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Mayan religion vs christian religion differences similarities

In the end, creation story in the Popol Vuh and Genesis from the Bible in Christianity contain many similarities, which may have been introduced through the translations of the stories.

  • Later, the rest of the Earth turned against them, and the people were attacked by animals, stones, pots and other objects around them;
  • Next were people made out of wood, who both looked and spoke like people and were able to multiply, but were still not good enough for the gods.

The Popul Vuh begins by telling the story of four gods who attempt to create beings that can say their names, keep the days and feed them, thus ensuring that their existence would continue. They make animals first, who could not speak words at all. Second came mud people, who could speak, but the gods could not understand the words. Next were people made out of wood, who both looked and spoke like people and were able to multiply, but were still not good enough for the gods.

They lacked memories of their creation thus preventing them from worshiping their creators and did not understand the world around them. The gods also had issue with the fact that these creatures had no blood.

As a result, the wooden creatures fell victim to a flood and destruction in various ways, many of them gruesome. In the end, the gods made one last attempt at creating the beings they longed for, and humans were born out of maize — though this still did not please the gods, who soon grew fearful of the power these humans possessed. In Genesis, the first book of the Bible, one God creates everything in existence in seven days.

He saves humans for last, intending to replicate his image and have them fill the earth.

He allows the two to wander through the Garden of Eden, a paradise he had created for them, only forbidding them from eating a piece of fruit from the Tree of Knowledge. Of course, the two eat from the tree, resulting in their banishment from the garden. After further corruption, the vast majority of mankind is destroyed by a flood that God sends out of disdain for the human race and everyone is forced to endure the ultimate curse: Right away, there are obvious connections between the Popol Vuh and the Bible.

They both attempt to explain the origins mayan religion vs christian religion differences similarities the world, referencing a God or four who makes the first man. Both feature the God or gods saving the mayan religion vs christian religion differences similarities of humans for last when they form the world and everything on it, and in both stories, the creators create everything on Earth, including landscapes, plants and animals the last one accidently in Popol Vuh.

However, there are more in-depth comparisons that can be found in the two books. For instance, the displeasure of the God or gods in mankind implies that the creators are fallible. In the Popol Vuh, the gods require four tries to create beings that fit their mold, and even then, the humans turn out too wise and must be punished for that.

He goes are far as to apologize for the formation of humans in Genesis 6: This is also apparent when the reader looks at the use of time in both of the creation stories. In Genesis, God creates the world, light, darkness and everything in existence in a span of seven days — six days of work and one of rest.

This implies that even He can get tired. It also implies that days exist and despite the fact that He created them, He is now bound to the rise and fall of the sun.

It is similar to the Popol Vuh, though the gods there have less power than the God in Genesis. In the Maya creation story, time already exists and the gods seem to have a deadline: They must make humans before the first sunrise. All of these examples show the creators to be less than all-powerful. There is also a more direct correlation between the Popol Vuh and the story of Adam and Eve. Before she can reach the treat, a skull spits into her hand, resulting in her pregnancy.

Both use the image of fruit as a symbol of temptation, and both females in the story succumb to it, after being encouraged by an outside presence — in Genesis, a serpent and in Popol Vuh, a skull.

Both women are punished by paternal figures after the offense, as Eve is banished from the Garden of Eden and Xquic is ordered to be killed. They both also begin new lives in a foreign land after their punishment.

Along those same lines, both the Popol Vuh and Genesis focus on a misogynistic view of women. However, there is an ulterior motive to this: The gods, still fearful that humans were too strong and wise, believed that procreation would inhibit humans from growing powerful.

The wives were given to the maize-made men in order to prevent the men from becoming too close to gods. In Genesis, Eve is the one who first gives in to temptation, eating the fruit from the Tree of Knowledge. Once she does, she offers a piece of fruit to Adam and persuades him to eat it as well.

Comparing the Ancient Mayan Religion and Biblical Christianity

It is this act that results in their banishment and original sin, which Christians believe exists still today. In both cases, it is the woman who is harming the man, preventing him from reaching his full potential. The use of a flood is found in both stories.

In Genesis, God is upset with how far humanity has spun out of control; as a result, he spares Noah, a man who God deems as worthy of salvation, and two of each animal in existence, then drowns the rest of the world in a giant flood.

Kids of Courage

He uses this as a form of punishment and a symbol of his regret; he had not achieved his goals with the first wave of humans, mayan religion vs christian religion differences similarities he had to wipe the Earth clean and try again. In the Popol Vuh, the flood is also used as a cleansing and a punishment.

After the failure of the wooden people who populated the earth, so they could not be destroyed by simple measuresthe gods sent down a flood as the first form of punishment. Later, the rest of the Earth turned against them, and the people were attacked by animals, stones, pots and other objects around them. There are many scholars who claim that these similarities are not coincidence. In 1881, a scholar named Adolf Bandelier noticed that the first sentences of the Popol Vuh are not Mayan — he said that they looked like transcriptions of the Book of Genesis, which would fit the time period.

By the time Popol Vuh was written, the Maya Guatemalans had already been exposed to Christianity, and the original author even mentioned in the Preamble that he is writing under the influence of the European religion.

According to a book titled Popol Vuh: Others take a less cynical approach in their attempts to figure out why Genesis and Popol Vuh have such noticeable similarities.

Maya civilization

According to an article in The Examiner, many scholars believe that the holy book was written by daykeepers, or people who preserve the Maya culture to this day. Regardless of the intent, it is clear that the Popol Vuh from ancient Guatemala and the Book of Genesis from the Bible have distinct similarities.

Both have creation stories which are remarkably similar, including fallible creators and a time spanboth include a God or gods who then damn their creations for all eternity, either by taking away their wisdom or cursing them with original sin, and both depict women as the downfall of men.

  • I focused on the pre-Maya Olmecs and pre-Toltec, pre-Spanish Maya, revealing that these peoples possessed some very important religious and mythological concepts that can be found in Christianity, among others, including the abundant use of the cross;
  • In any event, there is much more to this subject, a significant amount of which will be included in my forthcoming DVD.

The use of specific imagery such as the tree, the forbidden fruit and a flood imply that the connection is more than just coincidence, and several scholars agree that Christian influence was inevitable, given how hard the Spaniards pushed Christianity during the Conquest. In the end, there is not a clear-cut answer and the world will never know whether the Popol Vuh is strictly Mayan, but there are definitive connections between the two literary works.