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  • 1. Adam and Eve
    and Marduk
    and Ra…
    Creation Stories
    From Around the World
    By Lauren Healy
  • 2. Something to keep in mind…
    • In many cases, there is more than one creation narrative per culture, or at least more than one variation. I have only used one of the versions for my comparison, but it is good to keep in mind there are more.
  • Babylonian
    The Babylonian Empire
  • 3. Babylonian
    • Written on a series of seven stone tablets
    • 4. Called EnumaElish after the first two words
    • 5. Various gods
    One of the stone tablets, written in Mesopotamian cuneiform script dated from about 700 BC
  • 6. ApsuTiamat
    God of fresh waterGoddess of the sea
    Gods of boundary between earth and sea
    God of Spring
  • 7.
    • These young gods are very rambunctious so Apsu decides to kill them.
    • 8. Ea learns of his plan and kills Apsu.
    • 9. Tiamat remarries to Kingu and is very upset about Apsu’s murder. She vows revenge.
  • 10.
    • Marduksays he will stop Tiamat if he is made the head of the gods. He gets approval, capuresTiamat in a net, and kills her with an arrow.
    Marduk slaying Tiamat
  • 11. Marduk creates
    - Earth and sky by splitting Tiamat’s head open
    - Rain from Tiamat’s spit
    - Babylon as an “audience room”
    - Humans from the blood and bone of Kingu because he sparked Tiamat’s rebellion
    Marduk creating the world
  • 12.
    • The gods establish days, months, and seasons
    • 13. The gods give a feast to Marduk and they celebrate and rest.
  • 14. Egyptians
    Ra, the sun god
  • 15. Nu
    Bubbling, churning waters,
    not given a gender
    Gave rise to
    Ra (aka Atum)
    The sun god – emerged
    in a lotus
    -Shu (God of air) and
    Tefnut (Goddess of rain)
    Ra emerging from the lotus
  • 16.
    • The Earth started out as chaotic, bubbling water called Nu. Then the sun god, Ra (sometimes called Atum), emerged from the waters in a giant lotus. He gave light to the Earth.
    • 17. Ra then created the god of air, Shu, and his wife, Tefnut, the goddess of rain.
    • 18. Shu and Tefnut gave birth to the god of the earth named Geb and the goddess of the sky named Nut.
  • married
    Gave birth to
    Goddess of sky
    God of earth
    Incarnation of good
    Embodiment of evil
  • 19.
    • Nut and Geb got married, which angered Ra, but Nut was already pregnant, so Ra punished her by never allowing her to give birth during any month of the year.
    • 20. The god Thoth decided to help her and asked the moon for extra light – adding five extra days to their 360 day calendar. Nut gives birth to five children.
    Thoth and the moon
  • 21. Khnum creating humans
    • The living creatures were created by Khnum on his pottery wheel, and Ra breathed life into them.
    • 22. The Egyptians believe that the lotus closes at night with Ra inside, thus creating darkness. Ra is the light of the world.
  • Greeks
    Ancient Greece
  • 23. Darkness (Chaos)
    Nyx(giant bird)
    Eros God of love
    Laid a golden egg
    Shell split in half
    Uranus god of the sky
    Gaia goddess of earth
  • 24. Uranus
    Gave birth to
    Worried his children would overthrow him so he ate them all except
    Titans (race of giants) Kronos
    Because Rhea hid him and fed Kronosa rock wrapped in a blanket
    Kronos eating his children
  • 25.
    • In the beginning, there was only darkness and chaos. Only a giant bird named Nyx existed.
    • 26. Nyx laid a golden egg, and Eros the god of love was born from it. The shell split in half – one half became the sky the other became the Earth.
    • 27. The sky was named Uranus and the Earth was named Gaia. They fell in love
    • 28. They had many children, some of whom were Titans (giants). When their children got older, they began to fear that their children would overpower them.
    • 29. Kronos decided to eat his children so they could not overthrow him, but being Gods, they couldn’t die so they stayed alive in his stomach.
    • 30. His wife, Rhea, took a liking to their son Zeus, so she gave Kronos a blanket covered rock to eat instead of Zeus and kept Zeus hidden from him.
    • Once he was old enough, Rhea told Zeus of all his brothers and sisters trapped inside his father.
    • 31. Zeus became angry and forced his father to throw up his siblings, and the rock came out as well. This was placed at Delphi.
    Rhea feeding Kronos a rock
  • 32.
    • A war was waged against Kronos, and Zeus and his siblings won. Kronos’ fear became reality.
    • 33. The younger gods took over the Earth. Zeus assigned the task of filling it with people to his son Prometheus (means forethought) and filling it with animals to his sonEpimetheus(means afterthought).
  • 34. Epimetheus gave all the gifts of the universe to the animals and had none left over for humans. Prometheus made up for this by stealing fire, which was meant for the gods only and giving it to humans.
    Prometheus stealing fire
  • 35.
    • Zeus became angry when he heard that humans had fire, so he created a woman named Pandora and gave her the gift of curiosity and a box that he warned her never to open.
    • 36. Pandora married Epimetheus and eventually, opened her box.
    • 37. Inside were all the evils of the world, along with hope.
    Pandora opening her box
  • 38. Hindu
    Vast ocean of nothingness with cobra in the middle coiled around Lord Vishnu
    Humming noise began
    Brahma and Vishnu*2ZqkSdC/941LakshmiVishnu.jpg
    The light caused a lotus flower to bloom out of Vishnu, and in that flower sat Brahma.
  • 39.
    • The world started out as a “vast ocean of nothingness” with a giant cobra in the middle coiled around a god named Lord Vishnu.
    • 40. A humming started and filled the ocean with energy, and from that energy came light.
    • 41. The light caused a lotus flower to bloom out of Vishnu, and in that flower sat Brahma.
    • Vishnu looked at Brahma and said it was time to create the world.
    • 42. Brahma split the flower apart into three parts – one became the sky, one heaven, and one Earth.
    • 43. The Earth was bare so Brahma created grass, flowers, and trees first.
    • 44. Then he created animals of earth, sky, and sea.
    One depiction of Brahma
  • 45.
    • This is where the myth gets a little fuzzy – the human creation.
    • 46. Many of the myths seem to agree on the fact that Brahma’s body was used to create humans. Depending on the story, he either gave his body willingly, was cut up into tiny pieces, or used parts of himself to create people.
  • 47. Norse
    Norse land
  • 48. It started with nothing but a huge gap bordered on the north by a land of cold named Niflheim and bordered on the south by the land of fire named Muspellsheim.
  • 49. Land of cold - Niflheim
    Spot where Ymir and Audumla were formed
    Huge gap
    Land of fire - Muspellsheim
    Some of the rivers of fire flowing from the north became posioned and covered by frost from the south, forming the giant Ymir. He became the father of all giants.
  • 50. The same way he was born, so was a giant cow named Audumla. Her milk nourished Ymir. To feed herself, she licked the salt from the ice. She licked so much that eventually a god was formed named Buri, who was the father of Bor.
    Audumla creating Buri
  • 51. Bor’s grandsons raised up Ymir’s body and situated it across the huge gap between the north and the south. This became Earth.
    Rebelled against giants and Ymir
  • 52.
    • Ymir’sblood became the water, his bones became mountains, and his hair made trees.
    • 53. The gods created a place called Asgard to stay and watch over their new creation.
    • 54. One day, the god Odin was wondering around and came across two trees that he shaped into male and female. The man’s name was Ask and the woman's Embla.
  • 55.
    • There is a tree of life called Yggdrasill that connects all the planes of existence that is cared for by three fates.
    • 56. It is said that on the day of the end, called Ragnarok, the earth will cease to exist. The tree of life will fall and there will be nothing once again.
    The Norse World and the Tree of Life
  • 57. Big Bang and Evolution Theory
    This is just a theory. There are many others besides this one, but this is the most widely accepted. I am using this just as I would another creation story, although it is more on the level of reason and intellect than the other stories.
  • 58.
    • Before the big bang there was nothing.
    • 59. There is thought to be something called a singularity – no one really knows what it is, but it is something that is infinitely hot, small, and dense.
    • 60. This singularity inflated rapidly, then slowly cooled (ie the Big Bang) about 13.5 billion years ago.
    • 61. This means the universe is still expanding.
  • Timeline of Earth according to Big Bang Theory (millions of years ago)
    First marine life
    First humans
    First plants
    First birds
    First land mammals
    Notice anything interesting about the progression?
  • 62.
    • The first thing to be formed was light in the form of stars from the ionization of hydrogen gas.
    • 63. Earth was formed around 4.45 billion years ago. Water was present around 4 billion years ago.
    • 64. Around 2.4 billion years ago, oxygen became present in the Earth’s atmosphere. This enabled the first plants to be formed.
    • 65. 670 million years ago – first marine life
    • 66. 395 million years ago – first insects
    • 67. 313 million years ago – first reptiles
    • 68. 150 million years ago – first birds
    • 69. 114 million years ago – first mammals
    • 70. 250,000 years ago – first homo sapiens
  • Now that we know the
    stories, let’s examine the
    similarities between them.
  • 71.
  • 72. What does this mean?
    “Many, like Friedrich Delitzsch, have drawn ‘sharp attention to the Babylonian ingredient in Genesis, and [have proceeded] to conclude that the Bible was guilty of crass plagiarism.’ ” (
  • 73. What does this mean?
    “The historian can prove that the fall of Rome was credited partly to the rise of Christianity, and the Christianity that we know today had to start from somewhere. One may even go so far as to say the stories in the bible are stories of Greek mythology changed to suit the belief system of new religion; Christianity.” (
  • 74. What does this mean?
    “One of the two Bible creation myths was probably derived from the much older Mesopotamian creation myth "EnumaElish". The six days of creation in the Genesis myth parallel the six generations of gods in the EnumaElish myth” (
  • 75. Works Cited
    • "The Bible and Greek Mythology." HubPages. Web. 07 Mar. 2010. <>.
    • 76. "A Comparison of Creation Narratives." Theological Musings. Web. 07 Mar. 2010. <>.
    • 77. "Genesis and EnumaElish." Multidisciplinary View of the Religious, Spiritual and Esoteric Phenomena. Web. 07 Mar. 2010. <>.