Bible Discussion: The Flood In The Legends Of The World

The Flood In The Legends Of The World
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*@[127.1]
2004-06-03 21:12:26 EST



THE Flood of Noah\ufffds day was such a devastating cataclysm that
mankind could never forget it. Over 2,400 years later, Jesus Christ
spoke of it as a fact of history. (Matthew 24:37-39) This awesome
event left such an indelible impression on the human race that it has
become legendary all over the world.

In the book Myths of Creation, Philip Freund estimates that over 500
Flood legends are told by more than 250 tribes and peoples. As might
be expected, with the passing of many centuries, these legends have
been greatly embellished with imaginary events and characters. In all
of them, however, some basic similarities can be found.

As people migrated from Mesopotamia after the Flood, they carried
accounts of the catastrophe to all parts of the earth. Thus,
inhabitants of Asia, the islands of the South Pacific, North America,
Central America, and South America have tales of this impressive
event. The many Flood legends existed long before these people were
exposed to the Bible. Yet, the legends have some basic points in
common with the Biblical account of the Deluge.

Some legends mention violent giants living on the earth before the
Flood. Comparably, the Bible indicates that before the Deluge
disobedient angels materialized fleshly bodies, cohabited with women,
and produced a race of giants called Nephilim.\ufffdGenesis 6:1-4; 2\ufffdPeter
2:4,\ufffd5.

Flood legends usually indicate that one man was warned about a
coming deluge of divine origin. According to the Bible, Jehovah God
warned Noah that He would destroy wicked and violent ones. God told
Noah: \ufffdThe end of all flesh has come before me, because the earth is
full of violence as a result of them; and here I am bringing them to
ruin together with the earth.\ufffd\ufffdGenesis 6:13.

Legends concerning the Flood generally indicate that it brought
about global destruction. Similarly, the Bible says: \ufffdThe waters
overwhelmed the earth so greatly that all the tall mountains that
were under the whole heavens came to be covered. Everything in which
the breath of the force of life was active in its nostrils, namely,
all that were on the dry ground, died.\ufffd\ufffdGenesis 7:19,\ufffd22.

Most Flood legends say that a man survived the Deluge along with one
or more other persons. Many legends have him taking refuge in a boat
he had built, and they have it land on a mountain. Comparably, the
Scriptures say that Noah built an ark. They also state: \ufffdOnly Noah
and those who were with him in the ark kept on surviving.\ufffd (Genesis
6:5-8; 7:23) According to the Bible, after the Deluge \ufffdthe ark came
to rest on the mountains of Ararat,\ufffd where Noah and his family
disembarked. (Genesis 8:4, 15-18) Legends also indicate that Flood
survivors started to repopulate the earth, as the Bible shows that
Noah\ufffds family did.\ufffdGenesis 9:1; 10:1.

With the foregoing points in mind, let us consider some Flood
legends. Suppose we begin with the Sumerians, an ancient people who
inhabited Mesopotamia. Their version of the Deluge was found on a
clay tablet unearthed in the ruins of Nippur. This tablet says that
the Sumerian gods Anu and Enlil decided to destroy mankind with a
giant flood. Being warned by the god Enki, Ziusudra and his family
were able to survive in a huge boat.

The Babylonian Epic of Gilgamesh contains many details. According to
it, Gilgamesh visited his ancestor Utnapishtim, who had been granted
eternal life after surviving the Flood. In the ensuing conversation,
Utnapishtim explained that he was told to build a ship and take
cattle, wild beasts, and his family into it. He built the ship as a
huge cube 200 feet [60\ufffdm] on each side, with six floors. He tells
Gilgamesh that the storm lasted six days and six nights, and then he
says: \ufffdWhen the seventh day arrived, the hurricane, the Deluge, the
shock of battle was broken, which had smitten like an army. The sea
became calm, the cyclone died away, the Deluge ceased. I looked upon
the sea and the sound of voices had ended. And all mankind had turned
to clay.\ufffd

After the vessel grounded on Mount Nisir, Utnapishtim released a
dove that returned to the boat when it could not find a resting-
place. This was followed by a swallow that also returned. A raven was
then released, and when it did not return, he knew that the water had
subsided. Utnapishtim then released the animals and offered a
sacrifice.

This very old legend is somewhat similar to the Biblical account of
the Flood. However, it lacks the graphic details and simplicity of
the Bible account, and it does not give reasonable dimensions for the
ark nor supply the time period indicated in the Scriptures. For
instance, the Epic of Gilgamesh said that the storm lasted six days
and six nights, whereas the Bible says that \ufffdthe downpour upon the
earth went on for forty days and forty nights\ufffd\ufffda continuing heavy
rain that finally covered the entire globe with water.\ufffdGenesis 7:12.

Though the Bible mentions eight Flood survivors, in Greek legend
only Deucalion and his wife, Pyrrha, survived. (2\ufffdPeter 2:5)
According to this legend, before the Flood the earth was inhabited by
violent individuals called the men of bronze. The god Zeus decided to
destroy them with a great flood and told Deucalion to build a large
chest and get into it. When the flood subsided, the chest came to
rest on Mount Parnassus. Deucalion and Pyrrha descended from the
mountain and started mankind again.

In India there is a Flood legend in which Manu is the human
survivor. He befriends a small fish that grows to a large size and
warns him of a devastating flood. Manu builds a boat, which the fish
pulls until it is grounded on a mountain in the Himalayas. When the
flood subsides, Manu descends from the mountain and with Ida, the
personification of his sacrifice, renews the human race.

According to the Chinese flood legend, the thunder god gives a tooth
to two children, Nuwa and Fuxi. He instructs them to plant it and to
take shelter in the gourd that would grow from it. A tree promptly
grows from the tooth and produces a huge gourd. When the thunder god
causes torrential rainfall, the children climb into the gourd. Though
the resulting flood drowns all the rest of earth\ufffds inhabitants, Nuwa
and Fuxi survive and repopulate the globe.

Indians of North America have various legends that carry the common
theme of a flood that destroys all but a few people. For example, the
Arikara, a Caddo people, say that the earth was once inhabited by a
race of people so strong that they ridiculed the gods. The god Nesaru
destroyed these giants by means of a flood but preserved his people,
the animals, and maize in a cave. The Havasupai people say that the
god Hokomata caused a deluge that destroyed mankind. However, the man
Tochopa preserved his daughter Pukeheh by sealing her in a hollow log.

Indians in Central and South America have flood legends with basic
similarities. The Maya of Central America believed that a great rain
serpent destroyed the world by torrents of water. In Mexico the
Chimalpopoca version tells that a flood submerged the mountains. The
god Tezcatlipoca warned the man Nata, who hollowed out a log where he
and his wife, Nena, found refuge until the water subsided.

In Peru the Chincha have a legend of a five-day flood that destroyed
all men except one whom a talking llama led to safety on a mountain.
The Aymara of Peru and Bolivia say that the god Viracocha came out of
Lake Titicaca and created the world and abnormally large, strong men.
Because this first race angered him, Viracocha destroyed them with a
flood.

The Tupinamba Indians of Brazil spoke of a time when a great flood
drowned all their ancestors except those who survived in canoes or in
the tops of tall trees. The Cashinaua of Brazil, the Macushi of
Guyana, the Caribs of Central America, and the Ona and Yahgan of
Tierra del Fuego in South America are among the many tribes that have
flood legends.

Throughout the South Pacific, legends of a flood with few surviving
are common. For example, in Samoa there is a legend of a flood in
early times that destroyed everyone except Pili and his wife. They
found safety on a rock, and after the flood they repopulated the
earth. In the Hawaiian Islands, the god Kane became annoyed with
humans and sent a flood to destroy them. Only Nu\ufffdu escaped in a large
boat that finally grounded on a mountain.

On Mindanao in the Philippines, the Ata say that the earth was once
covered by water that destroyed everyone except two men and a woman.
The Iban of Sarawak, Borneo, say that only a few people escaped a
deluge by fleeing to the highest hills. In the Igorot legend of the
Philippines, only a brother and sister survived by taking refuge on
Mount Pokis.

The Soyot of Siberia, Russia, say that a giant frog, which was
supporting the earth, moved and caused the globe to be flooded. An
old man and his family survived on a raft he had made. When the water
receded, the raft grounded on a high mountain. The Ugrians of western
Siberia and Hungary also say that flood survivors used rafts but
drifted to different parts of the earth.

What can we conclude from these many Flood legends? Though they
differ greatly in details, they have some common features. These
indicate an origin in some gigantic and unforgettable cataclysm.
Despite vivid colorations over the centuries, their underlying theme
is like a thread that ties them to one great event\ufffdthe global Deluge
related in the simple, uncolored Bible account.

Since the Flood legends are generally found among people who did not
come in touch with the Bible until recent centuries, it would be a
mistake to contend that the Scriptural account influenced them.
Moreover, The International Standard Bible Encyclopedia says: \ufffdThe
universality of the flood accounts is usually taken as evidence for
the universal destruction of humanity by a flood .\ufffd.\ufffd. Moreover, some
of the ancient accounts were written by people very much in
opposition to the Hebrew-Christian tradition.\ufffd (Volume 2, page 319)
So we can confidently conclude that the Flood legends confirm the
reality of the Biblical account.

Living as we do in a world filled with violence and immorality, we
do well to read the Biblical account of the Flood, as recorded in
Genesis chapters 6 through 8. If we meditate on the reason for that
global Deluge\ufffdthe practicing of what was wicked in God\ufffds sight\ufffdwe
will see in it a vital warning.


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David Jensen
2004-06-03 22:10:36 EST
In alt.talk.creationism, <Use-Author-Address-Header@[127.1]> wrote in
<*5@webmail04.nyc.untd.com>:

> THE Flood of Noah’s day was such a devastating cataclysm that
>mankind could never forget it.

Bad start.

There was no such flood.

Paul Laird
2004-06-03 22:23:09 EST

"David Jensen" <david@dajensen-family.com> wrote in message
news:2gmvb050dvm49drr049cbefq27mmcn26s4@4ax.com...
> In alt.talk.creationism, <Use-Author-Address-Header@[127.1]> wrote in
> <20040603.181324.20158.23165@webmail04.nyc.untd.com>:
>
> > THE Flood of Noah's day was such a devastating cataclysm that
> >mankind could never forget it.
>
> Bad start.
>
> There was no such flood.

Even worse response. Geologist and Geologic Paleantologists agree that the
earth suffered a catastrophic flood sometime in the last 6000 years.




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Christopher A. Lee
2004-06-03 22:29:59 EST
On Thu, 3 Jun 2004 19:23:09 -0700, "Paul Laird" <smalltoe10@ywave.com>
wrote:

>
>"David Jensen" <david@dajensen-family.com> wrote in message
>news:2gmvb050dvm49drr049cbefq27mmcn26s4@4ax.com...
>> In alt.talk.creationism, <Use-Author-Address-Header@[127.1]> wrote in
>> <20040603.181324.20158.23165@webmail04.nyc.untd.com>:
>>
>> > THE Flood of Noah's day was such a devastating cataclysm that
>> >mankind could never forget it.
>>
>> Bad start.
>>
>> There was no such flood.
>
>Even worse response. Geologist and Geologic Paleantologists agree that the
>earth suffered a catastrophic flood sometime in the last 6000 years.

No, they don't. Either demonstrate that there was a world-wide flood
as described in the OT or admit you're bullshitting.

Matt Silberstein
2004-06-03 23:33:57 EST
On Thu, 3 Jun 2004 19:23:09 -0700, "Paul Laird" <smalltoe10@ywave.com>
wrote:

>
>"David Jensen" <david@dajensen-family.com> wrote in message
>news:2gmvb050dvm49drr049cbefq27mmcn26s4@4ax.com...
>> In alt.talk.creationism, <Use-Author-Address-Header@[127.1]> wrote in
>> <20040603.181324.20158.23165@webmail04.nyc.untd.com>:
>>
>> > THE Flood of Noah's day was such a devastating cataclysm that
>> >mankind could never forget it.
>>
>> Bad start.
>>
>> There was no such flood.
>
>Even worse response. Geologist and Geologic Paleantologists agree that the
>earth suffered a catastrophic flood sometime in the last 6000 years.

References please.


--
Matt Silberstein

Do in order to understand.

David Jensen
2004-06-03 23:37:58 EST
In alt.talk.creationism, "Paul Laird" <smalltoe10@ywave.com> wrote in
<40bfdd75_6@corp.newsgroups.com>:
>
>"David Jensen" <david@dajensen-family.com> wrote in message
>news:2gmvb050dvm49drr049cbefq27mmcn26s4@4ax.com...
>> In alt.talk.creationism, <Use-Author-Address-Header@[127.1]> wrote in
>> <20040603.181324.20158.23165@webmail04.nyc.untd.com>:
>>
>> > THE Flood of Noah's day was such a devastating cataclysm that
>> >mankind could never forget it.
>>
>> Bad start.
>>
>> There was no such flood.
>
>Even worse response. Geologist and Geologic Paleantologists agree that the
>earth suffered a catastrophic flood sometime in the last 6000 years.

Reference please.

Glenn \Christian Mystic\
2004-06-03 23:41:10 EST

"Matt Silberstein" <matts2@ix.netcom.nospam> wrote in message
news:kcrvb01soifi6ln7sg77b2j0cl508jq4r7@4ax.com...
> On Thu, 3 Jun 2004 19:23:09 -0700, "Paul Laird" <smalltoe10@ywave.com>
> wrote:
> >"David Jensen" <david@dajensen-family.com> wrote in message
> >news:2gmvb050dvm49drr049cbefq27mmcn26s4@4ax.com...
> >> In alt.talk.creationism, <Use-Author-Address-Header@[127.1]> wrote in
> >> <20040603.181324.20158.23165@webmail04.nyc.untd.com>:
> >>
> >> > THE Flood of Noah's day was such a devastating cataclysm that
> >> >mankind could never forget it.
> >>
> >> Bad start.
> >> There was no such flood.
> >
> >Even worse response. Geologist and Geologic Paleantologists agree that
the
> >earth suffered a catastrophic flood sometime in the last 6000 years.
>
> References please.

I await with....never mind, won't happen

> --
> Matt Silberstein

Glenn (Christian Mystic)

> Do in order to understand.



Dave Oldridge
2004-06-03 23:53:54 EST
"Paul Laird" <smalltoe10@ywave.com> wrote in
news:40bfdd75_6@corp.newsgroups.com:

>
> "David Jensen" <david@dajensen-family.com> wrote in message
> news:2gmvb050dvm49drr049cbefq27mmcn26s4@4ax.com...
>> In alt.talk.creationism, <Use-Author-Address-Header@[127.1]> wrote in
>> <20040603.181324.20158.23165@webmail04.nyc.untd.com>:
>>
>> > THE Flood of Noah's day was such a devastating cataclysm that
>> >mankind could never forget it.
>>
>> Bad start.
>>
>> There was no such flood.
>
> Even worse response. Geologist and Geologic Paleantologists agree
> that the earth suffered a catastrophic flood sometime in the last 6000
> years.

No they do not. They discarded that theory prior to 1850.

So....the above is a lie. Who told you that lie?

--
Dave Oldridge
ICQ 1800667

Paradoxically, most real events are highly improbable.

Thore Schmechtig
2004-06-04 01:19:19 EST
> THE Flood of Noah’s day was such a devastating cataclysm that
> mankind could never forget it. Over 2,400 years later, Jesus Christ
> spoke of it as a fact of history. (Matthew 24:37-39) This awesome
> event left such an indelible impression on the human race that it has
> become legendary all over the world.

Except for those pesky Egyptians, who were alive and well all through
The Flood(TM) and didn't even mention it in any of their records...



--
TOP TEN SIGNS YOU'RE A (CHRISTIAN) FUNDAMENTALIST

(found on www.evilbible.com)

10 - You vigorously deny the existence of thousands of
gods claimed by other religions, but feel outraged when
someone denies the existence of yours.

9 - You feel insulted and "dehumanized" when scientists
say that people evolved from other life forms, but you
have no problem with the Biblical claim that we were
created from dirt.

8 - You laugh at polytheists, but you have no problem
believing in a Triune God.

7 - Your face turns purple when you hear of the
"atrocities" attributed to Allah, but you don't even
flinch when hearing about how God/Jehovah slaughtered all
the babies of Egypt in "Exodus" and ordered the
elimination of entire ethnic groups in "Joshua" --
including women, children, and trees!

6 - You laugh at Hindu beliefs that deify humans, and
Greek claims about gods sleeping with women, but you have
no problem believing that the Holy Spirit impregnated
Mary, who then gave birth to a man-god who got killed,
came back to life and then ascended into the sky.

5 - You are willing to spend your life looking for little
loopholes in the scientifically established age of Earth
(4.55 billion years), but you find nothing wrong with
believing dates recorded by Bronze Age tribesmen sitting
in their tents and guessing that Earth is a couple of
generations old.

4 - You believe that the entire population of this planet
with the exception of those who share your beliefs --
though excluding those in all rival sects - will spend
Eternity in an infinite Hell of Suffering. And yet
consider your religion the most "tolerant" and "loving."

3 - While modern science, history, geology, biology, and
physics have failed to convince you otherwise, some idiot
rolling around on the floor speaking in "tongues" may be
all the evidence you need to "prove" Christianity.

2 - You define 0.01% as a "high success rate" when it
comes to answered prayers. You consider that to be
evidence that prayer works. And you think that the
remaining 99.99% FAILURE was simply the will of God.

1 - You actually know a lot less than many atheists and
agnostics do about the Bible, Christianity, and church
history - but still call yourself a Christian.

Steve Mading
2004-06-04 02:55:56 EST
In talk.atheism Use-Author-Address-Header@[127.1] wrote:
:
:
:
: THE Flood of Noah?s day was such a devastating cataclysm that
: mankind could never forget it. Over 2,400 years later, Jesus Christ
: spoke of it as a fact of history. (Matthew 24:37-39) This awesome
: event left such an indelible impression on the human race that it has
: become legendary all over the world.
:
: In the book Myths of Creation, Philip Freund estimates that over 500
: Flood legends are told by more than 250 tribes and peoples. As might
: be expected, with the passing of many centuries, these legends have
: been greatly embellished with imaginary events and characters. In all
: of them, however, some basic similarities can be found.
:
: As people migrated from Mesopotamia after the Flood, they carried
: accounts of the catastrophe to all parts of the earth. Thus,
: inhabitants of Asia, the islands of the South Pacific, North America,
: Central America, and South America have tales of this impressive
: event.

I suppose the simpler explanation that people have flood myths
because floods are common never occurred to you.

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