Middle eastern paradise mythos


We all know about the current version of Genesis. Does any biblical scholars know anything about earlier versions of the Adam and Eve story? I know the serpent was divine wisdom. He was cursed to crawl on his belly and lost his legs. Would Sumerian or earlier stories have been the original stories if we know this?


There really isn’t an ‘original’ version of Genesis, it was passed down orally through generations and generations until someone decided to write it down. Moses is thought to have written the first 5 books of the bible or the Pentateuch, this is Genesis, Exodus, Deuteronomy, Numbers, and I believe Levictus(?). Before that, it’s a bit like the telephone game, when you start out with one word and tell the one next to you that word, until it goes around the room, and the product of the word being passed around 20 times is heard. So a word like Hello and be turned into anything someone would like it to say, because the guy who you are to tell has no idea what the original is.


Egypt has a history that goes back 10,000 years. No reason to think the Middle East was not the same. Findings in Turkey indicate a very ancient civilization along those time lines.


Is this a typo, or what?


“Genesis does not contain purified myths.” (Pontifical Biblical Commission 1909)



I think there’s an Adam and Eve type story from Mesopatamia






I didn’t mean to imply the catholic term “pagan” in origin. I was interested for historical reasons.


What dod you mean? Serpent in Moses time meant wisdom. Man was tempted by wisdom.


I don’t know where you got that idea, but to me it is entirely repugnant. Wisdom is beautiful and leads men to God. The serpent was a liar and the father of lies, Satan himself who fell from wisdom if indeed he ever possessed Her.


You can see in many ancient writings similar stories that were orally passed on then written down later. For example, “The Wooing of Inanna” from the Sumerians has a Cain and Abel-like story. Dumuzi was a shepherd who was favored over the farmer. Almost all ancient cultures had stories of a flood. But just because they were written earlier then Genesis doesn’t make them superior. All the ancients had bits and pieces of Truth, but the fullness was in pre-Christian Judaism. Even Moses-like stories can be found. Sargon, the Sumerian king, was born in secret then put in a basket of rushes and cast into the river.



the current version of Genesis

  • is there a new version in the works?

earlier versions of the Adam and Eve story

  • you mean the ones that did not speak to the truth and were discarded?

I know the serpent was divine wisdom

. - he isn’t, so you “think” it

Would Sumerian or earlier stories have been the original stories if we know this?

  • it sounds like Genesis is not making sense to you, and that you are going in the wrong direction trying to understand it


“Wise as Serpents” I mispoke when I said tempted by wisdom. In these religious texts there are so many things hidden for those who can see. I lie is usually the truth that we are not ready for. I don’t see how you can gain wisdom without being tempted. I don’t see how you can come back stronger without a struggle. How can you get up and dust yourself off without a fall? Life is about temptations and with grace overcoming them. Tempted to come around to wisdom is what I meant. That is taught sometimes and I’m not making it up. God brings you back stronger than before. Thank God for the temptation and our original father falling or we wouldn’t come back to be greater than what we were. God’s ways are not our ways. Everything will work for the good.


Do you mean that the serpent tempted Adam and Eve to attempt to attain wisdom or knowledge that they were not really ready to receive, thereby duping them into believing his lies? And that God then brought good out of the evil of the folly to which the devil tempted our first parents? I could see that interpretation, but don’t mistake the lie for the truth, the evil for the good God can bring out of it. The serpent tempted our first parents from wisdom into folly, not the other way around.

The admonition to be wise as serpents and innocent as doves means that we should be wary of the liars and see through their deceptions while retaining our own purity, not that it is wise to be evil or evil to be wise or anything like that.

In any case that something “is taught sometimes” by no means guarantees that it a good interpretation.


I prefer to look at it the way John Henry Cardinal Newman did, that is, all those ancient beliefs that happened before Christianity that are similar to ideas of the Christian belief, are not something that Christanity drew from, but those similar beliefs were sometimes results of the one true God at various times and various places, spreading the seeds of truth in a certain way. And those seeds of truth took root in a way that was handled in an imperfect human way, but nevertheless some divine truth or fragments of truth is in them. But God has revealed the fullness of truth ultimately through the Church, but also through His prophets and certain appointed people before the Church.

closed #16

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