By Alex Distefano
By Scott Snowden
By Anna Merlan
By Steve Almond
By Jena Ardell
By Jon Campbell
By Alan Scherstuhl
By Tessa Stuart
An idea of the Raelian view of creation from outer space can be gleaned in one of the opening passages of the book The Message Given by Extra-Terrestrials, as revealed to Rael:
In the beginning Elohim created the heaven and the earth. Genesis 1:1 "Elohim," translated without justification in some Bibles by the word "God," means in Hebrew "those who came from the sky," and furthermore, the word is a plural. It means that the scientists from our world searched for a planet that was suitable to carry out their projects. They "created," or in reality discovered, the Earth, and realized that it contained all the necessary elements for the creation of artificial life, even if its atmosphere was not quite the same as our own.
The Raelian perspective is unusual among UFO groups in that it offers a creation story tied to the sacred books of the monotheistic tradition.
But to many Jews, for whom the Hebrew word Elohim is used in prayer referring to God, Rael's definition is quite alien. "Nowhere in the word Elohimis there anything that means sky," says Dr. Robert Harris of the Jewish Theological Seminary. "Eloh derives from the ancient Hebrew word Elor Allah, which means might; im does pluralize the wordalthough Elohim always takes a singular verb. Therefore, Elohimalways functions as the name of God in the singular. In Hebrew, the word sky is either Shamayimor Rakiah."
Click here to return to the main feature.