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

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 11-24-2001, 01:15 AM   #1
Join Date: Jul 2000
Location: Lebanon, OR, USA
Posts: 16,829
Post Homer vs. the Bible?

One defense of the Bible is that it contains some independently-verifiable historical truth; however, the same can be said of some other texts that feature deities, such as the Iliad and the Odyssey.

Heinrich Schliemann had used the Iliad to find Troy; he used its geographical hints, such as a nearby plain, to do so.

Archeologists have found boar's-tusk helmets and depictions of them in Mycenaean Greek sites; this supports Book 10 of the Iliad:

"Meriones found a bow and quiver for Ulysses, and on his head he set a leathern helmet that was lined with a strong plaiting of leathern thongs, while on the outside it was thickly studded with boar's teeth, well and skilfully set into it; next the head there was an inner lining of felt"

The Cyclopes (Odyssey, Book 9) are generally thought to be inspired by elephant skulls; an elephant skull's trunk hole looks like the socket for a single big eye. A good URL:

The Laestrygonians' home (Odyssey, book 10) looks much like a Scandinavian fjord in the summertime; fjords are long thin bays with steep surrounding walls, and the Scandinavian ones are near enough to the North Pole to have nearly 24 hours of sunlight in the summer. There is no reference to the continuous-night winters; that may be a side effect of when the area was the easiest to visit: in the summer.

"...and on the seventh day we reached the rocky stronghold of Lamus- Telepylus, the city of the Laestrygonians, where the shepherd who is driving in his sheep and goats [to be milked] salutes him who is driving out his flock [to feed] and this last answers the salute. In that country a man who could do without sleep might earn double wages, one as a herdsman of cattle, and another as a shepherd, for they work much the same by night as they do by day."

"When we reached the harbour we found it land-locked under steep cliffs, with a narrow entrance between two headlands. My captains took all their ships inside, and made them fast close to one another, for there was never so much as a breath of wind inside, but it was always dead calm. I kept my own ship outside, and moored it to a rock at the very end of the point; then I climbed a high rock to reconnoitre, but could see no sign neither of man nor cattle, only some smoke rising from the ground. ..."

I recall seeing a TV documentary on Odyssey identifications long ago, but this is as much as I recall:
  • The Laestrygonians inhabiting Scandinavian fjords
  • Scylla and Charybdis being some whirlpools near Sicily, with some fishermen fishing from towers
  • Calypso or Circe being the mother-goddess statues at Malta

But is it reasonable to extrapolate the existence of the deities of Mt. Olympus from this historicity? And that we ought to worship them?

[Samuel Butler's translation for the Iliad and the Odyssey are used here; they are available online at ]

[ November 24, 2001: Message edited by: lpetrich ]
lpetrich is offline  
Old 11-29-2001, 08:50 AM   #2
Veteran Member
Join Date: Nov 2000
Location: Middlesbrough, England
Posts: 3,909

Originally posted by lpetrich:
<strong>Homer vs. the Bible</strong>
If it was a question of avoiding a meltdown in a nuclear reactor I would definitely refer to the Bible.
Boro Nut is offline  
Old 11-29-2001, 08:54 AM   #3
Senior Member
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: I`ve left and gone away
Posts: 699

Originally posted by Boro Nut:

If it was a question of avoiding a meltdown in a nuclear reactor I would definitely refer to the Bible.</strong>
LOL! I was thinking the same thing.
Anunnaki is offline  
Old 12-02-2001, 04:27 AM   #4
Veteran Member
Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: Gold Coast, QLD, Australia
Posts: 5,814

but homer did that twice
kwigibo is offline  
Old 12-02-2001, 06:41 AM   #5
Senior Member
Join Date: May 2001
Location: rochester, ny, usa
Posts: 658

yeah, with his ass...
cloudyphiz is offline  
Old 12-04-2001, 07:53 AM   #6
Senior Member
Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: Fort Worth, TX
Posts: 755

Burns: Homer, your bravery and quick thinking have turned a potential Chernobyl into a mere Three Mile Island. Bravo! [Places an award around Homer's neck.]

Lisa: I think it's ironic that Dad saved the day while a slimmer man would have fallen to his death.

Bart: And I think it's ironic that for once Dad's butt prevented the release of toxic gas --

Marge: Bart!
- "King-Sized Homer"

DB_Hunter is offline  
Old 12-05-2001, 05:15 AM   #7
Veteran Member
Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: Gold Coast, QLD, Australia
Posts: 5,814

no, with eenie meenie miny mo
kwigibo is offline  

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Forum Jump

All times are GMT -8. The time now is 12:15 PM.


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