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The Creation Story

In the Persian scriptures of the Zoroastrians, the Avesta tells the story of how Ormuzd created the world and the first two humans in six days and then rested on the seventh.
The names of these two human beings were Adama and Evah. These texts date back as far as the 10th century B.C.
There is also a lot of evidence that the Epic of Gilgamesh, one of the oldest recorded texts in human history (estimated to go as far back as 2200 B.C.), had an influence on the
Biblical creation story. The Epic of Gilgamesh tells the story of a man, Enkidu, who was created from the earth by a god. He lives among the animals in a natural paradise until
he is tempted by a woman.

The Fall of Man
In his book Pagan Origins of the Christian Myth, George G. Jackson writes, there is nothing unique about these Hebraic Eden myths. They were known among the so-called
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heathens thousands of years before the Bible was invented.
He cites several examples, but one was a quote from Sir Godfrey Higgins, the English orientalist, as follows:
Another striding instance is recorded by the very intelligent traveler (Wilson) regarding a representation of the fall of our first parents, sculptured in the magnificent temple of
Ipsambul in Nubia. He says that a very exact representation of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden is to be seen in that cave, and that the serpent climbing round the tree is
especially delineated, and the whole subject of the tempting of our first parents most accurately exhibited.
In the Epic of Gilgamesh, EnKidu was tempted by a woman named Shamhat. He accepts food from this woman and is forced to leave his paradise in the forest after becoming
aware of his own nakedness. Later in the epic, he encounters a snake which steals a plant of immortality from him. He dies regretting the day when he turned into a human.
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The Flood
Another story that the Bible shares with The Epic of Gilgamesh is the flood narrative in Genesis. Many historians claim that the Biblical version is a rewritten version of an
original Sumerian myth of the flood and the ark was probably passed along to the Jews during their Babylonian exile in the 6th century B.C. and served as the basis for the
Genesis story.
Heres a chart that shows the similarities and some of the differences between the Bible and Gilgamesh versions.
COMPARISON OF GENESIS AND GILGAMESH
GENESIS GILGAMESH
Extent of flood Global Global
Cause Mans wickedness Mans sins
Intended for whom? All mankind
One city & all
mankind
Sender Yahweh Assembly of gods
Name of hero Noah Utnapishtim
Heros character Righteous Righteous
Means of
announcement
Direct from God In a dream
Ordered to build
boat?
Yes Yes
Did hero complain? Yes Yes
Height of boat Several stories (3) Several stories (6)
Compartments
inside?
Many Many
Doors One One
Windows At least one At least one
Outside coating Pitch Pitch
Shape of boat Rectangular Square
Human passengers Family members only Family & few others
Other passengers All species of animals All species of animals
Means of flood
Ground water &
heavy rain
Heavy rain
Duration of flood
Long (40 days &
nights plus)
Short (6 days &
nights)
Test to find land Release of birds Release of birds
Types of birds Raven & three doves Dove, swallow, raven
Ark landing spot
Mountain Mt.
Ararat
Mountain Mt. Nisir
Sacrificed after flood? Yes, by Noah Yes, by Utnapishtim
Blessed after flood? Yes Yes
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Proverbs
There are many striking similarities between the book of Proverbs in the Bible and the Egyptian Instruction of Amenemope. Though all surviving texts of the Instruction of
Amenemope are of a later date, the works are thought to have been composed during the 12th dynasty. There has been much debate on this topic, but modern scholars agree
that there is enough compelling evidence to support that the Instruction of Amenemope predates the Bible. Here are just a few examples of the parallel verses:
Proverbs 22:17-18: Incline thy ear, and hear the words of the wise: and apply thy heart to my doctrine. Which shall be beautiful for thee, if thou keep it in thy bowels, and it
shall flow in thy lips.
Amenemope ch. 1: Give thine ear, and hear what I say, And apply thine heart to apprehend; It is good for thee to place them in thine heart, let them rest in the casket of thy
belly; That they may act as a peg upon thy tongue.
Proverbs 22:22: Do no violence to the poor, because he is poor: and do not oppress the needy in the gate.
Amenemope ch. 1: Beware of robbing the poor, and oppressing the afflicted.
Proverbs 22:20: Have I not written for you 30 sayings of counsel and knowledge?
Amenemope, ch. 30: Look to these 30 chapters; they inform, they educate.
Proverbs 23:4-5: Toil not to become rich, And cease from dishonest gain; For wealth maketh to itself wings, Like an eagle that flieth heavenwards
Amenemope, ch. 7: Toil not after riches; If stolen goods are brought to thee, they remain not over night with thee. They have made themselves wings like geese. And have
flown into the heavens.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Instruction_of_Amenemope

The 10 Commandments
In the Bible, the 10 Commandments were given to Moses on Mount Sinai, and were written on stone tablets, supposedly by the hand of God himself. This is estimated to have
taken place around 1490 B.C. However, chapter 125 of the Egyptian Book of the Dead (around 2600 B.C.), which would have been available to Moses during his time in Egypt,
seems to have provided some inspiration. The Egyptian Book of the Dead reads like the 10 Commandments written in the Negative Confession. Some examples are:
Book of the Dead: I have not blasphemed.
Exodus 20:7: Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain: for the Lord will not hold him guiltless that shall take the name of the Lord his God in vain.
Book of the Dead: I have not defiled the wife of a man./ I have not committed adultery, I have not lain with men.
Exodus 20:14: Thou shalt not commit adultery.
Book of the Dead: I have not stolen.
Exodus 20:15: Thou shalt not steal.
Book of the Dead: I have slandered [no man]
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Exodus 20:16: Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor.
There is also some similarity between the story of the 10 Commandments and the Code of Hammurapi, dated around 1772 B.C.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maat
http://edward.de.leau.net/the-10-commandments-are-a-copy-from-chapter-125-in-the-egyptian-book-of-the-dead-20070513.html
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Heaven and Hell
Along with the idea of good and evil, the concept of Heaven and Hell seems to predate Judaism as well. In fact the concept of both Heaven and Hell didnt even exist in the first
two thirds of the Bible. Zoroastrianism is known by religious historians as the first religion to have a concept of Heaven and Hell, so once again, Persian influence can be
credited for a Judao-Christian concept.
The prophet Daniel, who lived at that time the Hebrews were living in captivity of the Persians, was the first Biblical figure to refer to ideas of resurrection and judgement
(Daniel 12:2).
The word paradise comes directly from the Persian religion of Mithraism. The word Hell seems to derive from the Norse word Hel, most certainly a pre-Christian concept.
There are a number of examples of Hell-like afterlives portrayed in ancient religions, such as the cult of Osiris during the Middle Kingdom in Egypt, where moral fitness
became the dominant factor in determined a persons fate in the afterlife.
At death a person faced judgment by a tribunal of 42 divine judges. If they had led a life in conformance with the 42 principles of Maat, the person was welcomed into the Two
Fields. If found guilty the person was thrown to a devourer and would be condemned to the lake of fire.
The person taken by the devourer is subject first to terrifying punishment and then annihilated. These depictions of punishment may have influenced medieval perceptions of
the inferno in Hell via early Christian and Coptic texts.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hell
Trinity
While the New Testament definitely mentions the concepts of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit (Matthew 28:19), it makes no actual mention of the word trinity, and there is
still some contention as to whether the trinity god-head is a Biblical theme.
Judaism teaches pure monotheism, while Catholicism favors the trinity concept.Yet it is clearly a concept that was influenced by other pagan religions existing at the time that
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Christianity came about.
Examples of pagan trinities are: Amun, Re, and Ptah of Egyptian Mythology; Anu, Enlil, and Ea of Sumerian Mythology; and Ishtar, Baal, and Tammuz of Babylonian
Mythology.
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Christ
The aspects of the Messiah that the Bible assigns to Jesus Christ can be traced back to humanitys primitive cultures. In Pagan Origins of the Christian Myth, Jackson makes
note of the vegetation theory developed by Sir James George Frazer, in his Golden Bough and by Grant Allen in The Evolution of the Idea of God. Jackson quotes
psychologist Dr. David Forsyth, who summarized the theory:
Many gods besides Christ have been supposed to die, be resurrected and ascend to heaven. This idea has now been traced back to its origin among primitive people in the
annual death and resurrection of crops and plant life generally. According to the advocates of the solar myth theory, the ancient crucified saviors were personifications of the
sun, and their life-stories were allegories of the suns passage through the 12 constellations of the Zodiac.
Jackson continues:
Vegetation cults, it seems are older than stellar or solar cults, but were later blended with them. In the primitive vegetation-god sacrifice, the victim was, it is believed,
originally the king, or head-man, of the tribe or clan. It was believed by ancient man that the prosperity of the tribe depended on the well-being of the ruler. If the king became
old and feeble, it was considered a foregone conclusion that the nation or tribe would suffer a similar decline. So the king, who was usually regarded as a god in human form,
was sacrificed, and replaced with a younger and more vigorous man. He was generally slain while bound to a sacred tree, with arms outstretched in the form of a cross. After
being entombed, he was believed to rise from the dead within three days; the three-day period representing the return of vegetation.
Other saviors with stories similar to life of Jesus, which contain a virgin birth, death, and resurrection, include Buddha, Krishna,
Odysseus, Romulus, Dionysus, Heracles, Glycon, Zoroaster, Attis of Phrygia, and Horus.

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