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Gentle help for the history challenged...


Aubrey
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Really, this doesn't have to be controversial. :001_huh:

 

I'm reading an Encyclopedia of Ancient Egypt. I have found some...interesting things.

 

1. Egyptian pharaohs & statues of gods were carried to their tombs/temples on barques--fancy boat-things, not unlike the Ark of the Covenant. I'd always wondered why that sacred object had a word meaning "boat" in it, but I'd never asked. I've checked, & both 'barque' & 'ark' originate in the Latin, arcus, for boat, so it's not just that they *sound* alike. Hehehe.

 

2. The layout of the Egyptian temples reminds me *so* much of the layout of the tabernacle. Basically--3 areas. Outermost for everybody, 2 inner areas for priests only. In the Hebrew, the Holy of Holies is lit by the presence/glory of God. The middle room is lit by candles, iirc. Egyptian temples are lit in this second area by high windows, making it seem "gloomy" according to the text I'm reading. The barque of the god rested in the innermost part of the temple, similar to the ark of the covenant resting in the holy of holies.

 

3. There are other similarities--in one of the myths, Isis hides Horus in the reeds of the Nile until he's old enough to "avenge his father's death."

 

First, I'm not trying to "prove" anything--I just find "coincidences" in history, language, science, etc, VERY interesting. I love chaos theory, for ex.

 

So if you can bear w/ me...

 

Are these coincidences that have no meaning? I read a website that offers much further evidence of overlap (or should I say "evidence")--but w/out citation or .edu or anything, I have to assume that the text is anywhere from science fiction to ... whatever. (home.austarnet.com.au/calum/egypta.html, if you're interested)

 

I could see God giving the Israelites religious instruction that would be relevant to what they've seen in order to make Himself make sense to them.

 

Obviously, I can also see the possibility that the OT is an adaptation of Egyptian myth.

 

I can imagine that many religions, both ancient and modern, have pieces of the truth (& possibly pieces of misinformation, too), so that there is a common thread of truth w/in them all.

 

I'm a Christian, but I'm interested to know from an objective pov (as if that were really possible!) how these puzzle pieces fit together.

 

Small words, please. ;)

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I will likely embarass myself beyond belief here, but I also enjoy learning and pondering these kinds of things. Have you ever read Norse mythology? Lots of semi-biblical themes pop out at me. Same with celtic mythologies, and the "birth of a savior god in a cave to a virgin mother" is pretty standard issue in many mythlogies, if I remember correctly.

My personal, not really scholarly answer for this is that Truth reverberates and God is outside of time, so it can reverberate in reverse. (i.e. Egyptian myth may be an adaptation of *Hebrew* stories,) The True is...well...*true*, and anyone can see, know, feel a part of it, Christian or not. The idea of prevenient Grace basically says the same thing--there are some things anyone can know as Truth, even without conversion/salvation. (These ideas and terms are not mine, and I here extend the standard non-offense clause. No judgement is meant.)

 

:bigear:

Edited by urpedonmommy
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I will likely embarass myself beyond belief here, but I also enjoy learning and pondering these kinds of things. Have you ever read Norse mythology? Lots of semi-biblical themes pop out at me. Same with celtic mythologies, and the "birth of a savior god in a cave to a virgin mother" is pretty standard issue in many mythlogies, if I remember correctly.

My personal, not really scholarly answer for this is that Truth reverberates and God is outside of time, so it can reverberate in reverse. (i.e. Egyptian myth may be an adaptation of *Hebrew* stories,) The True is...well...*true*, and anyone can see, know, feel a part of it, Christian or not. The idea of prevenient Grace basically says the same thing--there are some things anyone can know as Truth, even without conversion/salvation. (These ideas and terms are not mine, and I here extend the standard non-offense clause. No judgement is meant.)

 

:bigear:

 

I knew the virgin birth & flood ideas were common. W/ the flood, I figure...well, it seems probable that there was some kind of flood. It seems embedded in human memory, across cultures. The virgin birth is harder to understand (for me) in scientific terms.

 

What's surprising me is not the broad-brush similarities, but...well, some of these things seem an awful lot more specific.

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What's surprising me is not the broad-brush similarities, but...well, some of these things seem an awful lot more specific.

 

Of course. The human authors of the Bible lifted (and sometimes only slightly modified) all sorts of stories from their neighbor's sacred tales and made them their own.

 

Bill

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Using known customs to relate to his people didn't just start in Egypt. Way back with the Abrahamic covenant there is God walking between the two halves of animals to seal his promise to Abram. That was how these things were done in his culture so it was familiar to Abram.

 

I didn't know that--I've only read about the covenant in Hebrew & Christian terms.

 

I think god continues to meet us where we are today.

 

I tend to agree.

 

As for many cultures having similar myths, well, have you ever played "telephone"? Imagine Noah's flood story passed down from his children to his grandchildren and on and on as the generations grew and they moved to all parts of the world. The really hard thing to believe is that they show these major similarities still.

 

Yes--that's what I mean about the flood. To me, these stories *do* read like they're talking about the same event, whether or not one wants to go w/ the Biblical account of the flood.

 

My mom & my aunt sat on my great-grandmother's sofa one day, arguing about a story they'd heard from their great-grandmother. I watched them, & at some point I realized that a) one of them or neither of them was correct, & we'd never know which for sure & b) just as I was planning to "remember things better than that" I had an image of my sister & me, grown, arguing about something we'd been told & realized there was no preventing it. :lol:

 

The flood stories, imo, read like family history. Yep, a flood happened. Uncle Benny tells it different than Grandpa, though.

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Of course. The human authors of the Bible lifted (and sometimes only slightly modified) all sorts of stories from their neighbor's sacred tales and made them their own.

 

Bill

 

Is it possible (that you know of) to read about this objectively (& preferably at a 4-8th g reading level)? :lol:

 

I'd like to be able to see this w/out an author trying to use the info to prove/disprove anything religious, kwim? Or maybe 2 versions, both completely biased, would have the same effect.

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I *really* want to talk about this...but if you're (rightfully) worried about where this thread will go or *gulp* being banned, will you pm me? *I* have never banned anybody! ;)

 

So here are some more thoughts:

 

1. According to legend, Horus was hidden in the reeds of the Nile until he was old enough to avenge his father's death. I realize an ark is just a boat, but considering that's what the gods were carried around on--imagine how it might have looked to the Egyptian princess who finds a baby in an ark hidden in the reeds of the Nile?

 

Now granted, in the Bible, she says, "It must be one of the Hebrew children," but I still think it might have shaken her up.

 

2. I know there's no archeological evidence for the Exodus (at least in what I've read so far)--but one of the dates that's stuck out as a possibility if it happened is 1466 BC. One historical fiction novel posits that Hapshesut was the princess who found Moses in the Nile.

 

Go with me on a game of what-if: Hatshepsut finds Moses in the Nile. Maybe he's given some kind of special treatment because some think it's possible that he's...I don't know...the living image of Horus or something.

 

Hatshepsut doesn't have a son. Thutmosis III is next in line for the throne, so he's suspicious/jealous of Moses' treatment. Hatshepsut's dh dies unexpectedly, Thut III is given the title "pharaoh," but H slowly takes power until she's made herself pharaoh. Not exactly what Thut III was worried about, but all the same, he's lost his power, & he kind-of expected it.

 

Hat dies, & Thut III angrily has her name removed from the temples, etc. Moses, who's the same age as Thut III (maybe?), shows up wanting his people to be freed. (Who might be the Hyksos & might have "invaded" Egypt by simply moving in & growing too fast & maybe getting some high-ranking, coveted gov't positions.) No way is Thut III giving Moses anything; he's hated him his whole life. Plus, you don't just let slaves go.

 

So they argue, there are plagues, & Thut III loses his first-born son (Amenemhet) in the plague. (Thut III really did lose his 1st-born son as a child; records don't say why/how.) Thut III goes nuts, lets the people go, changes his mind, chases them into the Red Sea, where, let's say, he drowns w/ his whole army.

 

That leaves Akhenaton (Amenhotep IV) to take over. He's seen the mysterious plagues, the death of his older bro & his dad, & he freaks out, gives up faith in Amun, & changes the whole religion of Egypt to worship Aten.

 

 

 

So what do y'all say? Is that remotely possible?

 

And...if you don't mind being gentle...I do try to go w/ empirical evidence for what's *true,* but I love conjecture for figuring out things we don't know. And I'm extremely thin-skinned. :blush:

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.

That leaves Akhenaton (Amenhotep IV) to take over. He's seen the mysterious plagues, the death of his older bro & his dad, & he freaks out, gives up faith in Amun, & changes the whole religion of Egypt to worship Aten.

 

 

 

I've often wondered if the experience with the Hebrews is what tipped Akhenaton to the side of monotheism. So, no I don't think that's a far off thought!

 

I love the idea of the pharoah's daughter seeing Moses and thinking of the Isis story!! ETA: I wonder if this was common mythology at the time of Moses? I wonder if that was why she was so inclined to raise a hebrew child as her own - because he was found in the reeds? It definitely puts a different twist on the story to think about that.

 

There is a DVD that I found intriguing. I watched it a few years back, but could never find any commentary on it either affirming it or debunking it. It's called Exodus Revealed and is available from netflix. Some of it seemed believable and some I just didn't know - they showed coral reefs that looked as if they had grown around chariot wheels! Anyway - you may be interested in it.

Edited by Brenda in FL
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Is it possible (that you know of) to read about this objectively (& preferably at a 4-8th g reading level)? :lol:

 

I'd like to be able to see this w/out an author trying to use the info to prove/disprove anything religious, kwim? Or maybe 2 versions, both completely biased, would have the same effect.

 

If you find something like this, let me know :D

 

Bill

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This isn't an answer to what you're asking, but given what you are studying & reading right now, I thought you might enjoy this article about the 10 plagues being against the gods of Egypt. My kids and I really enjoyed looking into this. I think your explanation about Akhenaton is at least a possibility. Merry :-)

 

Yes, I've heard that before, & the site you linked is one of the ones that came up in my searches today.

 

I didn't know, though, that turning the waters of the Nile to blood was an Egyptian myth. One of the gods created a beast to destroy mankind, & after a while, he had a change of heart, but the beast had developed a taste for blood, so while it was sleeping, the god poured beer in the river, which apparently was red beer, & the beast woke up, thought he'd hit the jackpot, drank it up, & got so drunk, he turned into the god of love. Or was it the goddess of love? I don't remember.

 

And they don't tell it quite like that in the encyclopedia, but that's the gist. Really. :D

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Yup. (About the 10 foot pole.)

 

Here is what I believe about the design of the temple. I believe that it's reflective of heaven, and that that is why the instructions are so specific. It does not surprise me that other cultures have some similarities, as they all have the same deep memory. It is very interesting to me, though, that the ziggurats' design is not reflected in the temple design. Abraham was from Mesopotamia, and yet his descendents built according to a design that was more Egyptian. No wonder the Egyptian church was so strong--the roots go so deep.

 

"Out of Egypt have I called My Son" indeed.

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Aubrey, I wish you were my neighbor.:001_smile: I don't know anyone IRL who thinks like this and I get very shut down for trying to having a conversation like this. ( really it doesn't have to be controversial)

 

Ugh, unfortunately (well, fortunately) I'm moving today:hurray: amd will be offline for several days. I subscribed so I will remember to check back in when we get our 'net hooked backed up though.

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Aubrey, I wish you were my neighbor.:001_smile: I don't know anyone IRL who thinks like this and I get very shut down for trying to having a conversation like this. ( really it doesn't have to be controversial)

 

:iagree: We've gone through Egyptian, Greek, and Norse mythology in the past year. We've had some of the same thoughts and conversations quietly over here too!

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Really, this doesn't have to be controversial. :001_huh:

 

I'm reading an Encyclopedia of Ancient Egypt. I have found some...interesting things.

 

1. Egyptian pharaohs & statues of gods were carried to their tombs/temples on barques--fancy boat-things, not unlike the Ark of the Covenant. I'd always wondered why that sacred object had a word meaning "boat" in it, but I'd never asked. I've checked, & both 'barque' & 'ark' originate in the Latin, arcus, for boat, so it's not just that they *sound* alike. Hehehe.

 

2. The layout of the Egyptian temples reminds me *so* much of the layout of the tabernacle. Basically--3 areas. Outermost for everybody, 2 inner areas for priests only. In the Hebrew, the Holy of Holies is lit by the presence/glory of God. The middle room is lit by candles, iirc. Egyptian temples are lit in this second area by high windows, making it seem "gloomy" according to the text I'm reading. The barque of the god rested in the innermost part of the temple, similar to the ark of the covenant resting in the holy of holies.

 

3. There are other similarities--in one of the myths, Isis hides Horus in the reeds of the Nile until he's old enough to "avenge his father's death."

 

First, I'm not trying to "prove" anything--I just find "coincidences" in history, language, science, etc, VERY interesting. I love chaos theory, for ex.

 

So if you can bear w/ me...

 

Are these coincidences that have no meaning? I read a website that offers much further evidence of overlap (or should I say "evidence")--but w/out citation or .edu or anything, I have to assume that the text is anywhere from science fiction to ... whatever. (home.austarnet.com.au/calum/egypta.html, if you're interested)

 

I could see God giving the Israelites religious instruction that would be relevant to what they've seen in order to make Himself make sense to them.

 

Obviously, I can also see the possibility that the OT is an adaptation of Egyptian myth.

 

I can imagine that many religions, both ancient and modern, have pieces of the truth (& possibly pieces of misinformation, too), so that there is a common thread of truth w/in them all.

 

I'm a Christian, but I'm interested to know from an objective pov (as if that were really possible!) how these puzzle pieces fit together.

 

Small words, please. ;)

 

I have found so much overlap in myths, early native american stories and what you are describing above, that it's been a real faith-killer for me because the most plausible explanation seems to be what I have bolded above. We use SL, and when we first started, my faith really skyrocketed because we were reading the bible daily. Then, when we got to all the mythology, I really hit some stumbling blocks. Follow that up with a Community Bible Study year on Revelation and that pretty much did me in. I had always believed in God my whole life, but the more I read the Bible, the less I find that it makes any sense and there are too many contradictions for me. Revelation was just the icing on the cake. I really wish I had left well enough alone because having faith and believing in God is a tremendous comfort and I often feel very alone without that.

 

I think The Teaching Company has a series on how the Bible came to be and I intend to watch that at some point with the hope that it will someone either clarify things for me or help me to just look at the Bible as another document that may or may not have anything to do with God.

 

While we're on the subject, the other thing that really hurt my faith was learning about the young earth theory. I had never heard about that before homeschooling. I had always been taught the earth was old and that evolution was the way humans came into existence but that somehow that could go hand in hand with God. I never really thought about that deeply until I heard about young earth and now I definitely don't believe the earth is young but I can no longer reconcile an old earth with what we are told in the Bible or even with a loving God who cares about me personally.

 

I'll be really interested to read the other posts in this thread because I don't know anyone IRL that would ever want to discuss any of this with me.

 

Lisa

Edited by LisaTheresa
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I have found so much overlap in myths, early native american stories and what you are describing above, that it's been a real faith-killer for me because the most plausible explanation seems to be what I have bolded above. We use SL, and when we first started, my faith really skyrocketed because we were reading the bible daily. Then, when we got to all the mythology, I really hit some stumbling blocks. Follow that up with a Community Bible Study year on Revelation and that pretty much did me in. I had always believed in God my whole life, but the more I read the Bible, the less I find that it makes any sense and there are too many contradictions for me. Revelation was just the icing on the cake. I really wish I had left well enough alone because having faith and believing in God is a tremendous comfort and I often feel very alone without that.

 

I'll be really interested to read the other posts in this thread.

 

Lisa

 

I PMed Aubrey b/c this is not a discussion I want to get into on these forums. But, her questions are not unique nor should they be avoided. True faith embraces reason. Only something that is fearful of being proved wrong avoids questioning.

 

In essence, the question can be summed up by the fact that there is only 1 Creator. Man in his inner-most being recognizes some power beyond his own. Cultures throughout history worship. How they worship and what they believe they are worshipping differ, but the single thread that weaves through them all is that something exists that deserves their worship. The fact that culture have the same stories is actually more revealing toward a single Creator than disproving one.

 

The Catholic Church is full of writings that address these types of philosophical/theological questions. Men like Augustine, Aquinas reflected on them. Even pagans such as Aristotle did.

 

Pope Benedict, while still Cardinal Ratzinger, wrote a book called the Spirit of the Liturgy which addresses cult and the cosmos. Cult is not how we define it in modern English; it is a restrictive selection b/c it is a translation. Cult, he says, exists in all cultures b/c man is reaching toward that "unknown god."

 

Start reading somewhere around pg 21 on this link and you will find parts of it. http://books.google.com/books?id=Wf0llOhrfY4C&printsec=frontcover&dq=spirit+of+the+liturgy&hl=en&ei=EsznTOHPEcH88AbS1uHQDA&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=1&ved=0CC4Q6AEwAA#v=onepage&q&f=true

 

If you search NewAdvent.org, the Catholic encyclopedia has enormous amts of information on Egypt, etc. The writings of the early Church Fathers are also available on line.

 

If anyone would like to ask me a question, they may do it via PM, b/c I am not going to get sucked into debating this issue on the forum. It is why I never read the general boards. ;)

Edited by 8FillTheHeart
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I've often wondered if the experience with the Hebrews is what tipped Akhenaton to the side of monotheism. So, no I don't think that's a far off thought!

Actually - and to add to Audrey's list - it's more likely to have been the reverse...

 

Even if, biblically, early monotheist philosophy appears with Abraham, i.e. chronologically before the Egyptian slavery, "revealed monotheism" as we know it today appears only when we can speak of the Jewish nation, i.e. of the force which "glues" the tribes (which had previously been united only by language, clothes and names), and that's on Har Sinai. After Egypt.

 

If we approach this very question from a vaguely orthodox perspective, then your idea might be sound, but there's a very strong counter-argument that Jewish monotheism is the "reflection" of the ideas encountered in Egypt right before the Exodus. It's a sort of chicken and egg question, as we can't precisely pinpoint what leads to what here.

 

Anyhow, with regards to the rest of the Audrey's observations, much the same can be said of them. If you ditch the idea of Torah being divine par excellence and Jewish experience being unique par excellence, then it makes perfect sense, as much of the motives found inside are pretty much copy-paste (albeit "wrapped" a bit differently) of the experiences of the whole region. With the Indo-European nations you have the same phenomenon when you read the polytheist myths from Greece to Scandinavia: many, many recurring motives. There is quite some scholarship written on both of these issues, including comparative analyses of myths and their mythemes.

 

And that's all I'll say, since I have a talent for making discussions go downhill. :D

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I have found so much overlap in myths, early native american stories and what you are describing above, that it's been a real faith-killer for me because the most plausible explanation seems to be what I have bolded above.

 

I really wish I had left well enough alone because having faith and believing in God is a tremendous comfort and I often feel very alone without that.

 

While we're on the subject, the other thing that really hurt my faith was learning about the young earth theory. I had never heard about that before homeschooling. I had always been taught the earth was old and that evolution was the way humans came into existence but that somehow that could go hand in hand with God. I never really thought about that deeply until I heard about young earth and now I definitely don't believe the earth is young but I can no longer reconcile an old earth with what we are told in the Bible or even with a loving God who cares about me personally.

 

I'll be really interested to read the other posts in this thread because I don't know anyone IRL that would ever want to discuss any of this with me.

 

Lisa

 

This is EXACTLY what I've been going through the past few years. The more I learned, the less I believed - especially in a way that made me an "acceptable Christian".

 

It's really hard to find someone who you can discuss this stuff with who doesn't just try to convince you that all that doesn't matter and you just have to have faith.

 

As for the OP - I love learning about the various stories and myths and seeing how they relate. I've loved mythology from a young age and hopefully on a Classical education board this can be discussed without offence being taken.

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The flood stories, imo, read like family history. Yep, a flood happened. Uncle Benny tells it different than Grandpa, though.

 

Okay, I totally do not for one second believe that anyone got 2 of each type of animal on any boat, no matter how many stories say it happened, so there's my bias and it's out in the open. However, massively devastating floods did happen at the end of the last ice age. As ice melted behind, within, or on top of glaciers, eventually the ice dam that would hold that water back would break, as it melted, too. This would result in massive amounts of water suddenly breaking loose - seas full of water - nothing that could ever be produced by rain. They'd come on suddenly and there'd be no stopping them, and it would've happened in many, many places on earth, and many, many people would've been killed in those places. In that regard, the flood myths are true - floods happened, and the people living in some of those places would've seen almost all the land in sight disappear quite quickly. The 2x2 boat story was likely the story of Atrahasis, which is a few thousand years older than the story of Noah.

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Aubery, (or anyone else interested in Biblical and/or ancient history chronology),

 

An interesting book I found is Digging Up the Pharaohs, by John Ashton and David Down. It advocates for a reduced Egyptian chronology, and makes correlations between Egyptian history and the Biblical record.

 

It has food for thought, and is not a difficult read.

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Is it possible (that you know of) to read about this objectively (& preferably at a 4-8th g reading level)? :lol:

 

 

If you felt so inclined, you could try the library for something like this: http://www.amazon.com/Jesus-Mysteries-Was-Original-Pagan/dp/0609807986/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1290285663&sr=8-1 I read it recently and found it interesting (if a little repetitive.) Bear in mind we're approaching the issue from different viewpoint... (If you find this info in picture story book form, let me know too ;) )

 

2. I know there's no archeological evidence for the Exodus

 

I'm not sure if that's correct. Years and years ago I read a book that argued the plagues were quite plausible, just not in the order listed in the Bible. Act of God, it was called. I'd have to re-read it to know what my grown up self thinks of it.

 

 

:grouphug: to LisaTheresa. I wouldn't touch your post with a ten foot pole on these forums either! I'm probably not the right person to talk to about such matters anyway, but I wanted to say I sympathise with your plight. :grouphug:

 

Rosie

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As for many cultures having similar myths, well, have you ever played "telephone"? Imagine Noah's flood story passed down from his children to his grandchildren and on and on as the generations grew and they moved to all parts of the world. The really hard thing to believe is that they show these major similarities still.

 

Except the real sticking point here is similar myths that precede Biblical ones, rather than follow them. There are several flood myths that originated well before the Noah one, and one can easily find earlier versions of many of the stories in the Christian bible. The idea that the bible may have borrowed from existing myths is what plunks this thread down on the controversial side. And the idea of the bible not being "original" is controversial at its core; there's really no way of avoiding that.

 

Please note that I use the word "myth" in the accepted academic sense of a story that attempts to explain some aspect of the world. No judgement of truth thereof is intended or implied.

 

Likewise, calling the thread controversial is merely an identifying mechanism. I'm not saying controversy is good or bad, merely that one should surely expect it when bringing up the question of whether the bible is derivative or not.

 

The short answer is yes, many cultures, both before and after biblical times, both close and far geographically, share many similar myths. Going beyond the bare facts of that can't really be done in a short and sweet fashion. Joseph Campbell is pretty much the laymen's go-guy for comparative mythology; it's not all small words ;), but pretty accessible. George Lucas gave his work credit for inspiring and influencing Star Wars.

Edited by katilac
stoopid grammar error
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There are several flood myths that originated well before the Noah one

 

Wouldn't that depend on when you date Noahide stories? If you are not Young Earth, it's easy to say Noah came first.

 

(Just my little contribution! LOL)

 

Aubrey,

If you want my hubby's email, I know he'd be happy to enter into discussion with you. FWIW.

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There are several flood myths that originated well before the Noah one

 

Wouldn't that depend on when you date Noahide stories? If you are not Young Earth, it's easy to say Noah came first.

 

Those myths predate the Noah story in the archeological record. It really doesn't have anything to do with when the Bible says Noah lived.

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This is EXACTLY what I've been going through the past few years. The more I learned, the less I believed - especially in a way that made me an "acceptable Christian".

 

It's really hard to find someone who you can discuss this stuff with who doesn't just try to convince you that all that doesn't matter and you just have to have faith.

 

 

I have been through this myself, and it's very challenging.

I think that it's extremely important to find someone to talk with about it who has already been through it and who also respects and accepts you at the place where you are in dealing with it.

The most important thing, though, is to keep praying to God, about this, sure, but about everything else in your life as well. Don't feel like you have to reject the whole banana just because you're wondering about a little piece of the peel, and don't feel like you have to go off alone into a corner and not talk or pray while you figure this out all by yourself.

:grouphug:

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There are several flood myths that originated well before the Noah one

 

Wouldn't that depend on when you date Noahide stories? If you are not Young Earth, it's easy to say Noah came first.

 

(Just my little contribution! LOL)

 

Aubrey,

If you want my hubby's email, I know he'd be happy to enter into discussion with you. FWIW.

 

No, YE vs OE isn't relevant. The Noah myth was written down sometime between 600 and 1500 BC (most agree on about 1000 BC), with the actual occurrence said to have been around 2500 BC. Even with a large margin of error on dates, both the Noah flood and the Gilgamesh flood fall within YE timelines.

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Love the conversation and find it fascinating! Things I'd never considered before and some that I have.

Want to add one correction to the Egyptian chronology:

Thutmose III

Amenhotep II

Thutmose IV

Amenhotep III

Akhnaton (Amenhotemp IV)

So there is a bit of a gap there between ThutIII & Akhnaton. Took me awhile to find it online - seems an awful lot of chronology skips these guys in the middle, lol (guess those kings were boring, eh?)

I've always been fascinated with the Moses during the Hatshepsut's time theory. I also have my own theory that it happened during the end of 17th dynasty / beginning 18th dynasty. You have Hyksos rule (Joseph maybe actually befriended a foreign king?), and after that the Egyptians were pretty bitter. Right before the start of the New Kingdom, you have the Egyptians fighting back and winning. Now you have a new king, like in the Biblical sense, that wouldn't have honored the relationship that Joseph's children had had. Found a site with Egyptian chronology - click on 17th Dynasty & 18th Dynasty (scroll to bottom to see list). Only problem I see with this one is that Hatshepsut is listed AFTER ThutIII, why oh why???

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Comparative mythology is far too difficult a subject for most elementary aged kids. It is actually more complex than it sounds. I doubt you will find many books for kids that age.

 

If you are deeply interested in this sort of topic one of the most recent popular authors has been Graham Hancock-you might start with his book Fingerprints of the Gods. He is certainly controversial from both a scientific standpoint as well as a religious standpoint. (These are adult books-not kids.)

 

That said-several of the comments on this thread certainly have the ability to turn this into a discussion that is unkind to a variety of faiths and that is probably why it seems everyone is talking in code.

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I have been through this myself, and it's very challenging.

I think that it's extremely important to find someone to talk with about it who has already been through it and who also respects and accepts you at the place where you are in dealing with it.

The most important thing, though, is to keep praying to God, about this, sure, but about everything else in your life as well. Don't feel like you have to reject the whole banana just because you're wondering about a little piece of the peel, and don't feel like you have to go off alone into a corner and not talk or pray while you figure this out all by yourself.

:grouphug:

 

Thank you. This is actually one of the nicest response I've ever gotten. I love the banana metaphor. :001_smile:

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Comparative mythology is far too difficult a subject for most elementary aged kids. It is actually more complex than it sounds. I doubt you will find many books for kids that age.

 

I didn't necessarily mean for my kids; I just meant that I prefer to get my information from Usborne encyclopedia level reading. ;) I need pictures! :D

 

It's tongue-in-cheek, but mostly, I'm not looking for the 300p thesis-level arguments. Just the basics, w/out dodging the interesting similarities.

 

That said-several of the comments on this thread certainly have the ability to turn this into a discussion that is unkind to a variety of faiths and that is probably why it seems everyone is talking in code.

 

No, I know, I was still trying to make it light when I said that. I was hoping that a) people might give their insights from reading w/out using *definitive* terms & b) people might also hold the information at arms' length w/out taking it too personally.

 

Dh & I were talking, though, & he said he'd have a hard time not getting flustered by this conversation. That really surprised me because he & I usually approach faith & history w/ much the same attitude, unusual though that may be.

 

So I hope the asking hasn't hurt anyone--that was never my intention! I am fascinated by similarities in anything, by patterns, etc, & a conversation like this obviously can't occur irl.

 

(And I have a cold right now, really bad, so I'm a) reading much, much more than I would be if I were making dinner, homeschooling, & cleaning house & b) I tend to lose some level of inhibition when I'm sick. Hehehehe. Sorry!)

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I didn't necessarily mean for my kids; I just meant that I prefer to get my information from Usborne encyclopedia level reading. ;) I need pictures! :D

 

It's tongue-in-cheek, but mostly, I'm not looking for the 300p thesis-level arguments. Just the basics, w/out dodging the interesting similarities.

 

 

 

 

Then I refer you to the book in my previous post. If you check the bibliography you may find even more. It is not written from a completely scholarly perspective-more like the popular history books that line the shelves of your local book chain. And I think there were pictures.

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Love the conversation and find it fascinating! Things I'd never considered before and some that I have.

Want to add one correction to the Egyptian chronology:

Thutmose III

Amenhotep II

Thutmose IV

Amenhotep III

Akhnaton (Amenhotemp IV)

So there is a bit of a gap there between ThutIII & Akhnaton. Took me awhile to find it online - seems an awful lot of chronology skips these guys in the middle, lol (guess those kings were boring, eh?)

 

 

 

I thought Tutenhkarmen (however you spell the lad) was in there too.

 

Rosie

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I've read that Akhenaton's monotheism didn't have much similarity to the God of the Hebrews. The idea of one god seems to have been the only similarity, nothing else. I've studied very little about egyptian history, so I don't really know though.

 

In George Eliot's Middlemarch, there's a minister who makes it his life work to analyse the ancient myths and correlate them with the Bible. It's a futile task that consumes his life and wears him out before his time. I think scholars have been chasing this idea for a long, long time, either trying to show that pagan myths prove the Bible is not original, or prove that the Bible is true. Maybe it's helpful, maybe it's not. I don't think anyone will ever prove anything this way.

 

Archaelogy is a study full of guesses. I'm not saying it has no value, but seriously, none of us was there. We just don't know anything for sure.

 

The Bible however, has a lot in it's favor in terms of originality and detail. Coompare the flood in Gilgamesh with the flood in Genesis. Which one has more detail? Which sounds more like a first hand account?

 

I think all Christians at times need to ask the question, what is it I believe in, and why? Do I believe because my parents did, do I believe because I had a warm fuzzy experience at church? Do I also believe because of the evidence in Scripture and in reality that points to a God working in history? If Moses was a myth invented by the Egyptians, why did Jesus speak of him as a real person? If Jesus isn't really the Son of God, how did he predict his own death and resurrection? If the resurrection was a sham, why didn't someone disprove it when it was causing so much unrest? No one can decide these things for you. But I would encourage anyone with doubts to consider that there are valid answers to these questions from a Christian perspective, (I wish I knew more about this subject than I do), and they are worth seeking out if these things become an issue.

 

As far as curiosity goes, I find it kind of fascinating to speculate about things like: was the ice age a result of Noah's flood? And stuff like that, but I don't consider my faith to rest upon the answer to questions like this.

 

If anyone is interested in researching a subject like this, they should consider the bias of where the info is coming from. Like anything else in history, everyone has a bias, and you have to decide which bias you feel to be closest to the truth.

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This is what I believe about myths, legends, cultural practices that develop over time, etc.:

 

There is a core of truth/reason in most things. I believe that after the time of Adam and Eve, for example, people spread out over the earth and obviously many fell away from worship/communion with God. They forgot him. But they still had culture. They still told stories. And I believe that stories that originally had a meaning related to God got distorted, changed, etc. over time.

 

After the time of Noah, again, people fell away from worship/communion with God and the same sort of thing happened again.

 

When you look closely at mythologies from all over the world, you will find many similarities to Christian faith. Now, some scholars say that this is a commonality that predates events in the Bible and that the Bible stories are emulating these other things. I don't buy it. I believe that the stories related to God happened first and were then distorted over time.

 

The same sort of thing continues to happen even now. I just posted this morning about a mistake that was made back in 1980 about defining a "blue moon" and that bit of urban legend stuck. There have always been "urban legends" because it is our tendency to change stories as we tell them, to forget certain elements over time, etc., etc.

 

I always think also in regard to this about the Irish and their potatoes. After potatoes were introduced to Ireland and became their major crop, they were absolutely dependent upon them from year to year both for food and for payment of taxes. The eyes of the potatoes were cut out and saved for the next crop. You never ate the eyes.

 

When I was growing up, my Irish-descended family members always carefully cut out the eyes of the potatoes. Whenever I'd try to ask about that, they couldn't really tell me why.... Maybe they were poisonous or otherwise bad for you..... They had lost the reason because it didn't matter to them any more within their new culture....

 

That sort of thing has always happened.....

 

The board on the top edge of a boat is called a gunwale. That's because guns were propped there. But what was it called before there were guns, in the Middle Ages, for instance? No one seems to know. But interestingly, that very board within rowing circles is called a saxboard. A good Viking word that would have made perfect sense.....

 

There are millions of examples of this sort of thing worldwide....

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While we're on the subject, the other thing that really hurt my faith was learning about the young earth theory. I had never heard about that before homeschooling. I had always been taught the earth was old and that evolution was the way humans came into existence but that somehow that could go hand in hand with God. I never really thought about that deeply until I heard about young earth and now I definitely don't believe the earth is young but I can no longer reconcile an old earth with what we are told in the Bible or even with a loving God who cares about me personally.

 

I'll be really interested to read the other posts in this thread because I don't know anyone IRL that would ever want to discuss any of this with me.

 

Lisa

 

There are lots of Christians who believe in an Old Earth and that a literal reading of the Bible doesn't require a young earth. (Interestingly, Jay Wile, author of Apologia is YE for scientific reasons rather than faith reasons, but he believes there is a lot of theological room for belief in an OE). I've not looked signficantly into issues of translation, but would if this was an issue for me. One question I'll ask you though: What's a "day" before the Sun is created? Because the sun wasn't created until day 4. Issues like this make me think that while I lean towards a young earth, it isn't so cut and dried. That's one reason why YE vs. OE isn't a faith-breaking issue for me.

 

I think there are lots of rational reasons to believe in a Creator, and to believe that Jesus is God, but if one is looking for irrefutable proof, we're probably not going to find that this side of heaven. But a few evidences that come to my mind: The complexity of our universe defies the rational likelihood of it "just happening." The historical accuracy of the Bible has been shown over and over in archaeological digs (things like existence of the Hittites for example). The many biblical prophecies that came true with surprising detail, hundreds of years after they were written. Nature, the human brain, children...they all make me marvel.

 

As to reconciling an OE belief with the idea of a God who cares for you personally--I don't see how God taking longer to create the earth than 6 literal days makes Him less interested in His creation. Whether it took literal days or millions of years doesn't deny what He has tried to communicate to us--Ps 139, He knit you together in your mother's womb. Matthew 10:30, the very hairs of your head are numbered. (I like to think on that one...who even has time to count the hairs on one head, much less the hairs on a billions of people's heads? And yet even this peculiar detail, He knows). or Matthew 6:26: Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Zeph. 3, He rejoices over you with singing. And on and on.

 

May God grant each of you grace and peace on your journey. Merry :-)

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Yes, my chronology was only meant to show that there were a few kings in between ThutIII & Akhnaton. After Akhenaton came the mysterious Smenkhara (sp?), who had a short reign and whom everyone believed was Akhnaton's gay lover. The new theory is that Smenkhara was actually Akhenaton's beloved wife, Nefertiti (whom he was trying to give a higher, if not equal status to). Ah, fun. After that dynamic duo came Tutankhamen:) Point being, history stays the same (whatever happened, happened) but our own discoveries and ideas seem to always be changing. We never really know 100% what went down. I came to be a Christian AFTER studying ancient cultures. I've always been a researcher at heart, so I never had one of those life-altering Holy Spirit experiences that born-again Christians talk about. It was just a thought-thru decision that I made and stand by whenever I doubt. I looked over my own past and saw the relevance of the Christian God there, and decided that that's where my creator was leading me. Kinda boring, huh? I found that my studies had really prepared me to understand and relate to the OT because of its language (fit right in with egyptian texts). I've found a lot of things to wrestle with since becoming a Christian. For instance, were the early church fathers influenced by Greek philosophical thought more than Hebrew thinking? The big Church term these days is "Spiritual Gifts" and I don't seem to be listed on their options, LOL. I'm a researcher. I'm pretty sure I could easily lead people away from the Bible. I'm pretty sure I'm not a "teacher" because I think I would just instill doubts rather than boosting others' faith, LOL. But here I am. God knows me, and here I am trusting every day that Jesus is the Son of God. Don't know why, sometimes:) I agree with the person who suggested that you continue to pray even in those times of doubt. If you need to research, research. If you need to stick it all on a shelf for awhile and keep your faith very simple, that's fine, too. I've been in both places. It's OK. I see it as a life-long walk. We might be in different places at different times in our walk, but we're always growing. Sometimes we're going thru hard times, times of testing. Other times, we're in that wilderness doing circles. Sometimes we're on fire for the Lord and sure of everything - but I'm willing to bet these times happen far less than we'd like to admit. We tend to really focus on the good feeling, emotional side of God. But what if that isn't there? Does that mean God isn't there? I love the term "wrestling" with God, because that's truly what it seems to be at times. It's OK to be wrestling, it just isnt' going to give you a warm fuzzy feeling:)

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These are not 4th-8th grade reading level books, but my post-partum brain handled them fine:

 

On the Reliability of the Old Testament by K. A. Kitchen (not Christian, puts the Bible into its cultural context and compares what it says with the archaeological perspective).

 

And from a Christian perspective, a couple of books by Egyptologist James Hoffmeier:

 

Israel in Egypt and Ancient Israel in Sinai

 

I find the Egyptian influence on the tabernacle and the literary form of the books of Moses fascinating. It makes sense to me. If the Israelites were in Egypt, if Moses was educated as an Egyptian, then, yeah, why wouldn't God use the forms that they were familiar with. Kitchen, I believe, points out how the Mosaic covenant has a similar form to the king-vassal treaties of the time. Really neat stuff.

 

And, yes, been there, opened the can of worms, dealt with the wriggly creatures... :D

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I PMed Aubrey b/c this is not a discussion I want to get into on these forums. But, her questions are not unique nor should they be avoided. True faith embraces reason. Only something that is fearful of being proved wrong avoids questioning.

 

In essence, the question can be summed up by the fact that there is only 1 Creator. Man in his inner-most being recognizes some power beyond his own. Cultures throughout history worship. How they worship and what they believe they are worshipping differ, but the single thread that weaves through them all is that something exists that deserves their worship. The fact that culture have the same stories is actually more revealing toward a single Creator than disproving one.

 

The Catholic Church is full of writings that address these types of philosophical/theological questions. Men like Augustine, Aquinas reflected on them. Even pagans such as Aristotle did.

 

Pope Benedict, while still Cardinal Ratzinger, wrote a book called the Spirit of the Liturgy which addresses cult and the cosmos. Cult is not how we define it in modern English; it is a restrictive selection b/c it is a translation. Cult, he says, exists in all cultures b/c man is reaching toward that "unknown god."

 

Start reading somewhere around pg 21 on this link and you will find parts of it. http://books.google.com/books?id=Wf0llOhrfY4C&printsec=frontcover&dq=spirit+of+the+liturgy&hl=en&ei=EsznTOHPEcH88AbS1uHQDA&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=1&ved=0CC4Q6AEwAA#v=onepage&q&f=true

 

If you search NewAdvent.org, the Catholic encyclopedia has enormous amts of information on Egypt, etc. The writings of the early Church Fathers are also available on line.

 

If anyone would like to ask me a question, they may do it via PM, b/c I am not going to get sucked into debating this issue on the forum. It is why I never read the general boards. ;)

 

Thanks, 8FilltheHeart. Looks like I've got some reading to do.

 

Lisa

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There are lots of Christians who believe in an Old Earth and that a literal reading of the Bible doesn't require a young earth. (Interestingly, Jay Wile, author of Apologia is YE for scientific reasons rather than faith reasons, but he believes there is a lot of theological room for belief in an OE). I've not looked signficantly into issues of translation, but would if this was an issue for me. One question I'll ask you though: What's a "day" before the Sun is created? Because the sun wasn't created until day 4. Issues like this make me think that while I lean towards a young earth, it isn't so cut and dried. That's one reason why YE vs. OE isn't a faith-breaking issue for me.

 

I think there are lots of rational reasons to believe in a Creator, and to believe that Jesus is God, but if one is looking for irrefutable proof, we're probably not going to find that this side of heaven. But a few evidences that come to my mind: The complexity of our universe defies the rational likelihood of it "just happening." The historical accuracy of the Bible has been shown over and over in archaeological digs (things like existence of the Hittites for example). The many biblical prophecies that came true with surprising detail, hundreds of years after they were written. Nature, the human brain, children...they all make me marvel.

 

As to reconciling an OE belief with the idea of a God who cares for you personally--I don't see how God taking longer to create the earth than 6 literal days makes Him less interested in His creation. Whether it took literal days or millions of years doesn't deny what He has tried to communicate to us--Ps 139, He knit you together in your mother's womb. Matthew 10:30, the very hairs of your head are numbered. (I like to think on that one...who even has time to count the hairs on one head, much less the hairs on a billions of people's heads? And yet even this peculiar detail, He knows). or Matthew 6:26: Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Zeph. 3, He rejoices over you with singing. And on and on.

 

May God grant each of you grace and peace on your journey. Merry :-)

 

Hi Merry -

 

I know I'm not going to find irrefutable proof, I've just got to have something that makes enough sense to me that I can believe it. I think I've got a lot more searching to do.

 

Thanks for your thoughts. This whole discussion is making me realize I need to do some more searching and reading again.

 

Lisa

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