Ancient Sumerian Literature and the Bible

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posted on Mar, 17 2011 @ 08:53 PM
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Originally posted by Vizzle
reply to post by Lazarus Short
 


Not really. If people would actually read the OP, instead of seeing the word bible and spouting off nonsense, I do believe that this thread would go a lot farther. I do not bash the bible once in the OP, yet the thumpers have come out already WITHOUT EVEN READING THE OP, to bash the thread.

I would appreciate that anyone else who comments in this thread, READ THE OP IN ITS ENTIRETY before making comments.


OK, I went back and read the thing, and found that it was much as I expected, and similar to articles I had read before. I see no reason to change my stance one iota. BTW, I have read the Gilgamesh epic, and have a copy. I think the Biblical account makes the Sumerian account(s) look decayed, corrupted - Genesis, as always, shines like a sun.




posted on Mar, 17 2011 @ 08:57 PM
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The Sumarians didn't exist until after the flood.

There was a post-Babal five way split...

1. Phoenicea aka Sumeria or Canaan
2. Mizraim - Egypt XI Dynasty
3. Chaldea - Ur was the capital and Abraham came from here.
4. Greece (Attica, Arcadia, Sparta)
5. China - 1st Hiah Dynasty.

All five civilizations arose about the same time.

Abraham later came out of Ur of Chaldea and had lived in the household of the aging Noah while a boy...
...so Abraham was contemporary with the Sumarians and their stories...
...which were just different versions of the same Noah event...
...that changed like a Chinese whisper as it was retold within each split.

The biblical record of the event was written about 430 years after Abraham came out of Ur...
...it was written then by Moses in the preamble to the Torah...
...but it would have been passed down verbally...
...from Abraham to son Isaac and grandson Jacob (who was renamed Israel)...
...The Children of Israel are then the offspring of Abe's grandson Jacob (aka Israel)...

So Moses wrote the first five books of the Old Testament canon much later...
...so of course there are similarities between the Sumarian stories and the Biblical stories...
...but the Bible does not claim to have been written first...
....but it does record pre-flood events that occurred before the Sumarians existed.
edit on 17/3/11 by troubleshooter because: (no reason given)



posted on Mar, 17 2011 @ 08:58 PM
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Originally posted by chr0naut
reply to post by Vizzle
 


I apologise, I did read the whole post but the general trend of the post was that the Hebrew text copied the Sumerian and the possibility that it went the other way or that there was an earlier source was not well explained.


Thanks for reading the whole thing, I hope you enjoyed it more once you got through the whole thing =)



If you know the style of Akkadian documents, you CAN see echoes of that in the Genesis account.


yup, although, the akkadian documents were actually written AFTER the given date for moses writing the Torah.



Due to the limited room for writing on clay tablets (the Akkadian preference) they had to provide a way to link to other physical tablets. What they would do was write an attribution at the end of one tablet and the repeat the last line prior to the attribution on the next tablet. One could then follow the logical flow of a narrative.


True. Also, a lot of the original tablets have many lines of missing text. They actually used an even later version than akkadian to get the complete version of the Epic of Gilgamesh.



The genesis account contains "toledot" phrases which are generally assumed to be "these are the generations of" type geaneologies but which seem to miss important people. It these toledots actually mean "this is the account of" it makes more sense. The fact that the statement prior to the toledot phrase and the statement after having the same theme or wording would conform to the Akaddian tablet documentary form.


I know. I still hope for an earlier and more complete version of the Dead Sea Scrolls to clear up some of this.

Again, thanks for read all the way through. I do hope you enjoyed. It took about 2 months of research to write it =)



posted on Mar, 17 2011 @ 09:25 PM
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reply to post by Vizzle
 


I appreciate that you took the time to research it.

Unfortunately we can never really know exactly the full truth because it is likely that the earliest accounts were pre-literate and passed down verbally.

However, if the attribution/toledot phrase is an indication of the writer, we have written histories going back to Adam and written by his hand, in the Genesis account (of course this requires a smidgeon of faith over science).

That, linked with other authentications in the Genesis account, and also in my personal walk, lead me to my beliefs, although I acknowledge that my beliefs are based on facts which are circularly self-supporting and may not be the experience or beliefs of others.

ie: we each must find our own way for it to be true to ourselves.



posted on Mar, 17 2011 @ 09:30 PM
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Originally posted by chr0naut
reply to post by Vizzle
 


I appreciate that you took the time to research it.

Unfortunately we can never really know exactly the full truth because it is likely that the earliest accounts were pre-literate and passed down verbally.


Agreed. When we start getting that far back everything gets muddied. Do you ever wish the Great Library @ Alexandria was not burned. Imagine the documentation we could have had.



However, if the attribution/toledot phrase is an indication of the writer, we have written histories going back to Adam and written by his hand, in the Genesis account (of course this requires a smidgeon of faith over science).


For this, I used what I could cite. I do appreciate your faith though =)



That, linked with other authentications in the Genesis account, and also in my personal walk, lead me to my beliefs, although I acknowledge that my beliefs are based on facts which are circularly self-supporting and may not be the experience or beliefs of others.

ie: we each must find our own way for it to be true to ourselves.


If anything, the Epic of Gilgamesh and the Bible, together, are somewhat of a confirmation that a great flood DID in fact happen, which is still contested by some. I hope that if anything, my research and writing here broadens at least one persons perspective on the world around them. Again, thanks for taking the time =)

edit on 17-3-2011 by Vizzle because: nudity



posted on Mar, 17 2011 @ 09:56 PM
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I read your entire post. Thanks for doing the comparison.

My opinion is that both stories are just that, stories. They have similarities and I feel that much of the information is rooted in the same events.

The Bible has the benefit of being intact and well preserved over the years (at least the last 2500), where the Sumerian version has only recently been translated and is not complete. (I mention "missing text" sections of your post to show that the story is incomplete.)

I can not and don't think anyone else can say which story is more accurate at this point, since both are really stories that originated some time in our history, were passed down over the years orally before being written, and re-written many times. I am sure winning sides of wars and conflicts over the years have modified the story to promote their views, so their is going to be some distortion between the two if they started out as the same. The truth probably is somewhere in between the two.

I feel that many of those who have posted have touched on some key points though. Some members of cults, secret societies, etc claim the true story is the Sumerian version, and attempt to trace their roots back to the "gods" of creation. This may be to advance their agenda, or maybe they know something the rest of the world doesn't. Its for us as truth seekers to determine.

I also feel that the biblical accounts are accurate to an extent, but also due to editing over time have lost some of their true meaning. IE the stories of Lilith, Enoch, and many others have been relegated to a few lines in the Bible, thanks to the Council of Nicea and possibly earlier translations. When reading the bible I am left wondering a lot of times why things are mentioned but not elaborated on. IE, like the story of Enoch, why does the bible not tell us more about him, seeing he was taken by God? Is it because he was of little consequence to the rest of the story, or is their something the translators and editors are trying to keep from us ?

I try to take in all the accounts, consider their source, and search for confirmation in other writings as well as common sense to find the real meaning of the writings. My advice to all is to do the same and always seek the truth. My goal is to know and not be lead by man, but by truth.

Thanks



posted on Mar, 17 2011 @ 10:15 PM
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I enjoyed the article. Years ago I took an early humanities course and the instructor touched upon this briefly. As I recall she basically said that the bible was copied from earlier texts and she used the Epic of Gilgamesh and the story of Noah as her example.

I never believed that one account was copied or rewritten from another. I am not well researched or well read in these texts. I just personally think they are different descriptions of the same event(s). Take the new testament, the four gospels have slightly different takes on the same events. Small variances in the different accounts of Jesus. I wish I could add some exact quotes, but I am at work and do not have a bible handy.

This is just my humble opinion in an area I have not studied in great detail. Thank you for the thread. I have learned some new facts from the OP and the subsequent replies.



posted on Mar, 17 2011 @ 10:15 PM
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Thanks Essence. I enjoyed researching and writing it, and am glad you enjoyed it =) As to the missing text sections, I used those to be as authentic as possible when it came to the actual Sumerian translation. The people over at Oxford do some amazing work, and i recommend the ETCSL website to anyone who wishes to pursue the topic further, its a wonderful resource. I totally agree that the winner writes the history. Just look at ancient Rome and Egypt. Rewrites for days =) Anyhow, thanks for reading and I appreciate the comments =)



posted on Mar, 17 2011 @ 10:19 PM
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Originally posted by troubleshooter
Abraham later came out of Ur of Chaldea and had lived in the household of the aging Noah while a boy...
...so Abraham was contemporary with the Sumarians and their stories...
...which were just different versions of the same Noah event...
...that changed like a Chinese whisper as it was retold within each split.


Right, also keep in mind that Noah would have been alive the same time as Abraham and Nimrod. I believe Noah was an instrumental component in bringing about the event at Babel, the downfall of Nimrod (and Luciferianism) which led to the division of history from that point forward.



posted on Mar, 17 2011 @ 10:23 PM
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reply to post by ararisq
 


After writing the paper, I actually came to the personal conclusion that Noah and Utnapishtim are one in the same. The names only changed because of different dialects/cultures. Just my own opinion =)



posted on Mar, 17 2011 @ 10:24 PM
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Glad you enjoyed it. It was a lot of back and forth between all the different resources =)



posted on Mar, 17 2011 @ 10:32 PM
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reply to post by Vizzle
 


It would be nice to have a time machine and could go back and interview Noah and Moses. That would sure clear up the muddy waters. The good thing is I can talk to Jesus, I just need more practice listening.




posted on Mar, 17 2011 @ 10:38 PM
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Originally posted by EssenceOfSilence
reply to post by Vizzle
 


It would be nice to have a time machine and could go back and interview Noah and Moses. That would sure clear up the muddy waters. The good thing is I can talk to Jesus, I just need more practice listening.



If you do ever get one, let me know. I would love to come with, though I hope we could make a few more stops =)



posted on Mar, 18 2011 @ 12:00 AM
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reply to post by Vizzle
 

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.

Harte
edit on 3/18/2011 by Harte because: fat fingers



posted on Mar, 18 2011 @ 12:06 AM
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Mr. Harte,

I take your post as a serious compliment, as you have always been one of the few voices of reason here at ATS when it comes to ancient history. I lurked here for a long time before signing up. If the only thing you take issue with is the date that I give for the Torah, then I know that I have done a good job =) Heck, I even stated in the OP that:

"The theoretical date that religious scholars believe that the Hebrew Bible, the Torah was written by Moses is between 1446 and 1406 BCE."

Did you happen to have handy the Sumerian date?

Thank you for your additional information, and I do hope you enjoyed it =)

edit on 18-3-2011 by Vizzle because: St Paddys Day =)



posted on Mar, 18 2011 @ 12:21 AM
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Originally posted by EssenceOfSilence
Enoch, and many others have been relegated to a few lines in the Bible, thanks to the Council of Nicea and possibly earlier translations. When reading the bible I am left wondering a lot of times why things are mentioned but not elaborated on. IE, like the story of Enoch, why does the bible not tell us more about him, seeing he was taken by God? Is it because he was of little consequence to the rest of the story, or is their something the translators and editors are trying to keep from us ?


You might try reading the Book of Enoch - still in print. I have a copy, translated from the Ethiopic.

There is evidence that literacy and books go all the way back. Was there not some king in mesopotamia who boasted of having books from before the flood? The Book of Jasher relates the disposition of some relics from before the flood, also, specifically Adam's digging stick and clothes.

Now, to the OP, my apologies. I assumed that your article was just the same-old, same-old. That you did your own research is commendable. I caution you, however, not to mistake the oldest source as the best - it's a classic mistake.



posted on Mar, 18 2011 @ 12:25 AM
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Originally posted by Lazarus Short
Now, to the OP, my apologies. I assumed that your article was just the same-old, same-old. That you did your own research is commendable. I caution you, however, not to mistake the oldest source as the best - it's a classic mistake.


Totally understand. There is a lot of rehash these days on ATS, even 9 threads on the same topic because of the lack of knowing what the search function is. I do know that the oldest source is not always the best, especially since history is written by the winners. Also, when we get that far back in time, the resources get pretty muddy anyways. I tried to keep it as authentic as possible, for the sake of accuracy. If you have the time and inclinations, the ETCSL website is pretty neat. I recommend it if you would like to pursue knowledge into ancient sumeria. I really do hope that you did enjoy the OP, I spent a lot of time working on it. Back to St. Pattys Day for me =)



posted on Mar, 18 2011 @ 04:40 AM
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So what if one takes into account that noah lived to be around 700 years old I think it was? According to the bible people lived anywhere from 250 years up to almost 1000 years.. until the times of the great flood at least. could this change the view on timelines?
edit on 18/3/2011 by faceoff85 because: (no reason given)



posted on Mar, 18 2011 @ 07:57 AM
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reply to post by Vizzle
 
hi vizzle. interesting topic.

do you think this is enki in the abzu or utnapishtim in the ark? at gutenburg they say its utnapishtim but at etsl you would think it must be enki in the abzu. is it both maybe?









posted on Mar, 18 2011 @ 08:15 AM
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having read both, the similarities regarding the deluges described can be explained thus. both include such an event because it happened. why does the argument have to be made that one stole it from the other, or based it on the other's account? if there was such a deluge catastrophe, any and all survivors would have talked about it til they died. on to the age of both accounts. there can be an argument made that the older account is more accurate. simply put, written earlier in time is more fresh in memory and better evidence of accuracy. the issue is this: there are more recovered early manuscripts and documents regarding the hebrew bible (meaning torah- the law; the prophets; and other writings) than other ancient religions. the issue with recorded history is that the earlier you go, written forms of language are not as developed. early human history was catalogued in oral tradition. this is not to say that wasn't effective, since much of the earlier greek myth stories were passed down in oral tradition. bottom line, the hebraic texts surviving even to this day are fairly vast and ancient. older than the written forms of gilgamesh epic and such.





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