Bible: Myths : By T. Widely scattered through hundreds of ancient and modem volumes, most of the contents of this book " Bible: Myths and their Parallels in other religions By T. Many able writers hare shown so-called Sacred Scriptures to be unhistorical, and have pronounced them largely legendary, but have there left the matter, evidently aware of the great extent of the subject lying beyond. American author Thomas William Doane undertook extensive research delving into the parallels between Christianity and pre-existing religions from around the world, ultimately meaning to show the difference between eternal truths, both spiritual and scientific, and fable. They have begun to call Christianity the true religion which existed before," ST. In pursuing the study of the Bible Myths, facts pertaining thereto, in a condensed form, seemed to be greatly needed, and nowhere to be found.
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The Old Testament commences with one of its most interesting myths, that of the Creation and Fall of Man. Then God caused the dry land to appear, which he called "Earth," and the waters he called "Seas. The work of creation was finally completed on the sixth day,  when God made "beasts" of every kind, "cattle," "creeping things," and lastly "man," whom he created "male and female," in his own image.
And on the seventh  day God ended his work which he had made: and he rested 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 rested from all his work which God created and made. 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.
After planting a garden eastward in Eden,  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,  also in the midst of the garden, and the Tree of [Pg 3] 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. 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 Lord God not finding Adam and his wife, said: "Where art thou? 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.
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. 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. In the first, the earth emerges from the waters and is, therefore, saturated with moisture.
In the first, the birds and the beasts are created before man. In the first, man is created in the image of God. In the first, man is made lord of the whole earth. 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.
First, the man is made of the dust of the ground; he is placed by himself 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. It would appear that, for some reason, the productions of two pens have been here united, without any reference to their inconsistencies.
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 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. Knappert says:  "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.
We have seen that, according to the first account, God divided the work of creation into six days. This idea agrees with that of the ancient Persians. After the Creator had finished his work, he rested.
After dividing them, he endowed them with motion and activity, placed within them an intelligent soul, and bade them "to be humble of heart; to observe the law; to be pure in their thoughts, pure in their speech, pure in their actions.
They relate that God created the world in six thousand years. In the first thousand he created the Heaven and Earth; in the second, the Firmament; in the third, the Waters of the Earth; in the fourth, the Sun, Moon and Stars; in the fifth, the Animals belonging to air, water and land; and in the sixth, Man alone. Delitzsch, who maintains to the utmost the historical truth of the Scripture story in Genesis, yet says: "Whence comes the surprising agreement of the Etruscan and Persian legends with this section?
For such an account outside of Israel, we must, however, conclude, that the author of Genesis i. Kalisch  and Bishop Colenso  tell us of the Persian legend that the first couple lived originally in purity and innocence.
Perpetual happiness was promised them by the Creator if they persevered in their virtue. But an evil demon came to them in the form of a serpent, sent by Ahriman, the prince of devils, and gave them fruit of a wonderful tree, which imparted immortality.
Evil inclinations then entered their hearts, and all their moral excellence was destroyed. Consequently they fell, and forfeited the eternal happiness for which they were destined. They killed beasts, and clothed themselves in their skins. The evil demon obtained still more perfect power over their minds, and called forth envy, hatred, discord, and rebellion, which raged in the bosom of the families.
Since the above was written, Mr. George Smith, of the British Museum, has discovered cuneiform inscriptions, which show conclusively that the Babylonians had this legend of the Creation and [Pg 9] Fall of Man, some 1, years or more before the Hebrews heard of it.
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. 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.
Renan does not hesitate to join forces with the ancient commentators, in seeking to recover a trace of the same tradition among the Phenicians in the fragments of Sanchoniathon, translated into Greek by Philo of Byblos. Its "like has never been seen since. Hesiod, an ancient Grecian poet, describes it thus: "Men lived like Gods, without vices or passions, vexation or toil. In happy companionship with divine beings, they passed their days in tranquillity and joy, living together in perfect equality, united by mutual confidence and love.
The earth was more beautiful than now, and spontaneously yielded an abundant variety of fruits. Human beings and animals spoke the same language and conversed with each other. Men were considered mere boys at a hundred years old. They had none of the infirmities of age to trouble them, and when they passed to regions of superior life, it was in a gentle slumber. They were caused by inquisitiveness.
The story is as follows: Epimetheus received a gift from Zeus God , in the form of a beautiful woman Pandora. The curiosity of her husband, however, tempted him to open it, and suddenly there escaped from it troubles, weariness and illness from which mankind was never afterwards free.
All that remained was hope. The desire to eat of a certain sweet herb deprived men of their spiritual life. There arose a sense of shame, and the need to clothe themselves. Necessity compelled them to agriculture; the virtues disappeared, and murder, adultery and other vices, stepped into their place. The first human pair are called by a bell at meal-times to Abasi the Calabar God , in heaven; and in place of the forbidden tree of Genesis are put agriculture [Pg 11] and propagation, which Abasi strictly denies to the first pair.
The Fall is denoted by the transgression of both these commands, especially through the use of implements of tillage, to which the woman is tempted by a female friend who is given to her. From that moment man fell and became mortal, so that, as the Bible story has it, he can eat bread only in the sweat of his face. There agriculture is a curse, a fall from a more perfect stage to a lower and imperfect one. Kalisch, writing of the Garden of Eden, says: "The Paradise is no exclusive feature of the early history of the Hebrews.
Most of the ancient nations have similar narratives about a happy abode, which care does not approach, and which re-echoes with the sounds of the purest bliss. It was guarded by three nymphs, and a Serpent, or Dragon, the ever-watchful Ladon. It was one of the labors of Hercules to gather some of these apples of life. When he arrived there he found the garden protected by a Dragon.
Ancient medallions represent a tree with a serpent twined around it. Hercules has gathered an apple, and near him stand the three nymphs, called Hesperides. The Rev. Faber, speaking of Hercules, says: "On the Sphere he is represented in the act of contending with the Serpent, the head of which is placed under his foot; and this Serpent, we are told, is that which guarded the tree with golden fruit in the midst of the garden of the Hesperides.
But the garden of the Hesperides was none other than the garden of Paradise; consequently the serpent of that garden, the head of which is crushed beneath the heel of Hercules, and which itself is described as encircling with its [Pg 12] folds the trunk of the mysterious tree, must necessarily be a transcript of that Serpent whose form was assumed by the tempter of our first parents. This most wonderful tree was guarded by spirits.
BIBLE MYTHS BY T.W.DOANE PDF
The Old Testament commences with one of its most interesting myths, that of the Creation and Fall of Man. Then God caused the dry land to appear, which he called "Earth," and the waters he called "Seas. The work of creation was finally completed on the sixth day,  when God made "beasts" of every kind, "cattle," "creeping things," and lastly "man," whom he created "male and female," in his own image. And on the seventh  day God ended his work which he had made: and he rested 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 rested from all his work which God created and made.
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