How come some of the stories from the old testament could be based on Babylonian or such


#1

Given that there are stories like the epic of Gilgamesh with the Noah character. Could they have taken taken these stories to make as there own and why? if so, wouldn’t that make these stories not spiritually divine; and what would make it divine? the meaning or the story itself?


#2

If there was a Great Flood, wouldn’t it be widely known; not just to the Jews?


#3

Can you rephrase your question


#4

You know that the idea of a flood that wipes out humanity isn’t just limited to the Babylonians and the Hebrews, right? There’s, like, 200 of them. The Greeks had three, by themselves— the flood of Ogyges,the flood of Deucalion, the flood of Dardanus.

So, the first thing you do is look at the number of cultures that have a flood myth. There’s a lot. So you wonder if, perhaps, they’re all talking about a similar experience or experiences… there have been global floods before, and not all of them necessarily had to be Noah’s. (For example, there was the flood that filled the Mediterranean 5.3 million years ago. That’s not to say that people were there to take notes, but if something like that happened, what other kinds of floods could hit? Likewise, there are global floods and regional floods.)

But after you look at everyone having the same action going on-- a handful of people survive a terrible flood-- you start comparing (a) the reason for the flood, (b) how they survived, © what they learned from it, and (d) how they recovered from the flood. That’s when you start getting into differences.


#5

So, for example, with the Epic of Gilgamesh-- where the Babylonians borrowed from the Sumerian Gilgamesh poems and from the Epic of Atrahasis flood narrative-- the five strongest gods decide to destroy humanity. But one of them (Ea) (Enki) tells Utnapishtim to survive it, by turning his house into a square box boat. “Should I warn people so other people can be saved?” “Nah. Tell them that Enlil has rejected you, and you’re going into exile.” So he loaded up his family and his livestock and some craftsmen and his gold and his silver. Six days, six nights, and a number of the other gods, who hadn’t been in on the secret plan, are very upset that all their people are being destroyed. On the seventh day, everything calmed down. He released a swallow, a dove, and a raven. Enlil’s mad that anyone survived. The gods fight among themselves as to whether this was done without permission, or whether it was disproportionate. Utnapishtim and his wife get turned into immortals, tra la la.

But why did Enlil want to destroy them in the first place? Because there were too many people. He tried sending drought, he tried sending famine. But there were too many people. What was the purpose of people being there in the first place? Because the gods didn’t want to do work, so they created humans to labor for them.

So, you can contrast that with the Biblical account. Why did God make people? Because he wanted to make creatures in his own image, and he saw they were good. Except as time passed, there were very few people who kept to righteousness, and corruption and violence filled the earth. So God instructed one of the righteous men to take certain steps, to save himself, his kinsmen, and the animals. Then there were forty days and forty nights of flooding, and all the other life perished. But at the end, God creates a covenant with Noah-- giving him dominion over the worth, instructing him to be fruitful and multiply, but don’t eat meat that still has lifeblood in it, and try not to kill people, m’kay?-- and promises he’ll never destroy earth by flooding it again.

Which story is more inspirational?


#6

Seriously dude, you are watching way too much history channel (or YouTube). They make lots of assumptions without having to prove their assumptions, and without hearing the orthodox viewpoint.


#7

I watch this clip of religion for breakfast. also, I don’t have history channel and I been doing my own research.


#8

I think this special is incapable of distinguishing the entymology of the word El and Elohim in the Canaanite pantheon of gods, and the Hebrew use of the terms which uses it in quite a different manner.


#9

You need to get a copy of Reading the Old Testament by Lawrence Boadt. It’s a standard text given to undergraduate students of Catholic Theology. In it you will learn all sorts of things like why some biblical stories parallel those found amongst the Gentiles of the Ancient Near East.

Here is the answer to your question. At the time the Biblical editors wrote down the stories of Genesis, the Jewish people were living in exile in Babylon. One of the problems the Jewish people were having to deal with was the preservation of their religion and culture. Part of that was addressing the issue of living with people that had a differing religious world view than that of the Jewish people. The Biblical editors used the shared symbolism of the Ancient Near East to show to the Jewish people the difference between their religion and the false religion of the Gentiles. If you take the time to study Genesis alongside that of the Enuma Elish or the Epic of Gilgamesh, then you will quickly find out that they present two different world views.

For example, in the Genesis creation story God creates the world and all that is in it and declares it as good. In the Babylonian stories, the world is created from an evil goddess named Tiamet. “Marduk has Ea, the wise god, fashion human beings from the blood of the defeated gods.” (pg.93 Boadt) The Jewish world view is that God made creation good. The Babylonian’s believed the world was created evil.

These similarities are not a coincidence. The Biblical writers were engaging and dialoging with the pagan culture they were living with and showing the world that Judaism was both unique and different amongst the Gentiles.

Anyways, if you want to learn more, then read Boadt. I would also read Struggling with God: An Introduction to the Pentateuch by Mark McEntire. All the answers are there in very solid scholarly works. You just need to take the time to find the right sources.


#10

It’s almost like every civilization that experienced the same event in their history wrote it down because it happened in the same area and was hugely important


#11

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