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Genesis and the Religion of Primitive Man (Was monotheism the original religion of primitive man?)
Xenos ^ | James L. Graham

Posted on 12/13/2009 7:33:11 AM PST by SeekAndFind

The familiar passages of the early chapters of the book of Genesis tell us that God not only created the earth and all it contains, but that He also revealed Himself to man and communicated directly with him. Clearly then, the Bible teaches that from his very beginning, mankind was aware of the existence of one God. Thus, if the biblical account is to be accepted, the first man was a monotheist. But, can this be reconciled with what modern science teaches us about the development and evolution of man and his institutions? Is it conceivable that the primitive mind could have grasped such a sophisticated theological concept as monotheism? The answer to these questions will involve the reader in an examination of the intriguing history of scholarship in the area of the origin of religion and a fascinating glimpse of the religious beliefs of certain surviving primitive cultures, aptly referred to as "living fossils:"

It seems beyond doubt that primitive man had religious beliefs. For instance, Neanderthal man, who lived 50,000 years ago, is known to have buried his dead with ceremonies that clearly suggest a belief in a life after death. For example, in a cave in Northern Iraq, a person of this period was found buried under a pile of rocks resting on a bed of many flowers.1 A pre-historic custom of dusting corpses with red ocher (a mixture of clay and iron oxide) is found throughout the prehistoric world. It is thought that the red pigment was a ritual substitute for blood, hence a symbol of life.2 Belief in survival after death would seem to be confirmed a fortiori by burial, since nothing else could explain the effort involved instead of simply abandoning the corpse.

Since primitive man did not have a written language, we have no hope of finding written evidence of the nature of his religious beliefs. While certain of his artifacts may have religious significance, they tell us little. As documents, they are "opaque."3 Nor will we ever know if primitive man worshiped God with altars of earth or uncut stones since these would have long since become non identifiable parts of the landscape.

Thus, we encounter the fact that we do not and probably never will have direct evidence of the religious beliefs of primitive man. This does not mean, however, that we must despair of finding an answer to our question. The following discussion will show that there is a source of compelling circumstantial evidence in the form of the religious beliefs of certain primitive tribes whose lives and circumstances closely approximate those that must have characterized primitive man.

In investigating the accuracy of the biblical account we must first face the question of whether or not primitive man's mental faculties were sufficient to permit him to grasp such a concept as one Creator God. Unless we can answer that question in the affirmative, there is no reason to proceed further. Again, it is interesting to note what the Bible has to say on this point. In Genesis 1:26, we are told that man was created in God's image, according to his likeness. Certainly this must have included a share, however small in comparison, of the Creator's boundless intelligence. In Genesis 2:19, man is shown exercising his intellectual powers in recognizing the special attributes of the various species of animals and birds and using language to give names to them. Clearly, the Bible tells us that the first man was a fully rational, creative and communicative being.

We know from the archaeological remains of early man that his tools and artifacts were crude and that his living conditions were harsh. Some have deduced from this that his mental functioning was also of a low order. The pervasive teaching of Darwinian evolutionism that tells us that man descended from an animal has heavily reinforced this. Thus, many would believe that primitive man must have had a mind something akin to that of an animal. Indeed theories of a "primitive mentality" have been constructed which picture primitive man engaging in ape like chatter and living in fear of the dark unknown. Lucian Levy Bruhl, a well known French sociologist, writing in the 1920s and 1930s claimed that the primitive mind was "pre logical", i.e., unable to reason from premise to conclusion and without any concept of cause and effect.4

In recent years, however, such theories about the cognitive powers of primitive man have been totally rejected by most respected anthropologists, ethnologists, and sociologists.5 Levy Bruhl himself rejected his own hypothesis in the last years of his life.6 Today, all respected authorities view such theories as ethnocentricity, a polite scholarly term for cultural bigotry.7 It is now generally agreed that, biologically speaking, primitive man's mental equipment was fully human.8 It has been established that all of the earth's surviving primitive peoples speak a definite language and while there are differences in their intellectual development, their latent potential intelligence is essentially the same as ours.9

Tools, fire and evidence of teamwork in hunting are found with the remains of earliest man.10 Teamwork presumes the existence of language and the manufacture of tools could not occur without rational thought and the understanding of cause and effect. It has recently been discovered that stone-age man had a system of symbolic notation based on observation of the moon's phases which was used to fix seasonal ceremonies in advance and which remained in force for over 25,000 years. Such may have been the precursor of writing, arithmetic, and calendars.11

Thus, at the earliest point at which he can be identified, man's work clearly bears the stamp of his mind. Indeed, it has been argued that taking all factors into consideration, primitive man should be placed above present day primitive races since he was an inventor and a pioneer whereas they have remained static throughout the millennia.12

Modern scholarship, therefore, agrees fully with the biblical account of primitive man's mental powers. Having found no reason to doubt the first man's mental ability to form religious beliefs, we can proceed to examine the question of whether or not the biblical account of original monotheism squares with what man has been able to determine about the religious beliefs of his earliest ancestors.

The question of the origin of religion has occupied the attention of thinking men for centuries. The Greeks and the Romans both conducted comparative studies of religion. Plato and Aristotle attacked the myths of Greek religion, both arguing that a governing intelligence was at the beginning of all things and that a process of degeneration must have occurred assuming that religion was formerly higher and purer.13

For the purpose of the present inquiry, however, we will limit our analysis to the men and the theories that have played an important role in the current understanding of this subject. With this goal in mind, we must focus first on the mid nineteenth century, a period of social and intellectual upheaval which spawned discoveries and schools of thought which have had a profound impact on our own day which in some instances are still unfolding. During the mid 1850s, the vogue in philosophy was positivism that was in essence a materialistic view of nature and society.14 The leading proponent of this philosophy was Auguste Comte, a Frenchman who also, rather coincidentally, advanced a theory of the origin of religion which he attributed to fetishism, or primitive man's belief in the magical powers of charms, amulets or other inanimate objects.15 In doing so, Comte anticipated by several decades the theories that were later expounded by evolutionist sociologists and ethnologists.

In 1859, at the height of this philosophical movement, Charles Darwin published his work, The Origin of Species by Natural Selection. Although Darwin's theories applied only to the field of biology, they were soon given general application to the development of all of man's institutions, including religion. Darwin's theories presented the materialist philosophers with an appealing mechanistic theory of nature rendering theological and teleological explanations obsolete.

At about this time, significant archaeological discoveries were made in France that revealed the existence of prehistoric man.16 During the entire century, there were numerous voyages of discovery and exploration that resulted in an ever increasing body of knowledge and literature about the primitive races which inhabited the farthest reaches of the globe.17

With all of these factors converging, it was only a matter of time before an eminent scholar in an appropriate field, laboring under the influence of new forms of thought, would use these new factual resources to formulate a comprehensive theory of the origin of religion. Moreover, this occurred in 1871 when Edward Burnett Tylor, England's first professor of anthropology, published his work entitled Primitive Cultures. In this book, Tylor expounded the theory that the origin of all religion was "animism" which he defined as the belief in spiritual beings. According to Tylor, the belief in spiritual beings began with early man's attempt to explain basic bodily and mental conditions such as sleeping, waking, trance or other unconscious states, dreams, illness and death. He theorized that primitive man pondered on these things and developed the idea of a soul or spirit separate from the body which was then extended to animals, plants, inanimate objects, heavenly bodies and deceased ancestors. It was then only a matter of time before primitive man began to worship these various spirit inhabited things which then became deities of various kind. Later, after hierarchies appeared in society, man projected a hierarchy of deities, some gods having more authority than others. When the hierarchical nature of society included kings who rule over all men, the concept of a supreme god was evolved and ultimately through a process similar to Darwinian evolution the concept of monotheism or one God was born.18

Tylor's theory gained immediate acceptance in the intellectual community, and for at least the next 30 years, it was regarded as the classical theory of the origin of religion.19 While Tylor's theory reigned supreme, it also stimulated similar thinking on the part of other scholars who adopted his evolutionary premise, but suggested different phenomena as the true point of beginning. Herbert Spencer received considerable attention with his theory of original "manism," the worship of ancestors or ghosts.20 VV. Robertson Smith held that totemism, the worship of animals and plants, was the true beginning of man's religious beliefs.21 J. G. Frazer and others argued instead that a belief in magic, which arose out of primitive man's awe and wonder in the face of inexplicable natural phenomena, was the real beginning.22 These later theories were referred to as "pre--animistic," inasmuch as their authors propounded a beginning earlier than the animistic beliefs that formed the basis of Tylor's Theory. Otherwise, they were completely consistent in rejecting the possibility of original monotheism and advancing as established fact that the earliest stages of religion were crude and illogical, based upon fear and superstition, and that the higher forms of religion were the result of thousands of years of unilineal evolution.

As the twentieth century began, these evolutionary theories of the origin of religion were substantially reinforced by the writings of two powerful figures, Emile Durkheim, the founder of modern sociology and Sigmund Freud, the father of modern psychology.23

Freud used his new theory of the unconscious mind to reaffirm the theory of totemism as the original religious belief. Freud apparently, although incorrectly, believed that blood sacrifice of the totem animal was common to all totemic cultures. Freud also believed, again erroneously, that the family structure of primitive man consisted of a dominant male surrounded by a number of females and children and that the dominant male would drive off the younger males when they became old enough to evoke his jealousy. Freud believed that the expelled sons of the first primal horde banded together to kill their father and steal the females. Since the totemic animal represented the clan, the sacrifice represented the recreation of the original patricide. Thus, man's religion was a manifestation of one of Freud's favorite psychological constructions, the Oedipus Complex. This theory was carried to the extent of explaining the crucifixion of Jesus Christ in the Christian religion. Incredible as it may seem, Freud's theories are still widely accepted popularly among Freudian psychologists.24

In the case of Durkheim, he, too, favored totemism as the original religion but for a much different reason. Studying the Australian Aborigines, he noted that the totem symbolized the quality of sacredness and the clan at the same time. Durkheim concluded that sacredness (or "God") and the social group were the same, and that totemism was therefore the original religion.25

The theories of Tylor, Frazer, Freud, Durkheim and the others had a vast influence not only on the scholarly level, but also at the popular level. Man's religious tendencies were reduced to a scientific explanation that destroyed their value and meaning. The concept of God was nothing more than the end result of the evolution of primitive man's fear and superstition. In other words, it could be said with scientific accuracy that God did not create man but that man created God.

This may well be where the history of the study of the origin of religion would end were it not for the efforts of one man, Wilhelm Schmidt (1868-1954), professor of ethnology, and the science of languages in the University of Vienna. Father Schmidt (he was a Catholic priest), devoted his life to attacking and destroying these intellectual fortresses constructed by the evolutionists. In the process, he produced a monumental work entitled Urssrunn Der Gottesidee (The Origin of the Concept of God). Completed one year after his death in 1955, it consisted of 13 volumes numbering more than 11,000 pages.

The impact of Schmidt's work can be seen in the fact that by the middle of the twentieth century, the evolutionary theories of Tylor, Spencer, Freud, et al., had been totally rejected by most reputable scholars. Schmidt accomplished this by showing beyond any doubt that the evolutionary theories were totally contradicted by historical facts.

The foundation of Schmidt's work was the formulation of an historic method for the study of man's social institutions. The theories of the evolutionists had been based upon the extensive data collected regarding the nature of the religious practices and beliefs of various primitive peoples and by then formulating mental constructions as to how such beliefs and practices might have originated and evolved. No effort was made to determine whether or not these speculations coincided with what might be discovered about the actual sequence of events. In all fairness, however, it would have been difficult for them to do so because no method yet existed for analyzing the facts on a historical basis.

Building upon the work of certain historians, notably F. Ratzel, L. Frobenius, F. Grabner, Schmidt expanded and refined the concept of culture circles or spheres (Kulturkreise) which permitted the historical stratification of cultures and made it possible to identify which elements are archaic or primitive and which are more recent.26 By using this method, it was possible to destroy the foundations of the evolutionary theories by showing that they contradicted historical facts. For instance, Schmidt was able to prove that primitive man was monogamous, thus destroying Freud's theory that was based upon the existence of a promiscuous primal human herd. Indeed, the verdict of modern ethnology is that no such condition ever existed at all in any era of man's development.27

Schmidt's effort to prove that man's original religious belief was monotheism was inspired by an Englishman, Andrew Lang, who was, ironically, one of Tylor's leading pupils and initially one of his most vigorous advocates.28 Lang, like Tylor, believed that monotheism had everywhere developed out of a lower animistic form of worship. However, Lang began to doubt the validity of this theory when he learned of the discovery of the existence of a belief in a Supreme Being among the primitive tribes of Southeast Australia. Upon studying these people and similar primitive tribes, he found clear evidence of the existence of a belief in a Supreme Being, usually existing alongside other mythical elements. He found that they did not regard the high god of these tribes as a spirit but as a being that really exists, thus the belief could not be explained on the basis of animism. Lang, therefore, was the first modern scholar to suggest the existence of primitive monotheism.29

The intellectual community greeted Lang's theories with resounding silence.30 Schmidt, however, took up Lang's basic premise and, applying the historical method described above, dedicated his life to the study of the role of high gods among primitive peoples. In the process, he destroyed for all time the evolutionary concept of the origin of religion.

Schmidt's studies placed great emphasis on the religions of the world's surviving primitive cultures. These are peoples living in isolated regions where they are the only inhabitants, with no traces of an earlier population and inaccessible to later and more advanced peoples. These peoples are still in the initial stage of economic development. They are food gatherers who do not breed cattle or till the soil, who live in primitive housing, wear primitive clothing and use primitive tools and weapons, with no evidence that they ever achieved a higher or richer state of affairs and with no evidence of influence by higher cultures. Such peoples are the most ancient races of mankind and in them are found the oldest forms of religion we can hope to find. Since these religions are, comparatively speaking, nearest to the origin then they should retain more of its attributes than any other. Since these peoples are all preliterate, it is obvious that their cultures are older than any of those which have produced a written record of its religion such as the Egyptian or Babylonian or for that matter, the Hebrew. Such peoples, about whom we have sufficient data, include the Asiatic and African pygmies, some of the oldest tribes of Australia, the Negrillo and Bushmen tribes in Africa, various tribes of Northern Asia, the Eskimo, various North American Indians and the tribes of Tierro del Fuego.31

These primitive peoples have been studied extensively by many investigators over a lengthy period of time and there is an extensive body of literature concerning them. Schmidt's work was to document and analyze all that is known about these peoples in order to determine the nature of their religious beliefs and to put them into the proper chronological framework of the development of human cultures. This work succeeded in identifying which peoples have the most ancient cultures, and what their religious beliefs consisted of.

Schmidt showed that a belief in a Supreme Being is found among all of the people of the most primitive culture. He also found that the geographical distribution of these most ancient peoples completely encircles the earth. It is reasonable to assume that their common belief in a Supreme Being must have been deeply and strongly rooted in the even more ancient culture they shared before the individual groups separated from one another.32

The details of the nature, attributes and worship of these primitive high gods are fascinating and illuminating. The most basic feature of the primitive monotheism identified by Schmidt is the belief in one Supreme Being, the recognition of dependence on Him and the obligation to obey Him. While some primitive tribes believe in other exalted beings, they are generally described as being created by Him and deriving their power from Him and often act under His direction. Thus, even these peoples retain their monotheism although in somewhat weaker form.33

Most of the oldest groups do not associate a wife or children with the Supreme Being and to some of them the question of whether He would have a wife or child is regarded as offensive and ridiculous. The worship of animals, ghosts, or ancestors is unknown among these peoples, except in groups subjected to later influence.34

Heaven or the sky is the dwelling place of the Supreme Being, although it is often said that in earlier times He was on earth among men when He taught them all of their religious, moral, social and economic tasks. This was the happiest time on earth; however, He went away on account of some sin they committed and now lives in the sky. As to His form, it is generally said that they do not know what it is or that He cannot be seen, only felt. Often, however, He is described as having a human form, usually that of an old and venerable man. Light, splendor and fire are often associated with Him. However, nowhere in primitive culture is a picture or any other representation ever made of Him, nor is He ever represented in the sacred dances by a human being.35

His name is not spoken without need and is always said with reverence. His most frequent name is "Father." Other names include "He who is above," "Creator," "The most ancient," "The Giver," "Immortal," and "Eternal."36

Almost all peoples assign to Him some basis of eternity. It is commonly said that He existed before all other beings and that He will never die. His nature is eminently moral and He watches over all that men do.37 "He is everywhere and knows everything." All good things come from Him.38 He is sympathetic and ready to help and invites men to pray to Him.39 His power is unbounded. He can go everywhere and do anything.40 His role as Creator is recognized by most and not specifically denied by any. The Winnebago tribe of North American Indians and one pygmy tribe of the Congo have attributed to their Supreme Being the highest form of creativity, namely: creation ex nihilo.41

The Supreme Being Himself is always morally good, indeed He is the creator and source of morality. His commands include care for human life, observance of sexual morality, fair dealing, and readiness to give help to those in need.42 In many races, these commands are impressed on the youth at initiation rites. Generally speaking, these primitive peoples obey these positive and negative commandments and live a moral life by any objective standard. That they do obey and submit is all the more remarkable in view of the fact that they are fiercely independent in their social relationships.43

Forms of personal worship include prayer, sacrifice, and ritual ceremonies. Purely mental prayer, often with intense concentration of thought, has been observed in a number of groups. Verbal prayer may he spontaneous and informal or ritual and ceremonial. Prayers may consist of either prayers of petition or prayers of thanksgiving. Out of all the primitive tribes, only one has been found in which prayer has not been documented. Nevertheless, even here there are certain mysterious ceremonies, the significance of which have not been discovered.44

The only form of sacrifice in any primitive culture is the practice of offering first fruits: the offering of a small portion of the fruits of the hunt or of plant gathering or of a meal before it is eaten. This is done in recognition that the food belongs to and is the gift of the Supreme Being.45 One pygmy tribe, the Semang of Malacca, practices a form of sacrifice for atonement of sin that appears unique. When they hear thunder, which is the voice of their Supreme Being, Kari, they make a small cut in the skin below the knee, mix the blood in a cup of water and fling it into the sky, asking for forgiveness of their sins and confessing them in detail.46

The foregoing is a summary of findings among various primitive cultures that have been made and documented by many investigators over a considerable period of time. In some, this or that form of worship is unknown, but in all, it exists in some form.47

What conclusions can be drawn from this work which will help us answer the question of the nature of the first man's religion? Schmidt, in the preface to The Origin and Growth of Religion, states that his intention has been only to identify the religions of those people who are found to be ethnologically the oldest. He concedes that their religion is not necessarily the primordial inasmuch as these people do not share a wholly uniform culture. He does not offer an opinion on the nature of man's original religion but leaves that question to the fields of philosophy and theology.48 In the final section of this book, however, he points out that one of the important values of identifying the religions of the earth's most ancient peoples is the ability to project the essential elements of their religion even further back in time. Schmidt's position is that since these people are closest to the origin "these religions are our proper base for attacking the problem of the origin of religion . . . "49

In discussing the possible origins of the belief in a Supreme Being that he found among all of the oldest races, Schmidt observes that only such a God fulfills the total sum of human needs. Among these, Schmidt includes man's need to find a rational cause for his own existence and that of the world around him, his social needs, moral needs, and emotional needs. Schmidt suggests that the belief in such a God furnished primitive man with the ability and the power to struggle against his environment, and in doing so, seems to suggest that the belief in a Supreme Being may have been the deciding factor in the survival of the human race. Schmidt points out that primitive man had no model in his experience from which to formulate a God who was eternal and transcendent. He then states that the question of the origin of this God cannot yet be answered. It seems reasonable to ask whether it is likely that a natural solution to that question will ever be found. If indeed there was nothing in original man's experience of nature from which all of the attributes of such a God could be deduced, then this would seem to leave the answer in the realm of the supernatural.

In his book entitled Primitive Revelation, a somewhat earlier and frankly apologetic work, Schmidt flatly states that divine revelation is the most logical explanation for the origin of primal man's belief in a Supreme Being. He supports this with the observation that these primitive religions themselves attribute their origins to the Supreme Being and not to any process of searching or inquiry on the part of man. These peoples believe that God himself taught them what they believe about Him.50 Finally, Schmidt argues from the psychological standpoint that the only reasonable explanation for the unity and persistence of the belief in a Supreme Being throughout the millennia would be the occurrence of a tremendous and overwhelming experience. Obviously, the only such experience which would fit the facts would be the occurrence of direct communication from the God of Creation Himself." 51Schmidt concludes the argument thus:

Actually the history of religion here constructs a new proof for the existence of God: the oldest religion of mankind cannot be understood in its entirety, fullness and unique character, unless one assumes the existence and operation of God who created it created it in that He Himself personally instructed the men of that age in their beliefs, moral commandments and acts of worship.52

The question remains, however, as to how man could forget or abandon a pure religion. Schmidt describes the process as one of decay, resulting from the influence of animism, manism and magic. Animism, which was at first a general mental attitude in which man saw spirits in all natural objects, began to encroach on the true religion when man gradually accorded to these spirits exclusive power, thus elevating them to religious status. The same process occurred with manism or ancestor worship. Magic and the practice of sorcery may have been anti religious from the beginning, seeking access to secret powers of nature even in opposition to the will of the deity. Or, it could have sprung from religion itself when the words of prayers and rituals were emptied of their real meaning and the mere external formula was expected to produce the results.

Quoting from the Origin and Growth of Religion:

Thereafter, as external civilization increased in splendor and wealth, so religion came to be expressed in forms of ever -increasing magnificence and opulence. Images of gods and demons multiplied to an extent that defies all classification. Wealthy temples, shrines, and groves arose; more priests and servants, more sacrifices and ceremonies were instituted. Despite the glory and wealth of the outward form, the inner kernel of religion often disappeared and its essential strength was weakened. The results of this, both moral and social, were anything but desirable, leading to extreme degradation and even to the deification of the immoral and antisocial. The principal cause of this corruption was that the figure of the Supreme Being was sinking further and further into the background...

But all the while, the ancient primitive religion still continued among the few remainders of the primitive culture, preserved by fragmentary peoples driven into the most distant regions. Yet in their condition of stagnation, poverty and insignificance, even there it must necessarily have lost much of its power and greatness, so that even among such peoples it is much too late to find a true image of the faith of really primitive men. It remains for us, by dint of laborious research, to put gradually together from many faded fragments a life like picture of this religion.

NOTES

1 Eerdmans Handbook to The World's Religions (First American Edition: Grand Rapids, Michigan: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1982), p. 24.

2 Eliade, Mircea. A History of Religious Ideas (Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 1978) p. 9.

3 Ibid., p.6.

4 Eliade, Mircea. The Quest (Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 1969) p.16; Schmidt, Wilhelm. (The Origin and Growth of Religion 1st Ed., New York, N.Y.: Cooper Square Publishers, Inc.) p. 132; Koppers, Wilhelm, (Primitive Man and His World Picture, London: Sheed and Ward, Ltd., 1952), p. 3.

5 Schmidt, The Origin and Growth of Religion, p. 134 Koppers,Primitive Man and His World Picture, p. 4.

6 Eliade, The Quest, p. 16.

7 Norbeck, Edward, (Religion In Primitive Society, New York, N.Y.: Harper & Row, Publisher, Inc.) pp. 8 9.

8 Koppers, Primitive Man and His World Picture, p. 4; Eliade, The Quest, p. 33.

9 Koppers, Primitive Man and His World Picture, p. 63.

10 Koppers, Primitive Man and His World Picture, p.64.

11 Eliade, A History of Religious ideas, p. 22.

12Kraft, G., Der Urmensh als Schopfer: Die geistige Welt des Eiszeitmenschen (Primeval Man's Creative Powers The Mental Outlook of the Ice Age). Berlin, 1942, as quoted in Koppers, Primitive Man and His World Picture, pp. 64 65.

13 Schmidt, The Origin and Growth of Religion, p. 18.

14 Shmidt, The Origin and Growth of Religion, pp.55, 56.

15 Schmidt, The Origin and Growth of Religion, pp. 56 58.

16 Eliade, The Quest, p. 40.

17 Schmidt, The Origin and Growth of Religion, p.56.

18 Ibid, p.55.

19 Ibid, pp. 74 77 and Norbeck, Religion In Primitive Society, p.17.

20 Schmidt, The Origin and Growth of Religion, p 74.

21 Ibid, pp. 61 72.

22 Ibid, pp.104-108.

23 Ibid, pp. 103 105.

24 Eliade, The Quest, p.24.

25 Schmidt, The Origin and Growth of Religion, p.110-112.

26 Eliade, The Quest, p.15.

27 Schmidt, The Origin and Growth of Religion, pp. 220 222.

28 Ibid., pp. 112 115.

29 Ibid., pp. 174--178.

30 Ibid., p.173.

31 Ibid., pp. 251 257.

32 Ibid., pp.257-261.

33 Schmidt, Wilhelm, (Primitive Revelation, Binghamton and New York: Vail Ballou Press, Inc., Copyright 1939, B. Herder Book Co.) p. 124.

34 Ibid., p. 126.

35 Ibid., p. 129 131.

36 Ibid., p. 131.

37 Ibid., p. 132.

38 Ibid., p.133.

39 Ibid., p.134

40 Ibid., p. 135.

41 Ibid., p. 136.

42 Ibid., p. 137.

43 Ibid., p. 138.

44 Ibid., pp. 141, 142, 143.

45 Ibid., p.145.

46 Ibid., p. 146.

47 Ibid., p. 148.

48 Schmidt, The Origin and Growth of Religion, Author's Preface, p. 7.

49 Ibid., p.255.

50 Schmidt, Primitive Revelation, pp. 178 181.

51 Ibid, pp. 182, 183.

52 Ibid., pp.185,186.


TOPICS: History; Religion & Culture; Theology
KEYWORDS: genesis; monotheism
Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
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1 posted on 12/13/2009 7:33:12 AM PST by SeekAndFind
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To: SeekAndFind

Cylons fault.


2 posted on 12/13/2009 7:34:20 AM PST by BigCinBigD (")
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To: SeekAndFind

bookmark


3 posted on 12/13/2009 7:39:11 AM PST by FrdmLvr ("The people will believe what the media tells them they believe." Orwell)
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To: SeekAndFind

From whence did Cain’s wife come?


4 posted on 12/13/2009 7:42:43 AM PST by HangnJudge
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To: HangnJudge

For explanation regarding Cain’s wife, See here :

http://www.gotquestions.org/Cains-wife.html

Here :

http://www.christiananswers.net/q-aig/aig-c004.html

and Here :

http://www.answersingenesis.org/articles/nab/who-was-cains-wife


5 posted on 12/13/2009 7:45:20 AM PST by SeekAndFind
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To: SeekAndFind
Can science be believed? Global warming zealots are as closed minded as Darwinists
6 posted on 12/13/2009 7:47:14 AM PST by mountainlion (concerned conservative.)
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To: SeekAndFind

Outside of the big 3 monotheist religions it looks to me like many religions have lesser gods under a single creator god.


7 posted on 12/13/2009 7:48:39 AM PST by cripplecreek (Seniors, the new shovel ready project under socialized medicine.)
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To: HangnJudge

From Cain’s mother and father.


8 posted on 12/13/2009 7:51:54 AM PST by vladimir998
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To: SeekAndFind

French sociologist, writing in the 1920s and 1930s claimed that the primitive mind was “pre logical”, i.e., unable to reason from premise to conclusion and without any concept of cause and effect
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

there’s plenty of “modern” humans that fit this description.


9 posted on 12/13/2009 7:55:48 AM PST by mamelukesabre
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To: SeekAndFind

Why are there two different days and accounts Written regarding the creation/formation of the flesh body?


10 posted on 12/13/2009 7:58:49 AM PST by Just mythoughts
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To: mamelukesabre

There really are two MAIN competing thoughts when it comes to man’s religion.

One is ORIGINAL MONOTHEISM. Anthropologists who gravitate to this point of view believe that mankind everywhere originally believed in ONE GOD but slowly gravitated towards the polytheistic form as Shamanism took over and charismatic figures became god-like, causing people to follow and worship them. This eventually led to agnosticism and atheism.

The other major competing thought is EVOLVED MONOTHEISM. This school of thought believes that monotheism WAS NOT the original state of mankind’s religious belief. It slowly EVOLVED MUCH LATER.

This particular article supports the former ( ORIGINAL MONOTHEISM ). I am sharing this for discussion purposes so that you can share YOUR point of views ( which point of view do you support more and why ).

Kindly keep smart-alec and wise-guy one liner remarks to a minimum.


11 posted on 12/13/2009 8:03:49 AM PST by SeekAndFind
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To: vladimir998
From Cain’s mother and father.

Would seem implausible...
The know rate of genetic mutations
generating various traits and diseases
would be difficult to explain over a
less than 10,000 year interval

Would seem more likely that the Genesis story
is a data point in a continuum,
instead of a origination point of an entire species

Call me a skeptic (along with C.S. Lewis and Tolkien)
that the Genesis story might be better described as
“True Myth”

http://protestantism.suite101.com/article.cfm/biblical_creation_is_a_true_myth

12 posted on 12/13/2009 8:04:59 AM PST by HangnJudge
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To: HangnJudge

You wrote:

“The know rate of genetic mutations
generating various traits and diseases
would be difficult to explain over a
less than 10,000 year interval”

With God anything is possible.


13 posted on 12/13/2009 8:08:30 AM PST by vladimir998
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To: HangnJudge

According to the King James Bible, Cain’s wife came from a land called Nod, most probably what today is called outer Mongolia.
On the 6th day God created all the races...MANKIND.
On the 7th day God rested for the sake of His creation.
AFTER that on the 8th day God created Adam and Eve...hence, Israel.
There were 2000 years worth of people on thw earth BEFORE Adam and Eve ever made the scene. Oh, and Adam WAS NOT cain’s son.
To understand these things is to possess THE KEY OF DAVID.


14 posted on 12/13/2009 8:08:39 AM PST by SentForth5 (Just sayin' is all...)
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To: cripplecreek; SeekAndFind
Outside of the big 3 monotheist religions it looks to me like many religions have lesser gods under a single creator god.

There is only one G-d.

He has given us His NAME; His NAME is YHvH.

YHvH has provided us His Salvation
to all who will call on His NAME

Allah is not YHvH.

shalom b'SHEM Yah'shua HaMashiach
15 posted on 12/13/2009 8:08:55 AM PST by Uri’el-2012 (Psalm 119:174 I long for Your salvation, YHvH, Your law is my delight.)
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To: SentForth5
There were 2000 years worth of people on the earth
BEFORE Adam and Eve ever made the scene.

That would seem to be a very long “Day”

16 posted on 12/13/2009 8:12:44 AM PST by HangnJudge
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To: HangnJudge

2Peter
ch 3 v. 8

“But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.”


17 posted on 12/13/2009 8:18:20 AM PST by SentForth5 (Just sayin' is all...)
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To: SentForth5
“But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.”

OK, that helps somewhat

18 posted on 12/13/2009 8:20:30 AM PST by HangnJudge
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To: UriĀ’el-2012

#15...Beautiful. YHVH is our life Yah’shua is our light!
And so we pray.


19 posted on 12/13/2009 8:24:41 AM PST by SentForth5 (Just sayin' is all...)
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To: SeekAndFind

Personally I tend to think monotheism came first. As I said, most religions (outside the big 3) tend to have one creator God and many underling Gods.

It just seems to me that it would be most natural to believe in one creator God at first and then add others as time went on.

We could also look at it in our Christian context of God along with angels and demons. What we consider to be angels and demons could easily be seen a lesser Gods by someone with no knowledge of Christianity.


20 posted on 12/13/2009 8:25:58 AM PST by cripplecreek (Seniors, the new shovel ready project under socialized medicine.)
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