If thousands of years and millions of testimonies about the workings of God are mere foolishness

For ages lots of people wrote about the Most High and about the creation of our universe. Many sought solutions in a series of gods and their adventures, others could find it was only One Eternal Being Who was the Source. Many researched how it could be that all those things came into being. Scientists [...]

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Fallen angels and pagan ideas food for stories

Mankind may find the cradle of civilization in Mesopotamia which gave us a treasure of many valuable inventions, discoveries and stories. Many may say that it was here that agriculture began, but they should know that already long before that age, people tried to cultivate the earth to extract edible products from it. Several people [...]

Humanity vs. Divinity: The Role of Religious Perspective in The Epic of Gilgamesh and Beowulf

To remember

Beowulf preparing to cut off the head of the monster Grendel, illustration from Hero-Myths & Legends of the British Race, 1910.
  • Throughout history, civilizations largely defined by their practiced religions;
  • religion often influences both societal structure of a civilization + how it chooses to record its own history.
  • examining ancient poems The Epic of Gilgamesh and Beowulf reflect religious ideologies of Sumerian and Anglo-Saxon civilizations
  • Epic of Gilgamesh highlights importance of Gilgamesh’s humanity during his journey for eternal life, reflecting ideologies of polytheistic Sumer,
  • Beowulf proclaims Beowulf’s faith in God as reason for his success as warrior + king, reflecting ideologies of Anglo-Saxon Christianity.
  • religious justification of Gilgamesh & Beowulf’s royalty highlights significant historical difference in how both texts were affected by the religions of their regions,
  • Epic of Gilgamesh >narrator uses ideologies of ancient Mesopotamian polytheism to justify King Gilgamesh’s reign over the city of Uruk.
  • role of Beowulf as King of the Geats justified through values of Anglo-Saxon Christianity,< Beowulf claims leadership = result of his unfaltering loyalty to God rather than his own accomplishments.
  • Beowulf = similar to Gilgamesh > exhibits superhuman feats of strength > holds no divine ancestry >> divine aspect of his rule = faith in God. (battle with the dragon threatening the Geats)
  • Gilgamesh serves as his own source of divine right, drawing a further distinction between the two heroes in the way that their humanity is represented by each text’s author.
  • Epic of Gilgamesh places importance on humane over the divine
  • author of Beowulf places importance on the divine over the humane.
  •  Gilgamesh questions mortality + seeks out Utanapishtim, sole survivor of the great flood,
  • Utanapishtim insinuates that death is not a monumental experience; all things must die eventually, + dying is no more consequential than sleeping. => Gilgamesh finds solace in ephemerality of life + embraces his humanity.
  • => focus taken from divinity + placed on humanity
  • in Sumer during time of polytheism = life heavily centered around the gods.

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Preceding

Stories of the beginnings, and one Main book composed of four major sections

Gilgamesh

Between gods and animals: becoming human in the Gilgamesh epic

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Additional reading

  1. Genesis Among the Creation Myths
  2. The flood, floods and mythic flood stories 2 Mythic theme 1 God or gods warning
  3. The flood, floods and mythic flood stories 3 Mythic theme 2 Hebrew story of the flood
  4. The flood, floods and mythic flood stories 6 European myths
  5. The flood, floods and mythic flood stories 8 South America

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Related

  1. Chronological timeline of English literature (Oxford)
  2. Men, Monsters and Library Book Hoards: The Lay of the MA Dissertation
  3. Top 3 Medieval Tales to Read and Why
  4. Gaining Appreciation for a Epic of Old English
  5. Tolkien was right: Scholars conclude Beowulf likely the work of single author
  6. ll. 53-85
  7. ll. 164-188

Undergrad Lit Review

Throughout history, civilizations have been largely defined
by their practiced religions; religion often influences both the societal
structure of a civilization and how it chooses to record its own history. By examining how the ancient poems The Epic of Gilgamesh and Beowulf reflect the religious ideologies
of Sumerian and Anglo-Saxon civilizations, where the poems respectively
originated, a greater understanding of how religion has been historically used
in literature to accentuate the power of a nation’s ruler – in this case
Gilgamesh and Beowulf themselves – can be achieved. However, it is imperative
that the differing religious perspectives of each poem’s author are considered
in order to fully understand the significance of this religious accentuation. While
The Epic of Gilgamesh highlights the
importance of Gilgamesh’s humanity during his journey for eternal life, reflecting
the ideologies of polytheistic Sumer, Beowulf
proclaims Beowulf’s faith in God as the reason for his success as…

View original post 1,154 more words

Between gods and animals: becoming human in the Gilgamesh epic

To remember

  • The Epic of Gilgamesh = Babylonian poem composed in ancient Iraq, millennia before Homer = tells story of Gilgamesh, king of the city of Uruk.
  • gods create a friend for him > Enkidu, wild man,
  • woman Shamhat seduces Enkidu=> transforming Enkidu from beast to man => strength diminished + intellect expanded =>able to think + speak like a human being.
  • Enkidu goes to Uruk to confront Gilgamesh’s abuse of power > wrestle with one another => form passionate friendship.
  • Gilgamesh’s beginning number of different editions <= began as cycle of stories in  Sumerian language > collected + translated into single epic in Akkadian language. > earliest version of the epic written in dialect Old Babylonian > revised + updated in Standard Babylonian dialect
  • Gilgamesh story comes to us as a tapestry of shards, pieced together by philologists to create a roughly coherent narrative
  • newest discovery = tiny fragment lain overlooked in museum archive of Cornell University in New York, identified by Alexandra Kleinerman & Alhena Gadotti + published by Andrew George in 2018. => tablet seemed to preserve parts of both Old Babylonian + Standard Babylonian version, = two scenes not identical,
  • Gods depicted as opposite of animals = omnipotent + immortal
  • human placed somewhere in the middle = not omnipotent, but capable of

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Preceding

Stories of the beginnings, and one Main book composed of four major sections

Gilgamesh

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Additional reading

  1. Genesis Among the Creation Myths
  2. The flood, floods and mythic flood stories 2 Mythic theme 1 God or gods warning
  3. The flood, floods and mythic flood stories 3 Mythic theme 2 Hebrew story of the flood
  4. The flood, floods and mythic flood stories 6 European myths
  5. The flood, floods and mythic flood stories 8 South America

Recortes de Oriente Medio

Tablet V of the Epic of Gilgamesh Tablilla V de la Epopeya de Gilgamesh. Museo Sulaymaniyah, Irak. Foto: Osama Shukir Muhammed Amin / Wikimedia Commons

Por Sophus Helle
Publicado originalmente en Aeon bajo liciencia Creative Commons

The Epic of Gilgamesh is a Babylonian poem composed in ancient Iraq, millennia before Homer. It tells the story of Gilgamesh, king of the city of Uruk. To curb his restless and destructive energy, the gods create a friend for him, Enkidu, who grows up among the animals of the steppe. When Gilgamesh hears about this wild man, he orders that a woman named Shamhat be brought out to find him. Shamhat seduces Enkidu, and the two make love for six days and seven nights, transforming Enkidu from beast to man.

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Gilgamesh

To remember

  • Gilgamesh Mesopotamian half god & half man > wreaks havoc in town fighting  conquering women.
  • people upset => ask the gods to do something about it => gods create Enkidu = match = almost as strong as Gilgamesh
  • sacred bull killed by Enkidu + Gilgamesh => Enkidu is poisoned.
  • Gilgamesh searches for immortality > meets Utnapishtim.
  • Gilgamesh similarities to bible & greek mythology

Diamonds or Light?

In Mesopotamia Gilgamesh is half god and half man. He is the most handsome man. He wreaks havoc in the town fighting and conquering the women. The people are upset and ask the gods to do something about it. The gods create Enkidu so Gilgamesh has a match. Enkidu is almost as strong as Gilgamesh, but when they fight Gilgamesh wins. Gilgamesh and Enkidu travel and have to fight Humbaba so they can be remembered throughout history. They defeat him. A god sends down the sacred bull. Enkidu and Gilgamesh kill it. The goddess of love tries to seduce Gilgamesh, but he does not marry her. One of them has to die for killing the sacred bull and it is Enkidu. He is poisoned. Gilgamesh searches for immortality. He meets Utnapishtim. Utnapishtim says humans cannot be immortal but he was granted immortality after a flood that wiped away most of…

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Count Your Blessings — Count The Omer

After celebrating the liberation from slavery we should take time to see the multiple blessings which the Bore has provided for His children.

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To remember

period between Passover & Shavuot =  one of the most spiritually powerful times of the year.

to evaluate our lives and our actions > Sefirat HaOmer =  period of ‘Counting the Omer’.

Beginning second day of Passover > Torah commands to count 49 days leading up to festival of Shavuot = celebration of our receiving Torah at Mount Sinai. [Lev 23:15] <= rabbinic tradition > purpose of count = spiritually bridge holidays of Passover and Shavuot.

counting of the Omer ends this year on May 19th, followed by Shavuot on May 20th.

escape from Egypt – physical freedom — time remaining to prepare ourselves to receive the Torah – Shavuot – spiritual freedom.

link between two festivals = agricultural => sacrifice called omer = a sheaf of barley offered in the Temple >  beginning of  harvest season. Fifty days later, on Shavuot > new wheat offering concluding celebration of grain harvest.

Counting the omer = for ethical self-analysis

Be grateful. Count your blessings. Treat others well. Make every day count. Be kind. Take a full accounting of yourself. Be generous. Use gentle speech. Be compassionate. Remind yourself how to be a better person.

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Preceding

In God’s abounding goodness able to grow and spreading kindness by counting the Omer

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Additional reading

  1. Two forms of Freedom
  2. To be chained by love for another one
  3. A world with or without religion
  4. Looking to the East and the West for Truth
  5. Being Religious and Spiritual 8 Spiritual, Mystic and not or well religious
  6. Background to look at things
  7. An anarchistic reading of the Bible—(1) Approaching the Bible
  8. Nature Is A Reflection Of God
  9. From nothingness to a growing group of followers of Jeshua 2 To Please God
  10. Christian fundamentalists feeding Into the Toxic Partisanship and driving countries into the Dark Ages… #1
  11. A New Perspective
  12. Trusting, Faith, Calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #10 Prayer #8 Condition
  13. Not trying to make the heathen live like Jews #2
  14. Self-development, self-control, meditation, beliefs and spirituality
  15. A Passover for unity in God’s community
  16. Actions to be a reflection of openness of heart
  17. Don’t Envy the World
  18. If we view the whole world through a lens that is bright

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Related articles

  1. Considering that…
  2. Three Words of Freedom
  3. “All I need is a King James Bible and a dictionary.”
  4. Sticky Note to God 06.08.16 Thank you for lightening my path
  5. Sticky Note to God ~03.27.19~ the freedom You permitted me
  6. Knowing
  7. F ~ Freedom

Ahava: A Spiritual Experience in the Jewish Tradition

Be grateful. Count your blessings. Treat others well. Make every day count. Be kind. Take a full accounting of yourself. Be generous. Use gentle speech. Be compassionate. Remind yourself how to be a better person.

Count the Omer…

We are now in the period between Passover and Shavuot, one of the most spiritually powerful times of the year. During this time, we are supposed to evaluate our lives and our actions. This period of time is known as the period of ‘Counting the Omer’. Beginning on the second day of Passover, the Torah commands us to count 49 days leading up to the festival of Shavuot, the celebration of our receiving the Torah at Mount Sinai. [Lev 23:15]

For those who have not been counting, today is the 12th day of the Omer. It also happens to be the 12th day of April, which makes counting the Omer particularly easy…

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Symptom of tzara’at a white spot on the flesh

  זֹאת תּוֹרַת אֲשֶׁר בּוֹ נֶגַע צָרָעַת . . . בְּטָהֳרָתוֹ: (ויקרא יד:לב) This is the law regarding someone suffering from a lesion of tzara’at . . . when he is to be purified. Leviticus 14:32 * If the person formerly afflicted with tzara’at could not afford the lambs required for his sacrifices, he could [...]

Why Fuss over a Little Leaven (Yeast)?

Let the coming chag not be polluted by old yeast, but that you observe the Festival of Unleavened Bread like the Most High wants us to remember the exodus of the Bnei Yisroel.

Commentary on Parashat Tazria

Going up to 14 Nisan, time to consider if are body or health is not gone out of control

On Purim, Let’s Get Vulnerable

Does eating and drinking to much fit in with our celebration of Purim, a holiday of rejoice and redemption?

Being an introvert doesn’t mean you have to be isolated at Purim

Jennifer Einstein, a lifelong Reform Jew and introvert, claims that dressing as Mordechai, in sackcloth and ashes, was her best Purim costume ever. When it comes to practicing Judaism, she sometimes asked herself: How can I take part in a communal religion when being around people can be so draining? Purim can be a particularly [...]

Making time for God is crucial

Growing and getting knowledge demands time. With the Bible, the Bestseller of all times we have the best guidebook for our life. We must take time to read and study it, getting to know why everything is this way, what to do and how to build up our life, in the most successful way.

How to Read the Bible

Though even the Bible speaking in an ancient Voice the Most High Creator took care that His Words would spread all over the world and would reach the many different peoples in a language they can understand.

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To be careful and to remember

John Walton writes

God … adopted the language of the culture to communicate in terms they understood.

or “we could say incarnated Himself” writes who regularly preaches at Bethany Community Church.  With that incarnation he probably does mean something different than what we would understand by bringing life into His Word. Naturally we do know the Almighty never incarnated into something or some one. But what God provided, was that God His Word came to the people

“in the language of the culture to communicate in terms they understood.”

or, as John Walton puts it,

“[The Bible’s] message transcends the culture in which it originated, but the form in which the message was imbedded was fully permeated by the ancient culture.”

We should believe the Bible is authoritative, and we should take the words of those 66 different books as containing all the necessary.

We may never forget that

We need to be open to letting the Bible speak in its own voice, not in ours.

This is so often forgotten by lots of people, who prefer to take all those added notes by theologians as more telling than the words in the bible text itself.

When reading the Bible we should know that we have God’s Word in our hands and that we should open our ears to what He is saying.  We should be humble enough not to think human beings who went to a theological college would know it better than Him. Reading the Bible is a way of  hearing God’s word when we are prepared to have our ears and eyes open for what the Most High wants to tell and show us.

We do have to allow Scripture to guide us on what to do and how to serve the Most High. Whatever happens and whenever in our life we can turn to the Bible. In times of sadness, joy, worry or bereavement there is He Who wants to talk to us. It is up to us to be willing to hear what God has to say.

Being humble with our interpretations, because we aren’t perfect, we always should remember that god’s Word is perfect and does not need any adding by human beings.

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Continues with:

How to Read the Bible (sequel 1)

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Find also to read:

  1. Absolute Basics to Reading the Bible
  2. Words of God to stand and to be followed and to believe

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{ Andrew Mills }

itsownvoice.pngToday, in a short blog post, we are going to try to dive pretty deep theologically and philosophically. I want to begin with a quote from a pretty well-known Biblical scholar at Wheaton, named John Walton, who apparently Larry went to school with, which makes me quite jealous.

Walton writes this, “We must notice that when God wanted to talk to the Israelites about their intellect, emotions, and will, he did not revise their ideas of physiology and feel compelled to reveal the function of the brain. Instead, he adopted the language of the culture to communicate in terms they understood.”

For me, that last line is incredibly important… “[God] adopted” – or we could say incarnated Himself – “in the language of the culture to communicate in terms they understood.” What this means is that the message of the Bible is imbedded and formed by the ancient cultures of…

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