Copy Right 2022
Rabbi Dr Zvi Aviner
IDOLATRY -4/ELHM’S DEEDS/
Is Genesis a Bronze-Age Myth?
Know your CREATOR, know yourself and know the difference
1: Questioning the Validity of Genesis
Since ELKM, by definition, is a Truthful JUDGE,
who follows Absolute Truth, whose signature stands for the truth,
let’s ask: Is the story of CREATION in Genesis truthful?
Moreover, since His Name appears 32 times in the Six Days,
does it imply that the story of CREATION must be true?
The problem is that most of today’s scholars, even lay people,
doubt the validity of Genesis, rejecting it as a “bronze age myth,”
thinking that our scientific findings negate it.
The other camp, the biblical fundamentalists, Jewish and Non-Jewish,
believe that the world was created just 5000 years ago, in one week,
and that the scientific findings should be disregarded as “false.”
In my high school we were told that the story is “allegorical,”
and that the animals mentioned are mystical, “holy beasts,”
whose meaning is known only to great rabbis.
The sad result of that denial of the clash between Genesis and science is
that most college students in the USA reject not only Genesis,
but the rest of the Bible altogether.
Moreover, they often ask –
if Moses is a true prophet, why did he choose to place
such controversial story at the beginning of his five books?
Couldn’t he foresee that a day would come, and people
would find out that the story isn’t true?
And if they find Genesis to be untrue,
wouldn’t they reject the rest of his worlds?
As a true propjet he should have seen that scenario
And avoid placing Genesis uP front!
Hence, he stakes here are really high.
For if we have discredited Genesis,
we’ve also discredited the rest of Moses’ revelation,
and also discredited the name of ELKM!
But, on the other hand,
If we’ve found Genesis to be true, to match our scientific knowledge
then WOW! We would wonder how could Moses, living 3500 years ago,
tells us a story that only our science has recently uncovered!!
Isn’t Genesis – and the Bible – a living miracle in our hands?
So before matching it with science, let’ first see
if Genesis can be seen as another Bronze-age myth.
For that, let’s compare it to other myths about CREATION told in Moses’ time.
2: Comparing Genesis
to Bronze-age Myths
We know quite a lot about the ancient’s myths about CREATION.
We can learn about them from K. Armstrong comprehensive book “History of God.”
In general, those myth were full of sexual perversions, rivalry and jealousy
among the gods.
Thus, the Egyptian in Moses’ time believed that,
the world was created when a male god named Rah (like in Ra-amssess)
impregnated a goddess named Nun (‘water’ or ‘darkness.’)
Fearing that her embryo would rebel against him,
Rah slashed Nun’s belly, killed his son and threw its testicles
into the Mediterranean Sea near the city of Acca.
The lamenting mother-goddess Nun then dived into the sea,
retrieved her son’s testicles and resurrected him.
From this, the world was either created or flourished.
Now, we can imagine the emotions that the story arose in the Egyptians’ hearts.
We can imagine their priests parading in the streets, chanting hymns in its glory.
We can imagine the impressive temples they built for Rah and Nun,
and understand how the Egyptian philosophers pondered about
the deep meaning of the story, searching for its moral messages.
We can sympathize with the Egyptians, even clap our hands in awe,
but one thing we can’t do: say that their story does match our science,.
Their story is mythical, not factual.
We also know what the Greeks in Moses’ time
told about CREATION. According to Karen Armstrong,
the Greeks believed that a ‘male god’ named Uranus,
impregnated the goddess of Earth, Gaia.
Fearing her numerous embryos, the Titans, to take over,
the father-god Uranus pushed the Titans back into
their mother Gaia’s womb, causing her much agony.
Whenever the Earth is shaking under your feet,
it is Gaia twisting in labor pains.
But the youngest Titan, the brazen Cronus,
stood up against his father-god, cut off his sexual organ
when he penetrated Gaia, and released his ‘imprisoned’ brothers.
Cronus also threw his father’s sex organ into the Sea
from where the world flourished, or created.
Again, we may sympathize with the Titans,
even play a football game in their glory.
Yet we can’t say that the Greek’s story
has anything to do with our Science.
Their story is mythical, whereas science’s story is factual.
Other ancient myths in Moses’ time
told similar stories about CREATION.
The Japanese, Chinese, Indians and Africans and many others
told stories full of UGLY sexual perversions, jealousy, rivalry,
murder and chaos between the gods.
None, for sure, has anything common with our science.
Moses’ Genesis is clean, bereft of any rivalry or sex.
Isn’t it strange? Though he grew up in Pharaoh’s home,
where he must have heard all those myths of his time,
yet his Genesis is surprisingly dry, factual, giving us
a simple account of what had happened at CREATION,
Day by Day.
Moses tells us what came first and what came later,
how life on Earth grew from Vegetation to Mobile life
at Sea then on Dry Land.
No one in Pharaoh’s home had ever recognized
any order in Nature. For Pharaoh, the animals were
just a game for his hunting, trading or worshipping.
And so were the animals in the eyes of all other cultures
In Moses’ time.
Moreover, Moses’ story is not written to raise PASSION in the reader’s heart.
You wouldn’t parade with it in the streets, you wouldn’t cry with joy,
and you wouldn’t compose hymns to its glory,
and you wouldn’t spread the good news about it.
Instead, hearing it you would just stand in awe,
realizing how extraordinary and miraculous it is,
how surprisingly it does match our scientific narrative
Having compared Genesis to the Bronze-Age myths of Moses’ time,
let’s compare it with our scientific narrative.