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I thought the discussion we had in class Thursday was interesting. One thing in particular stood out to me, and I had a few thoughts on the subject.

It was mentioned that the Biblical Genesis, and the Greek creation myths we have are written records of oral creation stories, and that the writings originated around 600-500 BCE.

I didn’t know this, and to be honest, I’m a little surprised.

The Biblical creation I had always taken as being centuries younger than the Greek Creation Myths, as Christianity is quite a bit more prevalent in our world today than the Olympians.

In another course I’m enrolled in, we talked about how newer is better, faster, stronger, and the most popular things people have and use on a daily basis are the newest cutting edge things. I know this was a discussion about, like, smartphones, but still, I made the comparison between newer = better, and assumed religion was approximately the same.

Finding out that the Greek creation myth is near the same in age was an interesting revelation.

 

N.C.Piche

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3 thoughts on “Thursday’s Discussion – A Revelation

  1. Your post is very interesting 🙂

    I don’t think the Biblical/Genesis God is better than those depicted in the Greek/Roman mythologies, or in any other religion (all religions have an equal importance). Many Greek people still worship the Olympian Gods; however, I think their praise is more in the form of admiration (mythology is very historical to them; as they are reminded by the remnants in their country). I believe that the concentration of particular religions depends on geographical location, i.e. Middle-East (Allah), Italy (Catholic), etc. This may explain why Christianity is so prevalent in North-America; it is what we are exposed to the most.

    – A.P

  2. Which came first, the Greek myths or Genesis? Since they appear to be from such distinctly different traditions (at least superficially), I’ve never given it much thought.

    While Christians had done much to disseminate the Book of Genesis well beyond its Middle Eastern birthplace, the story itself (from the first book in what the Christians call the “Old Testament”) is centuries older, in what was originally Jewish oral tradition. Since Christianity was originally an off-shoot of Judaism, these biblical accounts, including the first five books of Moses (the Torah) as well as the writings of the Prophets and the “Writings” (comprising of Psalms, etc.) are what make up the “Old Testament” (these accounts are the same, whether you’re reading a Christian Bible or a Jewish Tanakh; they’re just placed in different order). The “New Testament” is, of course, more recent, since it’s from the early Christian era.

    The biblical origin of Genesis may come from an even earlier tradition, but I really have no idea. The great flood, also found in Genesis, has links to an earlier Sumerian text (Epic of Gilgamesh?).

    Speaking of Sumerian texts, the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto has a fantastic Mesopotamian exhibit on for a limited time.

    http://www.rom.on.ca/en/mesopotamia/home

    The exhibit is on loan from the British Museum. It is well worth the visit if you’re in the area.

    C.

  3. What I find interesting is that if any deductive reasoning goes on regarding the origins of myths by the general population, it is mostly considered common sense that many versions are tweeked and tuned over the ages into one version that becomes the accepted standard version.

    For example there is strong evidence that Athene (Greek, or Minerva Roman equivalent) is the goddess is derived from an original triple goddess a nymph, a maiden and a crone; who could create an entire cosmos without the help of any male deity. Then the Greciization of Athene occurred during the Mycenaean period when misogyny seems to be in full swing. Athene morphed into the daughter of Zeus who was elevated to a creator God. The crone attributes were transferred to Erechtheus (the original royal Athenian King) and the nymph aspects severely suppressed. Which leaves with today’s version of Athene as the ‘correct’ one.

    The same derivation can be applied to the bible. We know the books of the bible were written anywhere between 587 BCE and 1BCE and those books that were injected or rejected were chosen by the few men with the decision making power. The number of bible books range from 24 – 51 depending on the religion and the rejected books were destroyed, forgotten or lost. Just like the children’s game telephone, the finished product is only ‘near’ the original.

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