OT Stories - Myths,Legends, Parables, or Real

pauljohntheskeptic
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OT Stories - Myths,Legends, Parables, or Real

In discussions with Caposkia on his thread regarding his recommended book (New Atheist Crusaders) we have mutually agreed to open a discussion on the OT discussing reality versus myth for stories in the OT. My position is that the OT is largely myths and legends with little basis in reality. There may be stories that may be considered literature as Rook has suggested though it still incorporates myths and legends as well in my opinion. The intent is to examine major stories and discuss the mythical components versus the interpretations by Christians and Jews that these events were real. Caposkia has indicated in many of his posts that he agrees that some of the stories are reality based and in those areas I'm interested in understanding his reasoning or any other believer for acceptance versus others where he does not consider them to be. It may be there are a few where we may find agreement as to a story being a myth or it being real though my inclination is little more is reality based other than kingdoms existed in Palestine that were called Israel and Judah and they interacted with other nations in some fashion.

Since the basis of Christian beliefs started with creation and the fall of man we'll begin there and attempt to progress through Genesis in some sort of logical order sort of like Sunday School for those of you that went. I’m not particularly concerned about each little bit of belief in these stories but I’m more interested in the mythology aspects. We could for pages argue over original sin or free will but that isn’t even necessary in my opinion as the text discredits itself with blatant assertions and impossibilities. Instead consider for example Eve is created in one version from Adam’s rib which can be directly compared to the Sumerian goddess of the rib called Nin-ti which Ninhursag gave birth to heal the god Enki. Other comparisons can be made to the Sumerian paradise called Dilmun to the Garden of Eden as well. These stories predate the OT by thousands of years and tell the tale of the ancient Annuna gods that supposedly created the world. Visit www-etcsl.orient.ox.ac.uk/# for more information and some of the translated stories, click on corpus content by number or category.

In order for salvation through Christ from our supposed sins against the God the events of Genesis must have occurred in some fashion. If the Genesis stories are largely mythical or they are simply a parable then this basis is poorly founded and weakens the entire structure of Christian belief. Caposkia claims I error at square one because I don't acknowledge a spiritual world. I suggest that he and other followers error by accepting that which there is no detectable basis. This is done by interpreting parables and myths by the ancients to be more than inadequate understanding by unknowing people that looked for an answer to why things were in the world they observed.

In Genesis 1 is the supposed creation of the world by God. In this account illogical explanations start immediately with the description of the Earth being without form and darkness was upon it. Light is then created and explained as day and night. Next God molded his creation into better detail by creating Heaven above meaning the sky and waters on the earth. He then caused dry land to appear calling it the Earth and the waters the Seas. On this same day he created vegetation with the requirement that it bring forth after its kind by duplication through seeds. The following day he created the heavenly bodies to divide day from night and to be signs for seasons and for years. He made the great light to rule the day and the lesser light the night as well as all the stars. On the 5th day he created all the life in the seas and air with the requirement they reproduce after their own kind. The 6th day he created all the land animals including man both male and female. The gods in this case made man after their image as male and female in their own likeness. He commanded them to multiply and replenish the earth.

Problems start with this account immediately. The Earth according to science is leftover material from the forming of our star, the Sun. This material would have been a glowing mass of molten material. The land in any event would emerge first before water could exist as a liquid upon it due to the extreme heat.  Light would already exist in the form of the Sun which according to current science is not as old as other stars in our galaxy not to mention in the Universe. The account mentions that day and night were made but this is not so except for a local event on the planet. An object not on the Earth would have no such condition or a different form of night and day. The account further errors in claiming the Sun, Moon, and stars were all formed following the creation of the Earth. In theories of planet formulation the star is formed first and planets afterwords. In the case of the moon multiple theories occur though not one where it zapped into the Universe suddenly. The statement that the heavenly bodies were created for signs and seasons is more evidence of a legend. The other planets and stars are purposeful in ways that aid in life existing or continuing to do so on Earth. Jupiter for example is a great big vacuum cleaner sucking into its gravitational field all sorts of debris that could eradicate life on Earth. Is this then a design by the god or just part of the situation that helped to allow life to progress as it did on the Earth? The observation of specific planets or stars in specific areas of the sky is just that, an observation no more and not placed there by a god to indicate the change of seasons.

One can also see some similarity between Genesis 1 and the Egyptian creation myth Ra and the serpent, see http://ccat.sas.upenn.edu/~humm/Resources/StudTxts/raSerpnt.html . In this myth Ra is the first on the scene and he creates all the creatures himself doing so before he made the wind or the rain. Ra does not create man but the gods he created gave birth to the people of Egypt who multiplied and flourished.

Some Jewish sects as well as Catholic belief allow for evolution to have been the method for creation of life on Earth. This however is in contradiction to Genesis in that all vegetation and animals were to reproduce only after their own kind. If this is so, then evolution is not compatible with the creation story. Simply put the life could not alter and produce different versions not after its kind. Since obvious examples exist for variation in species such as evolution even as simple as fish in caves without eyes or color versus those that are in streams outside there is obvious adaption thus discrediting this part of Genesis as myth.

The creation of man in Genesis 1 also suggests multiple gods as man was created in their likeness male and female thus following Canaanite gods such as Yahweh and his Asherah or Ba'al and Athirat that may be a reflection of an older tradition from either Egypt or Sumer. Genesis 2 on the other hand has a slightly different version from a variant I'll discuss in a later post.

I consider Genesis 1 to be a myth, legend or a parable based on all the problems discussed with basis in ancient stories from Sumer and Egypt. I leave it to Caposkia and other believers to indicate where they accept parts of Genesis 1 as reality and to indicate their reasoning if they do so.

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"I guess it's time to ask if you live under high voltage power transmission lines which have been shown to cause stimulation of the fantasy centers of the brain due to electromagnetic waves?" - Me

"God is omnipotent, omniscient, omnibenevolent, - it says so right here on the label. If you have a mind capable of believing all three of these divine attributes simultaneously, I have a wonderful bargain for you. No checks please. Cash and in small bills." - Robert A Heinlein.


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Genesis 1 also has the order

Genesis 1 also has the order as: water, air, land in terms of animals being created.  Wouldn't it have been water, land, air?  I was under the impression birds, flying insects, and the like came around after land dwelling creatures.

Please correct me if I'm wrong.


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 Um, all of the above. The

 Um, all of the above. The OT contains myth, legends and reality. I don't think many people here will disagree that the Genesis creation narrative is fictional. However, 1-2 Kings probably contains some real history about first monarchs of Israel. And other books like Ezra contains real history about the Babylonian Exile. Books like Job and Daniel 7-12 don't seem to refelct history, but instead reflect parable and apocalypticism. Daniel 1-6 seems to be historical fiction. 

This really isn't a question you can answer without significant study and probably a decent knowledge of ancient Hebrew. For example, we know that Deuteronomy was written hundreds of years later than Exodus because of the changes in the Hebrew language. 

"A man can no more diminish God's glory by refusing to worship Him than a lunatic can put out the sun by scribbling the word, 'darkness' on the walls of his cell." (CS Lewis)

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Balkoth wrote:Genesis 1 also

Balkoth wrote:

Genesis 1 also has the order as: water, air, land in terms of animals being created.  Wouldn't it have been water, land, air?  I was under the impression birds, flying insects, and the like came around after land dwelling creatures.

Please correct me if I'm wrong.

According to the Genesis 1 version, on the 5th day he made the animals in the seas and then the life and fowl in the air, Gen 1:20-23. On the 6th day he made all the land animals including man, Gen 1:24-28.

 

 

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"I guess it's time to ask if you live under high voltage power transmission lines which have been shown to cause stimulation of the fantasy centers of the brain due to electromagnetic waves?" - Me

"God is omnipotent, omniscient, omnibenevolent, - it says so right here on the label. If you have a mind capable of believing all three of these divine attributes simultaneously, I have a wonderful bargain for you. No checks please. Cash and in small bills." - Robert A Heinlein.


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Christos wrote: Um, all of

Christos wrote:

 Um, all of the above. The OT contains myth, legends and reality. I don't think many people here will disagree that the Genesis creation narrative is fictional. However, 1-2 Kings probably contains some real history about first monarchs of Israel. And other books like Ezra contains real history about the Babylonian Exile. Books like Job and Daniel 7-12 don't seem to refelct history, but instead reflect parable and apocalypticism. Daniel 1-6 seems to be historical fiction. 

This really isn't a question you can answer without significant study and probably a decent knowledge of ancient Hebrew. For example, we know that Deuteronomy was written hundreds of years later than Exodus because of the changes in the Hebrew language. 

I would agree there may be some basis to the real world in 1 & 2 Kings but very little of merit. Ezra a likely redactor and perhaps even a creative writer of much of the OT paints a world unrealistic at best. The world at the time in at least the Persian Empire was all about Persia, not the insignificant people of Yehud. I consider Daniel to be poor Sci-Fi with little basis in our dimension of reality, you can call it fiction or parables if you'd like but since the writer was clueless who conquered Babylon and who was actually the king, Nabonidus actually was the king not Bel-shar-usur. He attributes Darius to be the conqueror when it was in fact Cyrus. I agree with many scholars that Deuteronomy was likely a development by Jeremiah. More later when we progress.

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"I guess it's time to ask if you live under high voltage power transmission lines which have been shown to cause stimulation of the fantasy centers of the brain due to electromagnetic waves?" - Me

"God is omnipotent, omniscient, omnibenevolent, - it says so right here on the label. If you have a mind capable of believing all three of these divine attributes simultaneously, I have a wonderful bargain for you. No checks please. Cash and in small bills." - Robert A Heinlein.


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pauljohntheskeptic

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:
According to the Genesis 1 version, on the 5th day he made the animals in the seas and then the life and fowl in the air, Gen 1:20-23. On the 6th day he made all the land animals including man, Gen 1:24-28.

I realize that.  Read what I said again.  Genesis has it as water, air, land.  In reality, it happened as water, land, air, right?  Aka it's a mistake in Genesis.


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Balkoth

Balkoth wrote:

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:
According to the Genesis 1 version, on the 5th day he made the animals in the seas and then the life and fowl in the air, Gen 1:20-23. On the 6th day he made all the land animals including man, Gen 1:24-28.

I realize that.  Read what I said again.  Genesis has it as water, air, land.  In reality, it happened as water, land, air, right?  Aka it's a mistake in Genesis.

Duh! Sorry, I agree it should be water, land and air.

____________________________________________________________
"I guess it's time to ask if you live under high voltage power transmission lines which have been shown to cause stimulation of the fantasy centers of the brain due to electromagnetic waves?" - Me

"God is omnipotent, omniscient, omnibenevolent, - it says so right here on the label. If you have a mind capable of believing all three of these divine attributes simultaneously, I have a wonderful bargain for you. No checks please. Cash and in small bills." - Robert A Heinlein.


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The creation story, very

The creation story, very probably was just that, a story.  It was originally written as religious poetry and really has only been taken as a literal account for the past two hundred years.

wrote:
If the Genesis stories are largely mythical or they are simply a parable then this basis is poorly founded and weakens the entire structure of Christian belief.

How so?  Please enlighten this theist.

Yes I am a Christian. I'm sorry that there are jerks out there that have done bad things all in the name of, I ask that you don't judge all of us because of the acts of those few. I pray that you're having a great day today. Since that doesn't mean much to most people on this site lets just say that I really really hope you have an awesome day. God bless. -fatty


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Original Sin?

Original Sin?


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fatty wrote:The creation

fatty wrote:

The creation story, very probably was just that, a story.  It was originally written as religious poetry and really has only been taken as a literal account for the past two hundred years.

wrote:
If the Genesis stories are largely mythical or they are simply a parable then this basis is poorly founded and weakens the entire structure of Christian belief.

How so?  Please enlighten this theist.

Since you agree that the account is just a story or literature what basis do you use for needing Jesus? The argument in most Christian churches has been that Jesus needed to be a sacrifice in our place so we would be saved. If the Genesis account isn't true what then is your reason?

____________________________________________________________
"I guess it's time to ask if you live under high voltage power transmission lines which have been shown to cause stimulation of the fantasy centers of the brain due to electromagnetic waves?" - Me

"God is omnipotent, omniscient, omnibenevolent, - it says so right here on the label. If you have a mind capable of believing all three of these divine attributes simultaneously, I have a wonderful bargain for you. No checks please. Cash and in small bills." - Robert A Heinlein.


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I'll answer this:Since God

I'll answer this:

Since God obviously sent Jesus- since he came to earth- there had to be some sinful nature. However, the Genesis story is a parable. A parable of what, I don't know. It certainly would have helped if God had told someone, like, say, his chosen people, what the real story was. But we still need Jesus- at some point, humanity got sinful and God needed a way to fix the mistakes.

Seriously, this is all that's coming to me.

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crazymonkie wrote:I'll

crazymonkie wrote:

I'll answer this:

Since God obviously sent Jesus- since he came to earth- there had to be some sinful nature. However, the Genesis story is a parable. A parable of what, I don't know. It certainly would have helped if God had told someone, like, say, his chosen people, what the real story was. But we still need Jesus- at some point, humanity got sinful and God needed a way to fix the mistakes.

Seriously, this is all that's coming to me.

Since I don't know what a god is and I sure have nothing to show me he sent a Jesus, no validated hotel records from the Capernaum Motel and Trailer Court made out to an Jesus or even his accountant, Judas this is not adequate. In addition, since I have no idea what sin is, (is that when you leave half a beer in a bar or the like?) I have no way to relate to WTF I need to be saved for, unless it's from the tax collector.

____________________________________________________________
"I guess it's time to ask if you live under high voltage power transmission lines which have been shown to cause stimulation of the fantasy centers of the brain due to electromagnetic waves?" - Me

"God is omnipotent, omniscient, omnibenevolent, - it says so right here on the label. If you have a mind capable of believing all three of these divine attributes simultaneously, I have a wonderful bargain for you. No checks please. Cash and in small bills." - Robert A Heinlein.


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All extremely good points. I

All extremely good points. I was just sort of trying to play Devil's advocate. I know I failed miserably, but that's because I just couldn't keep up the illusion that I thought there was any validity to the 'Genesis as metaphor for the Fall' theory. I mean, if it was backed up by the Bible, sure, that might fly- but it's pretty much just baseless wishful thinking put forth by Christians who cannot or will not (fortunately) refuse solid scientific evidence, but who also cannot or will not (unfortunately) put aside the extraneous ideas of 'sin' 'redemption' and 'god.' Among other things.

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'Original Sin' is an attempt

'Original Sin' is an attempt to explain a fundamental problem that troubles people believing the world is governed by generally benevolent and/or just God(s): why do bad things happen to good people?

Buddhists came up with 'Karma', the consequences of bad deeds committed in a past life, to address the same problem, altho they thought more in terms of governing principles rather than Gods.

I think it may misrepresent the motives of the authors of such texts to picture them as consciously inventing fiction. The mind-set seems to often be that these narratives occur to them, either as relatively original inspirations, or suggested consciously or unconsciously from knowledge of older stories from other cultures. Those narratives which strike them as best fitting or explaing the problem are simply assumed to be true, in the absense of 'better' explanations. The concept of something like scientific objective testing, verification, empirical evidence, etc, may have existed in some minds, but it was not remotely an explicitly recognised discipline of reasoning. Anymore than it is accepted among Creationists and other Fundies today.

The process by which these ideas are generated is similar to the process by which scientific hypotheses originate, its just that science then requires that they be subjected to rigorous empirical verification before being even provisionally accepted

Many narratives were filled out with details which could not possibly be known to the writers, but were judged to be the sort of thing that would have happened according to the mental picture they had of the events. When this sort of thing happens as stories are retold by successive writers, we get the all-too-familiar process of narratives 'evolving' into ever more elaborate versions, even if each contributor is 'merely' expressing it in his own words.

 

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Really good point about the

Really good point about the Biblical stories being 'made up.' I mean, after all, the idea of history as the events that *did* happen, as close as those who study history can determine, versus the idea of history as events that *should have* happened so as to tell a moral story, or fill in missing gaps, or whatever, only came about in the last 300 years or so anyway.

It's very likely that, say, the historical errors in the Exodus story (mentioning ethnic/cultural entities that didn't show up until well after the establishment of the ancient kingdoms of Israel) wouldn't have mattered as much to the ancients as to us detail and fact-obsessed current people. That isn't to say that a 'moral truth' is the same as actual facts- rather just that calling the stories in the Bible 'made up' is somewhat misleading.

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Original sin was my answer

Original sin was my answer to Fatty, actually.


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That much is obvious.

That much is obvious. Pauljohntheskeptic asked another question in his post, though. Which I answered and which began the most recent direction o this thread.

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I know.  I was talking to

I know.  I was talking to BobSpence1, heh.


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BobSpence1 wrote:'Original

BobSpence1 wrote:

'Original Sin' is an attempt to explain a fundamental problem that troubles people believing the world is governed by generally benevolent and/or just God(s): why do bad things happen to good people?

I know though generally believers rely on the fall and explain such as free will allowed man to go against god's wishes. I'd rather not go down that road right now.

BobSpence1 wrote:

I think it may misrepresent the motives of the authors of such texts to picture them as consciously inventing fiction. The mind-set seems to often be that these narratives occur to them, either as relatively original inspirations, or suggested consciously or unconsciously from knowledge of older stories from other cultures. Those narratives which strike them as best fitting or explaing the problem are simply assumed to be true, in the absense of 'better' explanations. The concept of something like scientific objective testing, verification, empirical evidence, etc, may have existed in some minds, but it was not remotely an explicitly recognised discipline of reasoning. Anymore than it is accepted among Creationists and other Fundies today.

I don't suggest that the chapter in question so far, Genesis 1 is fiction invented per se but see it as an ancient attempt by the culture that became Hebrews or Jews to explain what they thought may have occurred. This may mean it was legend that has been documented or even myths. Some so far on this thread including a theist have said they considered it a parable. I generally see it as legend and myth that has been creatively embellished over the years.

BobSpence1 wrote:

The process by which these ideas are generated is similar to the process by which scientific hypotheses originate, its just that science then requires that they be subjected to rigorous empirical verification before being even provisionally accepted

If you mean that these cultures were postulating on how different aspects of their world operated I guess I'd agree.  There were many stories in circulation as evidenced from historical records of Sumer and Egypt. One can see some small details of other cultures throughout the Hebrew Bible which originated in other god beliefs. The originators of these stories somehow were trying to understand their world and gave credit to certain gods which they named as the responsible parties. There was no test in place to verify Enki was in fact the god of sweet water it was just accepted.

BobSpence1 wrote:

Many narratives were filled out with details which could not possibly be known to the writers, but were judged to be the sort of thing that would have happened according to the mental picture they had of the events. When this sort of thing happens as stories are retold by successive writers, we get the all-too-familiar process of narratives 'evolving' into ever more elaborate versions, even if each contributor is 'merely' expressing it in his own words.

 

Since their gods did not actually show up in their temples except symbolically the writers creatively interpreted what had been previously described and added more content based on their new wiser interpretations. As with many theists today, many were likely filled with the spirit of their gods or thought they were and so documented these encounters in some manner.

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"I guess it's time to ask if you live under high voltage power transmission lines which have been shown to cause stimulation of the fantasy centers of the brain due to electromagnetic waves?" - Me

"God is omnipotent, omniscient, omnibenevolent, - it says so right here on the label. If you have a mind capable of believing all three of these divine attributes simultaneously, I have a wonderful bargain for you. No checks please. Cash and in small bills." - Robert A Heinlein.


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I just want to say that the

I just want to say that the myths from my religion is way more interesting than OT myths. Way more funner too.


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Ciarin wrote:I just want to

Ciarin wrote:

I just want to say that the myths from my religion is way more interesting than OT myths. Way more funner too.

That's what happens when men make gods as bigger, stronger, longer-lived humans. The creators' sense of humor comes along.

Man lost so much when he tried to create an all-powerful being that was distant from himself.

"I do this real moron thing, and it's called thinking. And apparently I'm not a very good American because I like to form my own opinions."
— George Carlin


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awesome

I am very excited to get started on this forum.  I just finished with the other forum and don't have time at the moment to read through and comment, but I'll do it soon. 


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general theme

Alright, after a quick readthrough of all the comments and a more careful readthrough of the introduction, I'm getting an idea of dead end directions already.  Let's get through that first.

In some parts of the Bible, Chronological order is not necessarily understood.  The book of Revelation is one example.  Also the beginning of Genesis. Specifics in creation cronology with exception of the "days" order is speculation. 

For the stars being created after Earth, I read through carefully.  Gen. 1:1 states "In the beginning God created the heavens and the Earth."  The heavens is in reference to space or the universe as the very first thing mentioned that was created.  Then down in verse 6, there's an expanse made that is said to be called Heaven in vs. 8.  This heaven is the atmosphere of the Earth.  Granted there is later talk of other things in our solar system being formed or created, but that's not so out of the question be it that even today we see things being created (or beginning) in the universe. 

Next, Scientifically speaking, the ocean is a huge factor in the quality and condition of the atmosphere, so it's not such a hard concept to grasp that the atmosphere could come before land.  Also, as we see today, land is still being created and the atmosphere is not. It's renewing, not forming. 

All in all, those details are petty and irrelevent to the validity of Genesis due to the high amount of speculation needed to be specific about chronology in those verses. 

The real purpose of those verses is to emphasize the idea that everything was created, but God has always been.  We don't need to tangent on the existence of God in this forum either, it's just to clarify the purpose of the documentation of things created. 

To quickly touch on evolution, Evolution itself was never in question for Christians that follow the scriptures explicitly.  It's even suggested in the scriptures.  It's the Darwinistic evolution that's in question.  I have no quam that things evolve to adapt to the environment they're in.  It's quite obvious that it's factual. 

Let's stay focused on the O.T. 


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Capioska, the water, land,

Capioska, the water, land, air sequence discussed previously was referring to the order in which the creatures of those realms evolved, which Genesis of course gets wrong.

In terms of the those environments themselves, the sequence would have been land, air, then water, whereas Genesis has it water ( + air ?), then land, also wrong. It is not clear just what might be assumed to refer to the atmosphere, but whether they thought of it as at the beginning or near the end, both are incorrect.

 No matter how you stretch and strain the meanings, Genesis is wildly inaccurate.

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It's pretty unfair to expect

It's pretty unfair to expect that 9-6th Century BC Babylonian cosmology (the science Jews likely called upon for the OT) would stand up today

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caposkia wrote:In some parts

caposkia wrote:

In some parts of the Bible, Chronological order is not necessarily understood.  The book of Revelation is one example.  Also the beginning of Genesis. Specifics in creation cronology with exception of the "days" order is speculation.

 

This is also true somewhat for Mesopotamian stories as well. As ancient stories of Sumer were adapted and changed first by the old Babylonians and later by the Assyrians and new Babylonians both chronological order and even names of the gods changed, though the aspects of the gods generally remained. See here for a list comparison.

caposkia wrote:

For the stars being created after Earth, I read through carefully.  Gen. 1:1 states "In the beginning God created the heavens and the Earth."  The heavens is in reference to space or the universe as the very first thing mentioned that was created.  Then down in verse 6, there's an expanse made that is said to be called Heaven in vs. 8.  This heaven is the atmosphere of the Earth.  Granted there is later talk of other things in our solar system being formed or created, but that's not so out of the question be it that even today we see things being created (or beginning) in the universe.

The Sumerian story has it that Nammu, the mother of all was alone, she was the primal matter who gives birth to An the sky or heavens and Ki the earth sometimes called mountain.

See here for a translated version or go to ETCSL for more. The similarities are as in Genesis the heavens and earth are first created. Since these stories were far older it is likely part of the basis for Genesis.

 

caposkia wrote:

The real purpose of those verses is to emphasize the idea that everything was created, but God has always been.  We don't need to tangent on the existence of God in this forum either, it's just to clarify the purpose of the documentation of things created.

Which also is the case of the myths from Sumer. Nammu always existed and all things were created from her.

caposkia wrote:

To quickly touch on evolution, Evolution itself was never in question for Christians that follow the scriptures explicitly.  It's even suggested in the scriptures.  It's the Darwinistic evolution that's in question.  I have no quam that things evolve to adapt to the environment they're in.  It's quite obvious that it's factual. 

Let's stay focused on the O.T. 

My point in the comment that if one takes Gen 1:21, 24, & 25 into account that they would multiply and do so "after their kind", it would not be supportive of evolution. That you don't think so says that you view the other scriptures as more relevant not these scant comments or so I'm inclined to consider from your statements.

I don't see where you have taken a position or the aspects of the content of Genesis 1 as a parable, reality or a myth. Which parts do you consider to be reality and which parts not?

 

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Genesis chapters 2 and 3

Genesis chapters 2 and 3 contain an internal contradiction. Not sure how any literalist could solve that dilemma. http://www.rationalresponders.com/the_fall_commits_an_internal_contradiction

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todangst wrote:Genesis

todangst wrote:

Genesis chapters 2 and 3 contain an internal contradiction. Not sure how any literalist could solve that dilemma. http://www.rationalresponders.com/the_fall_commits_an_internal_contradiction

I agree. But they do so as you say usually with the excuse that to fail to obey God's command, eat from any tree but the tree of knowledge was their failing. As God in the story failed to give them the knowledge of what was good or evil they could not be expected to not fall from his grace because it was a setup from the beginning.

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"God is omnipotent, omniscient, omnibenevolent, - it says so right here on the label. If you have a mind capable of believing all three of these divine attributes simultaneously, I have a wonderful bargain for you. No checks please. Cash and in small bills." - Robert A Heinlein.


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BobSpence1 wrote:Capioska,

BobSpence1 wrote:

Capioska, the water, land, air sequence discussed previously was referring to the order in which the creatures of those realms evolved, which Genesis of course gets wrong.

In terms of the those environments themselves, the sequence would have been land, air, then water, whereas Genesis has it water ( + air ?), then land, also wrong. It is not clear just what might be assumed to refer to the atmosphere, but whether they thought of it as at the beginning or near the end, both are incorrect.

 No matter how you stretch and strain the meanings, Genesis is wildly inaccurate.

There is no inication of exact chronology there, therefore you have a strawman conclusion.  I also indicated that Chronology was not important there, nor does it matter.   The order in which all of that happened was not the focus nor the purpose of the writings. 


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pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

This is also true somewhat for Mesopotamian stories as well. As ancient stories of Sumer were adapted and changed first by the old Babylonians and later by the Assyrians and new Babylonians both chronological order and even names of the gods changed, though the aspects of the gods generally remained. See here for a list comparison.

Though it's not understood in scripture, no one through the ages tried to "Change" the times or even clarify them.  As I've said, Chronology wasn't the purpose or intent of the writings.

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

The Sumerian story has it that Nammu, the mother of all was alone, she was the primal matter who gives birth to An the sky or heavens and Ki the earth sometimes called mountain.

See here for a translated version or go to ETCSL for more. The similarities are as in Genesis the heavens and earth are first created. Since these stories were far older it is likely part of the basis for Genesis.

I'm not sure how you can claim that the stories are far older than Genesis.  There's a few reasons why I question your conclusion.  Though I must ask, when are those stories dated?

1.  We do not have the original texts, only copies.  Therefore, it is not known when the book of Genesis actually originated.  

2. Many texts (copies) of the OT are dated between the 1st and 3rd millennium B.C.  It is understood that the books were compiled by taking bits and peices from different sources and putting them together.  (one source might have missing parts, but other sources with the same exact texts would not be missing those parts)

3.  It is said that Moses wrote the Pentateuch somewhere between 1446 and 1406 B.C.  That is assumed to be the first 5 books of the OT.  However, There are many scholars that question Moses' authorship of the book of Genesis, which could in turn date the story earlier.  

4.  Any dates of actual happenings written in Genesis are theories at best and can be off by thousands of years depending on what kind of information the researchers have.  

5.  It is understood that the Bible has some of the oldest writings that we have access to at this time.  

Can you honestly claim these stories were far older?   

 

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

Which also is the case of the myths from Sumer. Nammu always existed and all things were created from her.

If the Christian God is real, where do you think they'd get that idea from?  There are thousands of gods that have a claim that they've always been.  I'm just saying that it was the purpose of those first few verses in Genesis. 

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

My point in the comment that if one takes Gen 1:21, 24, & 25 into account that they would multiply and do so "after their kind", it would not be supportive of evolution. That you don't think so says that you view the other scriptures as more relevant not these scant comments or so I'm inclined to consider from your statements.

This depends on how you want to interpret "kind".   Are you saying specific species can't evolve unless they form into a whole new species?  I understand that wasn't your intent, but for your statement to be supported, it would have to be the case.  Think about it.  Let's take the "cat" for instance.  They've multiplied after their own kind, through evolution we now have thousands of different kinds of cats, but they're still their own kind.  e.g. Puma, Tiger, Lion, etc.  All the same kind, but different types.    Still does not support a darwinistic evolution.

I don't know off hand the Hebrew word, but I think it clarifies that misunderstanding. 

There is no implication from my statements that I view other scriptures as more relevant. 

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

I don't see where you have taken a position or the aspects of the content of Genesis 1 as a parable, reality or a myth. Which parts do you consider to be reality and which parts not?

Well, so far we've only covered the creation part.  I believe the creation part to be reality.  I'm not specifying anything about Chronology, but the fact that God created everything to me is reality.  When we get to other parts, remind me, I'll let you know if I think likewise or not and I'll explain why if I feel they're not reality.  The Bible makes parables discipherable. 


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todangst wrote:Genesis

todangst wrote:

Genesis chapters 2 and 3 contain an internal contradiction. Not sure how any literalist could solve that dilemma. http://www.rationalresponders.com/the_fall_commits_an_internal_contradiction

This would be moving on from the creation section.  Let's not get too stuck in this part.

I read through your link, not all the way, but enough I feel to get an understanding of where you're coming from.

I don't understand how theists you've talked to were unable to answer this.  It seems the focus was about eating the fruit of the tree and how that was the "original sin" DUN DUN DUNNNNNNN!!!!!  (Which is a dispensationalist coyned phrase by the way)  ... and how Adam and Eve are held accountable for aquiring the knowlege of good and evil even though they didn't know what it was.  You then go to quote a passage from James to indicate that to commit sin is to understand what you were doing. (generally speaking)

Herein lies the problem.  First of all, your conclusion, like most reads way too far into it.  It's actually much easier than that from what I understand.

Just reading through the story, without taking the fluff of any religious entity, it should be clear that the sin wasn't the eating of the fruit, or the aquisition of knowlege, but simply disobeying God!

Sure, Adam and Eve didn't know all of what good and evil was, but they knew that doing what God said was good and disobeying God would be bad.  It's like telling a child not to touch a hot stove.  The child may not understand hot, but they know they shouldn't disobey mom or dad.  Unfortunately for them, they touch the hot stove anyway and learn the hard way what hot means.

Same with Adam and Eve.   I don't know God's plan for the tree of knowlege, but using that example from above, it's very possible that God may have planned on teaching them about it slowly instead of them just knowing it and having to deal with it themselves.  This of course is speculation. 

Getting back to the quick answer for it, the "sin" was disobeying God, nothing more, nothing less.  Adam and Eve already knew it would be wrong to disobey God.  There's a reason why they hid from God when they heard Him near by.  AND... just like the parent most likely warned the child; if you touch the hot stove, you're gonna get burned.  IN this case, if you eat the fruit, you're going to die.  Punishments came for disobeying God like Adam having to work for his food and Eve having more severe birthing pains. 


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pauljohntheskeptic wrote:I

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

I agree. But they do so as you say usually with the excuse that to fail to obey God's command, eat from any tree but the tree of knowledge was their failing. As God in the story failed to give them the knowledge of what was good or evil they could not be expected to not fall from his grace because it was a setup from the beginning.

You claim it was a setup, however, what if there was use for it?  If he was going to show them the tree anyway, why not put it there?  Of course we don't know, but to claim it was a "setup" is speculation.


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caposkia

caposkia wrote:

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

 

The Sumerian story has it that Nammu, the mother of all was alone, she was the primal matter who gives birth to An the sky or heavens and Ki the earth sometimes called mountain.

See here for a translated version or go to ETCSL for more. The similarities are as in Genesis the heavens and earth are first created. Since these stories were far older it is likely part of the basis for Genesis.

I'm not sure how you can claim that the stories are far older than Genesis.  There's a few reasons why I question your conclusion.  Though I must ask, when are those stories dated?

The Sumerian texts are older than 2500 BC and actually cuneiform tablets of that age are in museums. Whether these are the originals is not known.

caposkia wrote:
  

2. Many texts (copies) of the OT are dated between the 1st and 3rd millennium B.C.  It is understood that the books were compiled by taking bits and peices from different sources and putting them together.  (one source might have missing parts, but other sources with the same exact texts would not be missing those parts)

I have never heard of any copies of the Hebrew texts any older than the Dead Sea Scrolls which at best date to 150 to 65 BC which is late 1st millennium BC.

caposkia wrote:

3.  It is said that Moses wrote the Pentateuch somewhere between 1446 and 1406 B.C.  That is assumed to be the first 5 books of the OT.  However, There are many scholars that question Moses' authorship of the book of Genesis, which could in turn date the story earlier.  

Most scholars dispute Moses wrote anything. See Who Wrote the Bible by Richard Friedman and The Bible Unearthed by Israel Finkelstein for starters.

 

caposkia wrote:
   

5.  It is understood that the Bible has some of the oldest writings that we have access to at this time.  

Can you honestly claim these stories were far older?   

Yes, see ETCSL website, British Museum online, the Iraq Museum's holdings,  the book Ancient Sumeria by Robert A Guisepi, the book, The Sumerian Texts: The Oldest Creation Story (2500 BC) and more. There are cuneiform clay tablets older than 2500 BC in great quantities that is the oldest writing of man we have located. There are no writings that old of Hebrew origins.

caposkia wrote:

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

Which also is the case of the myths from Sumer. Nammu always existed and all things were created from her.

If the Christian God is real, where do you think they'd get that idea from?  There are thousands of gods that have a claim that they've always been.  I'm just saying that it was the purpose of those first few verses in Genesis. 

Well at least you said if.

 

caposkia wrote:

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

My point in the comment that if one takes Gen 1:21, 24, & 25 into account that they would multiply and do so "after their kind", it would not be supportive of evolution. That you don't think so says that you view the other scriptures as more relevant not these scant comments or so I'm inclined to consider from your statements.

This depends on how you want to interpret "kind".   Are you saying specific species can't evolve unless they form into a whole new species?  I understand that wasn't your intent, but for your statement to be supported, it would have to be the case.  Think about it.  Let's take the "cat" for instance.  They've multiplied after their own kind, through evolution we now have thousands of different kinds of cats, but they're still their own kind.  e.g. Puma, Tiger, Lion, etc.  All the same kind, but different types.    Still does not support a darwinistic evolution.

I don't know off hand the Hebrew word, but I think it clarifies that misunderstanding. 

There is no implication from my statements that I view other scriptures as more relevant. 

My point exactly, that those who claim Genesis can be interpreted to allow evolution as for instance the Catholic Church overlook this.

 

caposkia wrote:

Well, so far we've only covered the creation part.  I believe the creation part to be reality.  I'm not specifying anything about Chronology, but the fact that God created everything to me is reality.  When we get to other parts, remind me, I'll let you know if I think likewise or not and I'll explain why if I feel they're not reality.  The Bible makes parables discipherable. 

OK, I now understand your position. Mine is it's mythology or legends.

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"God is omnipotent, omniscient, omnibenevolent, - it says so right here on the label. If you have a mind capable of believing all three of these divine attributes simultaneously, I have a wonderful bargain for you. No checks please. Cash and in small bills." - Robert A Heinlein.


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caposkia

caposkia wrote:

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

I agree. But they do so as you say usually with the excuse that to fail to obey God's command, eat from any tree but the tree of knowledge was their failing. As God in the story failed to give them the knowledge of what was good or evil they could not be expected to not fall from his grace because it was a setup from the beginning.

You claim it was a setup, however, what if there was use for it?  If he was going to show them the tree anyway, why not put it there?  Of course we don't know, but to claim it was a "setup" is speculation.

It was essential for the story line. An excuse was needed to kick them out of paradise and this is the Hebrew version.

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"God is omnipotent, omniscient, omnibenevolent, - it says so right here on the label. If you have a mind capable of believing all three of these divine attributes simultaneously, I have a wonderful bargain for you. No checks please. Cash and in small bills." - Robert A Heinlein.


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caposkia

caposkia wrote:

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

I agree. But they do so as you say usually with the excuse that to fail to obey God's command, eat from any tree but the tree of knowledge was their failing. As God in the story failed to give them the knowledge of what was good or evil they could not be expected to not fall from his grace because it was a setup from the beginning.

You claim it was a setup, however, what if there was use for it?  If he was going to show them the tree anyway, why not put it there?  Of course we don't know, but to claim it was a "setup" is speculation.

Arguing about the purpose, or what aspects of the story have any grounding in any sort of reality, are just as much speculation. The only basic 'lesson' is that we should obey absolutely any commands of authority figures who have power over us, IOW 'might makes right'. It is a fable which attempts to 'justify' why bad things happen to apparently good people for no discernible reason, despite the assumption that a 'good' God runs everything.

Favorite oxymorons: Gospel Truth, Rational Supernaturalist, Business Ethics, Christian Morality

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Continuing in our journey we

Continuing in our journey we proceed into Genesis 2.

It opens with the statement that the heavens and the earth were finished including the host (those that dwell therein). This is either a reference to the stars, the angels, or a holdover from polytheism.  The god then rested on the 7th day (apparently poofing things out of nothing is exhausting). The god then blessed the 7th day because the god had rested on that day from all the work which the god had created and made.

This leads me to consider parallels to Sumer once more.  The Anuna gods knew better ways to rest, “All of them were drinking and enjoying beer and liquor. They filled the bronze aga vessels to the brim and started a competition, drinking from the bronze vessels of Urac. They made the tilimda vessels shine like holy barges. After beer and liquor had been libated and enjoyed, and after ...... from the house, Enlil was made happy in Nibru.”  From Enki’s Journey to Nibru – Etcsl. I use the myths and legends of Sumer primarily because they predate the bible stories as I previous explained to you. There are others from Egypt and elsewhere that have pieces that resemble parts of the OT too, but I'll use these in most cases to show you why you should be suspicious of the origins of the OT, not that they are an exact source.

Then it says these are the generations of the heavens and the earth when they were created in the day the god made the earth and the heavens. And every plant and herb in the field before it was in the earth or grew for the god had not caused rain nor was there a man to till the ground. There was a mist that watered the whole earth that came from the ground. Again we have a parallel, see Enki and the World Order.

Though the god had previously made man in Genesis 1 it is again described but in greater detail in Gen 2. The god formed man of the dust of the ground and breathed into him the breath of life making him a living soul. The god then planted a garden eastward of Eden and he put his man in it. The god made every tree that is pleasant to the sight as well as good for food to grow out of the ground. I just can’t let this pass without comment. I guess this means the real ugly gross ones just happened on their own? Since trees growing in the air might eventually be hazardous to future air travel the god of course made them grow from the ground. He planted the tree of life and the tree of knowledge of good & evil in the midst of the garden. A river went out of Eden to water the garden and split into four parts: Pison which flowed into Havilah where there is gold, bdellium, and onyx; Gihon flowing in Ethiopia (not the one in Africa); Hiddekel going toward the east of Assyria and the Euphrates.

I have never understood the reasons for describing where gold and other precious materials to the ancients were included in a story regarding the creation of the world. It would have been far more helpful if the account described the locations of oilfields, not precious stones at least for us.

The god told the man he could eat of all trees except for the tree of knowledge of good & evil. The god made all the animals in this version after he made the man Adam as God brought them to him for naming. God realized that Adam needed a companion and so made him one from one of his ribs. God made meaningless statements about leaving your father & mother to cleave unto his wife. As the first humans were poofed into the world they had no mom & dad to leave. God didn’t seem to order a church wedding for Adam and Eve but turned them loose to their own devices with very little instruction. Did they even have a clue on how to use the body parts they had?

Sorry for my smart ass comments as I summarized, I couldn’t help it. We learn that the god had completed his poofing including all those that exist. I guess this is a parallel to Ra creating all the gods in Egypt see previous comments in OP Or to the gods being born in Sumerian stories in the Sumerian versions where the gods are born by An and Ki.    It appears this god exhausted himself in his creating thus he had to take a day off to chill. He then declares the 7th day a holiday or feast day to screw off (my interpretation of blessed). Did he like wheat beer like Enki?

God realizes after Adam has named all the animals that perhaps he might want a mate just like the animals. This creates questions. When Adam was first created did he have reproductive equipment? If so, of what possible use would it be? The woman was made from a rib of Adam, but why? Of course, the rib lady myth needed to be incorporated somewhere didn’t it? See where Nin-ti is created in the story of Enki and Ninhursanga because Enki had a pain in his rib.


 http://www-etcsl.orient.ox.ac.uk/section1/tr111.htm

Instead of this poorly written vague creation of life on Earth consider some of the Sumerian myths instead. In Enki and the World Order much detail is given as to what he did:

http://etcsl.orinst.ox.ac.uk/cgi-bin/etcsl.cgi?text=t.1.1.3&charenc=j#

In Sumerian stories man is created to take the toil or work from the gods. This is found in the story of Enki and Ninmah. Man of course is made from clay and not just one man either.
http://www-etcsl.orient.ox.ac.uk/section1/tr112.htm

I consider Genesis 2 to be based on mythology and legends from other cultures. Which cultures specifically is unclear. Some may have come from both Sumer and Egypt. Egypt has many myths and stories of a similar nature. The Hebrew version has many parallels though none are exact. The versions we have of Genesis contain many ambiguities and issues including the possibility of multiple gods.

Why accept Genesis as any more based in reality than the stories from elsewhere? Is it because you think this gives basis to your eventual belief in Jesus? If so, that is far from considering the work of Genesis in an objective manner. Considered as a story on it's own and a piece that builds the eventual Hebrew beliefs it is just as mythical as any other. If you don't think so, Enki's actions are just as plausible and far more entertaining.

Genesis 3 The Fall

It begins by telling how the serpent was the most subtle beast of any the god made. And he told the woman because all animals could talk in these early days, did God not say you can eat of any tree in the garden? And the woman told the serpent, we may eat of any of the trees except for the one in the midst of the garden. He told us even if we touch it we shall die. The serpent then told the woman, no you won't die but God knows when you eat of it your eyes will be opened and you will be as gods knowing good and evil. In Enki and Ninmah the free will that god believers claim allowed the fall is explained with this simple statement, Enki and Ninmah drank beer, their hearts became elated, and then Ninmah said to Enki: "Man's body can be either good or bad and whether I make a fate good or bad depends on my will."

Instead we can consider the Sumerian myth of how Adapa didn’t accept eternal life. A short version of the myth is Adapa refused the water of life and the bread of life thus refusing immortality for all mankind.

See here for the story: http://www.bibliotecapleyades.net/serpents_dragons/boulay05e_a.htm

See here: for a synopsis: http://www.cniproject.com/?p=172

See here for a YouTube version: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3i5SebTyiBI


Back to Genesis where of course the woman just had to try the fruit. She went up to it saw it was good and ate. Since she didn't want to be alone, she gave some to her husband and he ate as well. Suddenly, they knew they were naked and they sewed fig leaves together to make aprons, a form of skimpy thongs. I mean, no needles, no thread, no time either as the god figured out somebody was eating the porridge. Whoops, wrong story.

So we basically have a Hebrew version of Pandora. Instead of a box she eats fruit that opens their eyes and ultimately brings forth evil, disease and death. Where is this not like Pandora?

After a bit, the god came looking for them calling them. Here boy, <tweet> <tweet> (best I can do for a whistle). They were hiding and then came out and told the god they were afraid because they were naked. God asked them, who told you that you were naked? Have you been eating my pistachio nuts, I mean the fruit from the tree I told you not to eat from because it was for a party I was planning. Unwilling to take responsibility, the man blamed the woman God gave him for the failure to follow directions. She blamed the serpent of course. The serpent, suddenly transported into the area obviously is cursed by God over all the beasts in the fields telling it that he shall eat dust all the days of his life. Do snakes really eat dust or is this so we can say after cars have been invented, 'eat my dust'? The woman is told she will painfully go through conception as well as child birth and shall be dominated and ruled by her husband. I knew the equal rights amendment was bullshit! See God says women are inferior and are to be ruled by men.

God then alters their future by commanding since the man listened to his wife the ground would be cursed to him he would eat of it in sorrow all of his days. It would bring forth thorns and thistles (new plant life here?) and he would eat the herb of the field, sweating as he ate bread. This will continue until he dies and returns to the dust from whence he came. Adam decided at this point the wife needed a name instead of 'hey you' and named her Eve because she was the mother of all living. God made them coats from skins and clothed them. This means that God was the first killer as the skins had to come from the beasts or pets he had made.

The God said, 'Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil: and now least he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live forever.' The God then evicted the man from the garden to go till the ground from whence he came. The god placed on the east of the garden Cherubim and a flaming sword which turned all directions to keep the way of the tree of life.

With just exactly who was God having a conversation? Himself? No, the traditional take is he was talking with his heavenly host the angels. Why?  Why not his wife Asherah or the other gods? If one considers there were others than one might think this story was just like any other old myth and people may realize it's based in ancient legends.

There are multiple hints at legend and myths throughout this account which I hinted at with my snarky comments. I see no reason to consider any of this other than another myth or legend like the Sumerians or the Egyptians. It certainly has all the parts. Unbelievable stuff going on just like all the others. If you accept this poorly done story, you’re going to have to tell me why? It has just as much fantasy and Sci-Fi as the stories from Sumer and not nearly enough beer, liquor or sex.
 

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"God is omnipotent, omniscient, omnibenevolent, - it says so right here on the label. If you have a mind capable of believing all three of these divine attributes simultaneously, I have a wonderful bargain for you. No checks please. Cash and in small bills." - Robert A Heinlein.


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pauljohntheskeptic wrote: I

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

 I have never heard of any copies of the Hebrew texts any older than the Dead Sea Scrolls which at best date to 150 to 65 BC which is late 1st millennium BC.

Looking further into it, turns out the EBLA tablets from the mid-3rd mellenium BC are used to support accounts of the pre-patriarchal civilization in northern Syria. 

among other extra Biblical texts that support Biblical claims are:

Atrahasis epic Early 2nd Millennium BC

Enuma Elish, Early 2nd Millennium BC

King Lists (Sumerian)  Late 3rd Millennium BC

Lamentation over the destruction of Ur.  Early 2nd Millennium

Ludlul Bel Nemeqi (Akkadian) Late 2nd Millennium BC.

...among many others. 

the Dead Sea Scrolls are the oldest we have in hand.  it is said through those they have understood that those are most likely still copies of copies.  I guess the dating goes further than to what we have in hand.  I dont' know how they concluded on it. 

Though this now opens the question again to whether they're actual historical accounts or just copied down and written.

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

Most scholars dispute Moses wrote anything. See Who Wrote the Bible by Richard Friedman and The Bible Unearthed by Israel Finkelstein for starters.

I would agree, which further confirms the claim.

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

5.  It is understood that the Bible has some of the oldest writings that we have access to at this time.  

Can you honestly claim these stories were far older?   

Yes, see ETCSL website, British Museum online, the Iraq Museum's holdings,  the book Ancient Sumeria by Robert A Guisepi, the book, The Sumerian Texts: The Oldest Creation Story (2500 BC) and more. There are cuneiform clay tablets older than 2500 BC in great quantities that is the oldest writing of man we have located. There are no writings that old of Hebrew origins.

as mentioned, turns out they support the Biblical claims, not conflict with them. 

Yes, it goes back to whether it was just copied.

How do we go about concluding such?

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

[/quote=caposkia]If the Christian God is real, where do you think they'd get that idea from?  There are thousands of gods that have a claim that they've always been.  I'm just saying that it was the purpose of those first few verses in Genesis. 

Well at least you said if.

Nice way of ignoring the question. 

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

My point exactly, that those who claim Genesis can be interpreted to allow evolution as for instance the Catholic Church overlook this.

Your point was to claim that Genesis can be interpreted to allow evolution?  Why?  That was never in dispute.

I agree, many religions would overlook that because it would hinder their belief system.  This is why you cannot rely on religous sects for Truth.

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

OK, I now understand your position. Mine is it's mythology or legends.

Are you saying we're not on the same page?


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pauljohntheskeptic wrote:It

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

It was essential for the story line. An excuse was needed to kick them out of paradise and this is the Hebrew version.

Great.  now what if it was an actual happening?  Why would it be there?


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BobSpence1 wrote:Arguing

BobSpence1 wrote:

Arguing about the purpose, or what aspects of the story have any grounding in any sort of reality, are just as much speculation. The only basic 'lesson' is that we should obey absolutely any commands of authority figures who have power over us, IOW 'might makes right'. It is a fable which attempts to 'justify' why bad things happen to apparently good people for no discernible reason, despite the assumption that a 'good' God runs everything.

We're back to being conclusive without support.  We can argue about beliefs all day, but this isn't the forum for it.

 


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caposkia wrote:Looking

caposkia wrote:

Looking further into it, turns out the EBLA tablets from the mid-3rd mellenium BC are used to support accounts of the pre-patriarchal civilization in northern Syria. 

among other extra Biblical texts that support Biblical claims are:

Atrahasis epic Early 2nd Millennium BC

Enuma Elish, Early 2nd Millennium BC

King Lists (Sumerian)  Late 3rd Millennium BC

Lamentation over the destruction of Ur.  Early 2nd Millennium

Ludlul Bel Nemeqi (Akkadian) Late 2nd Millennium BC.

...among many others.

How do you see these texts supporting Biblical texts? *Edit* Be specific.

caposkia wrote:

the Dead Sea Scrolls are the oldest we have in hand.  it is said through those they have understood that those are most likely still copies of copies.  I guess the dating goes further than to what we have in hand.  I dont' know how they concluded on it. 

Though this now opens the question again to whether they're actual historical accounts or just copied down and written.

Exactly, since they date to 165 BCE to 65 BCE claims as to this is what the Jews believed for a thousand years are not on a solid foundation.

caposkia wrote:

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

Most scholars dispute Moses wrote anything. See Who Wrote the Bible by Richard Friedman and The Bible Unearthed by Israel Finkelstein for starters.

I would agree, which further confirms the claim.

OK.

caposkia wrote:

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

OK, I now understand your position. Mine is it's mythology or legends.

Are you saying we're not on the same page?

Sometimes I can't tell.

____________________________________________________________
"I guess it's time to ask if you live under high voltage power transmission lines which have been shown to cause stimulation of the fantasy centers of the brain due to electromagnetic waves?" - Me

"God is omnipotent, omniscient, omnibenevolent, - it says so right here on the label. If you have a mind capable of believing all three of these divine attributes simultaneously, I have a wonderful bargain for you. No checks please. Cash and in small bills." - Robert A Heinlein.


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pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

Continuing in our journey we proceed into Genesis 2.

It opens with the statement...but I'll use these in most cases to show you why you should be suspicious of the origins of the OT, not that they are an exact source.

There are many extra-Biblical stories through history, some truth, some fable that support what the Bible says.  Untied sources claiming the same thing wouldn't make me suspicisous of validity, only confirm it, no?  Granted I know your approach is that the Bible was copied from such legends.  I'll have to do more research on that to see if copying has been considered from those sources.

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:


Then it says these are the generations ...

I have never understood the reasons for describing where gold and other precious materials to the ancients were included in a story regarding the creation of the world. It would have been far more helpful if the account described the locations of oilfields, not precious stones at least for us.

The books were written for the moment, but meant to be useful through time.  Oilfields, the money still is based of precious metals.  Without gold, oil is worthless.

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:


The god told the man he could eat... The versions we have of Genesis contain many ambiguities and issues including the possibility of multiple gods.

I've heard the multiple gods theory.  It doesn't support in scripture.

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:


Why accept Genesis as any more based in reality than the stories from elsewhere? Is it because you think this gives basis to your eventual belief in Jesus? If so, that is far from considering the work of Genesis in an objective manner. Considered as a story on it's own and a piece that builds the eventual Hebrew beliefs it is just as mythical as any other. If you don't think so, Enki's actions are just as plausible and far more entertaining.

I couldn't pull one story out of the Bible and say it's my reason for believing.  My reason is the relationship I have built with God.  It's hard to build a relationship with something that does not exist. 

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:


Genesis 3 The Fall

So we basically have a Hebrew version of Pandora. Instead of a box she eats fruit that opens their eyes and ultimately brings forth evil, disease and death. Where is this not like Pandora?

Who knocked the rocks off of Pandora's Box?

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:


 Do snakes really eat dust or is this so we can say after cars have been invented, 'eat my dust'? The woman is told she will painfully go through conception as well as child birth and shall be dominated and ruled by her husband. I knew the equal rights amendment was bullshit! See God says women are inferior and are to be ruled by men.

That's the Jewish belief.  You need to read to the New Testiment to understand how equal rights were reestablished through Christ.

That quote is also taken to the next level.  It's not unequality.

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

 This means that God was the first killer as the skins had to come from the beasts or pets he had made.

right... and....

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:


With just exactly who was God having a conversation? Himself? No, the traditional take is he was talking with his heavenly host the angels. Why?  Why not his wife Asherah or the other gods? If one considers there were others than one might think this story was just like any other old myth and people may realize it's based in ancient legends.

right.  Or to Jesus and the spirit.  God had a wife?!  That's impressive knowlege you took from the Bible, please enlighten me.

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:


There are multiple hints at legend and myths throughout this account which I hinted at with my snarky comments. I see no reason to consider any of this other than another myth or legend like the Sumerians or the Egyptians. It certainly has all the parts. Unbelievable stuff going on just like all the others. If you accept this poorly done story, you’re going to have to tell me why? It has just as much fantasy and Sci-Fi as the stories from Sumer and not nearly enough beer, liquor or sex.
 

If you want liquor, read the NT, if you want sex, read Songs of Solomon. 

What makes it poorly done, other than the idea that you have tied it to other mythical stories that have been written, ironically in similar manner. 

If all these other stories have similar scenarios, then where did all these scenarios start?  There must have been a source. 

 


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pauljohntheskeptic wrote:How

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:
How do you see these texts supporting Biblical texts? *Edit* Be specific.]

Atrahasis epic Early 2nd Millennium BC (depicts creaton and early human history, including the flood; Gen 1-9)

Enuma Elish, Early 2nd Millennium BC (Contains an account of creation; Gen 1-2)

King Lists (Sumerian)  Late 3rd Millennium BC (The reigns of Sumerian kings before the flood are described as lasting for thousands of years, reminding us of the logevity of the preflood patriarchs in Gen 5.)

Lamentation over the destruction of Ur.  Early 2nd Millennium (The poem mourns the destruction of the city of Ur at the hands of the Elamites (cf. The OT book of Lamentations))

Ludlul Bel Nemeqi (Akkadian) Late 2nd Millennium BC. (Likened to the experiences of 

 

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

Exactly, since they date to 165 BCE to 65 BCE claims as to this is what the Jews believed for a thousand years are not on a solid foundation.

A lot of the support... as referenced above is given credibility due to the fact that other sources of writings wouldn't have had access to ... (name the script they supposedly copied from)

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

Sometimes I can't tell.

If you ever think I"m not following you, please let me know.  I'm not trying to be that way.  Sometimes it's hard to follow intentions through writing.

My apologies.


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caposkia

caposkia wrote:

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

Continuing in our journey we proceed into Genesis 2.

It opens with the statement...but I'll use these in most cases to show you why you should be suspicious of the origins of the OT, not that they are an exact source.

There are many extra-Biblical stories through history, some truth, some fable that support what the Bible says.  Untied sources claiming the same thing wouldn't make me suspicisous of validity, only confirm it, no?  Granted I know your approach is that the Bible was copied from such legends.  I'll have to do more research on that to see if copying has been considered from those sources.

Or conversely the Bible is a rewrite or has been inspired from other myths.

caposkia wrote:

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:


I have never understood the reasons for describing where gold and other precious materials to the ancients were included in a story regarding the creation of the world. It would have been far more helpful if the account described the locations of oilfields, not precious stones at least for us.

The books were written for the moment, but meant to be useful through time.  Oilfields, the money still is based of precious metals.  Without gold, oil is worthless.

It would have been useful if maps to the gold fields were included.

Our economy has been operating without gold as a standard for quite some time.

caposkia wrote:

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:


The god told the man he could eat... The versions we have of Genesis contain many ambiguities and issues including the possibility of multiple gods.

I've heard the multiple gods theory.  It doesn't support in scripture.

It is supported in Canaanite and Ugaritic legends where there are many gods. If you are familiar with Finkelstein's work he suggests the people of Judah and Israel are one and the same as are all the rest of  the inhabitants in Canaan. The original versions included El, Yahweh, and Ba'al who all are gods in the Canaanite myths. El, Yahweh, and Ba'al all had consorts or wives as well including Anat, Athirat, and Asherah. See this link for a short summary: http://www.dhushara.com/book/god/canaan.htm

 

caposkia wrote:

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:


Why accept Genesis as any more based in reality than the stories from elsewhere? Is it because you think this gives basis to your eventual belief in Jesus? If so, that is far from considering the work of Genesis in an objective manner. Considered as a story on it's own and a piece that builds the eventual Hebrew beliefs it is just as mythical as any other. If you don't think so, Enki's actions are just as plausible and far more entertaining.

I couldn't pull one story out of the Bible and say it's my reason for believing.  My reason is the relationship I have built with God.  It's hard to build a relationship with something that does not exist.

I know because you already have admitted not all of the stories are based in reality. 

As to your relationship, I'll not challenge you on this just yet because first off you already know what I think and it's a pointless waste of time to reiterate it all the time. Secondly I'm trying to explain the improbabilities and use of legends that first built Jewish belief that later morphed into Christianity. I'm going to try to take a reasonable approach in presenting what and why I consider to be myths and how it is unacceptable to use as a basis for the god that has been propagated in Judeo-Christian beliefs. Sometime in the future we can have the discussion regarding your relationship so you really don't need to bring it up over every detail or story we discuss and dismiss or in a few cases agree upon.

 

caposkia wrote:

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:


Genesis 3 The Fall

So we basically have a Hebrew version of Pandora. Instead of a box she eats fruit that opens their eyes and ultimately brings forth evil, disease and death. Where is this not like Pandora?

Who knocked the rocks off of Pandora's Box?

Actually Pandora had a jar not a box. In Greek it was pithos and the mistranslation is blamed on Erasmus of Rotterdam in the 16th century when he translated Pandora's tale into Latin.

caposkia wrote:

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

 This means that God was the first killer as the skins had to come from the beasts or pets he had made.

right... and....

....and no mention of a barbecue.

caposkia wrote:

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:


With just exactly who was God having a conversation? Himself? No, the traditional take is he was talking with his heavenly host the angels. Why?  Why not his wife Asherah or the other gods? If one considers there were others than one might think this story was just like any other old myth and people may realize it's based in ancient legends.

right.  Or to Jesus and the spirit.  God had a wife?!  That's impressive knowlege you took from the Bible, please enlighten me.

Jeremiah fights against the worship of the queen of heaven who is worshiped throughout Judah until the 3rd century BCE as archeology has shown. My comment was based on Canaanite myths and legends. Inscriptions found at Kuntillet date to 750 BCE translated as, "I bless you through Yahweh of Samaria and through his Asherah." Her personal name was Ashtoret supposedly the daughter of El and Anat. 

caposkia wrote:

If you want liquor, read the NT, if you want sex, read Songs of Solomon.

Actually, Lot and Noah both were boozers. They also had incestuous sex.

But why read several stories when you can get all at once reading about Enki.

caposkia wrote:

What makes it poorly done, other than the idea that you have tied it to other mythical stories that have been written, ironically in similar manner.

Sweeping statements about how God made things with poor plot lines. Other myths are far more interesting and detailed.

caposkia wrote:

If all these other stories have similar scenarios, then where did all these scenarios start?  There must have been a source.  

Man's need to justify existence and his creative imagination.

 

____________________________________________________________
"I guess it's time to ask if you live under high voltage power transmission lines which have been shown to cause stimulation of the fantasy centers of the brain due to electromagnetic waves?" - Me

"God is omnipotent, omniscient, omnibenevolent, - it says so right here on the label. If you have a mind capable of believing all three of these divine attributes simultaneously, I have a wonderful bargain for you. No checks please. Cash and in small bills." - Robert A Heinlein.


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caposkia

caposkia wrote:

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:
How do you see these texts supporting Biblical texts? *Edit* Be specific.

Atrahasis epic Early 2nd Millennium BC (depicts creaton and early human history, including the flood; Gen 1-9)

Enuma Elish, Early 2nd Millennium BC (Contains an account of creation; Gen 1-2)

King Lists (Sumerian)  Late 3rd Millennium BC (The reigns of Sumerian kings before the flood are described as lasting for thousands of years, reminding us of the logevity of the preflood patriarchs in Gen 5.)

Lamentation over the destruction of Ur.  Early 2nd Millennium (The poem mourns the destruction of the city of Ur at the hands of the Elamites (cf. The OT book of Lamentations))

Ludlul Bel Nemeqi (Akkadian) Late 2nd Millennium BC. (Likened to the experiences of 

Atrahasis dates to mid 2nd Millennium and even far older versions in old Babylonian or Akkadian fragments have been found. Abram real or mythological supposedly came from Ur though many other wandering nomads did as well so these stories were known to the ancestors of those that settled in Canaan. Ur was destroyed around 2000 BCE, hence the Lament for Urim and Sumer. 

Enuma Elish does contain an early account of creation dating to the 2nd Millennium as you say, this version is Babylonian/Assyrian. There are also the Sumerian versions previously mentioned that are in old Babylonian/Akkadian that date to the 3rd Millennium.

The King lists are difficult to understand other than Sumer existed for a long time.

The Lament for Urim and Sumer show striking characteristics to Lamentations in places. Are you saying Jeremiah copied parts of it?

Ludlul Bel Nemeqi is really a hymn of praise to the god Marduk. Some call him the Babylonian Job. 

So, are you agreeing that these examples being far older than any Biblical evidence are sources for some of the OT?

 

 

 

 

____________________________________________________________
"I guess it's time to ask if you live under high voltage power transmission lines which have been shown to cause stimulation of the fantasy centers of the brain due to electromagnetic waves?" - Me

"God is omnipotent, omniscient, omnibenevolent, - it says so right here on the label. If you have a mind capable of believing all three of these divine attributes simultaneously, I have a wonderful bargain for you. No checks please. Cash and in small bills." - Robert A Heinlein.


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pauljohntheskeptic wrote:Or

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

Or conversely the Bible is a rewrite or has been inspired from other myths.

That's an easy assumption.  In order to emperically conclude that, we'd have to find the source or origin of the "myths" or claims in question.  Be it that some of the oldest writings we have back up Biblical claims, it might be a stalemate topic.

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:


It would have been useful if maps to the gold fields were included.

Our economy has been operating without gold as a standard for quite some time.

not necessarily true.  Our "dollar" is still a "note" in reference to the amount of gold you are paying with.  Granted money is now "the new gold", but it's still just a note as it says on the bills. 

Maps would have been usefull, but not necessary for the purpose of the books.

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

It is supported in Canaanite and Ugaritic legends where there are many gods. If you are familiar with Finkelstein's work he suggests the people of Judah and Israel are one and the same as are all the rest of  the inhabitants in Canaan. The original versions included El, Yahweh, and Ba'al who all are gods in the Canaanite myths. El, Yahweh, and Ba'al all had consorts or wives as well including Anat, Athirat, and Asherah. See this link for a short summary: http://www.dhushara.com/book/god/canaan.htm

I think I see where this is going.  Gods by definition are any of an authority.  The other gods in reference in scripture (if i understand where you're talking about) are understood to be in reference to either Jesus and the Holy Spirit, or to the angels.  Ultimately, those are not "other gods".   But are beings in which God is in cooperation with.  There is definitely reference to others besides YHWH, to conclude that there are other "gods" (unless you go by the definition of any of an authority) is reading beyond what is there.  

 

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:


I know because you already have admitted not all of the stories are based in reality. 

I have? I looked through and did not find any claims of such from myself.  Are you thinking it was post #29? Post 40?  Those are the only 2 I could find that you might assume that conclusion to.  In 29 I specified that some stories are parables in the Bible and that the Bible makes it clear that those stories are in fact parables.  They are written that way for a reason and are expressed as parables so the reader understands the intentions.

In 40, the "fables" I was referencing to were extra-Biblical. 

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

As to your relationship, I'll not challenge you on this just yet because first off you already know what I think and it's a pointless waste of time to reiterate it all the time. Secondly I'm trying to explain the improbabilities and use of legends that first built Jewish belief that later morphed into Christianity. I'm going to try to take a reasonable approach in presenting what and why I consider to be myths and how it is unacceptable to use as a basis for the god that has been propagated in Judeo-Christian beliefs. Sometime in the future we can have the discussion regarding your relationship so you really don't need to bring it up over every detail or story we discuss and dismiss or in a few cases agree upon.

I only bring it up when you make reference to why I believe... e.g. "Is it because you think this gives basis to your eventual belief in Jesus?"  I answered that question.  Nothing more. 

I agree we should stick with the histories and legends. 

 

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

Actually Pandora had a jar not a box. In Greek it was pithos and the mistranslation is blamed on Erasmus of Rotterdam in the 16th century when he translated Pandora's tale into Latin.

Nice, didn't know that.  It's a quote from a song I knew, that's all. 

caposkia wrote:

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:


right.  Or to Jesus and the spirit.  God had a wife?!  That's impressive knowlege you took from the Bible, please enlighten me.

Jeremiah fights against the worship of the queen of heaven who is worshiped throughout Judah until the 3rd century BCE as archeology has shown. My comment was based on Canaanite myths and legends. Inscriptions found at Kuntillet date to 750 BCE translated as, "I bless you through Yahweh of Samaria and through his Asherah." Her personal name was Ashtoret supposedly the daughter of El and Anat. 

ah. 

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

Actually, Lot and Noah both were boozers. They also had incestuous sex.

But why read several stories when you can get all at once reading about Enki.

They were indeed.  No one ever claimed they were perfect.  Moses also was a murderer.

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

Sweeping statements about how God made things with poor plot lines. Other myths are far more interesting and detailed.

If it were truth, are you saying God should make life more interesting?

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

Man's need to justify existence and his creative imagination.

We must cite the source and not assume or it cannot be a solid conclusion.


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pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

 

Atrahasis dates to mid 2nd Millennium and even far older versions in old Babylonian or Akkadian fragments have been found. Abram real or mythological supposedly came from Ur though many other wandering nomads did as well so these stories were known to the ancestors of those that settled in Canaan. Ur was destroyed around 2000 BCE, hence the Lament for Urim and Sumer. 

Enuma Elish does contain an early account of creation dating to the 2nd Millennium as you say, this version is Babylonian/Assyrian. There are also the Sumerian versions previously mentioned that are in old Babylonian/Akkadian that date to the 3rd Millennium.

The King lists are difficult to understand other than Sumer existed for a long time.

The Lament for Urim and Sumer show striking characteristics to Lamentations in places. Are you saying Jeremiah copied parts of it?

Ludlul Bel Nemeqi is really a hymn of praise to the god Marduk. Some call him the Babylonian Job. 

So, are you agreeing that these examples being far older than any Biblical evidence are sources for some of the OT?

I'm not saying Jeremiah copied anything.  

The sources for the actual writings in the OT are clear... most more detailed Bibles should reference to such.  The only thing claimed about these sources I listed is that they "support" the OT writings or claims.  

 

 

 

 


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caposkia

caposkia wrote:

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

 

Atrahasis dates to mid 2nd Millennium and even far older versions in old Babylonian or Akkadian fragments have been found. Abram real or mythological supposedly came from Ur though many other wandering nomads did as well so these stories were known to the ancestors of those that settled in Canaan. Ur was destroyed around 2000 BCE, hence the Lament for Urim and Sumer. 

Enuma Elish does contain an early account of creation dating to the 2nd Millennium as you say, this version is Babylonian/Assyrian. There are also the Sumerian versions previously mentioned that are in old Babylonian/Akkadian that date to the 3rd Millennium.

The King lists are difficult to understand other than Sumer existed for a long time.

The Lament for Urim and Sumer show striking characteristics to Lamentations in places. Are you saying Jeremiah copied parts of it?

Ludlul Bel Nemeqi is really a hymn of praise to the god Marduk. Some call him the Babylonian Job. 

So, are you agreeing that these examples being far older than any Biblical evidence are sources for some of the OT?

I'm not saying Jeremiah copied anything.  

The sources for the actual writings in the OT are clear... most more detailed Bibles should reference to such.  The only thing claimed about these sources I listed is that they "support" the OT writings or claims.  

 

 

 

 

Cap,

It surprises you that earlier writngs support claims made in a book written later (that most likely drew from them)?

"I do this real moron thing, and it's called thinking. And apparently I'm not a very good American because I like to form my own opinions."
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caposkia wrote:

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

Or conversely the Bible is a rewrite or has been inspired from other myths.

That's an easy assumption.  In order to emperically conclude that, we'd have to find the source or origin of the "myths" or claims in question.  Be it that some of the oldest writings we have back up Biblical claims, it might be a stalemate topic.

Well, since Sumerian, Egyptian, Ugaritic myths are in museums and in hand that predate the OT Dead Sea Scrolls by over 2,000 years and nothing in hand actually gives basis to the OT stories the points go to the more ancient writing as being closer to the source or origin. So far there is no support for any Biblical writing before the 1st Millennium only 2nd century BCE tradition as established in DSS and Roman records. The Roman records only establish the Jews had an ancient belief but no detail. 

What the Sumerian and other writings backup for the OT is there were a myriad of stories regarding creation, man, gods. and floods. I don't see a special relationship with the supposed god Yahweh in the Sumerian stories of the flood, creation, or man. If you do please so point out where. If you'd like to suggest that Enki and later Marduk were Sumerian names for Yahweh you will need to prove that as it's not what is suggested at all in the myths. Enki was obsessed with sex and alcohol which Yahweh as interpreted by Jews is not.

caposkia wrote:

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:


Our economy has been operating without gold as a standard for quite some time.

not necessarily true.  Our "dollar" is still a "note" in reference to the amount of gold you are paying with.  Granted money is now "the new gold", but it's still just a note as it says on the bills.

You need to read what Ron Paul says: 

http://www.house.gov/paul/congrec/congrec2006/cr021506.htm

Wiki's interpretation of what a Federal Reserve Note is: 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Federal_Reserve_Note

A dollar is essentially only backed by the US's ability to pay, in goods and services as well as the taxing ability of the government. Gold is not involved. We don't need to sidetrack on this.

caposkia wrote:

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

It is supported in Canaanite and Ugaritic legends where there are many gods. If you are familiar with Finkelstein's work he suggests the people of Judah and Israel are one and the same as are all the rest of  the inhabitants in Canaan. The original versions included El, Yahweh, and Ba'al who all are gods in the Canaanite myths. El, Yahweh, and Ba'al all had consorts or wives as well including Anat, Athirat, and Asherah. See this link for a short summary: http://www.dhushara.com/book/god/canaan.htm

I think I see where this is going.  Gods by definition are any of an authority.  The other gods in reference in scripture (if i understand where you're talking about) are understood to be in reference to either Jesus and the Holy Spirit, or to the angels.  Ultimately, those are not "other gods".   But are beings in which God is in cooperation with.  There is definitely reference to others besides YHWH, to conclude that there are other "gods" (unless you go by the definition of any of an authority) is reading beyond what is there.  

It is also incorrect to conclude they are angels or Jesus Christ as that is also going beyond what is there. 

Genesis only refers to hosts in heaven and earth which is the only mention of something that can be misinterpreted as angels, through Genesis 3 comments about a cherubim and does not discuss its origin. This may just be another example of poor plot lines by the writer. When you introduce something new in a story usually one must explain what it is and from where it came. You cannot interpolate this into angels earlier in this story, 

 

caposkia wrote:

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:


I know because you already have admitted not all of the stories are based in reality. 

I have? I looked through and did not find any claims of such from myself.  Are you thinking it was post #29? Post 40?  Those are the only 2 I could find that you might assume that conclusion to.  In 29 I specified that some stories are parables in the Bible and that the Bible makes it clear that those stories are in fact parables.  They are written that way for a reason and are expressed as parables so the reader understands the intentions.

In 40, the "fables" I was referencing to were extra-Biblical.

Parables are not fact but stories and are not necessarily based in reality. This is what I meant that you agree not all stories are reality for one.  See also your New Atheist Crusader thread.

caposkia wrote:

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

As to your relationship, I'll not challenge you on this just yet because first off you already know what I think and it's a pointless waste of time to reiterate it all the time. Secondly I'm trying to explain the improbabilities and use of legends that first built Jewish belief that later morphed into Christianity. I'm going to try to take a reasonable approach in presenting what and why I consider to be myths and how it is unacceptable to use as a basis for the god that has been propagated in Judeo-Christian beliefs. Sometime in the future we can have the discussion regarding your relationship so you really don't need to bring it up over every detail or story we discuss and dismiss or in a few cases agree upon.

I only bring it up when you make reference to why I believe... e.g. "Is it because you think this gives basis to your eventual belief in Jesus?"  I answered that question.  Nothing more. 

I agree we should stick with the histories and legends.

OK.

 

caposkia wrote:

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

Sweeping statements about how God made things with poor plot lines. Other myths are far more interesting and detailed.

If it were truth, are you saying God should make life more interesting?

I'm just saying the Sumerian and other stories are a better read.

 

____________________________________________________________
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Christos
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This thread is ridiculous.

This thread is ridiculous. I'll tell you the answer: The OT contains myth, legend, historical fiction, apocalyptic prophecy, poetry, law code, and some history. You don't need to go through the whole damn testament.

To properly answer the question of this thread, you really should have a degree in Biblical studies and the history of religion. It would also be helpful to have a background in Biblical archaeology, paleo-Hebrew, Ancient Israelite religion, Second Temple Judaism, Aramaic, The DDS, Josephus, Philo, and the history of ancient Empires (like the Assyrians, Babylonians, Egyptians, Greeks and Romans). You are not probably not truly qualified to address this question, Mr. Pauljohn. Unless somehow you are Bart Ehrman in disguise.

"A man can no more diminish God's glory by refusing to worship Him than a lunatic can put out the sun by scribbling the word, 'darkness' on the walls of his cell." (CS Lewis)

"A young man who wishes to remain a sound atheist cannot be too careful of his reading." (CS Lewis)


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pauljohntheskeptic

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

Exactly, since they date to 165 BCE to 65 BCE claims as to this is what the Jews believed for a thousand years are not on a solid foundation.

I disagree. We know a lot about Israelite religion (pre-exilic Judaism). For example, we know about henotheistic influence, lack of competing groups, their intermarriage with foreigners, their lack of conversion process, the prominent role for kings and priests, membership based on nationality, worship in public and focused on the Temple, lack of prayer as a standard aspect of worship,  and no significant belief in demons or angels. We also know that Israelite religion was not a book religion (that's a huge point).

Just because the DDS have the oldest manuscripts of Hebrew literature doesn't mean that they you can't date them much earlier, and it doesn't mean that certain books can't tell us about ancient Israelite religion.

Take Genesis for example. Kenneth Kitchen has done some great work on dating parts of the text from 1500-1800 BCE. Take the books of Daniel, Ezra, Chronicles, Jeremiah....these books clearly were influenced by the Babylonian Exile and portray a perspective that clearly predates 165 BCE. Or take language analysis of Second Temple Hebrew and paleo-Hebrew of the DDS. That clearly helps date certain texts.

I'm sorry PaulJohn, but you just don't have the educational background to answer this question. Scholars study for years to analyze what you are trying to decipher on a RRS thread. I'm not trying to insult your intelligence (because you seem like a well educated person), but you don't seem qualified to answer this question.

"A man can no more diminish God's glory by refusing to worship Him than a lunatic can put out the sun by scribbling the word, 'darkness' on the walls of his cell." (CS Lewis)

"A young man who wishes to remain a sound atheist cannot be too careful of his reading." (CS Lewis)


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Christos

Christos wrote:

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

Exactly, since they date to 165 BCE to 65 BCE claims as to this is what the Jews believed for a thousand years are not on a solid foundation.

I disagree. We know a lot about Israelite religion (pre-exilic Judaism). For example, we know about henotheistic influence, lack of competing groups, their intermarriage with foreigners, their lack of conversion process, the prominent role for kings and priests, membership based on nationality, worship in public and focused on the Temple, lack of prayer as a standard aspect of worship,  and no significant belief in demons or angels. We also know that Israelite religion was not a book religion (that's a huge point).

Just because the DDS have the oldest manuscripts of Hebrew literature doesn't mean that they you can't date them much earlier, and it doesn't mean that certain books can't tell us about ancient Israelite religion.

Take Genesis for example. Kenneth Kitchen has done some great work on dating parts of the text from 1500-1800 BCE. Take the books of Daniel, Ezra, Chronicles, Jeremiah....these books clearly were influenced by the Babylonian Exile and portray a perspective that clearly predates 165 BCE. Or take language analysis of Second Temple Hebrew and paleo-Hebrew of the DDS. That clearly helps date certain texts.

I'm sorry PaulJohn, but you just don't have the educational background to answer this question. Scholars study for years to analyze what you are trying to decipher on a RRS thread. I'm not trying to insult your intelligence (because you seem like a well educated person), but you don't seem qualified to answer this question.

And you do, I suppose? Should I ask for your CV?

As for Kitchen, there is nothing qute like going in with a desired conclusion and making the evidence fit, eh? I don't dispute his credentials but he wouldn't be the first to let his beliefs cloud his judgment of the facts. It's a very human thing to find what you look for hard enough.

"I do this real moron thing, and it's called thinking. And apparently I'm not a very good American because I like to form my own opinions."
— George Carlin