Bible Sumerian contreversy


#1

Hello I'm new to catholic answers.

I have a friend that told me that the bible is based on Sumerian text,
Is this true? how can I defend the faith. PLEASE HELP!!!


#2

Ummm you might need to be a bit more specific, the Bible’s a pretty long book (or more correctly, collection of books). I don’t think you mean anything like the Gospels or historical texts or psalms. I assume you mean some of the accounts in Genesis, e.g. the Creation story or Flood?


#3

Welcome to the forums.


#4

[quote="Ddelanswer, post:1, topic:328004"]
Hello I'm new to catholic answers.

I have a friend that told me that the bible is based on Sumerian text,
Is this true? how can I defend the faith. PLEASE HELP!!!

[/quote]

On an assumption that reference is made to stories in Genesis of persons and events such as Noah and the Flood, it makes much sense to suppose that other people, as well as the Hebrews, would have a collective recollection of events handed down orally from great antiquity. This serves to reinforce the veracity of the stories, rather than debunk them. The inspired authors used these stories to teach fundamental truths about God and Man and the relationship between them. In this light, one considers everything true without being overly concerned with a degree of vagueness of chronology or preciseness of description in the telling. The Bible is not a history book, not a scientific treatise, not a police blotter. It is the inspired word of God, told in the idiom of the people and times of it's writing. It speaks to us as clearly to them, as we are informed as to the nature of it as revelation. Such is my humble understanding of it and I'm sure others can add more from greater learning.


#5

[quote="Ddelanswer, post:1, topic:328004"]
Hello I'm new to catholic answers.

[/quote]

Welcome :wave:

[quote="Ddelanswer, post:1, topic:328004"]
I have a friend that told me that the bible is based on Sumerian text,
Is this true? how can I defend the faith. PLEASE HELP!!!

[/quote]

Bill1940's post is great for alleviating any concerns you may have. Scripture must always be taken in context.

I would add, however, that the assertion that "the bible" is based on "Sumerian text" is an assertion that your friend is making, therefore the burden of truth lies on him/her. You can hardly "defend the faith" when you aren't even given anything to back up your friend's assertion.


#6

He might be talking about "Tabu utul bel" and it's supposed similarity to Job.

I have read both and there is only a suspicious similarity if you want there to be. They are really two different works. It just so happens that they are both righteous men that suffer affliction and that's about it. The story diverges from there.

There are also the Babylonian epics, like Gilgamesh. In it is some of the same archetypes as the bible such as the garden of Eden. There are also global Noah-like flood stories in Australia, Asia and South America.

The reason for this is that they are based on some truth, some actual event. However these other writers interpreted those events and their possible reason outside of divine explanation.

The fact that all these world wide writers have these archetypal similarities gives great credence to the actuality of certain events. The similarities that do exist are not there because they conspired with each other but rather because they are both writing on actual events that occurred.


#7

:thumbsup:


#8

The internet is full of sites that make broad sweeping comments like this. I am amazed at how many people I talk to reiterate these broad sweeping comments that they have picked up in an effort to sound knowledgeable. I usually find when I question them, that they know nothing deeper about the arguments being made and are therefore difficult to converse with.

Other examples are the cross is Egyptian, Christmas is Saturnalia, the NT was written by romans to subvert the Jews and on it goes … my favourite face palm is the Pope is the antichrist. One would think the internet would make truth more accessible, unfortunately it has made falsehood more prevalent.


#9

I recently read an article on something very like this. I wish I could remember where it was. Basically, the author said that the burden of proof is on the one who makes suck a claim. Ask this person to show you authenticated documents to prove this. They can't because there aren't any.Internet myths don't count. They have to be legitimate research.


#10

[quote="Ddelanswer, post:1, topic:328004"]
Hello I'm new to catholic answers.

I have a friend that told me that the bible is based on Sumerian text,
Is this true? how can I defend the faith. PLEASE HELP!!!

[/quote]

Parts of the Old Testaments are indeed copied from Babylonians: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Panbabylonism But christianity is based on the New Testament (i.e. the teaching of Jesus Christ), and these texts have no Babilonian influences :)

Oh, and regarding Saturnalia... en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saturnalia#Influence_on_Christmas

Unlike several Roman religious festivals which were particular to cult sites in the city, the prolonged seasonal celebration of Saturnalia at home could be held anywhere in the Empire.[89] Saturnalia continued as a secular celebration long after it was removed from the official calendar.[90] As William Warde Fowler noted, Saturnalia "has left its traces and found its parallels in great numbers of medieval and modern customs, occurring about the time of the winter solstice."[91]

A number of scholars, including historian David Stephens from the University of Central Florida and Professor Parker-Ducharme from Tulane University view aspects of the Saturnalia festival as the origin of some later Christmas customs, particularly the practice of gift giving, which was suppressed by the Catholic Church during the Middle Ages.[92] The Catholic Encyclopedia states the Church's view on the latter claim by saying that while midwinter pagan feasts such as Saturnalia may have helped influence the eventual choice to fix the date of Christmas, this does not mean that Christian Christmas traditions find their origin or inspiration there: "though the abundance of analogous midwinter festivals may indefinitely have helped the choice of the December date, the same instinct which set Natalis Invicti at the winter solstice will have sufficed, apart from deliberate adaptation or curious calculation, to set the Christian feast there too."[93]


#11

Thats exactly what I mean. Wikipedia for some reason is regarded as a source of all truth. It is very easy to find opinion cited on wikipedia and often it is biased by a lack of representation of conflicting opinions.


#12

[quote="Ddelanswer, post:1, topic:328004"]
Hello I'm new to catholic answers.QUOTE]

Welcome:thumbsup::thumbsup::thumbsup:

[/quote]


#13

[quote="MaryT777, post:3, topic:328004"]
Welcome to the forums.

[/quote]

Here, have some of mine! :popcorn:


#14

[quote="Ddelanswer, post:1, topic:328004"]
Hello I'm new to catholic answers.

I have a friend that told me that the bible is based on Sumerian text,
Is this true? how can I defend the faith. PLEASE HELP!!!

[/quote]

Those who make the allegations bear the burden of proof. This is not your job, but theirs.

[quote="MaryT777, post:3, topic:328004"]
Welcome to the forums.

[/quote]

Here, have some of mine! :popcorn:


#15

[quote="Ddelanswer, post:1, topic:328004"]
Hello I'm new to catholic answers.

I have a friend that told me that the bible is based on Sumerian text,
Is this true? how can I defend the faith. PLEASE HELP!!!

[/quote]

The creation story of Genesis is a polemic against the ideas of the Babylonian creation story of the Enuma Elish. By using the outline of the Babylonian creation story, the fundemental contrasting ideas are emphasized. Here in the Jewish story of creation the Babylonian creation story is turned on its head. We have a single eternal God who in what can be seen as a challenge to all other cultures and peoples, is declared to be the source of all things. There is no birth of God or death of God. There is no violence or metamorphosis. Things come into being by the mere will of God.


#16

Wow thanks for all the info and thanks for the welcome. Yes it is about genesis, creation story, etc.


#17

[quote="Ddelanswer, post:16, topic:328004"]
Wow thanks for all the info and thanks for the welcome. Yes it is about genesis, creation story, etc.

[/quote]

Which came first? (Note, different than "which version do we have the earliest known copy of"?) Until we can answer that question, all we can really state is that a)they are similar and b)there is some sort of connection between the early Hebrews and Sumerians.


#18

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.