FAQs – Creation Accounts
History is a vast early warning system. --Norman Cousins

Why are there two different accounts of Creation, back to back, in the Old Testament and the Torah?

It has long been thought that the Torah—or the first five books of the Old Testament, otherwise known as Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy—was written by a handful of authors.  Biblical scholars base this hypothesis on the divine names used, the diction and style, the comparison of accounts, the political agenda, and the personality of the writers.  If you’re curious about this notion, take a look at the first two chapters of Genesis.  You’ll find two separate creation accounts.  The first is a lush, almost poetic rendering, in which man and woman are created together at the same time.  The second is a rather dry accounting of how things occurred, and how Eve was created from Adam’s rib—you’ll hear more about the difficulties of this word rib later.  Harold Bloom, a literary critic who’s not immune to controversy, proposed the radical idea, in his Book of J, that one of the writers may have been female.  We can only speculate, of course.

One more item of interest: in the case of the Creation story and the Flood story, there are older accounts than the Biblical accounts.  It is thought that the Hebrew scribes culled the story from the older versions and changed them in two major ways: (1) They wrote about one God, not many, and (2) They told the stories as moral tales.  If you’re interested in exploring this further, read Karel van der Toorn’s Scribal Culture and the Making of the Hebrew Bible.

I thought Adam and Eve were the very first people in the world.  Why did you include other people in the story?

This was a huge decision for me: Where in history do I place Adam and Eve?  Again, readers of the Genesis account will insist, “Well, at the very beginning of time, of course!” but what makes this so difficult is that scientists and archaeologists disagree on when the beginning of humankind actually was, anywhere from fifteen thousand years ago to a hundreds of thousands of years ago.  Biblical researchers have placed Adam and Eve’s creation at about 4000 B.C. (based on generational studies listed in the Bible and Torah), but other researchers and archaeologists date the Sumerians even earlier, based on archaeological excavations by J. E. Taylor, R. Campbell Thompson, Dr. H. R. Hall, and Sir Leonard Woolley, among myriads of other archaeologists.  And there I defer to others because I’m not an archaeologist.

You might find it fascinating to note that when Cain kills Abel, he is fearful of retaliation by other people.  Look at Genesis 4: 13-14 (quoting the NIV translation): Cain says, “…I will be hidden from your presence; I will be a restless wanderer on the earth, and whoever finds me will kill me.”  I am assuming Cain was the oldest child of Adam and Eve, so to what other people was he referring?  Is it possible that there were other people inhabiting the earth at the same time as Adam and Eve and their family?

One other curious thing, along the same lines, which I have found no satisfactory answer for, in all of the books I have read, is: Who are the Nephilim in Genesis 6:1-5?  I quote from the NIV Bible: “When men began to increase in number on the earth and daughters were born to them, the sons of God saw that the daughters of men were beautiful, and they married any of them they chose.  Then the Lord said, ‘My Spirit will not contend with man forever, for he is mortal, his days will be a hundred and twenty years.’  The Nephilim were on the earth in those days—and also afterward—when the sons of God went to the daughters of men and had children by them.  They were the heroes of old, men of renown.  The Lord saw how great man’s wickedness on the earth had become, and that every inclination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil all the time.”

This is important because, although the Nephilim are a quick mention, it somehow affected how evil men became and what they learned.  Certainly, there are people with theories, of which the Book of Enoch—a book not included in the Torah or the Old Testament—is one.  Readers may want to look at Forbidden Mysteries of Enoch: Fallen Angels and the Origins of Evil by Elizabeth Clare Prophet for further enlightenment.

So, all said and done, it is with this information in mind, I let my imagination work.  Suppose Adam and Eve were influenced by other people?  Another culture?  Whether or not these people were Nephilim—whoever they might be—or Sumerian-like people was not for me to answer.  Having a city nearby gave me my much-needed conflict for an interesting story.