Ignatius Donnelly

Genesis Contains a History of Atlantis

The Hebrews and Phoenicians

The Hebrews are a branch of the great family of which that powerful commercial race, the Phoenicians, who were the merchants of the world fifteen hundred years before the time of Christ, were a part.

The Hebrews carried out from the common storehouse of their race a mass of traditions, many of which have come down to modern times in that oldest and most venerable of human compositions, the Book of Genesis.

It has been shown that the story of the Deluge plainly refers to the destruction of Atlantis and that it agrees in many important particulars with the account given by Plato.

In both instances, the people destroyed were the ancient race that had created civilization; they had formerly been in a happy and sinless condition, had become great and wicked, and were destroyed for their sins—they were destroyed by water.

Creation Myths

Even in the history of the Creation we find these similarities:

  • The Initial State: The Bible tells us (Gen. 1:2) that in the beginning the earth was without form and void, and covered with water. In the Quiche legends we are told, “at first all was sea—no man, animal, bird, or green herb—there was nothing to be seen but the sea and the heavens.”
  • The Spirit of God: The Bible says (Gen. 1:2), “And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.” The Quiche legend says, “The Creator—the Former, the Dominator—the feathered serpent—those that give life, moved upon the waters like a glowing light.”
  • Separation of Land and Water: The Bible says (Gen. 1:9), “And God said, Let the waters under the heaven be gathered together unto one place, and let the dry land appear: and it was so.” The Quiche legend says, “The creative spirits cried out ‘Earth!’ and in an instant it was formed, and rose like a vapor-cloud; immediately the plains and the mountains arose, and the cypress and pine appeared.”
  • Divine Approval: The Bible tells us, “And God saw that it was good.” The Quiche legend says, “Then Gucumatz was filled with joy, and cried out, ‘Blessed be thy coming, O Heart of Heaven, Hurakan, thunder-bolt.'”
  • Order of Creation: The order in which the vegetables, animals, and man were formed is the same in both records.
  • Creation of Man: In Genesis (Gen. 2:7) we are told, “And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground.” The Quiche legend says, “The first man was made of clay; but he had no intelligence, and was consumed in the water.”

The Fall of Man and Other Parallels

  • Nakedness of Man: In Genesis the first man is represented as naked. The Aztec legend says, “The sun was much nearer the earth then than now, and his grateful warmth rendered clothing unnecessary.”
  • Temptation and Fall: Even the temptation of Eve reappears in the American legends. Lord Kingsborough says: “The Toltecs had paintings of a garden, with a single tree standing in the midst; round the root of the tree is entwined a serpent, whose head appearing above the foliage displays the face of a woman. Torquemada admits the existence of this tradition among them, and agrees with the Indian historians, who affirm that this was the first woman in the world, who bore children, and from whom all mankind are descended.” There is also a legend of Suchiquccal, who disobediently gathered roses from a tree, and thereby disgraced and injured herself and all her posterity.
  • War of Angels and the Fall: The legends of the Old World which underlie Genesis, and were used by Milton in the “Paradise Lost,” appear in the Mexican legends of a war of angels in heaven, and the fall of Zou-tem-que (Soutem, Satan—Arabic, Shatana?) and the other rebellious spirits.

The Tower of Babel and Its Parallel

Father Duran, in his manuscript “Historia Antiqua de la Nueva Espana,” A.D. 1585, quotes a native legend about the building of the great pyramid of Cholula, which closely resembles the Bible record of the Tower of Babel. According to the legend, the pyramid was built by a race of giants who desired to reach the sky. The gods, angered by their presumption, destroyed the structure and scattered the builders. This legend, like the Biblical account, involves a vast construction project, divine intervention, and the scattering of people.

Other Biblical Parallels

  • Creation of Women: In Genesis (Gen. 2:21-22), God created Eve from Adam’s rib while he slept. The Quiche tradition similarly describes the creation of wives for four men while they slept.
  • Expulsion from Paradise: In Genesis (Gen. 3:22-23), God expels Adam and Eve from Eden to prevent them from eating from the tree of life and living forever. The Quiche legend states that the gods feared that men had become too perfect and clouded their vision.
  • Parting of the Sea: Both the Israelites and the ancestors of the Quiches experienced the parting of the sea for their passage.
  • Samson and Zipanca: The story of Samson is paralleled by the Quiche hero Zipanca, who, like Samson, brought down a building on his captors.
  • Giants: Both the Bible and Central American history mention giants. The Bible refers to “giants in those days,” while Central American legends speak of the ancient race of giants called Quinames.

Similarities in Religious Practices

  • Both Jews and Mexicans worshipped toward the east.
  • Both had specific practices for atonement
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