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Issue Features
Discovery Magazine 7/1/1997


THE MAORI CREATION STORY AND THE BIBLE

by  Trevor Major, M.Sc., M.A.

Have you ever wondered what makes man different from the animals? Solomon, the wise king of old, said that God “has made everything beautiful in its time. Also He has put eternity in their hearts” (Ecclesiastes 3:11). Animals do not have eternity in their hearts like men and women do. Animals eat, drink, and play like us, but they do not worship.

Worship is something only people do. Worship is a special love and loyalty given to a deity, an idol, or a sacred object. Anthropologists (scientists who study people) say that every group or culture in the world worships in some way or another. The ancient Maori of New Zealand were no different. They had many myths and legends that described their world. Myths and legends are stories that may contain some truth. This is different from Bible stories, which we know are true. Let us look at the creation myth of the ancient Maori, and compare it to the Bible.

·       There was a supreme creator god, “Io the parentless,” which means he did not have a mother and father. This is like the God of the Bible. God called Himself “I Am” because He has existed, and will exist, forever.

·       Io created the heavens and the Earth by making sky father and Earth mother. Genesis 1:1 says, “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” A few verses later, we read that God separated the waters to make the sky, and gathered the waters together in one place to make dry land (Genesis 1:6-9).

·       Ancient Maori myth says that Tane, the god of nature, made woman out of clay. However, we learn in the Bible that God made man out of the dust of the ground, and He made woman from man’s side (Genesis 2:7,22).

The Maori, like so many peoples of the world, knew that there was a Creator. But they were lost without knowing what God wanted them to do. The apostle Paul talked about this in Romans 1:20: “For since the creation of the world, His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse.” There is no good reason for anyone to look at the creation, and not see the signs of a great and wonderful Creator. If they know there is a Creator, they should do everything they can to know how He wants them to live.



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