reply to post by Vizzle
I only take issue with the date for the Torah that you gave.
Your date is the traditional date believed by religious scholars. These scholars have a built-in bias - their religion.
A more likely date is after the 9th century BC, possibly around 700 BC or so.
It is proposed, however, that the Torah consists of stories that existed in similar forms in an earlier oral tradition.
As an aside, I want also to mention that no date you gave coincides with Sumer, where the tale of Utnapishtim is thought to have originated.
Your Sumerian dates are Akkadian and Babylonian, actually, as are the tablets with the stories of both Gilgamesh and Utnapishtim.
Scholars refer to the region and culture as Sumerian, which causes confusion. Part of the reason is the written language is that of Sumer, which was
adopted by the Akkadians when they conquered the Sumerians around 2270 BC and continued to be used as the "official" written languge by the
Babylonians, who took over the place around 1700 BC.
Believers will believe what they want, and good for them I say.
However, there is no reason to believe that the flood myth in the Bible isn't just a retelling and embellishment of the same myth from Sumer. That
is, they are almost certainly not two different versions of the same incident. They are both the remnants of a Sumerian story about a particularly
large river flood.
There was an ancient religion in the area that came between the time of the Sumerian religion and that of the Hebrews. It was an ancient Canaanite
religion that readers of the Bible are somewhat familair with (Ba'al and the boys.)
What many aren't aware of, and don't really want to know, is that Yahweh was one of the many gods in that ancient pantheon that was worshiped before
there was ever a Hebrew faith in any form (see tablet KTU 1.1 IV 14 from the Ugarit texts.)
The Ugaritic religion is, in fact, what the Hebrew religion developed from. There was no great revelation for Abraham or Moses, Yahweh simply
evolved into a monotheistic god from a polytheistic one.
edit on 3/18/2011 by Harte because: fat fingers