FRDB Archives

Freethought & Rationalism Archive

The archives are read only.


Go Back   FRDB Archives > Archives > Biblical Criticism - 2001
Welcome, Peter Kirby.
You last visited: Today at 05:55 AM

Notices

 
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 11-08-2001, 07:36 AM   #21
Blinn
Veteran Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: Ohio, USA
Posts: 1,162
Post

Did anyone catch the National Geographic special on PBS this week - "The Quest for Noah's Flood"? It is pretty clear that a catastrophic flood happened about 7500 yrs BP, gushing water from the Mediterranean into the lake basin were the Black Sea now lies. Although there is no way to prove it, this flood may be the historical event that led to Middle Eastern flood mythology, including the flood of Genesis.

Scientific American article
Blinn is offline  
Old 11-08-2001, 09:21 AM   #22
Kyzra
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
Posts: 12
Post

i remember watching a recent show which explained a great coastal flood caused by an icedam breach in canada during the end of the last ice age. this dam holding a huge inland sea flooded into the atlantic, raised the global sea level and flooded all coastal areas.
Kyzra is offline  
Old 11-08-2001, 01:02 PM   #23
copernicus
Veteran Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: Bellevue, WA
Posts: 1,531
Post

Yes, zetek, many people now believe that the Black Sea catastrophe was probably the basis for all the flood myths that circulated around Middle East for so many centuries. The Noah myth is one of the more recent versions, and there are lots of other stories in the Bible that were plagiarized from other religions.

Before writing, humans preserved historical records across generations via oral histories. It would be surprising if there had been no flood myths, given that the catastrophe happened when humans occupied the area. It must have seemed to some that the whole world had been flooded, and there were certainly people living elsewhere who survived the tragedy and came into contact with refugees and/or stories about it. How would primitive people explain such a phenomenon except in religious terms?

[ November 08, 2001: Message edited by: copernicus ]
copernicus is offline  
Old 11-08-2001, 01:55 PM   #24
Blinn
Veteran Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: Ohio, USA
Posts: 1,162
Post

I had always assumed the Noah myth was probably based on a regional flooding event but had not been aware of the Black Sea event until the other day. I stopped by the library and picked up Ryan & Pitman's book on it today.
Blinn is offline  
Old 11-08-2001, 10:28 PM   #25
Tercel
Veteran Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: New Zealand
Posts: 1,315
Angry

Quote:
Originally posted by copernicus:
The Noah myth is one of the more recent versions, and there are lots of other stories in the Bible that were plagiarized from other religions.
Everytime there are similiarities between things in the Bible and things elsewhere it means the writers of the Bible plagiarized them. It's not possible the Bible was the one copied, nor is it possible that they drew from a common tradition, nor that the Bible contains the older account. The Bible writers definitely copied, and they definitely were more recent, and their copies are definitely less true.
Tercel is offline  
Old 11-09-2001, 05:19 AM   #26
Vorkosigan
Contributor
 
Join Date: Jan 2001
Location: Barrayar
Posts: 11,866
Post

[QUOTE]Originally posted by Tercel:
Everytime there are similiarities between things in the Bible and things elsewhere it means the writers of the Bible plagiarized them. It's not possible the Bible was the one copied, nor is it possible that they drew from a common tradition, nor that the Bible contains the older account. The Bible writers definitely copied, and they definitely were more recent, and their copies are definitely less true.

Since, in many cases, the Bible contains the younger tradition, the copying can only run in one direction. Hardly anyone would dispute the "common source" idea. Finally, as for "definitely less true" that is absurd. The Mesopotamian Flood myths or dying-and-rising gods tales are no more or less true than the Bible's; they are all equally absurd.

Michael
Vorkosigan is offline  
Old 11-09-2001, 06:24 AM   #27
hezekiah jones
Veteran Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: WI
Posts: 4,357
Question

Quote:
Originally posted by Tercel:
Everytime there are similiarities between things in the Bible and things elsewhere it means the writers of the Bible plagiarized them.
"Plagiarized" seems a bit harsh, even for sarcasm.

How then do you explain the similarities between the Genesis accounts and the Sumerian cuneiform accounts, which predate Genesis by hundreds of years? The Bible even says that Abraham came from Mesopotamia. Don't you think that might be a clue?
hezekiah jones is offline  
Old 11-09-2001, 12:39 PM   #28
copernicus
Veteran Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: Bellevue, WA
Posts: 1,531
Post

I don't think that plagiarize is too harsh a word. The Jewish tribes were no different from their contemporaries, and, like their contemproraries, they incorporated traditions and myths from others. There were simply too many government leaders back then who started out their lives floating down the river in a basket. Lots of governments got their legal code handed down to a local leader on stone tablets from a local god. Hammurabi got his from the sun god. Moses (maybe because he ruled a less powerful tribe) only got a burning bush to hand him the tablets.

The Christian religion went through a lot of remakes in the first two centuries--before the NT was standardized. In fact, the New Testament should be thought of as having a second century copyright. Think about it the next time you celebrate Christ's birthday on the pagan Roman holiday of Saturnalia. Modern religious doctrines did not come from divine revelation. They came from people who were pitching to audiences that already had a religion. The idea was to reinterpret accepted views of reality, not to invent a new one out of whole cloth. The irony is that each religion tries to ground its doctrine in divine revelation. Hence, its adherents get mad when you point out older variants of their myths.
copernicus is offline  
Old 11-09-2001, 01:13 PM   #29
Tercel
Veteran Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: New Zealand
Posts: 1,315
Post

Quote:
Originally posted by hezekiahjones:
"Plagiarized" seems a bit harsh, even for sarcasm.
That's ironic, because I was actually quoting copernicus there who was being serious.

Quote:
How then do you explain the similarities between the Genesis accounts and the Sumerian cuneiform accounts, which predate Genesis by hundreds of years? The Bible even says that Abraham came from Mesopotamia. Don't you think that might be a clue?
I think Abraham coming from the region might be a clue to a common tradition existing. Any statements that the Bible writers copied/ plagiarized/ stole/ borrowed the other stories is therefore unwarrented.

Tercel
Tercel is offline  
Old 11-09-2001, 06:29 PM   #30
copernicus
Veteran Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: Bellevue, WA
Posts: 1,531
Post

Tercel, by the time that the Jews were assimilated into the Babylonian empire, there had already been earlier civilizations. The Sumerians also had their flood myth. They were conquered by the Semitic Akkadians, who introduced the Gilgamesh version. The Akkadian account is older than the Jewish Noah version.

Ultimately, the Jews who were living in exile were freed after the Persian, Cyrus the Great, took over the Babylonian empire. Cyrus allowed the Jews to return to their homeland and re-establish their own religion. It was at that time that the Jewish religion seemed to adopt a monotheistic view of religion, following the Persian Zoroastrian tradition. Prior to that time, Yahweh was a tribal god that led the pantheon--a common pattern before Zoroastrianism. This made a lot of sense, since the Jewish exiles must have been very pleased with their Persian liberators at that time. It was no accident that Yahweh gave Moses a set of commandments that incorporated some of the same laws handed down to Hammurabi by Shamash, the sun god.

You choose not to view this as plagiarism, but religions all over the world have plagiarized (or "borrowed" if you prefer a more neutral term) from other religions. Do you think that all of those different religions borrowed from the Jewish tribal religion? As others have pointed out, such a view would be difficult to reconcile with the fact that the Biblical accounts come later. Please explain how older civilizations could have borrowed their myths from Biblical accounts.

[ November 09, 2001: Message edited by: copernicus ]
copernicus is offline  
 

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -8. The time now is 12:25 PM.

Top

This custom BB emulates vBulletin® Version 3.8.2
Copyright ©2000 - 2015, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.