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Thread: Noah's ark was round?

  1. #11
    Professor KingsGambit's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lao tzu View Post
    Hello KG,

    That's pretty much the way I read it, though I haven't read Enns' The Evolution of Adam. I call it "extended metaphor," like "hitting a home run" for a business success, but using pervasive myths known throughout the region. Outside certain nooks in Christianity, the relationship between these Mesopotamian flood stories isn't controversial.

    As ever, Jesse
    He's fairly upfront that none of what he presents in his books is particularly controversial in scholarly circles (yet it always ends up being theological dynamite).
    For what was given to everyone for the use of all, you have taken for your exclusive use. The earth belongs not to the rich, but to everyone. - Ambrose, 4th century AD

    All cruelty springs from weakness. - Seneca the Younger

  2. #12
    tWebber
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    It's also the subject of a new book, "The Ark Before Noah," by Irving Finkel, the museum's assistant keeper of the Middle East and the man who translated the tablet.
    If his title is anything to go by, Finkel looks like he's going to trot out the argument that the Genesis account was copied (with a few embellishments) from older Babylonian 'myths.' Why is that? What are the grounds for saying that these stories are older than the Biblical account?

  3. #13
    tWebber shunyadragon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ged View Post
    If his title is anything to go by, Finkel looks like he's going to trot out the argument that the Genesis account was copied (with a few embellishments) from older Babylonian 'myths.' Why is that? What are the grounds for saying that these stories are older than the Biblical account?
    The argument is well founded, because all the ancient records of the flood and many other parts of the OT are found in older Canaanite and Babylonian cuneiform tablets. There are no older Hebrew scriptures then those found in the Dead Sea scrolls, which date after the exile period.

    *Two silver scrolls with blessings dated ~600 BCE were found in Israel.
    Last edited by shunyadragon; 01-29-2014 at 10:29 AM.
    Glendower: I can call spirits from the vasty deep.
    Hotspur: Why, so can I, or so can any man;
    But will they come when you do call for them? Shakespeare’s Henry IV, Part 1, Act III:

    go with the flow the river knows . . .

    Frank

    I do not know, therefore everything is in pencil.

  4. #14
    radical strawberry
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ged View Post
    If his title is anything to go by, Finkel looks like he's going to trot out the argument that the Genesis account was copied (with a few embellishments) from older Babylonian 'myths.' Why is that? What are the grounds for saying that these stories are older than the Biblical account?
    Hello Ged,

    The Babylonian flood tales have Akkadian precursors, which in turn have Sumerian precursors. The oldest of these of which I'm aware is the Ziusudra epic, dating to c. 2700 BCE. The Biblical tale, because it is written in Hebrew — which differentiated from the Phoenician c. 1000 BCE — has a terminus pro quem over a thousand years later based strictly on the linguistics. There are other arguments for placing the Biblical tale in its received form closer to c. 600 BCE. In either case, the Biblical tale is unquestionably of more recent vintage.

    As ever, Jesse

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    tWebber
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    Shuny / Lao

    Yes, but must we assume that the Genesis account was copied from these older stories that we just so happened to have found? Is it not equally as possible that the various accounts came from a common source as yet not found?

    And if they stem from a common source, could it be possible that one account (not necessarily the oldest) did a better job transmitting the original story?

  6. #16
    tWebber shunyadragon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ged View Post
    Shuny / Lao

    Yes, but must we assume that the Genesis account was copied from these older stories that we just so happened to have found? Is it not equally as possible that the various accounts came from a common source as yet not found?

    And if they stem from a common source, could it be possible that one account (not necessarily the oldest) did a better job transmitting the original story?
    This is hypothetical reaching to far to the only motive possible is simply to justify scripture. The nature of the languages themselves goes a long way to trace the origins of the scripture. If they of course find older Hebrew scriptures or other scriptures that demonstrate a common origin, you may have a case, but based on what has been found, don't hold your breath. Considering that the region has been so thoroughly scoured, particularly the region around Israel. It is very unlikely that anything else will be found. At present were looking for scrapes. The known history of the languages is against finding any thing older too.
    Last edited by shunyadragon; 01-29-2014 at 03:34 PM.
    Glendower: I can call spirits from the vasty deep.
    Hotspur: Why, so can I, or so can any man;
    But will they come when you do call for them? Shakespeare’s Henry IV, Part 1, Act III:

    go with the flow the river knows . . .

    Frank

    I do not know, therefore everything is in pencil.

  7. #17
    radical strawberry
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ged View Post
    Shuny / Lao

    Yes, but must we assume that the Genesis account was copied from these older stories that we just so happened to have found? Is it not equally as possible that the various accounts came from a common source as yet not found?

    And if they stem from a common source, could it be possible that one account (not necessarily the oldest) did a better job transmitting the original story?
    Dear Ged,

    Copied is wrong. Formally, we're speaking of syncretism. Informally, what we're looking at is a re-purposing. The language I use personally is "extended metaphor." The flood tales out of Mesopotamia work inside a broad theme of destruction and redemption of a chosen few. This theme is exemplified here using what I think of as the "saved from a disastrous flood" extended metaphor.

    Keep in mind that the earliest version involved only a single city, suitable for emphasizing the social bond within an individual city-state, and tied back to the archetype of that bond: their tutelary deity, ritually personified by the king in their yearly festivals. As the city-states combined to form the Sumerian empire, the Empire of Sumer and Akkad, and later the Babylonian empire, the floods in these tales grew in extent to cover the geographies of the relevant political entities, forming a wider bond between their peoples, and reflected in incrementally more powerful deities. A god of the whole world thus requires a flood that cover the whole world, or the whole world as it was known to the authors of the Biblical flood tale when it was composed.

    We can imagine an oral tale existing in tandem that somehow managed to avoid contamination from the written tales, even as they were celebrated by the entire empire during their holidays, but this is not good scholarship. More, to imagine a tale written a thousand years later is somehow more accurate turns standard criticism on its head. We always look to the earliest known biblical texts when determining authenticity of later texts, don't we? Never the other way around.

    Again, if we're looking for an actual flood behind the tales, this is not a task for textual criticism, but for archaeology, or even geology if we look even further back. Archaeology tells us there was no regional flood covering all of Mesopotamia, and geology tells us there was no global flood, either. Truth cannot contradict truth, as a well-known religious figure has famously said, tautologically.

    As ever, Jesse

  8. #18
    tWebber 37818's Avatar
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    An ark is box. Noah's floating box and the box of the covenant.
    . . . the Gospel of Christ, for it is [the] power of God to salvation to every [one] believing, . . . -- Romans 1:16.

    . . . that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures: . . . -- 1 Corinthians 15:3, 4.

    Whosoever believeth that Jesus is the Christ is born of God: . . . -- 1 John 5:1.

  9. #19
    tWebber
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    Quote Originally Posted by lao tzu View Post
    Keep in mind that the earliest version involved only a single city
    What was the earliest one?

    We always look to the earliest known biblical texts when determining authenticity of later texts, don't we? Never the other way around.
    Never say never. An older ancient text is not always better. Biblical scholars often determine reliability of text, not by age of manuscript sources, but by commonality within manuscripts. So, for instance, if we found a copy of Mark from the early 2nd century that had a longer ending, it would not necessarily overturn the scholarly opinion that Mark originally had a shorter ending.

    Again, if we're looking for an actual flood behind the tales, this is not a task for textual criticism, but for archaeology, or even geology if we look even further back. Archaeology tells us there was no regional flood covering all of Mesopotamia, and geology tells us there was no global flood, either. Truth cannot contradict truth, as a well-known religious figure has famously said, tautologically.
    Well yes, textual criticism wouldn't have anything to do with anything, but nevertheless, manuscript evidence is an important tool in an archaeologist's toolbox.

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    Quote Originally Posted by 37818 View Post
    An ark is box. Noah's floating box and the box of the covenant.
    Perhaps ark means what you say, but the same word is used in Hebrew for the basket of Moses, and Noah's basket. And there was waterproofing inside out on Noah's megabasket. Anyone have nicely shaped bronze cutting tool for the trees?

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