Board index Noah's Ark & the Flood

Re: Sumerian account precedes Biblical account

Postby I'm Good without God » Fri Nov 06, 2015 10:18 am

Weird how the teachings of holy scriptures have never once in all of history had any knowledge that was more advanced than the civilization's knowledge of the time.
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Re: Sumerian account precedes Biblical account

Postby jimwalton » Fri Nov 06, 2015 10:19 am

On the one hand it makes perfect sense that communication speaks in the language and cultural context of its audience. It wouldn't make sense to speak to Americans, even 100 years ago, of smart phones, bits and bytes, Internet searches, and sonograms. Communication has to address the civilization at its own knowledge level to be effective.

On the other hand, the Bible is loaded with hundreds of prophecies that speak far beyond the civilization's knowledge of the time.
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Re: Sumerian account precedes Biblical account

Postby I'm Good without God » Fri Nov 06, 2015 10:24 am

Back then what do you think a naturally occurring flood would have been attributed to? Yeah, the wrath of god. If an earthquake happened, do you really think that Iron-Age peasants would go looking for tectonic plates and seismograph records? No. They would tell a legend for 800 years about the wrath of angry god shaking the foundation of the earth and then write a book about it.
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Re: Sumerian account precedes Biblical account

Postby jimwalton » Fri Nov 06, 2015 10:26 am

The difficult, if not impossible, task for you is to support your thesis that God didn't do it—that it wasn't the wrath of God. How can you tell me for certain that was not the case? I'd love to see your evidence, or even your thought processes that lead you to this determination.
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Re: Sumerian account precedes Biblical account

Postby Jawsome » Fri Nov 06, 2015 10:53 am

I can get behind this idea of all being figurative and not literal. What I can't get behind is the moral of the story. If it was just a little flood that was regional and didn't really do that much then how is them finding land that incredible? When you start breaking it down it breaks the whole story down. At least to me it does.
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Re: Sumerian account precedes Biblical account

Postby jimwalton » Fri Nov 06, 2015 10:54 am

Oh, I never said it was "just a little flood." If a regional flood, for instance, covers 964,000 square miles, as Glenn Morton says the flood caused by the break of Gibraltar would have covered, with the Atlantic Ocean rushing into the region, I can understand how finding land after 6 months of floating would be a welcome sight. The story doesn't break down if you look at it closely enough.
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Re: Sumerian account precedes Biblical account

Postby J Lord » Fri Nov 06, 2015 11:06 am

How would the author have even known about a flood or it's extent in the first place? Isn't it apparent that the author was guessing, at least with regards to the extent of the flood?

And if the author did somehow have reliable information about a flood and knew it wasn't a global flood, why do you think they would describe a global flood in figurative terms if knew that wasn't literally true?
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Re: Sumerian account precedes Biblical account

Postby jimwalton » Fri Nov 06, 2015 11:07 am

We know that the ancient cultures were oral cultures, transmitting important information reliably through the stories of village elders from generation to generation. Paleoanthropologist's tell us about the conveyance of history and culture by word of mouth, a job the ancients took seriously.

I'm not sure they didn't know it was a global flood. In their mindset (and even in maps of theirs we have found), their "world" was about 3,000 miles in diameter, and beyond that, even though they knew there was a beyond that, it was not considered "the world" and they cared nothing of it. But as far as they knew, everything and everyone was destroyed, and so they used the language of their day to express it: everything was killed! It was of no matter to them that the world went beyond their world. That was just nebulous to them, and immaterial.
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Re: Sumerian account precedes Biblical account

Postby Five Drums » Fri Nov 06, 2015 11:11 am

> What does "all" mean? In Gn. 41.57 (same book, same author), we read that "all the countries came to Egypt to buy grain from Joseph because the famine was severe in all the world." Was Brazil experiencing famine? Did the Australians come to Joseph? No. "All" means the countries of the immediate vicinity in the ancient Near East.

Noooo no no no no. You don't just get to bypass that. I specifically asked "What else could "from the face of the earth" mean?"
EARTH is the translated word specifically used. So, doesn't that mean.. god lied? the bible lied? or the author lied? or the story was just made up?

> In Exodus 9.6, "all" the livestock of the Egyptians died. Then in Ex. 9.19, they are instructed to get all of their livestock under cover. But I thought they had all died? "All" doesn't always mean "all."

I don't see how this helps your case...

> We have to give serious consideration that quite possibly "all" doesn't mean "global".

Why...would that be too hard for people "divinely inspired" by Yhwh himself to know? "OH by the way guys...you're on a massive planet that is a sphere... so..."

> It's not that God is a God of confusion,.....

The door analogy is a good one. But this is not done so in a manner of divine inspiration. It is coming from fallible humans. Humans who manipulate their own language for it to fit better in certain situations.

It would be SUPER easy for an all knowing, powerful, and loving god to make it super clear what he did, wanted, and will do. But he didn't. And we are left to clean up the mess and determine as best we can what he might have meant or didn't mean with these insanely complicated translations, translations, mistranslations, and contradictions.

> Our job is to be responsible, use our heads, and find out what the author meant by it.

But if said author is "divinely inspired" whose fault is it if there is confusion...

. The verb used in Gn. 6.6 that you translated "regretted" is וַיִּנָּחֶם (Yinnahem). It can be translated "grieve; repent; relent; change one's mind."

Again...not helping your case... none of those attributes are ones I would expect from a perfect all knowing being.

> God had to take action to stem the proliferation of corruption

again again..not something you'd expect from a perfect being with a divine plan

> It doesn't mean he didn't have foresight, but merely that he is instituting a course correction.

???? Correction means a mistake was made...

> Plan B.

Ah..good to hear god is indeed pro-choice :P jk

But for real...How can a perfect god (keyword)((and self proclaimed in scripture)) with a plan have more than one plan...this by definition means he does not have the foresight needed...
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Re: Sumerian account precedes Biblical account

Postby jimwalton » Sat Jan 14, 2017 10:13 am

You seem to have a hard time think that God used the vernacular of the day and the cultural understandings of language to communicate effectively to the people of that day. You seem to think he should have used more "universal" language (whatever that is) to communicate to all cultures in all eras with words that will never be changed or misconstrued by translation issues or cultural development. Hm. Methinks you ask something that's not possible in human history.

First of all, translation by itself is always an issue of approximation, compromise, and interpretation.

Secondly, we know (even from modern political problems) that cultures differ in their understandings of various priorities, terms, and meanings. But you want words that work everywhere at all times. Um, that's not possible.

Effective communication uses the language of the intended audience—an audience very different, mind you, from your modern mind, ears, and tongue. It is the business of the communicator to present a message in the particular language of his or her own age. If you are acquainted with communication theory, you know that every act of communication requires accommodation that will tailor the communication to the needs and circumstances of the audience. And yet you fault God and "inspiration" for not altering our humanity to communicate universally. I think your bias to show that God is incompetent is coloring your perceptions of effective communication.

Can God have more than one plan? Sure. Read Jeremiah 18.1-12, especially vv. 7-10. God is always willing to adjust depending on the responses of humans. We see it in Jonah 3.10 also. This makes God fair, not stupid. When Scripture talks of a plan of God, that plan is the plan of salvation, not a determined course for every individual or that the course of history is set in stone. There are continual twists and turns as people make their decisions. What's set in stone is salvation history, but that's a very different concept than determinism.


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