Re: Noah's Ark... the Book
Sun, 07 Nov 1999 08:11:58 +0000

Adam points us to a marvelous article on the flood which exactly and
precisely illustrates the dangers of a 'make up the story as you go'
approach to legends.

At 02:53 AM 11/07/1999 PST, Adam Crowl wrote citing an article:

>Parts of the original myths were physically possible, but other parts were
>not possible. The possible parts can be treated as an ancient legend to
>which mythical material was added later. In the Noah's Ark book, the
>original legend is reconstructed by piecing together fragments from the
>various surviving editions of the flood story, like pieces of a jigsaw
>puzzle. This reconstruction is governed by the requirement that each story
>element in the legend be physically possible, technologically practical,
>consistent with archaeological facts, and plausible for 2900 BC. Some of the
>impossible story elements were mistranslations or misunderstandings, and
>these are corrected before including them in the reconstructed legend.

And in this methodology, everyone gets to pick and choose to such an extent
that one must wonder what was the real event and what is merely in the
minds of those doing the reconstruction.

THe 'mistake list' is fascinating.
>These are some examples of mistakes: The ambiguous word for hill or country
>was mistranslated as mountain.

certainly this is possible

The words that identified the flood as a
>river flood were changed to indicate an ocean deluge.

This gets to be a bigger problem because it implies that one can't tell the
difference between a river and the ocean.

The archaic number
>signs in which the Genesis 5 numbers and Noah's age were recorded, were
>mistranslated which made them about ten times their original value.


>"flood" of Genesis 6-7 was confused with the "waters" of Genesis 8. A
>journey on foot to Mount Judi in the Mountains of Ararat was confused with a
>journey on the water of the Persian Gulf.

But this is the one that gets me the most. We now have the flood story
being caused by a journey on foot to Jebel Judi. By using logic like this,
I could prove that you were the murderer of O.J. Simpson's wife, Nicole.
This is the silliest type of change I have seen. The story was based on a
true land journey to Jebel Judi but was reported to us as an ocean voyage
in a boat--yet they can claim with a straight face that the Flood story was
based upon an actual event. I prefer the version in which the Flood story
was based upon the flood of urine created by 5 little boys peeing on the
anthill. Now there is the true basis of the flood story!

Adam writes:
>Interesting reconstruction.

Yes if we don't give a hoot for any of the details of the story and feel
free to make things up as we go along.

Foundation, Fall and Flood
Adam, Apes and Anthropology

Lots of information on creation/evolution