A Mayan Creation Account – Part 2

This post is a commentary on my previous post about a Mayan creation account.

Three Observations:

  1. The Mayan creation account is “place-specific”. As an example, consider why corn is the key ingredient in the creation of human beings? It is because corn was the staple food of the Mayan diet. When man attempts to define and describe the divine he is always limited by his own experiences. The biblical creation account differs in this regard, for it does not display place and cultural limitations. Of course, this is because it is the Creator himself who is describing the actual creation of the world. God communicates his creation account in a certain language (Hebrew) and to a specific culture (mainly Israel), but it remains true for all times and places and this is reflected in the account itself.
  2. The gods of the Mayan creation account are “humanesque”. What I mean here is that they display very human characteristics. The Mayan gods attempt to create a being that thinks and worships and then they set about the task. When they fail the gods destroy their work and begin again. It is only after much pondering and problem-solving that the gods come to a solution. These gods, while still possessing supernatural powers, think and act in much the same way that humans do. Again, this is because human explanation of God is limited by human knowledge and experience. The God who reveals himself through Scriptures uses human terms to describe who he is, but it is clear that he is much more than this. Mere words cannot capture who he is. Yahweh acts and speaks in ways unimaginable to man.
  3. The Mayan creation account shares fascinating similarities with the biblical creation account. The Mayan gods are able to speak things into existence. The gods also desire to create a being that will worship them and give them honour. When they are unsatisfied with their creation they use a great flood to destroy it. What are we to make of these striking similarities? The skeptic would be quick to draw the conclusion that both the Mayan and biblical creation accounts are just two hypotheses of how the world came into being. We cannot know which is correct and likely neither one is the truth. However, another hypothesis would be that the biblical account is correct and was passed down through the generations, although not always perfectly. When the Mayan peoples told their creation story they were remembering pieces of the actual Creation story, but corrupting it with their own ideas and delusions. The creation accounts of other cultures are usually not wild speculation or imaginative story-telling, rather, they are based on ancient knowledge and real-world experience. Paul explains in the first chapter of Romans that “what can be known about God is evident among them”. It seems that this Mayan myth backs up what Paul wrote, which is not surprising to those who hold to the infallibility of God’s Word. In the end then, these types of alternate creation accounts don’t pose a threat to the biblical account but actually, serve to add further evidence for it.

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