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Searching for Truth (What Other Searches Would/Could/Should be as Worthwhile?)

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Greetings Searcher:) What are You:) searching for today?! Lost keys, lost friend, lost peace, lost sleep??

Go to the Source, eh?…a good starting point:

arrogant?? -lol;) gonna quote myself here from earlier writing:

What are you searching for? Of what are you in hot pursuit? Everybody’s searching for something: a job, misplaced keys, a long-lost relative, true love, a remedy, a cure, an escape, hope, money, quiet, purpose, meaning to the daily grind, understanding, satisfying answers, truth, justice, closure, mercy, security, forgiveness, happiness, peace, pleasure, paradise?!

Have you checked the lost n’ found? 🙂

Some tire out and give up their quest without finding what they really need/want out of this life. Please, Don’t give up!

Back in the day (perhaps late 80’s?/’90)…i LOVED/Gobbled UP another Red Book…hard cover…here’s an excerpt: Chapter 3 Common Threads in Mythology: (my blue highlights)

1-3. (a) Why should myths interest us? (b) What will we cover in this chapter?

WHY consider myths? Are they not just fictions from the distant past? While it is true that many are based on fiction, others are based on fact. Take for example the myths and legends found worldwide that are based on the fact of the world Deluge, or Flood, that the Bible relates.

A reason for considering myths is that they are the foundation for beliefs and rites still found in religions today. For example, belief in an immortal soul can be traced from ancient Assyro-Babylonian myths through Egyptian, Greek, and Roman mythology to Christendom, where it has become an underlying tenet in her theology. Myths are evidence that ancient man was searching for gods, as well as for a meaning in life. In this chapter we will briefly cover some of the common themes that arise in the myths of the world’s major cultures. As we review these mythologies, we will note how creation, the Flood, false gods and demigods, the immortal soul, and sun worship crop up regularly as common threads in the patchwork of mythology. But why should this be the case?

Very often there is a kernel of historical fact, a person, or an event that has later been exaggerated or distorted to form the myth. One of these historical facts is the Bible’s record of creation.

Fact and Fiction About Creation

4, 5. What were some of the beliefs of Greek mythology?

Creation myths abound, but none have the simple logic of the Bible’s creation record. (Genesis, chapters 1, 2) For example, the account given in Greek mythology sounds barbaric. The first Greek to put myths in writing in a systematic way was Hesiod, who wrote his Theogony in the eighth century B.C.E. He explains how the gods and the world began. He starts off with Gaea, or Gaia (Earth), who gives birth to Uranus (Heaven). What follows is explained by scholar Jasper Griffin in The Oxford History of the Classical World:

“Hesiod tells the story, known to Homer, of the succession of sky gods. First Uranus was supreme, but he suppressed his children, and Gaia encouraged his son Cronos to castrate him. Cronos in turn devoured his own children, until his wife Rhea gave him a stone to eat in place of Zeus; the child Zeus was brought up in Crete, compelled his father to disgorge his siblings, and with them and other aid defeated Cronos and his Titans and cast them down into Tartarus.”

6. According to Jasper Griffin, what is the probable source of much Greek mythology?

From what source did the Greeks get this strange mythology? The same author answers: “Its ultimate origin seems to have been Sumerian. In these eastern stories we find a succession of gods, and the motifs of castration, of swallowing, and of a stone recur in ways which, though varying, show that the resemblance with Hesiod is no coincidence.” We have to look to ancient Mesopotamia and Babylon as the source of many myths that permeated other cultures.

7. (a) Why is it not easy to get information on ancient Chinese myths? (b) How does one Chinese myth explain the creation of the earth and man? (Compare Genesis 1:27; 2:7.)

The ancient mythology of Chinese folk religion is not always easy to define, since many written records were destroyed in the period 213-191 B.C.E. *(The more recent mythology of China, the result of the influence of Buddhism, Taoism, and Confucianism, will be discussed in Chapters 6 and 7.)

 Some myths have remained, however, such as the one describing how the earth was formed. A professor of Oriental art, Anthony Christie, writes: “We learn that Chaos was like a hen’s egg. Neither Heaven nor Earth existed. From the egg P’an-ku was born, while of its heavy elements Earth was made and Sky from the light elements. P’an-ku is represented as a dwarf, clad in a bearskin or a cloak of leaves. For 18,000 years the distance between Earth and Sky grew daily by ten feet, and P’an-ku grew at the same rate so that his body filled the gap. When he died, different parts of his body became various natural elements. . . . His body fleas became the human race.”

8. According to Inca mythology, how did languages come about?

From South America an Inca legend explains how a mythical creator gave speech to each nation. “He gave to each nation the language it was to speak . . . He gave being and soul to each one as well [as] the men and the women and commanded each nation to sink below the earth. Thence each nation passed underground and came up in the places to which he assigned them.” (The Fables and Rites of the Yncas, by Cristóbal de Molina of Cuzco, quoted in South American Mythology) In this case it appears that the Bible’s account of the confusion of languages at Babel is the factual kernel for this Inca myth. (Genesis 11:1-9) But now let us turn our attention to the Deluge described in the Bible at Genesis 7:17-24.

Distinguishing factual kernels…a necessary morsel (a morse code?) :)…What about the flood??

The Flood​—Fact or Myth?

9. (a) What does the Bible tell us about pre-Flood conditions on the earth? (b) What did Noah and his family have to do to be delivered from the Flood?

Taking us back to some 4,500 years ago, to about 2,500 B.C.E., the Bible tells us that rebel spirit sons of God materialized in human form and “went taking wives for themselves.” This unnatural interbreeding produced the violent Nephilim, “the mighty ones who were of old, the men of fame.” Their lawless conduct affected the pre-Flood world to the point that Jehovah said: “‘I am going to wipe men whom I have created off the surface of the ground . . . because I do regret that I have made them.’ But Noah found favor in the eyes of Jehovah.” The account then continues with the specific and practical steps Noah had to take to save himself, as well as his family and a variety of animal kinds, from the Flood.​—Genesis 6:1-8, Genesis 6:13–8:22;1 Peter 3:19, 20; 2 Peter 2:4; Jude 6.

10. Why should the Bible account of the Flood not be viewed as a myth?

10 The record of pre-Flood events related in Genesis is branded as myth by modern critics. Yet, the history of Noah was accepted and believed by faithful men, such as Isaiah, Ezekiel, Jesus Christ, and the apostles Peter and Paul. It is also supported by the fact that it is reflected in so many mythologies worldwide, including the ancient Epic of Gilgamesh as well as the myths of China and of the Aztecs, Incas, and Maya. With the Bible record in mind, let us now consider the Assyro-Babylonian mythology and its references to a flood.​—Isaiah 54:9; Ezekiel 14:20; Matthew 24:37; Hebrews 11:7.

The Flood and the God-Man Gilgamesh

11. On what is our knowledge of the Epic of Gilgamesh based?

11 Going back in history possibly some 4,000 years, we encounter the famous Akkadian myth called the Epic of Gilgamesh. Our knowledge of this is based mainly on a cuneiform text that came from the library of Ashurbanipal, who reigned 668-627 B.C.E., in ancient Nineveh.

12. Who was Gilgamesh, and why was he not popular? (Compare Genesis 6:1, 2.)

12 It is the story of the exploits of Gilgamesh, described as being two-thirds god and one-third man, or a demigod. One version of the epic states: “In Uruk he built walls, a great rampart, and the temple of blessed Eanna for the god of the firmament Anu, and for Ishtar the goddess of love . . . , our lady of love and war.” (See box, page 45, for a listing of Assyro-Babylonian gods and goddesses.) However, Gilgamesh was not exactly a pleasant creature to have around. The inhabitants of Uruk complained to the gods: “His lust leaves no virgin to her lover, neither the warrior’s daughter nor the wife of the noble.

13. (a) What action did the gods take, and what did Gilgamesh do? (b) Who was Utnapishtim?

13 What action did the gods take in response to the people’s protest? The goddess Aruru created Enkidu to be the human rival of Gilgamesh. However, instead of being enemies, they became close friends. In the course of the epic, Enkidu died. Shattered, Gilgamesh cried: “When I die, shall I not be like Enkidu? Woe has entered my belly. Fearing death, I roam over the steppe.” He wanted the secret of immortality and set out to find Utnapishtim, the deluge survivor who had been given immortality with the gods.

14. (a) What was Utnapishtim told to do? (Compare Genesis 6:13-16.) (b) What was the outcome of the epic journey of Gilgamesh?

14 Gilgamesh eventually finds Utnapishtim, who tells him the story of the flood. As found in Epic tablet XI, known as the Flood Tablet, Utnapishtim recounts instructions given to him concerning the flood: “Tear down (this) house, build a ship! Give up possessions, seek thou life. . . . Aboard the ship take thou the seed of all living things.” Does this not sound somewhat similar to the Bible’s reference to Noah and the Flood? But Utnapishtim cannot bestow immortality upon Gilgamesh. Gilgamesh, disappointed, returns home to Uruk. The account concludes with his death. The overall message of the epic is the sadness and frustration of death and the hereafter. Those ancient people did not find the God of truth and hope. However, the epic’s link to the Bible’s simple account of the pre-Flood era is quite evident. Now let us turn to the Flood account as it appears in other legends.

Flood Legend in Other Cultures

15. Why is the Sumerian flood legend of interest to us?

15 Even earlier than the account in the Epic of Gilgamesh is the Sumerian myth that presents “Ziusudra, the counterpart of the biblical Noah, who is described as a pious, a god-fearing king, constantly on the lookout for divine revelations in dreams or incantations.” (Ancient Near Eastern Texts Relating to the Old Testament) According to the same source, this myth “offers the closest and most striking parallel to biblical material as yet uncovered in Sumerian literature.” The Babylonian and Assyrian civilizations, which came later, were influenced by the Sumerian.

16. From what source could the Chinese flood legends have come?

16 The book China​—A History in Art tells us that one of the ancient rulers of China was Yü, “the conqueror of the Great Flood. Yü channeled flood waters into rivers and seas to resettle his people.” Mythology expert Joseph Campbell wrote about the Chinese “Period of the Great Ten,” saying: “To this important age, which terminates in a Deluge, ten emperors were assigned in the early Chou-time mythology. Hence, it appears that what we are viewing here may be a local transformation of the series of the old Sumerian king list.” Campbell then cited other items from Chinese legends that appeared to “reinforce the argument for a Mesopotamian source.” That takes us back to the same basic source of many myths. However, the story of the Flood also appears in the Americas, for example, in Mexico during the period of the Aztecs in the 15th and 16th centuries C.E.

17. What flood legends did the Aztecs have?

17 Aztec mythology spoke of four previous ages, during the first of which the earth was inhabited by giants. (That is another reminder of the Nephilim, the giants referred to in the Bible at Genesis 6:4.) It included a primeval flood legend in which “the waters above merge with those below, obliterating the horizons and making of everything a timeless cosmic ocean.” The god controlling rain and water was Tlaloc. However, his rain was not obtained cheaply but was given “in exchange for the blood of sacrificed victims whose flowing tears would simulate and so stimulate the flow of rain.” (Mythology​—An Illustrated Encyclopedia) Another legend states that the fourth era was ruled by Chalchiuhtlicue, the water-goddess, whose universe perished by a flood. Men were saved by becoming fish!

18. What accounts are prevalent in South American mythology? (Compare Genesis 6:7, 8; 2 Peter 2:5.)

18 Similarly, the Incas had their Flood legends. British writer Harold Osborne states: “Perhaps the most ubiquitous features in South American myth are the stories of a deluge . . . Myths of a deluge are very widespread among both the highland peoples and the tribes of the tropical lowlands. The deluge is commonly connected with the creation and with an epiphany [manifestation] of the creator-god. . . . It is sometimes regarded as a divine punishment wiping out existing humankind in preparation for the emergence of a new race.”

19. Describe the Maya flood legend.

19 Likewise, the Maya in Mexico and Central America had their Flood legend that involved a universal deluge, or haiyococab, which means “water over the earth.” Catholic bishop Las Casas wrote that the Guatemalan Indians “called it Butic, which is the word which means flood of many waters and means the final judgment, and so they believe that another Butic is about to come, which is another flood and judgment, not of water, but of fire.Many more flood legends exist around the world, but the few already quoted serve to confirm the kernel of the legend, the historical event related in the book of Genesis. [excerpted reading: Mankind’s Search For God, Chapter 3, Common Threads in Mythology, pp. 41-53]

The aforementioned/highlighted examples attest to some myths having a basis in fact…kernels of “Truth”… but are all myths based on “fact(s)” ?!

post to “hopefully” be continued later…(part two).

Hoping this post helped You:) Find Some Kernels of Truth to Thread Today, Searcher:)

9/27/18 @10:07 a.m.

 

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