4C – Creation Myths

box-planetCreation Myths are ways that ancient peoples explained how the Universe, Earth, and us were made. They are important in understanding the way people thought and the development of culture & religion.

Follow the link to explore some Creation Myths:

http://www.bigmyth.com/2_eng_myths.html

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Creation Myths:

Please read the following Creation Myth from the Hebrew culture. At the end answer a few questions.

In the Beginning…

In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.The earth didn’t have any shape. And it was empty. Darkness was over the surface of the ocean. At that time, the ocean covered the earth. The Spirit of God was hovering over the waters.

God said, “Let there be light.” And there was light. God saw that the light was good. He separated the light from the darkness. God called the light “day.” He called the darkness “night.” There was evening, and there was morning. It was day one.

God said, “Let there be a huge space between the waters. Let it separate water from water.” And that’s exactly what happened. God made the huge space between the waters. He separated the water that was under the space from the water that was above it. God called the huge space “sky.” There was evening, and there was morning. It was day two.

God said, “Let the water under the sky be gathered into one place. Let dry ground appear.” And that’s exactly what happened. 10 God called the dry ground “land.” He called the waters that were gathered together “oceans.” And God saw that it was good.

11 Then God said, “Let the land produce plants. Let them bear their own seeds. And let there be trees on the land that bear fruit with seeds in it. Let each kind of plant or tree have its own kind of seeds.” And that’s exactly what happened.

12 The land produced plants. Each kind of plant had its own kind of seeds. The land produced trees that bore fruit with seeds in it. Each kind of tree had its own kind of seeds.

God saw that it was good. 13 And there was evening, and there was morning. It was day three.

14 God said, “Let there be lights in the huge space of the sky. Let them separate the day from the night. Let them serve as signs to mark off the seasons and the days and the years. 15 Let them serve as lights in the huge space of the sky to give light on the earth.” And that’s exactly what happened.

16 God made two great lights. He made the larger light to rule over the day. He made the smaller light to rule over the night. He also made the stars.

17 God put the lights in the huge space of the sky to give light on the earth. 18 He put them there to rule over the day and the night. He put them there to separate light from darkness.

God saw that it was good. 19 And there was evening, and there was morning. It was day four.

20 God said, “Let the waters be filled with living things. Let birds fly above the earth across the huge space of the sky.”21 So God created the great creatures of the ocean. He created every living and moving thing that fills the waters. He created all kinds of them. He created every kind of bird that flies. And God saw that it was good.

22 God blessed them. He said, “Have little ones and increase your numbers. Fill the water in the oceans. Let there be more and more birds on the earth.”

23 There was evening, and there was morning. It was day five.

24 God said, “Let the land produce all kinds of living creatures. Let there be livestock, and creatures that move along the ground, and wild animals. Let there be all kinds of them.” And that’s exactly what happened.

25 God made all kinds of wild animals. He made all kinds of livestock. He made all kinds of creatures that move along the ground. And God saw that it was good.

26 Then God said, “Let us make man in our likeness. Let them rule over the fish in the waters and the birds of the air. Let them rule over the livestock and over the whole earth. Let them rule over all of the creatures that move along the ground.”

27 So God created man in his own likeness.
He created him in the likeness of God.
He created them as male and female.

28 God blessed them. He said to them, “Have children and increase your numbers. Fill the earth and bring it under your control. Rule over the fish in the waters and the birds of the air. Rule over every living creature that moves on the ground.”

29 Then God said, “I am giving you every plant on the face of the whole earth that bears its own seeds. I am giving you every tree that has fruit with seeds in it. All of them will be given to you for food.

30 “I am giving every green plant to all of the land animals and the birds of the air for food. I am also giving the plants to all of the creatures that move on the ground. I am giving them to every living thing that breathes.” And that’s exactly what happened.

31 God saw everything he had made. And it was very good. There was evening, and there was morning. It was day six.

So the heavens and the earth and everything in them were completed.

By the seventh day God had finished the work he had been doing. So on the seventh day he rested from all of his work.God blessed the seventh day and made it holy. He rested on it. After he had created everything, he rested from all of the work he had done.

Here is the story of the heavens and the earth when they were created.

The Lord God made the earth and the heavens. At that time, bushes had not appeared on the earth. Plants had not come up in the fields. The Lord God had not sent rain on the earth. And there wasn’t any man to work the ground. But streams came up from the earth. They watered the whole surface of the ground.

Then the Lord God formed a man. He made him out of the dust of the ground. He breathed the breath of life into him. And the man became a living person.

The Lord God had planted a garden in the east. It was in Eden. There he put the man he had formed. The Lord God made all kinds of trees grow out of the ground. Their fruit was pleasing to look at and good to eat.

The tree that gives life forever was in the middle of the garden. The tree that gives the ability to tell the difference between good and evil was also there.

10 A river watered the garden. It flowed from Eden. From there it separated into four other rivers.

11 The name of the first river is the Pishon. It winds through the whole land of Havilah. Gold is found there. 12 The gold of that land is good. Onyx and sweet-smelling resin are also found there.

13 The name of the second river is the Gihon. It winds through the whole land of Cush. 14 The name of the third river is the Tigris. It runs along the east side of Asshur. And the fourth river is the Euphrates.

15 The Lord God put the man in the Garden of Eden. He put him there to work its ground and to take care of it.

16 The Lord God gave the man a command. He said, “You can eat the fruit of any tree that is in the garden. 17 But you must not eat the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. If you do, you can be sure that you will die.”

18 The Lord God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper who is just right for him.”

19 The Lord God had formed all of the wild animals. He had also formed all of the birds of the air. He had made all of them out of the ground. He brought them to the man to see what names he would give them. And the name the man gave each living creature became its name.

20 So the man gave names to all of the livestock. He gave names to all of the birds of the air. And he gave names to all of the wild animals.

But Adam didn’t find a helper that was right for him. 21 So theLord God caused him to fall into a deep sleep. While the man was sleeping, the Lord God took out one of his ribs. He closed up the opening that was in his side.

22 Then the Lord God made a woman. He made her from the rib he had taken out of the man. And he brought her to him.

23 The man said,

“Her bones have come from my bones.
Her body has come from my body.
She will be named ‘woman,’
because she was taken out of a man.”

24 That’s why a man will leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife. The two of them will become one.

25 The man and his wife were both naked. They didn’t feel any shame.

1. How was this myth similar or different from the other Creation myths we saw?

2. How was the world created?

3. How were people created?

4. How did the Creator feel about the people?

5. What was the people’s relationship to the Creator?

6. What was the people’s job?

7. What were the people not allowed to do? What would happen?

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