James N. Judd Ms. D. D. D.
At the beginning of this new millennium there is an increasing tension between the doctrines of both orthodox Christianity and Judaism, and the changing beliefs of modern society. This is particularly noticeable in such areas as the role of women, the human relationship with God, and life after death, as new ideas clash with religious dogmas that, based upon a literal acceptance of the Creation Story in Genesis, suggest the inferiority of women, the inherent sinfulness of humanity, an active Devil, and an everlasting Hell. When this ancient Hebrew Paradisial tale is considered as a myth, however, rather than historical fact, and interpreted from the perspective of what the Jewish mystics (kabbalists) say was the original intent, then all the weak and demeaning ideas are removed. When Adam, Eve, the serpent, tree, etc., are read as archetypal figures an entirely different meaning is revealed that removes the confusion which is contributing to the existing tensions in society. This understanding presents a new, constructive look at Scripture for a wide audience of both Christian and Jewish women and men as well as those who are outside those two faiths with the exception of the most orthodox Jews, and those fundamentalist Christians who insist on a literal reading of the Bible. The Female, the Tree, and Creation, 1) explains the original meaning of the Adam and Eve tale as interpreted by Jewish kabbalists, 2) traces the themes of the Creation Story (e.g. the role of women, human relationship with God, sin, evil, etc.), through Judaism and early Christianity, and their evolvement in public consciousness, orthodox religion, and other spiritual teachings, up to the present time, 3) shows the practical value of Kabbalah in helping to resolve the controversies of today, irrespective of ones cultural or religious background, and 4) interprets historical trends to logically suggest the likely direction of mans consciousness and institutionalized religion in the 21st century. 5) This manuscript is enhanced by separate Introductions from Rabbi Gelberman (New York), and Dr. Carol Parrish-Harra, President, Sancta Sophia Seminary (Oklahoma). 6) The length of the manuscript is approximately 66,000 words, and consists of six chapters and an Appendix. A condensed outline follows. Chapter One: The Significance of Myth: Uses illustrative stories to explain the value of myth, and how the Creation Story fits a mythical pattern. Chapter Two: Symbols in the Adam and Eve Story An in-depth explanation and historical background of the various symbols (Tree, Serpent, etc.) that appear in this story. Chapter Three: The Source: The source of the Creation Story symbols, particularly the female and the serpent. I.. Moses and Egypt II. Mythic Formation. How and why the Creation Story was constructed along the lines of kabbalstic mysticism to covertly deliver a message of the sacredness of the female, the divinity of humanity, and the nature of sin and evil. Chapter Four: Jewish Mysticism and the Creation Story: I. Jewish Mysticism. Explains Jewish mysticism, traces the early evolvement of Kabbalah, and explains the kabbalists concept of the Sefirot. II. The Sefirot and Creation: An in-depth explanation of Kabbalah as it relates to the Creation Story to show the original, intended meaning of this tale. Chapter Five: Sin, Guilt and Evil. I. Jewish Thought. II. Christian Thought. The why and how the sense of sin, guilt and evil that pervades the theological presentation of the Creation Story became a part of Jewish and Christian thought. The viewpoint of Jewish and Christian mysticism. Chapter Six: Past, Present and Future. I. Cyclical Changes . Comparison of the radical disruption of traditional religious ways that to