What Can We Learn From Ancient Religious Texts?

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One of the biggest and earliest questions mankind has tried to deal with is “How did we get here?” The question we Americans tend to have today is “Why am I here?” with little concern for the bigger issues. One of the earliest attempts to answer that question was mythologized by the Mesopotamians in Enuma Elish. King Ashurbanipal (of Ezra 4:10) had this text copied and placed in the Assyrian library in the 7th century B.C.

There are several polemics against pagan “gods” in the Old Testament. Some of them are found in the psalms (psalm 148:8 – Yahweh is God of the storm, not Baal). Others are found in our earliest biblical texts, such as Genesis. Genesis tells us how the one true God created everything. In Genesis we learn something of God and we learn something of man. God is eternal, without beginning. He made order out of chaos. He made humanity with a purpose.

Their story of creation starts with nothing except for father and mother gods Apsu and Tiamat.
They start with two bodies of water and made them one (in contrast to the Genesis account of separating the water – Gen 1:2-6). Unlike our God, their “gods” had origin from the “Divine womb.” Marduk is god of the storm and fills the divine warrior motif by taking on bow and arrows. The earth is made from the remains of Tiamat, whom Marduk slayed

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