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Epic of Gilgamesh and Book of Genesis of the Holy Bible Essay

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Epic of Gilgamesh and the Book of Genesis

 

History tells us that since we have been able to write, our human

race has had the habit of recording historical tales, or stories.  Most of

the first stories were tales of heroic men, scouring their land in search

of some noble prize.  These stories are known as epics, and they give us an

excellent idea of the lifestyles and basic thought processes of early

humans.  Along the lines of these epics are the accounts told in the Bible,

especially those in the Old Testament.  As with the epics, these legends

give us some spiritual idea of the beginning of time and the accounts of

early man.  If we compare the stories and characters of the first epic, The

Epic of Gilgamesh, with those of the first chapter of the Bible, Genesis,

we not only discover some striking similarities, but also some notable

differences.

 

      If there is one thing that all early accounts revolve around, that

is the idea of a divine being or, in other words, god.  Early humans were

extremely religious, holding the belief that their very lives were in the

hands of their god.  This holds true for both the people of biblical times

as well as those of the epic era.  However, even as both groups believed in

a supreme being, they harbored different feelings and beliefs about the

subject.  In the epic, many gods are mentioned and worshiped, such as

Ninsun and Shamash.  These gods can give birth to mortals, and can

communicate with these mortals, usually through dreams.  In Genesis, there

is mention of only one God, a being that created the earth and skies, as

well as huma...


... middle of paper ...


...nces; in the Bible it rained for forty

days, and in the epic only seven.  In Genesis, Adam and Eve try to become

god-like by eating the forbidden fruit.  In the epic, Gilgamesh attempts to

be a god by gaining everlasting life.  In both cases, neither succeed.

 

      The Epic of Gilgamesh and the Book of Genesis are two of the

earliest accounts of human civilization.  In their own way, they set an

example of how the population of the past lived.  They also set guidelines

for the way that we could live our lives.  By reading of the commitment

that Abraham made and the mistakes that Gilgamesh and Adam made, we can

shape our own lives.  Through the differences and similarities, both

accounts hold as much value for the people of today as they did for the

people who wrote them.


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