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Main Page The great Gospel of John Volume 4 GGJ04-161 Chapter

Chapter 161 - Cyrenius criticizes the Mosaic history of Creation.

161,1. (Cyrenius:) “Nevertheless, I still can not really align myself with Moses. His writings must contain many things of extraordinary magnitude and truth but who, apart from You, understands what he wrote?

161,2. His description of creation is particularly obscure! At one point it says: ‘Let us create man in Our own image to rule over the fish in the sea, the birds in the sky, the cattle, all the earth and the worms which crawl on the ground!’ God created man in His own image, a male and a female. And God blessed them and said to them: ‘Be fertile and multiply; fill the earth and bend it to your will; rule over the fish in the sea, the birds in the sky and all the animals which move on the earth!’ God said: ‘Look here. I have given you all kind of plants which spread their seeds over the whole earth, as well as all kind of fertile trees which provide their seed as fruit for you to eat, and in addition all the animals on earth and all the birds in the sky and all the worms living on the ground, which eat all kinds of green plants!’ This is how it came about. God looked at everything that He had made and, behold! everything was very good! This took place throughout the morning and evening of the sixth day.’

161,3. With this text one might regard the history of creation as concluded; but, this is by far not the case! Later, after God the Lord had looked at His creation and found everything to be in the best order, Moses then has God creating the first human from a lump of clay or earth with God breathing a soul into him through his nose so that the first man would be perfect in his creation. However it seems that God had forgotten that man must also have woman!

161,4. In the earlier text it says however: ‘And God created a man and a woman’; but now in the later version Moses leaves Adam alone for a long time and only later when Adam is in a deep sleep do he have God create the first woman from a rib! Anyone who can make this connection in a logical way must clearly understand more than I!

161,5. According to the first text, God immediately instructed Adam and Eve to rule over the whole earth and all the creatures on it. He blessed them immediately as the words are: ‘And God blessed them.’ And therefore He must also have blessed the earth and its creatures as it is also written that God Himself found everything that he had created to be very good. However whatever God Himself regards as very good, can only possibly be considered to enjoy a supremely blessed state because of God’s own satisfaction with it!

161,6. In the first text therefore the whole earth and the first human couple appear to be blessed in the highest degree! However, in the later text the viewpoint seems to be completely different: Earth has only one inhabitable garden, which must of course be rather large as four of Asia’s mightiest rivers are said to have their source there. Then in that place the first man was made by God from clay alone and a living soul was breathed into his nostrils He then saw and named the trees and herbs, the fish in the sea, the birds in the sky and every walking and creeping animal which there was on this earth.

161,7. The insects, flies, bees, wasps, hornets, butterflies, and a great variety of the smaller inhabitants of the air, which can in no way be called worms, Moses seems to have overlooked just as he also did many of the countless inhabitants of the sea which are not themselves fish. In the same way he only speaks of the birds which fly in the air and rather than list everything under the heavens and in the sea he only mentions the fish. This is something that I also find to be a little strange!

161,8. It is probably best to leave the subject at this point as if we use the word ‘birds’ in its broadest sense we can in the end take it to mean everything which lives in the air. At the same time the general concept ‘fish’ can be taken to comprise all the animals which live in water. However if you think Moses also stretched the concepts which he used sufficiently for them to be able to convey the full meaning which he wished to put forward, I am surely not able to make that assertion on his behalf!

161,9. Be that as it may I could nevertheless still go along with him but for the fact that in the preceding text on the sixth day of creation he has God create, just after His words ‘Let us create man in the image of God!’, a man and a woman, while in the later text God had used clay to form a man some time before, with the woman following on very much later using the man’s rib. The earth as a whole also appears to be far less blessed and there is no mentioning of a blessing for the first pair of human beings - indeed on the contrary they are forbidden to eat the fruit from a certain tree and threatened, if they disobey, with death and the imposition of a curse on the whole earth. It duly happened that after the violation of this commandment the earth was stricken by an onerous curse permitting it to bring forth only thorns and thistles. It was furthermore said that Adam must die and that he would have to earn his daily bread with the sweat of his brow – indeed there not the slightest trace of a blessing or any hint of God’s supreme satisfaction with His completed work which was mentioned in the earlier text! Yes, You our most divine friend, this is certainly another Doctrina dura (a hard lesson to comprehend), and even with the best will in the world one can not readily fathom it out!

161,10. To speak frankly: What You, My Lord, are and what You teach, I believe steadfastly than a rock but please distance me from Moses’ great confusion! If it is possible for You to enlighten me in this regard, it would be appreciated; but if this is not agreeable to you for the time being or not foreseen in Your ordinances, then I am very little or even not at all concerned! I and everyone else here have been privileged to enjoy the perfect light which emanates from You and we can therefore easily do without Moses’ after-glow. Of what value is a doctrine to us, if we can not understand its primordial truth?! It is better to hear one word of understandable instruction, than to have to listen to ten thousand words which nobody can grasp!”

Main Page The great Gospel of John Volume 4 GGJ04-161 Chapter