Joseph Robert Jochmans
Genesis, the first book of the Bible, with its account of the antediluvian world has been compared with the description of Atlantis prior to its inundation. Joseph Robert Jochmans has offered a comparison of the two accounts and concluded that their similarities suggest a common source with the usual distortions encountered when an original story is transmitted orally over long periods of time and frequently translated via a number of languages before being put in writing and so enduring the perils of transcription errors, not to mention the risk deliberate falsification.
In Atlantis: The Antediluvian World,a chapter entitled Genesis Contains a History of Atlantis, Ignatius Donnelly unconvincingly attempted to link Atlantis with Genesis.
Atlantis was named after the Titan Atlas, whose father Iapetus has been identified with Japheth (Genesis 9.25-27), the son of Noah, a subject which is investigated at length by Walter Reinhold Warttig Mattfeld y de la Torre(a). Frank Joseph has suggested that Noah was an Atlantean[108.85].
Another suggested link with Genesis has been to identify Atlantis with the Garden of Eden. However, most of the wide range of proposed locations for Eden are on land and rarely coincide with any of the equally varied proposed locations for Atlantis. One exception was the late Professor Arysio dos Santos who located Eden in the South China Sea.
John Nichols wrote a long article(b) identifying Atlantis with the Garden of Eden and placing it on the Celtic Shelf about a hundred miles off the coast of France west of Brest.
>Christian O’Brien offered an alternative translation of the first two chapters of Genesis in order to identify and remove any deliberate or inadvertent errors(c). David Rohl in The Lost Testament  also offers a reinterpretation of the biblical texts from a chronological point of view in the light of the Revised Chronology published by him previously.<
I note that a Joey R. Jochmans is credited as the researcher for Rene Noorbergen’s 1977 book Secrets of the Lost Races  and that a number of books have been published under that name.
On his extensive website (now closed) he covers a number of New Age subjects and also offers five well-written articles on Atlantis. He locates it in the Atlantic and gives his comments on many of the popular location theories.
Some of his work can be found on other websites including an interesting paper on the Saqqara ‘Model’(c).
Jochmans has also written a paper(d) in which he discusses the possibility that the Antikythera Mechanism may date back to the 6th century BC.>Another of his papers outlined between the Atlantean and Genesis histories.<
Jochmans wrote an extensive article debunking the 2012 Doomsday hype(b).
Ignatius Loyola Donnelly (1831-1901), was an Irish-American born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He studied law and was admitted to the bar in 1852. He moved to Minnesota in 1857, where he was elected Lieutenant-Governor when it became a state in 1859, at the age of twenty-eight and was re-elected in 1861. He served as a Congressman from 1863 until 1869 and was a state senator from 1874 to 1878. The People’s Party, of which he was a founder, nominated him for Vice-President of the United States. He was a political liberal, being in favour of women’s suffrage and against slavery.
Donnelly was also a journalist and the author of several books. In 1882 he published his most famous work on the subject of Atlantis, which is still in print today, although many of the more recent editions have been heavily edited to exclude some of Donnelly’s more outlandish ideas. Bill Lauritzen has remarked that Donnelly’s legal background led him to limit his case for the existence of Atlantis to a discussion of the ‘pros’ while ignoring the cons’.
Donnelly sent a copy of Atlantis to the British Prime Minister, William Gladstone, who was also a classical scholar. The text of the short accompanying note was published in Sykes’ Atlantis magazine(i), but little of the ensuing correspondence between them apart from the text of a second letter from Donnelly(j).
The public reaction to Donnelly’s book was reflected in the New Orleans ‘Mardi Gras’ of 1883 having had an Atlantis theme.
Jason Colavito has drawn attention to the fact that among others, Donnelly was influenced by the earlier work of G.S.Faber(f). Elsewhere. Colavito has commented that “like many of his era, he proved a somewhat corrupt politician. He served the interests of the railroads, and happily took $10,000 in “free” stock from one railroad, which he alleged was a gift for “valuable services rendered” while in office(k).“
Donnelly concluded that Atlantis was real and located in the Atlantic. Apparently, he thought that before the demise of Atlantis, there had been a ‘connecting plateau’ between Europe, Africa and the New World, allowing animal plant species to migrate in either direction.
He also suggested, “the gods and goddesses of the ancient Greeks, the Phoenicians, the Hindus, and the Scandinavians were simply the kings, queens, and heroes of Atlantis; and the acts attributed to them in mythology are a confused recollection of real historical events.” Similar ideas have been developed by the late Joseph Robert Jochmans.
Nevertheless, Donnelly endeavoured to match Plato’s Atlantis with his chosen Atlantic location for the lost civilisation, which can be fairly compared with the equally comprehensive but also flawed effort two centuries earlier by Olof Rudbeck endeavouring to identify Sweden as Atlantis.
Donnelly’s book contains a list of thirteen theses (See: Atlantis: The Antediluvian World), which he then proceeds to ‘prove’, drawing on Plato’s text and the scientific knowledge of this period, not to mention a generous helping of pure conjecture. J.V. Luce remarked that “Donnelly bemuses his readers into a mood of infinite credulity” [0120.29].
In 2017, Stephen P.Kershaw includes a brief critique of Donnelly’s work in A Brief History of Atlantis and concludes that Donnelly is unquestionably the most influential writer on Atlantis since Plato. I would argue that even though his ideas are more bizarre than Donnelly’s, Edgar Cayce is probably more quoted today than Donnelly. This is just a reflection of the number of gullible people that are out there. Donnelly’s influence has been greatly diminished over the decades as many of his theses have been undermined by later researchers. Cayce’s influence will only diminish if critical thinking becomes more widespread. In the meanwhile, there are a few highly qualified dedicated Atlantis investigators who are slowly closing in on a solution.
Jennifer McKeithen commenting on Donnelly’s book wrote “Though this is a pseudo-archaeological work, Donnelly’s theories remain the source of many of our modern-day ideas about Atlantis. Written in 1882, at a time when much of the world was still mysterious to Westerners, Donnelly proposed an argument that all cultures and peoples originated from Atlantis, which he claimed was destroyed during the Great Deluge described in the Book of Genesis. Today, in the 21st century, experts have debunked most of his theories. However, many of the questions he raised remain unanswered. Despite its many flaws, it’s an interesting glimpse into Western thought during the late 19th and early 20th centuries(l) .”
Many have followed his thinking since then and in 1886, Donnelly published a sequel, Ragnarok to his work on Atlantis that dealt with the idea of a cometary impact with the earth. In fact, in 1883 twelve years after the Great Chicago Fire, Donnelly proposed(g) that Mrs. O’Leary’s cow was not responsible for the conflagration but instead was the result of the impact of a meteor fragment, with Comet Biela as the prime suspect. A key to this explanation may be the recorded fact that at the same time that the fire started in Chicago, huge fires erupted across the lower peninsula of Michigan and in several other places in the Midwest. The O’Leary house was reportedly left standing! That debate continues.
Following the remarkable reception that his books received, Donnelly was elected to membership of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. However, it did not take long before critics emerged. One was John Francis Arundell also known as Lord Arundell of Wardour (1831-1906) who published his criticism in book form in 1885 in which he claimed that Plato’s Atlantis story was based on the account that we have relating to the Voyage of Hanno. It can be read or downloaded online(c).
Donnelly also wrote a 1,000-page work that attempted to prove that Shakespeare had not written all that he has been credited with. Seemingly a man with time on his hands, he also published some works of fiction under the name of Edmund Boisgilbert MD.
Thirty years ago Marjorie Braymer wrote of Donnelly’s work in the following manner[198.65], “Modern editions of Atlantis: The Antediluvian World are streamlined and heavily revised; whole sections have been scissored out and dropped. The reason is clear: Donnelly offered many theories as known and established facts that science did not support even then and wholly discredits today.” Egerton Sykes edited one of those revisions in the 1970s.
Some consider aspects of Donnelly’s ideas to be somewhat racist! However, his influence is still pervasive, exemplified by the fact that the first translation of his Atlantis in Sinhala, the principal language of Sri Lanka, was only published in 2014(d).
Donnelly also questioned the authorship of the works attributed to William Shakespeare in The Great Cryptogram. The Shakespeare debate has raged for two centuries and now the editors of The New Oxford Shakespeare are convinced, based on computer analysis, that Christopher Marlowe was a co-author of several plays credited, until now, solely to Shakespeare(h). Coincidentally, another Atlantologist Comyns Beaumont held similar views, which he published nearly half a century later in The Private Life of the Virgin Queen, considered to be the least controversial of his literary output!
At the end of the 19th century, Mrs. Donnelly, a fortune-teller from San Francisco, adopted the professional name of ‘Madame Atlantis’!
There is a wealth of Internet material relating to Donnelly e.g. (a)(b).
Donnelly’s Atlantis is now also available as a free audiobook (e).
(b) Ignatius Donnelly and the End of the World (archive.org) (New link) *
(i) Atlantis, Vol.25, No.1, Jan-Feb 1972.
(j) Atlantis, Vol.25, No.3, May-June 1972
The Egyptian God–Kings have been equated with the original ten Kings of Atlantis by R. Cedric Leonard. He points out how Manetho, the Egyptian historian writing in the 2nd century BC, refers to the Egyptian god-kings having reigned “in a foreign land” thousands of years before Plato. Leonard has compared Manetho’s list with that of the Turin Papyrus and discovered a remarkable similarity between the two lists of god-kings. In addition, he points out(a) that the Turin Papyrus records the next series of kings in 9850 BC. It is important to note that both the Turin Papyrus and the writings of Manetho are the subject of some debate regarding their reliability.
Frank Joseph pointed out that ten kings ruled both Sumer and Babylonia before a great Flood, while Genesis refers to ten antediluvian ‘patriarchs’.
Joseph Robert Jochmans identified(b) similar parallels between the recorded dynasties of the ancient Middle East.
The Garden of Eden, like Atlantis, has excited the imagination of many over the centuries. Its location has been the subject of what was sometimes wild speculation that offered a range of locations compared with the variety of sites proposed for Atlantis.
The traditional belief was that the ‘Garden’ had been situated in Mesopotamia between the Euphrates and Tigris as noted in the Bible. Athanasius Kircher, who is better known to many for his speculative map of Atlantis located in the Atlantic Ocean also produced a plan of the Garden of Eden in what is now southern Iraq. David J. Gibson (1904-1966) arrived at a similar conclusion placing ‘Eden’ just south of Baghdad in his book, The Land of Eden Located, now available online(t).
The T&T Clark Encyclopedia of Second Temple Judaism offers a clue to the sort of difficulties that ‘Garden seekers’ must deal with, in the Garden of Eden entry. “as an earthly garden, its specific location within both the Hebrew Bible and Second Temple literature. Thus, some texts place it in the east (Gen 2:8; 1En.32; Jub 8:16; 2 En. [rec.32] 42:3, 65:10; Philo QG 1:7; Leg 1:56; Josephus, Ant. 1.3), while others place it in the west (Gen 3:24; Josephus, JW 2.155), north (Ezek 28:13; 1En. 61.1), or northwest (1 En.24-25, 70:3).”(ap)
More recently, Robert McRoberts in an article about the rivers of Eden included a map by Arianna Ravenswood, who placed Eden northwest of Babylon in what is now the Iraqi Province of Diyala(u).
Within the same region is a submerged location at the head of the Persian Gulf promoted by Juris Zarins (1945- ).(w) In his theory, the Bible’s Gihon River would correspond with the Karun River in Iran, and the Pishon River would match the Wadi Batin river system that had drained the now dry, but once quite fertile central part of the Arabian Peninsula. His suggestion about the Pishon River is supported by James A. Sauer (1945–1999) formerly of the American Center of Oriental Research although strongly criticized by the archaeological community(x).
The conventional idea has been enhanced in the opinion of some by the discoveries of the German archaeologist, Klaus Schmidt, who believed that his excavations at Göbekli Tepe in Turkey have unearthed artefacts dating to 8000 BC when the people there changed from hunting and gathering to agriculture. This region also contains Ur and Harran, mentioned in the Old Testament and since Göblekli Tepe is located between the Tigris and Euphrates and is within view of the Taurus Mountains, it conforms remarkably to the topographical description of Eden in the Bible. Tom Knox speculated on this in an article in the UK’s Daily Mail Online(aa).
Garold Spire jr, an American researcher, offers a strong case for placing Eden in southern Turkey at the Karaca Dag shield-volcano. He studied the sacred books of the Abrahamic religions and drew up a short list of characteristics that the Garden must have;
1) It must have been warm enough to be comfortable without protective clothing. Gen 2:25.
2) It must be uphill geographically, due to the fact that four rivers exited
from it, these are the Euphrates, the Tigris, the Pishon, and the Gihon. Gen 2:10-14
3) The Pishon must compass or border Havila where there is gold and onyx. Gen 2:11, 12.
4)The Gihon must compass or border the whole land of Cush. Gen 2:13
5) It must account for a flaming sword on its east side. Gen 3:24
6) It must be well watered, Gen 13:10 by a mist (in Hebrew) not rain, Gen 2:5-6, which came up from the earth.
Spire maintains that his Turkish location has all these features(an).
Christopher Columbus believed that the source of the Orinoco River, in what is now known as Venezuela had been the location of Eden. Antonio de León Pinelo (1590-1660) was a Spanish chronicler who spent some years in South America and was also convinced that the Garden of Eden had been situated between the great rivers of South America(k)!
General Gordon of Khartoum fame was so impressed by the island of Preslin in Seychelles that he declared it to be the Garden of Eden and its famed Coco de Mer and breadfruit plants to be the Tree of Life and the Tree of Good and Evil. Science writer, Karl Shuker, has written an extensive article, Forbidden Fruit, for the January 2016 edition of Fortean Times, in which he gives the background to Gordon’s obsession and his inability to garner any serious support for it.
At the beginning of the 20th century, it was reported(r) that G. F. Becker (1847-1919) a geologist with the USGS nominated Luzon in the Philippines as the site of the biblical ‘Garden’, while Sven Hedin (1865-1952) a much-decorated Swedish geographer chose Janaidar a mythical city in Central Asia.
George H. Cooper, the American writer, identified Salisbury Plain[0236.111] as the Garden of Eden along with its Wiltshire river system matching the Euphrates and Tigris in the Genesis story. W. Comyns Beaumont chose Britain’s Glastonbury as the site of the original Garden.
In the middle of the last century, a Baptist preacher, Elvy E. Callaway, announced that the Garden had been located in the vicinity of Bristol, Florida(j).
David Rohl has studied the matter in great detail  and located the ‘Garden’ in the northern Iranian province of East Azerbaijan near the city of Tabriz(ad)(aj). Rohl’s reasoning is worthy of study and perhaps a comparison with the views of Emilio Spedicato, who offers his explanation for placing Eden in Pakistan’s Hunza Valley in two papers on the Internet(b)(y). Rohl was partly inspired by the work of Reginald A. Walker[1388/9]
Andrew Collins claims  that the original Mesopotamian name for Eden was Kharsag, a view echoed by the late Christian O’Brien(q). O’Brien’s nephew, Edmund Marriage, identifies the Bekka Valley in Lebanon as the location of Eden of Genesis. A new Lebanese location site is the subject of a website and forum(h)(i). An excerpt from O’Brien’s book, relating to Eden, can be read online(v).
Ari Zuker bravely suggests that the land of Israel was the Garden of Eden(ao).
The Sabbah brothers, Roger and Messod, controversially place Eden in Egypt and offer a range of evidence to support this contention. Ralph Ellis has also opted for Egypt in his book, Eden in Egypt and claims that Adam and Eve were in reality, Akhenaton and Nefertiti! Ellis also supports his theory with two online papers providing excerpts from his books(o)(p).
A Christian website, logoschristian.org, used to also claim that Eden had been located in the eastern Nile Delta, specifically named Al Mansura. In 1933, John G.Jackson wrote a paper advocating an African origin for the legend of the Garden of Eden. Jackson’s extreme Afrocentric views may have coloured his view of this subject!
Further to the west is the Tunisian town of Oudna, which has been nominated as Eden by one Patrick Archer on his somewhat sparse website(d).
>Gerald Wells also identified some of his Algerian Atlantis territories as having included the biblical Garden of Eden(aq).<
Another African location was put forward by Georg Hinzpeter over half a century ago when he suggested that the Ethiopian plateau had been the home of Adam & Eve before their eviction(z).
Stephen E. Franklin has also opted for an African location for the Garden of Eden, placing it south of the Ahaggar Mountains near the Wadi Tafanasset in southern Algeria.(ah) He also claims that Mt. Tahat, the highest peak in the Ahaggars, was, according to Franklin, the original Atlas mountain referred to by Herodotus as the home of the Atlantes (sometimes Atarantes(ai)). Sprague De Camp noted [194.191] that Paul Borchardt also identified the ancient Mt. Atlas with the Ahaggar Mountains rather than the Atlas Mountains of the Maghreb! I should add that this identification of Mt. Atlas remains moot.
In 2014, Stan Deyo chose Tanzania as the location of the Garden of Eden(h). Paulo Riven has also supported the region as the site of the ‘Garden’(ak). This idea has been echoed elsewhere and more recently on a website dealing with the history of Israel(f) and on a Christian website where the Ngorongoro Crater is specified(g).
Carl Seaver has also offered an African location for the Garden. In a 2022 article, he reports that according to recent research, Botswana is the most likely location of the Garden and where humans originated. Eden sat in the Kalahari Desert, which used to be a wetland where the early humans lived. During this time, Lake Makgadikgadi stretched from Namibia, Botswana, and Zimbabwe(am).
In 2023 an African location for the Garden was again proposed by journalist, Tom Hale, who wrote(al) “The so-called Cradle of Humankind can be found in South Africa around 50 kilometers (31 miles) northwest of Johannesburg. This site is home to the largest concentration of human ancestral remains anywhere in the world. Among the thousands of fossils found here, researchers have unearthed the remains of Australopithecus, an early ape-like human species dated to around 3.4 to 3.7 million years old.
It wasn’t until 200,000 to 300,000 years ago that modern Homo sapiens evolved. Once again, Africa was the location of this development, with modern humans most likely first emerging somewhere around modern-day Ethiopia.
So, if we’re looking for a scientific Garden of Eden, it looks like South Africa and Ethiopia are our best bet. Whether these sites were once home to a paradise where four rivers once met remains to be seen, however.”
What may appear just as implausible to many is the claim by Felice Vinci, that the Eden story was imported from northern Europe, specifically from Finnish Lapland(af). At the end of the 19th century, William Fairfield Warren placed the Garden in the Arctic .
Even more incredible is the assertion by the likes of William C. Chappell that the Garden of Eden was situated in the United States. His Mormon-inspired views are available as a free eBook(c) on the Internet. Interestingly, Jackson County, Missouri was the location of Eden revealed by Joseph Smith(ac). the founder of Mormonism and well-known collector of wives.
A more ‘commercial’ suggestion has come from Dennis Brooks who suggested that Tarpon Springs, Florida, was originally the location of the Garden of Eden and that Tampa Bay contained the port of Atlantis.
The Urantia Book promotes the idea of two Edens, one near Cyprus and a second further east! In 2003, Robert Sarmast compiled a list of similarities between Plato’s account of Atlantis and the description of the Garden of Eden in the Urantia Book(l).
In his 2004 book Finding Atlantis he claimed one of the Edens, noted in The Urantia Book, along with Atlantis had been situated near Cyprus, now in waters a mile deep! Two expeditions were organised to verify his claims, but nothing conclusive was found. Although very little has been heard from Sarmast in recent years, in 2018, Robert S. Bates attempted to breathe new life into Sarmast’s ideas that the Mediterranean region around Cyprus had been home to both Atlantis and the Garden of Eden(ae).
Stephen Oppenheimer has pointed out that Genesis 2:8 reads that “the Lord God planted a garden eastward in Eden”. He argues (p.409) that this supports the idea of a ‘paradise’ in the Sundaland region. However, Oppenheimer does not equate Eden with Atlantis.
As Monty Python used to say “now for something completely different” – The North Pole. This suggestion has come from Gene Matlock who advocated that ‘Eden was the North Pole’ in a paper of the same name(ab).
The Garden of Eden has been suggested by some as another name for Atlantis, representing as it does a mythical time of peace and abundance. However, Eden is never spoken of in terms of military might and commercial success attributed to Atlantis. One of the better-known proponents of this idea of an Atlantean Eden was the late Professor Arysio dos Santos(a) who was convinced that it was located in the South China Sea before the ending of the last Ice Age submerged large areas of Sundaland. Confusingly, he referred to Eden as ‘Lemurian Atlantis’, but added that “This Lemurian Atlantis of ours should not be confused with the purely fanciful counterparts of the Theosophists and other such followers of Mme. Blavatsky. Their ‘Lemuria’ is a hypothetical sunken continent of the mid-Pacific region, one which never existed at all.
Shortly before his death in 2005, Santos published  his theories, expanding on material that he had made available on the Internet for some years. Frank Joseph also claims  that the Garden of Eden was located on the lost island of ‘Lemuria’ located in the Pacific.
Bill Hanson, who has authored a number of books on ancient ‘mysteries’, has recently written a work  that links the Garden of Eden with Atlantis. He identifies five similarities between the two accounts:
- Both prehistoric locations are regarded as ‘lost paradises’
- The four rivers of Eden are reflected in the four waterways of Poseidon the island capital of Atlantis.
- Atlantis started with ten kings and the Bible speaks of ten patriarchs.
- Zeus destroyed Atlantis because mortals and gods mated, whereas the Bible records the mating of the ‘sons of God’ and human females.
- Atlantis was flooded just as the Age of the Patriarchs ended with the flood of Noah.
The late Joseph Robert Jochmans identified(g) Atlantis with Eden in a comprehensive article on his website. John Nichols also wrote a long article(e) identifying Atlantis with the Garden of Eden and placing it on the Celtic Shelf about a hundred miles off the coast of France due west of Brest.
In 2022, a writer, hiding behind the nom de plume of ‘gserpent’, produced a lengthy article blending Atlantis, Eden and Lemuria into one heap of literary manure(ag).
Currently. the sadly benighted Iraq is trying to lure tourists to spend their holidays in ‘the Garden of Eden’(m)!
(g) See: Archive 3602
(k) See: Archive 2999
(l) See: Archive 3603
(z) Atlantis, Vol.17, No. 2/3, April 1964, p.27