An Early Trinity
Fri, 17 Sep 1999 23:37:02 EDT

In answer to my question,

>In what ancient document do you find this supposed original Akkadian trinity
>with a father-god called "ilu" which was later "corrupted to 'Anu' under
>pressure of the Sumerian 'An"? In all of the documents I have seen "ilu" is
>the common Akkadian word for "god" and is applied to Enlil, Ea and other
gods >as freely as to An. I have never seen it used as the original name of

Dick Fischer, after telling of his research and the authors he had read,

<<And, like theologians and ASA members, they have incomplete knowledge bases
and don't all agree with each other. However, there is a body of literature
that dates prior to 2800 BC, called the Proto-Literate Period where the
corrupted. "Anu" is not found in Accadian literature. (Akkadian is the
spelling.) By the time of the writing of the eleventh tablet of Gilgamesh,
which is the Accadian flood legend, polytheism has taken root. So there is
an evolution in
Accadian writing which reflects their change in theology due to Sumerian

The origin of "Babel" appears to be rooted in the Accadian word, bab-ilu, or
"Bab-El," meaning, "gate of God." So ilu clearly is God. Now the question
you ask is could ilu also mean god? It could.

Some of the material I used came from Gwendolyn Leick, A Dictionary of Ancient
Near Eastern Mythology (New York: Routledge, 1991.>>

Leick indicates that "Ilu" was used in personal Akkadian names found for the
first time in the "Old Sumerian period." I grant, therefore, that in addition
to being the common word for "god," "Ilu" probably was the name of a god. But
the name of this god does not appear "prior to 2800 BC" since these names do
not appear in the literature prior to 2800 BC. Nor is there any evidence, to
my knowledge, that this god's name or character was corrupted to "Anu."
Indeed, it lived on as "El".

I also do not see any evidence that the Akkadians did not worship many gods
from the beginning, Ilu being simply one of the many. Jacobsen, an authority
on Mesopotamian religion, describes the oldest and most original religion of
Mesopotamia as characterized by an elan vital bound to various aspects of
natural phenomena He specifically describes the gods of the Proto-literate
period as being linked closely "with the specific phenomenon of which they
are the indwelling power." (pp, 20,21 of The Treasure of Darkness). He also
contrasts this immanent view of the gods with the transcendence of the God of
the OT (pp.5 and 6). His understanding of early Mesopotamian religion is
clearly polytheistic, and he has evidence to support it. Since your idea of
the Akkadians worshipping a trinity and only becoming polytheisitic after
Sumerian influence, has as far as I can tell no evidence to support it, I
think you are just speculating.

To my question,

<<And what evidence do you have that the Anunnaki were not gods? Every time
I have seen them mentioned, they are gods.>>

Dick answered,

<<All of the gods have names and are responsible for something. Nanna was the
moon god, Ninurta was the god of irrigation, Haddad was the god of thunder,
and so on. The anunnaki are always mentioned in plural. They had no names,
and they had no responsibilities. They were not on the same level as named
but they were not human either.>>

Leick says the function of the Anunnaki is not clear; but she twice
specifically calls them "gods" (p. 8) and so do other ANE scholars.

To my statement,

<<Until proven otherwise, I must regard all of these conclusions as nothing
more than speculation designed to support your pre-Adamic theory.>>

Dick answered,

<<Can't prove it Paul, but consider that the Sumerian gods Enki (Lord or king
the earth) and Enlil (Lord or king of the air, breath or spirit) have the en-
prefix which denotes kingship. Sumerian kings have the en- prefix, such as
Enmenluanna, Enmengalanna, Enmeduranki, Ensipazianna, and so on. And Adam's
two grandchildren have the same prefix - Enoch and Enosh. Coincidence?
Perhaps you don't recognize the difference between speculation and

Since this sort of appeal to etymologizing is, in my opinion, one of the
great weaknesses of your book, I think you need to do some research in
linguistics to discover just how dubious this approach is. In your above
paragraph, for example, you are basing everything on the English translations
of the Sumerian and Hebrew names without asking whether or not there is any
linguistic basis for supposing that the non-Semitic Sumerian "en" would be
preserved in a Semitic language like Hebrew as "en." Since the Sumerian Enki
came into the Semitic language of Akkadian as Ea and Enlil as Ellil, it looks
like the change from Sumerian to a Semitic language may have involved the
loss of the "n." In that case, there would be no reason to believe that the
"En" of Enosh came from Sumerian influence. At the very least you would have
to give some evidence that there is a connection. Without evidence you are
just speculating. It seems clear that in the case of Enoch, you have made a
bad speculation for his name in Hebrew is Hanoch, with a hard gutteral "H".
Surely a soft sound like "en" would not have come into Hebrew as a hard
gutter "H".

You've done a lot of good research, and I am on the side of anyone like
yourself who is opposing a young earth; but, I hope your thesis remains open
to correction.

Paul S.