Egyptian Sacred Science

A Reappraisal

Wesley Muhammad, PhD © 2012

Table of Contents

Kemet and Mecca: Two African Holy Lands
I. All in the Family II. Fruits of the Same Tree


Atum/Adam: Black God of Ma’at and Islam
I. Atum = Adam II. Atum: The One Eternal God III. Atum: The Black Creator-God of Kemet IV. Atum in the Hebrew Bible IV.1. Adam: The Black Body of God V. Adam/Atum in the Qur’ān


The Ka’ba and the Black God of Kemet
I. Cognate Religions I.1. Ancient Egyptian Ontology


‘His Throne is Ever on the Water’
I. The Throne of Allah II. God’s Throne on the Waters II.1. God’s Aquatic Body II.2. Yahweh-Elohim (Allah): The Aquatic Body in Biblical Tradition III. The Qur’ān and its Ancient Near Eastern Context/Subtext


Kemet and Mecca: Two African Holy Lands

Kemites (i.e. ancient Egyptians) and Arabian Semites are kith and kin


All in the Family

The Honorable Elijah Muhammad said:
We, the tribe of Shabazz, says Allah (God), were the first to discover the best part of our planet to live on. The rich Nile Valley of Egypt and the present seat of the Holy City, Mecca, Arabia.

This suggests that Meccan and Egyptian civilization and religious culture originated with different branches of the same ethnic-cultural family. They would be cognate civilizations and cultures: related by blood and descendent from a common ancestor. The ethnographic, linguistic, genetic and archaeological evidence confirms this. Grafton Elliot Smith, Australian anatomist and Egyptologist, was the first chair of anatomy at the Cairo School of Medicine. He authored the pioneering Egyptological work, The Ancient Egyptians and the Origin of Civilization (1923). In an important article in 1909 on the ethnography of Egypt Smith wrote:
it seems probable that the substratum of the whole population of North Africa and Arabia from the Atlantic to the Persian Gulf – if not further east – was originally one racial stock, which, long before the earliest predynastic period in Egypt, had become specialized in physical characteristics and in culture in


the various parts of its wide domain, and developed into the Berber, the Egyptian, the Ethiopian Hamitic and the Arabs populations.1

Smith was still convinced of the ethnic and cultural relatedness of ancient Egyptians and ancient Arabians in 1923 when he published The Ancient Egyptians:
The balance of probability is strongly in favour of the view that the Arabs and the Proto-Egyptians were sprung from one and the same stock, the two divisions of which living in the territories separated by the Red Sea, had become definitely specialized in structure, in customs and beliefs, long before the dawn of the period known as Predynastic in Egypt…the linguistic evidence…according to many scholars, points to a similar conclusion.2

That the Egyptian/Kemetic and Arabian peoples are distinct variations of a common cultural substratum is indicated as well by the anthropological evidence. As Dana Reynods (Marniche) records in an important article,
Ancient Arabia was occupied by a people far different in appearance than most modern-day occupants. These were a people who once occupied Egypt, who were affiliated with the East African stocks, and who now speak the ‘Hamitic’ or Semitic languages…In the days of Mohammed and the Roman colonization of Palestine, North Arabia and Africa, the term Arab was much more than a nationality. It specifically referred to peoples whose appearance, customs and language were the same as the nomadic peoples on the African side of the Red Sea…The evidence of linguistics, archaeology, physical remains and ethnohistory support the observations and descriptions we find in the histories of the Greeks and Romans and in later Iranian documents about nomadic Arabians of the early era. The Arabs were the direct progeny and kinsmen of the dark-brown, gracile and kinky haired ‘Ethiopic’ peoples that first spread over the desert areas of Nubia and Egypt… early Greeks and Romans did not usually distinguish ethnically between the people called the Saracens and the inhabitants of southern Arabia (the Yemen) which was called India Minor or Little India in those days, nor southern Arabians from the inhabitants of the Horn of Africa. What differences there were between them were more cultural and environmental than anything else. Strabo, around the 1 st century B.C., Philostratus and other writers, speak of the area east of the Nile in Africa as ‘Arabia’ and the people are persistently and indiscriminately and sometimes simultaneously referred to as either Arabs, Indians or Ethiopians…it is clear from the ancient writings on the ‘Arabs’ that the peoples of the Arabian peninsula and the nonimmigrant, indigenous nomads of the Horn were considered ethnically one and the same and thought to have originated in areas near the cataracts of the Nile.”3

So too does the linguistic evidence bear out the fact of the cultural and ethnic relatedness of ancient Arabians and ancient Egyptians. Prof Nicholas Faraclas, linguist from the University of Puerto Rico, explain:

G. Elliot Smith, “The People of Egypt,” The Cairo Scientific Journal 3 (1909): 51-63. G. Elliot Smith, The Ancient Egyptians and the Origin of Civilization (1923) 101-102. 3 Dana Reynolds (Marniche), “The African Heritage & Ethnohistory of the Moors,” in Ivan van Sertima, Golden Age of the Moor (New Brunswick: Transaction Publishers, 1992) 99, 100, 105-106.
1 2


the origins of the Ancient Egyptian, Hebrew, Babylon, Assyrian, and Arabic languages (trace) back to a central African homeland…many of the speakers of the languages from which all these languages developed may have participated in a black civilization that was driven out of Central Africa by the expanding Sahara Desert some 7,000 years ago…When the evidence…is synthesized, the following scenario emerges. At the outset of the last Major Wet Spell, the Ancient Egyptian speakers would have made their way north down the Nile, while the Beja speakers would have gone eastward up the Atbara. The Omotic speakers would have headed south on the White Nile, followed and later almost completely displaced by the Cushitic speakers. The Chadic and Berber groups would have gone west into the marshes and swamps of the of the Chad Basin, where they finally divided and went their separate ways, the Berber speakers to the northwest and the Chadic speakers to the southwest…Finally, the Semitic group would have followed the Blue Nile to the Ethiopian highlands (where the majority of Semitic languages are found to this day) and would eventually have reached the narrow straits that separate the horn of Africa from the Arabian Peninsula. There is convincing toponymic evidence that the Semitic speakers first crossed over into the Middle East via this route. Traces of different subgroups of Semitic are found all along the eastern and western shores of Arabia…available evidence points toward a Middle African origin not only for Afroasiatic as a whole, but also for the Semitic group…4

This evidence indicates that Kemites (Egyptians) and (Arabian) Semites are siblings, cousins at the very least. Their ethnic, anthropological, and linguistic relatedness suggest that we should expect their religiocultural heritages to be related in the same way. The evidence does not confirm the popular and oft-repeated claim that Islam derived from Kemetic Ma’at. Rather, a more reasonable conclusion that the evidence allows is that the remarkable similarities between Ma’at and (proto-)Islam are due to them both being variant traditions of related African peoples who inhabited opposite sides of the Red Sea and who may have ultimately Indigenous Arab Bedouin derived from the areas around the cataracts of Nile. As Prof Benard Leeman, linguist and historian of Africa reports: “Archaeological evidence shows that a common culture did exist on the opposite shores of the Red Sea, ca. 1500-1000 B.C.E.”5 It thus should come as no surprise that the religious traditions on both sides of the Red Sea were remarkably similar. The religion of the prehistoric African Semites of Arabia is the
Nicholas Faraclas, “They Came Before the Egyptians: Linguistic Evidence for the African Roots of Semitic Languages,” in Silvia Federici (ed.), Enduring Western Civilization: The Construction of the Concept of Western Civilization and Its “Others” (Westport, Connecticut and London: Praeger, 1995) 175-96 5 Bernard Leeman, Queen of Sheba and Biblical Scholarship (Queensland, Australia: Queensland Academic Press, 2005) 176.


2000).” @ http://drwesleywilliams. “Anyone who says that the Prophet is black should be killed”: The De-Arabization of Islam and the Transfiguration of Muhammad in Islamic Tradition.p df.” @http://drwesleywilliams. These are all cognate systems. the spread of Islam and the development of Islam were talking place at the same time.pdf. intellectually. As such. Byzantines and Turks) converted to Islam and to Arabism. the Qur’an of 7th century CE Arabia and the religious texts of Egypt are all ‘scriptures’ and equally important pieces of the ‘puzzle of truth.genetic ancestor of the Islam of Prophet Muhammad and the Black Arabs of Late Antiquity. and religiously. Whites (largely Persians. During the Umayyad period. African spiritual consciousness) and father (God’s revelatory wisdom).6 The Islam of Prophet Muhammad and the early Muslims was an incarnation or articulation of an ancient African system of spirituality. Islam did not derive from Ma’at of Kemet. spiritual fruits from the same African tree. 8 See Wesley Muhammad.e. squeezing the original Black Arab founders out they are both branches from a common spiritual trunk. as were the spiritual/religious systems of ancient Mesopotamia and ancient India. daughters of the same mother (i. “African” Islam is cognate with the African Ma’at that developed on the opposite side of the Red Sea millennia earlier. 6 4 .blogspot. As Prof Gerald Hawting observes: One should not imagine that Islam as we know it came fully formed out of Arabia with the Arabs at the time of their conquest of the Middle East and was then accepted or rejected.187112134. Although many of the details are obscure and often controversial. Idem. Black Arabia and the African Origin of Islam (Atlanta: A-Team Publishing.’ On the Black Arabs of early Islam see Wesley Muhammad. “Prophet Muhammad and the Black Arabs: The Witness of Pre-Modern Chinese Sources. “The Aryanization of Islam. 9 In this writing I hope to give some evidence of the fact that the pre-Aryanized. God’s Black Prophet’s: Deconstructing the Myth of the White Muhammad of Arabia and the Jesus of Jerusalem (Atlanta: A-Team Publishing.8 This ‘Aryanization’ broke Islam’s connection with its African past and robbed it of its African spiritual core. 2009) 7 On whom see especially Wesley Muhammad. Ma’at from Kemet was an earlier and cognate expression. The First Dynasty of Islam: The Umayyad Caliphate AD 661-750 (Routledge. by the non-Arab peoples. 9 Gerald Hawting. as the case might be. and in the process they transformed Islam to what would be unrecognizable to the Prophet Muhammad. The similarities that exist across all of these above cited religious traditions are to be understood in this context. 2010).html. militarily. it seems clear that Islam as we know it is largely a result of the interaction between the Arabs and the peoples they conquered during the first two centuries or so of the Islamic era which began in AD 622.” @ http://blackarabia. But this “African Islam” of the Prophet Muhammad7 did not survive much past the first Islamic century.

11 Bilal and Goodwin.p. arguing that: Within the pages of the Holy Qur’an. According to Bilal and Goodwin’s research. Nature and Knowledge 2: Egyptian sacred measurements [etc. Fruits of the Same Tree Baba Rafiq Bilal (d. 10 Rafiq Bilal and Thomas Goodwin.p.II. The truth from God is one truth. A close examination of the religious literature of ancient Egypt and Qur’ānic/Islamic tradition confirms that the two traditions (Kemetic and Islamic) share a basic understanding of God.” was groundbreaking. November 28. 8. Egyptian Sacred Science. the ancient Egyptians developed the most elaborate educational system in the history of man. “a serious study of the ancient religion of Egypt and the religion of al-Islam reveals the two to actually be different expressions of the same truths”. Egyptian Sacred Science.” Egyptian Sacred Science in Islam was certainly a trailblazer not unlike Dr Yosef Ben Yochannan’s. who wrote the forward to the book. Holy Qur’an is the purification and refinement of this ancient system of knowledge. Professor Wade Nobles. The African Origin of the Major ‘Western’ Religions. This concurrence of Kemetic and Islamic theology goes a long way in demonstrating that Ma’at and Islam are cognate traditions and spring from the same African Tree of Spirituality. 12 Bilal and Goodwin. 2008) and Thomas Goodwin's 1987 publication. as He presented thousands of years later to Prophet Muhammad Ibn Abd Allah in the Holy Qur’an.] …12 I fully concur with Bilal and Goodwin. 8. the unlettered Prophet (the Umi Prophet) received and transmitted the same body of knowledge through revelation many thousands of years later… 11 Bilal and Goodwin set out to document the nexus between the Qur’anic lexicon and historiography and Kemetic Sacred Science. 5 .. Egyptian Sacred Science in Islam: The Sacred Science of Ancient Egypt as revealed in Al-Islam. 1987)147.10 The study of these two traditions convinced Bilal and Goodwin that: Almighty presented essentially the same truths to the pre-historic Egyptians who built the fabulous civilization upon the principles of the Sacred Revelation. Prophet Muhammad. In order to convey the body of knowledge which they received. wrapped in the a ncient Arabic language are preserved the following aspects of Egyptian history and sacred science (among others): 1: Concept of God. called the work a “thoroughly supported bridge between Islam and the Ancient Kemetic understanding of the most Holy of Holies. Egyptian Sacred Science in Islam: The Sacred Science of Ancient Egypt as revealed in Al-Islam (n.: n.

or Atem. Egyptian Sacred Science. Bilal and Goodwin correctly point out later: 13 Bilal and Goodwin. the first in the line of Osirian-Horian figures was Adam himself. Qur’anic revelation is consistent with the universal principle of Tem found in ancient Egypt. later Atum. 6 . 13 I. the Merciful 1 Say: He Allah is One 2 Allah is the Eternal (al-ṣamad) 3 He begets not. Tem in Egyptian sacred science is the first solar hero. The original name for Adam was (the ancient Egyptian) Tem.Atum/Adam: Black God of Ma’at and Islam Bismillāh ir-raḥmān nir-raḥīm Qul: huwa llāhu āhad Allāhu ṣ-ṣamad Lam yalid wa-lam yulad Wa-lam yakun lahu kufu’an āhad In the name of Allah. but it is right on: The Qur’anic Adam is no doubt the Egyptian Atum. though admittedly stunning confession by our Muslim brother Rafiq Bilal. Sūrat al-Ikhlās [112] Atum=Adam Bilal and Goodwin write: The Holy Qur’an specifies and repeats that divine prophecy extends from Adam to Muhammad. nor is He begotten 4 And none is equal to Him. not the first physical man. Therefore. as taught in Judaeo-Christian mythology. the Beneficent. who evolved into Horus. 95. This is an important.

7 . A cognate root of TEM is DEM and this means ‘to name’ (Adam was the namer of all the animals).e.. Thus. to came to an end. ‘to make an end of. Tem’s female compliment) is the prototype of the mythology of Adam and Eve in the garden. II. we have an important aspect of monotheism which is retained in…al-Islam. Jewish and Islamic prayers. Regarding the latter Dr. be or become terminated. Charles Finch pointed out: The root of ATM is TM (TEM/TUM) which has several meanings.e. the hidden. among them ‘people’ and ‘completion’ (Adam represented the completion of God’s work on the 6th day) . At the end of each prayer. the archaic Egyptians give tribute to ‘the Great God’ from which all creation emanated. the unseeable.The ancient Egyptian legend of Tem and Tempt (i. Inc. Echoes of the Old Darkland (Decatur. as the evening or night sun. finished done. Atum: The One Eternal God Qul: huwa llāhu āhad Say: He Allah (Atum) is One Like many other readers of Egyptian religious literature Bilal and Goodwin were convinced that the ancient Egyptians were monotheists. Bilal and Goodwin. 95. An examination of the earliest religious writings known to man.14 That there are the same lexical and mythological connections with the Qur’an’s Adam was equally pointed out by Bilal and Goodwin: Adam was the first to be taught the names of all things…The word-name ‘Tem’ means to be complete. 1992) 144. rather than polytheists. worshipers of an indiscriminant assortment of many gods. Atum is no less the COMPLETE OR PERFECT DIVINE MAN. the most elementary and indisputable etymological analysis demonstrates that ALL THE ATTRIBUTES OF THE EGYPTIAN DEITY ATUM ARE EMBRACED IN THE HEBREW ADAM. we must understand just who Atum is.15 But the parallels between the Egyptian Atum and the Biblical/Qur’anic Adam go much deeper than this and the implications for understanding the Qur’an are profound. we pronounce the name of this principle when we say: Amen. Egyptian Sacred Science. To truly appreciate this fact. believers in one Supreme God. indicates that the original concept of monotheism was the Egyptian ‘Neter of Neter’ or ‘Great Principle’ or ‘Great God’…In the earliest of texts.’ He was known as the Sun-god (principle) which brought the day to an end. 14 15 Charles Finch. i. The validity of the principle is further illustrated by the name Amen in Christian. Georgia: Khenti. The Arabic word (with the same letters) is tamma ‫ تم‬which means to become completed. This is as true in relation to the Qur’an as it is in relation to the Hebrew Bible. They say further: In the principle (neter) of Amon. non-depictable character of the Almighty.

Amun is just another name for Atum. 254. 2. Yet Atum. it must be severely qualified. i.’ the ever-living one eternal God. 8 . the sole and only one (Rit.While this later claim is to a certain extant true. Chaps. was worshipped as the eternal God. Creator God of Kemet Atum is thus the ever living one God of ancient Egypt. the one living God…He is Unicus. In the 17th chapter of the (Egyptian) Ritual it says: ‘His names together compose the cycle of the gods’…In the 17th chapter of ‘The Book of the Dead‘ it is said: ‘I am the Great God-self created. 17) beside whom there is none other… At the same time we must not forget that all of these different names of gods (in Egypt) were simply the attributes of the One God.e. Amen is the one god who is always depicted in human form…Amen…was the only deity in all Egypt who was expressly worshipped by the title of ‘Ankhu. Signs and Symbols.‘the company of the gods of God. or ‘the secret earth.’16 Atum was always depicted as an anthropomorphic deity. Origin and Evolution. 255. and he is represented as ‘the hidden god’ of Amenta. a god with a human (anthropos) form (morphe).. who made his names’ . in his guise as Amun.’18 16 17 Churchward. Origin and Evolution. Allāhu ṣ-ṣamad Allah is the Eternal Churchward notes: Atum-Ra declares that he is the One God. that is to say. Churchward. which shows that Amen is a later name for Atum.17 Atum. As Albert Churchward confirms: Amen…was another name for Atum…In the hymns to Atem-Ra he is adored as one and the same as Atum. the one just or righteous God. 62. 18 Churchward.

whose name means ‘the All. The Egyptian Book of the Dead (The Papyrus of Ani). Jung.’ Atum. On the cosmogonic egg see further Marie-Louise von Franz. 58.A. 25. 1968) 202. The divine primeval spirit which formed an essential part of the primeval matter felt within itself the desire to begin the work of creation.” Zeitschrift für Ägyptische Sprache und Altertumskunde 100 (1973): 28-32. “Egg Symbolism in Alchemy. of everything which was to be in the future world. Creation Myths revised edition (Boston and London: Shambhala. 1971) Chapter One. David. Gods and Men in Egypt. ‘to come into being. Egyptian Text Transliterated and Translated (New York: Dover Publications. On the golden cosmogonic egg and the primordial atom see Freund. 1995). symbolized by the luminous egg within the dark ocean. Bleeker.v. who quotes: “there was in the beginning neither heaven nor earth.J. Gwyn Griffiths. 1998) 45. Gods and Men in Egypt. Clifford.20 Though Atum’s name closes this triad.19 These were not viewed as separate deities but as ‘transformations’ (from the Egyptian word kheper. 1969: 140-150. Egg by Venetia Newall. Atum: The Black Creator-God of Kemet In the ancient city of Annu (Heliopolis).” 141. Myth and Symbol in Ancient Egypt (London: Thames and Hudson. Wallis Budge. ER 5:36-7 s. Chapter Eight (“Germs and Eggs”). from which broke forth Rā. Brill. Gods and Men in Egypt: 3000 BCE to 395 CE (Ithaca and London: Cornell University Press.” 21 Dunand and Zivie-Coche. 106. Allen. Martti Haavio. The Gods of Ancient Egypt (London and New York: Tauris Parke Books. 1959) 56. the immediate cause of all life upon earth. Myths of Creation. the form and shape of which it had already depicted to itself. Rundle Clark. Published on the Occasion of his Retirement from the Chair of the History of Religions and the phenomenology of Religion at the University of Amsterdam Leiden: E. “Triune Conceptions of God in Ancient Egypt. Atum was the attribute given both to the dark. The first act of creation began with the formation of an egg out of the primeval water. Anna-Britta Hellbom.” Ambix 6 (August.”21 the “sum of all matter”.25 Compelled by his own will. An Egg at Easter: A Folklore Study (Bloomington: Indiana University Press. that became conscious of itself then manifested itself of its own will. the luminous aspect of Atum emerged – self propelled – out of the 19 J. C.” in Essays on Ancient Egypt in honour of Herman te Velde (Groningen: Styx. “Light and Darkness. 25 See E. 112.J. “ ‘Itn – the ‘Golden Egg’ (CT IV 292b-c [B9Ca]). unconscious force.” Ethnos 1 (1963): 63-105. 1965).III. Princeton: Princeton University Press.T. male and female. 1967) xcviii. 1997): 79-84.” in Liber amicorum. Orly Goldwasser. 23 Dunand and Zivie-Coche.G.’ was conceived both as “the totality of being before the creation set in motion.J. Gods and Men in Egypt..” On the cosmogonic egg in Egyptian tradition see further: Ringgren. 45-46. H. Myths of Creation (New York: Washington Square Press. Cult of Ra. “The Cosmology of the Pyramid Texts.22 as well as the “internal. idem. “Light and Darkness in Ancient Egyptian Religion. Inc. 2004) 23: “Despite this tripartition…he was one. aquatic primordial matter – elsewhere called Nun – and the luminous force that resided hidden and unconscious within this matter. “The Creation Egg. Psychology and Alchemy (2nd ed. 25.” In Religion and Philosophy in Ancient Egypt (New Haven: Yale Egyptological Series. Väinämöinen: Eternal Sage (Helsinki. Ra and Atum. R. Religion and Magic. James P. 1989): 1-28. Atum was incorporated into the local divine triad: Khepri. 24 On the dark primordial matter and divine luminosity within see Helmer Ringgren. he actually opens the Egyptian ‘Myth of Creation. Pascal Vernus. 9 . On the cosmic egg as prima materia see also C. and its word woke to life the world. 24 At a certain point divine unconsciousness turned into divine consciousness and the divine luminosity concentrated itself into an atom. to transform’) of the singular solar deity. 47. Inc. and nothing existed except a boundless primeval mass of water which was shrouded in darkness and which contained within itself the germs or beginnings.”23 In other words. Studies in Honour of Professor Dr. 1952) 45-63. Chapter Five. Creation Accounts. 22 Quirke. 20 Françoise Dunand and Christiane Zivie-Coche. Philip Freund. 1958): 140-148. Sheppard. Dunand and Zivie-Coche. Chapter 15.

”30 Atum did not beget the derivative deities by copulating with a goddess as will later become the norm with these deities.” 49. He was a Monad and made himself millions of creatures which he contained potentially in himself.26 With this luminous human form in all its irradiant glory the creator-god is called Ra. I formed Myself according to my will and according to my heart. He possesses all conditions to bring forth the all out of him. He unites within himself masculinity and femininity.The Seven Pillars of Creation (2010).).28 Ra. like Israel’s God YHWH. Rather. self-evolved deity Atum was unbegotten. in contrast to later generations of Gods (neteru) who were. 27 From Theb. 10 . Zandee.he created his own form: O [Atum-]Re who gave birth to righteousness.dark. “Birth-Giving Creator-God. represented symbolically/hieroglyphically as a scarab beetle. who created himself. The scarab beetle’s apparently spontaneous emergence out of a ball of dung symbolized the creator-god’s self-creation out of the primordial matter – that is. 30 William P. Boston and Henley: Routledge & Kegan Paul. This initial. self-emergent stage of the deity’s evolution is personified in the god Khepri. I am he who made Myself. sovereign who created all this. 1986) 108-110 s. He was the one who came into being of himself (hpr ds. 29 Zandee. aquatic matter. who was the creator of his own existence. and as an androgynous male being Atum also was understood to beget not. luminous. Gods and Men in Egypt. who modeled his body.v. As William P.f). the self-formation of his own luminous anthropomorphic body. The ‘Ra stage’ in this divine evolution is represented by the midday sun at its greatest strength.29 It should be pointed out here that as the eternal. Tomb 157. See further J. 47-49. Khepri. he spit out the first generation of gods.” in Alan B.27 I (Atum) created my body in my glory. “The Birth-Giving Creator-God in Ancient Egypt. Brown notes: “Unlike the theogonic pairs in Mesopotamian creation. Dunand and Zivie-Coche. A Dictionary of Egyptian Gods and Goddesses (London. 26 George Hart. who built his limbs. Zandee notes: Atum is ‘complete’ as an androgynous god. Atum-Ra was a self-created Creator god . Lloyd (ed. Midday “Sun” God As J. who gave birth to himself. the causa sui [cause of itself]. Atum is a single parent. 1992: 168-185. in Honour of J. 28 From Hieratic Coffin Text 714. Brown. Studies in Pharaonic Religion and Society. Gwyn Griffiths London: The Egypt Exploration Society.

“Re’ in the Darkness.Luckert. Sheffield: Sheffield Academic Press.O Atum-Kheprer. Gods of Ancient Egypt. Karl W. Signs & Symbols of Primordial Man: The Evolution of Religious Doctrines from the Eschatology of the Ancient Egyptians (Brooklyn: A&B Publishers Group.” 150. Jan Assmann. you rose up as the bnbn-stone in the Mansion of the bnbird in On. 35 See: Allen. The Search for God in Ancient Egypt. translated from the German by David Lorton (Ithaca and London: Cornell University Press. 34 In later myth this black aquatic body of Atum-Ra is personified in the black deity Osiris.35 Moustafa Gadalla is correct: “Ra is the living neter who descends into death to become Ausar – the neter of the dead. reprint ) 63-66.33 Atum of the triad is Ra himself. translated from the German by David Lorton (Ithaca and New York: Cornell University Press. On Atum as a black god see Jules Taylor. New York: Pantheon Books. you SPAT OUT (ishish) Shu.O. The myth of Ra joining Osiris in the Duat or Underworld is actually a picturesque way of presenting Ra’s incarnation in the black body. he is actually assuming the dark form of Atum who is therefore called Auf-Ra. 1954) 36-37. 33 On Ra re-entering the primordial waters and becoming Atum (again) see Dunand and Zivie-Coche. 2002) 176. 76 s. Hathor. Hans-Peter Hasenfratz. Ions.” Discussions in Egyptology 26 (1993): 96-105. incarnate in a black body made from the primordial waters. Death and Salvation in Ancient Egypt. ruler of the Duat.. On Ra darkening and transforming into Atum see See Ringgren. Creation in Jewish and Christian Tradition (JSOTSup 319. Alexandre Piankoff. 1994. As Professors John Coleman Darnell and Colleen Manassa inform us: 31 32 Utterance 600 of the Pyramid Texts as translated by R. “Patterns of Creation in Ancient Egypt. Theological and Philosophical Roots of Christendom in Evolutionary Perspective (Albany: State University of New York Press.).. you became high on the height. Gods and Men in Egypt. anthropomorphic god Atum (again). 48. Albert Churchwar d. “Cosmology. personified in Osiris. 45. The Tomb of Ramesses VI: Texts. 1979) 29-38.: Tehuti Research Foundation. “Light and Darkness.C. Vernus. and you set your arms about them as the arms of a ka-symbol.”36 But Ausar/Osiris is only the black body assumed by Ra in the Duat. 27. 42-43. Terence DuQuesne. idem. ‘the flesh of Ra’. “The Black Image in Egyptian Art. Faulkner. Clark.31 Lam yalid wa-lam yulad He begets not. Rambova. 2001) 41. 274-6. 2001) 42. “Journey of the Night Sun. Dictionary. 1991) 73. 2005) 188. aquatic Duat or Underworld. 11 . Vernus. Egyptian Cosmology: The Animated Universe (Greensboro.” Parabola 8 (1983): 14-18. When Ra enters the dark. Egyptian Mythology. whose black body itself is represented by the black bull Apis. Martin Lev and Carol Ring. Myth and Symbol. On Hathor/ Meheturet as ‘universal cow-goddess’ and primordial ocean see Hart. 45-46.” Journal of African Civilization 1 (April. 34 See Quirke. Gods of Ancient Egypt.” in Henning Graf Reventlow and Yair Hoffman (edd. (Bollingen Series XL. The Duat represents the primordial waters and is explicitly identified with the black body of Osiris. N. you SPIT OUT (tfnt) Tefnut. the personification of the primordial waters. Cult of Ra.v. that your essence might be in them. Egyptian Light and Hebrew Fire. and N. 36 Moustafa Gadalla.” 21. 322. nor is He begotten Ra is then said to have ‘entered back into’ the primordial waters (which are now personified as the cow goddess Nut/Hathor/Meheturet32) and he assumed from them a black body: he is now the black. 158. 79.

” as well as “Father Atum who is in Darkness”. 57-58 s. the dark. out of which creation originally arose37…the sun god absorbed the chaotic power of the primordial waters.” 142. Inc. personified the waters of the Nile which was regarded as a type of Nun. Tutankhamun’s Armies: Battle and Conquest during Ancient Egypt’s Late 18th Dynasty (Hoboken.According to the Book of Amduat. The Origin and Evolution of Religion (1924. Inc. primeval watery mass out of which creation sprang. in the fifth hour of the night. 42 Hart.38 And as Albert Churchward had already saw: Osiris is a figure of inanimate nature. 38 John Coleman Darnell and Colleen Manassa.39 The black bull (k’ km) of Osiris. 40 See Émile Chassinat.43 This hieroglyph is consistent with other Egyptian sources which affirm that the Benu bird presides over the flood. an allusion to the common sight during the summer high Nile of birds clinging to wood.42 The Benu embodies the radiance emanating from the sun. We thus have symbolized in this hieroglyph the conjunction of Lady Taperet praying to Atum. Benu. personalized as the mummy with a human form and face. Louvre E 52-N3663 conjunction between the solar (Ra) and the aquatic 37 Erik Hornung. 28.. Dynasty the solar element and the aquatic element. The Egyptian Book of the Dead (The Papyrus of Ani). The heron is the sign of the Benu bird.v. whilst being also an image of matter as the physical body of the god. 29-30. New Jersey: John Wiley & Sons.41 This duality is illustrated further by the hieroglyph for ‘flood’: it is a heron bird perched on a stick. 44 Quirke. Wallis Budge.40 The Egyptian Atum-Ra is thus a duality. Dictionary. 39 Albert Churchward. Cult of Ra. 2007) 22-23. 1967] cxxiii. Egyptian Text Transliterated and Translated [New York: Dover Publications.44 Atum is the 21-25. the primeval bird of Atum-Ra. E. 1963) 104-108. “the Great One who shines forth. 2003) 57. “Light and Darkness. Inc. Apis. 41 Ringgren.. 43 Quirke. Il: Lushena Books. Teil II: Übersetzung und kommentar (Wiesbaden: Otto Harrassowitz. Bensenville.A. die Schrift des verborgenen Raumes. “La Mise a Mort Rituelle D’Apis. Cult of Ra. the sun god plunged into the primordial waters. 12 .” Recueil de travaux relatifs a la philology et a l’archeologie egyptiennes et assyriennes 38 [1916] 33-60. the Coniunctio oppositorum: in the Pyramid Texts he is both Wbn-wrr. which engulfed the remnants-‘flesh’-of the once virile solar god. Das Amduat.

g.=120-121].47 The Babylonian Exile (587-538 BCE). coherent and rich source of the priestly creation tradition.e. Arvid S. the “dominant background against which Genesis 1 is read and heard” should be the Egyptian creation accounts. Islwyn Blythin. while Babylonian influence is discernable in the structure of Genesis 1.=129-51]) argues that in the light of the time Israel spent in Egypt.” VT 12 (1962): 120 [art. 47 See e.=441-77]. Heidel.]. Kapelrud. the Priestly author of Genesis) is the last stage. Watts (“On the Edge of the Millennium: Making Sense of Genesis 1. but again and again accounts for the details of the Genesis I creation narrative and is the key to its common thread. during which large numbers of Jewish priests and others were exiled in Babylon. Susan Niditch (Chaos to Cosmos: Studies in Biblical Patterns of Creation [SPSH 6. Claus Westermann called our attention to an important fact. indeed. Enūma elīš. The first chapter of Genesis had its origin in the course of a history of tradition of which the written text of P (i. Chico. in 1876 by George Smith the similarities between the Babylonian and Hebrew narratives have been often noted. But Israel also. the recognition of which is critical to a proper understanding of the Genesis creation account and. Genesis 1-11. earlier and for a longer period of time. 1985] 18) noted also that “There is no doubt a shared Near Eastern notion of the way the cosmos’ order unfolded. scholars have pointed out that this creation account that was edited during the Exile itself originally derives from the much older Hebrew contact with Egyptian cosmogonic tradition.” 36. The Nile civilization provides not simply a possible context for odd verses.” and Gen.48 When the template of ancient Egyptian creation traditions is held up against the Genesis I creation account there is a quite remarkable correspondence. has been debated. the theology behind it. “The Mythological Features in Genesis Chapter 1 and the Author’s Intention. however. A. IV. and which stretches back beyond and outside Israel in a long and many-branched oral pre-history. 13 . and there can be no doubt as to its general provenance: “That some form or other of the ancient NearEastern myth of creation lies behind the Priestly account cannot be denied. 2001] 138-9 [art. Living in the LambLight: Christianity and Contemporary Challenges to the Gospel [Vancouver: Regent College Publishing. were in Egypt. This conjunction of the solar luminosity (Ra) and the black. 49 45 46 Westermann. Atum in the Hebrew Bible In his commentary on the Book of Genesis. 48 Rikki E. aquatic element (Osiris) produced the distinctive blue color of the great Gods. “Patterns of Creation.(primordial waters/Osiris). 83. some of the vocabulary and some of their theological content. is surely a proper context in which to understand these similarities. 2:19) “learned in all the wisdom of Egypt (Act 7:22).” in Hans Boersma [ed.” JTS 51 (2000): 466-7 [art. 1942). Atwell. “A Note on Genesis 12. 1 reflects that shared notion. California: Scholars Press.45 The origin of the Genesis 1 creation narrative does indeed lie outside of Israel. The conclusion is stark and compelling: ancient Egypt provided the foundation tradition which was shaped and handed down by successive priestly generations…Ancient Egypt proves to be the single.” Indeed.” VT 24 (1974): 179. The Babylonian Genesis (Chicago: University of Chicago Press. “An Egyptian Source for Genesis I. See also Whitley. 49 James E. Moses was an Egyptian (Exod.”46 The specific provenance. Since the publication of the Babylonian creation account.

It is to say.J.J. we understand the ‫ כּ‬in ‫ כדמותנו‬kidĕmûthēnû as kaph of the norm (according to our likeness).). Lawrence N. Randall Garr. The Hebrew ‫ צלם‬ßelem means primarily “statue”54 and ßelem ’ĕlōhîm is a cognate of the Akkadian ßalam ili/ilāni. “The Beth Essentiae And the Permissive Meaning of the Hiphil (Aphel). ‫צלם‬. 1994-) 3:1028-29. 2003) Chapter Six.. Divinity. “The ßalmê in Mesopotamian Art and Religion. 1:26)53 Adam was thus made to be the image of God. 1934). Brill. Albright (“Contributions. Collins and T. 53 The beth in ‫ בצלמנו‬bĕßalmēnû.1.. ‫אלהים צלם‬. Attridge. Tobin (edd. The Hebrew and Aramaic Lexicon of the Old Testament (hereafter HALOT) (5vols. Douglas Van Buren. Chicago: Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago.52 IV. ‫צלם‬. Intertestamental Judaism.v. The Accuracy of the Bible (London: William Heineman Ltd. and explains many features which have always puzzled the interpreters and theologians. according to our likeness (‫ דמות‬dĕmūt)(Gen.” TynBul 19 (1968): 76-80. 51 Abraham Shalom Yahuda. “ ‘In’ of Predication or Equivalence. in order to make since of the enigmatic priestly creation account.” in H. “as our image (ßelem). On beth essentiae see J. Gordon.” 44) wrote that Gen.” Orientalia 5 (1936): 65-92. 51 Therefore. Charlesworth. D. Of Scribes and Scrolls: Studies on the Hebrew Bible. s.v. 55 The Assyrian Dictionary (hereafter CAD. usually translated “in our image” is to be read as beth essentiae.v. “The Image of God in Man. 54 Ludwig Koehler and Walter Baumgartner. s. Manross. 1962) 16: 78b80a. And God said: Let us make Adam/man as our image (‫ צלם‬ßelem). 1990) 67-78. 84b-85a. See now W.A. ßelem ’ĕlōhîm. E. but also to the Egyptian and Babylonian originals.F.J.H. In His Own Image and Likeness: Humanity. 14 . TDOT 12:394 s. Clines. Cyrus H.The first chapter of Genesis is in fact a Hebrew adaptation of an ancient Egyptian cosmogony with heavy Babylonian influence. Adam: The Black Body of God The creation of Adam on Day Six of the Genesis creation narrative (cosmogony) was the crown of God’s creative activity. interpreted and utilized these ancient traditions.H.55 Scholars have now seen that this terminological congruence contains conceptual congruence as well: the ßelem (image) of Genesis is the 50 Herman Gunkel (“Influence of Babylonian.” and according to W. “Bêth Essentiae.” JBL 100 (1981) 612-613. In some instances it gives us the key to the solution of problems which were considered insoluble.” 365) P “effaced the original outlines” of the Egypto -Phoenician cosmogonic narrative that he received. by Wildberger. the Egyptian original casts an illuminating light on Genesis 1. See TLOT 3:1082 s. “‫ ”צלם‬by Stendebach. however.” JBL 73 (1954): 238-9. and Christian Origins. 136. On the other hand.50 As such. Presented to John Strugnell on the Occasion of His Sixtieth Birthday (Lanham: University Press of America. that any attempt to interpret this text must consider all available source materials that bear on the text. Leiden: E. and Monotheism (Leiden: Brill. 52 This is not to deny the new and idiosyncratic ways in which Israel may have received. 1 “is merely the Judaic reworking of much older traditional material that originally must have been considerably more mythological in nature. As Abraham Yahuda noted: the Egyptian background…throws full light on the most important and conspicuous points of creation (in Genesis). the common Mesopotamian term for god-statues.W.v. we must avail ourselves to not only the biblical priestly materials in the Torah and the Hebrew Bible generally. the Egyptian materials included. J. ‘almu.

1999). 59 K.” Ex Auditu 16 (2000): 81-100 (90-93.D. “The Worship of Divine Humanity as God’s Image and the Worship of Jesus. Hanson and S.” in Jiří Prosecký (ed. as a statue would have done…57 The Mesopotamian ßalmu. Curtis. Bernhardt. Inc. Dean McBride Jr. Kevelaer: Butzon & Bercker... Andreas Schüle.T. Biddle (3vols.P.H.” in Od ell and Strong. Samuel E. Humans are thus created to be the living statues of the deity.Dean McBride (edd. 120-128. The ritual of vivifying the cult statue was transferred to man in Genesis 2.58 The reason is that the ancient Near Eastern cult statue was not only a representative replica of the god. Dick. eds. Indiana: Eisenbrauns. “Image of God (OT).” in The Image and the Book. “Man as the Image of God. Jacobsen. 1956) 17-68.”60 It “signified. McBride (edd. 179-184. Michigan: W. Theological Lexicon of the Old Testament. Mark E. Ancient Israelite Religion: Essays in Honor of Frank Moore Cross (Philadelphia: Fortress Press. 1989) 91-97. Michael B. 1980) 48-50. 58 On this ‘god…not god’ identity of the idol see especially T.D. Between Heaven and Earth: Divine Presence and Absence in the Book of Ezekiel (Winona Lake. Eerdmans Publishing. 57 Herbert Niehr.: Harper & Row. trs. Book of Ezekiel. On the treatment of idols see Irene J.59 As Zainab Bahrani puts it: “(The statue) was not considered to resemble an original reality that was present elsewhere but to contain that reality in itself. There was no further need of a divine image because…humans represented Yahweh. 2000). The Graven Image: Representation in Babylonia and Assyria (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press. Born in Heaven. “Man as the Image of God in Genesis in the Light of Ancient Near Eastern Parallels” (Ph. diss. “In Search of Yahweh’s Cult Statute in the First Temple. 60 Bahrani. 1998) 11-16. Neukirchen-Vluyn: Neukirchener Verlag. Ernst Jenni and Claus Westermann.” in ABD 3:289-91.D. ‫צלם‬. etc. DDD s. Miller Jr. “The Theology of Cult Statues in Ancient Egypt.” 103 -106. “God in Human Form.” in P.. Imagining God: Theology and the Religious Imagination (San Francisco. it was also the dwelling place of that god’s essence/spirit (ba). by H. 55-85.v.” according to Johannes 56 See above.).v. it is also identified with and treated as the god itself..” in Born in Heaven. 1997. Wilderger. 15 . thus Adam was created to be the living statue of the deity. “Ezekiel’s Anthropology and its Ethical Implications. Boston: American Schools of Oriental Research. Indiana: Eisenbrauns. esp. 119-141. Graven Image. “The Graven Image. 2003).Mesopotamian ßalmu (cult-image). 123-210. “ ‘Idols of the King’: Royal Images as Recipients of Ritual Action in Ancient Mesopotamia. 93-94. Garrett Green. Prague. idem. July 1-5. Loewenstamm. P. esp. was distinguished by its ambivalent “god…not god” identity: while the statue is distinguished from the god whom it represents. “Will the Real ‘elem ’Ĕlōhîm Please Stand Up? The Image of God in the Book of Ezekiel. just as cult-images were supposed to do in conventional sanctuaries”. 53-60.” SBL 1998 Seminar Papers. Intellectual Life of the ancient Near East: Papers Presented at the 43rd Rencontre assyriologique international. hereafter TLOT) 3:1080-82 s.” by A. 448-450. 2000) 16: Adamic beings are animate icons…The peculiar purpose for their creation is ‘theophanic’: to represent or mediate the sovereign presence of deity within the central nave of the cosmic temple.). 2005). Curtis. “The Relationship between the Cult Image and the Deity in Mesopotamia.” in idem. Massachusetts: Hendrickson Publishers. God Who Creates: Essays in Honor of W. the deity’s very presence on earth. Comparative Studies in Biblical and Ancient Oriental Literatures (AOAT.” in W. Ulrich Mauser. HALOT 3:1028-1029. 1984). 1996 (Prague: Oriental Institute. 16-20. See also S. David Lorton. Publishers.” Journal of Ritual Studies 6 (Winter 1992):13-42.). “Made in the >Image of God<: The Concepts of Divine Images in Gen 1-3. idem. “‘Beloved is Man in that he was created in the Image’.. Dick (ed. Gott und Bild.D. Made on Earth: The Making of the Cult Image in the Ancient Near East (Winona Lake. Peabody. Edward Mason Curtis. 204. On the ANE cult of divine images see further Neal H.” in Jewish Roots of Christological Monotheism. Sibley Towner (Grand Rapids. “Image.B.).) Cult Image and Divine Representation in the Ancient Near East (American Schools of Oriental Research Books Series 10. University of Pennsylvania. John Kutsko. “Man as the Image of God.” ZAW 117 (2005): 1-20.” 97-102. 127. Crispin H.56 Gen 1:26…can only be understood against the background of an ancient Yahweh statue…Here the terms ßlm and dmwt are used as synonyms denoting ‘statue’. 113-128. Winter. “Divine Protocol: Genesis 1:1-2:3 as Prologue to the Pentateuch. Zainab Bahrani. Michael B. like the Egyptian and ancient Near Eastern cult-image generally. Ein Beitrag zur Begründung und Deutung des Bildererbotes im Alten Testament (Berlin: Evangelische Verlagsanstalt. esp. Brown and S. Fletcher-Louis. Walls (ed. 1987) 15-32. Livingstone. See also idem.

“God’s Golem: The Creation of the Human in Genesis 2. 2002) 219-239 (224-229). Edward L. On the Egyptian ritual v. Abraham Shalom Yahuda. 67 Schüle. James K.”153-158. Cyrus Gordon. 1934) 152. ‫צלם‬.”64 Andreas Schüle puts it succinctly: It is through an image that a god/goddess is present in the created world and executes his/her powers in history and nature…The cultic image is in fact the medium of manifest divine presence and action in the world and as such part of the divine person. “The Theology of Cult Statues in Ancient Egypt.Hehn.).” in Sarah Israelit-Groll (ed. S. 64 Assmann. These are the socalled pit pî (“Opening-of-the-mouth”) and mīs pî (“Washing-of-the-mouth”) rituals whose objective was to transform the lifeless statue into the living god (or king). Weil (ed. Lorton.” History Today 11 (1961): 380-387 (384).” CBQ 36 (1974): 237-240. See also Gregory Yuri Glazov. “The Mesopotamian God Image. The Accuracy of the Bible (London: William Heineman Ltd.”61 i. 46. ABD 3:390 s. 1982): 202-214 (204-5). “Khnum and El. “Made in the >Image of God<.”62 According to Thorkild Jacobs. 55-121. “The Breath of His Nostrils: Gen 2:7b. 66 See Victor Avigdor Hurowitz.66 It is now widely recognized that the idea behind these rituals underlie the imagery of Gen. “Made in the >Image of God<. From Womb to Tomb.F. in which his/her divine spirit/essence ‘incarnated. TDOT 12:389 sv.’ Stendebach: “The cult statue of a god is the actual body in which that deity dwells.. The Bridling of the Tongue and the Opening of the Mouth in Biblical Prophecy 16 . Dick. It is. “Zum Terminus ‘Bild Gottes’. 135: “These images may be the ‘bodies’ of the gods into which they ‘enter’. Christopher Walker and Michael B. Walter Wifall.” in G. 62 Stendebach. 12.” JAOS 123 (2003): 147-157.” in Henning Graf Reventlow and Yair Hoffman (edd.” 11-14. the deity. the very medium…through which he can be addressed by prayer. 1915) 36. >god on earth<…The image was…that side of the god’s person through which he entered the sphere of created life…the bodily appearance of a god. Creation in Jewish and Christian Tradition (JSOT Supplement Series 319. “The Induction of the Cult Image in Ancient Mesopotamia : The Mesopotamian mīs pî Ritual.65 In the ancient Near Eastern cult of images the statue was incarnated by the essence or spirit (Ba) of the deity only after the successful completion of a series of rituals performed on/with the cult image. 1967) 14.). Greenstein. “ ‘In the beginning’: The Hebrew Story of the Creation in its Contemporary Setting.e. The Treasures of Darkness (New Haven: Yake University Press. Egyptological Studies (Jerusalem: The Magnes Press. “the living incarnation of the represented person. Brandon. Conceptions of God in Ancient Egypt. worship and sacrifice. but the body itself (emphasis original).v. and man became a living being (New Oxford Annotated Bible). Hoffmeier.” 5-6. 2:7b: “then the LORD GOD formed man of dust from the ground. the external habitation”63 and Assmann notes that the “basic Egyptian concept” is “The statue is not the image of the body.”67 As Abraham Shalom Yahuda saw: Ay performing the ‘Opening of the Mouth’ ritual on the mummified Tutankhamun 61 Johannes Hehn. and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life. 63 Thorkild Jacobs. to put it pointedly. Reimer.” in Born in Heaven.” JANES 15 (1983): 46-48. Sheffield: Sheffield Academic Press. “Image of God (OT)” by Curtis. The ßalmu or cult statue was the very body of the god on earth. Festschrift Eduard Sachau (Berlin: G. See also Hornung. The Search for God.).G. “Some Thoughts on Genesis 1 & 2 and Egyptian Cosmogony.” 65 Schüle. the statue was the deity’s “outer form.

70 Jewish. The green here at times substitutes for tekhelet. and green for the pale skin. Islam: Qur"§n 15:28 and parallels: “I am going to create man from sounding clay (ßalßāl).”68 It is important to remind our readers that.” Diogenes 108 (1979): 94. 1:88-90 s. Friedlander (New York: E.’ This passage is in every detail in expression and substance typically Egyptian. The whole phrase. 27 the process of animating the body of Adam is described by the words: ‘And the Lord…breathed into his nostrils the breath of life. Wallace. 2001). Sheffield: JSOT Press. 57. Edmund Beck. “Introduction.) Tekhelet: The Renaissance of a Mitzvah (New York: Yeshiva University Press. See Gershom Scholem.” 72 See below page 73 H. St. cf. Christian and Islamic tradition therefore describes the material of Adam’s body as a dark or black substance. a term which suggests a dark reddish-brown inclining towards black. black for the bowls. Frankfort. the haggadic tradition according to which Adam was made from dust taken from all four corners of the earth. Dutton & Co. 70 Cf. Plöger.”74 This indicates that the blowing of the breath of life into the nostrils signifies the incarnation of that deity’s ‘breath.1978) 53.. 74 Ibid.94. like the Ba incarnates within the Egyptian Ka-statue. the Akkadian cognates adamātu.” CAD 1.. 1947) 3. is literally and grammatically identical…Thus for instance it is said of the god Ptah that he it is ‘who gives the breath of life to every nose’. but it was made from a different substance: ’adāmāh (‘earth’: Gen. called kābôd in Israel and Ra in Kemet.8. To begin with. Ephrem the Syrian’s description of the “dark mass [of dust] šÈymwt"”. “My beloved son. Satan und Adam. the expression ‘breath of life’ is the same as the Egyptian tau en ankh.” in idem (ed.” Mus 89 (1976): 214. 1965) 161.” Ginzberg. according to the Hebrew of Genesis 1:26.69 This ßelem was made ‘according to the likeness (‫ דמות‬dĕmūt)’of God’s own luminous form. and man became a living soul.’ also called his ‘likeness. ‫אדם‬ ’ādhām by Maass.g. 71 Jewish: see e. “Colours and Their Symbolism in Jewish Tradition and Mysticism: Part I. 152.v. 77)..72 In Egypt the deity Amun (Atum) is said to be “that breath which stays in all things and through which one lives.In Gen. 69 See above. Adam was not made in or according to the ßelem of God.” 64-5. On reading Genesis I and 2 as parts of a (redacted) whole v.71 The Hebrew ‘opening of the mouth’ ritual described in Gen. trns. “Iblis und Mensch. ABD 1. “Image of God. ‫’ אדםה‬adhāmāh by J. and this dust was respectively red. Christian: cf. both in Egyptian and Hebrew. Motifs from Genesis 1-11 in the Genuine Hymns of Ephrem the Syrian (Sweden: CWK Gleerup Lund . Legends of the Jews. See also Maimonides who describes the “substance of dust and darkness” from which Adam’s body was made. Kingship and the Gods (Chicago: University of Chicago Press. viz. but as the ßelem. the dark blue of the high priestly robe.62 s. The Accuracy of the Bible. receive my likeness in thy nose. from fetid black mud (Èama’ maßnūn). see discussion by Tryggve Kronholm. 2:7). white and green-“red for the blood. black. 3. Sawyer. 17 . M. 1:55.v. Adam.”73 In the Luxor Temple Amun is depicted holding the sign of life (ankh) toward the pharaoh Amen-hotep saying. The idea of giving a ‘breath of life into the nostrils’ is very common in Egyptian. The Guide of the Perplexed. white for the bones and veins. Adam by Howard N.P. This means that the ßelem or human statue had the shape of God’s own luminous form. PRE 11 (Frielander trns. 1996).G.’ And as Walter Wifall noted: “The (JSOT Supplemental Series 311. ibid. Rabbi Alfred Cohen. “dark red earth” and adamatu B “black blood. TDOT 1:75-77 s. 2:7 indicates that the luminous form incarnated within the ßelem.v. 68 Yahuda.

(Grand Rapids. 18 .H.Egyptian portrait appears to be an obvious parallel to the…description of God and ‘the man’ in Gen. Wildberger.” CBQ 36 (1974): 239 [art. On reading Genesis I and 2 as parts of a (redacted) whole v. 77 As arranged by the final redactor.J. Sawyer. 2. “Relationship.).=237-24].J. his luminous form) subsequently enters and dwells. Dick. Winton Thomas (edd. “What Goes In Is What Comes Out – Materials for Creating Cult Statues” in G.” 18) Adam is “God’s own incarnated image”.” 97-99. making it god and king.80 This indwelling enlivens the ßelem. Winter.” ZAW 84 (1972): 1-18.e.” by G. Eybers suggested taking the Hebrew ßelem as ßel (‘shadow.H.v. Williams. Adam is not only the earthly body of God.81 Adam. 82 As McBride puts it (“Divine Protocol.85 In an exhaustive philological study in 1972 I. ‫ צלמות‬by Niehr. “Image of God. “The Root ‘-L. University of Pennsylvania. 81 On “made from dust” in Gen. Williams also pointed out that the concept of a god placing breath into the nostrils of man is an ‘Egyptianism. B. 3:1028-1029 s. See also International Standard Bible Encyclopedia 4vols. Lewish (edd. 79 See Victor Hurowitz. “Shade. 2:7b.J. 1969) 93-4.83 As ßelem. 83 H. 84 CAD 16:70. Gen 1:26-30.J. Engell already read Gen 1:26-8 as a description of a divine. Walter Brueggemann. proclaims that a human being is the form in which God himself is present. ßlm II: “dark. Text and Artifact – Proceedings of the Colloquium of the Center for Judaic Studies. My thanks to professor Hurowitz for providing a manuscript copy of this work. I. University of Chicago Press.v ‫ .” in M. “Man as Image of God. 1-2)77 presents us with a picture strikingly reminiscent of ancient Near Eastern cult tradition: a ßelem (cult-statue) is made for/by the deity78 from mundane materials79 into which that deity (his breath/likeness. Eerdmans.). 1998.” the latter meaning deriving from its verbal form ßalāmu.” from ßālam II: “to be dark”).”75 R. Walker and Dick. MI: W. as the ßelem of God.87 75 76 “The Breath of His Nostrils: Gen. enthroned Adam: see “Knowledge and Life in the Creation Story. R. Beckman and T. 80 On the divine “entering the form” of the statue v.86 Marshalling an impressive amount of comparative material Eybers concluded: Taking all the data into consideration the meaning of ßèlèm in Gen. i. Chamberlain.” 23. Wilson’s 70th Birthday (Studies in Ancient Oriental Civilization 35.” 32 n. Wisdom in Israel and In The Ancient Near East Presented to Harold Henry Rowley (Leiden: E. the composite narrative of Genesis (Gen. Brown Judaic Series. “Das Abbild Gottes. “Relationship.82 As Wildberger notes: It cannot be stressed enough that Israel…by a daring adaptation of the image theology of the surrounding world. “Some Egyptianisms in the Old Testament. The Akkadian ßalmu means both “image/statue” and “black. Noth a nd D. darkness. Brill.77-85. 86 I. Curtis. “From Dust to Kingship. “to become dark. Chicago. 1979-. but the black body of God.” Studies in Honor of John A. is himself the very body of God in which the spirit (luminous form) of God incarnated. 85 HALOT.v.” 64-5. “The Root ‘-L in Hebrew Words. 1955) 112. 2. 2 as a biblical metaphor for enthronement v.”84 This semantic duality is found also in the Hebrew root ßlm (ßlm I: “image/statue”. Dick.’76 Thus. 2006 (in press). April 27-29. hereafter ISBE) 4:440 s. Eybers. 78 On the ritual attribution of the creation of the cult statute to the deity v.” ThZ 21 (1965): 245-59.” 113-116.’ ‘dark image’) expanded by the enclitic mēm (the final ‘m’). to turn black. Shadow.” 113 -114. 1:26-27 could be that man is a ‘shadowy (and therefore weak) replica and creation’ of God. צלם‬TDOT 12:396 s. 87 Eybers. “ ‘Idols of the King’. “Induction”.” JNSL 2 (1972): 23-36 (29-32).

“The Image of God. Two relevant issues were actually debated: (1) whether ílm II “to be/become dark” ever existed in Hebrew or Northwest Semitic (NWS) at all and: (2) if so. Job 16:16. ßillānû. “The Root ‘-L. “ ‘A L’Ombre D’Elohim:’ Le theme de l’ombre protectrice dans l’Ancien Orient et ses rapports avec ‘L’Imago Dei.v. “shadow”. 2:6.: Hendrickson Publishers. Chaim Cohen.צל‬B. Michel. v.”90 This too is an “Egyptianism”: the cult statue in Egypt was also at times described as shut. “‘LMWT.” 368 -372. 1996) 19. Arabic-English Lexicon (2 vols. Indiana: Eisenbrauns. Michel.F. Beyrouth: Librairie du Liban. Eth. ‘shadow of death’) ever existed. 1996. “‘A L’Ombre D’Elohim. CAD 16: 188 s. 154. Walter L.v. Pss. T. “The Image of God in the Book of Genesis-A Study of Terminology.L.” BJRL 51 (1968): 18-22.v. Beeston et al. Oxford. “Etymology. After Friedrich Delitzsch’s initial suggestion in 1886 of a íelem/ßalmu (black) relation. 375) noted in 1987 that by that time the derivation of ‫ צלמות‬from a Hebrew root ßlm “to be/become dark” had become “so completely accepted that some works have ceased to mention that the older tradition of meaning ( viz. III ‫ .” ZAW 30 (1910): 216. Old South Arabic ílm/ßlm “darkness/black::image/statue” (see A.צלל‬HALOT 3:1027 s. he was disputed by his father. see discussion in D.” 2122) ‘el is thought to derive from the basic form ‫“ צלל‬to be/become dark”. The relation of ílm II and íel to each other and to Gen. Indiana: Eisenbrauns. Texts.v. 1982) 143. Sabaic Dictionary (Louvain-la-Neuve: Editions Peeters. Holladay. Ar. ‘Deep Darkness’ or ‘Shadow of Death’?” BR 29 [1984]: 5-13). “The Meaning of ‫צלמות‬ ‘Darkness’: A Study in Philological Method. 38:17. A Matter of "Life" and "Death": A Study of the Baal-Mot Epic (CTA 4-5-6) [Kevelaer: Butzon & Bercker. 23:4. 1888-89] 1:91. On ‫ צלל‬v. Nöldeke doubted the existence of a Hebrew ßlm II “to be/become dark” and derived ßelem from an Arabic ílm meaning “to cut off” (on the denial of a NWS ílm II v.צלל‬Lexicon in Veteris Testamenti Libros. Akk.v.” 31-32. Thus Sawyer. Clines. 1980] 72 n. “‫ צלמות‬in the Old Testament. further: The Brown-Driver-Briggs Hebrew and English Lexicon (1906.‫ צלם‬and Clines. 88 The first to propose such as relation seems to have been the Assyrologist Friedrich Delitzsch who described íelem as a Babylonian loanword: Prolegomena eines neuen hebräisch-aramäischen Wörterbuchs (Leipzig: J.” 5. ‫ . “Etymology. Cambridge. 1940) 156. Etudes sur le recit du paradis et de la chute dans la Genesis (Mémoires de l’Université de Neuchatel 14. 44:20.. Mass.F. A Concise Hebrew and Aramaic Lexicon of the Old Testament in JSS 17 [1972] 257. Winton Thomas. 1886) 141. ßillānû v. Review of W.A.‫ . also noting the etymological relationship between the Hebrew ßelem and Akkadian ßalmu. Lane.” ZAW 17 [1897]: 183-187). England : Islamic Texts Society. James Barr. This discussion often focused on the much disputed term ‫( צלמות‬Jer. 1984) 2: 1914 s.v. III ‫ .” JNSL 3 (1973):23-25. OT scholar Franz Delitzsch (New Commentary on Genesis [Edinburgh. Comparative Philology and the Text of the Old Testament [1st ed.J. 1:26-27 and the ancient Near Eastern characterization of the king as both image of a god and as residing in that god’s (protective) shadow. 1985) 804b s. ‫ צלמות‬by Niehr. C.1:26-27 has been disputed.Earlier. 1. With additions and corrections: Winona Lake. HALOT 3:1028 s.” in Michael V. Sawyer. & T.: Akk. hereafter BDB) 853 s. Pierre Bordreuil. first in a review of Friedrich Delitzsch’s Wörterbuchs (ZDMG 40 (1886): 733-34) and latter in an article devoted to the subject (“‫ צלמות‬und ‫צלם‬. The Wisdom of Serpents and 19 . D. Comparative philological evidence supports the connection between ßelem and ßel: See e. Baruch Margalit. But the weakness of this Arabic derivation has now been adequately demonstrated (Bordreuil. “‫ צלמות‬und 581 ”. Neukirchen-Vluyn: Neukirchener Verlag. 89 Pierre Bordreuil.g.. ed.צלם‬TDOT 12: 396 s. E. James Barr (Comparative Philology. See TDOT 12:372-73 s. “The Participial Formations of the Geminate Verbs.J.” Cf. Ludwig Koehler and Walter Baumgartner (Leiden: E.89 The philological data is now sufficient for Israeli biblical scholar Avivah Gottlieb Zornberg to note simply: “Image-tselem in Hebrew…At the heart of that word is the word ‘shadow’. “The Etymology of Hebrew ‘elem.). Halper. ßillu).” JSS 7 [1962]: 191-200). On denials of such a relation v. Clines.L. ‫ ظل‬.’ ” RHPhR 46 (1996): 368-391. “‘LMWT. Temples. cf.v.v. 1968. salala II. Hinrichs. ßillānû. Fox et al (edd. Brill. The longest lasting rebuttal came from Theodor Nöldeke. idem. 1987] 375-380. CAD 16:190 s. Eybers. whether it was in any way related to íelem. and Traditions: A Tribute to Menahem Haran [Winona Lake. repr. íll IV v. On the Akk.v. 1996] 287-309). III ‫צלל‬.88 pointed out the conceptual link between Gen. 172.” 19-21) and the existence of a NWS ílm II “to be/become dark” has been affirmed and accepted (Paul Humbert. Clark. Peabody. A connection between ßlm II and ßel is probable (Pace Nöldeke. Genesis: A Living Conversation (New York: Doubleday. also J. below n. íll IV.W. On the Ar. ßalmu “black::image/statue” and ßillu “shadow::likeness (in a transferred sense. 90 In Bill Moyers.A.

20 . 91 just as the Kemetic god Atum is the black image/form/body of the luminous solar god Ra.” 66. Barr.g.93 When the Hebrew and Arabic accounts are read together. TDOT 12:388. 1). the sanctuary in which he resides. “The Image of God. We thus have a better appreciation for and understanding of Finch’s observation quoted above: The root of ATM is TM (TEM/TUM) which has several meanings. Glaser has well argued that the Qur"§nic account of Adam’s creation should be read as a comment on and complement to the Bible’s account. E. the most elementary and indisputable etymological analysis demonstrates that ALL THE ATTRIBUTES OF THE EGYPTIAN DEITY ATUM ARE EMBRACED IN THE HEBREW ADAM. This latter point is not explicitly made in Genesis. Thus. noted: “…certainly there is an old exegetical tradition according to which ‫ דמות‬and ‫ צלם‬in Genesis mean ‘likeness’ and ‘shadow’ respectively. Gen 1:26-27 (and 2:7) presents Adam as the black body of God on earth. who was God talking to in Gen.” In his discussion of Poimandres in 1935 C.” 91 IDB II:683 s. s. n. among them ‘people’ and ‘completion’ (Adam represented the completion of God’s work on the 6th day). 93 “Qur"§nic Challenges for Genesis. Pace most recently Wildberger. it becomes apparent that the Qur"§nic account (1) fills in gaps in the Biblical account. made in the Qur"§n.W. “‫ .92 V. as ßelem. Adam. 1:26-7). Unfortunately. E.v. s. I cannot trace this tradition farther back than the Jesuit Cornelius a Lapide. H. “‫צלם‬.v. 92 Finch. TLOT 3:1080. Is there any evidence that it was known at a date which would make it possible that the Hermetist was acquainted with this interpretation…?” We can now answer Dobb’s question in the affirmative. and the place where he is encountered. observing that the Greek terms σκια and ειδος used with regard to the divine Anthropos corresponded with the biblical ‫ צלם‬and ‫ דמות‬used in the creation account of Adam (Gen. The cult statue ßelem/ßalmu is usually worshipped as the god. is thus God’s black body on earth in which God’s Spirit/Glory (kābôd=Ba) incarnates. Glaser’s work is significant. “The Root ‘-L.Adam is therefore both the image and shadow of the Biblical god’s luminous form ( kābôd). Porteous said it. what was the reason the serpent tempted Adam and Eve? Qur’ān: Because on Adam’s account he (Iblīs) was cast out of Paradise.” 21.” as N. who died in 1637. Ida J. Eybers.v. A cognate root of TEM is DEM and this means ‘to name’ (Adam was the namer of all the animals). “Image of God. the Knowledge of God and Evil. Echoes. In this regard.g. 144.”צלם‬Stendebach. his “shadow picture. Atum is no less the COMPLETE OR PERFECT DIVINE MAN. 1:26. Adam/Atum in the Qur’an Through the use of vocabulary and concepts deriving from the ancient Near Eastern cult of images. Dodd (The Bible and the Greeks [London: Hodder & Stoughton.” JSOT 75 (1997): 3-19.” 29-32. corresponding fairly well with the ειδος and σκια of Poimandres. It is. “Let US make man”? The Qur"§n answers: the Exalted Assembly or council of angels. (2) offers explanations to aspects of the Biblical account. 1935] 157-8. however.

E. then fall down in prostration before him (fa-qa#å lahu sajidÊn) 30. Crisis and Memory: The Qur"§nic path towards canonization as reflected in the anthropogonic accounts. As Marcia K. Save IblÊs. (God) said: ‘O IblÊs! What ails thee. and go in through his rear and come out through his mouth. ’ Adam is here described as being made from ßalߧl. and IblÊs used to come to him and kick him.g.). Of black mud (Èama") wrought into shape (masnån) 27. 32. 21 . ‘Then get out hence. Where the Genesis account conspicuously lacks only a description of the cult-statue (Adam-as-ßelem) receiving the worship that cult-statues normally receive. of black mud wrought into shape.94 We will begin with Al-\ijr 15:26-34: 26. But this is not the only “Egyptianism” in the Islamic narrative. He answered: ‘I will not bow down (lā sujud) before a man whom You have created of dry ringing clay. 2001)113-52. all of them 31. hollow like a statue for forty days (or forty years) before Allah blew his spirit into it. “The Story of Adam.” Swedish Missiological Themes 93 (2005): 453-477. but confirms it in a most blatant way.(3) offers corrections to aspects of the Biblical account. (God) said.” Studies in Religion 17 (1988): 45 [art. the Qur"§nic account has them repenting immediately.=40-52]. Proceedings of the third Summer Academy of Working Group Modernity and Islam held at the Orient Institute of the German Oriental Society in Beirut (Beirut.” MW 65 (1964): 4-13. According to the Islamic commentaries. 28. for. Kenneth E. Al-Kahf 18:51-59. Nolin. Al-A#r§f 7:10-25. Hermansen underlined. enlivening it. The creation of Adam is retold in some detail in only slightly varying (though noncontradictory) ways in five surahs in the Qur"§n (Al-Baqara 2:28-39. On Adam’s creation in the Qur"§n se also: Angelika Neuwirth. become black’). surely thou art rejected.’ 34. From these materials Adam’s body was wrought into shape (masnån). And the Jinn We created previously of flaming fire. When the Qur"§nic account is read as such commentary on the Biblical account an unmistakable observation jumps out at us: the Qur"§n does not deny or correct the Genesis Adam-as-ßelem theology. fermented black mud (see Èamma ‘to blacken. When I have shaped him. Crisis and Memory in Islamic Societies. He (Adam) remained forty nights as an inert body. that you art not among the prostrate?’ 33. ‘See I am creating a man of dry ringing clay. See also Torsten Löfstedt. THE QUR"$NIC ACCOUNT PROVIDES IT. “Qur"§n. and he (Adam) gave a hollow ring like a clay pot…Then he (IblÊs) used to go in (Adam) through his mouth and come out through his rear. •§h§ 20:115-123). This image of clay recalls the Egyptian motif of god Khnum creating humanity on his potter’s wheel (see below page 27).” in Angelika Neuwirth and Andreas Pflitsch (edd. 29. And when your Lord said to the angels. then (Ibl Ês) said: ‘You are nothing’-to the hollow ring…When God breathed into (Adam) of His spirit. and breathed My spirit into him. of black mud wrought into shape. each version presents the story of Adam’s creation in order to convey a distinct point (thus the slight differences in the retelling). he refused to be among the prostrate. that is “dried clay that produces a sound like pottery (cf. while the Genesis account has Adam and Eve prevaricating after being discovered in the wrong. this black body called Adam remained inert and lifeless. Surely We created man of dry ringing clay (ßalߧl). So the angels prostrated (sajada). Al-\ijr 15:26-48. breath came from the 94 “Pattern and meaning in the qur"§nic Adam narratives. 55:14-15)” and Èama". “The creation and fall of Adam: A Comparison of the Qur’anic and Biblical accounts.

and everything which came to flow from it became flesh and blood. 143. The ancients believed that this power or energy has always existed and will always exist. of all visible functions. 22 . Through a collaboration of divine and human creative forces. And when the breathing had reached his navel. representing the god incarnate…The transformation is effected by ritual…”Without this rit ual. and the angels too (16:49).” But with this ritual. JarÊr al-•abarÊ (Oxford: Oxford University Press. 98 Wade Nobles. Cooper in The Commentary of the Qur"§n by Abå Ja#far MuÈammad b. like electricity.front of his head. the divine image assumes the identity of its referent. Like magical figurines. African Psychology (Oakland: Black Family Institutions. 97 On the Egyptian notion of Ba and Ka see below pages 27-28. the ‘image’ becomes a god. the distinction between representation and referent disappear. the ritual transubstantiates the material image and brings it to life. Sajada is what Muslims do when praying to God. The ‘image’ is thereby ‘born’. IblÊs. A divine image may be completely transformed into its referent through the performance of ritual.98 Just as Gen. 2. Adam. in His Own Image and Likeness. he looked and marveled at how beautiful was what he saw. the once -lifeless ‘image’ becomes an animate entity. Translation from J. 142. 1986) 36. the statue was only the product of human artisans. on God’s own orders. 95 Behind this imagery is surely the ancient Near Eastern cult statute enlivened through the mīs pî and pit pî rituals. so too does the Qur’ān. The ancients believed that there was only one power.’ and that this power or breath was transmitted from the ancestors to the descendants. The divine Breath/Spirit blown into Adam’s nostrils is the Egyptian Ba incarnating within the Ka-statue. 1987) 1:212-13. The Ba was in effect the vital principle which represented the essence of all things.” refused to worship 95 Al-•abarÊ reports in his commentary (ad Surah 2:30) from Ibn #Abb§s.7 depicts the transmission of the Ba or divine essence to the statue – Adam – through the ‘Breath of Life’ metaphor. When an ‘image’ (ßelem/ßalmu) represents a deity. This background is confirmed by the fact that after this ‘enlivening’ of the Adam-statue the angels are ordered to make prostration before Adam. which name derives from the Greek diabolus “Devil.97 As Wade Nobles explains in his African Psychology: The BA was the second (of seven divisions) of the psychic nature. 96 Carr.” But here Adam is worshipped by the angels. The Ba was the invisible source. It represented the transmission of the breath of life. the ‘image’ is an inanimate object…In the course of the ritual. which was symbolically represented as ‘THE BREATH.96 The only difference here in the Qur’ān is that the two step process – fashion statue and then ritualistically enliven it – is a completely divine rather than a collaborative divine-human effort. Before the ritual. It too is a surrogate. It is worship of God: “And to Allah makes prostration every living creature that is in the heavens and the earth.

this black Adam. 1:792-98 s.” He reports from #Abd al-Q§hir: I found one (of them) citing. Awn. Why? “I (IblÊs) am better than he.100 Indeed it is of fundamental importance. When Allah (God) breathed of his spirit into Adam.105 is “to succeed and replace or substitute for another. usually identified with Når MuÈammadÊ (the Light of MuÈammad). in proof of the possibility of God’s incarnation in bodies. 100 Gabriel Said Reynolds. “incarnationists. fall down making obeisance to him”. 2010) 39. him You have created of clay (7:12). suggesting that this is an account of fundamental important to the Qur’ān. 103 U.99 Prof Gabriel Said Reynolds in his important new book. the Qur’ānic story of Adam is an incarnational narrative. ‫ خلف‬.” Islamic Culture 62 (1988): 4 [art. we can safely accept the majority opinion that man was made the caliph of God. 46-7. as it defines not only the nature of Adam but the nature of Allah as well. 102 Abu Manßår #Abd al-Q§hir b.” Islamic Studies 3 (1964): 285-308. Therefore. Rubin.” 102 Al-Baghdādi’s polemical tone notwithstanding. from whose body the celestial/heavenly world is sometimes said to be derived.” For IblÊs’s pride and disobedience he was cast out of heaven to become Shayã§n or Satan. Qur’ān and Its Biblical Subtext. In both Sunnī and Shī#ī tradition we also learn that before the creation of the world God brought forth an anthropomorphic light. (God) said: “We have created man in the finest form (95:4). 1935) 79. John MacDonald. 105 “The Term ‘Khalīfa’ in Early Exegetical Literature. You (God) have created me from fire. Moselm Schisms and Sects (Al-FarÎ Bain al-FiraÎ). translated by Abraham S. as Wad§d al-Q§∙Ê has demonstrated. “Pre-existence and Light: Aspects of the concept of Når MuÈammadÊ. 1037 AD) labeled ÈulålÊya. Leiden: E. 23 . al-Farq Bayn al-Firaq.” As the cult statue 99 On IblÊs in Muslim tradition see Peter J.J. 104 “While some commentators have speculated whether man was made a successor to anot her species which held the title of khalīfah before him. 1983). these so-called ÈulålÊya correctly perceived the implications of the Qur"§nic narrative.=1-11]. Brill.” Die Welt des Islams 28 (1988): 392-411. “Adam in the Qur"§n. this black Adam whom the angels of God are ordered to worship is described as God’s khalīfa. Halkin.” Mustanir Mir. the Når MuÈammadÊ ‘incarnated’ in the molded body of Adam.” Israel Oriental Studies 5 (1975):62-119. Lexicon. Satan’s Tragedy and Redemption: IblÊs in Sufi Psychology (SHR 44. Reynolds correctly perceived the meaning of this recurrently Qur’ānic theme: “The Qur’ānic subtext suggests that…God was…in him (Adam). That this is a picture of Allah’s incarnation in the body of Adam was explicitly stated by some Muslims whom al-Baghdādi (d. The Qur’ān and Its Biblical Subtext (2010) correctly points outs: References to the prostration of the angels before Adam appear in no less than seven different S ūras. The Qur’ān and Its Biblical Subtext (Routledge. (The incarnationist) held that God commanded the angels to bow down before Adam only because he embodied himself in Adam and really abode in him because he created him in the most beautiful form. See also Lane. Veing the History of the Various Philosophical Systems Developed in Islam (Tel Aviv. Adam. it narrates God’s (Allah’s) incarnation within the black statue.”101 Like the Hebrew narrative. 101 Reynolds.v.104 The basic meaning of the root kh-l-f. God’s word to the angels regarding Adam: “So that when I have made him comp lete and breathed into him of my spirit. •§hir al-Baghd§di.103 In surah 2:30. “Islamic Eschatology-1: The Creation of Man and the Angels in the Eschatological Literature.

he is Re in the face.106 Similar to the Hebrew Adam-as-ßelem. “Al-Insān Al-Kāmil: The Perfect Man According to Ibn al‘Arabī. Wa-lam yakun lahu kufu’an āhad And none is equal to Him The Black Adam of the Qur’ān thus is the divine statue or earthly body of Allah in which the Ba or essence of Allah indwells. #3288. 2. 1954) 26 n.” Muslim World 77 (1987): 43-54. 112 Tirmidhi. 24 . Judaism in Islām: Biblical and Talmudic Backgrounds of the Koran and its Commentaries (New York: Bloch Publishing Company.” tamthÊl “assimilation. Kitab al-Sunna (Mecca. and Adam is the very Likeness. 110 On Ibn al-‘Arabī’s ‘al-Insān al-Kāmil’ see John T. “There is none like Him. “God created Adam according to His form (ßåratihi). Ibn Hanbal. 111 Bukh§rÊ. likeness. compare. 1201) noted. ‘likeness.113 God’s and Adam’s forms are therefore alike.v. the Qur"§nic Adam-as-khalīfa has been identified as the likeness (mithl) or form (ßåra) of God. Arabic Lexicon. they have no equal. Hanbal. “There is nothing like His Likeness (Adam). “taken literally (í§hir) these words indicate that God has a mithl. mithl. of Allah. likening.’ IS Adam. 5:243. s. 107 See True Islam. 109 Lane. Katsh. His name is hidden as Amun. 106 On the relatedness of the two concepts see Abraham I. ßåra. according to the Sufi Sheikh al-Akbar Ibn al-‘Arabi (d. The Qur’an and the Secret of the Black God (Atlanta: A-Team Publishing. We find the same declaration made in Egyptian literature about Atum/Amun. image. ßåra. 113 Ahmad b. ‘aÈÊÈ. The Truth of God: The Bible. King of the Gods.1. Re.’112 which was equated with Adam’s aÈsan taqwÊm. which is like nothing and like which there is nothing.” really reads “There is nothing like (ka) His likeness (mithlihi). The important and oft-repeated Qur’ānic verse Al-Shår§ 42:11: Laysa kamithlihi shay". and his body is Ptah.” mithl “similar. Little.” The mithl or divine likeness of 42:11 was understood in some circles as a reference to God’s form. the Perfect Man (al-Insān al-Kāmil). 1240). 1349 H) 159.substituted for the god on earth.”107 And as Ibn al-JawzÊ (d. “most beautiful stature” (95:4). The mithl or Divine Likeness (Adam) has no equal. isti"dh§n. Ptah. so too does the Qur"§nic Adam as khalīfa substitute for God on earth (‘I am going to place a khalīfa in the earth [fi ‘l-ar∙i]’ 2:30). “most beautiful form. In the Leiden Hymn to Amun Re it affirms: All gods are three: Amun. which term is a synonym of mith§l.” According to a hadith of Prophet Muhammad. The Hebrew ßelem and Arabic khalīfa are cognate concepts.110 Surat al-Shår§ 42:11 is thus read as.”108 The root m-th-l means “to be like.109 His mithl. as the Hebrew Adam as ßelem substituted for God on earth. Musnad. 2007) 78-85. Jami’ al-Sahih. 108 Ibid.”111 God Himself has an aÈsan ßåra.

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1891) 346. Ra.C. 1967). 2000). 1991). Hinrich’sche Buchhandlung. The Priests of Ancient Egypt.114 These were primarily ritual parallels: the Muslim ablution. Religion und Mythologie der alten Aegypter (Leipzig: J. Cheikh Anta Diop had already pointed out some of the parallels between Kemetic and Islamic traditions. all find precedent in ancient Egypt. the abstention from pork.115 To this list may be added the seven-fold circumambulation around the sacred temple. As examples we can cite: KABAR (a) = The action of raising the arms in prayer RAKA = The action of placing the forehead on the ground KAABA = The holy place of Mecca117 114 Cheikh Anta Diop. 26 . Civilization or Barbarism: An Authentic Anthropology (New York: Lawrence Hill Books. Ithaca: Cornell University Press. 117 Diop. 115 See also Emily Teeter. The African Origin of Civilization (Westport: Lawrence Hill & Company. Cultural Unity of Black Africa. the 30-day fast. New Edition (1957.116 But the theologies implied behind these rituals were equally similar. “Tod und Auferstehung des Osiris nach seiner Festbräuchen und Umzügen. Religion and Ritual in Ancient Egypt (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Hugo Greßmann. the ritual prayers. Ba. Ka. Cognate Religions Dr.” Der Alt Orient 23 (1923): 23. The Cultural Unity of Black Africa (1963/1989). 2011).The Ka’ba and the Black God of Kemet I. 89. 116 See Heinrich Brugsch. Ser ǵe Sauneron. Diop hints at this fact: It is remarkable that many Arabic religious terms can be obtained by a simple combination of the three Egyptian ontological notions.

the god Khnum who created humans on his potter’s wheel is shown creating the khat and its twin ka simultaneously. and the khat of the gods were often the focus of the theologians of Kemet. In order to fully understand and appreciate this verbal assonance between Kemetic ontological notions and Islamic religious terminology and sacred architecture – and thus appreciate Diop’s insight . 27 . the Black Stone or Al-Hajar Al-Aswad) housed therein are both called Ka’ba. on the other hand.we must have a clear understanding of the relevant Kemetic concepts. The Khat was the mortal body of the god.e. In a famous depiction. Ancient Egyptian Ontology Kemetic ontology recognized different aspects or modes (upwards of nine) of divine and human “being-ness. the ka. but it was a more transcendent mode of being. ab. However.” usually identified by such terms as: khat. shut. It is a perfect replica of the khat or mortal body. and also its central religious symbol (i. It is identified with the cult statue of the god in the temple. was the immortal body of the god. sahu. regarding the gods the emphasis was clearly on but three of these: “Your ba is in the sky Your body (khat) is in the netherworld Your statue (=ka) is in the temple” This recurrent tripartite theme has been elucidated by Egyptologist Jan Assmann. akh. ba. Contrary to popular Western notions. which itself was 118 The Search for God in Ancient Egypt (Cornell University Press. ren.118 The ba. 2001). The ka. without the mortality of it.1. I.Our focus here will be on the last point: Islam’s most sacred “house of God. liable to decay and thus becoming a corpse and a mummy (sahu). ka. It was as much a spiritual-material mode of being as the khat was.” Bayt Allah. the ka was not the immaterial “soul” or “spirit” of man/gods.

122 Cult Statue (ka) of Osiris Tremendous light was shed on the Arabian/Islamic Ka’ba and thus on its similarities with the Kemetic ka-statue by Prof Hildegard Lewy (d. . A Study of the Ba Concept in Ancient Egyptian Texts (University of Chicago Press. or physical form of the god.” is better described as the Kemetic notion of vital force or the essence of the gods. Cincinnati. 157. . 151-60. 120 Teeter. this characteristically Arabian/Semitic tradition of the cultic stone finds its great expression today in the Ka’ba of Mecca: Abstract representations of deity in the form of a square or cube was common throughout the (Pre-Hellenic) Semitic Near East…This was the baetyl.”121 And as Warwick Ball points out. Religion and Ritual. often described as the “soul. Otto. 'the house of god'. in humans the ba represented the embodiment of his/her vital forces and in the gods the embodiment of divine powers. 122 Warwick Ball. 1968). For more recent discussions see Louis Vico Zabkar. Romanian Jew from Klausenburg and Semitics scholar and Assyriologist from Hebrew Union College. the cult statue became the ka. 28 . “Die Anschauung vom B3 nach Coffin Texts Sp. 1969). 99-104. An example from Ancient Egypt”. Religion 16 (1986): 359-373. According to Eberhard Otto. the ancient Semitic idea of the sacred cube reaches culmination in the center of Semitic worship today: the Ka’ba…at Mecca.B.”123 Lewy documented an ancient 119 E. from bet'el. Such stones were thought to be the residence of a god hence the term applied to them by Byzantine Christian writers of the fifth and sixth centuries: 'baetyl'. 44. Finnestad. In her exceptionally important article “Origin And Significance of the Magen Dawid: A Comparative Study in the Ancient Religions of Jerusalem and Mecca. R. “Origin And Significance of the Magen Dawid: A Comparative Study in the Ancient Religions of Jerusalem and Mecca.120 How does this relate to the Islamic Ka’ba (=Ka + Ba)? The Black Stone in pre-Islamic Arabia served the same purpose as the cult statue did in Kemet: A principal sacred object in Arabian religion was the stone. the focal point of so many temples not subject to Classicising influences…Indeed. 121 Healey. “On transposing Soul and Body into a monistic conception of Being.” Miscellanea Gregoriana (1941).understood to be the divine body of the god on earth. Rome in the East: the transformation of an empire (Routledge. The ba. As Prof Emily Teeter of the Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago explains: The divine statue was provided as a physical form (ka) in which the ba could reside so that human beings could communicate with it…Once filled with and enlivened by the ba of the god. Like the ka-statue of the Kemetic deities a baetyl or bayt illah (Arabic “house of god”) was regarded as “the container of the god.119 It was this vital force/power that was ritualistically called down by the Egyptian priests to inhabit (!) and thus enliven the cult statute.” ArOr 18 (1950): 330-365. 2000) 379-380. . or stone cult object. Religion of the Nabataeans. 123 Hildegard Lewy.

was digging in alHijr while rebuilding the Ka’ba and found a stone on which was written: innānī Allāh Dhū Bakka.”126 We have every reason to believe that the cult of the Ka’ba had the same significance for the prophet Muhammad that it did for the ancient Arabians: it was the cult center of the Black God. As Lewy well argues in her study of the cult of the Black God in Mecca and Jerusalem: the Black Stone…was thought to be…a part of the body of a great god…(I)n the form of a black meteorite a piece of the deity’s astral body was visible to the congregation at all times…It was…no break with the ancient religion of Mecca when Mohammed…set up the Hajar al -aswad (Black Stone) in a place where it was accessible to the eyes and the lips of the worshipers…It is…pertinent to recall that. trans. Walter Dunne. In addition. Allāh. See Robert Brown. The black stone of the Meccan Ka’ba. famous companion of the Prophet Muhammad. as did the Dabistān –i Mazāhib. Tabari. Saturn’s officiating ministers were all black complexioned persons. 29 . 1901) 22. “I am Allāh. This point is explicitly made in a Muslim tradition according to which al-Z ubayr b. Tafsir (Cairo ed. While the shrine or temple itself was feminized and therefore identified with a goddess. 348. al-‘Awwām (d. ed. 1327)578 report identifications of the Meccan Ka’ba with the cult of the black deity Saturn. The significance of this command becomes apparent if it is kept in mind that the qibla is an outgrowth of the belief…that man can address his prayers only to a being visible 124 125 Lewy. The Dabistán or School of Manners. According to the Dabistān –i Mazāhib or “Schools of Religions” Saturn’s temple was constructed out of black stone as was his statue that stood there. before designating…the Ka’ba as the qibla… Mohammed ordered his followers to turn their faces in prayer toward the sacred rock in Jerusalem. 656). 349.”125 Paphos. Green and Co.) III:61. must be understood against the backdrop of the broader Semitic cult of stones. was anciently housed in a cubed temple or shrine covered in black curtains. Lord of Bekka (=Mecca). the stone inside the shrine is identified with the male god. Lewy has well argued. “Origin and Significance. Ethiopians. The Great Dionysiak Myth (London: Longmans. draped with black curtains. the ‘Black Planet. Kitab Akhbar Makka. David Shea and Anthony Troyer (New York and London: M.Semitic tradition – out of which the cults of Jerusalem and Mecca evolved – centered on a black stone that was considered to be both an embodiment of the primordial waters and a piece of the body of a deity.” 345. The Babylonians called Saturn Mi “The Black”. The ‘blackness’ of this pre-Islamic Arabian/Semitic deity and his cult Black Stone of Aphrodite inspired associations with the astral deity Saturn. etc. and featured a black stone representing the deity or an anthropomorphic statue of the deity made from black stone. Lewy noted: the Black Stone…was thought to be…a part of the body of a great god…(I)n the form of a black meteorite a piece of the deity’s astral body was visible to the congregation at all times…124 This stone. Allāh. 956) and alDimasqi (d. 126 Al-Azraqi. 185861) 42-3.. Cyprus whose temple was also made of black stone. the divine body being made from those dark waters. through which the deity was worshipped. Both al-Masudi (d. apud Die Chroniken der Stadt Mecca. 1878) 329. Ferdinand Wüstenfeld (Leipzig.

son of the second caliph. As the Indian Islamic scholar Muhammad Hamidullah summed up the meaning of the Black Stone: “The right hand of the invisible God must be visible symbolically. Al-Qurtubi. in it absence. 697. Symbols and Their Meanings (New York: Barnes and Noble. He is known to have circumambulated the Ka’ba on camelback while pointing to the Black Stone with a staff exclaiming. but he made it the center of Islamic ritual. p. he still turned his eyes in the direction of this sanctuary. to the stone or statue representing it on earth. a famous hadith of the Prophet is relevant: The Ka’ba (stone) is the Right Hand of Allāh and with it He shakes the hands of His servants as a man shakes the hand of His friend. 129 Ibn Qutayba.e. he was not present in the town where a sacred stone.” Diop’s insight is thus well-founded: Islam’s Ka’ba is the Kemetic ka and ba. the Black Stone in the Ka'bah. he not only kept this pre-Islamic idol. 127 We are here reminded of the famous “Hadīth of Jibrīl” in which Muhammad defines ihsan as “to worship God as though you see Him. the Black Stone. And that is the al-Hajar al-Aswad. Allah. 130 Jack Tressidder. If. and weep for a long time. 262). 2006) 22.128 He was observed touching the stone with a stick and then kissing the stick. Muhammad would touch the Black Stone. then indeed He sees you." 128 Bukharī. Ta' wil Mukhtalif al-Hadith (1972) 215 (=1995 ed. Sahih. In the history of religious symbolism the Hand symbolized a transmitter of spiritual and physical energy. ‘Umar. 198.” It is not made clear why interacting with the Black Stone was a source of such sadness. he could visualize it and thus address his prayer to it even from a distant point or locality. the ka or divine body/cult statue in which resides the ba or divine essence of the god.129 “Right Hand” here seems to be synecdoche (a part of something standing for the whole). al-Asna fi Sharh Asma' Allah al-Husna. having visited and inspected the deity’s body on the occasion of the annual the eyes127…when praying…the worshipper turned his eyes either to the heavenly body itself or. this is the place where one should shed tears. upon conquering Mecca. however. According to ‘Abd Allah b. and if you cannot see Him. was visible to the congregation.130 This is an apt description of the black body that the creator-god made for himself in order to be able to transmit his divine luminosity to earth without scorching it. kiss it. 30 . but that the Prophet made some intimate. In this regard. Muhammad’s reported interaction with Al-Hajar alAswad or the Black Stone is equally suggestive. destroyed most of the 360 pre-Islamic idols that had been housed in the Ka’ba. it being supposed that. II:90-91. Allāhu Akbar (Allāh is the greatest). While Muhammad. assumed to be a part of the deity’s astral body. i. deeply emotional association between the stone and Allāh is quite evident from these reports. He reportedly said to ‘Umar: “O ‘Umar. II.

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32 .‘His Throne is Ever on The Water’ I. -. The Throne of Allah And He it is Who created the heavens and the earth in six Days and His Throne was upon the water that He might try you. Israelite God Yahweh enthroned on a 4th cent. which of you is best in conduct. I suggest that a proper understanding is possible if we read it in the light of Egyptian Sacred Science. Throughout the Ancient Near East and India the anthropomorphic gods of the highest order were depicted sitting on their throne. First.Sura 11:7 The above passage from the Qur’ān is famous. BCE Gaza coin. it must be pointed out that the whole theme of a “god enthroned” has very specific connotations. In the History of Religions the divine throne is the signature of a very specific type of deity: the anthropomorphic (human-like) deity. but very enigmatic.1300 BCE. the thrones were material objects. As the gods were material beings.. Mesopotamian God Ur-Nammu enthroned Ancient Indic ‘ProtoShiva’ god enthroned Canaanite/Israelite God Ala (El) from Ugarit .. .

1990).In Islamic tradition the divine throne is equally material. God sits on the Throne like a man sitting on a leather saddle and makes it creak.TawÈÊd 103: 6ff. 18 §4726. His feet are said to rest on the Kursi or stool that accompanies the Throne. then He mounted the Throne (thumma ‘stawa ‘ala l-‘arsh). The Prophet’s physical gesturing hardly allows us to see in this report anything other than a physical description of God’s “establishment” on a physical Throne. For a look at the early traditionalist interpretation of the ‘arsh narratives cf. and did not stop repeating it so long as he didn't see his Companions doing as much.) like this"—and the Messenger of God put his fingers in the shape of a tent— and it creaks under Him like the creaking of the saddle under the rider. Ibn Khuzayma. but several times in the sayings of the Prophet." Sura 20:5 reads: Ar-Rahman 'ala-'l-'arsh istawa." Allah's angels are said to encircle the Throne (39:75) and hold it up. The anthropomorphism is blatant. Gosta Vitestan. "do you know what you're saying?" Then he started to say subhana llah. 372. the men are all in. at-Tabarani and others.”134 The Prophet compares Allah sitting on the Throne and making it creak to a man sitting on a saddled horse and making the saddle creak. In Sura 57:4 it reads. which is above His heavens. 509. Then he said [to the Bedouin]: "Unfortunate one! One does not ask God to intercede alongside any one of His creatures! God is very much above this! Unfortunate one! Do you know who God is? (God is on His Throne.132 As Allah sits firmly on the Throne of Power. meaning "The Beneficent One has sat down firmly on the Throne. and Ellen Wulff (Copenhagen: Museum Tusculanum Press. “Those who bear the Throne of Power and those around it” (Sura 40:7). 134 Abu Dawud.” The court or sitting place of the king is called ‘arsh. the beasts are dying. by Egon Keck. [Jubayr b. and the Glorious Throne of Power (83:15).” Numen 20 (1973).133 Kursi is mentioned only twice in the Qur"§n. Mutim and found in Abu Dawud. "He it is who created the heavens and the earth in six days. O’Shaughnessy. Ibn Khuzayma. and we ask of God to intercede for us alongside of you. 202-221. The Arabic word ‘arsh literally means “a thing constructed for shade” or “anything roofed. separate from the rest of creation and not to be understood as an allegorical expression for the creation of heaven and earth. The Throne of Allah has a very significant and exalted place in the Qur’ān. “God’s Throne and Biblical Symbolism in the Qur’an. and heavens are above His earth. the Mighty Throne of Power (23:86). the women and the children perish. Pray then to God in our favor so it rains! We ask of you to intercede for us alongside God. Though Kursi can signify ‘seat’ in a very general sense. According to the early Muslims (Salaf or Pious Ancestors) the Throne is a material object." "Unfortunate one!" answered the Messenger of God. the resources are growing thin. it usually meant a seat with no back or armrests. 133 "Kursi. Svend Sondergaad. According to a tradition on the authority of Jubayr b.” in Living Waters Scandinavian Orientalistic Studies ed.131 It is called the Throne of Grace (23:117). 131 132 Cf." EI2. The most famous of these Throne passages in the Qur’ān describe Allah anthropomorphically sitting Himself on the ‘arsh. Kit§b al. as-Sunan. a stool. Thomas J. Mut'im] narrates: A Bedouin came to find the Messenger of God and said to him: "O Messenger of God. The latter reportedly made it clear that the throne – and its divine occupant – were material. “’Arsh and Kursi: An Essay on the Throne Traditions in Islam. 33 .

God’s Throne on the Waters Image courtesy Akbar Shareef Muhammad The above image depicts Osiris sitting on his throne which itself sits on a slab of water. Sumerian Sun Shammah enthroned above water Israelite god Yahweh enthroned above water 34 . BCE Hebrew seal from Judah enthroned in a boat in water. This too is a very common Ancient Near Eastern theme. this divine throne above water has specific metaphorical as well as physical significance. and in the Egyptian context in particular. See for example the Mesopotamian Sun-God Shamash sitting enthroned above a slab of frozen water.II. In this Ancient Near Eastern context. and the Israelite god Yahweh depicted on a 7th cent.

Èama". a self-created man. Amun (Atum). the hieroglyphic writings of ancient Kemet (Egypt). 35 .II. the cuneiform writings of ancient Sumer (Chaldea/Mesopotamia). in the Bible. Chapter V. This body was anthropomorphic (man-like) and thus this God was the first man in existence. At a certain point the God decided to veil his luminosity with a body made from that same primordial aquatic dark substance from which he initially emerged. According to these texts. the Creator God was originally a luminous. Truth of God. represented by the so-called ‘sun-gods’ of ancient myth like Ra of Egypt and Shammash of Mesopotamia. As the light passed through the hair pores of this divine black body it produced a dark-blue iridescence or glow. This divine black body refracted the divine light as it passed through the hair pores covering the body. At some point. God’s Aquatic Body The religious texts of the ancient East. ’adāmāh. 135 The Eternal God. The ancients symbolized this visual effect by the semiprecious stone sapphire also known as lapis lazuli. which was a dark blue stone with golden speckles throughout. nun.e. and the Sanskrit writings of ancient India.1. The God’s body was thus depicted dark blue and said to be made of sapphire/lapis lazuli. in Kemet. record the history of God the Creator of the cosmos as a divine Black man. in Indic tradition tamas. formless essence hidden within a primordial substantive darkness called ‘waters’. in the Qur’ān. the ‘golden egg’ of ancient myth. in Black and Blue 135 For documentation of this ancient ‘Myth of the Black God’ see Islam. which the God used to build up his own luminous body. From this first atom there emerged many atoms. This black body is therefore referred to in later literature as God’s ‘shadow’ as it shades creation from the scorching heat of the ‘sun’ or luminous body of God. In Mesopotamian tradition this aquatic blackness from which the divine black body was formed was called apsu. this divine luminosity concentrated itself within this aquatic darkness and produced the atom or first particle of distinct matter. i. This was a brilliantly luminous man.

Vos. Vos pointed out.=161-195]. 139 Asko Parpola.” On water and cows in Indic tradition see further Anne Feldhaus. Bull. See for example the black skin of the Egyptian deity Min.” Israel Exploration Journal 51 (2001) 126.F.J.” in Diederik J. “Calf. MI. 140 Parpola. “The Bull and its Two Masters: Moon and Storm Deities in Relation to the Bull in Ancient Near Eastern Art.3. 178 notes: “Indeed. Bob Becking and Pieter W.3. the black skin of the bovine signaling the black skin of the Mnevis Bull deity. Conceptions of God in Ancient Egypt: the One and the Many (Ithaca: Cornell University Press. 3. The bull represented potency. Amiet. Corpus des cylinders de Ras Shamra-Ougarit II: Sceaux-cylinres en hematite et pierres diverses (Ras Shamra-Ougarit IX.137 The color of the bull was not arbitrary. P. 787.7 the spotted cow Śabalā is addressed: “Thou art the [primeval ocean]. “Varius Coloribus Apis: Some Remarks of the Colours of Apis and Other Sacred Animals.” On the bull and the moon-god in ancient Near Eastern mythology see also Tallay Ornan. Albright who noted that “the conception of the river as mighty bull is common”: “The Mouth of the Rivers. Caskell. 1992) 68.). On the falcon as symbol of the sun-god see J. “Color reflected the nature of a god” and thus the skin color “constituted the vehicle of the divine nature of a sacred animal. “The Near Eastern Moon God. 1969) 170-1.139 The black bovine was associated with Creator-god Min the black primordial waters from which the creatorof Kemet god emerged.31. different animals were used to symbolize distinct characteristics or attributes of a deity.3.1. Religious Meanings of Rivers in Maharashtra (New York and Oxford: Oxford University Press. 4. 4. The paramount ‘attribute animal’ of the black creatorgod was the black bovine. Studies Dedicated to the Memory of Jan Quaegebeur (Leuven: Uitgeverij Peeters en Departement Oosterse Studies. all essential characteristics of the creator-god. 1982)109-25. Liturgische Lieder an den Sonnengott.In antiquity various aspects of the gods were represented zoomorphically.v.).” AJSL 35 (1991): 167 n. Shepley and C. “New correspondences between Harappan and Near Eastern glyptic art. the black bovine symbolized night and Cult Statue of materiality.g. 36 . Antoon Schoors and Harco Willems (edd. “Attribute Animal” in idem. Choquet (New York: Abrams. Dominique Collon. See also René L. Assmann. Depiction and Description in the Ancient Near East (North-Holland.” 711. which symbolized morning/midday sunlight.” by N. Dictionary of Deities and Demons in the Bible.” 138 “Varius Coloribus Apis.11) and in PañcaviÒśa-Brāmana 21. As Asko Parpola notes regarding the Indic tradition: “the dark buffalo bathing in muddy water was conceived as the personification of the cosmic waters of chaos”.”138 Over against the golden lion or falcon. 1999) s. Untersuchungen zur ägyptischen Hymnik I (MÄS 19. Patterns in Comparative Religion. Wyatt. See also W. whose horns connect it with the crescent of the moon. Water and Womanhood. Amsterdam. 1998) 715.140 The black bull thus came to symbolize the black material body that the creator-god will form for himself. As René L.11. 1980) 440 n. Lincoln and London: University of Nebraska Press. the 136 On the ‘attribute animal’ of ancient Near Eastern religion see Erik Hornung. In the Œg Veda the cosmic waters are cows (e.W.: Brill and Eerdmans. fecundity. Meijer (ed. the golden-skinned hairy lion is an archetypal symbol for the golden-rayed sun. 137 On the symbolism of the bull see Mircea Eliade. by C. who notes that the bulls of Egypt “materialize upon the earth the creative forces of the hidden demiurge (creator -god). Paris: Éditions Recherche sur les Civilisations. 1995) 46-47.” 181. 2nd Edition (Leiden and Grand Rapids. Part 1. ERE 2:887-889 s. trans. J. Berlin. the lord of the day…Night…is equally well represented by the bull. “New correspondences.” South Asian Archaeology 1981. That is to say. and primordial materiality.3 [art. 1992) 19-37. 1996) 82-93. usually a bull. 180 -182. translated by Rosemary Sheed (1958.” in Willy Clarysse.136 who was otherwise anthropomorphic. Art of the Ancient Near East. Egyptian Religion: The Last Thousand Years.).v. van der Horst (edd. Karel van der Toorn. Natural Phenomena: Their Meaning.

1.D. 1968) 110. 52-53. Joshi.” AJSL 35 (1991): 161-195. IFAO.252 (Vāk as primordial cow). Black Arabia and the African Origin of Islam (Atlanta: A-Team Publishing. “Golden Germ.1. The Babylonian Tiamat (primordial salt-waters) seems also to have been presented as a bovine in the Enūma Elish: see B. the first earthly human.” JNES 20 (1961): 175 [art. Myths of Creation.12. PaÕcaaveÒśa-BrāhmaÖa 20. “The Fifth Tablet of Enuma Elis. After his initial creation of the celestial cosmos the luminous.9.6. On Vāk as primordial matter see Nagar. 2009) 91-97.‘creator god par excellence. On the fiery breath (Agni) and the waters see further Kuiper. viii. 146 See Mishra.”142 and he possessed a black body made from those primordial waters. On Min and black bovines see also H.” 142 See See W.1. ‘black bull of the Apsû (primordial waters). material world.=154-179].” in Dange. Egyptian Mythology Middlesex: The Hamlyn Publishing Group Ltd.H. Les personnel du dieu Min (Le Caire.6. esp.1. “Later Vedic and Brahmanical Accounts. On Vāk and the primordial waters see ibid. J. 57-62. in his VißÖu 141 Robert A.147 According to the Trimūrti or Triad tradition of the Purānas VißÖu is the name of the creator-god PrajāpatiBrahmā with his luminous body cloaked within an aquatic body made from the primordial waters.3.2. clearly expresses this motif. 6. 1986.V. Therefore. water.1.145 Prajāpati-Brahmā’s copulation with Vāk is a metaphor for the reuniting of fire (breath) with VißÖu statue.125.141 The Sumerian creator-god Enki was called am-gig-abzu.” 27-30.14. Nārāyana.=113-121). anthropomorphic Indic creator-deity Prajāpati-Brahmā is said to have wrapped himself in the primordial waters which were personified in his daughter/wife Vāk/Virāj.144 He then became haritah śyāvah. “Varius Coloribus Apis.2.” 37 .” Journal of the Oriental Institute 32 (1982): 1-17. Godbole.2. which is only Prajāpati-Brahmā himself reborn in the phenomenal. which is a Kushite (African) tradition at root. “Prajāpati in Vedic Mythology and Ritual. Kinnier Wilson. 13).19. Veronica Ions. Recherches d’Archéologie 2) 55-57. “Prajāpati. haritah). 2001) 157. Thus. “All. See G. Bosch.. Jaiminīya-BrāhmaÖa 2. dark brown like night (śyāvah. Gonda. Hornblower.) with a ting of yellow (a yellow glow.2. Golden Germ. 167.” beginning with Manu. “The Mouth of the Rivers. Brahmā-Worship. On the black bull and the black waters of creation see also Vos.” Man 46 (1946): 116 [art. Bosch.” 715. as VißÖu. 1931. Landsberger and J. Universe and Totality in the Śatapatha -BrāhmaÖa. On the mythological significance of the black bovine skin see especially Vos. 718. 9.” 113.48.F. Gods and Myths of Ancient Egypt (Cairo and New York: The American University in Cairo Press. Œg Veda 6.146 Prajāpati-Brahmā’s (re-)uniting with Madhava Moorti Vāk (primordial water/primordial cow) produced the idaÒ sarvam or “phenomenal. 144 See G. (Prajāpati-)Brahmā is called “he who dwells in the [causal] waters. Albright. Prajāpati-Brahmā material world. While Min was associated with a white bull in New Kingdom Panopolis and Coptos at an earlier period in Heliopolis he was associated with the black bull Mnevis. “Varius Coloribus Apis. “Min and His Functions. 145 See Taittirīya BrāhmaÖa 2. 143 See Wesley Muhammad.5. Golden Germ. Śatapatha-BrāhmaÖa 6.3. 11. Image of Brāhma. Joshi.” and his black bull Mnevis. Gauthier. Œg Veda 10. Armour..4. 147 Śatapatha-BrāhmaÖa 6.143 Ancient Indic tradition.” By assuming this form (Prajāpati-)Brahmā showed mercy on creation.

and a dark blue body. Iconography of VißÖu (In Northern India.149 Plutarch (d. J.‘VißÖu’ form he is called auspicious. who himself was identified with the aquatic element. Bhattachari. Martin. Kalpana S. and in their holy rites the water jar in honor of the god heads the procession. which engulfed the remnants-‘flesh’-of the once virile solar god.” Religion 16 (1986): 101-114. alluding to the interaction of the light of Prajāpati-Brahmā with this black matter. The Art and Iconography of Vishnu-Narayana (Bombay. likewise personified the waters of the Nile which was regarded as a type of Nun.151 “the sun god plunged into the primordial waters. Gonda. and he (Apis) was associated with the Black God Osiris. Myths and Gods of India. primeval watery mass out of which creation sprang. 151 See above note 38. the dark.150 Above we noted that the myth of Ra joining Osiris in the Duat or Underworld is actually a picturesque way of presenting Ra’s incarnation in the black. “The Submarine Mare in the Mythology of Śiva. alluding to the dark aquatic matter from which it was formed.”152 Osiris. Oosthoek’s Uitgevers Mij. 148 On VißÖu see Daniélou. 1954). Tutankhamun’s Armies. but every form of moisture (the Egyptians) call simply the effusion of Osiris. 120 CE) thus notes: Not only the Nile.F. Chapter Fourteen. 365B.J Kuiper. 150 Isis and Osiris. ruler of the Duat. Gods of India. or Atum. Inc. Upto the Mediaeval Period) (New Delhi: Abhinav Publications. “La Mise a Mort Rituelle D’Apis.A. The black bull (k" km) of Egypt. 1973). E. Wallis Budge. Arvind Sharma. aquatic body personified in Osiris.V. N. ‘the flesh of Ra’. “The Three Strides of VißÖu. out of which creation originally arose…the sun god absorbed the chaotic power of the primordial waters. 152 Darnell and Manassa. Chapter Three. The Egyptian Book of the Dead (The Papyrus of Ani). Indian Theogony. Aspects of Early VißÖuism (Utrecht. The Duat represents the primordial waters and is explicitly identified with the black body of Osiris. Chapters Eleven through Fourteen.A. Ancient Indian Cosmogony. “The Significance of VißÖu Reclining on the Serpent.” Recueil de travaux relatifs a la philology et a l’archeologie egyptiennes et assyriennes 38 [1916] 33-60. 36. See also Wendy Doniger O’flaherty. Nanditha Krishna. Desai. Egyptian Text Transliterated and Translated [New York: Dover Publications. 1980). Apis. 38 .” in idem.B. 1967] cxxiii. 41-55.148 VißÖu is depicted both with a pitch-black body. 22-23.” JRAS 1971 9-27 149 See Émile Chassinat. is thus called Auf-Ra.

J. Tartuer Symposien 1998-2004 (Berlin and New York: Walter de Gruyter. 156 A. Temple and Worship Biblical Israel (London/New York: Clark. 88. Gaballa and Kenneth A.” in John Ruffle. Orbis Aegyptiorum Speculum: Glimpses of Ancient Egypt. its bottom reaching deep into the Abzu or primordial waters. Gaballa and Kenneth A. Classical Studies 1 (1978): 69-110. 155 D. “The Brick Foundation of Late-Period Temples and their Mythological Origin.W.That the throne and the watery dais upon which it sits have somatic significance. First. Dunand and Zivie-Coche.156 The Seven-step ziggurat of Mesopotamia and the Sevenstage descent of luminous Spirit into Black Matter 153 Mark S. the primordial waters in Egyptian cosmogonic thought. “Deep-Rooted Skyscrapers and Bricks: Ancient Mesopotamian Architecture and its Imagery. the temple architecture symbolically reflects the anthropomorphic body of the god and ‘houses’ the story of how this divine body emerged out of the primordial waters. Kitchen (edd. G. 2007) 1-53. Like Temples (Like People). The temple was considered an architectonic icon: an image in stone of the god.). Idea into Image: Essays on Ancient Egyptian Thought (Timken Publishers.W.A. 1979) 170-171. 2005) 21. Amar Annus. Fairman (Warminster.” in Thomas Richard K ämmerer (ed. Ragnhild Bjerre Finnestad.” in M.). Edzard. Geller and J. Pirjo Lapinkivi. 154 Mabbett. 2004) 146. Erik Hornung. they signify aspects of the body of the deity.” 64i. “Symbolism of Mount Meru. Studies on Ritual and Society in the Ancient Near East. 1985).J. “The God of the Great Temple of Edfu. Wansbrough (edd.).153 Thus. Figurative Language in the Ancient Near East (London: University of London. 39 . Andrzej Wierciński. 1992) Chapter 6. Hornung. it is known that the whole of the Ancient Near Eastern and Indian sacred temple reflected the bod(ies) of the god to whom it is dedicated and that the throne-room was a miniature temple itself.A. “The Temple as Purusa.” in John Ruffle. can be demonstrated. 119. 1979) 133. Mohiy wl-Din Ibrahim. On the cosmic/cosmogonic symbolism of the Egyptian temple see also John Baines. “The Soul’s Ascent and Tauroctony: On Babyl onian Sediment in the Syncretic Religious Doctrines of Late Antiquity.). Studies in Honour of H. Kitchen (edd.). Mindlin.W. 1987) 13-24.O.” RAIN 15 (1976): 10-15.E. Idea into Image. Orbis Aegyptiorum Speculum: Glimpses of Ancient Egypt. In particular. The Sumerian Sacred Marriage in the Light of Comparative Evidence (Helsinki: The Neo-Assyrian Text Corpus Project. Studies in Honour of H. “The Symbolism of Mount Meru. Gods and Men in Egypt.” in Pramod Chandra (ed) Studies in Indian Temple Architecture (American Institute of Indian Studies. M. Image of the World and Symbol of the Creator: On the Cosmological and Iconological Values of the Temple of Edfu (Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz. “Temple Symbolism. Stella Kramrish. viz.” in John Day (ed.” History of Religions 23 (1983) 64-83. its top portion touching heaven.” Occasional Publications in. Smith. G. Fairman (Warminster. Mabbett. “Like Deities. which is associated with the primordial waters: thus the undulating course of the bricks on the external walls of the Egyptian temple are designed to imitate the waves of Nun. Spenser.154 The temple is thus the link between heaven and earth. “Pyramids and Ziggurats as the Architectonic Representations of the Archetype of the Cosmic Mountain. I. dur-an-ki. 1975) 40-46. the seven levels of the Mesopotamian ziggurat or stepped-pyramid represented the seven stages of the divine descent from the highest heaven into material enmeshment (incarnation).155 The lowest level of the ziggurat and the exterior walls of the temple represent the external body of the god.

the Divine Man (Yahweh) 40 . The Prasada Temple of Hindu India C.A. The Luxor Temple of Kemet B. Layout of the Temple of Solomon reflecting the body of the High Priest.

Its symbolic significance is that the spiritual principle is emerging from the material world. the immortal body.As the exterior temple walls with their wave-like bricks symbolize the earthly body of the god and the interior of the temple – the Holy of Holies – signifies the god’s internal essence/glory.157 This is also the significance of the box-like thrones upon which the Egyptian deities and kings sit. the box-like structure in general in Egyptian thought is “the model of the earth and the material world. 53.” Thus. enthroned on cubed throne 157 158 Gadalla. but one of a higher nature than the ‘bottom’ or most external body. This is a box like structure with a human figure emerging out of it. Egyptian Cosmology.”158 The ‘mind over matter’ explanation is cliché: this arrangement signifies in actuality the predominance of the divine person/body (the ka) over the mortal body (the khat). 53. and the god sitting on top is the ka. Gadalla. i. Khepri form and Asar (Osiris) form of Atum. Egyptian Cosmology. there is the powerful sense of the subject emerging from the prison of the cube.e. The bottom wavelike dais is the equivalent of the temple walls with its undulating bricks. 41 . In these cube statues. Gadalla notes: “The Divine person is shown sitting squarely on a cube. mind over matter. so too is this pattern reflected in the arrangement of the cultstatue inside the temple. As Moustafa Gadalla explains. these throne-room accessories tell us something about the bodies of the gods. the boxlike throne represents the material body of the god. Like the temple itself. The correctness of this insight is indicated by the significance of the so-called cube-statues that became prevalent during Kemet’s Middle Kingdom (2040 BCE – 1783 BCE).

“Sapphiric God: Esoteric Speculation on the Divine Body in Post-Biblical Jewish Tradition. 2001).162 The divine sapphiric body was thus an aquatic body. 1971). 1991) 2:463 -488. 2 vols. “Lapis-Lazuli rt Régénération. Sethian Gnosticism and the Platonic Tradition (Québec. Though this movement was made up of various groups. therefore understandably identified Yahweh with Adam (Kadmon). according to whom the dark blue ritual tassel (ẓiẓit) worn on the prayer shawl (tallit) of observant Jews symbolized the sapphiric body of God. “Lapis-lazuli et Régénération.. Mass. 161 F. idem. (edd.M.).” 465 and passim. Tree of Souls. Leo Schaya. Yahweh-Elohim (Allah): The Aquatic Body in Biblical Tradition Because of the noted relationship between Ancient Near Eastern (especially Egyptian) tradition and Biblical tradition. The esoteric tradition of the priests of the Jerusalem Temple identified the long dark blue robe (me’îl) of the high priest with the earthly body of Yahweh.” in J. 1986) 55-86. Tishby. Kaballah. Hedrick and Robert Hodgson.160 Sapphire/lapis lazuli is a semiprecious stone which possessed great mythological significance in the Ancient Near East. King. trns from the French by Nancy Pearson (London: George Allen & Unwin Ltd. 1996). Hopking. C. developed a 159 160 Muhammad. Wisdom of the Zohar. 165 John” in Sydney Aufrère. Jr.=320-352].pdf. 34f. 116-119. And London: The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press.”161 In its natural state sapphire/lapis lazuli is deep blue with fine golden spangles and was associated both with the starry night heavens and the primordial waters.J. The Practical Kabbalah Guidebook (New York: Sterling Publishing. 2003). The Universal Meaning of the Kabbalah. Rethinking “Gnosticism”: An Argument for Dismantling a Dubious Category (Princeton.2.4th centuries CE. I:295-298. 162 Daumas notes: “Le lapis-lazuli paraît avoir été associé à deux principaux aspects de la nature : la nuit…et l’eau primordiale”.” @ http://drwesleywilliams. we are not surprised to find that the god of the Bible is described in many Jewish sources as possessing this same aquatic body that the Ancient Near Eastern deities possessed. New Jersey: Princeton University Press. MASS: Hendrickson Publishers. Paris: Les Presses de l’Université Laval and Éditions Peeters. The later Jewish mystical tradition. 224-229. “The L§ã Bhairo at Benares (V§r§ÖasÊ): Another Pre-Aśokan Monument?” ZDMG 133 (1983): 327-43 [art.159 This esoteric priestly tradition was inherited by the later rabbis. “Gnosticism and the New Testament. Truth of God. L’Univers minéral dans la pensée Égyptienne. Gnosticism.” Encyclopedia Judaica 2:248-49. See Wesley Muhammad. 164 L. 46. On Jewish Gnosticism see also Gils Quispel. & Early Christianity (Peabody. Gershom Sholem. Turner. 163 On Adam Kadmon v Schwartz. Guide to the Zohar. John Irwin. 15-16. Green.” in in Charles W. What is Gnosticism? (Cambridge. Daumas.163 Gnosticism was a religious/philosophical movement of the 1st .165 amazingly.1822304 2. (Le Caire: Institut Français d’Archéologie Orientale du Caire.164 the earliest no doubt formed around a group of renegade Jewish priests from the Jerusalem Temple who. 2001) 257ff. being considered the “ultimate Divine substance. “Sethian Gnosticism: A Literary History. Jewish sources from the first century CE and beyond document the belief that Yahweh acquired his aquatic body in much the same way that Atum did. 42 .II. Nag Hammadi. “Adam Kadmon.

Papers read at the 100 th Meeting of the Society of Biblical Literature. (Leiden: E.J. 14 (1984): 301-11. New Jersey: Princeton University Press. Philip Hyatt (ed.). idem.” MA thesis. “The Old Testament God in Early Gnosticism. “Yaldaboath: The Gnostic Female Principle in its Fallenness. The Apocryphon of John (II 11.B. 1985. 1992) Chapt.). With his black material body. idem. 166 For English translations of these texts see Willis Barnstone and Marvin Meyer. Jackson. Miami University. They worshiped as the supreme God the luminous anthropos of Day One of Genesis with his brilliant light-body. 46-68. Stevan L. 43 . Couliano.25-26). Judaic Christianity and Gnosis. Dahl. They had come under the spell of Greek philosophy.168 Because materiality was associated with femininity according to the Pythagorean Table of Opposites. the Hypostasis of the Archons.” in Bentley Layton (ed. 17-18). Ioan P. 1981) 2:689-712. Carol Harrison (New York: HaperCollins Publishing. Atlanta: Scholars Press. “The Origin of the Gnostic Demiurge.” in Perspectives on Jewish Thought and Mysticism (Amsterdam. that this group of priests revolted against. Logan and A.R. LTD. The Netherlands: Harwood Academic Publishers. Mowbray & Co. Rethinking “Gnosticism”: An Argument for Dismantling a Dubious Category (Princeton.” in Innovation in Religious Traditions: Essays in the Interpretation of Religious Change (Religion and Society Series 31. 94.” Religion. 1996) 63-79. “Samael and the Problem of Jewish Gnosticism. “The Lion-Headed Yaldabaoth. 167 On the Gnostic demiurge and biblical deity see Simon Pétrement. Ohio. Sophia-Achamoth. Davies. Howard M.H. Michael Allen Williams. 4. Wedderburn (edd. A Separate God.” NovTes (1990): 79-95. TN: Abingdon Press). idem. and that characterized by darkness. Gnosis. “The demonizing of the demiurge: The innovation of Gnostic myth. Berlin. Connecticut. these early Gnostics represented Yahweh-Elohim’s black material body as a black goddess. The Christian Origins of Gnosticism tns. 1978 2 vols.’ The Gnostics separated this luminous man (phÙs) from his black material ‘veil. Kurt Rudolph. The Rediscovery of Gnosticism: Proceedings of the International Conference on Gnosticism at Yale New Haven. materiality. Particularly influential on their thinking was the Pythagorean Table of Opposites. See also Joseph Dan.167 whom they demonized and rejected because of his creation of a material (and thus evil) world. trns. the God of the Bible (Yahweh-Elohim) was seen as evil and even equated with the devil at times. The Gnostic Problem: A Study of the Relations between Hellenistic Judaism and the Gnostic Heresy (London: A. 1992) 73107. Foerster Werner. 168 The Hypostasis of the Archons (NHC II. McL. Anne Ingvild Sælid Gilhus. usually called phÙs. the Nature and History of an Ancient Agnostic Trickster. 19990). The Gnostics thus ‘split’ the God of Israel in two. According to Pythagoras. R. The Bible in Modern Scholarship. 1990) Chap. “Judaism. E.). 1970. and maleness was good. 1974] 1: 11. 2006). The Tree of Gnosis: Gnostic Mythology from Early Christianity to Modern Nihilism (New York: HarperCollins Publishing. and femininity was bad: the two groups were antithetical.” in A. “The Arrogant Archon and the Lewd Sophia: Jewish Traditions in Gnostic Revolt.” Ephemerides Theologicae Lovanienses 61 (1985): 142-52. Jarl Fossum. The Lion Becomes Man: The Gnostic Leontomorphic Creator and the Platonic Tradition (SBLDS 81.’ The latter was exclusively identified with the God of the Bible. Aydeet Fischer-Mueller. December 28-30. 1998) 257-276. 4. which name is Greek and means both ‘light’ and ‘man. Gnostic texts such the Apocraphon of John. 1964 2). “The Gnostic Demiurge . and On the Origin of the World leave no doubt as to why166: it was the material blackness of this God.disgust for the God of Israel. 1958. and Egyptian Christianity (Minneapolis: Fortress. 1983).M. Judaism. New York: Mouton de Gruyter.” Journal of Religious History 11 (1981): 495-500. Birger Pearson. spirit. The Gnostic Bible (New Seeds. 1964 (Nashville. that which is characterized by light. Nils A. 1983). The New Testament and Gnosis (Edinburgh: T&T Clark Limited. Wilson. Gnosticism. Brill. I. March 28-31.J. Robert McLachlan Wilson (Edinburgh: T&T Clark. or his body. Gnosis: A Selection of Texts [Oxford: Clarendon Press.

Light From the Ancient East. the Mandean demiurge Ptahil (Right Ginza III. Gnostic Imagination. Colloque du Centre d’Histoire des Religions (Strasbourg. 44 . θαλασσειδη. Dan Cohn-Sherbok. an uthra (divine light-being). Papers read at the 100th Meeting of the Society of Biblical Literature.”171 Plotinus’s Gnostics (Enn. 2000) 87-120. The New Testament Illustrated by Recently Discovered Texts of the Graeco-roman World (trns. New York: State University of New York Press. The amulet reads: ουρανοειδη. νεφελοειδη.These (Jewish) Gnostic sources evidence an awareness of the God of Israel’s aquatic body. Brill. Dunkelgestaltiger. Ref. idem. seems to parallel eidos and morphos. PGM IV. Including the Demotic Spells. having glanced at and/or descend to the waters below. idem. The Gnostic Religion. TN: Abingdon Press. 6. sealike. 110-11.172 The Mandean Demiurge Ptahil is a reflection in black water of his father Abathur. See also Adolf Deissmann. Grand Rapids.).10. 116-29.4-10. esp. Brill. The Tree of Gnosis: Gnostic Mythology from Early Christianity to Modern Nihilism (New York: HarperCollins Publishing. Similarly. Gilles Quispel. On the Gnostic myth of the sunken deity see Maria Grazia Lancellotti. “The Mandaeans and Heterodox Judaism. Ecstasy. for the Docetists of Hippolytus (Ref. A magical invocation to the Jewish God found on a Greek-Hebrew amulet169 and in a Greek magical papyrus170 reads: “Thou (whose) form is like heaven. I have departed from standard translations in order to bring out what I believe is the true sense of this passage. Collins and Michael Fishbane (edd. 23-25 octobre 1974) (NHS 7.1) the creator god of Genesis is an impression in dark matter of a higher light Aeon. 3065 reads: ουρανοειδη.). 1975) 82-122. The Betz translation of PGM IV 3065 obscures the obvious morphic focus of the passage. esp. Herm. 94-5.” in Nag Hammadi and Gnosis. Philip Hyatt (ed. cloudlike”.3) describe the Demiurge or Biblical creatorgod as a dark image (eidolon) in matter of the (S)oul’s reflection. the divine anthropos of the Naassens (Hippolytus. “Ein rätselhaftes Amulett.” SBL Seminar Papers 30 (1991): 638-646. idem. 173 Right Ginza V 1. Gils Quispel. Mystical Shape. VIII 9. 170 PGM IV.” Rel 11 (1981): 227-234. 1965) 279-93. like darkness/cloud. du Allgestaltiger” (80). 1992) 95. Hans Dieter Betz [Chicago: The University of Chicago Press] 97) as. 2001). 3065. 1965) 262.g. 80 and Scholem’s discussion. M. image) who. Meeresgestaltiger.174 The characteristically ‘Gnostic’ myth of the ‘sunken god’ explains the origin of the Biblical god’s aquatic body: the deity (or his eidolon.” HUCA 54 (1983): 147-51.” in J. the Message of the Alien God & the Beginnings of Christianity (Boston: Beacon Press. 28.173 These two figures show some relation to the biblical El (Abathur) and Yahweh (Ptahil). the All-shaped. V 6. “The Demiurge in the Apocryphon of John. Les Textes de Nag Hammadi. I 1-32). December 1976) (Leiden: E. 175 See e.J. Mich.). 1964 (Nashville. 9. 98-100). Papers read at the First International Congress of Coptology (Cairo. His substance is Darkness…” Ioan P. On Mandaeaism and Jewish tradition see Deutsch. Quispel’s ‘Gnosticism and the New Testament’. “The Alphabet in Mandaean and Jewish Gnosticism. Strachan. like the sea. 172 Regarding the Docetic demiurge Couliano notes: “He is the image in Darkness of an aeon whose transcendence has been forever separated from the lower world by th e firmament. “Response to G. and Other Worldly Journeys (Albany. “Jewish Gnosis and Mandaen Gnosticism: Some Reflections on the Writing Bronté. “The New Religionsgeschichtliche Schule: The Quest for Jewish Christology. Guardians of the Gate.” Wiener Jahreshefte 32 (1940): 79-84. and the divine anthropos of Poimandres (Corp. 171 My translation. 168. Christianity. Lionel R. 3-11). December 28-30. by adding παντόμορφε. which is translated in Betz (The Greek Magical Papyri in Translation. “Abathur: A New Etymology.” in John J. 62-65. ed.. {θ}σxοτοειδη θαλασσοειδη xαι παντόμορφε which Keil translates “du Himmelsgestaltiger.=1-33]. Hans Jonas. II. 174 See especially the discussion by Nathaniel Deutsch. Jarl Fossum. Couliano. “[the] skylike. Death. Classical and Ancient Near Eastern Traditions (Münster: Ugarit-Verlag. The Bible in Modern Scholarship. became engulfed by them and embodied within them.175 Now 169 See Josef Keil. Baker Book House. 1978) 7-9 [art. 1995) 171-79. Keil seems right in his translation because the amulet.” in Jacques-é Ménard (ed. The Naassenes: A Gnostic Identity Among Judaism. 156-65.J. Leiden: E.

from which she acquired a watery-body.J. Geschichte. 45 . “The Name Ialdabaoth.” in Mélanges d’Histoire des Religions offertes à Henri-Charles Puech (Paris: Presses Universitaires de France. Wilson (Oxford: The Clarendon Press. Grant. Wedderburn (edd. Tuomas Rasimus. 203: “her abandoned body fathers the Archon Yaldabaoth”. “Yaldabaoth and the Language of the Gnostics. “An Aramaic Etymology for Jaldabaoth?” in A.B. Sethian Gnosticism. 162-3. According to this myth. god is somatically associated with both the blue waters and the blue firmament.178 She finally abandoned this blue celestial. This partial illumination of the Darkness…. the divine luminosity enmeshed in the dark depiction of the ‘luminous’ and ‘sunken’ aspects of the biblical aqueous matter. Robert M. Matthew Black. routinely identified with the biblical creator god. 179 Turner. Reflexion: Festschrift für Martin Hengel zum 70. 2438. the Biblical creator. This is the image of ‘gold in Eliphas Levi’s (d. R. reflection. trans and ed. McL. 280-87) Welburn associates the blue circle (see contra Celsum VI. 1983). Gershom Scholem.” in Peter Schäfer (ed. In his reconstruction of the diagram (“Reconstructing the Ophite Diagram. she was able to escape from the waters and re-ascend upwards. Hans Jonas describes this mythic motif: (The motif) implies the mythic idea of the substantiality of an image. her (blue) watery-body serving as the visible heaven. 1974) 405-421.).” VC 59 (2005): 237 [art. Gnosis.B. Sethianism and the Nag Hammadi Library. aquatic body. esp.179 176 177 Gnostic Religion. Mohr (Paul Siebeck). 69-72.). the God of Israel. Logan and A.” NovT 23 (1981): 262-87. is in the nature of a form projected into the dark medium and appearing there as an image or reflection of the divine…though no real descent or fall of the divine original has taken place. Welburn reads this myth as a commentary on the Ophite Diagram described in Origen’s contra Celsum VI.” VC 11 (1957): 14849. A Selection of Gnostic Texts. 1875 ) mud. The New Testament and Gnosis: Essays in honour of Robert McL. something of itself has become immersed in the lower world…in this way the divine form…becomes embodied in the matter of Darkness…176 The point of this myth is well summarized by Werner Foerster who suggests that “the totality of Gnosis can be comprehended in a single image.=235-63]: “The remains of her body fathered the demiurge Ialdabaoth” On various scholarly derivations of the name ‘Yaldabaoth’ see Joseph Dan.H.possessing an ‘aquatic body. “The Origin in Ancient Incantatory Voces Magicae of Some Names in the Sethian Gnostic System. 1996) 557-64 Howard M. 2 vols.” VC 43 (1989): 69-79. which then became Yaldabaoth. 178 A. or shadow as representing a real part of the original entity from which it has become detached…By its nature the Light shines into the Darkness below. 1972) 1: 2.C. Tradition.30) the luminous Heavenly Sophia (versus here black material counterpart Sophia Achamoth) descended and was entrapped by the waters below. “Ophite Gnosticism. Jackson. Geburtstag (Tübingen: J.J. Wilson (Edinburgh: T&T Clark Limited. “Jaldabaoth Reconsidered. According to Irenaeus’ Ophites (Against the Heretics I. She then spread herself out as a covering.M.e.’ this deity becomes the Demiurge. if it issued from an individual divine figure such as Sophia or Man. After garnering enough strength (“power from the moisture of light”).God. 38) with Sophia’s ‘watery-body’ of the above myth.’”177 i.

” For him. “vision/appearance. Dr. who as the “foundation-stone of Zion (Isa. The relevant portion reads: …God opened to Ezekiel the seven subterranean chambers.181 is in the tale of King David digging pits (shîttîn) into the earth to build the foundations for the Temple.” in I. behind this tale is clearly the myth of the sunken image of the deity. the divine name inscribed on the sherd) that fell into the primordial waters.” 185 Trans. While Ezekiel was watching.” Another case was made by Halperin.).e.’ 184 So Ezekiel stood by the river Chebar and looked into the water. a play on ma’reh. and the Èayyot. 1:1]. ‘Turn around and see the king. angels. 211-249. 183 On which see also Gruenwald. Epstein. Roth (edd. 28:16)” and the “corner-stone which has become the head of the corner (Ps.H. He showed him a mountain underneath the river. and the firmaments were opened to him and he saw God’s glory ( kabod). got a haircut. While he was looking into the mirror. 1988). Adamas. and sparkling-winged ones joined to the merkabah.” an epithet for God). He cites the Naassene Hymn in which the Primordial Man.’ He said. ‘I have already seen the mirror. seeing the image in the mirror is tantamount to seeing the king himself.” is a play on mar’eh.180 One such reflex. 118:22)” fell into the watery cosmic matter: “This (the talmudic motif) echoes the conception of the Gnostic God who sinks into the depth. Isaac said: God showed Ezekiel the primordial waters that are bound up in the great sea and in layers. 181 Alexander Altmann.Reflexes of this myth are found in non-Gnostic Jewish sources as well. Faces. “Gnostic Themes in Rabbinic Cosmology. 230. David inscribes the divine name on a sherd and casts it into the deep. in Halperin. They passed by in the heavens and Ezekiel saw them in the water. Essays In honour of the Very Rev. 1942 (5703) (London: Edward Goldston. God opened to him seven firmaments and he saw the Geburah (“Power. After some deliberation with Achitophel.182 One of the several relevant texts he cites is Re"uyot YeÈezkel (‘Visions of Ezekiel’).183 Here Ezekiel’s vision of God at the river Chebar (Ez. a possibly fifth century merkabah (“chariot-throne”) or Jewish mystical text. which arise and threaten to submerge the earth again. The cited parable distinguishes between the king and the king’s image seen in the mirror. J. as David is digging he reaches the subterranean chaos waters (tehom). In the Bavli (Babylonian Talmud) version. 211-249.B.185 Ezekiel sees in the primordial waters the image/reflection of the divine anthropos enthroned along with his host. As Halperin has seen and as the parable leaves no room to doubt. This word-play also implies some 180 David Halperin. “I have already seen the mirror (mar’ah). The Faces of the Chariot: Jewish Responses to Ezekiel’s Vision (Tübingen: J. troops. and Ezekiel looked into them and saw all the celestial entities… R. So it is written: At the river Chebar [Ez. 182 Faces. September 25. seraphim. according to Alexander Altmann.C. Have you come to the layers of the sea [Job 38:16]. Mohr [Paul Siebeck]. E. the king passed by. by means of which the temple vessels will return. They coined a parable: to what may the matter be likened? A man went to a barber-shop. 46 . and was given a mirror to look into. The customer’s declaration.. thereby staying and sealing Tehom once again. “vision. Adducing a number of comparative materials. 1944) 19-32. 184 Mar’ah. 1-3) is expanded and interpreted. Levine and C. Hertz: Chief Rabbi of the United Hebrew congregations of the British Empire: on the occasion of his seventieth birthday. Altmann argued that the likely history-of-religions background to this haggadah (Jewish tale) is the myth of the primordial man/deity/soul (i. 134-141. as pointed out by David Halperin. as it is written. He saw the king and his forces through the doorway. The barber turned and said to him. Apocalyptic and Merkavah Mysticism.

like any reflection in water. Bokser. Gershom Scholem. systematically arranged and rendered into Hebrew. 1991). On Shekhina/Malkhut as the visible body of see Zohar III. Maine: Samuel Weiser. 3 vols. 239-43. 2004). assimil ated the merkabah to itself. by Fischel Lachower and Isaiah Tishby. 189 Halperin. 1:291. 1989). Ruth Bar-Ilan and Ora Wiskind-Elper (Albany: State University of New York Press.189 Halperin’s words are very significant. trans. I suggest.sense of identity between the image of the king and the medium (i. the sun god plunged into the primordial waters. which engulfed the remnants-‘flesh’-of the once virile solar god. into part of the fluid and shapeless chaos that God once had to defeat… God had indeed. 22-23.” 19-21. 187 Zohar 1:85b-86a. On Malkhut and the material body v.=64-76]. In zoharic Kabbalah the Shekhinah or God’s visible. 152a. Ginsburg. Tishby. Halperin reasons: When the merkabah (=throne) appears in the waters. 273-4. I:269-307. Tutankhamun’s Armies. and all the upper images (the sefirot) are seen in it”186. Translation. 186 47 . See also ibid. 1999) 137. Elliot K. it turns the merkabah. and thus infected God with its own formlessness…But Ezekiel saw something else beneath God’s throne: a firmament the color of terrible ice (Ezekiel 1:22). The Wisdom of the Zohar III: 1183. suppressed the chaos-waters. By its fluidity and formlessness. Hallamish.” Tishby. they indicate that what occurred to the Biblical creator-god’s (Yahweh-Elohim’s) divine body is what had occurred to the Egyptian creator-god’s (Atum’s) divine body: According to the Book of Amduat. Wisdom of the Zohar. Arthur Green. Tishby. by virtue of its power of reflection. This identity is explicitly articulated in later mystical and esoteric tradition. 137. Aryeh Kaplan.187 As the Sea..). which color denotes the luminous presence of the divine image (Tiferet) within the dark waters. Moshe Hallamish. Shinn (ed.” Diogenes 109 (1980): 67 [art. A Guide to the Zohar (Stanford: Stanford University Press. in the fifth hour of the night. the zoharic Shekhinah is symbolized by blue. An Introduction to the Kabbalah. Introduction. Through a Speculum. The water. Tiferet) is seen. 28-59. the Siferot) are emptied. 237-8 190 Darnell and Manassa. blue-black body (Malkhut) is the “mirror in which another image (i. 50b-51b. 188 “Malkhut is symbolized by the color blue. because it is the color of the sea into which the rivers (i. David Goldstein (London. trns.” in Larry D.e. out of which creation originally arose…the sun god absorbed the chaotic power of the primordial waters.190 Zohar I:149b. Firstly. the mirror). Tishby. His luminous image. See Tishby. 153-55. Washington: The Littman Library of Jewish civilization. this meant that God had frozen solid the terrible waters against which he fought. 310-11). the waters in which and through which the divine image can be seen. Introduction and Commentary (York Beach. The Wisdom of the Zohar. The Wisdom of the Zohar III: 1183. But chaos had its revenge. To the early Jewish expositors. The Bahir. MS New York-JTSA mic 1727.188 Thus. On the sefirot v. “Colours and their Symbolism in Jewish Tradition and Mysticism (Part II). “The Thread of Blue. On the blue-black color see Zohar I. III:1127 n. 1987) 61-87. Ezekiel…looks into ‘the subterranean chambers’ and sees in them what ought to be in heaven…The paradox of the merkabah in the waters…brings the upper world into the nether world. Through a Speculum. Practical Kabbalah Guidebook.. it makes the distinction between above and below insignificant.e. returning to the Visions of Ezekiel. 30. In Search of the Divine: Some Unexpected Consequences of Interfaith Dialogue (New York: Paragon House Publishers. 18a-b (quoted in Wolfson. and thus defeated them. “The Image of the Divine and Person in Zoharic Kabbalah. she is also the Sea (yamah). Wisdom of the Zohar. Wolfson. Faces. the upper realms are merged into the lower. 25. chaos is the enemy of order and structure…the hardening of water into glass symbolizes God’s triumph over chaos. ensnared its enemy’s image.e. Inc. Isaiah Tishby in The Wisdom of the Zohar: an anthology of texts. 1:351. as the old traditions claimed. fols. also Hopking.

My thanks to Morray-Jones for providing the author with a manuscript copy. “Visions of God in Merkabah Mysticism. Gnosticism and the Epistle to the Ephesians.R.A. Morray-Jones notes: “the central mystery of the merkabah tradition: the body of the Glory on the throne. ‘a likeness as the appearance of a man upon it above’ (Ezekiel 1:26).” forthcoming in Christopher Rowland and C.A. this engulfing of the deity’s body with the primordial aqueous matter is symbolized by the throne’s (merkabah’s) presence in the waters.” 191 C.” “The Body of Glory: The Shi‘ur Qomah in Judaism. 48 .” JSJ 13 (1982): 142-3. The Mystery of God: Jewish Mystical Traditions in the New Testament CRINT 3. Morray-Jones. “The Tale of the Four Sages who Entered the Pardes: A Talmudic Enigma from a Persian Perspective.” On Scholem’s appeal to Shi #ur Qomah to interpret the Heikhalot/Merkabah texts see the comments by Ira Chernus. This is because in Jewish mysticism and esotericism (referred to as ma#aśeh merkabah or the “Work of the Divine ChariotThrone”) the ‘throne’ is a metonymic reference to the divine body established thereon.” JSQ 11 (2004): 3-58. Assen and Minneapolis: Van Gorcum/Fortress) 99. Kabbalah (New York: Quadrangle/The New York Times Book Co. “ His Throne is ever on the water. See also Maria E. just as in Kemet. This point was already made by Gershom Scholem. called Shiur Komah. The appearance of the Glory in the form of supernal man is the content of the most recondite part of this mysticism. 1974) 16: “the main purpose of the ascent to the Merkabah is the vision of the One Who sits on the Throne.R.191 It is thus no surprise at all that the human body is 70% water.. Subtelny.Secondly.

Köln.=58-80]. each filling them with new meanings through their own peculiar genius. New Jersey: Princeton University Press.” Iraq 48 (1986): 85-101. 196 Ilse Lichtenstadter.” Studi Orientalistic in Onore di Giorgio Levi Della Vida 2 (1956): 79-80 [art.III. The Pagan God: Popular Religion in the Greco-Roman Near East (Princeton. 600-1800 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Pitfalls and Prospects. were also part of the Arabian mythic tradition as well. and of the anthropomorphic god surrounded by his divine assembly. Arabic and Islamic Studies in Honor of Hamilton A. Blackwell Companion to the Qur"§n (Malden. among other things for sure.” BBSMES 10 (1983): 45 [art.”194 Umar F. Rippin.-B. and His Ascension (King and Savor Vol..: Harvard University Press. Berkey.193 As Aaron Hughes remarks: “The Qur’ân is not only a genizah of various trajectories of biblical and near eastern aggadot (folklore). “God. The Formation of Islam: Religion and Society in the Near East. Gordon. “The Daughters of Baal and Allah.” SI 7 (1957): 47-75. See e.=61279]. 2002) 161 [art. Abd-All§h confessed as well: “Accurate understanding of the pre-Islamic background within which Isl§m arose is essential to the full understanding of the Isl§mic religion. 2003). Muhammad.R. and Islam. “The Qur"§n as Literature: Perils. motifs associated with the cult of baetyls.).” in George Makdisi (ed. Kohlhammer. Cyrus H. it is on the contrary. The Qur’an and its Ancient Near Eastern Context/Subtext “to understand the Qur"§n outside of the Biblical tradition. Utah: Religious Studies Center. as well as Gnosticism and Mandean thought drew their inspiration from the same reservoir of ancient beliefs. 1955). As relatively scant as this evidence is. 1965) 426-36. On Islam and ancient Near Eastern mythological tradition see also idem. Javier Teixidor. nevertheless it clearly shows pre-Islamic Arabia to have been within the ‘mythological orbit’ of the Near East. Werner Daum. Judaism. Neither need we assume direct borrowing from contemporary sources. “Survivances de l’ancien Orient dans l’Islam (Considerations Generales). Ursemitische Religion (Stuttgart. 49 . 1985). Cesar E. the motif of the winged-disk and its tauroform compliment.=153-204]. Palmer (ed. “Origin and Significance of the Mâgên Dâwîd: A Comparative Study of the Ancient Religions of Jerusalem and Mecca. MA: Blackwell Pub. 1977). Though ancient Arabia is sometimes thought of as religiously isolated from the ANE.. Prof Andrew Rippin. Stephanie Dalley. la Bible et l’Orient ancient (Paris: Cassini.). Dubler.”195 Ilse Lichtenstadter put it best: It is no deprecation of MuÈammad’s religious fervour to show his deep roots in ancient Near Eastern tradition. For example.=38-47]. 194 Aaron Hughes.). “Origin and Interpretation of Some Koranic Symbols. particularly in terms of motifs of the gods. Geo Widengren. Mainz: Verlag W.” SR 32 (2003): 266 [art. clearly a formulation/articulation of ancient Near Eastern mythological tradition and Rippin rightly insists that the Qur"§n in particular be studied in the context of the overall Near Eastern religious milieu which preceded Islam’s emergence in the 7th century. Islam is. 5) (Uppsala: A. Ult Oldenburg. “Origin and Interpretation of Some Qur"§nic Symbols. See also Mondher Sfar. 2006) 225. See also idem. See also Jonathan P.would seem in the end to place the researcher in a rather ridiculous position. “The God Salmu and the Winged Disk. Mass. “The Qur"§n as Literature. the divine triad. the motif of the deity and his three hypostatic daughters. “Above the Stars of El: El in Ancient South Arabic Religion” ZAW 82 (1970): 187-208. the Apostle of God. 196 192 193 A. Gibb (Cambridge.” in Andrew Rippin (ed. 195 “The Perceptible and the Unseen: The Qur’anic Conception of Man’s Relationship to God and Realities Beyond Human Perception. all characteristic of the ANE mythic tradition. Mormons & Muslims: Spiritual Foundations and Modern Manifestations (Provo. Lundequistska Bokhandeln. Berlin. and Wiesbaden: Otto Harrassowitz.g. Rippin.” in Spencer J. correctly. Hildegard Lewy.” MW 33 (1943): 50-51.”192 So said. a tribute to his genius which enabled him to pour new wine into old skins..” Archiv Orientalni 18 (1950) 330-365. but also a kaleidoscope which gives these trajectories a new vision. Christianity. Le Coran. “The stranger at the sea: Mythopoesis in the Qur’ân and early tafsîr.” 45. archeological and epigraphic evidence for North and South Arabia indicates otherwise. 1997).

199 The Qur"§n’s Self –Image: Writing and Authority in Islam’s Scripture (Princeton and Oxford: Princeton University Press. “The Relation of the Qur "§n and the Bible. and apocryphal Biblically affiliated literatures (so-called ‘re-written’ 197 198 Robert Tottoli. Reuven Firestone. “God’s Throne and the Biblical Symbolism of the Qur "§n. 1978). 50 . That is to say. Newby. “Confluence and Conf lict in the Qur"§nic and Biblical Accounts of the Life of Prophet Mås§. Reeves [ed.” SI 76 (1992): 5-24.” Numen 20 (1973): 202-221. Journeys in Holy Lands: The Evolution of the AbrahamIshmael Legends in Islamic Exegesis (Albany: SUNY.” in Reeves.” in John C. “Interpreting the Bible through the Qur"§n.g.” in G. instead of reproducing biblical narratives the Qur"§n often gives a ‘truncated’ version or makes an obscure allusion to a narrative in such a way as to presume on the part of its audience knowledge of the fuller narrative and details. 4:163. idem. Shareef (edd.204 Underlying such an approach is the insight from the literary-critical study of the Hebrew Bible that the textus receptus (MT) is but one ‘crystallization’ of ancient oral tradition. intertextual traditions203 and that the Bible and Qur"§n both “share and exploit a common layer of discourse”. 2001) 193. however. 42:13.202 Nineteenth and early twentieth century Orientalists accounted for these divergent parallels by assuming MuÈammad’s reliance on Jewish or Christian tutors whose lessons MuÈammad received poorly. 201 Sidney H. Surrey: Curzon Press. Roberto Tottoli has emphasized the fact that a number of Qur"§nic verses (e. Biblical Prophets in the Qur"§n and Muslim Literature (Richmond. O’Shaughnessy S. “The Qur"§n and the Bible: Some Modern Studies of Their Relationship. 202 For an illustrative case study see Muhib O. themes and parallel narratives that it indeed seems at first sight that Islam’s scripture “could not possibly exist without its scriptural predecessors as subtext. See also Thomas J. Hawting and A. Firestone. Approaches to the Qur"§n (London and New York: Routledge. Waldman. Marilyn R.=249-59]. and the Presentation of Jesus in al-Ya‘qūbī’s Ta’rīkh.”200 The Qur"§n’s “extremely referential nature” can be seen as an acknowledgement of this biblical subtext.201 But the parallels are not usually exact or the allusions ‘accurate’ from the perspective of the Biblical text. 200 Reuven Firestone. “Islam and the Judaeo-Christian Tradition: The Significance of Qur’anic and Biblical Parelles (sic). “Abraham’s Journey to Mecca in Islamic Exegesis: A Form -Critical Study of a Tradition.]. suggests something very different: that these ‘biblical materials’ in the Qur"§n are indebted not to the biblical text but to local oral. “New Approaches to ‘Biblical’ Materials in the Qur"§n.” Islamochristiana 16 (1990): 25-41.).134. exegetical. the Qur"§n. The Oral Tradition of Classical Arabic Poetry (Columbus: Ohio State University Press. 204 Vernon K. 2002) 7. 1990) 6.197 As John C.. Andrew Rippin. Ancient. 1993) 250-51 [art. Versions.” 3.”199 But how exactly are we to define the Qur"§n’s relation to biblical and Ancient Near Eastern tradition? We encounter within the Qur"§n so many biblical characters. 42. Griffith. 2-3.J.” in Reeves. Bible and Qur"§n. A newer critical approach. 205 On the ancient Versions of the Bible see ABD 6:787-813 sv.Regarding the Biblical tradition in particular. other ‘crystallizations’ found in the Versions205 as well as extracanonical. Opeloye. 203 On the overwhelmingly oral culture of the pre-Islamic Hijaz see Michael Swettler. Madigan observes: “What is often overlooked in discussing the relationship of Islam to earlier religious traditions is that the Qur"§n in effect chooses to define itself in their terms. Bible and Qur"§n.” in Reeves.” Bangalore Theological Forum 14 (1982): 44-68. Robbins and Gordon D. “The Qur"§n and the Bible. 2004] ix. Bible and Qur"§n. Dwight Baker. Reeves notes the Qur"§n “places itself within the biblical world of discourse”198 and Daniel A. “Preface. “The Gospel. Bible and Qur’ān: Essays in Scriptural Intertextuality [Leiden: Brill.” MW 75 (1985): 1-16. 3:84) present MuÈammad as “the legitimate continuator of the Biblical tradition and…the sole heir of the progeny of the Israelite prophets”.

htm.). 51 . idem. are distinct reifications or articulations of traditional lore that circulated within a shared discourse environment. 2005) 134. and Islams) are not three distinct traditions with a linear relationship of dependence. Mayes (ed. “Dependence and Prophetic Originality in the Koran. “The Text of the Hebrew Scriptures at the Time of Hillel and Jesus. Talmon “Textual Criticism: The Ancient Versions. There are commonalities among them. Bible and Qur"§n. 207 On the Qur"§n as such a ‘crystalization’ see John C. In such a case one would expect both variance and commonality. As specialists know and emphasize. All of these crystallizations. Mich. “Some Explorations of Intertwining of Bible and Qur "§n. Eerdmans Publishing. Christianities. Tryggve Kronholm. Congress Volume Basel 2001 (Leiden: Brill. 2002) 86-108.” Religious Studies News-SBL Edition 2. Eugene Ulrich. “The Bible in the Making: The Scriptures Found at Qumran. including the textus receptus itself (i. it was interpreted as Christian heresy but. Text in Context: Essays by Members of the Society for Old Testament Study (Oxford: Oxford University Press.9 (December 2001) at http://www. although it is clear that the formative years of his frenetic career was spent largely in interaction with young idealistic Arabs from the merchant class. Reeves.D. despite references to Christ and the Virgin Mary.D. They are three distinct. Textual Criticism of the Hebrew Bible (Minneapolis: Fortress Press and Assen/Maastricht: Van Gorcum.” Orientalia Suecana 31-32 (1982-1983): 47-70.” in A. Australia: Queensland Academic Press. represent authentic. When Islam first galvanized Byzantine attention after A.”208 As linguist and Africanist Prof Bernard Leeman points out: Commentators have linked Muhammad’s extraordinary career to Christian and Jewish influences.idem. 632. Islam is far removed from Christianity…many of the allusions to the Old and New Testaments do not follow the versions recorded in those books…It seems that Muhammad was not so much drawing on strong local Jewish traditions but on an ancient common Semitic folk culture…The overall impression gained from the Qur’an is of a shared Semitic historical and theological experience. as well as extracanonical Biblically affiliated literatures. idem.207 The Qur"§n therefore did not ‘borrow’ from the Bible or biblical The Dead Sea Scrolls and the Origins of the Bible (Grand Rapids. rather they both “tap and channel a rich reservoir of traditional lore.H. 206 S.206 These critical studies of the Hebrew Bible encourage us to understand ‘Biblical tradition’ as much broader than the canonical Bible and include within it the latter as well as the extracanonical literatures. 43. Eerdmans Publishing Company and Leiden: Brill Academic Publishers. 2001) 51-66. 1992). U.e.” in idem.Bibles). The Bible at Qumran: Text. Flint (ed. “Toward a Rapprochement between Bible and Qur"§n. Christianity and Islam (which really should be Judaisms. both the Bible and the Qur "§n. 2000) 157.: William B.K. Reeves. and Interpretation (Grand Rapids Michigan and Cambidge. the differences even among the so-called commonalities are far more revealing and defining for these traditions than is their commonalities. “Textual Criticism (OT). 209 Queen of Sheba and Biblical Scholarship (Queensland. one to the other.” in Peter W. the Bible). To be surprised at these commonalities and to suggest ‘borrowing’ or any similar concept as the reason for these commonalities is like emphasizing the similarities in the contents in the hands of three people who grabbed a handful of candy from the same bag with different candies in it. independent articulations of a common lore.” ABD 6:393-412.: William B. not because they ‘borrowed’ from each other – so throwback this is – but because they all tapped and exploited a shared tradition of religious discourse.sblsite. See also Emanuel Tov. 208 John C. and no one would suggest that the latter is due to one person ‘borrowing’ candy from another.). 1999).” in A.209 Specialists now see that Judaism. Shape. polyvalent articulations of a common Ancient Near Eastern Semitic tradition. Lemaire (ed. On this reading.

say. David Wengrow. Karla Kroeper and Michał Kobusiewicz (edd. polyvalent traditions that are ‘handfuls’ that drew from the same ‘bag’ of religious discourse. one could say that Ma’at was a hodge-podge of various traditions. layer upon layer. Intertwined Worlds: Medieval Islam and Bible Criticism (Princeton. Things changed over the several millennia and these periodic changes must be respected and accounted for. intertwined to the extent that one cannot really grasp one without the other. Lewy. “The Near Eastern connection II: cultural contacts with the Nile Delta and the Sahara. ANE and Biblical traditions). certainly not the later without the earlier. however. In discussing the historical conflicts between Egypt and Nubia. the religious tradition of the Nile Valley. especially Kemet’s portion (from the Mediterranean to the First Cataract). Mario Beatty must be kept in mind. Andrew B. That is to say. Smith. 2002). Egyptian tradition.210 Kemetic religion or spirituality was as much a ‘synthesis’ or ‘gumbo’ of distinct religious currents as some want to make Islam out to be. and if one wanted to (again) invoke throwback categories and ideas. an important point raised by Dr.” in Edwin C. But in making this observation about Kemet. Toby Wilkinson. I have demonstrated that Islam and Ma’at are two fruits from the same African Tree of Spirituality: they are distinct articulations of a common African religious heritage. They can thus both shed light on each other. 2006) 35. The Archaeology of Early Egypt: Social Transformations in North-East Africa. Interregional Contacts in the Later Prehistory of Northeastern Africa (Poznań. 1996) 29-35. Christianites (Plural!!) and Islams (Plural!!) are three distinct. We should then expect the Qur’ān and Islam to show remarkable parallels with Ancient Near Eastern and. Afroasiatic and Nilo-Saharan – and some from Near Eastern immigrants. but often also not the earlier without considering the shapes it took later. Dr.e. some indigenous to the Valley – e.” in Lech Krzyżaniak.211 Christopher Ehret. It has been said that the Near East resembles a palimpsest. Over its several millennia. New Jersey: Princeton University Press. Egyptian tradition was important to both (i. Beatty states: The most pernicious error that is being made (by scholars discussing Egypt and Nubia) is the consistent disrespect for periodization.Judaisms (Plural!!). tradition upon tradition. The point is: Islam in general and the Qur’ān in particular are part of the Ancient Near Eastern and “Biblical” traditions. idem. was “informed” by several distinct traditions. specifically. Kemetic Ma’at is no different in this regard. “Reality versus Ideology: The Evidence for ‘Asiatics’ in Predynastic and Early Dynastic Egypt. or conflate the Old Kingdom status quo with the New Kingdom status quo. 210 52 . 2002) 514-520 211 Hava Lazarus-Yahfeh.g. pre-dynastic Kemet with those of Middle Kingdom Kemet. The Civilizations of Africa: A History to 1800 (Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press. 1992) 4.M. people should not conflate the state of things in.000 to 2650 BC (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Egypt and the Levant: Interrelations From the 4th through the Early 3rd Millennium BCE (London: Leicester University Press. And as Hava Lazarus-Yafeh keenly observed: it is impossible to understand (Islamic) literature properly without paying serious attention to its various predecessors…One should not think in terms of influences or cultural borrowing only.). van den Brink and Thomas E. It is such that if one weren’t careful or up-to-date in our conceptions. 10. The same applies with Islam.

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