Why is the Bible wrong?

by StinkyPantz 108 Replies latest watchtower bible

  • rem


    I'm not sure about Babylonian or other culture influence, but I have a book called The Other Bible which has many Jewish writings that didn't make it into the traditional Bible canon. It is very interesting reading - especially the several different creation stories. It seems that there were many different oral traditions and stories that were passed down and only some happened to be canonized. This book has both older Jewish writings and later Christian and Gnostic writings as well.

    This book is just English translations of these works or fragments of them that are surviving today.


    Edited by - rem on 6 February 2003 19:1:42

  • AlanF

    Hooberus said:

    : what other fragmentary and short pieces are also (besides Gilgamesh) proposed for being sources for the OT? Isn't there also an "Adam" story?

    There certainly is. It's the Babylonian creation epic called "Enuma Elish". Type that name into any search engine and you'll find plenty of references.

    For a quick look at the amazing similarities between Enuma Elish and the Genesis story, see my essay "The WTS View of Creation and Evolution", subtopic "The Genesis Account", here: http://www.geocities.com/osarsif/index2.htm . Just seach on "enuma".


  • hooberus

    Here is "Tablet 1" of the seven "tablets" Are most of the similarities that Alan gave (in his arcticle) just Tablet 1 or do we need the other tablets also?

    When on high the heaven had not been named,
    Firm ground below had not been called by name,
    When primordial Apsu, their begetter,
    And Mummu-Tiamat, she who bore them all,
    Their waters mingled as a single body,
    No reed hut had sprung forth, no marshland had appeared,
    None of the gods had been brought into being,
    And none bore a name, and no destinies determined--
    Then it was that the gods were formed in the midst of heaven.
    Lahmu and Lahamu were brought forth, by name they were called. (10)

    Before they had grown in age and stature,
    Anshar and Kishar were formed, surpassing the others.
    Long were the days, then there came forth.....
    Anu was their heir, of his fathers the rival;
    Yes, Anshar's first-born, Anu, was his equal.
    Anu begot in his image Nudimmud.
    This Nudimmud was of his fathers the master;
    Of broad wisdom, understanding, mighty in strength,
    Mightier by far than his grandfather, Anshar.
    He had no rival among the gods, his brothers. (20)

    Thus were established and were... the great gods.
    They disturbed Tiamat as they surged back and forth,
    Yes, they troubled the mood of Tiamat
    By their hilarity in the Abode of Heaven.
    Apsu could not lessen their clamor
    And Tiamat was speechless at their ways.
    Their doings were loathsome unto . . . .
    Thier way was evil; they were overbearing.
    Then Apsu, the begetter of the great gods,
    Cried out, addressing Mummu, his minister: (30)

    "O Mummu, my vizier, who rejoices my spirit,
    Come here and let us go to Tiamat!"
    They went and sat down before Tiamat,
    Exchanging counsel about the gods, their first-born.
    Apsu, opening his mouth,
    Said to resplendent Tiamat:
    "Their ways are truly loathsome to me.
    By day I find no relief, nor repose by night.
    I will destroy, I will wreck their ways,
    That quiet may be restored. Let us have rest!" (40)

    As soon as Tiamat heard this,
    She was furious and called out to her husband.
    She cried out aggrieved, as she raged all alone,
    She uttered a curse, and unto Apsu she spoke:
    "What? Should we destroy that which we have built?
    Their ways indeed are most troublesome, but let us attend kindly!"
    Then Mummu answered, giving counsel to Apsu;
    Ill-wishing and ungracious was Mummu's advice:
    "Do destroy, my father, the mutinous ways.
    Then you will have relief by day and rest by night!" (50)

    When Apsu heard this, his face grew radiant
    Because of the evil he planned against the gods, his sons.
    As for Mummu, he embraced him by the neck
    As that one sat down on his knees to kiss him.
    Now whatever they had plotted between them,
    Was repeated unto the gods, their first-born.
    When the gods heard this, they were astir,
    Then lapsed into silence and remained speechless.
    Surpassing in wisdom, accomplished, resourceful,
    Ea, the all-wise, saw through their scheme. (60)

    A master design against it he devised and set up,
    Made artful his spell against it, surpassing and holy.
    He recited it and made it subsist in the deep,
    As he poured sleep upon him. Sound asleep he lay.
    When he had made Apsu prone, drenched with sleep,
    Mummu, the adviser, was powerless to stir.
    He loosened his band, tore off his tiara,
    Removed his halo and put it on himself.
    Having fettered Apsu, he slew him.
    Mummu he bound and left behind lock. (70)

    Having thus established his dwelling upon Apsu,
    He laid hold of Mummu, holding him by the nose-rope.
    After Ea had vanquished and trodden down his foes,
    Had secured his triumph over his enemies,
    In his sacred chamber in profound peace had rested,
    He named it "Apsu," for shrines he assigned it.
    In that same place his cult hut he founded.
    Ea and Damkina, his wife, dwelled there in splendor.

    [The Birth of Marduk]In the chamber of fates, the abode of destinies,
    A god was engendered, most able and wisest of gods. (80)

    In the heart of Apsu was Marduk created,
    In the heart of holy Apsu was Marduk created.
    He who begot him was Ea, his father;
    She who bore him was Damkina, his mother.
    The breast of goddesses he did suck.
    The nurse that nursed him filled him with awesomeness.
    Alluring was his figure, sparkling the lift of his eyes.
    Lordly was his gait, commanding from of old.
    When Ea saw him, the father who begot him,
    He exulted and glowed, his heart filled with gladness. (90)

    He rendered him perfect and endowed him with a double godhead.
    Greatly exalted was he above them, exceeding throughout.
    Perfect were his members beyond comprehension,
    Unsuited for understanding, difficult to perceive.
    Four were his eyes, four were his ears;
    When he moved his lips, fire blazed forth.
    Large were all four hearing organs,
    And the eyes, in like number, scanned all things.
    He was the loftiest of the gods, surpassing was his stature;
    His members were enormous, he was exceeding tall. (100)

    "My little son, my little son!"
    My son, the Sun! Sun of the heavens!"
    Clothed with the halo of ten gods, he was strong to the utmost,
    As their awesome flashes were heaped upon him.
    Anu brought forth and begot the fourfold wind
    Consigning to its power the leader of the host.
    He fashioned . . . , stationed the whirlwind,
    He produced streams to disturb Tiamat.
    The gods, given no rest, suffer in the storm.
    Their hearts having plotted evil, (110)

    To Tiamat, their mother, said:
    "When they slew Apsu, your consort,
    You did not aid him but remained still.
    When he created the dread fourfold wind,
    Your vitals were diluted and so we can have no rest.
    Let Apsu, your consort, be in your mind
    And Mummu, who has been vanquished! You are left alone!
    . . . you pace about distraught,
    . . . without cease. You do not love us!
    . . . our eyes are pinched, (120)

    . . . without cease. Let us have rest!
    . . . to battle. Avenge them!
    . . . and render them as the wind!"
    When Tiamat heard these words, she was pleased:
    " . . . you have given. Let us make monsters,
    . . . and the gods in the midst . . . .
    . . . let us do battle and against the gods . . . !"
    They banded themselves together and marched at the side of Tiamat.
    Enraged, they plot without cease night and day,
    They are set for combat, growling, raging, (130)

    They form a council to prepare for the fight.
    Mother Hubur, she who fashions all things,
    Added matchless weapons, bore monster-serpents,
    Sharp of tooth, unsparing of fang.
    With venom for blood she has filled their bodies.
    Roaring dragons she has clothed with terror,
    Has crowned them with haloes, making them like gods,
    Whoever beheld them, terror overcame him,
    And that, with their bodies reared up, none might turn them back.
    She set up the Viper, the Dragon, and the monster Lahamu, (140)

    The Great-Lion, the Mad-Dog, and the Scorpion-Man,
    Mighty lion-demons, the Dragon-Fly, the Centaur--
    Bearing weapons that do not spare, fearless in battle.
    Her decrees were firm, they were beyond resisting.
    All together eleven of this kind she brought forth.
    From among the gods, her first-born, who formed her Assembly,
    She elevated Kingu, made him chief among them.
    The leading of the ranks, command of the Assembly,
    The raising of weapons for the encounter, advancing to combat,
    To direct the battle, to control the fight, (150)

    These she entrusted to his hand as she seated him in the Council:
    "I have cast for you the spell, exalting you in the Assembly of the gods.
    To counsel all the gods I have given you full power.
    Truly, you are supreme, you are my only consort!
    Your utterance shall prevail over all the Anunnaki!"
    She gave him the Tablet of Destinies, fastened on his breast:
    "As for you, your command shall be unchangeable, your word shall endure!"
    As soon as Kingu was elevated, possessed of the rank of Anu,
    they decreed the fate for the gods, his sons:
    "Your word shall make the first subside, (160)

    Shall humble the `Power-Weapon,' so potent in its sweep!"

    Edited by - hooberus on 6 February 2003 19:34:16

    Edited by - hooberus on 6 February 2003 19:46:30

  • hooberus

    Here is a summary of "Tablet 1"

    Tablet I

    The stage is set for the story. The various gods represent aspects of the physical world. Apsu is the god of fresh water and thus male fertility. Tiamat, wife of Apsu, is the goddess of the sea and thus chaos and threat. Tiamat gives birth to Anshar and Kishar, gods who represented the boundary between the earth and sky (the horizon). To Anshar and Kishar is born Anu, god of sky, who in turn bears Ea. These "sons of the gods" make so much commotion and are so ill-behaved that Apsu decides to destroy them. When Ea learns of the plan, he kills Apsu and with his wife Damkina establishes their dwelling above his body. Damkina then gives birth to Marduk, the god of spring symbolized both by the light of the sun and the lightning in storm and rain. He was also the patron god of the city of Babylon. Meanwhile Tiamat is enraged at the murder of her husband Apsu, and vows revenge. She creates eleven monsters to help her carry out her vengeance. Tiamat takes a new husband, Kingu, in place of the slain Apsu and puts him in charge of her newly assembled army.

    Besides the "Gilgamesh" and "Enuma Elish" accounts are there any other proposed accounts for the origin of the biblical ones?

    Edited by - hooberus on 6 February 2003 19:33:37

  • seedy3


    You need and perhaps do understand that the Hebrews were influenced by many cultures and religous ideals. Babylonian, Canaanite, Egyption, Persan, just to name a few major ones. These Cultures were influenced by others as well. For example the Babylonians were heavly influenced by the Sumerians, the Persans were influenced heavly by India. Most all of these cultures didn't really write books with long stories they wrote poetry and song to relate the stories, very few were written down and much of what was, has been taked from acient walls that still remain.

    Here are some links dealing with this subject, I refer to this site a lot so I have posted this site in other threads

    There's others but that should keep you busy for a long while.


  • hooberus

    Thanks for the info seedy. For now though I am primarily interested in the direct "pagan" or other source accounts for which we have the actual accounts, ie: Gilgamesh, Enuma Elish, etc. Are there any other direct translations of any other accounts which have been proposed as sources for the OT?

  • peacefulpete

    Hooberus...Ancient Near Eastern Texts edited by James Pritchard is a defintive source for this material. It has been printed in condensed form , meaning less documents not abrieviated translation, in paper back volumes. For a quite reasonable cost you can have a word for word translation of many of these Summerian, Ugarit, Babylonian, etc writings. Newer materials found or translated in the last 40 years may be available only through trade sources, scholarly periodicals and journals. For this material we must rely upon reference works and commentaries. You can understand that very very few people would buy a book with this material and therefore noone is publishing every new item as it comes to light. Students of paleolithography and ancient culture studies have access to more than most of us. However, if you ask at the library they may even have Prichard's books.

    I am still troubled by your disinterest in the NT sources though. This is after all more pertinent to your faith. If you have carefully examined the site seedy first offered and you have no questions why have you not sought to discuss your spin of this material? Are you baiting us? Is it your intention to draw attention to differences in the stories to downplay the similarities. Doing so without having a feel for ancient mythology and religion would reflect only an arrogance that you in a few days know more than professors who have studied it a lifetime. Being we have tangoed before you understand my suspicion. If I am wrong please forgive me and ignore this last paragraph.

  • hooberus

    peacefulpete, I first intend to finish up with some basic obsevations and conclusions on the OT stuff before moving on to the NT. My conclusions I hope will be simple and straight forward. I realize that I am certainly not an expert on ancient texts and myths, but I still feel that I an able to read translations of ancient texts thenselves and come to some basic conclusions on how they affect the reliability of the OT and NT Bible texts.

  • peacefulpete

    My humblest apologies. It is valuable however to gain from the overview of researchers. I recommend you do both. Read reference works and when possible read the actual ancient texts themselves.

  • hooberus

    Old testament observations:

    There are pre-biblical accounts which have certain parts which have certain very close parallels to some Old Testament accounts in Genesis. For example the Sumerian and Babylonian "Adam" and "Flood/Gilgamesh" accounts. These are described in Halley's Bible Handbook. These close similaries can be interpreted as providing strong eveidence that both they and the biblical accounts come from a common account. If the creation and flood accounts actually happened the way the Bible says then we would expect to find accounts such as these in very ancient tablets. This does not mean however that the Biblical account actually came from these pagan sources. God through the hand of Moses could have in later times revealed an inspired historical account of these events in order to convey the history of these things to men.

    Edited by - hooberus on 10 February 2003 22:4:6

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