as Erigena did, this “nothing” with God’s own essence. What we have a right to maintain is, that what God creates or calls into being owes its existence to nothing save His will alone, Ground of all actualities. Preexistent Personality is the ground and the condition of the world’s beginning.

In this sense, its beginning may be said to be relative rather than absolute. God is always antecedent to the universe — its prius, Cause and Creator. It remains an effect, and sustains a relation of causal dependence upon Him.

If we say, like Cousin, that God of necessity creates eternally, we run risk of falling into Spinozistic pantheism, identifying God, in excluding from Him absolute freedom in creation, with the impersonal and unconscious substance of the universe. Or if, with Schelling, we posit in God something which is not God — a dark, irrational background, which original ground is also the ground of the Divine Existence — we may try to find a basis for the matter of the universe, but we are in danger of being merged — by conceptions tinged with corporeity — in that form of pantheism to which God is but the soul of the universe.

The universe, we feel sure, has been caused; its existence must have some ground; even if we held a philosophy so idealistic as to make the scheme of created things one grand illusion, an illusion so vast would still call forsome explanatory Cause. Even if we are not content with the conception of

a First Cause, acting on the world from without and antecedently in time, we are not yet freed from the necessity of asserting a Cause. An underlying and determining Cause of the universe would still need to be postulated as

its Ground.

International Standard Bible Encyclopedia Vol. 2 Ages Software Edition

LINKS:

http://www.crystalinks.com/creationcountries.html

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_creation_myths

http://www.gly.uga.edu/railsback/CS/CSIndex.html

http://www.pitt.edu/~dash/creation-phil.html

http://www.crab.rutgers.edu/~goertzel/creationmyths.htm

http://listverse.com/2014/01/11/10-creation-myths-as-strange-as-the-bible/

http://www.historyworld.net/wrldhis/PlainTextHistories.asp?historyid=ab83

http://dept.cs.williams.edu/~lindsey/myths/myths.html

** http://www.meister-z.com/meister_z/CREATEPJ.htm

** http://maghon.weebly.com/uploads/2/0/0/3/20035969/small_creation-myths-of-the-world.pdf

https://mukto-mona.com/science/skybreak/creation_myths.htm

http://apps.lonestar.edu/blogs/branbailey/files/2011/05/creation-myths.pdf

http://www.mythencyclopedia.com/Ca-Cr/Creation-Stories.html

http://www.read-legends-and-myths.com/hindu-creation-myth.html

http://www.yale.edu/ynhti/curriculum/units/1998/2/98.02.05.x.html


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Posted by on June 20, 2017 in academics, archaeology, Bible, church, comparative religions, creation, education, faith, family, history, leadership, science

 

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