Welcome to the Ancient-Origins.net Forums. In order to avoid spam messages, we require all users of the forum to register first.

If you are not registered please click on the Register link from the top menu. If you are registered LOGIN here.

26 posts / 0 new
Last post
Bible origins

The Old Testament was based on the Torah, which is generally accepted to be derived from the true history of the Semitic peoples. The Sumerians were one of the Semitic races, and their Epic of Gilgamesh is thought to be a direct antecedent of the Torah. The Epic is about a thousand years older (in written form - it almost certainly goes back even further as an oral tradition), and has many striking points of similarity with the OT.

Here are some of the salient points of two stories from the Epic - see if they remind you of anything!

The Flood

"Utnapishtim spoke to Gilgamesh, saying: 'I will reveal to you, Gilgamesh, a thing which is hidden, a secret of the gods. I will tell you Shurrupak, a city that you surely know, situated on the banks of the Euphrates, that city was very old, and there were gods inside it. The hearts of the great gods moved them to inflict the flood."
(Tablet XI, 9-14)

"O man of Shurrupak, son of Ubartutu, tear down the house and build a boat! The boat which you are to build, its dimensions must measure equal to each other: its length must correspond to its width. Roof it over like the Apsu."
(Tablet XI, 24 & 28-30)

"All the living beings that I had I loaded on it, I had all my kith and kin go up into the boat, all the beasts and animals of the field . . ."
(Tablet XI, 84-85)

"When a seventh day arrived I sent forth a dove and released it. The dove went off, but came back to me; no perch was visible so it circled back to me. I sent forth a swallow and released it. The swallow went off, but came back to me; no perch was visible so it circled back to me. I sent forth a raven and released it. The raven went off, and saw the waters slither back. It eats, it scratches, it bobs, but does not circle back to me."
(Tablet XI, 145-154)

* * * * *

The Tree of Life

I'll summarise this one, cos it's a bit long-winded!

(From Tablet XI, 285-289)
Gilgamesh is told of a 'magic plant' called 'the old man becomes a young man'. Anyone who partakes of its fruit becomes immortal. Gilgamesh is cheated of immortality by 'a serpent' who steals the plant while he is bathing.

* * * * *

There are other points of similarity. For instance, the story of Gilgamesh and Shamhat has parallels with the story of Samson and Delilah.

Gilgamesh was a real historical figure, the fifth king of the first dynasty of Uruk, who reigned at about 2,500BC. He was deified in the histories of the Sumerian people, who described him as the son of the demigod Lugalbanda and the goddess Ninsun (which would make him 75% divine).

So: to regard the Bible as literally true in every detail is to ignore the historical facts - that the Bible evolved from stories which date back to (historians estimate) nearly 4,000BC. It continues to evolve, from the major revisions of the Septuagint version of the New Testament (250AD) by the Roman emperor Constantine in 331AD, to the seven main subsequent versions:
Vulgate (400AD)
Lutheran (1534AD)
King James (1611AD)
Youngs Literal (1898AD)
Revised Standard (1952AD)
New International (1960s-1970s)

There has also been more recent modernising of the Bible's language, so that there are now more versions of the Bible than you can shake a bishop's crozier at! Who decides which is the 'true' version?

 

good summary

Nice content.  The problem I have with the bible is not only the many and varied versions, but the lack of proofreading in which each new chapter often contradicts the previous.

But it is also widely suspected that it was King Josiah who actually ‘wrote’ the boook of the law. Around 750BC, during a renovation of the temple. King Josiah miraculously ‘found’ the book of the law which had been supposedly hidden there. He immediately banned all other forms of worship (apparently there were many including phallic) and installed Yahwehism in their stead.

It is rather likely he invented the history, as there is no verifiable historical account of any Moses, any captivity in Egypt (Egyptians were meticulous record keepers), no evidence of any wandering in the desert in those places mentioned and thus we have no promised land.

The book “The BIble Unearthed” lays to rest the historicity of the current OT concluding that it was a people inventing a history for themselves where there was none. Archaeology simply doesn't support the claims according tho the times given. There were no walls around Jericho at the time claimed, as it was an Egyptian vassal, etc.

Borrowing from existing creationo accounts is the more likely scenario. The Epic of Gilamesh is one, but also the ancient Indian account of a flood, in which a man (with 3 sons) survived in a boat is another. The names of those sons curiously reflect the later copying by the writers of the OT.

I think it’s high time the OT be relegated to the trash bin of literature, or at the very least placed on the shelf with it’s companions, Peter Rabbot and Snow White. Yahwehism has come to symbolize some of the most despicable acts of inhumanity. The notion that an invented ‘god’ favors one people over all of its other creations is a primitive one at best, and a dangerous one at least.

 

 
Not so fast

Meh. The Egyptians were meticulous record keepers as long as the events being recorded were favorable to the Pharaohs. They weren't too keen on keeping records of their failures or defeats, and they weren't above a bit of "historical revision" if it suited them. See how they tried to "erase" anything associated with Akhenaten's reign from history, for example.

"Moses" is probably a derivative of an Egyptian name/title(the Pharaoh Tuthmosis, for example), it isn't the man's actual name. Also, since he was supposed to be a Hebrew that was raised in the Egyptian court, he more than likely had both a Hebrew name as well as an Egyptian name. "Moses" might simply be a shortened version of his Egyptian name; a nickname, or alias of a sort.

As for the rest of the story...the various plagues, the flight to the Red Sea, etc...take a look at the Papyrus Ipuwer. Also the inscription of Queen Hatshepsut at Speos Artemidos. And there is a black granite shrine at el-Arish on the border of Egypt with a hieroglyphic inscription that is very interesting.

Tsurugi:

The Egyptians were quite heavily influenced by the Semitic cultures. Egyptian culture dates back to about 3150 BC, whereas the earliest known Semitic culture, the Ubaidians, dates back to around 6500 BC.

"Hurry else Death may spy us here, and quicken the pulse of dawn . . ."

"The Egyptians were quite

"The Egyptians were quite heavily influenced by the Semitic cultures.”

Considering the fact that one-third (fourth?) of the world is descended from Shem -- including the Christ and the civilization that's arisen from His teachings -- I'd say that everyone's been influenced.

Good comments

+1

Osiris:

Thanks for reading and commenting, you raise some interesting points. There is one thing I feel I have to respond to : “The notion that an invented ‘god’ favors one people over all of its other creations is a primitive one at best, and a dangerous one at least.”

A Jewish friend of mine – a writer – told me that the idea that the Jews are ‘the chosen race’ has been misunderstood in a way that has often been used to justify antisemitism. The key theological point is what the Jews were supposed to have been chosen FOR: they were chosen to suffer in atonement for the sins of all Mankind. Admittedly, there is a kind of passive arrogance in that, but it’s a lot less arrogant than the more widespread interpretation makes it seem.

"Hurry else Death may spy us here, and quicken the pulse of dawn . . ."

Hebrews in the OT

"The key theological point is what the Jews were supposed to have been chosen FOR: they were chosen to suffer in atonement for the sins of all Mankind."

There’s a reason that’s not the common interpretation—it’s extremely inconsistent with the stories in the OT.  “God” (so the story goes) made a covenant with the Jews, and they only suffered, though spectacularly, when they disobeyed his commands.  Conversely, they wrought all manner of horrible destruction on other peoples when he was at their side.  I mean jeeze, he told them to go into the promised land and kill everything that breathes.  Is the behavior of modern-day Zionists in Palestine of any wonder?

 
horrible destruction

Have you read the koran?  Destruction, slaughter, enslaveing, raping-even children?

Witnessed by the whole world to this day by these ‘best of people’ repeating the actions of their prophet and as described in the koran.

What is you motivation here?

   
Not a tu quoque

There is a vast gulf between the God of Israel and Muhammad's allah: One died for the life of the world; the other demands the rape, enslavement, and slaughter of all who refuse the "invitation" to convert.

There is no comparison.

Comparison

Which one are you talking about in this, god or allah. Because I can’t tell. Actually it sounds like god and allah are fictional ‘snakes,serpents, etc’ made up to place the blame for all of their own sins. Jesus = serpent. I like to do word meanings and if letters have a real  and singular meaning. Here’s my attempt with Jesus. God was supposedly the father or creator. G is the first letter of gas but seemed to be too rigid a sound to coincide with the substance. J may have been an attempt to reconnect people with the old testament god but who would be the Holy Spirit. So g to J to H. The new testament may have been written by someone assuming the old testament was written in code (with all those lmade up fairy tales who wouldn’t) and so wrote the entire NT under pen names believing it was a prophecy that the true sons of god would become extinct and the apocalypse would begin. I believe the event took place very early in history. But Jesus represented the last generation of the children of god. He was called the son of God because he was the last and only generation (supposedly), but was not a real person. So G and J are closely related letters, J being softer and more like a real gas, god being more like a solid, gold for instance. The e in jesus may point to Eden where a very similar sacrifice took place. And so is the first s? Satan, serpent, both were blamed for mens sins when men were responsible. Now the serpent/snake’s head is bruised by man’s heel which is war carried out by almost all humanity. In other word’s it’s just getting the tip of the spear compared of all the blood being spilled. The serpent also represent humanity, a closer idea of how many people were created during creation with 200-400 ribs. So the snake replaced the serpent in the future, it’s head being bruised instead of the serpent. The serpent was actually Adam who thought the snake had been removed from him (salvation). But Adam didn’t know that there is no devil or angels and that the true god is a spirit and the only spirit and blasphemy is wanting to be god, to “be a spirit”. The serpent continued to represent humanity. Total amount of bones in one man-appx amount of nationalities today. So the serpent is mankind and they war. Funny how the Jews Pharisees, old testament believers, or far i see people because they couldn’t remember their own garden of eden story. God walked with them in the garden and spoke with them and made them skins when they left. sus could also represent seas on  both side of something blocking their view of all people. The u I don’t know but if J and soft letters represent gas, seas, ‘a’ letter would represent an idea, something non physical. The last letters ‘us’ may represent the followers of the Holy Spirit. But they are blasphemers.

   Warlock

How dishonest

they wrought all manner of horrible destruction on other peoples when he was at their side.  I mean jeeze, he told them to go into the promised land and kill everything that breathes.  Is the behavior of modern-day Zionists in Palestine of any wonder?

You’re implying that the God of the Bible is a capricious monster who delights in slaughtering the innocent, which is absurd. The Conquest of Canaan was a dispossession, a Divine judgment for great sin (including child sacrifice). The Canaanites had several decades of advance notice of what was to come, as evidenced by the testimony of the Canaanite woman who told the Hebrew spies that the people of the land were terrified of them because of what their God had done to Egypt. Those who remained were to be killed.

Israel did not obey the command; later, when they had adopted the Canaanites’ depraved deities and began committing the same sins, they faced the same fate at the hands of the Babylonians: Leave, or be destroyed.

You’re also employing the language of jihad's apologists, which is disgraceful and depraved. Modern Israel seeks only to defend itself from those sworn to their destruction. Why do you want innocent people helpless in the face of Allah-mandated genocide?

What does Moses say?

“The key theological point is what the Jews were supposed to have been chosen FOR: they were chosen to suffer in atonement for the sins of all Mankind.”

The ancient Hebrews were chosen to be the people from whom would come the Messiah. He suffered and died for the sins of the world.

favors one people

does this bother you?

<i>  But the allah tells muslims in Koran 3:110:

 “Ye are the best of Peoples, evolved for mankind, enjoining what is right, forbidding what is wrong, and believing in Allah. If only the People of the Book had Faith, it were best for them: among them are some who have Faith, but most of them are perverted transgressors.”</i>

how about this, does this bother you?

<i>  However, this is exactly what God’s word tells us; salvation is only found in a relationship with Jesus Christ (Acts 4:12; John 14:6).   </i>

 

or do only Jews, and their made up God bother you?

 

Take a long look in your mirror

     
Reply to #2

Hi osiris, the mere fact there are different translations to the Bible as it stands in terms of what familiarity one may have as regarding ancient texts, some wll older in terms of the things sometimes described. It has been written that the Old Testament is based on the Torah, but perhaps it is the other way around just because without God that same people would be serving the Babylonian Harlot. Is is just one letter off? That is, between the word Torah, and as a reversed form written as ‘Harot’, there is only an ‘l’ missing to make it the other word.

Not all of the writings of what Jesus originally wrote could ever fit all the books of the world, just because God has accounted for having done an innumerable amount of instances, that how could a single book ever carry all of who is really God? Why today the world system is most confused as to how they will step away from all that will be delivered by way of what they have done.

The more they do, all the worse will be placed upon them. The Bible says there are a type of people who are chosen and they're not all good who follow him. Also those who do will suffer persecution. There is all sorts of proof as to what you are saying, but there is something also outside of all of that. It’s all disguised tell the exact same stories they all tried when they tried continuously cover what some may have known all along that great power would be felt inside of Egypt. They cannot get away from it.

Matthias is the Math of Ma’at. It’s also found in the story of Alexander the Great and the Books of Maccabees I & II as it describes what the aliens did to destroy most of Egypt. Those Gods they depict are mostly the true realism of it. There are no mistakes as to what they wrote. Even they could write. They’re the ones who wrote against the scribes. It was the pharisees who replaced the pharaohs when they destroyed Jesus.

He wrote those same Gospels. The Holy Spirit is who wrote. God is a spirit. He is the light. In him, there is no darkness a single time unless man wants it. Well since he so often sows to it, that is what it will be delivered as in terms of there are types or forms of supposed human life forms which must be made extinct. All they have done is lied about everything the word of God said as regarding the Sphinx. That is Judah's witness to the Lion’s Kingdom.

“The Gospel of the Holy Twelve” is considered to be the basis of the 4 Gospels written and added to the book called the bible, which is part-truth, not all of it is to just be accepted just 'as-is’ if it should happen to contradict the Ten Commandments. Though if it serves to enable money to present itself first as the most major contradiction to everything God is! Those giant edifices are what determined the borders. Man has filled the dirt up he walks upon with crosses.

The Akhenaten Revolution's very bad. Inside Bibles: Abydos is Seti's Temple so Abaddon; The Book of Revelation chapter nine.

The Great /\ of earth's foundation stones: the rising of the sun: Revelation 7 &amp; 14. The wolf is a dog o' tribe of Benjamin.

No, a lack of intellectual integrity

"the lack of proofreading in which each new chapter often contradicts the previous."

If you're referring to Genesis' Creation account, Moses isn't contradicting himself. Wouldn't he have noticed something so obvious? Wouldn't the millions of his fellow Hebrews who preserved his work as absolute fact have said, "Uh, Moses, we have a problem"?

A lack of reading comprehension on your part does not constitute a “lack of proofreading" on Moses’ part.

Rizzman:

Good point. I really don’t know enough about Judaism to debate it, but I’ll ask my Jewish friend what she thinks.

"Hurry else Death may spy us here, and quicken the pulse of dawn . . ."

Breathtaking Ignorance

I don’t understand why you would want to comment publicly on a topic you have no knowledge of.  But for the record the Old Testament was originally recorded  during the Babylonian Exile.  Babylonia was was a large and cosmopolitan empire.  The Jews who were exiled there after the destruction of the Temple were apparently treated reasonably well.  They came in contact with many other cultures and religions and in time integrated into Babylonian  society, intermarrying and converting to other religions.  When they were allowed to return to their homeland only something like a third actually returned.

Whoever wrote the Torah borrowed from other religions and cultures around them, possibly because so much of their history and religion had been lost over the years or possibly because religions borrow from each other to entice converts.  Either way, all organized religions are the same and their beliefs can be pigeonholed as either: A – Man is Divine or Man is Base  and B – Man is essentially Good or Man is Evil.  Take one from column A and one from column B and you have every religion that has ever graced the Earth.

 

103
Bible origins

I enjoy reading opposing thoughts, for how else do we learn? And, I agree with some of the thoughts on this site.

I have been a student of comparative mythology for more than twenty years and one thing I’ve learned is that many of what we call the old religions must have had a common origin as they are so similar. In many cases, one culture took the names of another’s “gods” merely changing the name, sometimes as close as dropping or adding a single letter.

As for the Bible, my research has indicated that the OT was written down by the prophet Jeremiah after the Jews returned from exile in Babylon. Since prior to that, the “religion” of the Jews was oral, it makes sense that they incorporated the tales and legends of the different peoples they encountered while in Babylon, merely changing the names to Hebrew ones.

I do not believe that the Bible becomes more accurate until we reach Judges and Kings (though I think some mythology was incorporated in some of the characters i.e. David, who supposedly kills Goliath both with and without a sword and later someone named Elhanan is credited with killing Goliath - who is later claimed to kill the brother of Goliath).

I consider myself a Christian, yet I do not believe that the Bible is the “Word of God”. Otherwise, there would not be so many contradictions. However, the Bible is valuable as a  template as to how we should live out lives.

IMHO mythology is valuable as it relates not only the ancient history of a people (usually from a time before tales were written down) but also gives insight into their thoughts, mores and ideals.

Hopefully, open conversation will continue without undue criticism from others. It’s ok to disagree, but I don’t feel that anyone should be entirely negative. If you must post a disagreement, please cite references to uphold your reasoning.

You have Moses' words

“As for the Bible, my research has indicated that the OT was written down by the prophet Jeremiah after the Jews returned from exile in Babylon.”

You can conclude that only if you haven’t read the various works comprising the Old Testament and ignore their history.

That's ironic

the Old Testament was originally recorded  during the Babylonian Exile.

Speaking of "no knowledge," only someone to whom the Biblical texts are completely foreign can say that they were first recorded in Babylon. Ignoring centuries of recorded history is not “scholarship.”

As for your perverse and false dichotomy, there is an Option C: Man is evil, but God loved the world so much that He gave His only Son, that whoever trusts in Him will live forever.

dissuction

hi

sorry but i dont about topic

   
Interesting post.

Interesting post.

Bible

I’ve studied the bible a lot and I think if you look at the author/s as more explaining creation and the world from their own personal opinion it gives a clearer view of how the bible was written and how to interpret it. When man and woman were cast out of the garden the author tells of a flaming sword that turned in all directions to keep people out. I really think the flaming sword was the sun revolving around the earth. And I also believe there were more than two people at creation but only a male and female couple dispersed throughout the world, so they just assumed they were alone. I think each couple had a language to share and the tower of Babel was how the writer explained in his own mind why there was more than one language when for so long (having never encountered other people) he believed there was only one. And the flood story probably happened some time after he saw an ocean for the first time and couldn’t explain where all the water came from, especially if he lived in the desert for much time.

   Warlock

Making stuff up isn't "study"

[...] I think [...] I really think [...] I also believe [...] I think [...] probably happened [...].

Instead of completely fabricating what you wish the Biblical authors were thinking, why don't you actually read them, and -- in the absence of compelling contradictory evidence – take them at their word?

Correlation does not equal causation

“the Bible evolved from stories which date back”

Assuming that because two accounts share similarities, the more recent descended from the earlier is not the result of careful thinking. A contemporary historian writing from reliable records will produce a more truthful work than older storytellers passing down versions of the truth that have become corrupted over time.

Even if the Epic is older, Moses wrote from records that he possessed. (Besides that, he had uniquely direct access to the Authority on the subject.)

It makes sense that the common early history of Man would be passed down, however distorted, by Noah’s descendants around the world.

Top New Stories

Ancient Egyptian relief. Design by Anand Balaji.
At first glance it appears as though Pharaoh Akhenaten is someone whom one would describe as a textbook monotheist, but are we missing the plot? Apart from Amun (and later, Osiris) the king doesn’t seem to have come down heavily on other deities in the pantheon. Though not banned outright, their worship was not encouraged either—or perhaps there was an uneasy accommodation.

Myths & Legends

The Smelliest Women of Ancient Greece: Jason and the Argonauts Get Fragrant
We all know Aphrodite, Greek goddess of love and beauty, made sure that she was worshipped by punishing those who ignored her altars. One brief appearance of this wrath in the tale of Jason and the Argonauts turned into a particularly fragrant episode.

Ancient Places

Our Mission

At Ancient Origins, we believe that one of the most important fields of knowledge we can pursue as human beings is our beginnings. And while some people may seem content with the story as it stands, our view is that there exists countless mysteries, scientific anomalies and surprising artifacts that have yet to be discovered and explained.

The goal of Ancient Origins is to highlight recent archaeological discoveries, peer-reviewed academic research and evidence, as well as offering alternative viewpoints and explanations of science, archaeology, mythology, religion and history around the globe.

We’re the only Pop Archaeology site combining scientific research with out-of-the-box perspectives.

By bringing together top experts and authors, this archaeology website explores lost civilizations, examines sacred writings, tours ancient places, investigates ancient discoveries and questions mysterious happenings. Our open community is dedicated to digging into the origins of our species on planet earth, and question wherever the discoveries might take us. We seek to retell the story of our beginnings. 

Ancient Image Galleries

View from the Castle Gate (Burgtor). (Public Domain)
Door surrounded by roots of Tetrameles nudiflora in the Khmer temple of Ta Phrom, Angkor temple complex, located today in Cambodia. (CC BY-SA 3.0)
Cable car in the Xihai (West Sea) Grand Canyon (CC BY-SA 4.0)