Genesis of the Ancient Myths

Discussion in 'OT Historical Books' started by dildaysc, Jul 18, 2018.

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  1. dildaysc

    dildaysc Puritan Board Freshman

    Many of the oldest civilizations on earth have a Flood Story; it is not unique to the Bible. This has made its way into public education in the West, with argumentation along these lines: “Many ancient civilizations preserved a story of a Great Deluge among their myths; and, although interesting, no one takes these old stories as anything but mythology. The Hebrew people were participants in this milieu; it is not particularly surprising that they have a version of the Flood Story. But, their version is worthy of no more credit than any of the others.” All of this seems purposely contrived to undermine confidence in the Scriptures, and to weaken the faith of the godly.

    However, there is an older view that is worthy of attention and consideration again. Euhemerus, a fourth century BC Macedonian mythographer, argued that the ancient myths have historical roots in real people and actual events, the accounts of which have been corrupted and/or exaggerated over time. As Christianity began to spread through the Greco-Roman world, a school of Christian Euhemerism began developing almost immediately, and continued in some strength into the early modern era. The basic structure of Christian Euhemeristic thought:

    1. The narrative of the history of the ancient peoples, as given in Genesis 1-11, being inspired by the God of all Providence, is true and reliable.

    2. If the epochal events surrounding the Great Flood, as portrayed in Genesis 6-9, are true (and they are), those events would long be remembered in the families of Shem, Ham, and Japheth (Noah’s three sons).

    3. If the tongues of the families were confused at Babel, about a hundred years after the flood (and they were), it would not at all be surprising to find the history somewhat confused and corrupted linguistically and substantially.

    4. By the families of Shem, Ham, and Japheth, and only by these three families, was the earth overspread and populated; and they took with them confused and corrupted versions of the history of the great events of the Flood.

    5. The passage of time would likely lead to further corruption of the narrative.

    6. Given the preceding points, the situation stands as one would expect: The oldest civilations (China, Babylonia, Egypt, etc.), all descending from the three Noahic families, have a Flood Story; but the Stories have been corrupted linguistically and substantially by subsequent events (especially Babel) and the passage of time.

    This older view disarms the contemporary critic of the Scripture, and the contemplation of the ancient myths, far from shaking the faith of the godly, confirms it, being fully consistent with what one would expect to find. Perhaps Christian Euhemerism was too early set aside.
    This introduction is intended to present the marrow of the argument, but much of the interest and persuasive power of this type of study rests in the details. In the excerpt that follows, Poole takes up just one of these myths, the Greek fable of Saturn and his sons, and provides a wide-ranging linguistic and substantial comparison between it and the Biblical narrative of Noah’s Flood. Could it be that the Saturn-myth is a corrupted and skewed version of the history of the Great Flood of Genesis? Let the attentive reader give careful consideration to the details of the argument, and then judge.

    This same sort of careful, detailed comparison, other Christian Euhemerists perform with the myths of other ancient peoples. For those interested in this area of study, Theophilus Gale’s The Court of the Gentiles and Pierre Jurieu’s A Critical History of the Doctrines and Worships (both Good and Evil) of the Church are particularly worthy of attention, and a good place to start.

    There are two pieces in this link: De Moor's treatment of the derivation of Jove and Jupiter from Jehovah; and Poole's treatment of the genesis of the pagan myths from the story of Noah and his sons. Enjoy.

    https://www.fromreformationtoreformation.com/blog/de-moor-iv-8-gentile-misuse-of-the-divine-name
     
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  2. Dachaser

    Dachaser Puritan Board Professor

    Isn't this watering down the OT scriptures, to be seeing them to be no better then the surrounding accounts of the ancient history be what someone like Dr John Walton is advocating for?
     
  3. Ask Mr. Religion

    Ask Mr. Religion Flatly Unflappable

    Not sure what the ambiguous "this" in your post is actually pointing to exactly.

    The point of the OP is that various "watered down" stories or myths can be carefully examined to see connections to the real and true flood epoch of Genesis as an effective and forceful apologetic.
     
  4. Dachaser

    Dachaser Puritan Board Professor

    Yes, but there has been an attempt being made by Dr Walton and others to use those similarities between the other flood myths and Genesis account to try to get the church to accept old earth, theistic Evolution, myth in the scriptures etc.
     
  5. Tom Hart

    Tom Hart Puritan Board Junior

    Whatever the case, that's not what we see here.
     
  6. Pergamum

    Pergamum Ordinary Guy (TM)

    This is one area that moved me from agnosticism to a study of the bible. If all the ancient cultures have similar myths, then there were probably true events behind it all. Lots of counterfeits that look the same point to a true original. These myths moved me towards theism.
     
    Last edited: Jul 22, 2018
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  7. arapahoepark

    arapahoepark Puritan Board Graduate

    Did you bother to read all of it?
     
  8. Dachaser

    Dachaser Puritan Board Professor

    Yes, as the seemed to be a shared memory of the Flood events that were passed around by the original survivors of the event when they moved around after the Ark landing.
     
  9. Dachaser

    Dachaser Puritan Board Professor

    All of what?
     
  10. arapahoepark

    arapahoepark Puritan Board Graduate

    If you read past the first paragraph you would have seen that the purpose of the post is combating people like Walton.
     
  11. Dachaser

    Dachaser Puritan Board Professor

    That would be the right thing to be doing, as Dr Walton viewpoints are really not what the scriptures are actually intended to be teaching to us by God.
     
  12. Ask Mr. Religion

    Ask Mr. Religion Flatly Unflappable

    David,

    I think the point of the responses from me and others on the whole "Walton" post of yours is that stating the obvious is not moving the discussion forward.

    Given your tenure here, by now you should be taking into account the readership's understanding and awareness of the usual and commonplace. Unless there are some visual clues that a thread is for someone uninitiated to Reformed views, just making an obvious post only signals that, well, you are stating what we all already get. It comes across as just wanting to be seen, which I truly doubt is your motivation, yet the behavior is becoming your undoing. Perhaps relying more upon the various "Like" options available would be a better substitute for just posting something that is plain to all around.

    Try to resist the urge to just weigh in with assumptions well understood. Of course, you might sneak these Captain Obvious statements into a more properly weighted post, e.g., "...as we see from the likes of Walton...", but just tossing a sentence out there as you did makes most wonder if you are actually following the OP discussion carefully.

    If one examines the full corpus of your posting history, one finds thousands of short snippets, streams of consciousness, or redundancies. One must look long and hard to find a post comprising detailed, compelling commentary, argumentation, or exegetical insights that add to the discussions. PB is a long discussion format venue, not a chat box venue. No one here is going to be taken to task for posting substantive comments so long as they edify the reader.

    I value your contributions, David, when they give evidence of some deeper thinking that challenges and edifies me. I just wish there were more of them, brother.
     
  13. Romans5eight

    Romans5eight Puritan Board Freshman

  14. Romans5eight

    Romans5eight Puritan Board Freshman

    This is the Reformed Forum episode where I first heard about it. I read the book and it was a very interesting read. Worth the purchase

    https://reformedforum.org/ctc281/
     
  15. Dachaser

    Dachaser Puritan Board Professor

    I will keep on making the effort to post what would be contribute to having this conservation moved forward.
     
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  16. LadyCalvinist

    LadyCalvinist Puritan Board Junior

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  17. Grant Jones

    Grant Jones Puritan Board Junior

    Yes Ken Ham and his group do a great job all things considered.
     
  18. Grant Jones

    Grant Jones Puritan Board Junior

    A modern example (regarding the OP) of what our families are being indoctrinated with came across my Netflix Feed last night (regarding the flood) and is also on YouTube. This is an example of the secular view that all the flood myths mean the Bible is a myth, which is illogical to say the least. Millions will view this short documentary, which is full of great error.

     
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  19. Pergamum

    Pergamum Ordinary Guy (TM)

    Just a side note: When missionaries have entered some of the most remote tribes in Irian Jaya, some of these tribes retained flood myths as well, albeit distorted.

    Moderns have a tendency to discount the tales of ancient historians like Herodotus, though he is proved right so often. And Herodotus was only one witness. What to make of 300-plus flood tales from diverse cultures all across the globe?
     
  20. dildaysc

    dildaysc Puritan Board Freshman

    It never occurred to me that this might create upset. I am sorry for the indiscretion.
     
  21. TylerRay

    TylerRay Puritan Board Senior

    Dr. Dilday,
    Your post didn't cause any upset. What happened on this thread is just a flaring up of a chronic problem on the Puritan Board that's been going on for several months. It's got to do with the occasional making of irrelevant, half-baked comments on a site designed for serious conversation, that sends us off into the weeds.

    I think we're all in agreement with the substance of what you've posted, and we're grateful for it.
     
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  22. dildaysc

    dildaysc Puritan Board Freshman

    I am grateful for your words, Tyler. Thank you.

    I translated another section from De Moor this morning, in which these ideas come up again in the work of the great Spanheim.
     
  23. BayouHuguenot

    BayouHuguenot Puritan Board Doctor

    I don't see the problem. If other civs have similar stories, then why is that bad? That functions as evidence for our story (or at least for the fact that something happened).
     
  24. lynnie

    lynnie Puritan Board Senior

    I think the Greek and Roman God myths are based on history too. Before the flood there were giants, mighty men. archaeology has a sustantial body of solid evidence of high technology in ancient cultures, such as electricity and electric lights. Old writings describe airplanes and rocket ships. Before the flood men lived hundreds of years and were probably smarter than us since less time had passed since the fall and decay affecting our species. ( See "Secrets of the Lost Races" for a good book on ooparts- discoveries of high tech in old strata.)

    Shem, Ham and Japheth's descendents described the gods as mighty men, super humans, and I think it all goes back to before the flood. Those mythical gods fought all the time too, which fits with the bible describing the earth as full of violence in Noah's day. Those giants must have been horrible. Even the ones after the flood that Israel had to fight were awful.
     
  25. Tom Hart

    Tom Hart Puritan Board Junior

    What sort of evidence? Can you provide any examples?
     
  26. Pergamum

    Pergamum Ordinary Guy (TM)

    The Pyramids and Megaliths. Ancient sea-faring feats.
     
  27. BayouHuguenot

    BayouHuguenot Puritan Board Doctor

    Ancient Babylon was able to conduct an electrical current using vinegar, clay pots, and copper. It wasn't great, but still electricity.
     
  28. lynnie

    lynnie Puritan Board Senior

    Tom- Google "ooparts" (out of place artifacts) and a ton of sites come up, of various credibility. Try to look for those which attribute them to ancient races and not aliens.

    The book I listed above by Noorbergen is excellent, as is the fascinating book Giza, Power Pyramid by Chris Dunn (skip the early chapters and get right to the pyramid). It was a high tech machine generating electromagnetic power waves.

    Either man slowly evolved from stone age to bronze to iron, etc, or, man in the garden was at his mental peak, and after the fall man's abilities slowly decayed as generations went by until the flood, after which age spans shortened rapidly.

    Look at how far we have come in 500 years. Look at how far we have come in the last 150. The electron wasn't even discovered until 1897. The nucleus in 2011. Think of a race with lifespans longer than the modern age and IQs probably much higher than we have.

    I am convinced they had better tech than us, such as the ability to move huge stone blocks easily (not with thousands of slaves pulling on ropes). There was a reason God had to flood the earth and wipe it all out, as the tech was put towards violence.
     
  29. Tom Hart

    Tom Hart Puritan Board Junior

    Silly Phoenicians with their ships. Weren't others using airplanes and rockets? But they probably had radar and air conditioning at least.

    I've heard the Minoans had flush toilets. Leagues ahead of us, eh?

    Somehow I'm still not quite convinced.
     
  30. BayouHuguenot

    BayouHuguenot Puritan Board Doctor

    Here is the deal with the pyramids. Of course, we can reject the typical National Geographic, 5th grade social studies textbook explanation that it was just a really big grave.

    I am not persuaded of Gunn's thesis. It's not impossible but I think there are more plausible explanations. The pyramids also function as resonance cavities and the mathematical ratios actually match astronomical data in the heavens. What does that mean? I really have no idea, but it doesn't make sense if it is just a really big tombstone.
     
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