Bible Myths and their Parallels in other Religions Being a Comparison of the Old and New Testament Myths and Miracles with those of the Heathen Nations of Antiquity Considering also their Origin and Meaning
[1:1] The idea that the sun, moon and stars were set in the firmament was entertained by most nations of antiquity, but, as strange as it may appear, Pythagoras, the Grecian philosopher, who flourished from 540 to 510 B. C.—as well as other Grecian philosophers—taught that the sun was placed in the centre of the universe, with the planets roving round it in a circle, thus making day and night. (See Knight's Ancient Art and Mythology, p. 59, and note.) The Buddhists anciently taught that the universe is composed of limitless systems or worlds, called sakwalas.
They are scattered throughout space, and each sakwala has a sun and moon. (See Hardy: Buddhist Legends, pp. 80 and 87.)
[2:1] Origen, a Christian Father who flourished about A. D. 230, says: "What man of sense will agree with the statement that the first, second, and third days, in which the evening is named and the morning, were without sun, moon and stars?" (Quoted in Mysteries of Adoni, p. 176.)
[2:2] "The geologist reckons not by days or by years; the whole six thousand years, which were until lately looked on as the sum of the world's age, are to him but as a unit of measurement in the long succession of past ages." (Sir John Lubbock.)
"It is now certain that the vast epochs of time demanded by scientific observation are incompatible both with the six thousand years of the Mosaic chronology, and the six days of the Mosaic creation." (Dean Stanley.)
[2:3] "Let us make man in our own likeness," was said by Ormuzd, the Persian God of Gods, to his WORD. (See Bunsen's Angel Messiah, p. 104.)
[2:5] According to Grecian Mythology, the God Prometheus created men, in the image of the gods, out of clay (see Bulfinch: The Age of Fable, p. 26; and Goldzhier: Hebrew Myths, p. 373), and the God Hephaistos was commanded by Zeus to mold of clay the figure of a maiden, into which Athênê, the dawn-goddess, breathed the breath of life. This is Pandora—the gift of all the gods—who is presented to Epimetheus. (See Cox: Aryan Myths, vol. ii., p. 208.)
[2:6] "What man is found such an idiot as to suppose that God planted trees in Paradise, in Eden, like a husbandman." (Origen: quoted in Mysteries of Adoni, p. 176.) "There is no way of preserving the literal sense of the first chapter of Genesis, without impiety, and attributing things to God unworthy of him." (St. Augustine.)
[2:7] "The records about the 'Tree of Life' are the sublimest proofs of the unity and continuity of tradition, and of its Eastern origin. The earliest records of the most ancient Oriental tradition refer to a 'Tree of Life,' which was guarded by spirits. The juice of the fruit of this sacred tree, like the tree itself, was called Sôma in Sanscrit, and Haôma in Zend; it was revered as the life preserving essence." (Bunsen: Keys of St. Peter, p. 414)
[3:1] "According to the Persian account of Paradise, four great rivers came from Mount Alborj; two are in the North, and two go towards the South. The river Arduisir nourishes the Tree of Immortality, the Holy Hom." (Stiefelhagen: quoted in Mysteries of Adoni p. 149.)
"According to the Chinese myth, the waters of the Garden of Paradise issue from the fountain of immortality, which divides itself into four rivers." (Ibid., p. 150, and Prog. Relig. Ideas, vol. i., p. 210.) The Hindoos call their Mount Meru the Paradise, out of which went four rivers. (Anacalypsis, vol. i., p. 357.)
[3:2] According to Persian legend, Arimanes, the Evil Spirit, by eating a certain kind of fruit, transformed himself into a serpent, and went gliding about on the earth to tempt human beings. His Devs entered the bodies of men and produced all manner of diseases. They entered into their minds, and incited them to sensuality, falsehood, slander and revenge. Into every department of the world they introduced discord and death.
[4:1] Inasmuch as the physical construction of the serpent never could admit of its moving in any other way, and inasmuch as it does not eat dust, does not the narrator of this myth reflect unpleasantly upon the wisdom of such a God as Jehovah is claimed to be, as well as upon the ineffectualness of his first curse?
[5:1] "Our writer unmistakably recognizes the existence of many gods; for he makes Yahweh say: 'See, the man has become as ONE OF US, knowing good and evil;' and so he evidently implies the existence of other similar beings, to whom he attributes immortality and insight into the difference between good and evil. Yahweh, then, was, in his eyes, the god of gods, indeed, but not the only god." (Bible for Learners, vol. i. p. 51.)
[5:2] In his memorial sermon, preached in Westminster Abbey, after the funeral of Sir Charles Lyell. He further said in this address:—
"It is well known that when the science of geology first arose, it was involved in endless schemes of attempted reconciliation with the letter of Scripture. There was, there are perhaps still, two modes of reconciliation of Scripture and science, which have been each in their day attempted, and each have totally and deservedly failed. One is the endeavor to wrest the words of the Bible from their natural meaning, and force it to speak the language of science." After speaking of the earliest known example, which was the interpolation of the word "not" in Leviticus xi. 6, he continues: "This is the earliest instance of the falsification of Scripture to meet the demands of science; and it has been followed in later times by the various efforts which have been made to twist the earlier chapters of the book of Genesis into apparent agreement with the last results of geology—representing days not to be days, morning and evening not to be morning and evening, the deluge not to be the deluge, and the ark not to be the ark."
[5:3] Gen. i. 9, 10.
[5:4] Gen. ii. 6.
[6:1] Gen. i. 20, 24, 26.
[6:2] Gen. ii. 7, 9.
[6:3] Gen. i. 20.
[6:4] Gen. ii. 19.
[6:5] Gen. i. 27.
[6:6] Gen. ii. 7: iii. 22.
[6:7] Gen. i. 28.
[6:8] Gen. ii. 8, 15.
[6:9] Gen. i. 28.
[6:10] Gen. ii. 7, 8, 15, 22.
[6:11] Gen. ii. 4-25.
[6:12] Gen. iii.
[6:13] Gen. i. 1-ii. 8.
[6:14] Gen. iii. 1, 3, 5.
[6:15] The Pentateuch Examined, vol. ii. pp. 171-173.
[6:16] Com. on Old Test. vol. i. p. 59.
[7:1] The Relig. of Israel, p. 186.
[7:2] Von Bohlen: Intro. to Gen. vol. ii. p. 4.
[7:3] Lenormant: Beginning of Hist. vol. i. p. 6.
[7:4] See Ibid. p. 64; and Legends of the Patriarchs, p. 31.
[8:1] "The Etruscans believed in a creation of six thousand years, and in the successive production of different beings, the last of which was man." (Dunlap: Spirit Hist. p. 357.)
[8:2] Quoted by Bishop Colenso: The Pentateuch Examined, vol. iv. p. 115.
[8:3] Intro. to Genesis, vol. ii. p. 4.
[8:4] Com. on Old Test. vol. i. p. 63.
[8:5] The Pentateuch Examined, vol. iv. p. 158.
[9:2] Mr. Smith says, "Whatever the primitive account may have been from which the earlier part of the Book of Genesis was copied, it is evident that the brief narration given in the Pentateuch omits a number of incidents and explanations—for instance, as to the origin of evil, the fall of the angels, the wickedness of the serpent, &c. Such points as these are included in the cuneiform narrative." (Smith: Chaldean Account of Genesis, pp. 13, 14.)
[9:3] Smith: Chaldean Account of Genesis, p. 88.
[9:4] Ibid. p. 89.
[9:5] Ibid. p. 91.
[10:1] Murray's Mythology, p. 208.
[10:2] Kalisch's Com. vol. i. p. 64.
[11:1] Goldziher: Hebrew Mythology, p. 87.
[11:2] Com. on the Old Test. vol. i. p. 70.
[11:4] Ibid. "The fruit, and sap of this 'Tree of Life' begat immortality." (Bonwick: Egyptian Belief, p. 240.)
[11:5] See Montfaucon: L'Antiquité Expliquée, vol. i. p. 211, and Pl. cxxxiii.
[12:1] Faber: Origin Pagan Idolatry, vol. i. p. 443; in Anacalypsis, vol. i. p. 237.
[12:2] Tree and Serpent Worship, p. 13.
[12:3] Prog. Relig. Ideas, vol. i. p. 159.
[12:4] See Bunsen's Keys of St. Peter, p. 414.
[12:5] Colenso: The Pentateuch Examined, vol. iv. p. 153.
[12:6] Buckley: Cities of the Ancient World, p. 148.
[12:7] Müller: Hist. Sanskrit Literature, p. 559.
[13:1] See Wake: Phallism in Ancient Religions, pp. 46, 47; and Maurice: Hist. Hindostan, vol. i. p. 408.
[13:2] Hardwick: Christ and Other Masters, p. 215.
[13:3] See Jacolliot's "Bible in India," which John Fisk calls a "very discreditable performance," and "a disgraceful piece of charlatanry" (Myths, &c. p. 205). This writer also states that according to Hindoo legend, the first man and woman were called "Adima and Heva," which is certainly not the case. The "bridge of Adima" which he speaks of as connecting the island of Ceylon with the mainland, is called "Rama's bridge;" and the "Adam's footprints" are called "Buddha's footprints." The Portuguese, who called the mountain Pico d' Adama (Adam's Peak), evidently invented these other names. (See Maurice's Hist. Hindostan, vol. i. pp. 301, 362, and vol. ii. p. 242).
[13:4] See Smith's Bible Dic. Art. "Cherubim," and Lenormant's Beginning of History, ch. iii.
[15:1] See Prog. Relig. Ideas, vol. i. pp. 206-210, The Pentateuch Examined, vol. iv. pp. 152, 153, and Legends of the Patriarchs, p. 38.
[15:2] Legends of the Patriarchs, p. 31.
[15:3] Quoted by Müller: The Science of Relig., p. 302.
[15:4] See Mallet's Northern Antiquities, p. 409.
[15:5] See Baring Gould's Legends of the Patriarchs; Squire's Serpent Symbol, p. 161, and Wake's Phallism in Ancient Religions, p. 41.
[16:1] Quoted by Higgins: Anacalypsis, vol. i. p. 403.
[16:2] Tod's Hist. Raj., p. 581, quoted by Higgins: Anacalypsis, vol. i. p. 404.
[16:3] L'Antiquité Expliquée, vol. i.
[17:1] Sir William Jones, the first president of the Royal Asiatic Society, saw this when he said: "Either the first eleven chapters of Genesis, all due allowance being made for a figurative Eastern style, are true, or the whole fabric of our religion is false." (In Asiatic Researches, vol. i. p. 225.) And so also did the learned Thomas Maurice, for he says: "If the Mosaic History be indeed a fable, the whole fabric of the national religion is false, since the main pillar of Christianity rests upon that important original promise, that the seed of the woman should bruise the head of the serpent." (Hist. Hindostan, vol. i. p. 20.)
[18:1] The above extracts are quoted by Bishop Colenso, in The Pentateuch Examined, vol. ii. pp. 10-12, from which we take them.
[18:2] "Cosmogony" is the title of a volume lately written by Prof. Thomas Mitchell, and published by the American News Co., in which the author attacks all the modern scientists in regard to the geological antiquity of the world, evolution, atheism, pantheism, &c. He believes—and rightly too—that, "