HOW DID WESTERN RELIGION BEGIN?
This is my speculation about how the spirituality of believing in and putting faith in the many unknowns, uncontrollables or “gods” of normal life like fire, earth, wind and water, evolved into a religion with one God.
THERE IS GOOD EVIDENCE THAT CLIMATIC INFLUENCES CAUSED A GROUP OF MEN(people) TO ESTABLISH WESTERN RELIGION WITH ITS ONE GOD
What drastic flood happened about 5550 BC that created religion from normal spirituality?
Where in the world did this happen?
Was there a Garden of Eden and was it destroyed?
Did Noah have a warning from travelers?
Did lots of people die and loose their Garden of Eden?
What evidence do we have and where does it come from?
The following evidence is cited in NOAH’S FLOOD by William Ryan and Walter Pitman published 1998.
———–(show book NOAH’S FLOOD)
The historical facts established by core samples and other research:
As the last ice age retreated,starting about 10,000bc, a huge depression between the Caucasus,Anatolian Highlands and the Carpathian mountains of Eastern Europe,part of which is now called the Black Sea, filled with fresh glacial water running south down the rivers through Russia. This Black Sea part of the huge valley now covers an area of 168,500 square miles, more than the land area of the state of California.
–———(pass out Black Sea area pictures)
Because of the unique, huge and abundant fresh water supply, human societies developed around its shores. People developed agriculture especially grain crops, a real garden of Eden in this very dry area. David Harris, Director of the Institute of Archeology University London England believes“-agriculture originated independently only very rarely -possibly twice- in the history of Eurasia first in the Near East and later in China” (p.171) Other regions such as Oceana and North and South America contributed little to the development of civilization.
But over thousands of years the huge fresh water sea evaporated down to about 500 feet below the ridge that separated it from the Mediterranean Basin. This wall was the bed rock of the dried out bottom of the 20 mile long Bosporus straights that now connects the Mediterranean to the Black sea.
———–(see second picture attached to first showing the straight)
As the glaciers melted at the end of the last ice age, the worlds sea level rose.
Thus in the year 5,550 BC,plus or minus about 10 years (p. 149), the level of the worlds oceans had risen to the point where salt water began to flow back east over those Bosporus straights and then down the 500 foot drop into the huge freshwater lake. (p. 234)
A Noah’s Flood of salty ocean water refilled the whole Black Sea area up within a period of about two years. The enormous flow of over 10 cubic miles a day every day( 200 times the flow of Niagara Falls), forced five civilizations that had been established around its perimeter, to flee about half a mile every day for about two years or drown. Many people probably drowned. It also changed their vast fresh water lake to salty water, and so their precious source of fresh drinking and irrigating water was gone.
However, before this event,any one visiting the western edge of this huge fertile valley and climbing the 500 feet to the top, would notice that over time the ocean, in this case the Adriatic Sea, was getting higher and higher and filling East along the Bosporus valley nearing the edge of that huge valley now called the Black Sea. So if Noah put two and two together, he had an adequate warning of a disastrous flood about to happen .
When George Smith put together fragments of a Babylonian clay tablet containing Assyrian inscriptions, he found remarkably on piece k63 the description of a creation myth and on another piece the description of a great flood and the “supplying a ship with food, treasurers, seeds, animals,and the children of all the craftsman”,(p. 48) ie. Noah’s Arc.
The Sumarian King List (show and pass out) lists area kings and lengths of their reigns in order from before and after the FLOOD, pre and post diluvian
It then took about 2,000 years of oral knowledge about this tragic flood to be passed down and to eventually be recorded in those clay tablets.
So now we know the history of this severe climatic event.
But how did it lead to the beginning of western religion?
The oldest recorded humanity in the area was the Ubaids, ancestors of the Sumerians. Their earliest spiritual beliefs and practices seemed to be a pantheon of gods, one for every need by these superstitious and fatalistic people(p. 236). However being chased by the Water God for two years, with only part of the population surviving, possibly led to the belief that one god was now more powerful and thus evolved into the one–-“God Almighty”.
Thus monotheism began.
During the 2,000 years after the date of this flood, and in an area located to the southeast of the Black Sea in Persia, part of which is now Iran, a religion now known as Zoroastrianism was born, and Ahura Mazda appears as a supreme and transcendental deity ( p. 2 from Wikipedia article on Monotheism).
“Monolatrism can be a stage in the development of monotheism from polytheism. Three examples are:
– the Aten cult in the reign of Egyptian pharaoh Akhenaten
– the rise of Marduk from the tutelary of Babylon to supremacy,
– and the rise of Yahweh from among the Canaanite gods to be the sole God of Judaism.”
And then from Judaism we find Jesus and Christianity and the evolving family tree of western religious beliefs.
Based on his August 16, 2015 Talk at UU Church Derby Line, VT