Wednesday, May 8, 2013

The Minoans: Rejection of the Creator

By Matthew Zuk

Palace of Knossos - Photo by Ken Zuk

As seen in our previous articles, the Minoans are among the most advanced ancient civilizations ever discovered. Yet they also experienced one of the most cataclysmic collapses in history. This article deals with the biblical reasons as to why they experienced such a destructive demise.

Why did they fall?

The Bible contains many examples of great and powerful civilizations coming to their end for various reasons. We know that God is sovereign and in complete control, and Scripture clearly records that God is involved in the affairs of the nations:

  • “All the ends of the earth will remember and turn to the LORD, and all the families of the nations will worship before You. For the kingdom is the LORD’s and He rules over the nations” (Psalm 22:28 NASB) 
  • “It is He who changes the times and the epochs; He removes kings and establishes kings” (Daniel 2:21) 
  • “And He made from one man every nation of mankind to on all the face of the earth, having determined their appointed times and the boundaries of their habitation” (Acts 17:26) 

When you study the rise and fall of nations throughout biblical history, there is one clear reason for the fall of these civilizations: extreme rebellion against God. The reason for their demise is their great depravity and complete rejection of God, especially in response to warning (Jeremiah 18:7-10).

Biblical examples of catastrophic destruction
Depiction of the Genesis Flood
  • The Genesis Flood: This is the greatest example of catastrophic judgment dealt by God on mankind due to their extreme sin and rejection of Him. The culture before the flood was one of the most depraved in history, and “the Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intention of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually” (Genesis 6:5). Due to their transgression God wiped them out completely, saving only Noah and his family. 
  • Sodom and Gomorrah: Their sin was so grievous that there was a great outcry against the cities (Genesis 18:20). God destroyed them with fire and brimstone, “He overthrew those cities and the entire plain” (Genesis 19:25). 
  • Assyrians: The Assyrians are another famous and powerful nation, which was judged due to scattering the Northern Kingdom of Israel (Nahum 2:2, 2:13). They were completely destroyed by the rising Babylonian empire. 
  • Babylonians: The Babylonians were punished due to their destroying and capturing the nation of Judah. They were destroyed and overtaken by the Medo-Persian Empire (Jeremiah 50-51). 
  • Israel: The last great example of a civilization coming under judgment due to their sinful acts is the nation of Israel itself. Israel was judged in response to their transgression of the law and their covenant with God. They struggled particularly with idolatry. The pinnacle of this “harlotry” was under Manasseh, who committed worse crimes than all the nations who inhabited Canaan before Israel (2 Kings 21:9). Israel was judged in many ways; during the time of the judges they were dominated by other nations (Judges 2:11-12, 18-20), the Northern Kingdom was scattered by the Assyrians (2 Kings 17:6-18), and the Babylonians captured the Southern Kingdom (Jeremiah 25:11). 

There are many other examples, however these are some of the most severe cases of rebellion and resulting destruction.

Do the Minoans match up?

Was this characteristic rebellion against God a feature of the Minoan civilization? Though we don’t know much, evidence (primarily their art) suggests the Minoans had a very naturalistic approach to religion, believing that nature, specifically “Mother Earth,” was the supreme goddess.[1] Interestingly many of their known deities were women. In Minoan culture it appears that men and women were held in a unique state of ‘equality’ not found in other societies of the ancient world.[2] Goddess worship clearly aligns with the counterfeit religion started at Babel. Their naturalism evidences a rejection of the creator God.
Minoan fresco depicting their naturalistic reverence

They did have a code of law, however this does not mean that they were moral by God’s standards; they were certainly not God-fearers. Their style of clothing would suggest that morality was definitely lacking in this civilization.

It is important to remember that there are only two religions in this world: "One instigated by the true God, infinite, omnipotent Creator of the universe, and leads to eternal life. The other was started by a counterfeit god in opposition to the truth, and ultimately results in death" (chapter 4, The Genius of Ancient Man). There is no neutral ground, one is either for God or against Him, and the Minoans were most certainly against Him. Already we have found more evidence of violence and other elements of their pagan religion.[3]


In conclusion it is apparent that the Minoans most likely suffered this terrible calamity due to their increasingly depraved rebellion against God. Like most of the highly advanced cultures coming into existence after the dispersion at Babel, the Minoans carried remnants of the Babylonian religion with them. It is clear that the Minoans were naturalistic, serving creation instead of the creator.

All religions, aside from true Christianity, go back to a conflict of mankind’s authority versus God’s authority. There are only two options: either trust in an everlasting, infallible, unchangeable, transcendent, omniscient, omnipresent, omnipotent God or trust in fallible and finite mankind who cannot know anything apart from God. While the choice is clear, mankind’s pride desires to be autonomous and, without God opening one’s eyes to the truth, they will place themselves above God and reject Him. If one does not believe in God and does not hold to God’s authority, then that person must choose mankind’s authority. The Minoans were no exception to this; they rebelled against God, placing themselves in authority and setting themselves up as gods by choosing to worship nature.

I would expect that more evidence of depravity will be found as more is discovered about this powerful civilization. However, what we can learn from this mighty nation is that we can never place ourselves above God without severe consequences. Proverbs 16:18 declares that, “Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall.” This verse is not an idle threat; God does not make idle threats, if He says something will happen we can be certain it will come about.

The moral state of a civilization has an effect on their survival: “righteousness exalts a nation, but sin condemns any people” (Proverbs 14:34 NIV). God is involved in the affairs of man. He controls the rise and fall of nations. Nothing escapes His notice. The Minoans could not escape judgment if they continued in rebellion against the true God. Thus the lesson we can learn from the Minoans is that pride and trust in mankind’s authority truly goes before destruction, and we must always hold God and His Word as the ultimate authority in all things.

Read more about the Minoans:

Proof of Advanced Nature
The Demise of the Minoan Civilization

[1] "Minoan Art." (accessed May 7, 2013).
[2] Rayment, W.J. "Minoan Culture and the Mycenaeans." (accessed May 7, 2013).
[3] Barry P.C. Molloy (2012). MARTIAL MINOANS? WAR AS SOCIAL PROCESS, PRACTICE AND EVENT IN BRONZE AGE CRETE. The Annual of the British School at Athens, 107, pp87-142.

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