Was this the garden of Eden/Noah's flood?

by little_Socrates 26 Replies latest watchtower bible

  • little_Socrates


    Jeffrey Rose, an archaeologist and researcher with the University of Birmingham in the U.K., says that the area in and around this "Persian Gulf Oasis" may have been host to humans for over 100,000 years before it was swallowed up by the Indian Ocean around 8,000 years ago. Rose's hypothesis introduces a "new and substantial cast of characters" to the human history of the Near East, and suggests that humans may have established permanent settlements in the region thousands of years before current migration models suppose.

    I just wanted to share my most recent line of study with you guys. Virtually ever Mesopotamian civilization has has a flood story. Even Greece has a myth of a great civilization being lost to flood. The timing of this corresponds nicely with the biblical account. Yes it is a couple thousand years earlier than JWs want to say with their 6,000 years of earth history but the timing is still pretty good.

    I personally believe that if you study up on this theory about the Persian gulf... the accounts in Genesis make a lot more sense. This doesn't prove inspiration or prove the existence of God. But it does suggest the bible may be a lot more historically accurate than many want to admit.

  • CalebInFloroda

    The narratives of Bereshit in the Torah, what most Christians refer to as Genesis, are not meant to be taken as historically accurate.

    They are culturally shaped narratives that carry lessons in morality, religious reflections on history, and a cherished mythos of the Jewish people deigned to set the stage or background for the Mosaic Law. While some of the individuals mentioned may have a historical basis of sorts depending on how you look at things, the main objective behind these writings was not to reduce them to "proof texts" as Jehovah's Witnesses do. They are our legends and mythology, our origins expressed in ancient ways that we Jews pass on as we find our place in the world and struggle to survive down through the ages.

    A literal Garden of Eden? An actual Ark for a real worldwide flood? These claims are very painful to listen to again and again. I find it quite insulting that non-Jews take it upon themselves to misrepresent the reasons for these texts and their place in our society. Twisting them to fit some preconceived idea that they must be literally true on some level is demeaning and intellectually dishonest. It also blinds people to the underlying moral lessons that get obscured when people claim that the details are more important than the interpretation of them from the people whose texts they are.

    My personal opinion is that if you can't speak the language they were originally composed in, then you are not in a position to tell others what these texts are or are not really about.

  • little_Socrates

    Thank you for your reply CalebinFloroda....

    I am not claiming the bible is to be taken completely literally. However what I am claiming... is the biblical stories are not made up fiction. They are true stories told through the cultural experiences of the people and handed down. Yea many details may have been added latter... but the myths started as truth.

    With so many people the bible is either all or nothing. Either every word is literally correct written by God... or the whole thing is fiction. I think the real story is somewhere in between.

  • Vidiot

    All myths and legends have origins.

    One of the things I liked about Darren Aronofsky's Noah was it's inherently "fantasy"-esque feel; approaching the source material that way (as opposed to trying to present it as a literal historical event) actually made the movie much more watchable.

  • CalebInFloroda

    While I am not saying that such narratives are free of some historical basis, I am warning against the trend where people attempt to make connections between science, history, and archeology that in the end make Scripture look bad.

    While I acknowledge that the Noachin flood might have origins in both surrounding cultural and historical reports, there isn't enough data to draw any complete lines that tie all things together in nice little packages.

    Granted you may not be doing these things with this type of information, but too many people do. A critical approach attempts to look at the text and accept it on its own merits, and that may be one that is meant to be legendary or at least given a legendary setting. Others often look at such data and see proof for the settings of a story that may have never intended to be accepted as set in fact.

    Truths often get passed along via artistic mediums, not factual reports. Looking at the Genesis settings and trying to make them fit historical facts can cause wrong conclusions.

    It's like trying to prove that Eva Durate de Peron sang a song about Argentina, finding out she did hum something on the night of her husband's election, and using this to say there is a basis for believing that the events on the balcony as portrayed in the musical "Evita" happened as Rice and Lloyd Webber constructed them. The story behind "Evita" is true, but the settings and scenes and the fact that they sing through the entire libretto are not.

    Trying to prove the story of the flood is real by data suggesting floods is like trying to prove Evita sang every word that came out of her mouth until she died. You can debate this for years, and in the end you will miss the true details about an enigmatic woman because you were focusing your attention on the wrong things.

  • freemindfade
    I think a better question would read "did the Mesopotamian myth of a global flood originate with these civilizations lost to the Persian gulf". Often these things reveal the origins. Not proof a myth was factual.
  • CalebInFloroda

    Great point, freemindfade.

    Things to ask about these accounts in Genesis are not whether they were historical but why were they composed at all.

    1. Since Judaism never developed an "original sin" doctrine, what is the reason behind the Garden of Eden narrative's preservation by the Jews?

    2. Why preserve a flood story shared by heathens who worshipped idols and pass it down as part of the lineage narrative that leads to Abraham?

    3. When were these narratives composed and is there evidence of redaction in their transmission? What does such redaction suggest?

    4. Why would the most ancient story of creation, the one that contains the story about Adam and Eve, be given second place to a much later tradition that now occupies chapter 1 in Genesis?

    These are more important things to consider than whether or not these stories represent factual history because they get to the reason for the narratives, their meanings, and whether or not they were meant to be considered as fact in the first place.,

  • RichardHaley
    It's kinda like watching a movie "based on a true story." You can bet ratio of fact vrs fiction leans heavily to the side of fiction. The fact is, it's still a "story" in the first place.
  • little_Socrates
    CalebinFlorida I hear your point and I agree. For me this is simply an exercise in intellectual curiosity. I am fascinated by it and will continue to educate myself.
  • Crazyguy

    I posted this under a thread I started called "I found the Garden of Eden."

    Ok Ok I didn’t really find it but I'm pretty sure I know where it is. It’s the same place the Sumerians called a holy land, and a garden of paradise. This place is also where Ninlil goddess of air lived. Its referred to as a Paradise garden in the epic of Gilgamesh. It’s also described in the epic story of Enki and Ninhursag as the site at which the Creation occurred. This place is also where Utnapishtim goes to live as an immortal in another flood story.

    The Babylonian Enuma Elish, speaks of the creation site as the place where the mixture of salt water, personified as Tiamat met and mingled with the fresh water of Abzu. This place in Arabic means "the twin waters", where the fresh water of the Arabian aquifer mingles with the salt waters of the Persian Gulf.

    And just like in the Genesis account 4 rivers once flowed in to this area, the Euphrates, the Tigris, Karun River and the Wadi al-Rummah. So where is it?

    Bahrain Kuwait, which centuries early was called Dilmun at the mouth of the Persian Gulf.

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