samedi 29 avril 2017

What a Few Lines from Gilgamesh Epic Tell us of the Errors in Babylonian Theology

I just listened to what I take to be opening lines of Gilgamesh, in Sumerian, with English subtitles:

The Epic Of Gilgamesh In Sumerian
Peter Pringle

While it is magnificent poetry, it is also a tell tale of how these people, Gentiles recently sundered from Hebrews, like other Gentiles and geographically not far off, saw things.

The very opening psalmody actually did not even involve any hint it was about creation:

In those days · in those ancient days
In those nights · in those ancient nights
In those years · in those far off years

And it came as a shock that the next words were: "when the world had been established". I thought it was only about looking back toward the time of Gilgamesh, but not quite, no.

And the next words give a theological shock "when bread had been baken in the ovens" and "when mankind had been established".

To a Christian, it is obvious that Adam and Eve had been established as mother and father of all mankind, and mankind through them, in Eden, before the fall, when they were living off fruit from the trees (to try that diet now might involve a risk of diabetes and even more immediately of digestive troubles). Bread, like the Redeemer who becomes Man in the House of Bread and Whose Body is accessible in the shape of Bread to faithful Catholics, only comes after the fall.

And mankind seems here to be established only in collectives big enough to have bread ovens.

This is a forgetfulness or denial of Original Sin, as much as it is Collectivism. I don't know if you have read Nippur from Lagash, a comic book from Argentina (where two Antipopes used to live, the more known one before his "election" in 2013, the less known one lives on there), and one of his "creators"* went on to write a comic book version of Gilgamesh - which is obviously very collectivist.

In fact, the Stalinist régime was in some ways a repeat of ancient near east giant empires of collectivist built, and Marxism as such also denies ... Original Sin and therefore also an original more idyllic and individualistic existence of mankind, and therefore also is collectivist. Man lives off bread alone and fruit is an extra, it was always so.

I would say that the opening lines of the Gilgamesh epic are more honest than the Marxist version of proto-history : it states the days were far off even when the redaction was made - discarding or simply missing obviously the orally transmitted redactions by Adam and Noah contemporary to events - and thus part of what the poet is telling us is historically speaking guess work. Marxism is less honest, it presents this vision as "science".

Hans Georg Lundahl
Bibliothèque Mouffetard
St Peter Martyr

Spelling mistake corrected 18.VIII.

* Not "Robin Wood" but Lucho Olivera.

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