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Unveiling Pre-Deluge Myths of Ancient Civilisations

We can find evidence of the historical record of Genesis by reviewing the traditions and beliefs of ancient civilisations. They possess many common themes with the core message intact, but secondary details (such as names & places) were changed & embellished.

This is to be expected following the Tower of Babel, where God changed the languages of all the people. Records of events preceding Genesis 11 then diverged, deviating as accounts were passed down the generations. The details were changed or lost to time, not unlike "Chinese whispers".

Genesis 11:7-8

Go to, let us go down, and there confound their language, that they may not understand one another's speech. So the Lord scattered them abroad from thence upon the face of all the earth: and they left off to build the city.

God and Creation The concept of a divine Creator shaping the world and establishing order from chaos is found in various ancient creation myths, such as the Enuma Elish (Mesopotamia) and the Heliopolitan Cosmogony (Egypt). Gods are consistently seen in every ancient culture, shaping their entire worldview and way of life.

Adam and Eve While not always directly paralleled, the existence of primal human ancestors and the themes of disobedience and expulsion from a paradise-like state are present in mythologies such as the Maori creation myth (Polynesia) and the story of Prometheus (Greek). Almost every ancient culture has a story of the very first man and woman being created, many from clay, like Hindu, Chinese, Maori, Greek and Mesopotamian.

Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil We find accounts of a holy or special tree with powers referred to by various civilisations, there was the Yggdrasil Tree in Norse Mythology, the Tree of Life in Mesopotamia, and the Bodhi Tree in Buddhism. Celtic and Pagan traditions along with Native American and Aboriginal Australian tribes also have sacred trees.

The Fall and the Serpent The temptation of humankind by a serpent or a trickster figure leading to a fall from grace can be seen in myths like the story of Enki and Ninhursag (Mesopotamia) and the myth of Pandora's Box (Greek). Serpents or dragons are consistently seen around almost every ancient culture, including Ancient China, Greece, Egypt, Mesopotamia, India, Persia, Norse, Celtic, Aztec and Mayan cultures to name a few.

Cain and Abel Stories of sibling rivalry and violence, leading to the death of one brother, can be found in myths like the Egyptian myth of Osiris and Set and the myth of Romulus and Remus (Roman). Other conflicting brothers: Zeus & Hades (Greek), Baldr & Hodr (Norse), Quetzalcoatl & Tezcatlipoca (Aztec), Krishna & Balarama (Hindu), and Tawhaki & Karihi (Maori).

Sacrifice Traditions of ritualistic sacrifice to please their respective deities are prevalent across ancient civilisations. The ancient Aztecs, Mayans, Inca, Egyptians, Greeks, Norse, Celts, Romans, Persians, Chinese, Indians, Phonecians, Assyrians, and many more performed these ancient blood rites.

Afterlife The view that death is not the end is a consistent theme throughout ancient civilisations, namely the Ancient Egyptian, Mesopotamian, Hindu, Chinese, Greek, Roman, Aztec and Mayan cultures all had many myths surrounding this and it shaped their way of life.

Nephilim The existence of giants or divine-human offspring, as well as strange part-human chimaera creatures, can be found in various mythologies, such as the Greek myths of the Titans and the Gigantes, the Egyptian sphinx, the Greek centaur, the Norse valkyrie, and Hindu Ganesha are all examples of these.

Eternal Life The long lifespans of biblical figures like Methuselah and the figure of Enoch, who walked with God, find echoes in the Sumerian King List, which includes exceptionally long reigns of kings. Ancient Greece has Tithonus who was given eternal life, the Epic of Gilgamesh describes a plant of immortality, ancient Norse myths believed that golden apples could give one eternal life, and ancient China described peaches of immortality.

Noah and the Flood Flood narratives are prevalent in ancient civilizations, including the Epic of Gilgamesh (Mesopotamia), the Atrahasis Epic (Mesopotamia), and the flood stories of various Native American tribes, also in Ancient Egypt, Greece, India, China, Iranian and Aboriginal Australian myths.

Tower of Babel The idea of a tower or ziggurat that reaches the heavens and leads to divine punishment and the scattering of languages can be seen in the myth of the Etemenanki in Babylonian culture and the ziggurats of Mesopotamia. Additionally, the Ancient Egyptians, Mayans, Aztecs, Nubian, Chinese, Sicilian, Teotihuacan, Elamite, and Hellenistic societies all built pyramids reaching to heaven.

Psalm 100:5

For the Lord is good; his mercy is everlasting; and his truth endures to all generations.

In exploring the myths of ancient civilizations and their remarkable resemblances to the Book of Genesis, we uncover the deep yearning for divine truths. While the myths may differ in their cultural nuances, the underlying themes resonate with the biblical narrative, highlighting the enduring relevance and divine inspiration of the Book of Genesis. Let us be thankful that the Holy Spirit preserved the true historical account so we can look back and see how it all unfolded.