Where do you find divinity? For some folks it’s a god somewhere up there, beyond the stars as if was even possible to move beyond the stars. At one time way back when, according to the Western bible, space was nothing but a void. Or, perhaps, space itself, the space our universe occupies, did not exist. But through some powerfully divine magic and over the course of seven days and nights, an odd concept since without the earth spinning on its axis while orbiting the sun, days and nights is at best merely an abstract concept. But, be that as it may, over the course of those initial seven days and nights, by merely speaking, god created all that is and ever will be.
Now, that’s an incredible story, but more incredible still is that fact the the biblical text confuses number. The text speaks of creator god as if he is a singular entity, yet the noun the text uses to identify this god is Elohim. Elohim is a plural term, a derivation of the Canaanite term “el” which simply means “god” with no connotations or other baggage attached.
In the first twenty-five verses of the book of Genesis, god simply commanded and it came to pass, but in the twenty-sixth verse, we see our first pronoun where god is speaking to an assembled audience, “Let us make man… “ (JPS translation). The obvious implication is that the last phase of creation and perhaps all of the creation, was a joint venture. Now, modern monotheistic theologians can rationalize it away to their heart’s content, but the fact that the Hebrew speaks in the plural still remains.
The other question that remains is whether the Genesis story describes the creation of the whole universe or is the god of the bible strictly a local god concerned only with our immediate planet? While Western religionists would argue the former rather than the later, one wonders why the biblical text is silent on the subject of Mercury, Venus, Mars, the other eight planets orbiting the Sun. You might argue that it’s because the ancients knew nothing about them, and you’d be right. The word “planet” comes from the Greek and literally means “wanderer.” The planets were those specks of light in the heavens that wandered around against the fixed background of the stars. Prior to the invention of the telescope any conjecture about what the planets may actually be was just that, conjecture. the point is that the biblical creation story is not a divine tale but rather a human composition limited to our earliest human understanding or our universe..
It is also a magical tale, which by definition makes it a fairy tale. Not a fairy tale in the limited sense of Grimm’s Fairy Tales for children, with magical, talking animals and fairy god mothers getting Cinderella ready for the ball, but rather a magical tale that originates in oral literature which is how the biblical stories originated before the various versions as identified through modern literary criticism, were redacted into the texts that have come down to us in the written bible.
1 thought on “A Pagan Looks at the Biblical Creation Story”
You are just too darn logical for your sake! (LOL) Go Guy . . . . . .