|The Pagans believed that|
humans were created out
of clay, which is the meaning
of the word "dust" in
Genesis chapter 1
By John Bedson
There are two different accounts of the creation of man in Genesis. The first is in chapter 1:
26 And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion ..... 27So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.
The second is in chapter 2:
7And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.
The two accounts are believed by textural scholars to be written by two entirely different authors because of the differences in Hebrew style and the fact that the first account uses "Elohim" for the name of God and in chapter two the author uses "Yahweh."
Needless to say the two accounts contradict each other in many details; but that is not the subject of this article. Sufficient to say that in chapter one God creates mankind as a group ("let them have dominion") but in chapter 2 God initially creates only one man and later his female partner.
This man (Adam) is said to be created in chapter 2 from the "dust of the ground." The Hebrew word "dust" is "Aphar - (Strong’s #6083) and is elsewhere translated clay, earth, mud, ashes, earth or ground."
The most likely meaning is "clay" istead of dust because it was the common belief in the ancient Near East, Egypt, Europe and even China that man was created from clay.
|The Egyptian god Khnum creates|
a human from clay
1. According to Greek mythology (see Hesiod's poem Theogeny), Prometheus created man from clay, while Athena breathed life into them.
2. According to Chinese mythology (see Chu Ci and Imperial Readings of the Taiping Era), Nüwa molded figures from the yellow earth, giving them life and the ability to bear children.
3. According to Egyptian mythology the god Khnum creates human children from clay before placing them into their mother's womb.
4. In the Urgaritic myth of Kirta the god El creates a female demon out of clay to cure a sick king.
5. In the Enûma Elish Babylonian creation myth the god Marduk creates humans from the blood of a slain god and clay.
However it is the earlier Sumerian creation myths that interest me the most. Abraham was a Sumerian (see Genesis chapter 24); not a Semite or a Babylonian. If there is some truth in the Abrahamic story, then the Hebrews are actually descended from Sumerians. This would account for the many differences between Jews and Arabs and would also explain the intellectual genius of the Jews. The Sumerians were the cleverest people on Earth at the time. Modern Jews are Sumerians living in our own times.
I find that it is the Sumerian creation and flood myths that feature most strongly in the Bible and this is what you would expect given the Sumerian origin of the Jews.
|The creation of man|
from clay - Tablet 1
There is a later and different Babylonian creation myth (Enuma Elish) in which mankind is created from the blood of one of the gods. This is the text that Ken Gilmore often uses to pretend that the Genesis account of the creation of man is different to the original ANE creation story. But he is wrong. He's overlooked the fact that the blood was mixed with clay.
However as the Hebrews were ancient Sumerians, I think it much more likely that they would have gone with the ancient Sumerian creation myths rather than the more recent Babylonian myths.
To get back to the Sumerian myth relating to the creation of humans. The original cuneiform tablets are broken and missing in places, but sufficient text remains for us to understand what is described. The god Enki is speaking to him mother Nammu:
O my mother, the creature whose name thou hoist uttered, it exists,
Bind upon it the . . . of the gods;Mix the heart of the clay that is over the abyss,
The good and princely fashioners will thicken the clay,
Thou, do thou bring the limbs into existence;
Ninmah (the earth-mother goddess) will work above thee,
. . . (goddesses of birth) will stand by thee at thy fashioning;
O my mother, decree thou its (the new-born's) fate,
Ninmah will bind upon it the . . . of the gods,
. . . as man . (1)
After a break of several lines, where healthy people were created, the poem describes a feast arranged by Enki for the gods, to commemorate man's creation. At this feast Enki and Ninmah drink much wine and become somewhat exuberant. Thereupon Ninmah takes some of the clay which is over the abyss and fashions six different types of individuals, while Enki decrees their fate and gives them bread to eat. The character of only the last two types is intelligible; these are the barren woman and the sexless or eunuch type. The lines read:
|The creation of man|
from clay - Tablet 2
Enki upon seeing the woman who cannot give birth,
Decreed her fate, destined her to be stationed in the "woman house."
The . . . she (Ninmah) made into one who has no male organ, who has no female organ.
Enki, upon seeing him who has no male organ, who has no female organ,
To stand before the king, decreed as his fate. (1)
The original Sumerian myth of the creation of humans is therefore perfectly clear: Humans were created from clay and this is the equivalent of the Hebrew word "Aphar" (clay) that was used as the material from which God originally created Adam in Genesis 2.
Ken Gilmore is wrong to claim:
As a rule, anyone who claims that Genesis "reads like a pagan creation myth adapted to feature the Hebrew God in place of the pagan gods" is ignorant both of the creation narratives and Mesopotamian creation myths. (2)
In these three articles we have examined the original pagan Sumerian cuneiform texts and found within them all of the major themes of the Genesis Hebrew creation myth. The Hebrews were originally Sumerians and their oral traditions from Abraham's home city of Ur (a Sumerian capital city) were carried over into Genesis by it's writers.
Genesis cannot be inspired by God because it is thoroughly pagan in its themes and origin. It cannot be an "anti-pagan polemic" as the Berea-Portal team claim, because it reeks of pagan cosmology and pagan creation myths. The only difference between the Sumerian creation myths and Genesis is that later editors have removed the names of the pagan gods and inserted the names of the Hebrew god. But everything else remains.
Genesis cannot be inspired by a supreme intelligence that created the entire known universe, because it its science and cosmology is obsolete and erroneous by a factor of four and a half thousand years. It is inspired by pagan scribes writing creation myths at least a thousand years and possible two thousand years before Genesis was first penned.
For Christadelphians to imagine that Genesis is an authoritive account of how our universe, earth, life, living species and humans originated is just plain ludicrous. They are basing their faith on pagan lies and mythology.
1. 'Sumerian Mythology by Samuel Noah Kramer. http://www.sacred-texts.com/ane/sum/sum07.htm
2. See: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Evolutionary-Creationism-A-Christadelphian-Perspective/285058394842055