All human cultures have sought to explain how the world as we know it came into being by developing creation myths. These myths tell us a lot about the cultures that create them. For example, sometimes a Goddess gives birth to creation, and sometimes a male God creates it out of violence. Sometimes the physical world comes out of chaos, and sometimes out of nothing.Due to historical events, the creation story that has informed Western culture is based on the myth of a once obscure Hebrew tribe that lived in a very small area in the Middle East. That story, the Genesis account of Adam and Eve, was incorporated into the Christian Bible and taken as literal history for more than one millennia. Today a few people still accept it as literal truth, but many others view the story as symbolic.This paper will examine the myth, from the earliest point in recorded history, and chart the different message this legend carried to the cultures and religious groups that encountered it.
[...] This a view still held by some conservative Christians today. V. Conclusion Even as a symbolic story the account of Adam and Eve and paradise have a major impact on our culture. It has helped to form our cultural understanding of why creation is not perfect, what is natural and unnatural, and relative roles of men and women. Historical examination of the evolution of the myth gives a new perspective on how this story and its interpretation have evolved through time. Bibliography Augustine, Opus Imperfectum Brown, Peter. [...]
[...] Their initiation into the knowledge of good and evil is not a positive step in their growth as humans, as it was for Enkidu, but a fall into sin that brings suffering on all of creation. They clothe themselves because they become ashamed of what they are, instead of because they recognize that they are not animals. The guide who brings them to the new knowledge is now a demon instead of a priestess. There may have been another message in the changes the Hebrew made to the earlier myth. [...]
[...] Genesis The myth of Adam and Eve and the serpent found in Genesis, on the other hand, though it has elements of the earlier story, has a different purpose. This story is meant to explain why there is evil and suffering in God's good creation. If God is good, how can parts of creation be bad and why do creatures, including people, have to suffer? This is an age-old question that has received many answers through human history. The Persian Zoroastrians, for example, explained that there were two Gods, one good and one evil, in constant struggle, very similar to the way many Christians see the struggle between God and Satan. [...]
[...] In the third century the Christian writer Jerome argued that Adam and Eve would have lived in a paradise of virginity if they had not sinned, so sexuality was part of the human-caused imperfection in creation. Augustine, on the other hand, claimed that humanity would always have reproduced through sex, but without sin there would not have been any passion involved. In the views of these theologians and their contemporaries marriage was grudgingly approved. It had to be approved because it was mentioned in the Bible, but marriage was believed to be inferior to celibacy. [...]
[...] When God Was a Woman. New York: Dial Press Tertullian, De Culta Feminarum, I,12. Wilcox, Charles T., et al., trans. Saint Augustine: Treatises on Marriage and Other Subjects. New York: Fathers of the Church, Inc Robert Graves and Raphael Patai, Hebrew Myths (New York: Doubleday, 1914) Ibid. Merlin Stone, When God Was a Woman (New York: Dial Press, 1976) Ibid Riane Eisler, The Chalice and the Blade: Our History, Our Future (San Francisco: Harper and Row, 1987), 88–89. Elaine Pagels, Adam, Eve, and the [...]
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