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Thursday, June 6, 2019

Creation Myths - Part 3



Creation Myth in the Bible

What is the creation myth in the Bible? In one version of the Bible (New International Version) the creation story is given as follows:  (https://www.biblestudytools.com/genesis/1.html)

1 In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. 2 Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters.

3 And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. 4 God saw that the light was good, and he separated the light from the darkness. 5 God called the light “day,” and the darkness he called “night.” And there was evening, and there was morning—the first day.

6 And God said, “Let there be a vault between the waters to separate water from water.” 7 So God made the vault and separated the water under the vault from the water above it. And it was so. 8 God called the vault “sky.” And there was evening, and there was morning—the second day.

9 And God said, “Let the water under the sky be gathered to one place, and let dry ground appear.” And it was so. 10 God called the dry ground “land,” and the gathered waters he called “seas.” And God saw that it was good.

11 Then God said, “Let the land produce vegetation: seed-bearing plants and trees on the land that bear fruit with seed in it, according to their various kinds.” And it was so. 12 The land produced vegetation: plants bearing seed according to their kinds and trees bearing fruit with seed in it according to their kinds. And God saw that it was good. 13 And there was evening, and there was morning—the third day.

14 And God said, “Let there be lights in the vault of the sky to separate the day from the night, and let them serve as signs to mark sacred times, and days and years, 15 and let them be lights in the vault of the sky to give light on the earth.” And it was so. 16 God made two great lights—the greater light to govern the day and the lesser light to govern the night. He also made the stars. 17 God set them in the vault of the sky to give light on the earth, 18 to govern the day and the night, and to separate light from darkness. And God saw that it was good. 19 And there was evening, and there was morning—the fourth day.

20 And God said, “Let the water teem with living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth across the vault of the sky.” 21 So God created the great creatures of the sea and every living thing with which the water teems and that moves about in it, according to their kinds, and every winged bird according to its kind. And God saw that it was good. 22 God blessed them and said, “Be fruitful and increase in number and fill the water in the seas, and let the birds increase on the earth.” 23 And there was evening, and there was morning—the fifth day.

24 And God said, “Let the land produce living creatures according to their kinds: the livestock, the creatures that move along the ground, and the wild animals, each according to its kind.” And it was so. 25 God made the wild animals according to their kinds, the livestock according to their kinds, and all the creatures that move along the ground according to their kinds. And God saw that it was good.

26 Then God said, “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.”

27 So God created mankind in his own image,
    in the image of God he created them;
    male and female he created them.

28 God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky and over every living creature that moves on the ground.”

29 Then God said, “I give you every seed-bearing plant on the face of the whole earth and every tree that has fruit with seed in it. They will be yours for food. 30 And to all the beasts of the earth and all the birds in the sky and all the creatures that move along the ground—everything that has the breath of life in it—I give every green plant for food.” And it was so.

31 God saw all that he had made, and it was very good. And there was evening, and there was morning—the sixth day.  This is the end of Genesis 1 – 31.

Genesis 2 starts here:

1.Thus the heavens and the earth were completed in all their vast array.

2 By the seventh day God had finished the work he had been doing; so on the seventh day he rested from all his work.

3 Then God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it he rested from all the work of creating that he had done.

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The original theme of darkness and water are like what we read in the Vedic version also. The Creator God created the world out of water or imposed order in the chaos of darkness. There is an intention (“Let there be light) and with these Words He created the world and its inhabitants.

In this version, both man and woman came at the same time. In another version God created human from clay and blew his breath into him. God created the Garden of Eden with the Tree of Life and Tree of Knowledge and asked the man to work the soil. But he warned the man not to eat from the Tree of Knowledge. The man was lonely. After several attempts, the woman was fashioned from the rib of a man. A serpent is now inserted into this narrative. The serpent is human desire which tempts Eve to eat the apple from the Tree of Knowledge and Eve tempts Adam to eat the apple. God arrives (He is immanent) and banishes Adam and Eve from the immortality of Garden of Eden to earth with its dualities and mortality. This version has several implications for the development of societies in Christianity.

In another version, Gospel according to John (https://ebible.org/kjv/John.htm), the narrative is different, and the emphasis is in the Word of God. This version is like that of  the Jewish tradition and the first book of Talmud, as follows:

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

The same was in the beginning with God.

All things were made by him, and without him was not anything made that was made.

In him was life, and the life was the light of men.

And the light shineth in darkness, and the darkness comprehended it not.

In reading this version, the similarity to the idea of OM as the eternal sound from which everything came is obvious.

2 comments:

Krishnan said...

One can accept any one of these theory for the Myth of manifestation, but the quest for the power/initiator for all this is not evident. This probably cannot be defined by being in this dual status. It is established that energy preceded the form (material) and thus all evolution and cognizance. However the origin has to be, something subtler than this energy. What is this?.

Krishnan said...

I have been reflecting on this for the last few days. It probably is the "individual Consciousness" merging in the "Super Consciousness", culminating in "that", which is the cause of all the manifestation etc. This still does not satisfy our curiosity in knowing. This is not possible in being in the "duality" and once you cross this, you cannot comeback to convey that "Truth".
All this is speculation and series of thoughts that flirt. For now, I just accept what is and wait for higher and proper understanding. Thanks.