Essay on Religion, Creation Stories, and Creation Myths

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Religion, Creation Stories, and Creation Myths

One of the fundamental questions that religions seek to answer is that of origin. How was man put on earth? Why and from what was he created? Who created him? What does his creation imply about the status of human beings? Some or all of these questions are answered by a religion’s creation stories. Every religion’s creation myths attempt to give solutions to problems present to that religious society. Because of this, each religion may have one or more creation stories, each of those different from one another in the questions they ask and the answers they give.

Genesis

In the Western world, the most well-known creation story is in Genesis (Myth A), in the Old Testament of
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Also in this chapter, man alone was created first, then animals, and then woman – an ordering that goes against that of Genesis I. Also, instead of creating man and woman together, man was created first, from the “dust of the ground” after which God “breathed into his nostrils the breath of life.” Then, while Adam was sleeping, God took from Adam one of his ribs and created Eve, or woman.

Another difference between the “two” versions of Creation, more noticeable than the afore mentioned, is in their answer of why man was created. In Genesis I, man was created to rule over all the animals. In fact, a section of Genesis I:26 reads “and let [man] have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.” In contrast, Genesis II:5 claims that man was created because there was no one to “till the ground.” The variation in each chapter’s answer to why man was created provides differing implications for the status of mankind. In Genesis I, man is supposed to be the supreme ruler, while in Genesis II, man was created merely as a servant of the land. Western religions, when viewing the status of humans, tend to take the first interpretation as indication of man’s role on earth, believing him to be superior to all other species.

Ignoring the inconsistencies, these two chapters seem to complement each other quite well.

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