Creation Myths


#1

Hello all, I attended Catechism study last week and a Deacon took Fathers place as instructor. Being formal Pentecostal I know my Bible and believe it from Genesis 1:1 to Revelation 22:21. Our Deacon was discussing creation and stated that Genesis creation may or may not have taken place that way; Adam and Eve; the flood, and a few other things that really miffed me. Job is a parable!!! Well I have searched the Web and really don’t know what’s real and what’s not; on the Web. I know the bible and believe it 100%. Am I wrong? I have read the epic of Gilgamesh and to think that Genesis may have toggled off that dribble is unbelievable. Revelation 22:21 to you all. Mike


#2

[quote=Mike316]Hello all, I attended Catechism study last week and a Deacon took Fathers place as instructor. Being formal Pentecostal I know my Bible and believe it from Genesis 1:1 to Revelation 22:21. Our Deacon was discussing creation and stated that Genesis creation may or may not have taken place that way; Adam and Eve; the flood, and a few other things that really miffed me. Job is a parable!!! Well I have searched the Web and really don’t know what’s real and what’s not; on the Web. I know the bible and believe it 100%. Am I wrong? I have read the epic of Gilgamesh and to think that Genesis may have toggled off that dribble is unbelievable. Revelation 22:21 to you all. Mike
[/quote]

I think the problem is what you mean by “believe”. I believe everything in the bible, as it relates to faith and morals, not literally as it pertains to history, geology, or science. Do you really believe that Jesus will appear as a blood sheep with seven eyes and seven horns on its head? Such a presentation is grotesque to say the least. Much of the bible is metaphor and allegory. It tells the story of the awesome power of God, and how He intends to save everyone who loves and obeys Him.


#3

I personally feel that the creation account in Genesis (actually, the TWO creation accounts in Genesis) is not to be understood literally. The facts that are to be drawn from Genesis are these: God created everything, including our first parents, Adam and Eve, and they were created in a state of sanctifying grace. They screwed up by doing whatever it was that they weren’t supposed to do (symbolized by the fruit of the tree), thus they became guilty of sin and passed that guilt down to the rest of us. Did the flood really happen? I think it did, but it wouldn’t reduce my faith to nothing if it didn’t happen. I think that more than likely the flood actually took place in a localized area of the world (the known world of the time). Do I think that Job is a parable. Yes, I do. It is, in fact, one of the greatest literary works of all time. Does that reduce its value? Not at all.


#4

You ought to believe Genesis as a literal book. It happened, and it is not just a myth. Some liberals will contest that the earth was created over 7 “days” lasting millions of years. This is not true. You have no obligation to believe it; you can continue believing in the literal Genesis, just as every Church Father (except for 2–and even then you can really only say 1) did. You can and should also take literally the many times where the Bible speaks of how the suna nd not the earth moves.


#5

[quote=EENS]You ought to believe Genesis as a literal book. It happened, and it is not just a myth. Some liberals will contest that the earth was created over 7 “days” lasting millions of years. This is not true. You have no obligation to believe it; you can continue believing in the literal Genesis, just as every Church Father (except for 2–and even then you can really only say 1) did. You can and should also take literally the many times where the Bible speaks of how the suna nd not the earth moves.
[/quote]

And likewise you are not obligated to take the creation story of Genesis literally.


#6

[quote=EENS]You ought to believe Genesis as a literal book. It happened, and it is not just a myth. Some liberals will contest that the earth was created over 7 “days” lasting millions of years. This is not true. You have no obligation to believe it; you can continue believing in the literal Genesis, just as every Church Father (except for 2–and even then you can really only say 1) did. You can and should also take literally the many times where the Bible speaks of how the suna nd not the earth moves.
[/quote]

Can you support this assertion? And, while you’re at it, tell me, which of the creation stories are we to take literally, since there are, in fact, two accounts of creation in Genesis?

Also, not taking Genesis literally doesn’t mean you think it’s a myth.


#7

[quote=Mike316]Hello all, I attended Catechism study last week and a Deacon took Fathers place as instructor. Being formal Pentecostal I know my Bible and believe it from Genesis 1:1 to Revelation 22:21. Our Deacon was discussing creation and stated that Genesis creation may or may not have taken place that way; Adam and Eve; the flood, and a few other things that really miffed me. Job is a parable!!! Well I have searched the Web and really don’t know what’s real and what’s not; on the Web. I know the bible and believe it 100%. Am I wrong? I have read the epic of Gilgamesh and to think that Genesis may have toggled off that dribble is unbelievable. Revelation 22:21 to you all. Mike
[/quote]

Don’t forget prayer when you are searching for your answers. You have an opportunity here for spiritual growth that will help solidify your foundation in Christ. People will argue both ways on this subject, and ultimately you will have to decide for yourself what to believe. Just remember that the everything we do as Christians revolves around our relationship with God through Christ. Everything else, including the Bible, should just be an ancillary tool for developing that relationship.


#8

[quote=Mike316]Hello all, I attended Catechism study last week and a Deacon took Fathers place as instructor. Being formal Pentecostal I know my Bible and believe it from Genesis 1:1 to Revelation 22:21. Our Deacon was discussing creation and stated that Genesis creation may or may not have taken place that way; Adam and Eve; the flood, and a few other things that really miffed me. Job is a parable!!! Well I have searched the Web and really don’t know what’s real and what’s not; on the Web. I know the bible and believe it 100%. Am I wrong? I have read the epic of Gilgamesh and to think that Genesis may have toggled off that dribble is unbelievable. Revelation 22:21 to you all. Mike
[/quote]

Revelation is apocalyptic literature, and is symbolic as that is what the genre is all about. Genesis on the other hand is history. Scholars of Hebrew see there is no other explanation other than that the author intended it to be actual history. Most of people who take it unliterally do so only because they are trying to compromise it with naturalistic sciences like evolution, cosmological and biological.

This is the first I’ve heard about Job being a parable. Though Job might actually be the oldest book in the Bible. Some speculate that it might have taken place even before Abraham. If you read Job closely you’ll actually discover many scientific statements that boggle the mind for their time such as the description that the earth is a circle and suspended on nothing, the water cycle and air current patterns in the two hemispheres. Quite fascinating stuff!

The Book of Genesis does match the ol Gilgamesh epic, and might even be ‘copied’ from it, but this is not a problem. If the world had a similar origin, and things as the creation and the flood etc really did happen, then you’d expect to find similarities of it in other cultures, and in fact, yes, you do! The native Americans, Ancient Chinese and Australian Aboriginies all have startling similar creation accounts or at least the flood. Did they copy this off the Gilgamesh epic too? That’s a laugh! The story goes like this as told in the Bible. After the incident of the Tower of Babel, people were confused and began to spread out over the world, obviously they’d want to retain their origins and history through oral tradition as much as possible. But of course due to the confusion as well as corruption that oral tradition tends to have overtime, the stories will differ and even beliefs in God change, which explains the different world religions and why they still share similarities in their creation aand flood accounts as well as morality. It would not be until the time of Moses when God decided to set the record straight, as every good theologian should know the first five books of the Bible were written by Moses under inspiration from God. Moses, being raised as a prince in Egypt, would’ve had access to the Royal libraries and studies that all princes of Egypt were raised in, so he’d be familiar with the Gilgamesh epic as well would most of the other lower class illiterate Egyptians and Hebrews who would have heard some of it. So Moses isn’t necessarily plagurizing the epic, since it would have some truth in it, but was rather the editor of it, giving us the true story under inspiration from God who is setting the story straight and beginning to write the history of the Israelite people through whom He would redeem the world.

So don’t worry, if you find difficulties with the Bible, search the net for Apologetic or Creationist sites, some I recommed are:

www.answersingenesis.org
www.icr.org
www.tektonics.org

Or simply use google and add in the words ‘Christian Apologetics.’ Most sites are non-Catholic, but you should rarely find any problems between CAtholicism and Protestants on most of them. If you do, you know where to come to get the facts!:wink:


#9

Good points in this thread.

Most important, though, is separating out the essential truths from the non-essential truths with regard to faith.

Let me give an example. Obviously, this won’t happen, but suppose the Pope announced tomorrow that the Eucharist is not the body, blood, soul, and divinity of Christ.

Well, so much for my faith in the Catholic Church. That is an essential truth. To even consider the opposite changes my entire faith-life. In addition, such a declaration reverses something taught as truth until now, which now undermines the authority of the magesterium. My entire faith is now up for grabs.

Now, suppose someone definitively proved that the earth was 3 billiion years old. My response is, “OK, cool.”

You see, the age of the earth or mode of creation has little to do with my faith. I believe God is the Creator of all things. I am willing to believe that He created this whole thing in such a way where it was as a day to Him, but over billions of years to us. And I could also believe that, since God can do anything, there is the possibility that He did all this in 6 days. (Why He wouldn’t do it all in one instant if this is the way He was planning to go about it is another question, but it is what it is.) In other words, while this is an interesting debate point, the actual way it happened should not be a cornerstone of our faith. Our faith is that God is responsible.

One other note: Let’s not take this too far. The Creation account may very well be allegorical. But we have to be careful not to allegorize away Adam and Eve and all of Genesis.

Job is likely allegorical, as well. However, the lesson is the same. And if you do not think it is allegorical, then feel free to believe it’s literalness. The Church commands neither.


#10

A friend of mine was once in a class that looked at this question of similarity between Genesis & Gilgamesh and other parallels… the interesting question is not how they are similar, and figuring out if one is copied from the other, or if they are based on some shared memory of a flood in the Near East… rather the question is how are the stories different, and what does Genesis tell us about God? In the Genesis account of the flood for example, it ends with God making a covenant with Noah, and promising not to destroy the earth and wipe out mankind by flood again. Even the act of preserving Noah and his family, and commanding Noah to collect two of each animal tells us something about God, and his love for creation. It speaks to the relationship between God and man in a different way than Gilgamesh… and not just in a different way, but in a way that is true where Gilgamesh would be false. Whether or not Genesis actually records history in the manner we are used to today.


#11

[quote=Absalom!]Can you support this assertion? And, while you’re at it, tell me, which of the creation stories are we to take literally, since there are, in fact, two accounts of creation in Genesis?

Also, not taking Genesis literally doesn’t mean you think it’s a myth.
[/quote]

Well the answer is, both! One deals with the big overall picture. The second one goes into more detail and carries on after that. They may seem contradictory at first, but a careful reading will show they aren’t.

answersingenesis.org/creation/v18/i4/genesis.asp
christiananswers.net/q-eden/edn-ordercreation.html


#12

double post


#13

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