1. Welcome to Religious Forums, a friendly forum to discuss all religions in a friendly surrounding.

    Your voice is missing! You will need to register to get access to the following site features:
    • Reply to discussions and create your own threads.
    • Our modern chat room. No add-ons or extensions required, just login and start chatting!
    • Access to private conversations with other members.

    We hope to see you as a part of our community soon!

Genesis 6

Discussion in 'Biblical Debates' started by Mister Emu, Aug 21, 2005.

  1. Mister Emu

    Mister Emu Emu Extraordinaire
    Staff Member Premium Member

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2004
    Messages:
    11,471
    Ratings:
    +1,278
    Religion:
    Christian
    1 And it came to pass, when men began to multiply on the face of the earth, and daughters were born unto them, 2 That the sons of God saw the daughters of men that they were fair; and they took them wives of all which they chose. 3 And the LORD said, My spirit shall not always strive with man, for that he also is flesh: yet his days shall be an hundred and twenty years. 4 There were giants in the earth in those days; and also after that, when the sons of God came in unto the daughters of men, and they bare children to them, the same became mighty men which were of old, men of renown. 5 And God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. 6 And it repented the LORD that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart. 7 And the LORD said, I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth; both man, and beast, and the creeping thing, and the fowls of the air; for it repenteth me that I have made them. 8 But Noah found grace in the eyes of the LORD. 9 These are the generations of Noah: Noah was a just man and perfect in his generations, and Noah walked with God. 10 And Noah begat three sons, Shem, Ham, and Japheth. 11 The earth also was corrupt before God, and the earth was filled with violence. 12 And God looked upon the earth, and, behold, it was corrupt; for all flesh had corrupted his way upon the earth. 13 And God said unto Noah, The end of all flesh is come before me; for the earth is filled with violence through them; and, behold, I will destroy them with the earth. 14 Make thee an ark of gopher wood; rooms shalt thou make in the ark, and shalt pitch it within and without with pitch. 15 And this is the fashion which thou shalt make it of: The length of the ark shall be three hundred cubits, the breadth of it fifty cubits, and the height of it thirty cubits. 16 A window shalt thou make to the ark, and in a cubit shalt thou finish it above; and the door of the ark shalt thou set in the side thereof; with lower, second, and third stories shalt thou make it. 17 And, behold, I, even I, do bring a flood of waters upon the earth, to destroy all flesh, wherein is the breath of life, from under heaven; and every thing that is in the earth shall die. 18 But with thee will I establish my covenant; and thou shalt come into the ark, thou, and thy sons, and thy wife, and thy sons' wives with thee. 19 And of every living thing of all flesh, two of every sort shalt thou bring into the ark, to keep them alive with thee; they shall be male and female. 20 Of fowls after their kind, and of cattle after their kind, of every creeping thing of the earth after his kind, two of every sort shall come unto thee, to keep them alive. 21 And take thou unto thee of all food that is eaten, and thou shalt gather it to thee; and it shall be for food for thee, and for them. 22 Thus did Noah; according to all that God commanded him, so did he.

    Taken from the KJV of the Bible, from www.bible.com

    Now these verses are debated frequently, there are two interpretations that I have heard, one is that the "sons of God" refers to angelic beings, the other being that the term refers to the line of Adam and Seth... I personally believe that it refers to angelic beings...

    This second part is also debated, between Biblical literalists, and those who believe that the Flood and Noah are just a story... I believe that Noah was an actual man who existed, and that a catastrophic flood did occur...

    Edit: I am sorry for the lapse, and the length of time I took in getting this up.
     
  2. JerryL

    JerryL Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2005
    Messages:
    2,601
    Ratings:
    +313
    I believe that around 5500 BCE, the rising waters of the the Mediterranian (due to glacial melting) burst through the Bosphorous portal (now the Bosphorous straights) and flooded what has become the black sea. I believe that the people in the region (the remenants of their villages can be found under the water) fled the gigantic flood and settled in the regions surrounding. I know that one of these regions is Babylon (modern Iraq". The Babylonians recorded the history in "The Flood of Gilgamesh" (they even have the date right).

    I know that Babylon conqured the Isrealites. I know that, after this conquest, the flood of Noah appears in Hebrew beliefs. Considering the odd detals in common (flood to kill sinful man, ark, rainbow symbol), I consider it obvious that the Hebrew's copied the flood of Gilgamesh and modified it to their own religion and god.
     
  3. michel

    michel Administrator Emeritus
    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2004
    Messages:
    28,675
    Ratings:
    +2,658


    Hi, Mr Emu

    The term SONS OF GOD in the Old Testament, refers to angelic beings. In Job 38:6-7, God, speaking to Job about the 1st day of creation of the Earth, asks Job: WHEREUPON ARE THE FOUNDATIONS FASTENED? OR WHO LAID THE CORNER STONE THEREOF; WHEN THE MORNING STARS SANG TOGETHER, AND ALL THE SONS OF GOD SHOUTED FOR JOY?

    Since it was the 1st day of creation, man hadn't been created yet. Thus it was the angelic beings.

    I too interpret this literally. So did the Apostle Paul - (Hebrews 11:7) - the Apostle Peter - (1 Peter 3:20; 2 Peter 2:5) - and Jesus Himself - (Matthew 24:37-38; Luke 3:36; 17:26-27). As did the prophets Isaiah (54:9) and Ezekiel (14:20).
     
  4. Jayhawker Soule

    Jayhawker Soule <yawn> ignore </yawn>
    Premium Member

    Joined:
    May 15, 2004
    Messages:
    36,698
    Ratings:
    +10,019
    Religion:
    Judaism
    That the Black Sea event lies behind the Biblical narrative is, in my opinion, highly unlikely and wholly unnecessary.

    Unlikely in that one must argue that an extremely primitive people maintained an oral history over the millennia of migration and cultural development, diffussion, and redevelopment separating the Black Sea event from the advent of the culture that spawned the Gilgamesh Epic.

    Unnecessary, in that all great rivers, including the Tigres & Euphrates, have been home to rare and catastrophic floods more than capable of influence ancient folklore.

    That much seems more than obvious.
     
  5. Fade

    Fade The Great Master Bates

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2005
    Messages:
    639
    Ratings:
    +39
    I would argue that your choice of the words "extremly primitive" is a little presumptuous. Especially if one takes into consideration that a similar process occured in the relaying of the Vedas. Which also lay claim to flood mythology.
    There is an interesting link between the Indus culture and the current Hindu culture.
     
  6. Fade

    Fade The Great Master Bates

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2005
    Messages:
    639
    Ratings:
    +39
    I believe that Noah is a mythic figure, like Achiles or Harry Potter.

    The below link provides an interesting essay on the parrallels that the Hewbrew Myth shares with older Flood myths.

    http://www.skepticfiles.org/evo2/flood002.htm
     
  7. Jayhawker Soule

    Jayhawker Soule <yawn> ignore </yawn>
    Premium Member

    Joined:
    May 15, 2004
    Messages:
    36,698
    Ratings:
    +10,019
    Religion:
    Judaism
    Argue all you wish, but to claim that culture was not "extremely primitive" 7500 years ago is to simply bar the term 'primitive' from discourse in deference to the PC censor. As for the Vedas ...
    Hindus believe that the Vedas existed since time immemorial as vibrations in space, some portions of which are believed to have been perceived by seers and transmitted accordingly via an oral tradition. The historical origin of the Vedas has, however, been debated by both Indian and Western scholars with diverse conclusions. Some believe that the Vedas were transmitted orally for up to 8000 years (see Fisher). Most Western and a few Indian commentators see this as an exaggeration and date the earliest part of the Veda, the Rig-Veda Samhita, to around 1800–800 BCE. However, it is acknowledged by most that the Vedas did indeed have a long oral tradition and were passed from teacher to disciple for at least many centuries before first being written down. [Wikipedia]​
    If you choose to date the Vedas to around the time of the Black Sea event, please feel free to offer your evidence.
     
  8. michel

    michel Administrator Emeritus
    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2004
    Messages:
    28,675
    Ratings:
    +2,658
    Mister Emu ,

    (glad you're up to speed again!):D
    Now these verses are debated frequently, there are two interpretations that I have heard, one is that the "sons of God" refers to angelic beings, the other being that the term refers to the line of Adam and Seth... I personally believe that it refers to angelic beings...

    From The Bible tools I use, the meaning indicates that they were angelic beings. This was the uniform interpretation of the ancient Jews, who translated the phrase as "angels"
    The "taking" of these women most likely refers to fallen angels, or demons, "possessing" their bodies. The word "wives" (Hebrew ishshah) is better translated "women." There is no necessary intimation of actual marriage involved. By this time in history, anarchism and amorality were so widespread that these demons were easily able to take possession of the bodies of multitudes of ungodly men; these in turn engaged in promiscuous sex with demon-possessed women, with a resulting rapid population growth. Satan perhaps hoped to generate a vast army of human recruits to his rebellion and also to thwart the coming of God's promised Seed by corrupting all flesh.

    This second part is also debated, between Biblical literalists, and those who believe that the Flood and Noah are just a story... I believe that Noah was an actual man who existed, and that a catastrophic flood did occur...

    "God did not promise to destroy man from the earth but with the earth. The physical earth-system itself, as man's home and dominion, must share in his judgment. The Flood obviously was to be global and cataclysmic, not local or tranquil, as many modern compromising Christians have sought to interpret it."
    "The purpose of the Flood--to destroy all flesh--could only have been accomplished by a worldwide deluge. The idea of a local flood is merely a frivolous conceit of Christians seeking to avoid imagined geological difficulties. Although many marine organisms would perish in the upheavals everything in the earth ("on the land") would die.":)


     
  9. Fade

    Fade The Great Master Bates

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2005
    Messages:
    639
    Ratings:
    +39
    point taken, and to some extent I agree with you.



    There is evidence that indus and thus hindu culture predates the Black Sea Event. At any rate the below essay may be of interest to you. Though we are getting a bit off topic.http://www.hindunet.org/hindu_history/ancient/aryan/aryan_frawley.html
     
  10. Jayhawker Soule

    Jayhawker Soule <yawn> ignore </yawn>
    Premium Member

    Joined:
    May 15, 2004
    Messages:
    36,698
    Ratings:
    +10,019
    Religion:
    Judaism
    Your source summarizes ...
    It was also assumed that the Indus Valley culture derived its civilization from the Middle East, probably Sumeria, as antecedents for it were not found in India. Recent French excavations at Mehrgarh have shown that all the antecedents of the Indus Valley culture can be found within the subcontinent and going back before 6000 BC.​
    I certainly have no argument with this and, in fact, have noted Indus Valley Culture in threads dealing with YEC. However, to suggest that this proves anything at all about the sustainability of oral lore, or the viability of the Black Sea event as the source of (multiple) flood myths, or the appropriateness of designating these "antecedents of the Indus Valley culture' as primitive seems a streatch worthy of its own thread.
     
  11. Fade

    Fade The Great Master Bates

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2005
    Messages:
    639
    Ratings:
    +39
    I'm not claiming that they are related to the black sea event. India has plenty of its own archeological evidence for floods dating to just after the last Ice Age, more than enough in fact for it to generate its own flood myths.

    My point was that oral traditions(in this case the vedic traditions) are sustained even when the culture behind them evolves. As this article illustrates.

    At any rate, lets forget the 'primitive' issue.
     
  12. JerryL

    JerryL Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2005
    Messages:
    2,601
    Ratings:
    +313
    There are other cultures which have maintained oral traditions for at least as long as the Babylonians had to. I'm also not convinced that we can rule out the possability that it was written down in far less than thousands of years.

    I agree that it's quite possible for the story to cover a different flood, or simply be concocted without any specefic event. The Black Sea history fits well for me and I find it compelling, though not convincing and I would not be too surprised to be found wrong.

    You'll find I was pretty specific in my language as to where I said "I believe" vs. "I know" or "it's obvious". :)

    I think "primitive" is a very nebulous claim. Somali government today is vey primitive compared to a very refined system in (say) ancient Sparta. I think it's a mistake to dismiss a given culture as "primitive" without a more specific claim.

    The question at hand is whether the Sumerians could have still had folktales in 2750 of an event from 5500 (about 2250 years)... whether a piece of mythoology could have survived there that long.

    I suppose what we would need to do is look at other cultures where we can know a time of convergence.. whether Native American Animists share specific similarities to Shinto Animists, or whether there are legends in common which do not appear to be parallel development (though such exigenesis as the Gilgamesh/Noah comparison). This is likely beyond the scope of tihs thread, though it would be an interesting conversation.
     
  13. Jayhawker Soule

    Jayhawker Soule <yawn> ignore </yawn>
    Premium Member

    Joined:
    May 15, 2004
    Messages:
    36,698
    Ratings:
    +10,019
    Religion:
    Judaism
    What oral traditions belonging to which cultures for how long and according to what evidence?

    And why do you find it more compelling than the conflation of local flood events. If we were to allow for a so-called "100-year flood" every 100 years on average, there would be nearly 3 dozen of these over the 3.5 millennia separating the Black Sea event and the early Gilgamesh. Why would these fail to rise to the level of compelling.

    Also, it is unclear to me how something cand be "compelling, though not convincing".

    Finally, see here.

    As are such terms as 'culture' and 'oral history'.
     
  14. JerryL

    JerryL Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2005
    Messages:
    2,601
    Ratings:
    +313
    Truely crossing two malennia poses a challenge in reasearch for me (I'm far omre into sciences than histories), but I'll see what I can find.

    Among othert things because the Sumerian account names names of kings which would put the flood at or around 5000 BCE. Not onlt is the flooding of the Black Sea a more dramatic event (that might inspire something other than "damn! Another flood", but it's chronoogically correct.

    It rings true enough that I think it's likely correct without being sure that it's definately correct... something like the legal difference between "proven by proponderance of evidence" and "proven beyond reasonable doubt".

    This site is equally against your hypothesis of an even more localized flood... arguing that the "mere" 400 ft rise in water level would not have necessitated an ark nor coverend mountains.

    In this case, y ulture I'm referring to "a group of people in the same area who would share much of the same history" and "oral history" I'm referring to "stories of events passed down by speech over the course of many years"
     
  15. Jayhawker Soule

    Jayhawker Soule <yawn> ignore </yawn>
    Premium Member

    Joined:
    May 15, 2004
    Messages:
    36,698
    Ratings:
    +10,019
    Religion:
    Judaism
    That evidence would be interesting to read. I've seen dates ranging from 2700 BCE to 2400 BCE for Gilgamesh, but I recall nowhere reading that Utnapishtim locates the deluge some 3 millennia earlier. I would very much like to see your sources.

    I don't understand. There is nothing in the article, or in a "400 ft rise in water level", that speaks against my suggestion that the Sumer/Babylonian flood myth was conflated lore reflecting local flood events in the Tigres/Euphrates "flood plain".
     
  16. JerryL

    JerryL Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2005
    Messages:
    2,601
    Ratings:
    +313
    I'm drawing very much from a History Channel show regarding William Ryan and Walter Pitman. In it, there was an explanation which set the dates claimed in Giglgamesh and by the evidence he was looking at as "substantially similar" (within 500 years). I understand that there is some date as to the whole event, and if new data conflicts I'll gladly adjust my position.

    Searching right now is not immediately yielding good data (and I'm hungry). Are you aware of a likely date for the event (based, for example, on the liniage of Kings coming up to a known rough date)?

    Your cite dismissed the proposed flooding of the Black Sea based on the claim that water levels rose 400-feet or so and therefore did not drown out mountains. I don't believe that local flood events of the Tigres/Euphrates were more than 400ft in water-level rise, nor that they would drown mountains... though I'm honestly assuming, and if you assert that they would exceed a 400ft rise, I'll go reasearch.
     
  17. Jayhawker Soule

    Jayhawker Soule <yawn> ignore </yawn>
    Premium Member

    Joined:
    May 15, 2004
    Messages:
    36,698
    Ratings:
    +10,019
    Religion:
    Judaism
    I have the book right in front of me ...

    'Gilgamesh' is found on pages 5, 47-48, 51, 96, 198, 222, 224, 225, 243, and 247 [Noah's Flood, First Touchstone Edition 2000]. Despite all these attempts to infer a linkage, I see nothing that dates Utnapishtim's flood to 5500 BCE.

    So what. Again, contrary to your assertion, there is nothing in the article that speaks against my suggestion that the Sumer/Babylonian flood myth was conflated lore reflecting local flood events in the Tigres/Euphrates "flood plain".
     
  18. Katzpur

    Katzpur Not your average Mormon

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2005
    Messages:
    29,557
    Ratings:
    +5,489
    Religion:
    LDS Christian
    I, too, believe that the sons of God who shouted for joy were angelic beings. But, that does not exlude them from also being "sons of God."
     
  19. JerryL

    JerryL Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2005
    Messages:
    2,601
    Ratings:
    +313
    Did I miss something in the flods you are refferring to? Did local flod events in the Tigres/Euphrrates river exceed 400ft in depth?

    [qoute]'Gilgamesh' is found on pages 5, 47-48, 51, 96, 198, 222, 224, 225, 243, and 247 [Noah's Flood, First Touchstone Edition 2000]. Despite all these attempts to infer a linkage, I see nothing that dates Utnapishtim's flood to 5500 BCE. [/quote] Actually, in thinking about it, I believe the show was on Scott Ballard's attempt to verify Pitman and Ryan's hypothesis (the hypothesis is discussed reasonably well: http://www.biblemysteries.com/library/blacksea.htm). Note that the flood did indeed cover mounts (they are still there, underwater), and that it occured in a group that then fled to Sumer (where the legend comes from). It fits pretty well, but you are asking for support that Gilgamesh dates itself to the approcimate time.

    "The date of the composition of the Gilgamesh Epic can therefore be fixed at about 2000 BC. But the material contained on these tablets is undoubtedly much older, as we can infer from the mere fact that the epic consists of numerous originally independent episodes, which, of course, did not spring into existence at the time of the composition of our poem but must have been current long before they were compiled and woven together to form our epic (Heidel 1963: 15)." http://www.ancientdays.net/nimrod.htm

    well, I'm not the only one who believes the fable to be signifigantly older than the oldest tablet (BTW, do you know how long the Torah survived as oral tradition? I wonder if that's reasonably comparable).

    http://www.grisda.org/origins/07053.htm - actually looks at the Genesis parts in question to get a date around 5500BC

    Hrm. I'm still hunting for someone surmising the dates of the kings. It's easy to find creationists doing it for the Bible, but it's hard to find a timeline to date sumer... and "I heard some guy explain it, but can't repeat it" isn't gonna be useful. I'll have to get back with you if I can track it down.
     
  20. Fade

    Fade The Great Master Bates

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2005
    Messages:
    639
    Ratings:
    +39
    The way I see it, the two myths are so strikingly similar that, in my mind, it is reasonable to assume that they both come from the same source. Whether the black sea event is the source or whether it comes from lore reflecting local flood events is neither here nor there. The fact that the only difference between the myths is the names of characters and places, says to me that the same story was simply edited by the story teller to make it relevant to his audience.
     
Loading...