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Enuma Elish Because if you're going to have creation stories...

#21 User is offline   Lisheo 

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Posted 30 November 2008 - 11:15 PM

QUOTE (Darkwatch @ Nov 30 2008, 10:33 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
In relation to other myths, we once again have the primordial waters. In parallel with Greek mythology the creator gods must be put out of comission in order for the world to be in order, or else they cause chaos by continually creating.

So, why is the Christian God the one that avoids this? Is it because he is both creation and destruction? Or perhaps because that would diminish him?
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#22 User is offline   Darkwatch 

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Posted 01 December 2008 - 12:30 AM

QUOTE (Lisheo @ Nov 30 2008, 06:15 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
QUOTE (Darkwatch @ Nov 30 2008, 10:33 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
In relation to other myths, we once again have the primordial waters. In parallel with Greek mythology the creator gods must be put out of comission in order for the world to be in order, or else they cause chaos by continually creating.

So, why is the Christian God the one that avoids this? Is it because he is both creation and destruction? Or perhaps because that would diminish him?


Neither.

In Abrahamic faiths (Judaism, Christianism and Islam) God creates the world with the intent to populate it. Humanity is the final goal of creation, God makes the world for us. That means the world had to be stable. And if you stick to the creation stories God is as much a creator (as in ex-nihilo, see: Light) as he is an organizer (see the whole primordial waters and God's partition of them). Also in Abrahamic faiths God is not the embodiment of a primal force of creation (such as Gaia, Ouranos, Tiamat and Apsu) he is the controled final cause of existence. In other words he creates with purpose other than just creating, the other primeval Gods create simply to create, that's what they are, generators with no more purpose than that.


In the Enuma Elish and Greco-roman mythology humans are basicly an afterthought. In the Mesopotamian myths we're created to replace the lesser gods who rebelled and refused to toil for the greater gods (long after the world was set in order). In Greek myth were basicly an accident when Prometheus' brother forgot to save one attribute for man, and so Prometheus gave us reason.

Hope this answers your question.

This post has been edited by Darkwatch: 02 December 2008 - 03:59 AM

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#23 User is offline   frookenhauer 

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Posted 02 December 2008 - 06:16 PM

QUOTE (Darkwatch @ Nov 30 2008, 10:33 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
...
Enuma Elish is more than likely based on an older Sumerian version, though there was probably no fixed story in Sumerian (as with the Epic of Gilgamesh), which means that Enuma Elish has quite a lot of Babylonian semetic elements to it as well.

In relation to other myths, we once again have the primordial waters...


Cheers for putting them in order..could have sworn I saw Assyrians 1st, but I 'll take your word for it. When you say Babylonian Semetic, weren't the Hebrews guests of Babylon until about 500BC? Which I am starting to believe is when the Torah moved from being oral to a written verse, but I'm not certain yet, but would not the Hebrews have borrowed from their masters rather than the other way around? Just as they 'borrowed' the cities of Mesopotamia and wrote how it was they who founded these places. Maybe much of what was written in Genesis has a lot to do with their trials and learnings in Babylon.
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#24 User is offline   Epiph 

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Posted 02 December 2008 - 08:13 PM

QUOTE (Lisheo @ Nov 26 2008, 05:40 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
It is interesting, I agree. You should look up more creation myths. Ive looked at a good dozen in depth, a few years back, and there are so many similarities between them all... Then they almost completely vanish in the Old Testament.

Oh, I have. I grew up in a western hippie Hindu mythology, fell in love with Greek and, subsequently, Roman mythology in 7th grade, then moved on to Celtic mythologies and Wicca by 8th and 9th grades, throughout high school became interested in the tradition my crazy Southern Baptist relatives were coming from, delved more deeply in Hinduism throughout college, started watching anime and got into Japanese mythology, then toward the end of college got into Sumerian/Babylonian mythologies as research for a short story, and have subsequently fallen in love with folklore as a field of study. So yeah, I've looked into a fair few creation myths.

QUOTE (Aleksandrov @ Nov 27 2008, 02:01 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
@Lisheo, I think Judeo-Christianity offers perhaps an alternative route, I mean the Old Testament it was smiting and killing but there were no void or "darkness", it's easy to be explained that way. If you are going to have one, people will inevitably argue and try to find it's origin and why. Judeo-Christianity was better adapted to surviving the rest of the weaker religions.

There was no void or darkness explicitly stated or personified, as in other traditions, but there is an implied void since before God created everything, there was nothing.

QUOTE (Lisheo @ Nov 27 2008, 02:16 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Successful conquerers usurp the conquered people's customs. A lot of Christian customs originally began as pagan rituals and such that were adopted. I'm studying Christianity in early Ireland in college currently, and a lot of records and such have been editted and altered for various reasons, whether to advance one church or region (over here, the Church of Armagh basically made up everything most people regard as truth about Saint Patrick, for one) or to ease transition from paganism (local dieties just sort of became saints). Christianity is basically Judaism with all the most successful bits of other, now dead religions thrown in, which aided its success and prevalence.

I would say that it's less conquerors usurping the conquered people's customs and more that the oppressed find ways to sneak their traditions into those traditions being forced on them: Green Man faces on medieval churches, Christmas trees, All Hallows Eve, the traditions of African slaves carried on under the blanket of Christianity.

QUOTE (frookenhauer @ Nov 27 2008, 08:05 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Consider this: Jesus and christianity had such an impact on them and this coupled with the guilt of being the perpetrators of Jesus' Death might have made them change the story so that Jesus actually sacrificed himself for Mankinds sins. By doing this they absolve themselves of putting him to death. The Roman culture had absolutely no problem altering their faiths as we can see from the past, so we can see how they could so readily change their beliefs. Interesting, no?

While its an interesting theory, the Gospels' message, particularly the idea of Jesus' redemption of humanity, is not a Roman invention and is intrinsic to the spread of Christianity. The grip, I think, of Christianity is in the idea of a God who loves you so much that he will die so you can go to Heaven. The only impact any guilt would have had would have been to change the interpretation of the Gospels. Then again, I'm not sure how much of my thoughts on this matter are based on Milton.

QUOTE (Darkwatch @ Nov 30 2008, 04:33 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
In relation to other myths, we once again have the primordial waters. In parallel with Greek mythology the creator gods must be put out of comission in order for the world to be in order, or else they cause chaos by continually creating.

Oh, I had never thought of it that way. That makes sense and fits in with the Hindu conception of a creator, maintainer, and destroyer.

QUOTE (Darkwatch @ Nov 30 2008, 06:30 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
In Abrahamic faiths (Judaism, Christianism and Islam) God creates the world with the intent to populate it. Humanity is the final goal of creation, God makes the world for us. That means the world had to be stable. And if you stick to the creation stories God is as much a creator (as in ex-nihilo, see: Light) as he is an organizer (see the whole primordial waters and God's partition of them). Also in Abrahamic faiths God is not the embodiment of a primal force of creation (such as Gaia, Ouranos, Tiamat and Apsu) he is the controled final cause of existence. In other words he creates with purpose other than just creating, the other primeval Gods create simply to create, that's what they are, generators with no more purpose than that.

Which seems like the draw. A religion in which man was the whole point of existence is going to have a greater draw than a religion in which man was an afterthought.

QUOTE
In the Enuma Elish and Greco-roman mythology humans are basicly an afterthought. In the Mesopotamian myths we're created to replace the lesser gods who rebelled and refused to toil for the greater gods (long after the world was set in order). In Greek myth were basicly an accident when Prometheus' brother forgot to save one attribute for man, and so Prometheus gave us reason.

It reflects the uncertainty of man's position in the world at the time these myths came to be, as well. The world was still a frightening swath of forces arrayed against man, whereas, by the time monotheism popped up, cities and agriculture were developing/had developed and the wilderness was less of a frightening concern and man seemed less hopelessly alone in the world.
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#25 User is offline   Darkwatch 

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Posted 03 December 2008 - 03:11 AM

QUOTE (frookenhauer @ Dec 2 2008, 01:16 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
When you say Babylonian Semetic, weren't the Hebrews guests of Babylon until about 500BC? Which I am starting to believe is when the Torah moved from being oral to a written verse, but I'm not certain yet, but would not the Hebrews have borrowed from their masters rather than the other way around?


Historological and paleographical evidence would suggest that during the Babylonian exile many of the Mesopotamian myths were incorporated into the Bible, such as Noah and the Deluge (Ziuzurda in Sumerian) and the myth of the snake tricking humans out of immortality (as seen at the end of the Epic of Gilgamesh). Also many traditional Mesopotamian writing forms were used, such as bad times for the people explained by divine punishment (long used by the Babylonians to explain why the Assyrians kept beating them for so long). The idea of exposure, as in Moses on the Nile, as Sargon of Agad was on the Tigris, or as Cyrus the Great was left on a mountain ridge.
And you are right that is when the Torah would have been put down into fixed form on a large scale since the Hebrew people wanted to preserve some of their culture in a foreign land. Chances are that there were some written traditions before, but no standard version.
It should also be noted that had it not been for the Babylonian exile Judaism may never have begun its slow move towards universalism and a God of a people not just of a Land.

Before the exile the fracture states of Judea and Isreal if they had persisted would have lead to a divergence of God into two entities (since everyone wanted their own God of the Land) but when they were defeated by a huge common enemy, they realised they were all one people and it became a God of a people.

(As a side note TO BE DISSCUSSED IN ANOTHER THREAD there is an inscription from pre-exile Judea that identifies God's wife.)


QUOTE
Just as they 'borrowed' the cities of Mesopotamia and wrote how it was they who founded these places. Maybe much of what was written in Genesis has a lot to do with their trials and learnings in Babylon.


The Hebrew never pretended to be the founders of the Mesopotamian cities since the Hebrew people only arose after Abraham supposedly founded that branch-off of Semetics after migrating from Ur.

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#26 User is offline   frookenhauer 

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Posted 03 December 2008 - 11:58 PM

QUOTE (Darkwatch @ Dec 3 2008, 03:11 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
The Hebrew never pretended to be the founders of the Mesopotamian cities since the Hebrew people only arose after Abraham supposedly founded that branch-off of Semetics after migrating from Ur.


Actually, if you read chapter 10 of Genesis, you might just change your mind. It describes how the sons of the sons of Noah go about and start their nations and a lot of the cities of Mesopotamia are clearly mentioned. As this is just after the flood which destroyed mankind as we knew it, who else is going to build those cities?
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#27 User is offline   Darkwatch 

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Posted 04 December 2008 - 04:18 PM

QUOTE (frookenhauer @ Dec 3 2008, 06:58 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Actually, if you read chapter 10 of Genesis, you might just change your mind. It describes how the sons of the sons of Noah go about and start their nations and a lot of the cities of Mesopotamia are clearly mentioned. As this is just after the flood which destroyed mankind as we knew it, who else is going to build those cities?



Adam and Eve were (according to the bible) the parents of all of humanity, so even if you're not hebrew you descended from them. Noah predates Abraham and thus is not part of the Hebrew people. Strictly speaking neither is Abraham, only his descendants are.
Thus no, the Hebrews didn't found those cities, they just (supposedly) know who did.
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#28 User is offline   frookenhauer 

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Posted 06 December 2008 - 02:05 AM

I see...Hebrewism began with Abraham, I'd always classed the lot as one big happy family and its a direct male line descendent thing. Yeah, according to Genesis the gransons sons of Noah founded the cities and lands of ancient Mesopotamia, these sons include Nimrod, who happens to be a cult figure in the past and in the Arabic folklore was also a mighty hunter...So it was the pre-Hebrews what are supposed to have done it. I think that the writers of genesis intertwined their faiths origins with the world history of the time. You can see the 'logic' in it. The authors can see these mighty cities with their histories and the great cities of the past and becasue they know about the flood its obvious that it was their ancestors that must have started it all...Possibly
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