The Epic of Gilgamesh is among the earliest of all known works literature in the world. The poem tells the story of King Gilgamesh of Uruk who is thought to have reigned around 2700 BCE. Uruk is believed by some to be the origin of the name of modern day Iraq and was located in southern Mesopotamia in what was known as Sumer. Interestingly, this region is credited by many scholars as the birthplace of the written language. During the time that the Epic takes place Uruk was the largest city in the world.
The story revolves around Gilgamesh and how the Gods try to subdue his oppression of the people of Uruk by creating Enkidu, a Wildman that is Gilgamesh's equal and is supposed to distract Gilgamesh. This plan sort of backfires as Enkidu is made more like a man with the help of a prostitute and the Sun god Shamash. Enkidu and Gilgamesh become friends and embark on journeys similar to Heracles in Greek mythology, slaying beasts and demi-gods, much to the displeasure of the Gods.
[...] This poses a bit of a problem for many Christians and Jewish people. It is hard for some to reconcile what is written on tablet XI with their own biblical account for one major reason. Gilgamesh is thought to have been alive sometime around 2700 BCE and, assuming the story is historical and not mythical, biblical scholars think that the year of Noah's flood was around 2300 BCE date not accepted by many, even those in the Church). That means Noah and Utnapishtam were separated by only 400 years in building their vessels. [...]
[...] This story was a way to explain to why these things happen. For Sumerians, it was a lesson about keeping the Gods pleased so they don't decide to take violent action against humanity. Additionally, the Hebrew people that wrote the Torah frequently include stories of God's wrath more so than stories of his compassion. The Hebrew text differs from the New Testament in that they depict God as a more violent deity than he is portrayed in the Christian texts. [...]
[...] The Epic of Gilgamesh The Epic of Gilgamesh is among the earliest of all known works literature in the world. The poem tells the story of King Gilgamesh of Uruk who is thought to have reigned around 2700 BCE. Uruk is believed by some to be the origin of the name of modern day Iraq and was located in southern Mesopotamia in what was known as Sumer. Interestingly, this region is credited by many scholars as the birthplace of the written language. [...]
[...] Both narratives take place in the Mesopotamian plain and God(s) destroys mankind, save for one man, by way of a flood. Mankind and animals/plants escape extermination with a large boat, eventually landing on a mountain where they use birds to see if it is safe. The survivor then makes a sacrifice to their God(s). Both narratives have God(s) promising not to do it again and that they will always remember the survivor. The differences are trivial. There are multiple Gods in the Epic and only one in the Bible. [...]
[...] Speiser, in Ancient Near Eastern Texts (Princeton, 1950), pp. 60-72, as reprinted in Isaac Mendelsohn Religions of the Ancient Near East, Library of Religion paperbook series (New York, 1955). PP. 100-6; notes by Mendelsohn Zondervan NIV Study Bible. Full ref. ed. Kenneth L. Barker, gen. ed. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Print. [...]
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