There is a common idea that before Christianity or even Judaism, that ancient man had no knowledge or understanding of God and of natural occurring events. This is a mistake indeed. The proof showing otherwise is here. And like modern man, ancient civilizations also had ideas and controversies about the nature of creation. One side said it was because of a chance happening of natural events, while the other claimed it was because of a intelligent Creator who made it all. Just like modern day man. There really is nothing new under the sun.
1. From the writings of the Taoist Lao-tzu, who flourished in the China of the 6th century BC, that the following profound statement concerning the existence and some of the attributes of God is taken. “Before time, and throughout time, there has been a self-existing being, eternal, infinite, complete, omnipresent Outside this being, before the beginning, there was nothing.” Without copies of Genesis available to him, the Taoist writer of Lao-tzu derived a great awareness of God.
2. “I venture to ask whether the creator is or is not. If he is not, how can he create things? The creating of things has no Lord; everything creates itself. ” This is quote is from a ancient Chinese writer named Kuo-Hsiang. While many people believed in a God (Creator) or gods (creators) yet always there were those who did not.
3. “I am the creator of all things that exist…that came forth from my mouth. Heaven and earth did not exist, nor had been created the herbs of the ground nor the creeping things. I raised them out of the primeval abyss from a state of non-being…” This is a ancient text from Heliopolis in Egypt. In ancient Egypt every thought was concerned with the Divine and creation so much that it permeated all areas of life.
4. “First of all the Void came into being …next Earth …Out of the Void came darkness …and out of the Night came Light and Day…” This is excerpt is from the early 8th century Greeks, the Theogony of Hesiod.
5. Two centuries later we find that there’s a pantheon of gods, yet Xenophanes still believed in One God. “Homer and Hesiod attributed to the gods all the things which among men are shameful and blameworthy–theft and adultery and mutual deception…[But] there is one God, greatest among gods and men, similar to mortals neither in shape nor in thought …he sees as a whole, he thinks as a whole, he hears as a whole …Always he remains in the same state, changing not at all …But far from toil he governs everything with his mind.”
6. Plato the Greek philosopher reports this of the ineffable (indescribable) God (and not the one of Hermes nor Zeus). “Let us therefore state the reason why the framer of this universe of change framed it at all. He was good, and what is good has no particle of envy in it; being therefore without envy, he wished all things to be as like himself as possible. This is as valid a principle for the origin of the world of change as we shall discover from the wisdom of men.” Note the echo from Genesis: “And God saw that it was good.”
7. Thales of Miletus (625-545 BC) is credited with having been the first materialist philosopher among the Greeks. Yet he wrote these creationist type of words. “Of existing things, God is the oldest – for he is ungenerated. The world is the most beautiful, for it is God’s creation.”
8. “If there is anything in nature which the human mind, which human intelligence, energy and power could not create, then the creator of such things must be a being superior to man. But the heavenly bodies in their eternal orbits could not be created by man. They must therefore be created by a being greater than man. Only an arrogant fool would imagine that there was nothing in the whole world greater than himself. Therefore there must be something greater than man. And that something must be God.” The words of Chrysippus the Stoic (233 BC).
9. With these beautifully simple words written below, the Stoic Cicero gives voice to an idea which even today is the most difficult for the materialist to refute, for it’s nearly impossible to explain away convincingly, say, the indescribable complexity of living organisms, or even merely parts thereof, as the product of blind chance or accident. “When you see a sundial or a water-clock, you see that it tells the time by design and not by chance. How then can you imagine that the universe as a whole is devoid of purpose and intelligence when it embraces everything, including these artifacts themselves and their artificers? Our friend Posidonius as you know has recently made a globe which in its revolution shows the movements of the sun and stars and planets, by day and night, just as they appear in the sky. Now if someone were to take this globe and show it to the people of Britain or Scythia would a single one of those barbarians fail to see that it was the product of a conscious intelligence?”
10. Finally, the words of Lucilius in 180 BC (upon the Creator of the universe). “Is, as says Ennius, “the father both of gods and men”, a present and a mighty God. If anyone doubts this, then so far as I can see he might just as well doubt the existence of the sun. For the one is as plain as the other. And if this were not clearly known and manifest to our intelligence, the faith of men would not have remained so constant, would not have deepened with the lapse of time, and taken ever firmer root throughout the ages and the generations of mankind.” Again, there was a profound concept and knowledge of God among certain pagan peoples in the ancient world, particularly in the Greek and Roman worlds. And without doubt a controversy for many centuries arose between those who propagated and preserved that knowledge of God as the Creator, and those who sought to destroy it by attributing the creation of the universe to purely natural forces. But in the end, it was all a matter of belief. Just like today. You must decide for yourself (hopefully after much contemplation), what it is for you. As for me and mine we will serve the One True And Eternal God, the Creator of all things. I hope that you have enjoyed this report.