IDOLATRY-6/Is Genesis a Bronze-age Myth?
© 2020 by Rabbi Dr. Zvi Aviner
IDOLATRY-6/Is Genesis a 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,
Is the story of CREATION a truthful story?
Moreover, wherever His Name appears in the text, it acts like a stamp of truthfulness. Now since the Name ELKM appears 32 times in the Six Days, does it mean that the story must be true?
The way to validate the story of CREATION is to compare it to our knowledge from science
If the story is untrue, it would reflect badly on the truthfulness of ELKM and the entire revelation of Moses.
On the other hand, if we have found Genesis to be true, then – wow! Who could tell Moses such a credible story 3500 years ago?
The stakes are high!
Let’s ask: is Moses’ Genesis another bronze-age myth?
Is it compatible with our Scientific knowledge of the history of the world?
Genesis compared to bronze-age myths
What the scholars say
To most modern scientists – Moses’ Genesis is just another BRONZE-AGE MYTH. Ms. Karen Armstrong, in her famous book The History of GOD, counts Moses’ CREATION among other myths of his time. His story is no different from those told by the Mesopotamian people, the Egyptians, the Greeks and the Canaanites.
We know what the ancients thought about CREATION.
According to Ms Amstrong, the Egyptian 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 Nuns’ belly, killed his son and threw his testicles into the Mediterranean sea near the city of Acca.
The lamenting mother goddess Nun cried then dived into the sea, retrieved her sons’ testicles and resurrected him. From this resurrection the world was created.
We can imagine how emotional the story was in the Egyptian’s eyes. Their priests paraded in the streets chanting it, celebrating the resurrection with much passion. Their philosophers and poets composed hymns in the honor of the heavenly event. Moses, growing in Pharaoh’s home. must have been aware of that story.
We may sympathize with this myth and shed tears along with the lamenting mother for her lost son. Yet one thing we can’t do- say that the story matches our Science. No way!
The Greek told similar myths about CREATION. According to Karen Armstrong, the Greek believed that a ‘male god’ named Uranus impregnated the goddess of Earth, Gaia. Fearing that her numerous embryos, the Titans. would exit and rebel against him, 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 away his father’s sex organ into the Sea, from where the world was created.
Again, we may sympathize with the Titans and even play football in their glory. Yet one thing we can’t’ do – claim that the Greek story has anything to do with our Science. Their story is mythical, whereas Science’s story is factual.
Other ancient myths
Other cultures in Moses’ time told similar stories about CREATION. The Japanese, Chinese, Indians and Africans – all told stories full of sexual perversions, jealousy, rivalry, murder and chaos. None can be matched with our scientific knowledge of CREATION!
In contrast, Moses’ Genesis is Clean and Factual
Moses’ story is clean
Compared to these myths, Moses’ Story seems CLEAN, bereaved of any violence, Jealousy or of sexual perversion and power struggle among gods.
Compared to them, Moses’ Story seems dry and factual. You wouldn’t parade with it in the streets chanting hymns for its glory. Moses’ story lacks any emotion, and you can’t cry or lough hearing it. Instead, it counts the Story of CREATION Day by Day, in dry, factual scientific fashion.
Moses sees an order in CREATION
Moreover, unlike all ancient myths of his time, Moses’s story recognizes ORDER in CREATION. The world was created in Six Days or stages, with some elements of Nature made first and others followed. Fish preceded Birds, Birds preceded Crocodile, and both preceded Cattle which preceded Beasts. Man came on board as the last creature in a long chain.
This vision of ORDER alone set Moses’ Genesis apart from all the myths of his time. No one else in the Bronze Age knew about such an order in Nature. For Pharaoh, the animals roamed around for his pleasure and hunting. Some powerful animals were revered as deities.
How can anyone count Moses’ Genesis among those myths?
Having compared Genesis to the myths of Moses’ time, let’s compare it with our Scientific knowledge. Can these two narratives be matched?
END OF IDOLATRY- 6