We can always depend on President Duterte to stir up controversy, the latest of which concerns the teaching of the Christian religion about God and His creation.
He was quoted as saying, “Who is this stupid God? You created something perfect and then you think of an event that would destroy the quality of your work. How can you rationalize that God? (Source: Philippine Daily Inquirer, June 24)
What he was questioning here is the well-known biblical story in Genesis of how the first man (Adam) was created by God out of clay, gave him the breath of life and placed him in the Garden of Eden, where he was allowed to eat everything, except the “fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil,” traditionally represented by the apple.
But this, of course, should not be taken literally, because it is clear that what was forbidden was “the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil.” What the nature of this fruit, or this tree was, nobody knows. Some biblical commentators believe that it really referred to sex.
But let’s go back to the point I want to discuss here, before we get diverted to the more interesting topic of sex.
Many sectors of Philippine society, especially the Catholic clergy and the Christian community, were offended by the President’s remarks about God and the story of creation. That is understandable and to be expected.
But what if, indeed, there is another version of the story of creation? What if ancient texts are found explaining how the first man was created? What then?
Here is where the theory of Zecharia Sitchin comes in. In his best-selling but controversial book “The 12th Planet,” Sitchin said that the Christian story of man’s creation in the Bible is really an abridged version of what ancient Sumerians (and Babylonians) believed about creation as found in a huge collection of cuneiform writings they left behind.
Sitchin (1920-2010) was a Russian-American researcher and author of books on ancient civilizations, particularly, Sumeria in Mesopotamia, which is now modern Iraq.
The highly advanced knowledge and culture of the Sumerians came from the Anunnaki, who traveled to Earth from a distant planet beyond Neptune, called Niburu. Niburu circles the sun in an elliptical way every 3,600 years of Earth time. The Anunnaki were considered gods.
The Anunnaki, according to Sitchin, came to Earth 445,000 years ago in search of gold, which they needed to sprinkle their planet’s thinning atmosphere with. They found gold in South Africa and sent in lower-ranking Anunnakis to mine the gold.
Later, these workers rebeled because of the hardship they experienced in mining the gold. Instead of punishing them, the council of gods, led by Enlil and his half brother, the scientist, Enki, decided to create the first intelligent or rational being called Adam to till the soil and mine the gold they needed.
The first Adam
At that time, humanoid, probably ape-like creatures already existed on Earth. All that was needed, according to Enki, was to infuse them with the genetic essence or the spirit of the gods. They put one to sleep and breathed into him the breath of life from the gods. And that’s how, according to Sumerian mythology, the first man, Adam, was created.
Another important part of the story was this: the Anunnakis (called the sons of God in the Bible) found the Earth women beautiful and took whoever they chose as their wives.
These women were called Daughters of Men in the Bible. Their offsprings were giants referred to as the Nephilim, which was erroneously translated, according to Sitchin as “fallen angels.” Actually, the word “Nephilim” comes from the Assyrian word which means “They who from the heavens fell (or came) down.”
There was no mention in the Sumerian version of Adam’s companion called Eve, nor was there a test given to him by God as mentioned in Genesis.
Because the Anunnaki had an extremely long life by Earth standards, they were thought to be immortal.
This explains, according to Sitchin, the passage in Genesis which says, “Let us make man according to our image and likeness.” The plural word was used instead of the singular form.
Not everybody believes Sitchin’s Sumerian version of man’s creation. His work was criticized by mainstream archaeologists and historians for his methodology and mistranslations of the cuneiform writings.
Although Sitchin may not be entirely correct, he was not entirely wrong either. What if later archaeological findings prove him correct? What then?
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