Though no one doubts that the “biological history of humans” and “human origin” began during “prehistorical” times (the period of history prior to “medieval” and “ancient” history) the question still remains, even in the 21st century, as to whether this “biological history,” and “human origins,” are:

(1) only religious, history according to Genesis I, of the Hebrew Old Testament or King James version of the Old Testament

(2) “historical,” according to Greek philosophical speculations based on Ancient Egyptian religious foundations and later Greek philosophical writings, and the early Church and Medieval Age religious associations of Greek reasoning (Aristotle, Plato_ to create a “rational” or “reason” acceptance of early Church dogma that were literalist interpretations of the Bible,

or (3) historical, according to archaeological and biological genetic evidence, and ”scientific” method and empirical(i.e. based on sensual observation) conclusions with regard to nature and events or occurrences in human biological and cultural history that resulted in a a historical record that comprised a “history of civilization.”

I. Using the Bible As History:

Using the “Bible” as history would be a subject matter for a religious or “biblical” discussion and interpretation of the historical “events”:

According to Genesis, Chapter I of the Hebrew Bible generally referred to as the Old Testament, “mankind’s” origin began in the Garden of Eden with the creation of both the world and Adam by God, Adam being created first and Eve created from one of Adam’s rib as indicated in one section of Genesis.

Creation of the World:

(1) Isaac Asimov, Asimov’s Guide to the Bible: the Old and New Testaments (Avenel Books: New York), 1981, p. 17:

(a) “Genesis 1:1: In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.” [Asimov 1981: 17]

(b) “The Jews of the Middle Ages calculated the date of the creation to have been October 7, 3761 B.C., and this is still used in calculating the number of the year in the Jewish calendar. Thus September 1968 A.D. is the beginning of the year 5729 by that calendar. [Asimov 1981: 36]

(c) “James Ussher, an Anglican archbishop of Armagh, Ireland, in 1654 decided that the creation had taken place in 4004 B.C. (At 9 A.M. of October 23 of that year, according to some). The date 4004 B.C. is often found at the head of the first pages of the Bible in editions of the King James version.” [Asimov 1981: 36]

b) Creation of humankind:

(1) Isaac Asimov, Asimov’s Guide to the Bible: the Old and New Testaments (Avenel Books: New York), 1981:

(a) Genesis 2:7: “And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and man became a living soul.”

(b) “God creates a woman as a companion for Adam, forming her out of man’s rib.” (Genesis 2: 21-22: “And the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, and he slept: and he took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh instead thereof: And the rib, which the Lord God had taken from man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man.”)

c) Origin of Languages and the Races of Humankind:

(1) Isaac Asimov, Asimov’s Guide to the Bible: the Old and New Testaments (Avenel Books: New York), 1981

The mention of “Ethiopia,” Assyria, and the “Euphrates” river in Genesis:

(a) Genesis 2:8: “And the Lord God planted a garden eastward in Eden … “

The River “Gihon” – (African Nile River (“encompassed the whole land of Ethiopia”):

(b) Genesis 2:13 – 2:14: “And the name of the second river is Gihon: the same is it that compasseth the whole land of Ethiopia.

The River Hiddekel – (Tigris River – “goeth toward the east of Assyria):

(c) And the name of the third river is Hiddekel: that is it which goeth toward the east of Assyria.

The River Euphrates (“and the fourth river is Euphrates”):

(d) And the fourth river is Euphrates.”

The mention of “Sumeria” in Genesis – (“Shinar” – “they came to Shinar and decided to build a huge tower – ineveh – Assyria – Nebuchadnezzar – “Tower of Babel”):

(e) “While the descendants of Noah were still a relatively small group, all speaking a single language, they came to Shinar (Sumeria) and decided to build a huge tower there, with which to ‘reach unto Heaven.’ However, God defeated their purpose by giving each man a different language, making it impossible for them to understand each other. Unable to continue their complex building activities, they had to leave off, and this tale is used to explain the name of the city in which the tower was built.

The mention of “the tower of Babel” and implied reference to Babylonia:

(f) “Genesis 11:9: Therefore is the name of it called Babel; because the Lord did there confound the language of all the earth.

(g) “In other words, the writers of Genesis derived ‘Babel’ from the Hebrew word ‘balal,’ meaning ‘mixed,’ ‘confused,’ or ‘confounded.’ This derivation is, however, a false one, for in the Babylonian language, the name of the city is ‘Bab-ilu’ meaning ‘gate of God.’

(h) From this is derived the Hebrew ‘Babel’ and the Greek ‘Babylon.’

(i) There was as it happens, a tower in Babel; indeed, there were towers in most Sumerian and Babylonian cities. The temples to the gods took the form of stepped pyramids which were ascended by inclined planes about the outside. These were called ziggurats.

(j) A large ziggurat in Babylon was begun by a Sumerian king and was left unfinished perhaps as a result of the disorders involved in the southward march of Sargon of Agade.

(k) For many centuries, the ziggurat remained incomplete and perhaps gained fame because of its shortcomings (as does the Leaning Tower of Pisa or Schubert’s Unfinished Symphony). It served as the model, one might assume, for the Biblical tale of the unfinished tower in Babel.

(l) However, in the sixth century B.C., Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, finished the largest ziggurat ever built. It was formed in seven diminishing stages (one for each of the planets). .. This would make a respectable skyscraper now, and it was much smaller than the tremendous pyramids built by the Egyptians. It was however, the largest structure in southwestern Asia and more remarkable still, it was what is now so familiar to us as the ‘tower of Babel’ – finished at last.”[emphasis added]

d) Biblical Origin of the Greeks:

(1) Isaac Asimov, Asimov’s Guide to the Bible: the Old and New Testaments (Avenel Books: New York), 1981

(a) “The Greeks, it seems, must be considered – in Biblical terms – to be among the descendants of Japheth (in modern times “designated as people from “Europe, western Asia, and North Africa”!).

(i) “Genesis 9:18: And the sons of Noah … were Shem, and Ham, and Japheth: and Ham is the father of Canaan.”

(b) “The writers of Genesis may even in this respect have been influenced by Greek traditions, reaching them dimly from the west.

(c) For instance, Japheth himself has been identified by some with the Titan/Iapetus in the Greek myths. (Since the initial ‘J’ in Hebrew names is pronounced like a’Y’ in Hebrew, as is the initial “I’ in Greek names, the similarity between Japheth and Iapetus is greater than it appears in print.)

(d) According to Greek myths, Iapetus was the father of Prometheus who, in turn, fathered the human race by molding them out of clay. For this reason, Iapetus was considered by the Greeks to be the ancestor of mankind; and, to the Hebrews, Iapheth was the ancestor of that portion of mankind in which the Greeks belonged. The sons and grandsons of Japheth are listed in the tenth chapter of Genesis:



(i) “Genesis 10:2: The sons of Japheth: Gomer and Magog, and Madai, and Javan, and Tubal, and Meshech, and Tiras.

(ii) “Genesis 10: 3: And the sons of Gomer: Ashkenaz, and Riphath, and Togarmah.

(iii) “Genesis 10:4: And the sons of Javan: Elishah and Tarshish, Kittim, and Dodamim.”

The “Cimmerians”:

(e) “We must remember that such genealogies reflect the geographic and political situation of the Assyrian period, when the various parts of Genesis were reduced to writing. [See “When Genesis as Written,” below] Of the sons of Japheth, Gomer seems to be identical with the people who, in Assyrian inscriptions, were the ‘Gimirrai’ and these in turn were the people known in Latin spelling as the ‘Cimmerians.’
(g) In earlier times they lived north of the Black Sea but in the seventh century B.C., pushed on by new bands of barbarians in the rear, they invaded Asia Minor (Anatolia, modern day Turkey) and met the Assyrians there in earth-shaking battles. They were eventually defeated, to be sure, but Assyria was badly wounded in the process.


(i) “The Cimmerians would certainly be in prominent view at the time the tenth chapter was being written and their eponym, ‘Gomer,’ would, very reasonably, be viewed as the first-born of Japheth.

[Note: Cimmerians as descended from the Germanic and Celtic (barbaric and nomadic and uncivilized) Tribes of Northeastern Eurasia (“Europe”)


About Harold L Carter

Bachelor of Science, Columbia University Masters degree, Ohio State University Undergraduate National Officer, Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Eastern Asst Vice President, when a student at Columbia University Profile Photograph: Mom & Me, when I was a graduate student

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