Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Adam and Eve, The Fall of Man and Jesus Christ

Adam and Eve, The Fall of Man and Jesus Christ

That man was originally created a perfect being, and is now only a fallen and broken remnant of what he once was, we have seen to be a piece of mythology, not only unfounded in fact, but, beyond intelligent question, proved untrue. What, then, is the significance of the exposure of this myth? What does its loss as a scientific fact, and as a portion of Christian dogma, imply? It implies that with it—although many Christian divines who admit this to be a legend, do not, ]or do not profess, to see it—must fall the whole Orthodox scheme, for upon this MYTH the theology of Christendom is built. The doctrine of the inspiration of the Scriptures, the Fall of man, his total depravity, the Incarnation, the Atonement, the devilhell, in fact, the entire theology of the Christian church, falls to pieces with the historical inaccuracy of this story, for upon it is it built; 'tis the foundation of the whole structure.[17:1]
According to Christian dogma, the Incarnation of Christ Jesus had become necessary, merely because he had to redeem the evil introduced into the world by the Fall of man. These two dogmas cannot be separated from each other. If there was no Fall, there is no need of an atonement, and no Redeemer is required. Those, then, who consent in recognizing in Christ Jesus a Godand Redeemer, and who, notwithstanding, cannot resolve upon admitting the story of the Fall of man to be historical, should exculpate themselves from the reproach of inconsistency. There are a great number, however, in this position at the present day.
Although, as we have said, many Christian divines do not, or do not profess to, see the force of the above argument, there are many who do; and they, regardless of their scientific learning, cling to these old myths, professing to believe them, well knowing what must follow with their fall. The following, though written some years ago, will serve to illustrate this style of reasoning.
The Bishop of Manchester (England) writing in the "Manchester Examiner and Times," said:
"The very foundation of our faith, the very basis of our hopes, the very nearest and dearest of our consolations are taken from us, when one line of that sacred volume, on which we base everything, is declared to be untruthful and untrustworthy."
The "English Churchman," speaking of clergymen who have "doubts," said, that any who are not throughly persuaded "that the Scriptures cannot in any particular be untrue," should leave the Church.
The Rev. E. Garbett, M. A., in a sermon preached before the University of Oxford, speaking of the "historical truth" of the Bible, said:
[Pg 18]
"It is the clear teaching of those doctrinal formularies, to which we of the Church of England have expressed our solemn assent, and no honest interpretation of her language can get rid of it."
And that:
"In all consistent reason, we must accept the whole of the inspired autographs, or reject the whole."
Dr. Baylee, Principal of a theological university—St. Aiden's College—at Birkenhead, England, and author of a "Manual," called Baylee's "Verbal Inspiration," written "chiefly for the youths of St. Aiden's College," makes use of the following words, in that work:
"The whole Bible, as a revelation, is a declaration of the mind of God towards his creatures on all the subjects of which the Bible treats."
"The Bible is God's word, in the same sense as if he had made use of no human agent, but had Himself spoken it."
"The Bible cannot be less than verbally inspired. Every word, every syllable, every letter, is just what it would be, had God spoken from heaven without any human intervention."
"Every scientific statement is infallibly correct, all its history and narrations of every kind, are without any inaccuracy."[18:1]

Babylonian Origins of the Creation Myth of Adam and Eve

Babylonian Creation Myth

Babylonians had this legend of the Creation and 
Fall of Man, some 1,500 years or more before the Hebrews heard of it. The cuneiform inscriptions relating to the Babylonian legend of the Creation and Fall of Man, which have been discovered by English archæologists, are not, however, complete. The portions which relate to the Tree and Serpent have not been found, but Babylonian gem engravings show that these incidents were evidently a part of the original legend. The Tree of Life in the Genesis account appears to correspond with the sacred grove of Anu, which was guarded by a sword turning to all the four points of the compass. representation of this Sacred Tree, with "attendant cherubim," copied from an Assyrian cylinder, may be seen in Mr. George Smith's "Chaldean Account of Genesis." Figure No. 1, which we have taken from the same work, shows the tree of knowledge, fruit, and the serpent. Mr. Smith says of it:
"One striking and important specimen of early type in the British Museum collection, has two figures sitting one on each side of a tree, holding out their hands to the fruit, while at the back of one (the woman) is scratched a serpent. We know well that in these early sculptures none of these figures were chance devices, but all represented events, or supposed events, and figures in their legends; thus it is evident that a form of the story of the Fall, similar to that of Genesis, was known in early times in Babylonia."

Two Different and Contradictory Accounts of the Creation.

 Different and Contradictory Accounts of the Creation.

Before proceeding to show from whence this legend, or legends, had their origin, we will notice a feature which is very prominent in the narrative, and which cannot escape the eye of an observing reader, i. e.the Two Different and Contradictory Accounts of the Creation.
The first of these commences at the first verse of chapter first, and ends at the third verse of chapter second. The second account commences at the fourth verse of chapter second, and continues to the end of the chapter.
In speaking of these contradictory accounts of the Creation, Dean Stanley says:
"It is now clear to diligent students of the Bible, that the first and second chapters of Genesis contain two narratives of the Creation, side by side, differing from each other in most every particular of time and place and order."[5:2]
Bishop Colenso, in his very learned work on the Pentateuch, speaking on this subject, says:
"The following are the most noticeable points of difference between the two cosmogonies:
"1. In the first, the earth emerges from the waters and is, therefore, saturated with moisture.[5:3] In the second, the 'whole face of the ground' requires to be moistened.[5:4]
[Pg 6]"2. In the first, the birds and the beasts are created before man.[6:1] In the second, man is created before the birds and the beasts.[6:2]
"3. In the first, 'all fowls that fly' are made out of the waters.[6:3] In the second 'the fowls of the air' are made out of the ground.[6:4]
"4. In the first, man is created in the image of God.[6:5] In the second, man is made of the dust of the ground, and merely animated with the breath of life; and it is only after his eating the forbidden fruit that 'the Lord God said, Behold, the man has become as one of us, to know good and evil.'[6:6]
"5. In the first, man is made lord of the whole earth.[6:7] In the second, he is merely placed in the garden of Eden, 'to dress it and to keep it.'[6:8]
"6. In the first, the man and the woman are created together, as the closing and completing work of the whole creation,—created also, as is evidently implied, in the same kind of way, to be the complement of one another, and, thus created, they are blessed together.[6:9]
"In the second, the beasts and birds are created between the man and the woman. First, the man is made of the dust of the ground; he is placed byhimself in the garden, charged with a solemn command, and threatened with a curse if he breaks it; then the beasts and birds are made, and the man gives names to them, and, lastly, after all this, the woman is made out of one of his ribs, but merely as a helpmate for the man.[6:10]
"The fact is, that the second account of the Creation,[6:11] together with the story of the Fall,[6:12] is manifestly composed by a different writer altogether from him who wrote the first.[6:13]
"This is suggested at once by the circumstance that, throughout the first narrative, the Creator is always spoken of by the name Elohim (God), whereas, throughout the second account, as well as the story of the Fall, he is always called Jehovah Elohim (Lord God), except when the writer seems to abstain, for some reason, from placing the name Jehovah in the mouth of the serpent.[6:14] This accounts naturally for the above contradictions. It would appear that, for some reason, the productions of two pens have been here united, without any reference to their inconsistencies."[6:15]
Dr. Kalisch, who does his utmost to maintain—as far as his knowledge of the truth will allow—the general historical veracity of this narrative, after speaking of the first account of the Creation, says:
"But now the narrative seems not only to pause, but to go backward. The grand and powerful climax seems at once broken off, and a languid repetition appears to follow. Another cosmogony is introduced, which, to complete the perplexity, is, in many important features, in direct contradiction to the former.
"It would be dishonesty to conceal these difficulties. It would be weakmindedness and cowardice. It would be flight instead of combat. It would be an ignoble retreat, instead of victory. We confess there is an apparent dissonance."[6:16]
[Pg 7]
Dr. Knappert says:[7:1]
"The account of the Creation from the hand of the Priestly author is utterly different from the other narrative, beginning at the fourth verse of Genesis ii. Here we are told that God created Heaven and Earth in six days, and rested on the seventh day, obviously with a view to bring out the holiness of the Sabbath in a strong light."

Creation and the Fall of Man


The Old Testament commences with one of its most interesting myths, that of the Creation and Fall of Man. The story is to be found in the first three chapters of Genesis, the substance of which is as follows:
After God created the "Heavens" and the "Earth," he said: "Let there be light, and there was light," and after calling the light Day, and the darkness Night, the first day's work was ended.
God then made the "Firmament," which completed the second day's work.
Then God caused the dry land to appear, which he called "Earth," and the waters he called "Seas." After this the earth was made to bring forth grass, trees, &c., which completed the third day's work.
The next things God created were the "Sun,"[1:1] "Moon" and ["Stars," and after he had set them in the Firmament, the fourth day's work was ended.[2:1]
After these, God created great "whales," and other creatures which inhabit the water, also "winged fowls." This brought the fifth day to a close.
The work of creation was finally completed on the sixth day,[2:2] when God made "beasts" of every kind, "cattle," "creeping things," and lastly "man," whom he created "male and female," in his own image.[2:3]
"Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them. And on the seventh[2:4] day God ended his work which he had made: and herested on the seventh day, from all his work which he had made. And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it, because that in it he had  resteded  all his work which God created and made."
After this information, which concludes at the third verse of Genesis ii., strange though it may appear, another account of the Creation commences, which is altogether different from the one we have just related. This account commences thus:
"These are the generations of the heavens and the earth when they were created, in the day (not days) that the Lord God made the earth and the heavens."
It then goes on to say that "the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground,"[2:5] which appears to be the first thing he made. After planting a garden eastward in Eden,[2:6] the Lord God put the man therein, "and out of the ground made the Lord God to grow every tree that is pleasant to the sight, and good for food; the Tree of Life,[2:7] also in the midst of the garden, and the Tree of []Knowledge of good and evil. And a river went out of Eden to water the garden, and from thence it was parted, and became into four heads." Thesefour rivers were called, first Pison, second Gihon, third Hiddekel, and the fourth Euphrates.[3:1]
After the "Lord God" had made the "Tree of Life," and the "Tree of Knowledge," he said unto the man:
"Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat, but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it, for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die." Then the Lord God, thinking that it would not be well for man to live alone, formed—out of the ground—"every beast of the field, and every fowl of the air; and brought them unto Adam to see what he would call them, and whatever Adam called every living creature, that was the name thereof."
After Adam had given names to "all cattle, and to the fowls of the air, and to every beast of the field," "the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, and he slept, and he (the Lord God) took one of his (Adam's) ribs, and closed up the flesh instead thereof.
"And of the rib, which the Lord God had taken from man, made he a woman, and brought her unto Adam." "And they were both naked, the man and his wife, and they were not ashamed."
After this everything is supposed to have gone harmoniously, until a serpent appeared before the woman[3:2]—who was afterwards called Eve—and said to her:
"Hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden?"
The woman, answering the serpent, said:
"We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden: but of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, lest ye die."
Whereupon the serpent said to her:
[Pg 4]
"Ye shall not surely die" (which, according to the narrative, was the truth).
He then told her that, upon eating the fruit, their eyes would be opened, and that they would be as gods, knowing good from evil.
The woman then looked upon the tree, and as the fruit was tempting, "she took of the fruit, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband, and he did eat." The result was not death (as the Lord God had told them), but, as the serpent had said, "the eyes of both were opened, and they knew they were naked, and they sewed fig leaves together, and made themselves aprons."
Towards evening (i. e., "in the cool of the day"), Adam and his wife "heard the voice of the Lord God walking in the garden," and being afraid, they hid themselves among the trees of the garden. The Lord God not finding Adam and his wife, said: "Where art thou?" Adam answering, said: "I heard thy voice in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked, and I hid myself."
The "Lord God" then told Adam that he had eaten of the tree which he had commanded him not to eat, whereupon Adam said: "The woman whom thou gavest to be with me, shegave me of the tree and I did eat."
When the "Lord God" spoke to the woman concerning her transgression, she blamed the serpent, which she said "beguiled" her. This sealed the serpent's fate, for the "Lord God" cursed him and said:
"Upon thy belly shalt thou go, and dust shalt thou eat all the days of thy life."[4:1]
Unto the woman the "Lord God" said:
"I will greatly multiply thy sorrow, and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children, and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee."
Unto Adam he said:
"Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it: cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life. Thorns also, and thistles shall it bring forth to thee; and thou shalt eat the herb of the field. In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground, for out of it wast thou taken; for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return."
The "Lord God" then made coats of skin for Adam and his wife, with which he clothed them, after which he said:
"Behold, the man is become as one of us,[5:1] to know good and evil; and now, lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live forever" (he must be sent forth from Eden).
"So he (the Lord God) drove out the man (and the woman); and he placed at the east of the garden of Eden, Cherubims, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to keep the way of the Tree of Life.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Adam and Eve and the Prophecy of the Western Lands and of the great flood

Adam and Eve and the Prophecy of the Western Lands and of the Great Flood.

1 They were not very far from the cave, when Satan came towards them, and hid himself between them and the cave, under the form of two ravenous lions three days without food, that came towards Adam and Eve, as if to break them in pieces and devour them.
2 Then Adam and Eve cried, and prayed God to deliver them from their paws.
3 Then the Word of God came to them, and drove away the lions from them.
4 And God said to Adam, "O Adam, what do you seek on the western border? And why have you left of thine own accord the eastern border, in which was your living place?
5 Now then, turn back to your cave, and remain in it, so that Satan won't deceive you or work his purpose over you.
6 For in this western border, O Adam, there will go from you a descendant, that shall replenish it; and that will defile themselves with their sins, and with their yielding to the commands of Satan, and by following his works.
7 Therefore will I bring over them the waters of a flood, and overwhelm them all. But I will deliver what is left of the righteous among them; and I will bring them to a distant land, and the land in which you live now shall remain desolate and without one inhabitant in it.
8 After God had thus spoken to them, they went back to the Cave of Treasures. But their flesh was dried up, and they were weak from fasting and praying, and from the sorrow they felt at having trespassed against God.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Meaning of the name "Adam"

Meaning of the name "Adam"

In Sanskrit Adima means ‘the first;’ in Hebrew Adam (given almost always with the article) means ‘the red,’ and it is generally derived from adamah, mould or soil. But Professor Max Müller (Science of Religion, p. 320) says if the name Adima (used, by the way, in India for the first man, as Adam is in England) is the same as Adam, ‘we should be driven to admit that Adam was borrowed by the Jews from the Hindus.’ But even that mild case of ‘driving’ is unnecessary, since the word, as Sale reminded the world, is used in the Persian legend. It is probable that the Hebrews imported this word not knowing its meaning, and as it resembled their word for mould, they added the gloss that the first man was made of the dust or mould of the ground. It is not contended that the Hebrews got their word directly from the Hindu or Persian myth. Mr. George Smith discovered that Admi or Adami was the name for the first men in Chaldean fragments. Sir Henry Rawlinson points out that the ancient Babylonians recognised two principle races,—the Adamu, or dark, and the Sarku, or light, race; probably a distinction, remembered in the phrase of Genesis, between the supposed sons of Adam and the sons of God. The dark race was the one that fell. Mr. Herbert Spencer (Principles of Sociology, Appendix) offers an ingenious suggestion that the prohibition of a certain sacred fruit may have been the provision of a light race against a dark one, as in Peru only the Yuca and his relatives were allowed to eat the stimulating cuca. If this be true in the present case, it would still only reflect an earlier tradition that the holy fruit was the rightful possession of the deities who had won in the struggle for it.
Nor is there wanting a survival from Indian tradition in the story of Eve. Adam said, ‘This now is bone of my bone, and flesh of my flesh.’ In the Manu Code (ix. 22) it is written: ‘The bone of woman is united with the bone of man, and her flesh with his flesh.’ The Indian Adam fell in twain, becoming male and female (Yama and Yami). Ewald (Hist. of Israel, i. 1) has put this matter of the relation between Hebrew and Hindu traditions, as it appears to me, beyond doubt. See also Goldziher’s Heb. Mythol., p. 326; and Professor King’s Gnostics, pp. 9, 10, where the historic conditions under which the importation would naturally have occurred are succinctly set forth. Professor King suggests that Paṛsî and Pharisee may be the same word.