an alternative biblical creation myth

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an alternative biblical creation myth

Postby felix dakat » Wed Dec 14, 2016 8:06 pm

Genesis 1 has been used to support the orthodox view of creation ex nihilo a Latin phrase meaning "out of nothing". The idea that the prime or unmoved mover must have created the world out of nothing came from Aristotle's Metaphysics. New Testament proof texts include:

Quote:
John 1:1, "In the beginning was the Word..."

Hebrews 11:3 "By faith we understand that the worlds were prepared by the word of God, so that what is seen was made from things that are not visible."

Rev. 4:11 “You are worthy, our Lord and God,
to receive glory and honor and power,
for you created all things,
and by your will they existed and were created.”

However, the Bible contains evidence of an earlier tradition in which the cosmos is the result of YHWH overcoming preexisting chaos represented as a sea monster.

Quote:
Isaiah 27:1 On that day the Lord with his cruel and great and strong sword will punish Leviathan the fleeing serpent, Leviathan the twisting serpent, and he will kill the dragon that is in the sea.

Isaiah 51:9 Awake, awake, put on strength,
O arm of the Lord!
Awake, as in days of old,
the generations of long ago!
Was it not you who cut Rahab in pieces,
who pierced the dragon?

Psalm 74:13-14 You divided the sea by your might;
you broke the heads of the dragons in the waters.
You crushed the heads of Leviathan;
you gave him as food for the creatures of the wilderness.

Psalm 89:10 You crushed Rahab like a carcass;
you scattered your enemies with your mighty arm.

Job 26:13 By his wind the heavens were made fair;
his hand pierced the fleeing serpent.

Job 41:1 “Can you draw out Leviathan with a fishhook,
or press down its tongue with a cord?

Job 26:12 By his power he stilled the Sea;
by his understanding he struck down Rahab.

These verses suggest a reading of Genesis 1 in which the first three verses represent YHWH overcoming primeval chaos i.e. "tohu va vohu" translated "without form and void" in the KJV. The gap creation theory [e.g. G.H. Pember] is an attempt to reconcile the creation ex nihilo with the earlier tradition.

The earlier creation story has implications for the problem of evil [POE] insofar as evil can be identified with pre-existent chaos and God is seen as a hero vanquishing chaos and thus bringing order to the universe. Although beaten back by God, evil is still latently present and may break into history. The people of God must combat it heroically following the example of God. Reason and science and morality can be identified with the order that God brings to chaos. But, this narrative also suggests that God while supremely powerful is less than the omnipotent creator of everything since chaos pre-existed and God had to subdue it to create the universe. What do you think?

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Re: an alternative biblical creation myth

Postby Along The Way » Wed Dec 14, 2016 11:50 pm

History is so brutal and awful (and evil) because what we call "History" or "World History" is the totality of form which has made its way into our modern collective consciousness.

God is what is most primordial, most natural, and most pure.

I don't believe that God is necessarily the overcoming of chaos, but rather God IS "chaos" or "order/chaos". When chaos and order split into two, that was the first error in the cosmic system. That was the Luciferian force, which must have been latent in God to begin with.

In other words, that which existed before "the beginning" is the purest form of God. Once the one split into the two, history happened. And History is nothing more nor less than the force of Evil, evil being that which would rather be two than be one. That which would rather conquer the other than be one with the other.

In other words, Gods "creation" is really Lucifers creation. Lucifer being that aspect of God which separated from itself and went on to create an other world than the one which existed before time.
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Re: an alternative biblical creation myth

Postby felix dakat » Thu Dec 15, 2016 12:16 am

Along The Way wrote:History is so brutal and awful (and evil) because what we call "History" or "World History" is the totality of form which has made its way into our modern collective consciousness.

God is what is most primordial, most natural, and most pure.

I don't believe that God is necessarily the overcoming of chaos, but rather God IS "chaos" or "order/chaos". When chaos and order split into two, that was the first error in the cosmic system. That was the Luciferian force, which must have been latent in God to begin with.

In other words, that which existed before "the beginning" is the purest form of God. Once the one split into the two, history happened. And History is nothing more nor less than the force of Evil, evil being that which would rather be two than be one. That which would rather conquer the other than be one with the other.

In other words, Gods "creation" is really Lucifers creation. Lucifer being that aspect of God which separated from itself and went on to create an other world than the one which existed before time.


That's another way of looking at it.

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Re: an alternative biblical creation myth

Postby Meno_ » Thu Dec 15, 2016 1:54 am

Lucifer was an Archangel before the fall, so there was a shared divinity between God's parts. The fall changed that and Lucufer transformed good into evil.
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Re: an alternative biblical creation myth

Postby felix dakat » Thu Dec 15, 2016 4:35 am

In the ancient cosmology out of which the Torah arose, the Primeval Waters were believed to have existed before “heaven and earth” and to surround them forever. In modern cosmology, there is similarly a mysterious eternal something that may have been everywhere before the Big Bang and may surround our universe forever: it is the state of being called the "quantum soup" --a world of subatomic particles flickering in and out of existence where nothing is certain and everything is possible, in short, the abyss or chaos. So I wouldn't dismiss the vision of the ancient cosmology out of hand. Which is not to say that I'm suddenly embracing metaphysics. I see no reason to abandon Kantian metaphysical skepticism at this point. I'm talking biblical mythology and considering it on the basis of the question: Is it meaningful? Historically, orthodox Christian theology ran with creation ex nihilo. That creation story has God speaking the universe into being out of nothing. Such myth is consistent with an omnipotent, omniscient, omni-benevolent God. Such God is the absolute ruler of everything, but logically also the author of the evil in the world. This alternative myth, which is found in the bible in fragmentary form, is consistent with the widespread and prevalent myths of Mesopotamia which Israel/Judea was a part of. As such, it is preserved in the text of the Hebrew Bible and becomes the basis and inspiration of New Testament myth and eschatology. Suffice it to say, as one who still finds meaning in the Judaeo-Christian tradition, despite my secular humanist background and education, I am finding the story of YHWH as a hero who overcomes the dragon Chaos a meaningful myth to live by as I feel as though I have to fight to bring order to the chaos of my life every day.
Last edited by felix dakat on Thu Dec 15, 2016 4:39 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: an alternative biblical creation myth

Postby felix dakat » Thu Dec 15, 2016 5:01 am

jerkey wrote:Lucifer was an Archangel before the fall, so there was a shared divinity between God's parts. The fall changed that and Lucifer transformed good into evil.


The "shared divinity" idea was proposed by Jung. The only specific reference to Lucifer in the KJV is Isaiah 14:12: How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations! Not much to go on unless you conflate Lucifer with Satan as Christianity has traditionally done. The chaos notion seems to precede Lucifer as an archetype in ancient mythology. What, if any, relationship does Lucifer have with the Leviathan in the Hebrew Bible? Job is a book in which both Satan and the Leviathan appear yet there is no explicit connection between the two. What do you think?

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Re: an alternative biblical creation myth

Postby demoralized » Fri Dec 16, 2016 5:02 am

Hmmm I would like to highlight two ways of thinking

1. Why/how are these things different?
2. Why/how are these things the same?

I feel like the original post in this thread seems to adopt a strategy of #1 above - positing alternate theories and religious ideas. Perhaps a strategy that helps to give purpose

Personal preference here, but when thinking religiously I tend to go with strategy #2. How are these the same? How can these seemingly different ideas be reconciled? This approach gives justice to religion

Perhaps its a matter of faith that any two things can be reconciled (whether or not they should be is another story).

I would like to think that a mind can conceive an understanding of creation that can include the all of the above listed bible verses. It's perhaps a less practical approach to religion, but a way that allows for justification.

______

I say this keeping in mind that the bible is full of contradictions with both itself and modern thought. This idea of contradiction is perhaps not unlike the ideas of order/chaos. Our explanations attempt to give order to a chaotic understanding - to creation, to God, to Lucifer

I compare order in chaos or chaos in order as a dissonance in sound
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