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Author Topic: Mesopotamian Flood Myths, and Creation Myths?  (Read 1385 times) Average Rating: 0
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Andreas
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« on: July 04, 2004, 04:30:17 AM »

 
What do you people think about the fact that where the Jews were stationed when they wrote Noah's Ark, was a place that had constant floods, and beliefs about a global flood where a man takes two of every kind of animal aboard a ship?

Also, any thoughts on the idea that in Egypt, another place the Jews were. There is a creation story where one brother kills the other one?

Any thoughts? Like what do you say to stuff like that?


I mean I noticed that Oxford and other schools for the most part dismiss Noah's Ark as the flood myth, and Adam and Eve as a run of the mill creation myth.
 
 
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Tikhon29605
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« Reply #1 on: July 04, 2004, 10:31:00 PM »

Well, sometimes I wonder if the Church Fathers attached much importance to the Noah and the Flood story, because, as far as I can determine, it effects Orthodox piety very very little. More importance does seem to be attached to the account of Adam and Eve, however.  I remember reading once in "The Orthodox Church" that not all parts of the Bible are equally important. I honestly wonder if this was not the attitude of many of the Church Fathers toward the Old Testament, because we don't read from the Old Testament at all in the Sunday Liturgy, just Epistle and Gospel readings.
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ambrosemzv
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« Reply #2 on: July 05, 2004, 12:14:20 AM »

Why should it surprise us that the narratives recounted in Genesis are also recounted in other Mesopotamian literatures?  Indeed, if it could be proven (though it cannot) that the Genesis accounts have their origins in older Sumerian/Babylonian/Assyrian/Akkadian myths, why should that be scandalous?  The Holy Spirit inspired humans with cultures, histories and memories, such as Abraham, who, after all, came from "Ur of the Chaldaeans."  That in no way implies that the Hebrew Scriptures are merely equal with their Mesopotamian counterparts or (possibly) sources:  The God of the Noah narrative, who acts out of a concern for justice and dismay at human violence and cruelty, is, I think, clearly better than the god (one of many) in the Enuma Elish (Ea, was it?), who floods the world because humans (whose sole purpose is to offer up savory sacrifices to the gods) have become too noisy.
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TomS
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« Reply #3 on: July 05, 2004, 12:21:06 AM »

ambroseemzv,

What you are saying is basically what my Priest told us in my catchumen classes about these events.
« Last Edit: July 05, 2004, 12:21:35 AM by Tom+ú » Logged
Etienne
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« Reply #4 on: July 22, 2004, 05:16:53 AM »

Tikhon,

No, during the Sunday Liturgies we do not read much from the Old Testament.. However, anyone attending the full cycle of Divine Services will find we do read extensively from the Old Testament. The recounting of Noah and the Ark has a lesson for us, and indeed any who would turn away from God.

Not that I suggest if you turn away and the very religious guy down the road starts building a boat you should panic.

To benefit spiritually, where possible, attend the services and where that is not possible read the services - at least for the Great Feasts. They have much to say to us. As a priest recently wrote, "Don't just attend, pray the service".
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It is afterwards that events are best understood
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