Why is the Bible wrong?

by StinkyPantz 108 Replies latest watchtower bible

  • hooberus
    hooberus ...thats a tall order. The O.T. was a melding of Jewish origin legend with other Mesopotamian cult theologies reedited through the 3rd to 1rst centuries B.C. under Greek influence.

    What other mesopotamian cult theologies are you refering to?

    When you say reedited through the 3rd to 1st centuries B.C. under Greek influence, are you refering to the Greek septuagent? Of course most Bibles today base their OT text on the Hebrew anyway.

    I don't want a debate either, but I am interested in learning where you are coming from.

  • seedy3

    Most of the OT is, as peacefulpete indicated, based on older legends then the Hebrews. Most of it was taken from the Babylonians who actually got much of their legends from the Sumerians. The paralels are uncanny. The actual belief in a single ALMIGHTY god really came from the Egyptions with a bit of Zoroastrain thrown in from the period of the repopulating of israel after the Babylonian exile. The belief in Satan is where this also came from. It is suspected that much of the OT is not as old as it is purported to be, really being written or rewritten in or after 587BCE. The legends of Noah, Adam and such are direct references to the Sumerian stories in the Epochs of Gilgamesh and others, with a jewish twist added. During the Babylonian exile the hebrews lost most if not all of thier holy writings and it was not until after the exile was over that they were rewritten. By that time they had adopted much of their captors beliefs.

    The Exidous from Egypt didn't happen to the Hebrews it happened to the Hykos (spelling I gotta look it up and don't feel like it right now LOL), but not quite as the bible indicates. They were ran out of Egypt by the Egyptions and moved into the area of Canaan, it is suspected that much of the history in the first few books are adopted from their (Hykos) history, again with an added hebrew twist. The Patriarchs were most likely a combination of the Hebrew and Hykos ancestors along with some the Canaanites history.

    The NT's oldest known books are no older then about circa 60-70ad, most however not showing up on the scene until about 100-150ad. A few of the book aer suspect to be even much newer then that. All but a few of the books have really not been traced back to their suspected authors i.e. Matthew, Mark, John. The ones that are traced are mostly the letters Paul wrote, and a few others (I think James is evidenced but I would have to re-research it).

    The parallels again are uncanny when it is compaired to other religous beleifs during that time period. Mithras, Osirus, Attis, just to name 3 of them. They all died and were resurected, they were all called savour. They had a small group of men that closely followed them, and some of them even had the Last Supper scene complete with the "Drink this it means my blood and eat this it means my flesh" story line. They all practised babtisem or emersion, some were in blood, but not all. Many were called the word, the son of god, all of the names atributed to Jesus.

    The Christian Religon is not original except for the control part, the sin part, most other religions were very open to the others, you could be a worshipper of Attis and go to a Dionysus temple for worship without any problem, Osrius and go to a Mithras Cleric and they were accepted. But not so with Christian beliefs, That part is where the Jewish beleifs come in, the unmoving belief that everyone else is wrong we are the only right ones. Also the idea that Jesus washed away sins is another part that was not in the mystery cults, that I have so far found.

    An interesting website that does a comparison is here:


    Edited by - seedy3 on 5 February 2003 23:2:0

  • peacefulpete

    Hooberous did you read and carefully consider the link provided by seedy? If you did and wish to discuss it I will provide more details. If not then your question must be viewed as insincere. The other guys here of course will do what they feel is constructive. Progress involves equal parts learning and unlearning. If a person only learns new things without evaluation of how this alters their ideas it will only become disconected trivia having no influence upon his thinking. Unlearning is painful as it involves threatening and dismantling beliefs that have seemed secure. While it is possible for everyone it is a minority whose desire for correctness will let them go there. It was said that belief that what is true of oneself is true for all is genius. Therefore being aware that our feelings of religious confidence are not unique to us is a first step. All believers in all faiths feel just as sure of the grounding of their faith. This confidence therefore is not the measure of accuracy of those beliefs. A willingness to consider the possibilitythat we are equally likely to be as mistaken as others of different faiths is not a common quality. Is it in you? Do some research, start with the link provided. We can talk if after this you have more questions. The other guys here of course will do what they feel is constructive.

  • hooberus

    re: the Old Testament: What I am primarily interested in in this particular discussion is the textual evidence for these pre-biblical stories upon which many claim that the Old Testament is founded.

    For example the Sumerian and Babylonian "Adam" and "Flood/Gilgamesh" accounts. It would be nice if a complete english translation of these accounts could be posted. When I get time I'll check the link given. I have read parts of these accounts before, but would like a complete account. I am sincere in wanting this.

    However, I don't think that a somewhat parallel account even if it were reliably dated as being before the Biblical accounts would necessarily prove that the bible actually came from these sources. For example according to the Biblical account Babylon was the first major city following the flood. (possible dates for the flood range from 5,000bc to 2300bc.) Therefore ifthe biblical account actually happened (I know that many here don't believe in the flood account as I do) then we would expect that the people of Babylon would have accounts of this event and would record them albeit in a paganized form similar to the Gilgamesh epic. We would then expect to find these paganized accounts in ancient Babylonian tablets (which we do such as Gilgamesh). Of course it will be argued by the otherside that If the Bible has a pagan source then we would expect to find similar pagan sources pre-dating the Hebrew, (which we do such as Gilgamesh). So there are two possible ways to interpret pre-Hebrew pagan data.

    Just because I may not accept you interpretation of the data does not however mean that I am not interested in the hard data itself or that I am blinded by religious zeal. I am willing to look at things from different perspectives as I hope that you are also. I woun't accuse you of "not being interested in the truth" or of "not being willing to reconsider your beliefs" if your interpretations disagree with mine and I woul'd appreciate the same treatment from those of you who disagree with my interpretations.

    In summary if someone actually has an english translation of these OT accounts could they please post it here. I don't mind going to other sites to try and find it, but you guys can probably find the direct accounts easier than me.

    Edited by - hooberus on 6 February 2003 14:29:27

  • Xander

    Hooberus, you obviously haven't read that site.

    The author goes into great - nay, excrutiating - detail on a key topic: The world as the ancients saw it was not like our perception at all.

    You try to explain away the flood and recordings of it based on how a society TODAY would do things - the world just didn't work that way back then.

  • hooberus

    Xander, I use a public library for the internet so my time is limited. The site given seems to me to be primarily new testament origins. I would prefer to start with the OT "pagan" accounts first then move on to the NT.

    I also an primarily interested in the direct accounts themselves before going on to a discussion and interpretation of the accounts.

    Edited by - hooberus on 6 February 2003 14:36:31

  • rem


    I'm not sure about the other materials, but here is a translation of the flood story in the Epic of Gilgamesh:


    Also, here are some summaries of the Gilgamesh tablets and the stories contained in them:




    There are many more with a Yahoo or Google on 'Epic of Gilgamesh". I have not read these pages, so I cannot attest to their accuracy.


  • peacefulpete

    Hooberus.. Your response made my heartfelt advice out to be a slam. It wasn't, Iv'e been where you are. Stop yourself for a monment and take a breath. The request for more information can be best filled by your reading books such as Frank Moore Cross' work entitled: Canaanite Myth and Hebrew Epic. The legends of old were fragmentary and short. In fact the Scolars who study writings from the time that the oldest parts of the Bible were supposedly written find no other lenghty narrative type literature in any culture. This is indirect evidence that the books were formed later utilizing perhaps much older material from poem and song. This means then that finding a 4000 year old book from pagan sources is not possible. We must utilize reference works that reprint the short often framentary pieces that have survived. Also other sources such as temple wall carvings (such as the Krishna birth narrative and crucifiction story that parallels Jesus'. The writtten texts only take us back to about the first century CE but the story was preserved on the wall in Tripetti-Elephantine and dates to 200 BC. This is confirmed by the writer Strabo who spoke of what he saw and who died before Jesus birth.) and inscriptions offer a look at the motifs and legends associated with the culture. A good source for such books is BBsmith.com they specialize in Bibical archeological books. Another fact that must be recognized is that there are no Bible copies older than he 2nd century BC. Also in the books from this time there is considerable variation in the tales. It is not possible to cover such a subject from every angle here. It will require you read a number of books for yourself. A last thought. The old book : The Bible as History by Keller is still in print and although it does not contain the newest findings and the author's faith does at times cloud his judgement it does introduce a person to the facts of history.

    Edited by - peacefulpete on 6 February 2003 17:16:25

  • hooberus

    Is this a complete translation of the flood account or is it abreviated?



    Gilgamesh has made a long and difficult journey to learn how Utnapishtim acquired eternal life. In answer to his questions, Utnapishtim tells the following story. Once upon a time, the gods destroyed the ancient city of Shuruppah in a great flood. But Utnapishtim, forewarned by Ea, managed to survive by building a great ship. His immortality was a gift bestowed by the repentant gods in recognition of his ingenuity and his faithfulness in reinstituting the sacrifice.

    Shurippak -a city which thou knowest,

    (And) which on Euphrates' banks is set-

    That city was ancient, (as were) the gods within it,

    When their heart led the great gods to produce the flood.

    There were Anu, their father,

    Valiant Enlil, their counselor,

    Ninurta, their herald,

    Ennuge, their irrigator.

    Ninigiku-Ea was also present with them;

    Their words he repeats to the reed-hut:1

    'Reed-hut, reed-hut! Wall! Wall!

    Reed-hut, hearken! Wall, reflect!

    Man of Shuruppak, 2 son of Ubar-Tutu,

    Tear down (this) house, build a ship!

    Give up possessions, seek thou life.

    Despise property and keep the soul alive.

    Aboard the ship take thou the seed of all living things.

    The ship that thou shalt build,

    Her dimensions shall be to measure.

    Equal shall be her width and her length.

    Like the Apsu 3 thou shalt ceil her.'

    I understood, and I said to Ea, my lord:

    'Behold, my lord, what thou hast thus ordered,

    I shall be honoured to carry out.

    But what shall I answer the city, the people and elders?'

    Ea opened his mouth to speak,

    Saying to me, his servant:

    'Thou shalt then thus speak unto them:

    "I have learned that Enlil is hostile to me,

    So that I cannot reside in your city,

    Nor set my foot in Enlil's territory.

    To the Deep I will therefore go down,

    To dwell with my lord Ea.

    But upon you he will shower down abundance,

    The choicest birds, the rarest fishes.

    The land shall have its fill of harvest riches.

    He who at dusk orders the hush-greens,

    Will shower down upon you a rain of wheat.4

    With the first glow of dawn,

    The land was gathered about me.

    (too fragmentary for translation]

    The little ones carried bitumen,

    While the grown ones brought all else that was needful.

    On the fifth day I laid her framework.

    One (whole) acre was her floor space,

    Ten dozen cubits the height of each of her walls,

    Ten dozen cubits each edge of the square deck.

    I laid out the shape of her sides and joined her together.

    I provided her with six decks,

    Dividing her (thus) into seven parts.

    Her floor plan I divided into nine parts.

    I hammered water-plugs into her.

    I saw to the punting-poles and laid in supplies.

    Six 'sar' (measures), 5 of bitumen I poured into the furnace,

    Three sar of asphalt I also poured inside.

    Three sar of the basket-bearers transferred,

    Aside from the one sar of oil which the calking consumed,

    And the two sar of oil which the boatman stowed away.

    Bullocks I slaughtered for the people,

    And I killed sheep every day.

    Must, red wine, oil, and white wine

    I gave the workmen to drink, as though river water,

    That they might feast as on New Year's Day. . . .

    On the seventh day the ship was completed.

    The launching was very difficult,

    So that they had to shift the floor planks above and below,

    Until two-thirds of the structure had gone into the water.

    Whatever I had I laded upon her.

    Whatever I had of silver I laded upon her,

    Whatever I had of gold I laded upon her,

    Whatever I had of all the living beings I laded upon her.

    All my family and kin I made go aboard the ship.

    The beasts of the field, the wild creatures of the field,

    All the craftsmen I made go aboard.

    Shamash had set for me a stated time:

    'When he who orders unease at night

    Will shower down a rain of blight,

    Board thou the ship and batten up the gate!'

    That stated time had arrived:

    'He who orders unease at night showers down a rain of blight.'

    I watched the appearance of the weather.

    The weather was awesome to behold.

    I boarded the ship and battened up the gate.

    To batten up the (whole) ship, to Puzar-Amurri, the boatman,

    I handed over the structure together with its contents.

    With the first glow of dawn,

    A black cloud rose up from the horizon.

    Inside it Adad 6 thunders,

    While Shallat and Hanish 7 go in front,

    Moving as heralds over hill and plain.

    Erragal 8 tears out the posts; 9

    Forth comes Ninurta and causes the dikes to follow.

    The Anunnaki lift up the torches,

    Setting the land ablaze with their glare.

    Consternation over Adad reaches to the heavens,

    Turning to blackness all that had been light.

    The wide land was shattered like a pot!

    For one day the south-storm blew,

    Gathering speed as it blew, submerging the mountains,

    Overtaking the people like a battle.

    No one can see his fellow,

    Nor can the people be recognized from heaven.

    The gods were frightened by the deluge,

    And, shrinking back, they ascended to the heaven of Anu.

    The gods cowered like dogs

    Crouched against the outer wall.

    Ishtar cried out like a woman in travail,

    The sweet-voiced mistress of the gods moans aloud:

    'The olden days are alas turned to clay,

    Because I bespoke evil in the Assembly of the gods,

    How could I bespeak evil in the Assembly of the gods,

    Ordering battle for the destruction of my people,

    When it is I myself who give birth to my people!

    Like the spawn of the fishes they fill the sea!'

    The Anunnaki gods weep with her,

    The gods, all humbled, sit and weep,

    Their lips drawn tight. . . . one and all.

    Six days and six nights

    Blows the flood wind, as the south-storm sweeps the land.

    When the seventh day arrived,

    The flood (-carrying) south-storm subsided in the battle,

    Which it had fought like an army.

    The sea-grew quiet, the tempest was still, the flood ceased.

    I looked at the weather. stillness had set in,

    And all of mankind had returned to clay.

    The landscape was as level as a flat roof.

    I opened a hatch, and light fell on my face.

    Bowing low, I sat and wept,

    Tears running down my face.

    I looked about for coast lines in the expanse of the sea:

    In each of fourteen (regions)

    There emerged a region (-mountain).

    On Mount Nisir the ship came to a halt.

    Mount Nisir held the ship fast,

    Allowing -no motion.


    [For six days the ship is held fast by Mount Nisir.]

    When the seventh day arrived,

    I sent forth and set free a dove.

    The dove went forth, but came back;

    There was no resting-place for it and she turned round.

    Then I sent forth and set free a swallow.

    The swallow went forth, but came back,

    There was no resting-place for it and she turned round.

    Then I sent forth and set free a raven.

    The raven went forth and, seeing that the waters had diminished,
    He eats, circles, caws, and turns not round.

    Then I let out (all) to the four winds

    And offered a sacrifice.

    I poured out a libation on the top of the mountain.

    Seven and seven cult-vessels I set up,
    Upon their plate-stands I heaped cane, cedarwood, and myrtle.

    The gods smelled the savour,

    The gods smelled the sweet savour,
    The gods crowded like flies about the sacrificer.

    As soon as the great goddess 10 arrived,

    She lifted up the great jewels which Anu had fashioned to her liking:

    'Ye gods here, as surely as this lapis

    Upon my neck I shall -not forget,

    I shall be mindful of these days, forgetting (them) never.

    Let the gods come to the offering:

    (But) let not Enlil come to the offering,
    For he, unreasoning, brought on the deluge
    And my people consigned to destruction.'
    As soon as Enlil arrived,
    And saw the ship, Enlil was wroth,
    He was filled with wrath against the Igigi gods: 11

    'Has some living soul escaped?

    No man was to survive the destruction!'

    Ninurta opened his mouth to speak,

    Saying to valiant Enlil:

    'Who other than Ea can devise plans?

    It is Ea alone who knows every matter.'

    Ea opened his mouth to speak,

    Saying to valiant Enlil:

    'Thou wisest of the gods, thou hero,

    How couldst thou, unreasoning, bring on the deluge?

    On the sinner impose his sin,

    On the transgressor impose his transgression!

    (Yet) be lenient, lest he be cut off, Be patient,

    lest he be dislodged

    Instead of thy bringing on the deluge,

    Would that a lion had risen up to diminish mankind!

    Instead of thy brining on the deluge,

    Would that a wolf had risen up to diminish mankind!

    Instead of thy bringing on the deluge,

    Would that a famine had risen up to lay low mankind!

    Instead of thy bringing on the deluge,

    Would that pestilence had risen up to smite down mankind!

    It was not I who disclosed the secret of the great gods.

    I let Atrahasis 12 see a dream,

    And he perceived the secret of the gods.

    Now then take counsel in regard to him!'

    Thereupon Enlil went aboard the ship.

    Holding me by the hand, he took me aboard.

    He took my wife aboard and made (her) kneel by my side.

    Standing between us, he touched our foreheads to bless us:

    'Hitherto Utnapishtim has been but human.

    Henceforth Utnapishtim and his wife shall be like unto us gods.

    Utnapishtim shall reside far away, at the mouth of the rivers!'

    Thus they took me and made me reside far away,

    At the mouth of the rivers.


    1 Probably the dwelling of Utnapishtim. The god Ea addresses him (through the barrier of the wall), telling him about the decision of the gods to bring on a flood and advising him to build a ship.

    2 Utnapishtim.

    3 The subterranean waters.

    4 The purpose is to deceive the inhabitants of Shuruppak as to the real intent of the rain.

    5 . A 'sar' is about 8,000 gallons.

    6 God of storm and rain.

    7 Heralds of Adad.

    8 I.e., Nergal, the god of the nether world.

    9 Of the world dam.

    10 Ishtar.

    12 'Exceeding wise,' an epithet of Utnapishtim.

    Translation by E. A. Speiser, in Ancient Near Eastern Texts (Princeton, 1950), pp. 60-72, as reprinted in Isaac Mendelsohn (ed.), Religions of the Ancient Near East, Library of Religion paperbook series (New York, 1955). PP. 100-6; notes by Mendelsohn

    Edited by - hooberus on 6 February 2003 18:27:39

  • hooberus

    peaceful pete said:

    "The legends of old were fragmentary and short. In fact the Scolars who study writings from the time that the oldest parts of the Bible were supposedly written find no other lenghty narrative type literature in any culture. This is indirect evidence that the books were formed later utilizing perhaps much older material from poem and song. This means then that finding a 4000 year old book from pagan sources is not possible. We must utilize reference works that reprint the short often framentary pieces that have survived."

    peaceful, what other fragmentary and short pieces are also (besides Gilgamesh) proposed for being sources for the OT? Isn't there also an "Adam" story? While I am sure that these are discussed more fully in the books which you recommended, I'd like to see a translation of these fragments posted directly (like the previous "Gilgamesh" post.)

    I would appreciate it if someone could post a translation of these other proposed sources for some of the accounts of the OT.

    Edited by - hooberus on 6 February 2003 18:44:26

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