Die ware Trojaanse perd

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 Ek dink ek kan ook so nou en dan 'n "headline" skryf op die werf. By voorbaat verskoning aan die lesers vir die lang Engelse aanhalings. Ek wou dit nie eenvoudig vertaal nie en ek weet nie hoe om dit beter te stel nie.

Kobus, ek neem aan jy is bekend met die JEPD hipotese en dat ek nie tyd hoef te mors om dit vir jou te verduidelik nie. Die volgende aanhaling uit dieselfde bron as voorheen (kan jy al raai wat dit is?):

"Critical biblical scholarship, through the early part of the twenty-first century, was quite confident in dating each of these Pentateuchal sources along with the legal collections they incorporated. Thus, J was seen as the earliest collection, often dated to the period of David and Solomon [vir wie daar geen argeologiese of historiese rekords bestaan nie] in the tenth century BCE, followed by E, which was often associated with the Northern Kingdom. D was connected to the reform of King Josiah in the late seventh century, and P was seen as deriving from the sixth century. Scholars now agree that the reasons usually given for assigning these dates are problematic, and a lively debate has developed concerning such fundamental issues as the relative order of these sources and the extent to which any of them are as early as previous scholars had suggested. The existence of E as a complete source has been questioned as well, especially since E first appears well after the beginning of the Torah and is very difficult to disentangle from J after the beginning of Exodus. Thus, many scholars now speak of JE together as an early narrative source, incorporating diverse traditions over extended periods of time."

Let daarop dat niemand 'n argument maak vir 'n vroër datum nie. Die epiek van Gilgamesh, Atrahasis, die Enuma Elish en vele meer dateer honderde jare voor of uit dieselfde tydperk as die Ou Testament.

Wie het vir wie beinvloed? As voorbeel van 'n kritiese benadering neem ek die vloed storie van Noag/Utnapishtim. Gary Rendsberg bied die volgende redes hoekom die invloed van buite was, dws van die Babiloniërs op die Israeliete:

A. In general, greater societies influence lesser ones, and Babylonia was a major power in the ancient world, whereas Israel was a relatively minor player.
B. Flooding is typical of Mesopotamia but not of Canaan. The former gets more plentiful rainfall, and it has two major rivers running through the region, the Tigris and the Euphrates, both of which flood the Mesopotamian plain with relative frequency. The flood tradition obviously grew to legendary proportions, but presumably, one such real flooding formed the basis for the flood story. By contrast, flooding is impossible in the land of Canaan, with its lesser amount of rainfall and no major rivers.
C. The only geographical location mentioned in the biblical account is the mountains of Ararat, which are located in far northern Mesopotamia (around Lake Van, in modern-day eastern Turkey), near the headwaters of both the Tigris and Euphrates rivers.
D. As noted above, the Gilgamesh Epic was the literary classic of the ancient world; thus, people in other cultures would have been familiar with it. Indeed, a fragment of the epic dated to c. 1400 B.C.E. (relating a scene known from Tablet VII of the 12-tablet version) was found in Megiddo, a city in northern Israel, not far from modern-day Haifa.

1. We have to assume that the local Canaanites at Megiddo were able to read this text in the original.
2. From the city of Ugarit, located in far northern Canaan, on the Mediterranean coast in northern Syria, we have another cuneiform tablet, describing another episode from the life of Gilgamesh (though not one known from the 12-tablet version).
3. How did somebody in, let’s say, the 10th or 9th or 8th century in Israel know about the Gilgamesh Epic? It might have been translated orally, perhaps, into Hebrew or Canaanite (recall that Hebrew and Canaanite are dialects of the same language).

E.
In addition, the biblical tradition has Abraham originating from Mesopotamia, before he moves to the land of Canaan. Thus, it is possible that the earliest Hebrews would have brought the flood story with them.
F. The additions in the biblical account suggest that the Hebrew version is an expansion of the Babylonian version. This is far more likely than assuming that the Babylonians excised material from an Israelite version. G. The end of Genesis 8 also contains a particular item that is very non-Israelite.

1.
When Noah sacrifices to God, Genesis 8 tells us that God smelled the sweet savor of the sacrifices.
2. Of all the many times in the Bible where we have reference to the Israelites offering sacrifices, this is the only place in the Bible where we have a reference to God smelling the sacrifices.
3. God appears here almost in human fashion, which is something we would expect to find in the polytheistic world. Indeed, in Gilgamesh Epic, Tablet XI, line 161, we read, “the gods smelled the sweet savor” emanating from Utnapisthim’s sacrifice. (The Book of Genesis, The Teaching Company)

Hierdie is die spreekwoordelike tip van die ysberg, niks meer as lekkie in die veld van kritiese benadering tot die Bybel materiaal. Jou argument vir 'n invloed in die teenoorgestelde rigting is eenvoudig die produk van fundementele en apologetiese Christene wat geen intellektuele integriteit aan die dag durf lê nie. Dit sou die einde wees van hulle letterlike interpretasie van die Bybel, die verbrokkeling van hulle geloof. Dit is 'n feit dat enige geloof, in wat ook al, vastrap plek kry en vir lank kan oorleef as dit kan aanspraak maak op 'n gerespekteerde intellektuele basis. Augustyn en Aquinas, om enkele voorbeelde te noem, het dit besef en hulle Christen geloof geanker in die filosofie van Plato en Aristoteles onderskeidelik. Fundementele geloof, en hier kan Islam ingesluit word, kan nie lank oorleef solank dit rus op 'n simplistiese, oneerlike en verdraaide siening van die wêreld nie. Dit sal op die oueinde sink tot 'n onbenullige sekte in die wildernis. Die fundementalis het sy hand oorspeel na 9/11 deur aan te dring op die leierskap van George Bush. Te veel mense, Christene, Moslems en ongelowiges, het die gevaar besef wat hulle vir die wêreld inhou.

Kobus maak ’n fout om soveel aandag te gee aan die teorie van evolusie/Darwin, asof die verstek posisie, indien hy sou slaag om die argument te wen, sy geloof waar sal bewys. Hy blyk salig onbewus te wees van die Trojaanse perd in sy geloof: die Bybel self!

Ek sluit af met 'n aanhaling van Edward Gibbon wat op die lys van name is wat Kobus reken sy argument ondersteun:

"The theologian may indulge the pleasing task of describing Religion as she descended from Heaven, arrayed in her native purity. A more melancholy duty is imposed on the historian. He must discover the inevitable mixture of error and corruption which she contracted in a long residence upon earth, among a weak and degenerate race of beings"(Van Hoofstuk 15, The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire)

Chris Dippenaar

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