It has been awhile since I have posted an entry. I’d like to be able to give a good excuse as to why it has been so long. Unfortunately, honestly it has just been the hecticness and craziness of life that has prevented me from posting. I am hoping to be posting on a more regular basis.
I recently finished reading an interesting book—Gilgamesh. I was reading a new translation but what makes this book so fascinating is, historically it is the oldest book that is known to the human race, predating the Bible by about 1000 years. I say historically it is the oldest because when it comes to a matter of faith, most of us (myself included) are willing to forgo certain aspects of common sense. For those who believe the Bible is G-d’s account, it will not matter that historians consider Gilgamesh to be older than the Bible.
What is fascinating about this story are some of the similarities between it and the Bible. You can actually find a number but the most obvious one is the story of a flood. The gods create a flood that destroys the entire world, accept for one man (who overhears the plot). This man, Odnapishtim, is told to build an ark and take one of every known animal on the ark.
Once that happens, it rains for seven days and nights. After the rains stop, Odnapishtim sends out a dove to try and find dry land. The dove is unsuccessful. Later, a swallow is sent out and it, too, returns. Finally a raven is sent out and it does not return.
Most of the gods are upset that they decided to create such a terrible flood; one is not. I am not quite sure why but, in order to make things right, the god who is angry grants Odnapishtim eternal life and makes him a god. I guess this way he can claim that the flood did destroy all humanity.
There are of course differences between this story and that of Noah. Still, there are a lot of similarities. If you believe that this story is older than the Bible, than it raises all sorts of news questions about the flood. If you do not, it still would suggest that we have historical knowledge about a very damaging flood.
Either way, I found the book very interesting and was fascinated by some of the similarities to the Bible (with, or course, a lot of differences).