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The Cleveland Freethinkers Message Board The Cleveland Freethinkers Discussion Forum General Discussions › Eve, Adam, Rib, and Sumerian origins

Eve, Adam, Rib, and Sumerian origins

A former member
Post #: 1
Some of us were talking about this for a few minutes at the picnic yesterday. I had mentioned that -the ridicuolus and patriarchal- biblical story was simply a mistranslated plagiarization of Sumerian texts. Sumerian religion is the most important source of Semitic religions (Judaism, Christianity, Islam and a few more insignificant ones), but since Sumerian was a non-Semitic language with entirely different grammar and vocabulary, many mistakes have been made in history in the copying of Sumerian texts into Semitic languages. The strange story you read in the Bible is a typical example. For the influence of Sumerian religion on Judaism and Christianity, read Samuel Noah Kramer. The explanation I'm quoting here is from Kramer himself, and I pasted it with little changes from the Internet:

In Sumerian texts, Goddess Ninhursag asks God Enki:

“My brother what hurts thee?”
Enki: “My side hurts me.”
Ninhursag: “To the goddess Dazimua I give birth for thee.”

Ninhursag: “My brother what hurts thee?”
Enki: “My rib hurts me.”
Ninhursag: “To the goddess Ninti I give birth for thee.”
(Kramer, Sumerian Mythology 58)

The Sumerian word for “rib” is "ti", and "woman" is "nin". The goddess created for the healing of Enki’s rib was therefore called in Sumerian "Nin-ti", “the lady of the rib.” But the very same Sumerian word "ti" also means “to make live.” The name "Nin-ti" may thus mean “the lady who makes live,” as well as “the lady of the rib.” In Sumerian literature, therefore, “the lady of the rib” came to be identified with “the lady who makes live” through what might be termed a play on words. (Kramer, Mythologies 103)

Kramer suggests that the passage in Genesis where Eve, “the mother of all living” is taken from Adam’s rib may be an echo of this Sumerian pun. Enki felt a pain in his "rib" which is identical to the word "life". To relieve Enki, Ninhursag created a new god named "Nin-ti" or “Lady of Life or Rib”.


Cleveland, OH
Post #: 18
Yes, of course. This history should be standard in any higher education curriculum. I learned this at a Jesuit University, along with the tons of other quirks in translation that makes current translations of the bible from Greek or whatever, quite questionable. We learned that those who wrote the bible, old testament and new, were simply fashioning the stories to appeal to the religious (Jewish) and politics (Rome) of the day. They were parables, stories, nothing more. To me, going through catholic schooling all the way for 16 years, the people who believe the bible literally simply must be uneducated or if educated, have a lower level of higher education. I no longer adhere to the catholic religion of course, but still, they at least taught the truth and taught me to think.

I think part of the problem lies in the lack of kids pursuing a true liberal arts education (assuming it is at a credible school-not a conservative christian outpost) in favor of STEMI, where they get little to zero antiquity, arts, historical political science. On the other hand, it is true that a STEMI based education is needed to get the US up to speed but seriously, it doesn't need to be at the expense of liberal arts and the resulting critical thinking skills, which should actually start in elementary school.
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