Help with some simple questions?

Me and a friend are discussing a few things and for some points I am having a hard time putting certain things into words. Can you guys help out?

He asks:

Are Bible stories like “The Creation”, “Moses”, “Garden of Eden”, “Tower of Babel” etc. considered original to the Bible?

Was the Jesus story borrowed (or did it have some elements of it borrowed) from the stories of other gods floating around the Middle East and thereabout, like Krishna, Mithra, Horus, etc?

Was the Garden of Eden really in present-day Missouri?

Was the United States founded as a Christian nation?


Thanks in advance!

To say that the “Jesus Story” was “borrowed” is to say that Jesus was never real and is a legend. This is not true. Jesus is the Son of God, the Bread of Life. There was and is no other man like him.

Yes, the U.S was founded a Christian nation. We all have rights which the Declaration of Independence sates are “endowed to us by our Creator”.

Also remember the Pledge says, “One nation, under God.”…

But are there any other stories that are exactly the same as his, even throughout other cultures’ mythology and what not? The resurrection, miracles, virgin births, etc.

Yes, the U.S was founded a Christian nation. We all have rights which the Declaration of Independence sates are “endowed to us by our Creator”.

Also remember the Pledge says, “One nation, under God.”…

He claims that the early founders of our nation simply claimed that it was a nation founded in Christianity to appease the people at the time. How do I respond to this? Is it even relevant to anything?

There are stories like that of Jesus, which other religions came up with after Christ, and although all claimed it, none resurrected from the dead. I also don’t believe any of them were crucified.

Check out this link:

park.org/Guests/Educate/HTALK/church.htm

All of these different people in government at different times couldn’t have all just been trying to appease the people.

The Babylonians and others wrote of the great flood and other issues which seem to nearly mirror what some of the Bible teaches.So I would say that Genesis wasn’t totally unique to the Jews In every aspect.Other empires had views on the creation.

Similar stories for Creation, Paradise, the Flood, etc, etc, are found in other contemporary sources; such as the Babylonian creation accounts, etc.

This does NOT imply that the Bible is in any way derivative of the other sources, but rather that actual events were transcribed by different peoples over the centuries.

Was the Jesus story borrowed (or did it have some elements of it borrowed) from the stories of other gods floating around the Middle East and thereabout, like Krishna, Mithra, Horus, etc?

Doubtful. The life of our LORD is bookended by real civil leaders whose years of of life are known: Caesar Augustus, Pontius Pilate, Caiaphas, etc. The accounts of HIS Life (gospels) began to appear about twenty years after HE had returned to Heaven. Myths take longer to form and do not have a provenance in historical events.

Also, our LORD was the “Son of Man”, a genuine human being, WHO was also a Divine person. In the accounts of the other gods you mention, the god is not a human being at all.

Was the Garden of Eden really in present-day Missouri?

No. The Garden was in present-day Iraq. According to the book of Genesis, it had 4 rivers: Tigris, Gihon, Pishon, and Euphrates. The Tigris and Euphrates are known today. They are the major rivers of Iraq.

Was the United States founded as a Christian nation?

Tough question. The Colonies were certainly Christian societies; many of our most famous founders, e.g. George Washington, were Christian; and the nascent USA was definitely informed by Christian principles.

Yet, as is stated in our Constitution, the USA chose to live without an “establishment of religion.” We could be described as a secular republic, but one in which the Christian faith and the Bible were founding principles.


Thanks in advance!

You’re welcome!

ICXC NIKA.

God breathed the Torah to Moses on Sinai in 1485 BC. God did not borrow stories from The Enumah Elish,Epic of Gilgamesh,The Vedas or etc.,which all predate our Scriptures.
Given to Adam and Eve,Cain and Abel had instructions to sacrifice blood. Foreordained before human history,these directions given around 4000 BC held sway,even when Noah descended from Ararat and sacrificed. There are pseudepigrapha which claim to have come through The Flood with Noah. Most or all are Arab forgeries or pseudeponymous fantasies from the Middle Ages.

Lucifer was aware of mankind’s coming Savior and developed in Egypt a counterfeit religion,complete with a son,Seb,of the sun by a dead father-king,Horus,and a virtuous queen,Isis. Krishna was a military leader.

The History and Science Channels put Eden at the top of the Persian Gulf in Iraq and Kuwait,where the Tigris and Euphrates meet the dried Pison and Gihon river beds,evidenced in satellite photos. The four rivers flowed out of the Garden preflood.

All presidents have been Christian. We are endowed by Our Creator not our gov’t. The courts have several times declared,we are a Christian nation.

I’d say the United States was more assumed to be a Christian nation by most people of the time by default.

I think it’s more that at the time almost everyone of European descent (except, for example, Jews) was assumed to be - at least nominally - a Christian of some denomination. So many interpreted to “no establishment of religion” as mainly aimed at the US government not backing any particular denomination, in the way that England was Anglican, France and the Holy Roman Empire were Catholic, Russia was Orthodox etc.

The immigration of non-European Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists etc. to Europe and North America was likely not foreseen back then, especially since non-whites were considered subordinate to whites - and, similarly, the Ottoman Empire considered Muslims to be superior to Christians and other non-Muslims.

Gobekli Tepe has been found to be built around 10,000 BC. To me the people who made this are definitely human, so I would disagree with dating Cain and Abel to 4000 BC.

The Bible’s story of creation was relitively peaceful compared to others of the period, which were quite violent. In them, wars took place between the gods and the goddesses literally have birth to the world.

I believe that any mythological stories have in them an original paradisaical Earth which was corrupted (correct me if I’m wrong). But that certainly doesn’t mean that the Garden of Eden didn’t exist. I think that it shows that deep within our species subconscious, we know the reality of human selfishness and how it corrupts man’s relationships with others and with God. And sin, remember, is rooted in selfishness.

As far as I know, Moses and the Tower of Babel have no equivalent story outside Sacred Scripture.

I’m aware of a movie available on Youtube called Zeitgeist, which alleges that Jesus is a bad copy of other gods of the period, like Krishna and Horus. However, the movie outright lies in their comparisons of Jesus and these figures. For example, it alleges that Jesus is a rip off of Horus because both were born of a virgin on December 25, was baptized, crucified, and rose from the dead. However, Horus was not born of a virgin, was not born on December 25, was not baptized, was not crucified, and did not resurrect.

To see more refutations of the claims of Zeitgeist, go Here.

Was the Garden of Eden really in present-day Missouri?

I think that Mormons believe the Garden of Eden is located in present-day Missouri. Catholics do not. Sacred Scripture tells us in Genesis ii. 2-14:

And a river went out the place of pleasure to water paradise, which from thence is divided into four heads. The name of the one is Phison: that is it which compasseth all the land of Hevilath, where gold groweth. And the gold of that land is very good: there is found bdellium, and the onyx stone. And the name of the second river is Gehon: the same is it that compasseth all the land of Ethiopia And the name of the third river is Tigris: the same passeth along by the Assyrians. And the fourth river is Euphrates.

We don’t know where the rivers of Geshon and Phison were, but we do know that the Tigris and the Euphrates were far from Missouri.

Was the United States founded as a Christian nation?

This question is a controversial one. On the one hand, our Deceleration of Independence acknowledges the existence of Creator God, however on the other hand the Treaty of Tripoli (signed by John Adams in 1796) says “The Government of the United States of America is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion.”

Based on the historical evidence, our nation was founded on enlightenment ideals by men who mostly came from Protestant backgrounds but mostly became deists. Thomas Jefferson and Thomas Paine are examples of this. However, these men had a correct understanding of rights, their source, and their ends. Their understanding of rights was defiantly more Christian than morally relativistic as they believed that rights were rooted in God (not men, or our feelings) and that a government could not abrogate them.

Make of that what you will in regards to that question. :wink:

[size=2]Here are a couple of quotes for what they are worth to others:[/size]

Benjamin Franklin**: As to Jesus of Nazareth, my opinion of whom you particularly desire, I think the system of morals and His religion as He left them to us, the best the world ever saw or is likely to see.**

Source:** Benjamin Franklin, Works of Benjamin Franklin**, John Bigelow, editor (New York: G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 1904), p. 185, to Ezra Stiles, March 9, 1790.

Congress, U. S. House Judiciary Committee, 1854***: ***Had the people, during the Revolution, had a suspicion of any attempt to war against Christianity, that Revolution would have been strangled in its cradle… In this age, there can be no substitute for Christianity… That was the religion of the founders of the republic and they expected it to remain the religion of their descendants.

Source: Reports of Committees of the House of Representatives Made During the First Session of the Thirty-Third Congress (Washington: A. O. P. Nicholson, 1854), pp. 6-9.

Many empires had various stories about the flood(Babalonians for one).So we know it happened.Many religions adopted some of the bibles teachings.They were influenced by it like Mohammed was.He knew quite a lot about Jesus and his movement.No one knows where the Garden was.Some believe it was destroyed during the flood and many believe it was in the Euphaties,Tigris area in modern Iraq.The US was founded by mostly christian believers(not Catholics of course).But christianity wasn’t the basis for this nation.We were to have freedom of religion but that’s it.The Declaration was agree to and signed by people of faith and some who had no faith in God at all.We were to have more freedoms than any other nations.

I think the US was founded as a Protestant Christian nation, with an outstanding work ethic and morals to match that taught by the Protestant Churches of the time.

As the teaching of Protestantism in general became more diverse and difficult to identify, and as the teaching of individual Protestant Churches in particular have changed however, so has morality in the USA.

I want to say yes, the Garden of Eden was in Missiouri but I’ll go with everyone else and say that it was somewhere in the Middle east.

-Tim-

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.