Berossus and Genesis

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rgprice
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Berossus and Genesis

Post by rgprice »

There are a lot of threads about the DH and challenges to a late dating of the Torah a la Gmirkin, but I want to focus specifically on the issue of Berossus and Genesis. As Gmirkin points out, that there is a relationship between Genesis 1-11 and a plethora of Mesopotamian sources is acknowledged by almost everyone in the field. Some of the parallels between Genesis and The Epic of Gilgamesh are quite striking, to the degree that they indicate direct literary dependency.

I think Gmirkin makes a good point, in that he proposes Genesis 1-11 was a late addition to the Torah, perhaps the last addition, tacked on to the beginning after everything else had already been written. I don't know if he still holds this view, as it seems to be somewhat contradicted by his latest book, but I think this actually makes a lot of sense. With that in mind, it is possible to envision the rest of the Torah having been produced earlier, but Gen 1-11 being added on before the Greek translation was produced.

I think the key points are these:
1) There is an undeniable influence of ancient Mesopotamian works on Genesis 1-11.
2) These works are known to us almost exclusively from ancient cuneiform sources, coming mostly from Persian Gulf area.
3) These various works were summarized and interpreted by Berossus into Greek in the 3rd century and we know that Jews in the 3rd century read Greek.

So what seems more reasonable: That Jewish scholars somehow collected and structured a variety of ancient cuneiform Sumerian/Akkadian sources some 200+ years before the Babylonian priest Berossus did so independently? That (as Christian scholars have long argued) Berossus decided to copy from the Jews, non-Babylonians and a group of people for which there is scant historical evidence of their existence at this time, despite the fact that he had access to all of the original source material? Or that Berossus was the first to summarize and restructure these disparate old Mesopotamian stories into a singular cohesive narrative and that Jewish writers, in understanding the ancient roots of his account, wanted to emulate it for their comprehensive national literature?

The following is taken from Gmirkin's Berossus and Genesis, Manetho and Exodus, pages 134-139. I'm quoting it in full because I assume that many people have not actually read the work, in part because it is difficult to obtain. If RG wants me to remove this lengthy quote I will do so.

Of all Mesopotamian literature, the account in Berossus's Babyloniaca stands
alone as certainly combining the creation of the world, the creation of humans,
and the flood that ended the primordial age.
317 Only Berossus and the Neo-
Assyrian version of The Sumerian King List found in the library of Assurbanipal,
ca. 650 BCE, combined a list of pre-flood kings with a flood account; but only
Berossus additionally mentioned the apkallu culture heroes.

...

Of all the examples Clifford listed of Mesopotamian creation-flood stories
going back to the primordial period, Berossus had the greatest similarity to
Genesis. He began with an account of the origins of the physical universe and of
humanity. He mentioned the origin of the arts of civilization and listed ten rulers
of the pre-deluge world, ending with the hero of the flood that destroyed
humankind. His account of the flood closely resembled that of Genesis.
His
account of the survivors of the flood included the rebuilding of Babylon and its
tower and their second destruction. Berossus, like Genesis, presented not just a
flood story or a king-list but a comprehensive connected historical narrative of
primordial times.321 As such Berossus followed Greek concepts of historiography
rather than Mesopotamian models.322

The structural parallels between Berossus and Gen 1-11 are so remarkable as
to preclude independence of the two accounts. Nor is there any evidence that the
biblical model influenced Berossus. Rather, his was an original synthesis of
ancient cuneiform sources from the libraries of Babylon. If Berossus and Gen 1—
11 are genetically related, as they appear to be, it must be that early Genesis was
patterned on Berossus and not vice versa. Genesis 1-11 does not appear to be
merely another generic example of the literary genre of the creation-flood story
best typified by Berossus, but a direct imitation of Berossus.


In the preceding pages evidence for the indebtedness of Gen 1-11 to Mesopotamian
sources has been thoroughly explored. This has included a review of past
identification of parallels between Gen 1-11 and Enuma Elish, The Sumerian
Flood Story, The Sumerian King List and Mesopotamian flood accounts. It has
also included the discovery of additional Mesopotamian forerunners of Gen 1-
11 traditions, such as Cannes as prototype of the serpent, The Poem ofErraas
the source behind the Tower of Babel story, and a variety of minor details in
Mesopotamian myths that are reflected in Gen 1-11 in the disguised form of
polemics
. An important result of this investigation has been to demonstrate that
the dependence of Gen 1-11 on Mesopotamian materials was even more extensive
than has previously been realized.

The major question considered in the preceding pages is whether Mesopotamian
traditions entered Jewish awareness through a multiplicity of ancient
independent sources, as has commonly been assumed, or whether it derived from
a single relatively late source, Berossus's Babyloniaca.
It has been demonstrated
that Berossus drew on all the same older cuneiform sources that have been
identified as having parallels to Genesis. In several cases, Berossus provides
better parallels than the older cuneiform sources323 (notably the primordial chaos
consisting of water and darkness, and the ten antediluvian kings). In other examples,
only Berossus provides a convincing parallel (Nimrod modeled on a Babylonian
version of Gilgamesh, the Tower of Babel as a story derived from The
Poem ofErra).
In every case it has been shown that Berossus could have been
the immediate source for the Mesopotamian influences reflected in Genesis.
Additionally, Berossus not only collected together all the same ancient Babylonian
sources that influenced Genesis, but also contained the same overall organization
of material in an orderly sequential historical narrative as in Genesis.
The
entire phenomenon of Mesopotamian traditions in Gen 1-11 is completely
explained by dependence on Berossus. (The Table of Nations, which does not
directly draw on Mesopotamian materials, will be discussed separately in
Chapter 6 below.324) The weight of evidence strongly favors Berossus as the
specific intermediate source by which ancient Mesopotamian traditions came to
the attention of the authors of Gen 1-11.

The economy of this model is striking. Instead of a multiplicity of ancient
Sumerian and Akkadian cuneiform sources of different ages influencing Genesis
by a hypothetical mechanism of oral tradition, one need only discover the
mechanism by which a single copy of Berossus's Babyloniaca reached Jewish
hands.
Berossus made a special study of cuneiform sources (much as Manetho
did of hieroglyphic and demotic sources). As a priest of Bel, Berossus had
special access to ancient cuneiform sources325 and possessed the requisite ability
to read them. And as a priest of Bel, Berossus also had special knowledge of
Enuma Elish, and special interests regarding foundation legends of the Babylonian
kingdom and of the temple of Bel-Marduk (i.e. the Tower of Babel). By
writing the Babyloniaca, Berossus intended to make the ancient Babylonian
traditions available to a wider readership in the Mediterranean world. Indeed,
authentic ancient Mesopotamian traditions—especially those of the Babylonians—
only came to the attention of the Greek-speaking world through the
translation work of cuneiform sources done by Berossus.326 A translation of the
Mesopotamian myths and traditions behind Genesis from their original cuneiform
sources into Hebrew in the second millennium BCE is entirely hypothetical
into Greek by Berossus entirely certain.
The transmission of Mesopotamian
traditions to the wider Mediterranean world by means of Berossus entails no
difficulties. Extra-biblical evidence indicates that both Samaritans and Jews
knew Berossus by about 250 BCE.327 There is thus no question of Jewish
knowledge of Berossus's book shortly after its publication—and through the
Babyloniaca, knowledge of the entire corpus of Mesopotamian sources that
influenced Genesis.


By contrast, the hypothesized transmission of Babylonian materials to the
west ca. 1400 BCE entails numerous difficulties.
Under this hypothesis, the
Sumerian and Babylonian primordial myths are pictured as circulating throughout
the Middle East at an early date, taking unique form in each country and
language. The proliferation of translations of The Gilgamesh Epic into Hittite,
Hurrian, etc., suggests such cultural cross-fertilization. One must therefore presume
that Enuma Elish and The Gilgamesh Epic (or some closely related flood
story) independently reached South Syria at some early date, and that the cosmological
aspects of these accounts regarding such matters as creation and the
flood were faithfully transmitted over several hundred years and later adopted by
the Jews, while the narrative structure (i.e. the conflict of Marduk and Tiamator
the adventure of Atrahasis) was rejected. The circumstances and date of the
transmission of Babylonian myths to Judea, their assimilation into Jewish oral
tradition- and-their ultimate recording in the book of Genesis-are all matters of
speculation.


The conventional model requires a whole series of essentially unprovable
propositions: that the ancient South Syrians were independently exposed to
Enuma Elish, The Gilgamesh Epic and perhaps Sumerian lists of rulers before
the flood; that these Sumerian and Akkadian myths were incorporated in minute
detail into Jewish oral tradition and passed down for from anywhere between
500 years (J) to nearly a thousand years (P); and that the essential cosmological
details of these Babylonian myths, such as the order of events of creation and
many specific details of the flood narrative, were preserved intact through this
lengthy process despite a complete change in the cast of gods and human heroes.


The above model relies for support primarily on discoveries of fourteenth century
BCE Babylonian literature in the west. Yet the Babylonian literature that
is known to have penetrated the west does not include the specific works thought
to have been forerunners of Gen 1-11. For instance, Enuma Elish and The
Sumerian King List are known only from Mesopotamian sites. A fragment of the
Atrahasis flood story found at Ras Shamra provides the closest early parallel to
Genesis found in the west, but this fragment lacks the specific striking parallels
to Genesis in The Gilgamesh Epic tablet 11. Fragments of The Gilgamesh Epic
dating to the El Amarna age have been found at Megiddo and Boghazkoy (in
both Hittite and Hurrian translation). However, there is no evidence that the
flood story had been incorporated into The Gilgamesh Epic at this early date.
Rather, cuneiform evidence indicates that the flood story was only attached to
The Gilgamesh Epic in the late "Standard" version, of which copies have only
been discovered in Mesopotamia, and these from only around 750 BCE and later.
Since The Gilgamesh Epic tablet 11 provides the most compelling parallels to
the Genesis flood story, this creates a serious problem, since the J flood story
was supposed to date to the ninth century BCE. The derivation of the Tower of
Babel story from the seventh-century BCE Poem of Erra creates a similar
difficulty. Based on current evidence, cuneiform sources with strong parallels to
the Genesis account have either been found exclusively in Mesopotamia, or, as
in the case of The Gilgamesh Epic tablet 11 and The Poem of Erra, are of an
inconveniently late date.
Hence the early western transmission of Mesopotamian
forerunners of the Genesis account still remains in the realm of hypothesis. The
fact that a whole series of Mesopotamian traditions are each required to have
been independently handed down in this manner—Enuma Elish, the Babylonian
flood story, The Sumerian King List and legends regarding Nimrod and Babel—
puts additional strain on this theory.

Even under the hypothesis that Sumerian and Babylonian-Akkadian traditions
entered South Syria in the 1400s BCE, the adoption of these ancient Mesopotamian
traditions by the Canaanites also remains a matter of speculation and has
not been confirmed by surviving Canaanite or Phoenician materials.
328 The
transmission of Babylonian legends by way of Canaanites therefore remains a
case of special pleading for which the primary evidence is Gen 1-11 itself.
Significantly, while other cosmological traditions in the Hebrew Bible reflected
the Canaanite Baal myths of the defeat of the leviathan, Canaanite influences
have not been found in Gen 1-11,329 This suggests that the Mesopotamian tradi-
tions in Gen 1-11 did not arrive by Canaanite intermediaries. Conversely, the
Mesopotamian legends of Gen 1-11 do not appear elsewhere in the Hebrew
Bible as one would expect if these traditions reflected ancient Jewish oral
tradition.330 Rather, the impact of Mesopotamian myth on the Hebrew Bible was
precisely restricted to Gen 1-11, where their influence was pervasive. This
striking fact is best explained by Gen 1-11 having been a late addition.
Claus
Westermann persuasively argued that just as Gen 12-50 provided an introduction
to the Exodus story, so Gen 1-11 provided an introduction to Gen 12-50.331 It
stands to reason that Gen 1-11 was the last addition to the Pentateuch, postdating
both the Exodus and patriarchal accounts, and represents one of the very
last strata of Jewish tradition.

The account of primordial times at Gen 1-11 thus presents us with several
paradoxes. Although Gen 1-11 contained a purported account of the earliest
events in human history, this material represents the latest layer of writing in the
Pentateuch; and although the primordial history reflects the most ancient of
Mesopotamian certain traditions tracing back to sources of 1400 BCE or earlier,
these are first documented as coming to Jewish attention only by way of
Berossus, writing in Greek in 278 BCE. All these considerations force us t
reject, decisively, the old model of Mesopotamian sources influencing Jewish
tradition in the second millennium BCE in favor of Berossus as the late source of
all Mesopotamian influences on Gen 1-11,

Last edited by rgprice on Fri Oct 28, 2022 5:36 am, edited 2 times in total.
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neilgodfrey
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Re: Berossus and Genesis

Post by neilgodfrey »

rgprice wrote: Thu Oct 27, 2022 2:16 pm So what seems more reasonable:

That Jewish scholars somehow collected and structured a variety of ancient cuneiform Sumerian/Akkadian sources some 200+ years before the Babylonian priest Berossus did so independently?

That (as Christian scholars have long argued) Berossus decided to copy from the Jews, non-Babylonians and a group of people for which there is scant historical evidence of their existence at this time, despite the fact that he had access to all of the original source material?

Or that Berossus was the first to summarize and restructure these disparate old Mesopotamian stories into a singular cohesive narrative and that Jewish writers, in understanding the ancient roots of his account, wanted to emulate it for their comprehensive national literature?
Strongly in favour of Gmirkin's interpretation of the evidence is what archaeological finds have told us about Judea and Samaria during prior to the Hellenistic era. It is indeed difficult to understand how Mesopotamian myths and legends reached the small decentralized area of Judea and took root in a literate class there. The archaeological evidence scarcely allows us to imagine Judea (or Jehud of Judah) having the infrastructure and wealth necessary to support a school of scribes who were free to work independently of the Temple. What contacts would there have been that would have transferred those ideas so they took root in such a literate class? As Gmirkin says, scholars have resorted to speculation but that's all they can do.

The story that Judeans were transported to Babylonia and from there embraced and wrote down their versions of the same myths is without evidence. The archaeological evidence of Jewish settlements throughout the Persian era in Mesopotamia, Levant, Egypt tells us that they had no knowledge of anything we can find in the Bible. Sabbath was a work day. Passover had zilch to do with any exodus event. Yahweh was one of several gods. The idea that Babylonian captives had imbibed Babylonian stories and then were sent back to Judea again is another fantasy without evidence. At least the evidence fails to support anything like the scale of return that we read about in Ezra-Nehemiah. There was no significant increase in population in Judea at that time, actually a decline I think iirc, and no change in religious practices.

But after the Macedonian conquest then for the first time we do begin to see the conditions for exposure to wider learning and population increase and growing urbanization that led to the conditions for a scribal class that was in a position to write the stories we find today in Genesis.

(That's just off top of my head - sources available if interested in serious follow-up. I've been reading several relevant sources lately in connection with another question.)
rgprice
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Re: Berossus and Genesis

Post by rgprice »

Not only that Neil, but as Gmirkin also points out, there is really scant evidence of broader Babylonian influence throughout the rest of the Jewish scriptures. What we have is this concentration of Mesopotamian stories in Genesis 1-11, related almost entirely to the antediluvian era, and then almost nothing throughout the rest of the works. It is not as if there is a general Babylonian infusion throughout "Jewish religion". What we have instead is a few chapters that show a strong correlation to a specific set of Babylonian stories... and then nothing...

It seems to me that if "Babylonianism" had been "imbibed" by "Jewish scholars" during the supposed Babylonian exile, then it would show up much more pervasively throughout Judaism, as opposed to being highly concentrated in a few chapters of a writing.

What we know, of course, is that the Egyptians and Babylonians were viewed as the most ancient civilizations, and possessors of the oldest knowledge. Its easy to imagine that the bulk of the Torah had already been created, which really started with Abraham. Then this work by Berossus came out and was striking in the way that created a national narrative for the Babylonians that went all the way back to the time of Creation itself, and they wanted something like that too. So Genesis 1-11 was sort of quickly put together and tacked on to the beginning of their account of national history probably just prior to the Greek translation.

It is interesting that the writers of Genesis 1-11 took such a contrasting view of God compared to the rest of the Torah, but I suspect they were trying to be "more sophisticated" and align the narrative with neo-Platonic ideas, as Gmirkin suggests. Its as if they were trying to create an opening that could be seen as enlightened and advanced and also of course, aligned with accepted understandings at the time of origins and ancient history.
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neilgodfrey
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Re: Berossus and Genesis

Post by neilgodfrey »

I imagine a workshop where scribes break off into different groups, each group with its assigned topic for a new narrative. Some groups were opposed to certain ideas about god entertained by others, as I think you also agree. I seem to recall Gmirkin suggesting that the author of Exodus certainly opposed the idea of god as depicted in early Genesis chapters.

That story of national origins and the build up to the giving of the law has been identified in its many parts as re-writing of various Greek myths and legends. The cultic laws themselves were probably based on traditional Yahwist cult customs (maybe that much can be salvaged from the Documentary hypothesis?) -- though declaring pigs unclean may have been an innovation. Names of some kings were probably taken from some archives -- though that's another question you may know more about than I do.
StephenGoranson
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Re: Berossus and Genesis

Post by StephenGoranson »

There are questionable assumptions made above.

For example, the assertion that Berossus was the first tradent of Mesopotamian stories. That (conveniently) dismisses oral tradition (though RG otherwise claims to use oral tradition?!) as well as possible writers whose works have not survived. The view above rests overmuch on what is extant. Like it or not, much has been lost.

For example, the (ng) statement:
"The archaeological evidence of Jewish settlements throughout the Persian era in Mesopotamia, Levant, Egypt tells us that they had no knowledge of anything we can find in the Bible." Archaeology does not provide proof of a negative (no knowledge!?). Archaeologists are not mind-readers, even though ng may claim to know what other people have not read. Archaeology does provide evidence, e.g., of avoidance of eating pigs.

If Genesis 1-11 were added later, then the Torah was not composed all at once, as RG has otherwise claimed.

Dead Sea Scrolls show many different Torah texts. There was no single standard text for centuries. Some DSS forms are now called proto-Masoretic, because the MT had not yet been decided as one text form.
In other words, the Torah text--like some other TaNaK books such as Isaiah and Daniel--evolved over considerable time.

The Alexandria c. 273-272 (2006) proposal fails.

That proposal has been accepted among Hebrew Bible scholars--correct me if mistaken--by something less than one percent of them.
One could ask why, unless one endeavours to dismiss all the other scholars as fooled zombies.
rgprice
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Re: Berossus and Genesis

Post by rgprice »

I also find it interesting that Noah is not mentioned at all in the rest of the Torah. Noah features prominently in Gen 5-10, but is never mentioned again in the Pentateuch (a different Noah is mentioned in Numbers). Yet we know that Noah became a major figure in Jewish culture and featured prominently in many later stories. Noah is mentioned in other Jewish scriptures outside of the Pentateuch. Given what what we see elsewhere in Jewish writings, it seems unfathomable that if the writers of Exodus-Deuteronomy had known of Genesis 1-11, they wouldn't have drawn upon it. Yet, when you look at Gen 12-Deuteronomy, there are essentially no references to the material in Gen 1-11. There are no references to Noah, Adam, the origin of sin, the Garden of Eden, nothing.

To me, this is huge. Can we really think that in the writing of the rest of the Torah, there wouldn't have been occasion to draw back upon any of the material in Genesis 1-11? Unfathomable!

This doesn't just mean that Genesis 1-11 was a late addition, it also mean that Genesis 1-11 does not contain "Jewish traditions". If the basic story of Genesis 1-11 had been a part of Jewish culture for centuries, even if Gen 1-11 were actually penned last, at least the writers of Gen 12-Deuteronomy would have known the same basic stories. They would have still made reference to Adam and Noah and the descendants of Noah. But none of these exist in Gen 12-Deuteronomy, which means not only that Gen 1-11 was penned last, but that Gen 1-11 does not contain any traditions known to the people who wrote Gen 12-Deuteronomy.

And of course, the name of the book, "Genesis", must have been assigned after the addition of Gen 1-11, for prior to that the writing contained no account of origins.
StephenGoranson
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Re: Berossus and Genesis

Post by StephenGoranson »

Again, an assumption about what people did not know, the claim, as if it were certain, that all Gen 12ff people knew nothing about Gen 1-11.
Theoretically possible, but hardly demonstrated.
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Secret Alias
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Re: Berossus and Genesis

Post by Secret Alias »

My major difficulty (and I approach things from a psychological perspective) is that there is ALWAYS this fucking attitude of people that WHAT WE KNOW or WHAT WAS LEFT FOR US TO KNOW is and was the limit of knowledge PERIOD. So for instance:

1. when we approach 'Judaism' we take the Jewish opinion or the perspective of the Jews that survived in Europe as the proper definition of the religion called 'Judaism.'
2. when we approach the Jewish War 'all we have to do' is open up the pages of Josephus and it's literally a roadmap to what happened (even though we know that (a) Josephus had often massive disagreements with Justus and (b) there are clear later editorial corruptions of Josephus's writings and (c) there are passages (like the transvestite warriors in Jerusalem) which can't possibly be historical.
3. when we approach Marcionism and other heresies the Church Fathers make many statements that can't possibly be true.

To this end, that there may be SIMILARITIES between one ancient writer and another (in this case Berossus and Ezra) is noteworthy. But is it/was it 'causal'? Did Berossus 'cause' the account in Genesis? Manetho is another great example. I don't doubt that Egyptian documents had a relationship with of sorts with ancient Judaism. But how was this relationship established? When were they established? We know about Berossus we know about Manetho but both worked from older sources. We know that for a fact. However the fact that rabbinic Judaism, Josephus, the Church Fathers, Manetho, Berossus survived and Samaritan, Sadducean, Justus of Tiberius, Marcion, Egyptian texts and other Babylonian source material did not to help us determine the exact relationship with 'Jewish' and 'Christian' material should make us cautious about establishing a causal relationship.

I still ask the question what is more likely? That a 'Jewish writer' in the Greek period decided to make pardes into the shape of a Persian garden out of 'nostalgia' or 'habit' or to flatter his Imperial masters who allowed for the 'reconstitution' of the Israelite religion?

Again if we UNCONSCIOUSLY take ourselves to be the center of the universe, the apex of history and assume again that 'somehow we were predestined to have enough information to make sound choices as to the origins of things like religion and history' fine. We can use the aforementioned sources to make definitive 'choices' or 'decisions' about going this way or that way. I think the author(s) of the Tetrateuch, Pentateuch and Hexateuch had source material. Some or many may have influenced later writers who wrote in Greek but that is no reason to overturn the apple cart as it were and assume fanciful conspiracy theories. The likelihood again is that Persian influence in the Tetrateuch and Pentateuch is account for by it being written in the Persian period exactly as internal Jewish, Christian, pagan sources suggest.
Last edited by Secret Alias on Fri Oct 28, 2022 6:42 am, edited 1 time in total.
rgprice
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Re: Berossus and Genesis

Post by rgprice »

Here is just one example of where it would be expected to find references to Gen 1-11 in the Torah, but no such reference exists:

Gen 8: 20 Then Noah built an altar to the Lord, and took of every clean animal and of every clean bird and offered burnt offerings on the altar. 21 The Lord smelled the soothing aroma; and the Lord said to Himself, “I will never again curse the ground on account of man, for the intent of man’s heart is evil from his youth; and I will never again destroy every living thing, as I have done.

Firstly, how does Noah know what is clean, as such designations were not supposedly revealed until the time of Moses?

But let's compare this to Leviticus:

Lev 1: 8 Then Aaron’s sons the priests shall arrange the pieces, the head and the suet over the wood which is on the fire that is on the altar. 9 Its entrails, however, and its legs he shall wash with water. And the priest shall offer up in smoke all of it on the altar for a burnt offering, an offering by fire of a soothing aroma to the Lord.

10 ‘But if his offering is from the flock, of the sheep or of the goats, for a burnt offering, he shall offer it a male without defect. 11 He shall slay it on the side of the altar northward before the Lord, and Aaron’s sons the priests shall sprinkle its blood around on the altar. 12 He shall then cut it into its pieces with its head and its suet, and the priest shall arrange them on the wood which is on the fire that is on the altar. 13 The entrails, however, and the legs he shall wash with water. And the priest shall offer all of it, and offer it up in smoke on the altar; it is a burnt offering, an offering by fire of a soothing aroma to the Lord.

14 ‘But if his offering to the Lord is a burnt offering of birds, then he shall bring his offering from the turtledoves or from young pigeons. 15 The priest shall bring it to the altar, and wring off its head and offer it up in smoke on the altar; and its blood is to be drained out on the side of the altar. 16 He shall also take away its crop with its feathers and cast it beside the altar eastward, to the place of the ashes. 17 Then he shall tear it by its wings, but shall not sever it. And the priest shall offer it up in smoke on the altar on the wood which is on the fire; it is a burnt offering, an offering by fire of a soothing aroma to the Lord.

So, in all of this, there was no inclination to refer back to the actions of Noah, who first performed such sacrifices after the Great Flood? No desire to link these practices to the hero of the Flood, the savior of humanity?

Come on...
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Secret Alias
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Re: Berossus and Genesis

Post by Secret Alias »

I don't understand this argument. You seem to be arguing that the internal contradictions in the text mean something. We have similar contradictions now when OUR WRITERS compose 'historical period pieces.' 'Everyone' seems to accept gay characters, Jews, blacks, women's rights. The characters 'know' that equality, humanity is the right path. The author of Genesis was just projecting the biases of his age in the same way that the writer of the Queen's Gambit made the main character subscribe to gay tolerance, racial tolerance etc. Human beings live in a room full of mirrors. All they can see is themselves and the biases of their age. Nothing new here.
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