Written By Thomas Perez. November 17, 2013 at 1:42pm. Copyright 2013.
Knowledge, “Oh how we crave it.” We desire to know truth. We desire to understand. To piece together this puzzle – the puzzle to our origins. To chase down every possibility, every alternative to this magic, faith or science. Author C. Clark once said “magic is just science that we don’t understand yet.” Although devoted to science fiction Clarks works, as well as that of H.G. Wells, can rightly be called a precursor to science fact in some cases.
In this article I will address the various myths, folklore, theories and cultures regarding our ancient origins. But in so doing I will only address the most ancient. This is done in order to trace our ancestry, beginnings, beliefs and our documents. Tracing humanities family trees will often demonstrate its bearings in the form of various ethnic and cultural diversities. Each one in unique fashion, and each one taken at face value in accordance with specific cultures as seen today. Many would object to this attempt, citing “Just read Genesis and take that at face value” or “take Genesis by faith” and “avoid endless philosophies” (Col 2:8). But I must consent – the passage speaks only of endless philosophies, not of endless fables. In my opinion, the study of ancient societies and their various cultures is a privilege to our conscience and understanding.
Many have fought and died in order to secure the individual conscience. It is the same conscience that beckons the desire for knowledge, truth and freedom. The freedom to know truth or to understand, even in the slightest sense of the word, is true liberation. But truth is often subjective to the individual (see my article entitled “Truth”). Moreover, for some, like the atheist, truth is often interpreted as truth in its subjective empirical evidence. However, it must be understood and remembered that written ancient stone tablets and documents (that which we can see, smell and touch), oral traditions and even our (the humanities) mythos can contain elements of virtue, morality and ethics. Of such, perspectives of truth can be found. It is through the art of study that one can understand such foresight. To understand is to achieve knowledge. Such knowledge, once attained, can become a powerful ally with regards to our spiritual growth and potential.
But one might insist that there is no true answer pertaining to the question of knowledge. Moreover, some might even pose the question, “How much of the knowledge that could be known is in fact known and how much do you think you know it?” Such a question was indeed asked on a social media outlet. The comments, 27 in all, was interesting. But the best comments were those that I selected for this article. The following comments are numbered 1-6.
1. Every time I learn something it usually ends up creating several new questions. So in a weird & ironic way it seems to me that through learning I fall further behind – but what fun it is.
2. You got your known known’s. Your known unknowns, and your unknown unknowns.
There are two types of knowledge; facts and to know by experience – and through the experience of relationship.
3. How much is there to know is one question. How much do we need to know to complete our purpose in this life is another. The first question is probably unattainable in our human forms and minds. The second, however, is within our grasp if we would just spend some time looking.
4. I think we’re at a point where we don’t have enough data to answer how much knowledge that could be known, there is, but its safe to say that the amount that is known by humans anyway, is infinitesimal by comparison, and the amount I know is some tiny delta from nothing.
5. Normal matter (the stuff described by scientific laws) makes up less than 5% of the universe. Dark matter makes up about 27% and dark energy makes up about 68%. We can infer their existence based on observations like the expanding universe, but we know very little about what dark matter and energy are made of. We mainly just know that they have mass. So in this one sense physics has more to learn than it knows. But then physics and the other “hard” sciences have never been good at what goes on in the mind, in morality, in poetry, with beauty, or with the movement of the soul. Religion has plenty to say about this, but seems to value the certainty of pat answers to the complexity of questions.
6. How would we even quantify a percentage regarding the universe since we don’t even know if its finite and unbound or infinite and bounded. To come up with a percentage you would have a known quantity which we most certainly do not. We know enough to know we don’t really know much. However, the things we do actually know about, we are fairly certain about them like the laws of physics for example. So to answer your question I know precisely nothing. There is an untold amount of information yet to be discovered and thought by the human mind.
II. Tangible Evidence
To gain access to such knowledge one must commit to the act of reading, writing, and sharing. One must undertake all the subjective tangible evidence available before them and put the humanities back together again. It is similar to solving that puzzle spoken of earlier. This puzzle has come down to ancient civilizations by the likes of the “Epic of Gilgamesh,” the “Enuma Elis,” the “Code of Hammurabi” and “The Book of Genesis.” The ancients made use of early attempts by keeping humanity together by what is known as the “Poetry Epics.” What they claimed to have seen and heard was produced by way of oral poems. The tangible evidences spoken of by way of oral traditions didn’t exist until writing became its only source of empirical truth. But then oral traditions were far and wide. Spread through out the known world, oral traditions became an intangible puzzle. This puzzle became the various documents that we observe today.
Within theses documents we read of the wondrous places and realms, the pageantry, and the magic of the gods. However, we also see what appears to be confrontations between warring deities, even family confrontational disagreements within the realms of the gods. When we read of such epics, we come to the conclusion that the gods have a complete lack of what would be considered a structured order. If the gods can not maintain a sense of order, how can their creation or creations in other galaxies – if they exist, do so? If the gods are in constant chaos, then perhaps that is why we are in a state of constant chaos. However, a sense of order and harmony between the gods didn’t appear in the annuls of history until the publication of Genesis and the One God theology. Thus order was restored or it simply resurfaced.
Genesis saw fit to restore order. It is order from chaos. Instead of many gods or deities, we now have the One. The One God who created order and harmony until our banishment from the Garden of Eden – thus our present day chaos (more on the One God development or resurgence later). Augustine referred to it as the fall. But there lies the crux of the problem. Why would the simple act of disobedience warrant the death penalty? Am I blaspheming for asking such a question? I think not. The death penalty is recorded in the 3rd Chapter of Genesis. Some consider it a literal story as the Fundamentalist does. Some consider it to be allegorical story of a greater truth as Origin, Clement, Augustine, and many others did. But still we wonder, why would God place such a metaphor, or thought, borderline, tree, or commandment forbidding us not to partake, when there was no conscience, morality, or ethics to measure what was right or wrong? Remember, it is written that they did not know good or evil until after the fact. Yet our participation of conscience can certainly be realized in such metaphors, thoughts, borderlines, trees, or commandments. This is a dilemma. Plato called it the Euthyphro Dilemma.
Allow me to quote from “The All Restored Study Bible” (a work in progress by yours truly).
The Euthyphro Dilemma is found in Plato’s dialogue Euthyphro. Socrates asks Euthyphro, “Is the pious loved by the gods because it is pious, or is it pious because it is loved by the gods?” “Is what is morally good commanded by God because it is morally good, or is it morally good because it is commanded by God?” Others have thought this to be a false dilemma. However, it does entail many problems in regards to theology and philosophy. Here is a brief list:
Thesis One: That which is right is commanded by God because it is right. Problems Include:
A. A Sovereignty Shaken – This entails a righteous standard, independent of God – existing outside of God
B. God’s Omnipotence is Shaken – If something exists that is righteous, then something exists that is evil. God cannot change them – they are what they are. He cannot declare something good when it is evil.
C. Freedom of Will – This limits God’s will power. All things are commanded by Him but only in accordance to what exists as right or wrong outside of His Omnipotence.
D. Morality Without God – Morality, if independent of God, can exist without God’s existence. It would retain its authority.
Thesis Two: That which is right is right because it is commanded by God. Problems Include
A. No reasons for morality – God’s commands are arbitrary
B. No reasons for God – If the arbitrariness of God exists, then there is no room for justice and wisdom – thus God is cancelled out.
C. Anything Goes – Anything could become good, and anything could become bad, merely upon God’s command
D. Moral contingency – That which is right today could easily become wrong tomorrow, if God so decides.
E. Commands Obligations – Obligations to commandments limit God’s ability to do anything He pleases due to a moral obligation. God is seen as a Being subject to His own commandments and obligations; thereby limiting His Omnipotence and sovereignty.
Whatever the case, it would appear (at least according to this author) that God sometimes, and quite often frequently speaks, declares, acts, and commands out of the ‘status quo’ or ‘mainstream,’ as in His own ‘mainstream.’ For it is God’s option to do so, and none can say, “What doeth Thou?“ (What are you doing?). The prophets Amos, Hosea, Micah, and Isaiah indicate this. They indicate a third option, a thesis three, so to speak. The option of changing one’s mind. An option of which the above dilemma leaves out. This may be the precise meaning why God can claim something righteous or unrighteous, clean or unclean, cause chastisement, then reclaim the chastised individual – because He can. Nothing, be it morality or ethic’s exists outside of God’s being – for God always existed.
The above explanation may explain the two opposing thesis’s in reference to the character of God, but gives little reasoning as to why the death penalty upon humanity transpires eventually upon all of us. Neither does it explain why such a commandment was ordered. Some would cite the usual “God wanted us to have freewill, so He created us with such and set a standard against it called obedience and disobedience” or “God wanted to create freewill creatures in His image that will obey Him freely through choice – thus the commandment.” In other words, “He didn’t want a race of robots.”
Some choose not to consider the semantics involved, often denying the very existence of God altogether – opting for atheism. Perhaps this is due to confusion. Perhaps it is due to a flawed knowledge or theology concerning the ancients and the tangible evidence’s before us. Allow me to quote another article of mine entitled “Shadows of Doubt,” “The attack of the Skeptic and denialist is often rooted in their proposals of doubt found in the literalist viewpoint. Anything that is said to be miraculous and beyond the scope of reason or doubt will almost always be certainly attacked by doubters and skeptics. This attack is often directed at the Biblical Literalist (The Literalist).” Moreover, Aristotle wrote, “Affirmations and their corresponding negations are one in the same knowledge”; therefore, one can discern from many atheism’s their corresponding affirmative theologies.
Sometimes, the attack is an accusation of plagiarism – as in the Bible or the One God theology being plagiarized in one fashion or another from earlier religions until we were left with “Genesis.”
To answer these questions, and most of all the question of our origins, we must embark upon the ancients and archeology first.
III. What Saith the Ancients and Archeology In Reference to Our Origins?
Let us begin our research into that answer with the earliest known recorded pictograph or writing. But before we indulge ourselves, allow me to provide a general chronology on “tangible evidence.”
1. Pictograph Writing:
The mark of Cain (an idea) can be considered a form of pictograph. It is used to express ideas. This kind of writing can be found at the lowest levels of Pre-Historic cities of Babylonia. Other pictographs include Pre-Flood tablets like that discovered by Langdon at Kish (now located at the Ashmolean Museum) and the Fara discovery by Dr. Schmidt. And not to mention the seals discovered under flood layers by Dr. Woolley. These discoveries are often called Ante-Diluvian Books.
2. The Ante-Diluvian of Writings:
According to Dr. Henry H. Halley, “Berosus related a tradition that Xisuthrus, the Babylonian Noah buried the sacred writings before the flood, on tablets of baked clay, at Sippar, and afterward dug them up. There was a tradition among the Arabs and Jews that Enoch invented writing, and left a number of books. An anceint Babylonian king recorded that “he loved to read the writings of the age before the flood.” Assurbanipal, founder of Nineveh’s great library, referred to “inscriptions of time before the flood.”
By the way, Berosus was a Babylonian historian who lived circa 300 BCE. Berosus based his history on the archives found in the temple of Marduk (more on Marduk later). Berosus copied the primitive inscriptions (of which many have been found) the 10 long lived kings who reigned before the flood. Each reigning from 10,000 to 60,000 years as: Aloros, Alaparos, Amelon, Ammenon, Megalaros, Daonos, Eudorachus, Amenpsinos, Otiattes, Xisuthros. “In the time of Xisuthros,” says Berosus, “the Great Deluge occurred.”
The Weld Prism and Nippur Tablets assigning thousands of years to each reign, name the Pre-Flood kings as follows:
Alulim Reigned at Eridu – 28,000 years, Alalmar at Eridu – 36,000 yrs, Emenluanna at Badgurgurru – 43,000 yrs, Kichunna at Larsa – 43,000 yrs, Enmengalanna at Badgurgurru – 28,000, Dumuzi at Badgurgurru – 36,000 yrs, Sibzianna at Larak – 28,000 yrs, Emenduranna at Sippar – 21,000 yrs, Uburratum at Shuruppak – 18,000 yrs, and Zinsuddu (Utnapishtim) – location unknown – 64,000 yrs
“Then the Flood overthrew the land.”
This is Primeval Longevity as we also often see in Genesis, with a gradual decline in life expectancy after the Flood.
It is highly likely that these are the same kings named by Berosus, but known by different names after the confusion of tongues at Babel. Are the ancients exaggerating the life expectancy of their Pre-Historic times? Perhaps. But that doesn’t necessarily mean that it couldn’t be so. An American astronomer named Edwin Powell Hubble (Nov 20, 1889-Sept 28, 1953) may have inadvertently proven this to be the case.
Edwin Powell Hubble discovered that the universe is expanding. He further concluded that not only is the universe expanding, but all matter contained in the universe is expanding at great speeds also. Today it can be considered a fact, seen through the Hubble Telescope (named after Edwin Powell Hubble), the flying away of the universe and matter are indeed taking place at great speeds. It appears that time is speeding up today – thus the expansion of the universe is speeding up. If the expansion speeds up, wouldn’t time also speed up, and with it the duration of longevity shortened? The more further we look into space the more faster the speed of expansion. When we look at this expansion, we are also looking back into time. If we were to hypothetically reverse the expansion, we would regress toward a slower pace – thus time (as in our biological clock) might just slow down – thus the longevity.
According to CSMonitor.com “15 years ago, everyone agreed that the universe was expanding. Evidence for that expansion came via observations dating to the 1920s that no matter where astronomers turned their telescopes, galaxies were receding. The more distant the galaxy, the faster the pace. Like Magic Marker dots on an expanding balloon, galaxies were being carried along by the expansion of space-time itself. Early on, this led to the idea that the universe began in an enormous release of energy, dubbed the Big Bang. Over the years, the idea has been refined, but the general outline has been upheld by increasingly sophisticated observations, which put the event at some 13.8 billion years ago. As scientists filled in the picture of the universe’s beginning, however, its future was still open to debate, which centered on two possible paths.
If the universe held just the right density of matter and energy, the combined gravity of everything in the cosmos would allow the universe to expand forever, but at pace that would continually slow, though it would never reach zero. The other view posited that gravity ultimately would win out and throw the expansion into reverse. The universe would contract until everything collided in a cataclysmic “Big Crunch.”
“For a variety of reasons, most cosmologists tended to back the idea of an endless slowdown in the expansion rate. An accelerating universe was not on the cosmological radar screen.”
Then came (as mentioned before) 1998 and the Hubble Space Telescope (HST) observations of very distant supernovae that showed that, a long time ago, the Universe was actually expanding more slowly than it is today. So the expansion of the Universe has not been slowing due to gravity, as everyone thought, it has been accelerating. No one expected this, no one knew how to explain it. But something was causing it.
CSMomitor.com cites: “Two teams tried to resolve the question by observing the light from exploding stars, known as supernovae, appearing at the farthest distances their telescopes would allow them to observe. Dr. Perlmutter led one team. Dr. Schmidt led the other, which included Dr. Riess.
One type of supernova in particular, known as a type 1A supernova, shows a common peak brightness wherever it pops up. By studying the spectra and the brightness of some 50 type 1A supernovae at enormous distances, the two teams independently found that the supernovae were dimmer than should be the case if the universe’s expansion rate were slowing. After crunching the numbers, the data showed that the expansion was speeding up.”
Berkeley and Brian Schmidt of Australian National University shared the 2011 Nobel Prize for their work using this technique to reveal that the universe’s expansion is currently accelerating and has been for the last 5 billion years or so.
What is driving the expansion?
“That’s the question astrophysicists are now trying to answer.” (CSMonitor.com).
According to NASA Science; “Eventually theorists came up with three sorts of explanations. Maybe it was a result of a long-discarded version of Einstein’s theory of gravity, one that contained what was called a “cosmological constant.” Maybe there was some strange kind of energy-fluid that filled space. Maybe there is something wrong with Einstein’s theory of gravity and a new theory could include some kind of field that creates this cosmic acceleration. Theorists still don’t know what the correct explanation is, but they have given the solution a name. It is called dark energy.”
“It turns out that roughly 68% of the Universe is dark energy. Dark matter makes up about 27%. The rest – everything on Earth, everything ever observed with all of our instruments, all normal matter – adds up to less than 5% of the Universe. Come to think of it, maybe it shouldn’t be called “normal” matter at all, since it is such a small fraction of the Universe.”
“It pervades the universe, but its effects begin to show up only as the gravitational attraction between objects in an expanding universe weakens sufficiently” (CSMonitor.com).
Similarly according to Science News; “But as the universe got larger and matter got more diluted, scientists believe something began pressing the gas pedal again, causing expansion to accelerate once more. Scientists don’t know exactly what the culprit is, so they call it dark energy. Eleven billion years ago, dark energy made up less than 10 percent of the total content of the universe; today it makes up almost three-quarters.”
If these findings continue to pervade the known sciences, then it shouldn’t be considered far fetched when viewed in light of what the ancients described as longevity. The longest being that of Zinsudda (64,000 years). A drop in the bucket when compared to the cosmic calendar of a few billions years. And our Biblical Methuselah – son of Enoch, whose life over lapped with Adam and Seth, died the year of the flood; at the ripe old age of 969 years.
Continuing our general chronology, we come to number 3…
3. Cuneiform Writing:
At first, marks were used to demonstrate syllables or letters. Later the art of writing developed, and these marks became parts of words or syllables. 500 different marks with 30,000 combinations. This style was first developed in ancient Babylonia at the dawn of the historic period.
4. Alphabetic Writing: A further development of the above, where 26 marks could be expressed in different words as taken form the above in part or/and in whole. Alphabetic writing began before 1500BCE.
5. Writing Material: Babylonia used clay tablets. The Egyptians used stone, leather, and papyrus – the forerunner of paper.
6. Pre-Abrahamic Books:
1. Annipadda’s Foundation Tablet. Discovered in 1923 by Dr. Woolley. It sets the DIVIDING line between that of the historic and prehistoric periods.
2. Ur-Nina’s family portrait.
3. Stele of En-hedu-anna, daughter of Sargon – priestess of the moon-goddess at Ur.
4. Stele of Eannatum – depicts his victories over the Elamites and his way of fighting, and
5. the Stele of Ur-Namur – describes the building of the Ziggurat, when Ur was in its glory. It is called “stele of the flying angels” due to its carvings showing angels floating above the head of the king.
Other notables include:
1. Accad – Also called Sippar (one of Nimrods cities). It boosted a great library of 30,000 tablets – among them 60,000 other tablets were found. The name Sippar means “Book Town.” Tradition says that the ancient writings before the flood was buried. After the flood they were dug up.
2. Lagash – 50 miles North of Ur. Excavated in 1877-1901. A great library was found there.
3. Nippur – 50,000 tablets found dating to the 3rd millennium.
4. Jemdet Nasr – A Pre-Flood city. The pictograph indicates a belief in Monotheism (the belief in One God).
5. Weld Dynastic Prism – The first known outline of world history written 2170 – 3 years before Abraham.
7. Books of Abraham’s Day:
1. Hammurabi’s Code – Hammurabi, c.1792-1750BCE. The Code of Hammurabi dates back to dates back to the same period. It has 262 laws. Laws that are similar to the Mosaic laws. Laws like “an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth,” etc. Probably borrowed from earlier documents like the WISDOM LITERATURE Instructions of Sherpa (Shurappak).
2. School Text Books – 150 school exercise’s were uncovered by Dr. Woolley. Tablets containing math, medical, historical texts, and a study of the then known languages.
3. Ancient Egypt – Many Demotic and Hieroglyphical discoveries. However, not precisely or accurately translated – that is not until the discovery of the Rosetta Stone.
4. The Rosetta Stone – The key to understanding the ancient language of Egypt because it has 3 languages on it; Egyptian Demotic, Hieroglyphics, and Greek. Discovered by a scholar to Napoleon in Egypt. It is a degree made to Ptolemy V Epiphanes in 200BCE. Discovered in 1799CE.
5. Writings in Palestine & Broader regions – Locations: Shechem, Serabit in Sinai, Gezer, Beth-shemesh, Lachish, Ras Shamra, and Boghaz Keui. At these locations were discovered many ancient writings, some dating far back to 1800BCE.
6. The Pentateuch – Our general understanding of “In the Beginning God” and the Law – or the 10 commandments – both spiritual & civil and the other various Mosaic laws (moral codes – similar to the Codes of Hammurabi).
Now that we have come to the nitty gritty of our study/article, we now approach the Pentateuch – in particularly; Genesis. Genesis is the beginning of all things, including the human race. So who created us? Was it El? Elohim? Yahweh? Jehovah – the God of War? God through Jesus Christ or Jesus Christ Himself? Was it the Anunnaki / Nephilim? Perhaps it was Aliens – an advanced race or intelligence of some kind. Or are we a form of an highly advanced computerized system of genetics that can actually multiply itself? If the last theory is true – this computer has been asking the same question since the dawn of civilized man; “why are we here?” “Who is responsible for our existence?”
Lately, the answer to these questions has taken the form of what the Discovery and History Channel calls “ancient aliens.” They claim that what appeared to the ancients as God or gods were no more than ancient aliens, etc. Even movies like “Star Gate” and “The Matrix” insinuate such. Moreover, after all the philosophical rhetoric in The Matrix, (all of which is practically based on a Descartian stance) the film offers hope. Hope in the fact that according to the plot we are STILL carbon units, not a computer generated race of chip units – but rather carbon units living in a visual non-reality and simulated world – that is until the lead character Neo morphs into a sort of hybrid half human, half program living entity or being in latter sequels. However, the movie is left to open interpretations. Whereas Star Gate leaves us contemplating that what appeared to the ancients as gods were known to the Egyptian ancients as the god called Ra. But in reality Ra was really an alien life form who came to earth seeking a cure for his impending death – using our simpler bodies to maintain his own and at the same time enslaving the ancients here on earth and taking some to his (Ra’s) planet to mine his technology – since his own race was close to extinction. But being extremely strong and advanced technologically, they were able to convince the ancients that they were gods. Thus often threatening them if they didn’t perform the duties of a slave race. But with all this, Star Gate makes no mention as to who REALLY created the ancients to begin with or who created the alien Ra.
Note: You would have to watch both movies to understand what I’ am saying.
Both of these movies are intertwined with pseudoscience and mythology. But unfortunately many are quick to actually form debates, opinions, doubts, or an extreme anti-Biblical stance, or at least a questionable one based on half hearted research. Research based upon the likes of the Discovery and the History Channel.
So I ask again, “In the Beginning God”
Let us begin there….
IV. “In the Beginning God”
Who wrote those words first? Besides the Genesis account, there are many other theories – whether they are believed upon or not, such theories exist. They exist whether we like it or not.
Many scholars today theorize and claim that the 1st five books of the Torah came from four individual sources and not through Moses. All 5 books of the Torah were supposedly written at different times and by different people/sources. This theory is called the documentary hypothesis. The theory was developed by Julius Wellhausen, a Christian theologian and Christian Biblical scholar. This theory was developed in the 18th and 19th cent CE. Others before Wellhausen held similar theories including; Thomas Hobbes, Isaac de la Peyrere, Baruch Spinoza, Richard Simon, and John Hampden. Their works was condemned, many were imprisoned and forced to recant. Even an attempt was made on Spinoza’s life.
The theory is as follows:
1. The Yahwist, Jehovist JHWA, or simply put “J” hypothetically written c.950-BCE in the southern Kingdom of Judah.
2. The Elohist or ‘E’ source hypothetically written c.850BCE in the northern Kingdom of Israel.
3. The Deuteronomist hypothetically written c.600BCE in Jerusalem during a period of religious reform.
4. The Priestly or ‘P’ source hypothetically written c.500BCE by Kohanim (Jewish priests) in exile in Babylon.
On the other side of this, we have the traditional thought. scholars of the traditional thought place the date during the 15th cent BCE. The Pentateuch/Torah was written more likely during the time when Moses and the Israelites were wondering in the wilderness Num 20:1-13. So the 5 books of Moses were written about 757 years after Abraham c.2167 – 1991 BCE, Isaac c.2066 – 1886 BCE, Jacob c.2006 – 1859 BCE, and Joseph c.1915 – 1805 BCE placing the death of Joseph in Egypt at 1805 BCE (Note: Jacob/Israel and his family move to Egypt c.1876 BCE).
Though the explanations given above provide some clarity, it still does not answer the exact dates as to when certain events occurred in reference to the Creation, the Flood, or the Tower of Babel. The date is unknown. It is my OPINION that the consensus to both views, in regard to the book’s author and date, are thus plausible and highly probable. Moses wrote it, and others came after him to confirm it, record it again for posterity’s sake, and to confirm its original author. Thus to avoid any plagiarism by the keepers of the faith.
However, there are other documents pertaining to the beginnings with various cast of characters. These documents include, as mentioned above: The Epic of Gilgamesh, the Enuma Elis,” and the “Code of Hammurabi,”
Epic of Gilgamesh: The Earliest Surviving Work of Literature? Named After the King of Uruk Bilgamesh (Gilgamesh in Sumerian).
A collection of stories. Not a single epic. Dating as far back to the 3rd Dynasty of Ur (2150-2000BCE). Early Akkadian versions date to the early 2nd millennium (circa 18th or 17th cent BCE). The Akkadian language is an extinct Semitic language – which in turn is a greater Afroasiatic language. The language came from the city of Akkad – Semitic Mesopotamian during the Akkadian Empire (circa 2334-2154BCE). The Akkadian version creates a single epic. The combined collection of stories which originally consisted in 12 tablets was edited by Ashurbanipal (685- 627BCE) in Nineveh using only 4 as a combined story. Ashurbanipal reigned in Assyria (668-627BCE) during the time of Ezra. In Ezra 4:10 he is known as Asenappar. Justinus (Roman Historian) identified him as Sardanapalus. He collected large amounts of cuneiform documents, which become known as the Library of Ashurbanipal. His grandfather Sennacherib invaded Judah in 701BCE, but fell short of taking Jerusalem – this is known to Bible scholars as “The Assyrian Crisis.” Ashurbanipal was the last king of the Neo-Assyrian Empire (The Neo-Assyrian Empire lasted from 934-609BCE).
Moreover, within the Babylonian and Akkadian Epic of Gilgamesh we have quite a few number of gods all stemming from the ancient Semitic religion. The list includes; Enlil, along with Anu /An, Enki and Ninhursag who were the many different gods of the Sumerians. Later in Akkadian the generic Ea was used. This list also included; Ashur, Ishtar, Nabu, Marduk, Dagan / Dagon, Bel, Tammuz Hanbi – father of Pazuzu. They also had demons and heroes; Gilgamesh, Oannes, Pazuzu (you may remember the name Pazuzu from “The Exorcist II The Heretic,” where we learn that the demon who possessed the American girl named “Regan” in the 1st film is the ancient Babylonian god named Pazuzu. Hints of this is also seen in the opening sequences in the 1st Exorcist as shown in the Iraqi opening scenes). Of all the gods, I favor Ea – But even more so EL. Keep reading and you will discover why.
Here are some definitions:
1. Enlil – which means Lord of the Wind – this is where we get breathe from. He is considered the God of breath.
2. An also called Anu – God of the Heavens. The sky God. Considered the oldest in Sumerian pantheon – part of a triad or trinity including Enlil – god of air and Enki – god of water. Anu had consorts; Ki (earth), Nammu, and Uras.
3. Enki – later became known as the god of intelligence and creation.
4. Ki (earth) fathered the Anunnaki gods. An and Ki in some texts were considered brother and sister.
5. The Anunnaki – A group of deities (many today see them, group of ancient aliens – this thought is floating around the internet via U-tube, etc). Seen in ancient Mesopotamian cultures – Sumerian, Akkadian, Assyrian, and Babylonian. The name comes from the Anu (the Oxford Companion to World Religions pg 21). Meaning the royal blood (Dictionary of Ancient Near Eastern Mythology pg 7).
6. Igigi – Also known as the younger gods. They served the Annunaki.
The Annunaki are found, not only in the Epic of Gilgamesh as told by Utnapishtim in reference to the Flood, but they are also found in the Babylonian creation document called the Enuma Elish. They are also found in the Book of Enoch and may have become synonymous with the Genesis account of the fallen angels and their offspring the Giants or Nephilim. They are believed by some today to be of that wicked line or seed of Satan. But this particular view breeds distrust and racial bigotry. Something the EL is not concerned with. For it is said that the EL is the Father of ALL.
Moreover, the Annunaki forced hard labor onto the Igigi…
“When the gods, man-like,
Bore the labour, carried the load,
The gods’ load was great,
The toil grievous, the trouble excessive.
The great Anunnaku, the Seven,
Were making the Igigu undertake the toil.”
The New Babylonian Genesis Story pg 8 – The Tyndale Biblical Archaeology Lecture, 1966; Tyndale Bulletin, 3-18, 1967.
The Igigi rebelled against Enlil refusing the work. It is then for this reason the Annunaki take counsel and create man to tend to agricultural labor. The aforementioned “Star Gate” borrowed this concept – but changed the antagonists around a bit; calling upon Ra and changing Ra into an alien species, instead of using the Annunaki myth of slavery.
But even BEFORE all this came about the Babylonian and Akkadian gods were quite different. According to the Encyclopedia Britannia “Ea, the Akkadian counterpart of Enki, was the god of ritual purification: ritual cleansing waters were called “Ea’s water.” Ea governed the arts of sorcery and incantation. In some stories he was also the form-giving god, and thus the patron of craftsmen and artists; he was known as the bearer of culture. In his role as adviser to the king, Ea was a wise god although not a forceful one. In Akkadian myth, as Ea’s character evolves, he appears frequently as a clever mediator who could be devious and cunning. He is also significant in Akkadian mythology as the father of Marduk, the national god of Babylonia.”
This evolution of the gods is most likely attributed to language. The language itself is divided into geography and historical periods. This is important to realize when studying the Bible and its original thought intent, culture, and period in history. The Akkadian periods are divided into 5 specific historical periods.
2500-1950BCE – Old Akkadian. The Epic of Gilgamesh is recorded during the years 2150-2000.
1950-1530BCE – Old Babylonian/Middle Assyrian
1530-1000BCE – Middle Babylonian/Neo-Assyrian
1000-600BCE – Neo-Babylonian/Neo-Assyrian. During this time Ashurbanipal edit’s Gilgamesh – 685-627.
600-100BCE – Late Babylonian
Now! Remember the dates listed above in ref to Abraham – Joseph?
Abraham c.2167 – 1991 BC
Isaac c.2066 – 1886 BC
Jacob c.2006 – 1859 BC
Joseph c.1915 – 1805 BC
Placing the creation of the 5 books of Moses, (including the Genesis story of Abraham – Joseph) at 757 years AFTER the actual events recorded, would pace the publication of the “tangible evidence” circa 1445-1405, BEFORE Ashurbanipal’s edited edition of the Gilgamesh. But NOT before the 3rd Dynasty of Ur – 2150-2000BCE as mentioned above. Many scholars use this theory (the dynasty of Ur) to discredit the Genesis account as being nothing more than a collection of plagiarized stories from the ancients. Such stories of plagiarism includes, in particular; the Creation, the Garden of Eden, the Great Flood, the story of Job, the Tower of Babel, Nimrod, Lilith, the origin of Moses, and the 10 Commandments. If plagiarizing was committed, then it was committed by Ashurbanipal. Taking the documents from Old Akkadian, Mesopotamian, Sumerian, Babylonian, and Chaldean peoples – and producing the one story epic. This newer version maintained the polytheistic deities of the Ur version.
Realizing that critical scholars date Abraham c.2167-1991, I find it rather interesting that Abraham has a 17 year advantage over the Epic of Gilgamesh as recorded during the years 2150-2000. So now the question behooves us to ask “who plagiarized the Babylonian Epic of Gilgamesh from Ur?” It is highly likely that the Epic was handed down by oral traditions and a much EARLIER source of WISDOM LITERATURE. The Instructions of Sherpa (Shurappak) – is a Sumerian text of wisdom literature. The text cites, “In those days, in those far remote times, in those nights, in those faraway nights, in those years, in those far remote years. “It is intended for proper piety, virtue, and community standards. There are even moral precepts: “You should not play around with a married young woman: the slander could be serious. (lines 32–34). Where “insults and stupid speaking receive the attention of the land.” (line 142). They are similar to Proverbs and the 10 Commandments. This predates Abraham by 433 years.
Furthermore, the Wisdom Literature also includes and is synonymous with what is known as The Kesh Temple Hymn. The great Assyrian Linguistic and antiquities scholar, the late Stephen Langdon said it is a liturgy to the Goddess Nintud. Interestingly enough, in the Book of Genesis it is cited, “The Spirit of God moved” – the word Spirit is in the feminine sense. Langdon also noted that each section ended with the same refrain, which he interpreted as referring “to the creation of man and woman, the Biblical Adam and Eve.” (Stephen Langdon (1913). Babylonian liturgies: Sumerian texts from the early period and from the library of Ashurbanipal, p. 86)
Barton rejected the notation of the Adam and Eve parallel, noting the Creation of Mankind only. This may be why the Bible contains two versions of the Creation story; that of Adam and Eve, as Landon suggests, and the Creation of Man in general, as Barton claims. I must admit, we do see a difference in Genesis 1:26 and 2:4 – latter half of verse 4 “When the Lord God created” and especially verse 7 – quite different from 1:26-27. Based upon the documents available to us, we can conclude that the early Mesopotamian religions of the past was polytheistic. Is this true?
Moreover, scholars suggest polytheism as the starting point of all ancient religions. Polytheism consisted of over 2,100 different deities. According to scholars, polytheism thrived until Judaism, Christianity, Manicheanism, Gnosticism, and Islam took hold – it this consensus true? Upon further study, we discover that the ancient Mesopotamian religions of the past were not only polytheistic, but contained a sort of hierarchical order. Polytheism was henotheistic – where One single God is worshipped while accepting the possibility of other deities – who also can be worshipped, but with the understanding of the One who is ultimately over all others. Henotheism is seen in Hinduism today with its various subcategories by geography, culture, and tradition.
Another form is that which is called Monolatrism or Monolatry – it means “single” – “worship” it is the belief in One God with recognition of many gods. But unlike henotheism – where many can be worshipped upon one’s will, but with the understanding that the gods obtain or get permissions from the supreme God, monolatrists worship One God, while maintaining only a general acceptance of lesser gods; I.e. the god of this world – Satan, etc.
However, I MUST be honest. It has been argued that the Israelites (the founders of Judaism) were polytheistic themselves. Scholars pre-suppose historical Israel as distinct from literary or Biblical Israel – being a subset of the Canaanite culture. Moreover, scholars suggest that before monotheistic Judaism developed, the concept of early polytheistic Israelites are known. The Israelites (that is before they were called Israel) originally were of the early Canaanites. The Canaanites worshipped many deities. It has also been revealed that the early Canaanite pantheon list of deities included the name “Yahweh.” Yahweh is listed as one of many deities. Yahweh was seen as a “war god.” He is also equated with EL
EL was also known as the Father of man and all creation. The bull was often symbolically representative of EL. It is also speculated that he was a desert god who built a sanctuary in the desert for his two wives (a possible correlation to man and the Spirit) and new children in the desert. Is this a correlation in reference to the wandering children of Israel? Perhaps, very likely.
Background on EL
1. EL is the Father God of the Canaanites
2. The E is in the aleph form.
3. Alp is the 1st letter of many Semitic alphabets. In Phoenician it is Aleph. In Syriac it is Alaph. In Hebrew it is Aleph (same as Phoenician). In Arabic it is Alif.
4. The Phoenician letter Aleph gave rise to Alpha (One of the names of Jesus & God Rev 1:8,11, 22:13 & Isa 41:4).
5. The L is the 12th letter. In Latin it is L. In Greek it is Lambda (Ψψ) the 11th letter. In the Cyrillic script (first developed in the 9th century CE), the Cyrillic letter El was derived from lambda (Λ λ). In the Early Cyrillic Alphabet its name was людиѥ (ljudije), meaning “people.”
6. The L – Lambda has a numerical value of 30 in Greek. In Cyrillic it has a numerical value of 30. And in Phoenician, Hebrew, Aramaic, Syriac, and Arabic it has the numerical value of 30. What is the significance of this number, if any? I do not know yet.
If “EL” is the Father of the Canaanites, then it is not far fetched to envision their faith as springing from Canaan, the son of Ham and grandson of Noah (Gen 10:15-19). According to archaeologist Jonathan N. Tubb, “Ammonites, Moabites, Israelites, and Phoenicians undoubtedly achieved their own cultural identities, and yet ethnically they were all Canaanites,” “the same people who settled in farming villages in the region in the 8th millennium BC.” (Tubb, Jonathan N. 1998, “Canaanites” British Museum People of the Past). Others include; the Ishmaelites, Edomites, Midianites, and Qahtanites.
Therefore since it is the consensus that each tribe had developed a sense of cultural identity, it behooves us to ask the question, “where did the Hebrews (before achieving identity) originate from? We understand that they were nomadic, frequently identified as Phoenicians or other groups, such as the following:
1. The Shasu of Yhw – More about them two paragraphs down.
2. The Habiru – A people who are recorded in Egyptian inscriptions of the 13th and 12th cent BCE as having settled in Egypt. But this theory is rebutted by others scholars indicating that the word Hebrew have no relation linguistically to that of the Habiru. They also maintain that the Hebrews are mentioned in older texts of the 3rd Intermediate Period of Egypt (15th cent BCE) as Shasu of Yhw mentioned above.
3. The Hyksos – Josephus maintains that the Hyksos were the children of Jacob who joined his son Joseph in Egypt during the 11th dynasty. Moreover, there were kings ruling the lower part of Egypt during the 15th dynasty as Semite kings (the word Semitic comes from this word). Kamose of the Theban 17th dynasty refers to a particular Hyksos king as a Chieftain of Retjenu (Canaan). Eventually, the Hyksos was expelled by another Pharaoh at the end of the 17th dynasty. Not to long ago a program aired on the Discovery Channel about the Hyksos people being the people of the Exodus. In my opinion, this is an error.
Regarding the Shasu of Yhw, in “hieroglyphic” the rendering corresponds precisely to the Hebrew tetragrammaton YHWH or Yahweh, and antedates the hitherto oldest occurrence of that Divine Name – on the Moabite Stone. However, they are also depicted hieroglyphically with a determinative, indicating a land rather than a people. Originating from the land of Edom and Moab. What us a determinative?
Determinative, also known as a taxogram or semagram, is an ideogram used to mark semantic categories of words in logographic scripts which helps to disambiguate interpretation.
An ideogram or ideograph (from Greek ἰδέα idéa “idea” + γράφω gráphō “to write”) is a graphic symbol that represents an idea or concept. Some ideograms are comprehensible only by familiarity with prior convention; others convey their meaning through pictorial resemblance to a physical object, and thus may also be referred to as pictograms. The term “ideogram” is commonly used to describe logograms in writing systems such as Egyptian hieroglyphs, Sumerian Cuneiform, and Chinese Characters.
In this case the wandering nomads, who according to the ancient Egyptians were, “those who move on foot.” The wanderers are the ideogram used to demonstrate the physical – the tangible. These wanderers were considered enemies of Egypt. Their names appear on a list of enemies inscribed on column temple bases of Soleb built by Amenhotep III. Copied later by ether Seti I or Ramesses II. The list contains six groups of peoples – the Shasu of Yhw being one of them. Moreover, the word DIGIR may indicate such a determinative and ideograph. What is a DIGIR?
In cuneiform texts of Sumerian, Akkadian, and Hittite languages, many nouns are preceded or followed by a Sumerian word acting as a determinative; this specifies that the associated word belongs to a particular semantic group. I.e. the ancient cuneiform sign for God is a Star (literally carved on stone). It is the Sumerian sign “DIGIR” meaning a god in general or the Sumerian God “An” – the supreme Father of all gods. “DIGIR” also means sky. In Akkadian it means “god” or “goddess.” Also meaning sky. A preposition meaning “at” or “to.” A determinative – indicating that any word following it is the name of a god.
Thus the homeless God. The desert God. The Nomadic God – or the God of the Nomadic tribe or the God who is the Nomadic tribe became their God a new EL and Elohim perhaps, and later became Yahweh – their God of war, their liberator through Moses. We find this concept a plausible possibility when viewed with the Davidic Psalm in Ch 82:6, and Johns rendering of every individual as being a son of God or having the potential to become such when one applies NT ideology (John 1:12, 10:34-35). Thus the EL is once again the God of ALL (Such is the classic teaching of Universalism). However, after the Oneness of God or EL with reference to ALL men, God become known as YHWH / Yahweh or Jehovah if you will (an individual God – a nationalistic God). With this nationalistic God came the ceremonial law, came bloody battles, and conquest – quite different from the former EL. Perhaps they are different. Perhaps they are the same. It is difficult to tell. It is difficult to trace.
However, the Biblical account of Exodus tells us of the day when God said “I appeared unto Abraham, unto Isaac, and unto Jacob, by the name of God Almighty, but by my name Jehovah (or Yahweh) was I not known to them” (Exodus 6:3). But curiously enough it also says “I will give them the land of Canaan” Vs 4. and “I will be to you a God” Vs 7. The transition became a known fact to Israel, who was once of the Nomadic tribes of Canaan. Moreover, the Biblical account of Exodus is confirmed when viewed in another light. Prior to Exodus 6, the Nomadic tribe, known as the Kenites worshipped the God named Yahweh
The Kenites were an ancient nomadic clan. Judges 1:16 identifies Moses’ father in law as a Kenite. It is also believed that Yahweh was a Midian god or the God of the Midian’s. The movie, the “Ten Commandments,” while claiming an apparent correlation, renders this theory impossible due to Jethro the Midian (Moses’ father-law) citing, “He who has no name has guided your steps.” However, in what is known as the Kenite Hypothesis, Moses’ father in law is identified as a shepherd and priest in Midian (located in Canaan) who happened to be a Kenite. Thus the correlation between the EL of the Canaanites – who had Yahweh among their pantheon of god’s and the Kenites/Midianites who also had the same deity called Yahweh.
This name (YHWH – Yahweh) became synonymous with the Bible (the OT). And YHWH once again became synonymous with EL – the One Supreme God in the NT (the Father). Is this plagiarism? It certainly sounds, looks, and reads like that. But we ARE NOT discussing plagiarism, WE ARE discussing the ancients, the ancient Humanities.
Do idea’s convey a previous thought? Do they evolve? Yes they ALL do. But no different than the atheistic evolutionary hypothesis of man. Some theologian’s call this evolution of the spirit, progressive revelation. I call it, the “Progressive RESURFACED Revelation.”
As mentioned before, the One God theology resurfaced in the NT. But even before that, the OT insisted on the One God theology (Deut 6:4). But while doing so maintained a particular name to FIT their identity or roots as “the wandering people” or “those who move on foot.” It is identical to the tetragrammaton YHWH, or Yahweh. Thus they decided to use that NAME because it had no determinative cultural anomalies or associations. The NT correlates and maintains that its theology is the resurfacing of The One God, or EL for all Humanity while attesting The Son of God or Deity of Christ as synonymous with EL – Matt 1:23, Isa 7:14, 9:6, Jn 1:1, 14. Therefore, Jesus now takes the place or becomes the Yahweh of the Old Testament in Christian theology (in most circles anyway). Which is, in my opinion, the proper view of the intended histories and beliefs.
Though I find it very unlikely that Jesus would of preferred such a title or name. Yahweh, as we have learned, was a name involved with war, blood sacrifice, creation, and death. Jesus was concerned with the spiritual aspects of man – His sermon on the mount demonstrates this, the Apostles Peter and Paul demonstrates this, some early Christian church authorities, and more notably – the Gnostics also demonstrate this. Jesus often identified Himself with the Father, while claiming the title the Son of Man and Son of God. But in this case, He was not the wandering child of God or the wandering Son of God, or the homeless deity. He was the very Logos of God. Thus the Logos is the ideogram.
Allow me to quote from my footnote in John: The All Restored Study Bible – a work in progress to be published by late 2015;
“In this most glorious passage, John describes Jesus Christ like no one had ever described to Him before in connection with canonical writings. The term ‘Word’ in Greek is ‘Logos’ which generally has many interpretation’s, abstractions, or personifications. The Logos can mean; “Reason“, “I say”, “an expectation“, “the speech“, “an account“, “a plea“, or “an opinion“. The text, when understood in this context, can clearly be understood as, In the beginning was “Reason” or “the Reason”, “an expectation“, “the speech“, “an account“, “a plea“, or “an opinion“, and “Reason” or “the Reason“, “an expectation“, “the speech“, “an account“, “a plea“, or “an opinion“ was with God, and “Reason“, or “the Reason”, an expectation“, “the speech“, “an account“, “a plea“, or “an opinion“ was God, or God was “The Reason”, “an expectation“, “speech“, “an account“, “a plea“, or “an opinion“ The phrase “I say” can be viewed in the same manner and essence as the phase “Thus saith the Lord”. John 1:1 can easily be understood by the practicality of Wisdom as; “In the beginning was the declaration, “thus saith the Lord” and declaration was with God and the declaration was God”. For the Logos has declared Him (Vs. 18).
“This Reason/Logos/Thought, manifested itself in three aspects, or forms, if you will. They include; the Mind (Nous – the Gnostic term for Mind and Soul), the Spirit (Pneumatic – one who identifies with the Spirit as demonstrated in (Jn 15:26, 16:7, I Jn 4:2), and Body (the Hylic or Sarkic, meaning fleshly. It is the body of the material world and its own intellect – psychic).”
The determinative became the EL. Thus the EL – became identified with the determinative – who became the Elohim (used in the singular and plural), DIGIR, Shasu of Yhw. The ideogram – which came from the determinative became the desert God EL once again, and then became synonymous with the Shasu – who became synonymous with YHWH or Yahweh. The EL became synonymous with the Son. Isa 9:6 uses the word Hebrew word EL. Moreover, Isa 7:14 cites “Immanuel with us.” The “Im” – in Hebrew is an adjective – equally representing, accompanying, against, and as before (Strong’s Hebrew Con 5973). The Immanuel comes from “Im” 5973 and EL – 410, where El (Strong’s Hebrew Con # 410) is described as the mighty, especially the Almighty – but also used of any deity. The name signifies presence – with us – # 6005.
Note the phase “against” in the Hebrew rendering of “Im.” It can be concluded that Jesus is against the desert god Yahweh (the forms) but not against EL or Elohiym who is the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob (Strong’s # 430). 430 is used in the plural of gods Elowahh / Eloahh – which is taken from # 410, meaning a deity or the Deity. While the expression in Exodus 3, “I’ am that I’ am, is Hayah (Strong‘s Hebrew # 1961) – meaning “to be” or “become” – it comes from the root word Hava – “Breathe.” The name JHWH or Jehovah, or Yahweh (Exodus 6) is to existent – it is the Jewish national name for God. A name, of which according to Strong’s, is taken from # 1961 – which in turn means “to be” or “become.” Jehovah comes from the name Yahh or Jah which means the sacred Lord most vehement # 3050. Whereas in Exodus 6:3 God was known by the name EL Almighty # 410, but to Moses He became a God or a plural of Gods or a plurality of God / gods – # 430 is used again (Exodus 6:7), leaving the family of the Humanities to fight or become that “War God” spoken of earlier.
It is a War God who fights for justice, freedom, individuality, and revenge. The first 3 being that of higher conscience, the purer, the good. But revenge usually takes the form of blood and murder. Thus the bloody battles of Yahweh while at the same time accomplishing justice and freedom for Israel. But in Isaiah 7:14, “the equally representing, accompanying, against, and as before” is through Jesus Christ this time around. I would opt to consider this dichotomy a fact!
It is a fact because humanity as a whole today is not concerned with a “Warring God” but a with a “Father God.” Radical religious sects should realize this by now, but unfortunately they don’t. Choosing to conduct the crusades of the past and the Jihads of the present day. But I say again, on a whole humanity has become intolerant to any warring religion – and thus intolerant to a Yahweh ideology. The Father of humanity has resurfaced! It is clear! The Father has NO nationalized allegiances to no nation, not even Israel.
But not so in the past. According to the pantheon known in Ugarit, parallels include: The God Most High whose priest was Melchizedek – king of Salem, Melkart and Tyre, Yahweh and Jerusalem, Tanit and Baal Hammon in Carthage. All of the aforementioned had an identity which corresponded with who they were as a culture.
The Bible is quite clear in expressing truth, knowledge, ideas, and concepts. It reveals what is known by the ancients, what is known by abstraction – the determinative – the ideograms, the reason, and the Logos as mentioned above.
IV. Final Thought
Remember, how we learned that EL – which when viewed in their perspective languages meant Aleph which gave rise to the Alpha? But what is the Omega?
In Greek the Omega (Ωμέγα) literally means the great ‘O.’ The ‘O’ is written as Ω – upper case and ω – lower case. It means an open “O” as in the open-mid back rounded vowel as opposed to a closed ‘O.’ But in the Greek sequential order of things, Omega is the last ultimate, the last of a set. In Christianity it is used as a metaphor in reference to Jesus Christ. It is the 24th letter of the Greek alphabet. Note: Greek originally had only a single form of each letter; it developed the letter case distinction between upper-case and lower-case forms in parallel with Latin during the modern era. Therefore any rendering of John 1:1 in the lower case is simply an error (as in the New World Translation of the Holy Scriptures published by the Watchtower Society).
Moreover, it would appear that the open “O” is indicative to the character and nature of God, particularly to His inclusiveness. The Gospel, salvation, and its universal message is an open-mid back rounded vowel. It is not closed due to dogma or creed. Perhaps this is where the institutionalized church is mistaken? Often associating the God (Father) of the NT with the God of the OT – and thus the confusion or anger of such parallels by atheists and skeptics today. But what of the Gnostics? They found solace in the belief that the Father and Yahweh was not one and the same. They accepted a new dichotomy – a demiurge – in opposition to the Spirit realm or world who is considered the place of the Father of whom Jesus referred to as resurfacing as a separate act from the OT God and His implacable ethics of do’s and don’ts, or else.
Where the institutionalized church found the proper knowledge of God in a sacrifice as revealed, received, and thus approved in the Canon (397CE), the Gnostics desired gnosis or knowledge as a means to salvation as opposed to a blood sacrifice. One accepts the Augustinian ideology of a fall and the salvational blood sacrifice to redeem us from the fall, and the other accepts the fact that man was born in a state of chaos due to the OT God – and that a life was offered to Yahweh, but ultimately spared by the Father. Providing us with a spiritual resurrection instead, with a physical ascension into Heaven. This is believed by some modern day Gnostics and Islamic believers today.
One is seen as a Universal God and the other is seen as a representative nationalistic God. Are they one and the same, or are they separate?
This question is debated today due to recent discoveries (namely the 1945 discovery of the Nag Hammadi Texts). But the overall consensus within Christianity today is the Augustinian viewpoint with its 66 books of Canon law. However, with the discovery of the Nag Hammadi, Gnosticism has seen a rebirth, a resurgence where perhaps God can now be truly looked upon (aside from the Canon – which also speaks of God‘s inclusive nature) as Universal through the last incarnation – or resurfacing. The last concept. The last ideogram. Perhaps this last concept will give back to God its name – where God will be ALL and in ALL (Acts 3:20-21, I Cor 15:28) where the knowledge of the Lord will fill the earth.
Let us contemplate “My people perish for lack of knowledge.” “The knowledge of God is to be desired more than burnt offerings.” (Hos 6:6). “For the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea.” (Hab 2:14).