Surprise, surprise! Adam and Eve never existed!

Surprise, surprise, Adam and Eve never existed! Who says so? No less than the leader of the world’s 1.1 billion Roman Catholics, ‘G-d’s representative on Earth’ – the Pope.

Scholars have known for over 200 years that most of the Bible stories are myths, that even the accounts of historical events were written hundreds of years later and contain many inaccuracies. Even the official Gospels, on which the Christian faith depends, have no contemporary written or archaeological evidence (outside the New Testament) to verify them. Surely a man who attracted huge crowds, performed miracles and rose from the dead would have attracted some comment from the Greek, Roman and Jewish authors of the time?

Evenso, for centuries the mainstream churches have doggedly stuck to their guns in the face of the increasing evidence that the very basis of their religion is deeply flawed. In a nutshell, they believe Yeshua came to save humanity from the effects of sin, and G-d’s reaction to sin could be traced right back through the Hebrew Scriptures to the very first humans, Adam and Eve, who wickedly ate fruit from the tree of knowledge in the Garden of Eden. This seemingly innocent action led to them being expelled from the Garden.

If there were no Adam and Eve, there was also no ‘fall of man’, and no need for the ‘son of G-d’ to come to Earth!



Now enter the debate Pope Francis l, Time Magazine’s Man of the Year 2013. In a speech in December 2013, ‘His Holiness’ claims that ‘Through humility, soul searching, and prayerful contemplation we have gained a new understanding of certain dogmas. The church no longer believes in a literal hell where people suffer. This doctrine is incompatible with the infinite love of God. God is not a judge but a friend and a lover of humanity. God seeks not to condemn but only to embrace.’

The Pope continued: ‘Like the fable (my italics) of Adam and Eve, we see hell as a literary device. Hell is merely a metaphor for the isolated soul, which like all souls ultimately will be united in love with God.’

As welcome as this is, there are many more fables in both the New and Old Testaments that could be similarly refined – the first creation story in Genesis (which the Adam and Eve story blatantly contradicts), Noah’s flood, Abraham’s almost-sacrifice of his son Isaac, the Hebrews’ enslavement in and eventual escape from Egypt (there is no historical or archaeological evidence for either) led by Moses (he probably didn’t exist either), the fall of Jericho (likewise), Jonah and the whale, Job, Daniel in the lions’ den, Yeshua’s fictitious birth in Bethlehem, his 40 day temptation in the wilderness, burial and resurrection, and Acts’ version of Paul of Tarsus’ vision on the road to Damascus – and these are just for starters.

For the truth is, most of the Bible has no more basis in fact than the stories of Robin Hood, King Arthur, Sherlock Holmes or James Bond!

Soon after his election, Pope Francis inaugurated a series of discussions of long-held Catholic doctrines and dogmas, aimed at redefining Catholicism as a ‘modern and reasonable religion, which has undergone evolutionary changes… We must recognize that religious truth evolves and changes. Truth is not absolute or set in stone.’

Then he dropped a few more bombshells: ‘The Bible is a beautiful holy book, but like all great and ancient works, some passages are outdated. Some even call for intolerance or judgement. The time has come to see these verses as later interpolations, contrary to the message of love and truth, which otherwise radiates through scripture.’

Needless to say, Pope Francis’ latest declarations don’t carry the support of everyone in the Catholic Church. Some cardinals are said to be against them, and this is doubtless the case lower down the hierarchy too. One wonders what his predecessor makes of them.

But the most hysterical condemnations have come from that bastion of free speech, the internet. Some critics have suggested he’s off his rocker (he’s off his rocker?!!!) and others that he’s the antichrist forecast in the Book of Revelations, sent as a precursor to the end of time and judgement day.

The Catholic Church has always been behind the times, suspicious of new knowledge and anything which contradicts ancient or existing doctrine, so the Pope’s utterances should be universally welcomed. The fact that they haven’t been by evangelicals, apocalysts and other religious nutters should only strengthen our resolve to bring the truth out into the open.

©David Lawrence Preston, 13.1.18

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The Hebrew Scriptures – inaccuracies and contradictions

The Hebrew Scriptures – the Old Testament – is full of contradictions. If they were indeed dictated by G_d, as some Christians believe, it’s a G-d who frequently contradicts itself!

We don’t have to look beyond the opening pages to find the first significant example. In the very first chapter of Genesis, G_d creates the sky, the earth, vegetation and the sun and moon in the first four days (curiously the waters already existed); aquatic creatures and birds on the fifth day; land creatures and finally men and women on the sixth. These nameless humans are given dominion over the earth. Then G_d rests on the seventh.

In the second chapter, the earth, heavens and the first man, Adam, are created on the same day, then a beautiful garden, the Garden of Eden, for Adam’s home. Living creatures are created to keep Adam company, and finally a companion and helper for Adam, Eve. There’s no mention of six or seven days.

I reiterate: in Chapter One, man and woman are created simultaneously as G_d’s final flourish; in Chapter Two, the man is created before the animals, and the woman later as an afterthought.

If anyone tries to convince you that the creation stories are literally true, ask them ‘which story?’ They cannot both be true! But in my churchgoing years I never heard these two stories read together and compared. No-one ever pointed out the contradictions, nor did anyone seem bothered by them, probably because, like me, they hadn’t noticed.

So why the difference? It’s because the two stories come from separate sources, written more than three hundred years apart and later combined into a single narrative. The first version was probably written in the 6th Century BCE around the time when the Jews were exiled in Babylon.

And that’s just for starters. If Adam and Eve were the first humans, where did their sons’ wives come from? If everyone apart from Noah and his family perished in a great flood when they took to the Ark, then surely Noah, not Adam, is the father of today’s humankind? And how did the penguins, kangaroos and duck-billed platypuses make it to the ark?

As Oxford Professor Diarmaid MacCullough, an expert on biblical history, wrote: ‘The chronology of the Book of Genesis simply does not add up as a historical narrative when it is placed in a reliably historical context’.

As for the rest of the Hebrew Scriptures, some passages are based on verifiable historical truth, but others have no basis in fact. For example, there is no written or archaeological evidence that the Egyptians ever enslaved the Hebrews (as reported in the Book of Exodus), nor that a large group of Hebrews (or any other tribe) wandered in the desert for forty years. This is based on events that almost certainly never happened; indeed, there is no evidence that any of the events described in the first five books or Pentateuch are literally true.

Religious writings are virtually all allegorical. Those who read them as historical fact are missing the point! Their ‘truth’ lies in the underlying messages they convey. Wake up, world!

Copyright David Lawrence Preston, 22.8.2016

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