Creation according to the Christians & Hebrews
Christianity is the world’s biggest religion, with 2.3 billion followers as of 2010. The Christianity account of creation is described in the first chapter of the Bible, Genesis.
In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. (Genesis 1-1).
According to the creation story in the Bible, God created the earth in 7 days.
Day 1: God created light and separates light from darkness.
Day 2: God created the sky.
Day 3: God created the ground and seas, as well as vegetation.
Day 4: God created the sun, the moon and the stars, and he separated day from night.
Day 5: Birds and creatures in the sea are created.
Day 6: God created animals on the earth, as well as man and woman.
Day 7: God rests …
One God or Many?
There are a few paragraphs in the Bible that provide some additional, and interesting, information about creation. One of those paragraphs is in Genesis, paragraph 26 of the first section, where God refers to himself as ‘us’.
Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals, [a] and over all the creatures that move along the ground.
In fact, there are many references in the Bible where the plural pronouns are used when alluding to the Christian deity, countering their claim in the belief that there is one god.
Some people have argued that this is simply reference to the Trinity rather than more than one god. However, there was no doctrine of Trinity in the Old Testament – the word does not exist in the Bible anywhere, nor such language as one in three or three in one. The language relating to Trinity is not the language of the doctrine but the language of the ancient Church. The modern belief in the Trinity originated in the 4 th century at the Council of Nicaea where King Constantine presided over the Council with the purpose of uniting the Roman Empire by achieving agreement on Christian doctrine. Following this meeting, a mandatory belief in the Trinity was instituted.
The Garden of Eden and the Forbidden Fruit
In chapter 2 of Genesis, there is a description of Eden, a garden which God has created and placed man in.
Then the Lord God formed a man [c] from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being. Genesis 2:7
Soon after, he creates Eve to accompany Adam.
Then the Lord God made a woman from the rib [h] he had taken out of the man. Genesis 2:22
(It is interesting to mention that Man was placed in the Garden in order to tend it!
The Lord God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to work it and keep it. Genesis 2:15
Once inside the garden, God set some restrictions for the newly created Adam and Eve. In the middle of the garden was the ‘tree of knowledge of good and evil’, from which Adam and Eve were told not to eat.
You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat from it you will certainly die.
However, a mysterious creature in the shape of a serpent tells Eve that what God said about the tree of the knowledge of good and evil was not true.
For God knows that when you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil. Genesis 3:5
And the statement made by the serpent is proven to be true. Once Adam and Eve eat from the forbidden tree:
a) They do not die (which indicates that God lied).
b) They begin to realize things (like the fact that they were naked).
The next part is very interesting. Once Adam and Eve eat from the forbidden tree, God—again in the plural—said:
And the Lord God said, The man has now become like one of us, knowing good and evil. He must not be allowed to reach out his hand and take also from the tree of life and eat, and live forever. Genesis 3:22
In that paragraph a second forbidden tree is mentioned, the tree of life. Adam and Eve are not allowed to eat from that tree because they will become like gods.
After that, God expels man from Eden and put guards to protect the tree of life.
After he drove the man out, he placed on the east side [e] of the Garden of Eden cherubim and a flaming sword flashing back and forth to guard the way to the tree of life. Genesis, 3:24
What conclusions can be drawn from the above accounts? If we were to take the words of Genesis literally, it would seem that God is not one but many, and that the God(s) do not want man to gain knowledge or immortality. Both of these two points contradict the central concept of a monotheistic god as put forward by Christians since the 4 th century CE. Another interesting point is how Genesis is unclear as to the purpose of the creation of man.
Hebrew and Christian texts about Genesis are basically the same and share many parallels with Muslim texts. In Hebrew the word Elohim, which is referred to throughout their religious texts, is the plural form of Eloah and means ‘Gods’. Later on, when Hebrews became more monotheistic they began using the latter form of the word in reference to the one ‘God’, or to be more precise referring to the ‘God of Gods’.
It would seem obvious and logical that for man to become wise, there is a need to have knowledge of justice and integrity (knowing and distinguishing ‘good’ from ‘evil’), and at the same time to be able to achieve spiritual freedom and immortality. Yet according to Genesis, God did not want that for man—the two trees were forbidden and heavily guarded. The question people should be asking is why?
The Garden _in_Eden possesses a Serpent who has some remarkable characteristics, it can walk, and it can talk to Eve. It warns Eve that God is lying, she will not die if she eats of the forbidden fruit, she will become like God and know of good and evil, that is to say she will become wise, like a god. My research suggests that Mesopotamian myths are behind Eden's walking, talking serpent. The Mesopotamian equivalent of the Bible's account of why man does not possess immortality is the Adapa and South Wind Myth. Like Adam, Adapa has a chance to obtain immortality by eating something, in Adapa's case it is the bread of life that confers immortality. He refuses to eat of it because his god Ea of Eridu has warned him "not to eat, it is the bread of death, he will die." Obeying his god's warning he refuses to eat the bread of life, thinking it is the bread of death. Thus he loses out on obtaining immortality for himself and for mankind. What has all of this to do with Eden's serpent? In other myths we learn that Adapa's god, Ea, Sumerian Enki, bears a Sumerian epithet, USHUMGAL, ushum means "serpent or dragon" while gal means "great", ergo, "great serpent" or "great serpent-dragon." The ushumgal is portrayed in Sumerian art as a beast with four legs, two horns, two wings and a scaly serpentine body, it also has sharp teeth. Its bite is portrayed as being poisonous. By awarding this epithet to Enki, this god is to be feared by mankind, for he can make your life miserable if his demands are defied by man. The gods who offered Adapa what he thought was the bread of death, Ningishzida and Dumuzid, are, in other myths called USHUMGALS too! So, gods in human form, able to speak to humans, who walk on two human feet, are also portrayed as able to take on the form a serpent-dragon with four legs. That is to say serpent-gods were involved in man's creation (Ushumgal Enki being man's Creator) and offering food of death to man (Ushumgals Ningishzida and Dumuzid). The Ushumgals of EDIN have apparently been recast as Eden's walking talking serpent who warned Eve God was lying! Ushumgal Enki succeeded in his lies, his will overcame the will of Anu, for Adapa, unlike Adam, obeyed his god and refused to eat what he thought was the "bread of death." It is my understanding that the Ushumgals of the EDIN, Enki, Ningishzida, and Dumuzid, were recast as Eden's serpent. In other myths Dumuzid's hands and feet are bound to sticks with ropes and he is about to be carried off to the underworld by serpent-demons, he pleads for his life, asking his patron god to turn his hands and feet into "serpent hands and feet," his request is honored and he slithers out of his bonds as a snake, for snakes have no hands or feet. Ningishzida, in other myths, is portrayed a human god with two serpent dragons erupting form his shoulders, and, alternately, as an Ushumgal with four legs and serpentine body. At Eridu, clay coils resembling serpents were found beneath the temple, suggesting a serpent being worshipped in Enki's shrine, perhaps this is Ushumgal Enki? I go into greater detail on all this in my book published in 2010, available on the internet at Amazon.Com, _Eden's Serpent: Its Mesopotamian Origins_ with illustrations of the Mesopotamian gods that were recast as God, Adam and Eve, and Eden's Serpent. A bibliography is provided of scholars who have written on the pre-biblical identity of Eden's serpent from 1850-2010. All this is to say, according to Mesopotamian myth EDIN'S god, ENKI/Ea, the creator of man is, in part, behind Yahweh-Elohim, Eden's God! Christianity would transform Eden's Serpent into a serpent-dragon called SATAN in the book of Revelation. Another god credited with man's creation is Enlil of Nippur. In myths he also bears the epithet ushumgal, "great serpent-dragon." So, EDIN'S SERPENT-DRAGONS (USHUMGALS Enki and Enlil) WERE MAN'S CREATORS in Mesopotamian myths! This research is also available on the internet at my website, www.bibleorigins.net which has been in existence since December of 2000.
Walter R. Mattfeld
The Bible has God denying Adam immortality upon realizing Adam has disobeyed him and eaten of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. Adam now realizes it is wrong to be naked and has made clothes for himself of fig leaves. I explained in a previous post the Sumerian myths behind this biblical notion of man being naked in EDEN, it is recalling man as a naked hairy beast in the EDIN, unaware it is wrong to be naked. But where is the notion coming from that God wants to deny man immortality? As has been suggested by several earlier commentators (since 1890) it is apparently a recast of the Adapa and South Wind Myth. Adapa, (Sumerian Adaba) is a priest at Eridu, he serves his god Ea food daily in the form of fish, freshly baked bread, and water to drink. Ea created man to care for the gods' city-gardens, to provide food for the gods to eat, they can die of starvation as they have bodies of flesh. Anu in heaven summons Adapa to give account of himself about why the south wind has stopped blowing over the EDIN. Ea warns Adapa, "Don't eat the bread of death they will offer you, you will die!" When Ningishzida and Dumuzi offer the "bread of life," conferring immortality, Adapa refuses to eat, obeying Ea's warning, so he loses out on obtaining immortality for himself and for mankind. WHY did Ea lie to Adapa? Ea is portrayed as a god of wisdom, a creator of mankind, he made man to care for his city-garden in the EDIN to provide him with food rations daily. If man is allowed to become a god and obtain thereby immortality, who will care for the gods' gardens? The gods will have to care for their city-gardens in the EDIN and endure back-breaking toil again, clearing irrigation canals of clogging sediments. So, Ea WISELY FOILED Anu's foolish offer of immortality to man, allowing man to become a god, and thus Ea keeps man has his gardening slave, to evermore care the gods' city-gardens in the EDIN and provide food daily to the gods in temple food offerings. Man's gardening slave status assures the gods a rest from toil in providing food for themselves and keeping their fleshly bodies alive. The Hebrews denied all this in recasting these Mesopotamian myths. God did not make the Garden of Eden to have food for himself to eat to keep himself alive, he made the garden to provide food for man. In the Mesopotamian myths it is not fruits from trees that are the food of knowledge of good and evil and a fruit conferring immortality, it is bread of death and bread of life. As Adam makes clothes of fig leaves after eating of a fruit, the tree of Knowledge of good and evil was probably envisioned by the Hebrew author as the Fig tree. And the tree conferring immortality? God stations Cherubbim to guard this tree. Elsewhere in the Bible we are told that the Temple in Jerusalem was adorned with images of Cherubbim and palm trees, ergo, the tree of immortality was probably the date palm. So, there you have it, figs and dates are what is being alluded to in Genesis' Garden of Eden Myth. The Mesopotamian myths have their gods being fed twice a day, morning and evening at their city-temples. In the Bible God is fed twice a day, morning and evening by the Levitical priests at the Temple of Solomon, just like a Mesopotamian god. The Hebrews never questioned why their God, who is immortal and cannot die, would need to be fed daily two meals! But in the Mesopotamian myths the gods have fleshly bodies and can die of starvation if not fed daily.
Walter R. Mattfeld
I understand that the Hebrews with the Garden of Eden account in the Bible are presenting an ANTI-THESIS, a REFUTATION of an earlier Mesopotamian THESIS, myths about the origins of mankind in a location called the EDIN by the Sumerians. WHY? The Sumerians understood man was a sinner because he was made in the image of sinner-gods. The gods are portrayed as engaging in incest with their daughters, raping goddesses, having sex with animals, homosexual affairs, lying, oath-breaking, murdering each other, and holding man in contempt. The Hebrews portrayed their god as being just and righteous, so man, made in god's image, is to be just and righteous too. Two motifs associated with the origins of man in Sumerian and Babylonian myths is that the gods deny man the knowledge that it is wrong to be naked in the EDIN. Man is a naked hairy beast in one account, he wanders the animal trails in the EDIN with other naked hairy beasts, wild bulls and antelope (see Enkidu in the Epic of Gilgamesh, recast as Adam), he has no knowledge of good and evil, for like a beast, he does not know it is wrong to be naked in the EDIN. Other, contradicting accounts have man being created by the gods to care for their fruit-tree city-gardens in the EDIN. The gods have bodies of flesh and must eat earthly food or they will die. Thus the reason why they created fruit-tree gardens to nourish themselves and avoid starving to death. Tiring of the work in clearing clogging silts in the irrigation ditches providing water for their gardens the gods create man as an afterthought. Man will clear the canals of silts, man will harvest the garden produce and feed it to the gods in temples as food offerings to the gods, thus insuring that the gods will not starve to death, for they have fleshly bodies in the early myths. The gods did not want man to have their knowledge about the workings of the Earth, such as how winds arise, we would call this Nature's secrets today. This godly forbidden knowledge is called the ME (pronounced MAY). Mankind is warned he must not long for the ME, it is for the gods to possess, not man. Man does obtain, eventually, the ME. Innana/Ishtar, goddess of Uruk, called in Sumerian texts the "LADY OF EDIN" attends a banquet held in her honor at Eridu by the god who created man, Enki/Ea. Enki is the guardian of the ME. In a state of drunkeness he give the ME to her. She quickly returns to Uruk with the ME and bestows them on mankind, allowing man to become a civilized being, having wisdom now, like a god. In other myths Inanna/Ishtar is portrayed as a virgin, about to be married to her lover, Dumuzi/Tammuz, not having carnal knowledge, she descends to the earth to eat of pine trees (to eat pine nuts), giving her forbidden knowledge, how to have sex with her bridegroom. In the Sumerian texts, Dumuzi of Uruk is called the MULU OF EDIN, "THE LORD OF EDIN" for he dwells in the EDIN as a shepherd, under an apple tree at Uruk. Inanna has been recast as Eve, Dumuzi has been recast as Adam. Enki, charged by the gods with witholding forbidden knowledge of the Earth, from mankind, was in other myths, man's creator at Eridu and at Nippur. Enki was the god of wisdom, man's creator, and denier of forbidden knowledge to man. The Hebrews are taking these motifs and recasting them, denying the existence of polytheistic EDIN'S gods, instead there is only ONE god, Yahweh-Elohim in EDEN. Art forms of Sumerian provenance show men as naked gardeners presenting the harvest from EDIN's city-gardens to the gods at temples for the gods to eat, thus preventing the gods with fleshly bodies from starving to death. I cover all this in greater detail in my two books published in 2010, available at Amazon.com on the internet, (1) Eden's Serpent: Its Mesopotamian Origin, and (2) The Garden of Eden Myth: Its Pre-biblical Origin in Mesopotamian Myths. So there you have it April Holloway, the reason why God in EDEN is portrayed as denying man the knowledge of good and evil, denying man the knowledge it is wrong to be naked in EDEN, and denying man immortality as in the Adapa and South Wind myth, Adapa being recast as Adam. That is to say Enkidu and Adapa have been recast as Adam. Innana/Ishtar being recast with Shamhat (Epic of Gilgamesh) as Eve.
Walter R. Mattfeld
"Us" as its written in Genesis is what Christians have been telling people for ages. Its The Holy Trinity. The Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Not 3 Gods, but God in 3 persons, yet remaining 1 God. Each person of the Trinity is God. Yet they are separate. But there is still only 1 God. God has a 3 person nature. The Father (the one which is the source of everything), The Son (the human incarnation of God and the one which all mankind is saved by), The Holy Spirit, (the power in which God is able to do His miracles). If any was removed. God would not be God. They are all God, yet separate persons, co-existing as 1 God.