Is Genesis just a myth based on the Epic of Gilgamesh?


I have read your Facebook writings on Adam and Eve with interest.  However, as a Unitarian I was presented with the beautiful Genesis story, not as a biblical illustration of the origin of sin, but as an important myth long misinterpreted in the Judaic/Christian tradition.

Almost all the constituents of the garden paradise myth are found in the pre-biblical epic poem of Gilgamesh which records the creation from clay of a fully adult man, he lived naked with the animals until the arrival of a naked woman. The poem also records the first man to enter the garden paradise and mentions a serpent with a human head.  At its origins this material had nothing to do with original sin, on the contrary, it preserves the language of myth the record of an anthropological event of fundamental importance to the human race.

When the story is interpreted not as literal truth, and examined in the light of its origins, with cognizance of it archetypal images of serpent and tree, the garden paradise reveals its treasure of truth.


I was intrigued simply because I don't recall mentioning Adam and Eve since I've started La Vista's Facebook page. Now I understand that you only sent me a note because you wanted to promote your book, but since you raised the issue, I decided to point out why it is a false doctrine.

Gilgamesh was an early Sumerian king who ruled around 2,500 B.C., making him a contemporary of Abraham and Job. The Epic of Gilgamesh has Gilgamesh as the central character, but it doesn't mean it was written by Gilgamesh or even during his lifetime. After all, we have lots of historical fiction, using historical figures, but written long after the person lived. The most complete copy we have comes from 800 B.C. Gilgamesh was a popular hero in Sumerian stories and some of these stories date back to 2,000 B.C., it is the flood story that dates back that far. Therefore, the claim that the Epic of Gilgamesh predates the Bible is false in regard to the time covered.

The Epic of Gilgamesh doesn't contain a creation story as you claimed. Instead, there is a story about a wild man who is found and civilized from which people like to draw parallels to the creation record in the Bible. The wild man was Enkidu, not Gilgamesh as you claimed, who later becomes a companion of Gilgamesh. But several parallel elements does not mean the Epic of Gilgamesh was telling a creation story. It is you who see elements of the Bible's record in the Epic of Gilgamesh. That ought to have been seen as your acceptance that the Bible's story as real, but you can't accept that, but you'll make use of it when it is convenient.

You assume that the early parts of the Bible were derived from Sumerian myths. The fact that the Bible records actual history, from which you will find bits and pieces in the ancient writings of other countries never enters your mind. There is a reason that nearly all cultures have a flood story. It is because the flood was an actual event. As you would expect, those memories get corrupted over the years, but many elements remain similar to reality. Similarly, the creation story is a retained memory in many cultures, but the details become corrupted over the centuries. As an example, ancient Chinese writing retains the idea that man was made by God in a garden, that woman was made from man, and that sin originated in that garden. It also retains the memory of the ark saving eight people from a flood. See Chinese Characters and the Bible and The Testimony of the Ancient Chinese Characters and the Holy Bible.

You did not prove the Bible isn't a historical record. It would be a tall order since it has been repeatedly proven to be historically accurate throughout the centuries. You simply assume falsehood and expect the rest of us to buy your claim.

The real problem is that because you don't believe the Bible as truth, you feel justified in creating your own sets of myths loosely based on the Bible and claim that your imagination is superior to the records of the Bible.

"For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables" (II Timothy 4:3-4).

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