Is their Mythology In The Bible?

C_M_C_M_ Posts: 2,710

Do you know if inspired writers may have used extra-biblical literary sources? Divine truth is actually expressed in human language under the guidance of the Holy Spirit; hence the Bible is a divine-human combination (incarnational theory of inspiration). The biblical prophets were children of their time, place, and culture, and their written works took the literary forms of their time (narratives, prose, poetry, songs, genealogies, parables, dialogues, etc.).

Similarities with the Creation Story and the Flood Account

(a) Moses’ Polemical Style

Since in the ANE there existed several ancient creation stories prior to the writing of Genesis 1-2, some scholars have claimed that the biblical creation account was influenced by, e.g., Babylonian mythology. Moses wrote the true creation account under divine inspiration to correct the distortions found in the mythological accounts of creation. Moses obviously avoided certain terms (bigger and lesser light instead of sun and moon) that could convey wrong conceptions (the terms for sun and moon would refer also to a god of the sun and a god of the moon). Further, in the biblical account, everything was created out of nothing rather than from defeated enemies. There is no struggle or war among the gods. The biblical creation account presents one God. It is a polemic against mythological stories and it is unique.

(b) Enuma Elish

The Enuma Elish creation account pointing out that creation out of a primordial conflict was a common motif in the ANE. Yet the Genesis creation account stands in stark contrast to it. Although such elements as the heavens, the earth, the sea/deep, and the sea “monsters” are mentioned, they do not represent fighting deities or a source of chaos.

(c) The Epic of Athrahasis

While there are some basic similarities between the biblical creation and flood account and the epic of Athrahasis, there are nevertheless many differences. Thus the biblical account does not present heaven, water, and earth as gods; humanity is not created from the blood of the rebellious leader of the junior gods. Further, the flood did not occur because the human population disturbed the rest of the deities but because of their wickedness and sinfulness. No, emphatically, Moses did not borrow ideas or concepts from this epic.

(d) The Epic of Gilgamesh

The storyline of the Gilgamesh epic and its tone is totally different from the biblical flood story. The account in Gen 6:11-13 plays with the word shachat (corrupt, destroy), explaining that the flood was God’s reaction against human society’s total corruption and violence rather than a capricious act of an angry deity. The biblical writers did not live in isolation. They knew the literature of their time and they used extra-biblical material to communicate competently. They used contemporary structures, styles, concepts, and language for the same purpose. Yet the biblical writers did not give credit to the original sources or authors because that was not customary in ancient times.

Truth found truth shared. CM

Comments

  • C_M_C_M_ Posts: 2,710

    The Trinity is not from or a part of Mythology. Please note from above: "The biblical writers did not live in isolation. They knew the literature of their time and they used extra-biblical material to communicate competently. They used contemporary structures, styles, concepts, and language for the same purpose". As believers, we must accept what God revealed. CM

  • C_M_C_M_ Posts: 2,710

    Brethren,
    Have you read The Epic of Gilgamesh (Babylonian Flood Story -- http://www.ancienttexts.org/library/mesopotamian/gilgamesh/tab11.htm)?

    In the Gilgamesh Epic of the Flood, the story of the character Utnapishtim (which some scholars believe is the source or corruption of Noah in the flood narrative in the Bible) tells of a man who survived a flood designed to eradicate mankind, by building a large ark and thereafter becoming a god.

    Despite the stated facts since my last post above, some time ago, what are some similarities and/or differences between the two stories? CM

    SOURCE:

    -- Hoerth, Alfred J. Archaeology and the Old Testament. Grand Rapids, Mich: Baker Academic, 1998. pp 192-196.

  • WolfgangWolfgang Posts: 1,415

    @C_M_ said:
    Despite the stated facts since my last post above, some time ago, what are some similarities and/or differences between the two stories? CM

    My take on the matter is this: From the beginning God has revealed and in the course of time made known His plan to mankind. Cp. Psa 19:1ff which mentions that the truth of God is declared in the heavens by means of the stars (constellations, etc) For quite some time, God's message was only declared and known by man via the mentioned means ... which then, starting from the time of Moses, began to be written down in the Scriptures.

    In other words, the truth of God was known from early on ... and it appears that as time progressed, this truth was diluted and changed more and more into error as mankind at large strayed from God and developed their own "religions". Interestingly, in many of mankind's religions, some bits of truth remained and or were only slightly changed so that one can still recognize parts of the truth which served as a type of source for the "religion deviation". In particular, at and after the time of Nimrod, Babylon became a center for false religion replacing the truth of God. True knowledge about astronomy was turned into religion which nowadays is known as astrology. The truth about God as only ONE single "spirit/person/being" was turned into a Trinity like "head circle of God(s)" which is found in just about all ancient religions ... and which showed up again in the major apostasy attack on true Christianity when the Messiah, the man Christ Jesus, was "turned into a "trinity God person" and his mother Mary been eventually granted "mother of God" status (similar to the status of the human mothers of the "Messiah" figures in the ancient mystery religions.

    Put in simple words, one could say that all the mentioned ancient religions and religious writings are counterfeit religions of the one truth of God that had been made known by God to Adam and was passed on to Adam's children, etc

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