Remember my preference


Table of Contents



  Chapter  1
  Chapter  2
  Chapter  3
  Chapter  4
  Chapter  5
  Chapter  6

  Appendix I
  Appendix II
  Appendix III
  Appendix IV
  Appendix V
  Appendix VI
  Appendix VII
  Appendix VIII
  Appendix IX
  Appendix X
  Appendix XI
  Appendix XII
  Appendix XIII
  Appendix XIV
  Appendix XV
  Appendix XVI
  Appendix XVII
  Appendix XVIII
  Appendix XIX
  Appendix XX
  Appendix XXI

  Biblical References

General Bibliography






(Reference: p.13)


Some Pagan Traditions of a Like Catastrophe.


It is not without significance that people of other cultures whose

thinking does not seem to have been influenced by the teaching of

Missionaries, have traditions of a catastrophe which overtook the

first creation. Not unnaturally, such stories tell of people in this

former world, for it is always difficult to conceive of an earth totally

devoid of any population.   It requires a certain sophistication to

conceive a world prior to this one, uninhabited by man.

Thus the Arabians have a strange belief that there were once 40

kings who ruled over a creation prior to Adam, and that they were

called "Solimans" (after Solomon, who to them seemed to be the ideal

of what a monarch ought to be).   They say that their history was

recounted by the "Bird of Ages", whom they called the Simorg and

who had served them all.   Their statues, monstrous pre-adamite

forms, were supposed to exist in the mountains of Kaf.142

In one of his books. Prof. Franz Cumont remarks that according

to the Mithraic teachings:143

"The demoniac confederates of the King of Hell once

ascended to the assault of Heaven and attempted to de-

throne the successor of Kronos. But, shattered like the

Greek giants by the ruler of the gods, these rebel monst-

ers were hurled backwards into the abyss from which they

had arisen. They made their escape, however, from that

place and wandered about on the face of the earth, there

to spread misery and to corrupt the hearts of men, who,

in order to ward off the evils that menaced them were

obliged to appease them by offering expiatory sacrifices".

There is a Far Eastern tradition in which some further details

are provided.   Prof. Rawlinson, in one of his Bampton Lectures

gave one extract as follows:144

"The Chinese traditions are said to be less clear and de-

cisive than the Babylonian. They speak of a 'first heaven


pg 1 of 4      

and an age of innocence when 'the whole creation enjoyed a

state of happiness'.   Then everything was beautiful and

everything was good: all things were perfect in their kind.

Whereunto succeeded a second heaven (his emphasis) in-

traduced by a great convulsion, in which the pillars of

heaven were broken, the earth shook to its foundations,

the heavens sank lower towards the north, the sun, moon,

and stars changed their motions, the earth fell apart and

the waters enclosed within its bosom burst forth with

violence and overflowed."

The Egyptians believed that the earth had suffered more than one

destruction and renewal, and certainly the Babylonian traditions held

strongly to at least one serious destruction and reconstitution quite

apart from their recollections of the great Flood of Noah's time.145

Even as we today have found the advantage of animating stories

for children, so the early Babylonians turned inanimate forces into

spiritual beings, and set much of the early geological history of the

earth, as they conceived it, in the form of a titanic struggle between

giant forces in personal guise. The great catastrophe of Gen. 1.2 in

time became one of the most popular themes of Cuneiform literature.

In a paper titled, "Genesis and Pagan Cosmogonies", Dr. Edward

McCrady has given an excellent and concise statement of the matter.

He remarks:146

"It is generally conceded that the Dragon, as a personifi-

cation of the Evil Spirit, is more or less identified with the

destructive and rebellious forces of Nature, especially as

they bring chaos and suffering to mankind in floods, storms,

etc. But it is only in connection with such stories as that of

Bel and the Dragon, that we begin to catch a glimpse of the

ORIGIN of the original myth: and only again as we compare

this Chaldeo-Assyrian legend with the first chapter of Genesis

that we begin to realize that this Dragon is but a personificat-

ion of the watery abyss or chaos mentioned in Genesis. Bel,

or Bel-Merodach is a personification of the sun which appear-

ing on the fourth day 'breaks through the watery abyss that

envelopes the earth, piercing and tearing asunder the Dragon

of the abyss with his glittering sword', and eventually after

a long struggle bringing order and law out of chaos.  Then

we begin to see the explanation .of the whole.   Similarly,

we may see little significance in the Egyptian picture of Kneph


     pg.2 of 4     

sailing in a boat over the water, and breathing life into its

tumultuous depths: or the Phoenician legend of Colpias and

his wife Bau - or Bahu, effecting a like organization of the

waste of primeval matter: until we remember that Kneph

signifies wind, air, living breath, or spirit.   And Colpias

likewise means 'wind', while Bahu is evidently the Phoenician

form of the Hebrew 'bohu', the waste of waters.

"With this discovery, however, it immediately dawns upon

us that these legends must obviously refer to the statement

of Genesis that 'The Spirit of God moved upon the face of the

waters.  And God said. Let there be Light; and there was


"A further careful study of the succession of male and

female divinities of the Chaldeo-Assyrian Theogony, Lachmu

and Lachamu; An-Sar and Ki-Sar, will also bring to light

the fact that they are, respectively, personifications of the

Light with his consort Darkness; of the Sky or Heavenly

Waters, and the earth waters (divided by the 'expanse'), and

occur exactly in order of their appearance in the narrative

of Genesis; while the divinities Anos (or Anu), Ilinos (or

Enlil), and Aos (or Ea), which follow next, and which are

universally identified with the heavens, the earth and the sea,

are obviously personifications of these physical phenomena,

which as Genesis records, were separated from one another

as the next step in the creative process; while as the hero

of the next succeeding generation appears, Bel Merodach,

easily identified as the sun now appearing for the first time

together with the moon and the stars, we have the completion

of the fourth day. And these events are still further reflected

in the Chaldean myth of the birth of Sin (the Moon), Adar

(Saturn), Merodach (Jupiter), Nergal (Mars), Nebo (Mer-

cury) , and all the rest of them. The order of the appearance

pfthe corresponding physical phenomena given in Genesis -

the Theogony (the 'toledoth of the gods'), of the Chaldeans is

simultaneously a cosmogony based on the cosmogony of


Subsequently, Dr. McCrady remarks:

"Indeed, the echoes of this primal revelation, transformed

and corrupted as we have thus explained, are to be found in

nearly all the mythologies, cosmogonies, and theogonies of


     pg.3 of 4      


paganism. For besides the Chaldean, Assyrian, Phoenician

and other narratives, we find them in Greek and Latin liter-

ature also."

In conclusion the author points out what must have occurred to all

who study these things in this light, that not only do we find in this the

origin of the idea that the world began with a chaos, an idea which

found its way almost inevitably into our translations because of the

power of habits of thought, but we also find the root of much polytheism

and idol worship, for they have exactly done what Paul in his epistle

to the Romans reveals, changing "the truth of God into a lie, worship-

ping and serving the created things more than the Creator, Who is

blessed forever" (Rom. 1.25).

There is, therefore, from the very earliest times, a continuity

of tradition that at some remote time in the past, great spiritual

powers came under the judgment of God and brought about a disruption

of the Cosmos, the record of which is surely reflected in Gen. 1.1

and 1.2.

This continuity of tradition from the earliest times to the beginning

of the last century is a strong confirmation of the view advocated in

this volume. It is a strong confirmation because the individuals who

supported it were in an excellent position to know what the original

text could mean and at the same time they were quite uninfluenced by

modern geological theory and were not, therefore, biased in this






   *   *   *


     pg.4 of 4     


  Copyright © 1988 Evelyn White. All rights reserved


Previous Chapter                                                                      Next Chapter