According to John R. Salverda
Atlas is a rival claimant, instead of Zeus, for the role of Adam, and I think that he makes a much better fit. The concept of Zeus and Hera may have had its basis in Adam and Eve, but they were elevated into the status of gods very early in the course of Greek history. In their deified classification they were the proprietors of the garden, not its residents, neither Zeus nor Hera were said to have been born (much less created) there, and did not live there, so far as we can tell. Atlas, on the other hand, was said to have lived there, and he was punished at a place just outside the Garden. Atlas was not a god, he was a rebel giant. This is exactly as the Jews pictured Adam; “The dimensions of his body were gigantic, reaching from heaven to earth” (from Louis Ginzberg, “The Legends of the Jews” Volume I, Chapter II “Adam”, Sub-chapter “The Ideal Man”). And Atlas was punished for his rebellion against god (Zeus); “Atlas through hard constraint upholds the wide heaven with unwearying head and arms, standing at the borders of the earth before the clear-voiced Hesperides; for this lot wise Zeus assigned to him.” (Hesiod, Theogony 507 ff.). The method of his punishment holds a didactic lesson about the doctrine of Mount Sinai. He was condemned to be a mountain that separates the Heavens from the Earth. We all pray for the Kingdom of Heaven to come down to the Earth, but there is something in the way, it is the sin of Adam, because of which, there needs to be a “covenant with sin and death” in place, the mountain of the law.
Then there was the story of that previous civilization on the Earth, from which our modern culture sprang, which was destroyed, engulfed, in a great aqueous catastrophe. This previous civilization, called, “Atlantis,” was named after Atlas, he was said to be their first king, and the flood which engulfed the place, is still known as the “Atlantic” Ocean. We learn the story of Atlantis from the Greek Plato, who explains why these ancient People were drowned away back then. He says that at first, their race was pure, but they earned their destruction because they had a racial fall, and had degenerated through mortal admixture. And that was that for Plato’s Atlantean civilization. So it was much like the Bible’s antediluvian civilization, where Adam’s daughters, bred with the giants, and this caused racial impurities, (His Spirit could not “strive with men indefinitely,”) precursing the intolerable state which lead to Yahweh’s flood.
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