Ancient civilisations gave us Hebrew Scriptures

12 Feb, 2017 - 00:02 0 Views

The Sunday Mail

Shingai Rukwata Ndoro #ChiselingtheDebris —
IN the past weeks, the column has been sharing details that the human figures and anthropological Abrahamic God of Judaism, Christianity, Islam and Rastafarianism are based on a constructing process that used the myths of Sumer, ancient Egypt and Babylon.

How do we determine that? We take time to study the Hebrew Scriptures. We notice that its literary ancestor is the 3rd to 2nd centuries BCE Greek “Septuagint” of Alexandria, Egypt. The “Septuagint” has been presented by the religious as a translation of scriptures that where in Hebrew whose ancestor is not known — Crawford Howell Toy.

The literary ancestor of the Hebrew Scriptures that was used to produce the Greek “Septuagint” was actually fragments and a “collection of legends, hero stories, myths and folk tales” drawn from ancient Egyptian, Sumerian, Canaanite and Babylonian folk traditions, woven together into a pseudo-historical narrative.

A comparative study of the Hebrew Scriptures in relation with the available mythology narratives of Sumeria, ancient Egypt, Canaan and later Babylonian has shown a similarity and discernable adoption of the laws, teachings and mythical figures by the “Sopherim,” a guild of Hebrew scribe-copyists.

According to Joseph Wheless, the Hebrews recast Genesis chapters 1-11 as their own theocratic history from “the fables of creation, the first parents, the garden, the forbidden trees of knowledge and of life, the serpent, the temptation, the fall of man, the flood and the ark, and of the Tower of Babel” of the Sumerians — “Is it God’s Word?” (1992).

We have noted that the seven days of Genesis are figurative of “all the different aspects of the universe in all its dimensions in relation to the human.” They correspond inversely to the single totality of a human being who is formed of seven aspects:

1)         One physical, five beyond space (Breath, Emotional, Desire, Intellect and Awareness) and One infinite (Life Force); or

2)         Animal (Physical, Breath, Emotional and Desire) and Subtle (Intellect, Awareness and Life Force).

Seven is also a number of the natural world: seven days in a week and seven directions as parts of physicality consisting of the centre connecting all the six sides: above and below, right (South) and left (North), in front (East) and behind (West).

This understanding finds resonance with the ancient perspective of the deity or divine power. The word for the deity or divine power in ancient Egypt is “ntr” (neter, nejter). “The word for God and ‘god’ is, from first to last, neter, the original meaning of which is (humanly) unknown.” — E.A. Wallis Budge, “Osiris and the Egyptian Resurrection,” Vol. I, page 350.

To call the divine power as humanly unknown is in line with what is found in the ancient mythologies (a fictionalised explanation of objective reality).

The neteru is the plural for the ancient Egyptian universal impersonal and sexless life force or sum of cosmic energies. The hieroglyph for ‘Ntr’ looks like a flag. ‘Ntr’ is also the force of nature (from Latin, ‘natura,’ which means “birth, quality”).

In ancient Egyptian mythology, the various aspects of the life force (“neteru”) were humanised multiple aspects of the sexless, infinite, eternal and impersonal neteru, whose chaotic behaviour created and endures the universe. Attributes of such a life force were presented as humanoid with unique names or animals for example falcon (Horus/Heru), a bull (Anubis), an ibis (Thoth/Tehuti), etcetera.

Therefore, ancient Egyptians did not have numerous life forces but they humanised the various attributes of the single force of life, the One (the duality of Male “neter” and Female “netert”) in the All (“neteru”). This gave us “Elohim” in Hebrew. We will tackle this next week.

According to ancient Egyptian, Sumerian, Babylonian, Hindu and Zoroastrian creation myths, “before the beginning,” there was ‘No-Thing.’ ‘The Not’ is the enduring limitless and the infinite of the unmanifested universe. Infinity is symbolised by two zeros side by side.

The ‘No-Thing’ is the pre-existence. It is immediately just before the first state, the beginning. The pre-existence of any-thing is no-thing and therefore the potentiality of its material existence. It is expressed by the scriptural words ‘darkness was upon the face of the deep’, a condition before the material existence.

This signifies the abstract vast spatial deep in which all potentiality exists. The ‘No-Thing’ or nothingness was unrevealed in darkness and by way of evolution it came to be revealed as the appearance of the universe of structure, appearance or matter (minerals, plants, animals and humans).


  1. James P. Allen and Peter Der Manuelian, “The Ancient Egyptian Pyramid Texts (Writings from the Ancient World)” (2015)
  2. “The Pyramid Texts,” translation by Samuel A. B. Mercer (1952)
  3. “The Pyramid Texts” online
  4. “The Egyptian Coffin Texts,” edited by Adrian De Buck and Alan Gardiner
  5. E.A. Wallis Budge, “Egyptian Ideas of the Future Life” (1908)
  6. Crawford Howell Toy and Richard Gottheil, “Bible Translations” —

Feedback: [email protected] or Twitter @shingaiRndoro. A gallery of previous articles is found at

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