Creation Myths: Parallels

Retold By Alexis Carlson

First Retold By The Holy Bible: New Living Translation

At first, there was nothing. God was all alone in his universe. He created the heavens and the earth but there was nothing in them but the Lord, God. All the earth contained was water; God could do nothing but hover over the water like a bird flies. God wanted there to be more, so he said, “Let there be light,” what God said was. After deciding that the light was good, he noticed the light and dark needed to be separated. The light came to be known as “day” and the dark known to be “night”. This was the first day of the earth, the creation of night and day.external image Torah-CreationWorld.jpgThe Lord wanted heaven and earth to be separated. God said, “Let there be a space between the waters to separate the waters of the heavens from the waters of the earth.” So it was, there was now the sky to separate heaven and earth. The creation of the sky was the marker for the end of day two on earth.On the third day, God created the land by making the water flow to make the dry ground appear. God had a plan for this dry ground, he grew vegetation on this land. These plants God had created could grow more trees and plants. external image creation-743097.jpgAfter creating plants for the planet, God created the sun, the moon, and the stars. He created the sun for day and the moon and stars for night. These were created by God because he wanted there to be seasons, days, and years. The sun, moon, and stars could help so it would be possible to tell them apart.Upon seeing that what he had made was good, God saw that the water needed animals to swim in it, and the ground need animals to run on it. There were birds made for playing and flying around in the sky. Just like the plants that were created, these too could create more of themselves. Animals, fish, and birds were created on the fifth day of God creating the world.The sixth day was the last day of work. On this day, God created human beings. Not only were they made in his image but he made each individual separately. He made the humans because his creation needed caring for. God created everything exactly the way he wanted it. Of all of the things he created in the five previous days, humans were his best of all. On the seventh day, God could see his creation was beautiful, so after creating the humans, he rested.

Interpretation By Alexis Carlson

The Holy Bible is considered a sacred text because it is the basis of the Judeo-Christian religion. To the non-believers, Genesis chapters one and two are considered a creation myth. There are all sorts of creation myths out there. There is the Scandinavian version of the creation of the world, and the Scandinavian mythology is called Norse mythology. The Mayan’s also had their own story of how things were made. There are hundreds upon hundreds of creation myths throughout the world. Each myth has its own twist. The myths can either be shockingly similar, or they can be complete opposites. The myths of the Judeo-Christian faith, the Mayan’s, and those of Norse mythology explore the creation of the world, and they explore the creation of human beings as well. When each myths reveals the reasoning of why things were created, the result gives each object in the world a meaning, and the essence of the myth creates a sense of belonging and security. The values of these myths show the need for a sense of security because these myths were created to give a reason as to why everything was made the way it was.
The Mayan creation myth was titled “The Popol Vuh”. This myth started off very similarly to the Holy Bible and the Norse creation myth. In all three myths there was not much more than nothingness. The Bible states it in the most understandable way,
“In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was formless and empty, and darkness covered the deep waters. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the surface of the waters” (Gen. 1:1-2).
external image creation-hands.jpg?w=300&h=287
The world started with an endless and empty abyss of nothingness. That is the first major similarity between the three myths mentioned previously. Also a similarity between all three myths “The Popol Vuh”, “The Holy Bible, Genesis 1-2”, and the Norse creation myth would be that the creation of man and woman involved nature in some way or another. Whether the involvement with nature be creating a man out of dust, or creating the man and the woman out of lifeless trees, or carving the people out of wood.
The Judeo-Christian creation myth and the Mayan creation myth are much more closely related than with the Norse creation myth. Within these two myths, their gods are all-knowing as well as all-powerful. Another parallel within the myths was the timing of the creation of people. The human race was the last thing created in the Christian religion. The wooden people were also created last. The Norse myth and the Judeo-Christian myth also have their own very distinct similarities. Within the Norse creation myth, there is mention of the afterlife. For that world, the afterlife is in the land of Niflheim. This land was a place on earth guarded by a goddess. The “Holy Bible” mentions an afterlife as well; this afterlife is up in Heaven which is believed to be God’s home. Both the Norse mythology followers and Christian followers share the belief that the breath of life was given to the first human beings. One final similarity is between “The Popol Vuh” and the Norse creation myth. The beings were destroyed at some point. In the Mayan creation myth the wooden people were destroyed because ‘Heart-of-Sky’, or the god, was not pleased with his creation of the mindless, lack of blood flow, and the ability to sweat. The people were not what he had envisioned, so Heart-of-Sky flooded the world. The giants of the earth were destroyed in the Norse myth because the gods Odin, Vili, and Ve rebelled and killed Ymir. When they kill the first giant, blood flowed from the old giant enough to fill the entire abyss and drown all of the giants.
Even though at a first glance these myths seem very different and unrelated, plenty of similarities can be found through a more in depth view of each individual myth.