© 2021 by Rabbi Dr. Zvi Aviner
Is Genesis a Bronze-Age Myth?
Know your CREATOR, know yourself and know the difference
1: Questioning the validity of Genesis
Since ELKM is, by definition, the Truthful JUDGE, who
follows the Absolute Truth, let’s ask:
Is the story of CREATION truthful?
Moreover, since His Name acts as a stamp of truthfulness,
appearing 32 times in the Six Days, does it imply
that the story of CREATION must be true?
Today, most scholars, even lay people, doubt
the validity of Genesis, since they think
that our Scientific findings negate it.
The Biblical fundamentalists, Jewish and Non-Jewish alike,
Take the story of Genesis on its face, believing every word,
discarding or ignoring the scientific finding.
Some solve the contradiction by regarding Genesis
as a mystical story, or seeing it allegorically.
The sad result of those approaches is,
that most of college students in the USA
reject not only Genesis, but the Bible altogether,
seeing Genesis as a Bronze- Age Myth.
Moreover, they ask –
if Moses is a true prophet, why did he chose
to place such controversial story at the beginning
of his five books?Didn’t he know, that it takes only
one spoon to find out that the soup is spoiled?
Hence, dealing with the truthfulness of Genesis
we need to realize how high are the stakes.
For if we discredit the story, we’ve discredited the entire Bible!
On the other hand,
If we’ve found Genesis true, then WOW!
How could Moses, 3500 years ago, tell it!!
Isn’t Genesis – and the Bible – a living miracle in our hands?
In our class,
we’ll first compare Genesis to other stories told in Moses time,
then compare Genesis to our our Scientific narrative
of the History of Earth.
2 Genesis Compared to Bronze-age Myths
We know much what the ancients thought about CREATION
The Egyptian in Moses’ time believed
according to K. Amstrong (History of God
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 Nuns’ belly, killed his son
and threw its testicles into the Mediterraneansea
near the city of Acca.
The lamenting mother-goddess Nun then dived into the sea
retrieved her sons’ testicles and resurrected him.
From this, the world was either created or flourished
We can imagine how emotional the story was in the Egyptian’s eyes.
We can imagine their priests parading and chanting f its glory.
We can imagine their philosophers and poets composing hymns
seeing deep meanings in every part of the story,
we can sympathize with the story, even clap our hands,
but one thing we can’t do: to say that the story has nothing in common
with our Scientific knowledge. It is just a ‘beautiful’ myth
We also know what the Greek in Moses time
told about CREATION. According to Karen Armstrong,
the Greek believed that a ‘male god’ named Uranus
impregnated the goddess of Earth, Gaia.
Fearing her numerous embryos, the Titans,
The father 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 Titans, the brazen Cronus,
stood up against his father-god, and cut his sexual organ
when he penetrated Gaia.
Cronus then threw his father’s sex organ into the Sea
from where the world flourished.
Again, we may sympathize with the Titans
even play 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 by the Japanese, Chinese, Indians and Africans,
are similar, full of sexual perversions, jealousy, rivalry,
murder and chaos between the gods.
None can be matched with Science.
Moses’ Genesis is Clean, breaded 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,
His account of Genesis is surprisingly dry,
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 see
any order in Nature. For Pharaoh. the animals
were just a s a game for hunting, trading or worshipping.
And so were the animals in the eyes of all other cultures.
You wouldn’t parade with it in the streets.
You wouldn’t chant hymns to its glory.
You wouldn’t cry with emotion, hearing it.
You wouldn’t spread the good news about it.
you would stand in awe, realizing its miraculous nature,
being surprised and amazed by its truthfulness.
Having compared Genesis to the Bronze-Age myths of Moses’ time,
let’s compare it with our Scientific knowledge.