Is the bible plaigiarized from Sumerian/Egyptian texts?

by Black Man 11 Replies latest watchtower bible

  • Black Man
    Black Man

    I haven't had the opportunity to research this deeply, but I've heard many critics/scholars assert that the bible is nothing more than plaigiarisms from ancient Sumerian/Edyptian texts (which I can definitely believe). Those texts have flood legends, genesis account, and various other stories that make their appearance in the bible. I'd love to go into this rabbit hole and hope some of the scholarly minds here on JWN will guide me to some info on this. What say you JWN?

    Thanks in advance! Love this net thang and the opportunity to expand my mind!!

  • MrFreeze

    There are lots of different groups that have flood legends and a genesis account.

  • NewChapter

    You may want to look over the Law Code of Hammurabi. He was a Sumerian king. You'll see quite a few similarities between that law and the law code of Moses. For instance, eye for an eye is in there. Was this plagerism? I think it was actually just the value system of Mesopotamia, and it was inculcated into Hebrew culture for centuries.

    That law code is available on line. I had to write a paper on it, and was surprised at some of the similarities.


  • NewChapter

    Floods were a big deal in Mesopotamia---located between the Tigris and the Euphrates. The first legend was of Gilgamesh (sumerian) and how he survived a world wide flood. Again, a story that would have been part of Hebrew culture because they are from that area.

  • NewChapter

    Here is a website that compares the law code of Hammurabi with the law code of Moses. It is broken down rather simply, which is good. I haven't looked it over in detail, but it looks interesting.

  • Band on the Run
    Band on the Run

    I think "plagarize" is too strong a word. These stories were part of the culture from which Hebrew emerged. I never knew it before coming here but there are many references in the OT to stories or books which no longer exist. Also, as C.S. Lewis pointed out in Mere Christianity, moral codes are the same throughout the world.

    The monotheism seems unique to Judaism but now I wonder about that aspect, too.

    It makes sense if you don't believe in a fundamentalist view of the Bible.

  • blondie

    But the question is which came first, the chicken or the egg. Tangible Sumerian records are testable as to age and consistency. But there are no records from the original bible times in existence. What is the age of the existing records of the OT? The WTS says that Moses had in his possession scrolls written by Adam, Enoch, and other pre-flood individuals that Shem preserved in the Ark and passed onto his descendants that the WTS eventually became the Jews. That Moses used those scrolls to write Genesis. But we don't have those scrolls. And once again what are the oldest writings we have that back the OT?

    *** it-1 pp. 919-920 Genesis, Book of ***

    From where did Moses get the information he included in Genesis?

    All the information contained in the book of Genesis relates to events that took place prior to Moses’ birth. It could have been received directly by divine revelation. It is obviousthat someone had to receive the information relating to the events prior to man’s creation in that way, whether Moses or someone prior to him. (Ge 1:1-27; 2:7, 8) This information and the remaining details, however, could have been transmitted to Moses by means of oral tradition. Because of the long life span of men of that period, the information could have been passed from Adam to Moses through just five human links, namely, Methuselah, Shem, Isaac, Levi, and Amram. A third possibility is that Moses obtained much of the information for Genesis from already existing writings or documents. As far back as the 18th century, the Dutch scholar Campegius Vitringa held this view, basing his conclusion upon the frequent occurrence in Genesis (ten times) of the expression (in KJ) "these are the generations of," and once "this is the book of the generations of." (Ge 2:4; 5:1; 6:9; 10:1; 11:10, 27; 25:12, 19; 36:1, 9; 37:2) In this expression the Hebrew word for "generations" is toh?le?dhohth´, and it is better rendered "histories" or "origins." For example, "generations of the heavens and of the earth" would hardly be fitting, whereas "history of the heavens and the earth" is meaningful. (Ge 2:4) In harmony with this, the German Elberfelder, the French Crampon, and the Spanish Bover-Cantera all use the term "history," as does the NewWorldTranslation. There is no doubt that even as men today are interested in an accurate historical record, so they have been from the start.

    For these reasons, Vitringa and others since have understood each use of toh?le?dhohth´ in Genesis to refer to an already existing written historical document that Moses had in his possession and that he relied upon for the majority of the information recorded in Genesis. They believe that the persons named in direct connection with such ‘histories’ (Adam, Noah, Noah’s sons, Shem, Terah, Ishmael, Isaac, Esau, and Jacob) were either the writers or original possessors of those written documents. This, of course, would still leave unexplained how all such documents came to be in the possession of Moses. It also leaves unexplained why documents obtained from men who were not distinguished as faithful worshipers of Jehovah (such as Ishmael and Esau) should be the source of much of the information used. It is entirely possible that the expression "This is the history of" is simply an introductory phrase serving conveniently to divide off the various sections of the long overall history. Compare Matthew’s use of a similar expression to introduce his Gospel account.—Mt 1:1; see WRITING.

    No definite conclusion can be arrived at, therefore, as to the immediate source from which Moses obtained the information he recorded. Rather than just by one of the methods discussed, the information may have been received by all three, some through direct revelation, some through oral transmission, some by written records. The important point is that Jehovah God guided the prophet Moses so that he wrote by divine inspiration.—2Pe 1:21.

    The material was to serve as an inspired guide to future generations. It was to be read to the people on frequent occasions (De 31:10-12; 2Ki 23:2, 3; Ne 8:2, 3, 18), and Israel’s kings were to take instructions from it.—De 17:18, 19.

  • Black Sheep
    Black Sheep

    Have you read "The Paganism in Our Christianity" by Arthur Weigall?

    He is quoted in the Trinity brochure and several Watchtowers.

    He came to the conclusion that, during the writing and compilation of the NT, elements palatable to Pagans had been incorporated in an attempt to create one unified religion instead of having a raft of sects slinging insults at each other.

    BTW, that didn't prevent him being a Christian.

  • ziddina

    As others have pointed out, stories like the "flood", "Moses" being left in a reed basket for a princess to discover, creation stories, and so on, have been around in many Near and Middle Eastern civilizations...

    The fact is, the Hebrew nation was a rank newcomer compared to the Sumerian and Egyptian civilizations, among others. Like the Minoan civilization, and the Canaanites, and so on...

    Just for comparison, Stonehenge, some of the Egyptian pyramids, goddess temples on Malta, cave paintings in the south of France, and various "Venus" figurines, are ALL older than the bible - MUCH older, in many cases. (Stonehenge - around 1,000 years older [approx]; Egyptian pyramids and religious texts - 1,000 years older [approx]; temples on Malta - I'll have to look that one up; cave paintings - at least 12,000 years older by the more conservative estimates; some of the "Venus" figurines are well over 100,000 years older and the "Berekhat Ram" figurine, which was found in Israel, ironically, is AT LEAST 232,000 years old and may be as old as 800,000 years...) Just to give you an idea...

    I'd suggest that you look up the on-board member "Leolaia" and read her past threads and posts. She's an Uber-bible scholar, and can usually point one in the correct direction [if not supply the information] to research the origins of biblical mythology...

    Zid she devil with flames

  • compound complex
    compound complex

    Check out Sigmund Freud's Moses and Monotheism.

    Moses and Monotheism , 1939 by Sigmund Freud , ISBN 978-0394700144 (originally appearing in German in 1937 as: Der Mann Moses und die monotheistische Religion) is a book where Freud hypothesizes that Moses was not Jewish, but actually born into Ancient Egyptian nobility and was perhaps a follower of Akhenaten, an ancient Egyptian monotheist, or perhaps Akhenaten himself.


Share this