Creation Story ComparisonCan anyone help compare the Christian, African and Greek myth versions of the creation story?  This is for essay help.  Thanks in advance!

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kplhardison's profile pic

Karen P.L. Hardison | College Teacher | eNotes Employee

Posted on

There are many African creation myths. The Bushmen have people starting out as subterranean dwellers. The Bantu start with darkness and water and a god with a tummy ache who "vomits up" the sun and moon. The Zulu have a creator coming forth from reeds from which he fashions people and cattle. The Greek creation myth starts with chaos, darkness, silence and emptiness. The dwelling place of death, Erebus, is the first to emerge from the void of chaos. The Judaic/Christian story begins with formless darkness and waters that a divine creator divided into light and darkness, heaven and earth, dry land and waters.

http://www.cs.williams.edu/~lindsey/myths/myths_14.html

http://www.mythome.org/creatafr.html

http://www.desy.de/gna/interpedia/greek_myth/creation.html

http://www.innovationslearning.co.uk/subjects/re/information/creation/christian_creation.htm

http://www.innovationslearning.co.uk/subjects/re/information/creation/jewish_creation.htm

http://law2.umkc.edu/faculty/projects/ftrials/scopes/gen1st.htm

litteacher8's profile pic

litteacher8 | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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All creation myths have some outside force that intervenes.  It is usually related to some kind of lesson, but not always.  The Christian creation myth really isn't focused that way, for example.  However it could be a story about what makes humans sinful.

marbar57's profile pic

marbar57 | Elementary School Teacher | (Level 3) Associate Educator

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What significant between all three of these myths is that the creation wasn't some chance happening (like a fish crawling out of the ocean and turning into an animal), but it was pre-designed by somebody (or several somebodies).  All three credit the presence of diety in the formation of this earth and its inhabitants. 

I am Christian, so the creation is no myth to me.  But, it's interesting to note the colorful way in which Greek mythology explains all the elements of nature, and the ways in which man is interlinked with the gods in everything.   

clairewait's profile pic

clairewait | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

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One similarity between all three is that all three give credit to a God, or gods, as responsible for doing the actual creating.  None of the three gives any credit to a scientific beginning, and though many questions of the actual beginning of time remain unanswered, there is a universal sense of understanding and acceptance of "truth" that must include an element of faith.

accessteacher's profile pic

accessteacher | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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One of the biggest differences between the Greek and African and then the Christian creation story is the way that Christianity stresses monotheism rather than polytheism. Let us remember that in the Greek and African stories, there are many gods or divine beings, who are responsible in some way for the creation of the earth and the humans that dwell on it. Christianity is unique in the way that it insists creation was an intentional act of one God.

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