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PostPosted: Tue Jul 30, 2013 10:18 pm 
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There's lots that could be discussed, but the Epic of Gilgamesh may just be the smoking gun.

If a modern university student turned in the story of Gilgamesh to their professor, and another student turned in the story of Noah's Ark to the same teacher, they would certainly both be expelled for plagiarism. While there have been a number of flood stories out there from ancient times, many were similar in their storyline of many gods dealing with us humans in our quest for immortality. Genesis however models a different and very unique plot, with a more personal God, while still using the core of the older flood stories. For example, some common themes and sayings across cultures and their flood stories include:

God(s) gets angry, and is even surprised at times about the behavior of his human creations.
God(s) plans to destroy humans because they are not pleasing to him / them.
God(s) warns the primary character to build an ark "with a pitch" to escape the flood.
The primary character and his family are ordered to board the ark with every species of animal.
The eventual flood destroys all sentient life on earth.
The water subsides and the lead character sends out a raven and a dove
The ark comes to rest on a mountain
God and man are reconciled at the conclusion
In the version with Noah a covenant is delivered at the end; while in the Gilgamesh version, immortality is granted.
In the Hebrew version God is certain and focused on a moral covenant, and within pagan versions the gods are arbitrary and the plot lacks a clear character of the gods.

It is also interesting to point out that in the Gilgamesh Epic, the main character is also ordered to bring one of every skilled craftsmen with him on the Ark, but with the point of Genesis being to renew all life via a covenant with God through Noah's bloodline, the craftsmen are omitted so the focus could be squarely on the genealogy starting anew.

What do you think? More on this the topic can be found at http://www.christianevolution.com/2012/11/is-noahs-ark-real-true-story.html


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 31, 2013 10:01 pm 
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Thanks for the query.

No, it is not even remotely possible.

What is possible is that the Gilgamesh-Utnapishtim myth from at least 1800 BCE was copied by the biblical scribes during the Babylonian Exile of the 6th century.

In the relevant part of the Epic of Gilgamesh, the city of Shurrupak on the Euphrates has grown old, and the gods in it are also old. Here we read an account very similar to what ended up in the much later biblical tale of the Flood:

Quote:
In those days the world teemed, the people multiplied, the world bellowed like a wild bull, and the great god was aroused by the clamour. Enlil heard the clamour and he said to the gods in council, "The uproar of mankind is intolerable and sleep is no longer possible by reason of the babel." So the gods agreed to exterminate mankind. Enlil did this, but Ea because of his oath warned me in a dream. He whispered their words to my house of reeds, "Reed-house, reed-house! Wall, O wall, hearken reed-house, wall reflect; O man of Shurrupak, son of Ubara-Tutu; tear down your house and build a boat, abandon possessions and look for life, despise worldly goods and save your soul alive. Tear down your house, I say, and build a boat. These are the measurements of the barque as you shall build her: let hex beam equal her length, let her deck be roofed like the vault that covers the abyss; then take up into the boat the seed of all living creatures."...

'For six days and six nights the winds blew, torrent and tempest and flood overwhelmed the world, tempest and flood raged together like warring hosts. When the seventh day dawned the storm from the south subsided, the sea grew calm, the, flood was stilled; I looked at the face of the world and there was silence, all mankind was turned to clay. The surface of the sea stretched as flat as a roof-top; I opened a hatch and the light fell on my face. Then I bowed low, I sat down and I wept, the tears streamed down my face, for on every side was the waste of water. I looked for land in vain, but fourteen leagues distant there appeared a mountain, and there the boat grounded; on the mountain of Nisir the boat held fast, she held fast and did not budge. One day she held, and -a second day on the mountain of Nisir she held fast and did not budge. A third day, and a fourth day she held fast on the mountain and did not budge; a fifth day and a sixth day she held fast on the mountain. When the seventh day dawned I loosed a dove and let her go. She flew away, but finding no resting-place she returned. Then I loosed a swallow, and she flew away but finding no resting-place she returned. I loosed a raven, she saw that the waters had retreated, she ate, she flew around, she cawed, and she did not come back. Then I threw everything open to the four winds, I made a sacrifice and poured out a libation on the mountain top. Seven and again seven cauldrons I set up on their stands, I heaped up wood and cane and cedar and myrtle. When the gods smelled the sweet savour, they gathered like flies over the sacrifice. Then, at last, Ishtar also came, she lifted her necklace with the jewels of heaven that once Anu had made to please her. "O you gods here present, by the lapis lazuli round my neck I shall remember these days as I remember the jewels of my throat; these last days I shall not forget. Let all the gods gather round the sacrifice, except Enlil. He shall not approach this offering, for without reflection he brought the flood; he consigned my people to destruction."

The apparent dependence of the biblical tale on the Sumero-Babylonian epic—widely famed for centuries—has been debated for decades, but it seems quite clear that the Jewish scribes did not originate the Noah myth and that it is a myth, even though there were many floods in the East and elsewhere.

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