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Monday: Creation in Ancient Literature — 11 Comments

    • Hi Thomas -
      The Epic of Gilgamesh, dating circa 2100 BC, is considered the first work of written literature. It was written on 12 clay tablets using a stylus. The main character/hero Gilgamesh, is based on an ancient ruler of Mesopotamia that reigned sometime between 2800 and 2500 BC.
      You can Google this topic using your computer. This can help satisfy your curiosity.
      The Kesh Temple Hymn, written circa 2600 BC was found in Sumer, located in today's Iraq.
      The Book of Job is considered to be the oldest Book in the Bible.

  1. And the Lord God said, it is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him.

    Creation in Ancient Literature
    In ancient times written words were not on paper but on e.g stone, as in the law of the ten commandments or simple put it, oral stories. As a child I can remember my mother telling us several stories, some non fiction, some fiction. I still pass on those to my generation.
    In Paul's time the use of Papyrus (a plant) fragment dates back to approx 2400 yrs BC. Parchment(leather), and other material was used which was not as sturdy and contained pieces of writing. It was after years that so much of the writing were put together in one place/book called the bible. I believe people will continue to discover pieces of evidence from ancient times about ancient literature which supports creation.

  2. To me, the Bible is a guidance book. Without it, I'd say that the "road" gets darker. Specially when the whole world does not know where to go to, I find direction in the Bible. It gives me an origin and a destination. It helps me to get through life. God knew I would need assistance founded on solid ground. Man try to create his own reality, but it is all imperfect, volatile. Man try to speculate about his origin and destiny, and try to find solutions for problems he himself created. But a lot of the man's answers are meaningless. Look at the situation the whole world is right now. Everyone is trying to find an answer for the pandemia. There is none. No matter its origin, caos was implemented. And although some try to explain and a definite answer was not found yet, all agree that this caos was done by man's own interference on natural things... while the Bible had it all predicted! And if I allow the Bible to continue, I know that this is a part of the end of times, which will culminate with the soon return of our Master and Maker Jesus Christ!

  3. Archaeological excavations have revealed literature presenting stories about the Creation and the Flood, and this has led scholars to investigate the influence of these sources on Genesis.

    This literature was translated, convincing some scholars that, being older than the Biblical manuscripts, they would have influenced Jewish culture and literature. Among them are the epics "Gilgamesh" and "Atra-Hasis", which are considered pre-Genesis, 1,100 and 100 years old, respectively, beforehand. Both bring the stories of creation and the flood. Atra-Hasis means "extremely wise".

    We also have the “Enûma Elish”, which is a Babylonian poem that narrates the origin of this land, dating back to 1,200, and thus we could continue naming other literature such as, for example, the Mayan “Popol Vuh”, which It has been considered as a universal declaration on the nature of the world and the role of man in it.

    While it is true that these archaeological discoveries are dated before the writing of the Genesis account by Moses, it should make us reflect on how, how it is possible that different cultures around the world spoke similarly of a creation and a universal flood, this teaches us that these cultures in their origins were united, that they had knowledge of divine creation, but as they were dispersed and over the centuries the original account was lost and gave rise to the legends of each culture according to how it happened the account of creation from generation to generation.

    • Indeed. Thanks for that reminder. It is also good to remember that the writing of Genesis was not the origin of the creation narrative. We know from more recent history that oral stories were handed down word-for-word for centuries without any more adulteration than written narratives. It's hard for us to imagine now. I believe that the creation narrative goes back to Adam, was preserved by the family of Noah through the Flood and continued to be preserved by the family of Abraham and his descendants until Moses wrote it down, guided by the Holy Spirit.
      The fact that we have creation narratives and great deluge narratives from many cultures around the world with a lot of similarity to the Genesis account doesn't mean that the Genesis account was derived from them. Instead, it is evidence that the events of Genesis were part of the collective human memory for a long time. The differences and changes (including fantastical elements) can be seen as adulterations, just as the lamb sacrifices to represent a divine Savior were adulterated into blood offerings (often of pigs) to satiate a blood-thirsty deity. It seems to me that the "seducing spirits and doctrines of devils" began long before "the latter times." (1 Tim 4:1)

      • In an Appendix in Patriarchs and Prophets-Historical Time Line is stated the following:
        “Seth,Adam’s son, died 12 years after Enoch’s translation and 14 years before the birth of Noah.Two years after Noah died,Abram (Abraham) was born!Shem did not die until 10 years before Jacob was born”
        ADAM died just about 126 years before Noah was born!
        Wonder of wonders.The story of creation would have been very fresh to the generations as told by word of mouth until Moses’ time!

  4. When I read the Bible's account of origins and the kind of God that brought all into existence, it makes so much more sense and brings so much more joy, than the other accounts. It has a tone that is more than human. One really doesn't get the brilliance and beauty of the biblical account of origins until you read the non biblical ones, at least it happened for me.


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