Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Genesis contra Atra-Hasis

If this translation pans out, it will be another link to my suggestion that Genesis is directly interacting with the Atra-hasis ideology. The animals going in the "ark" two by two would only be found in Genesis and in the Atra-hasis tradition. In fact, this part might have been in the main text of the story that is now broken. In any case, as Finkel notes:

Another interesting matter: the Babylonian flood story in cuneiform is 1,000 years older than the Book of Genesis in Hebrew, but reading the two accounts together demonstrates their close, literary relationship. No firm explanation of how this might have really come about has previously been offered, but study of the circumstances in which the Judaeans exiled to Babylon by Nebuchadnezzar II found themselves answers many crucial questions. 

 Of course, I find no objection to the time and place when the author would have encountered the epic (if during the exile, that common answer makes sense just fine), but the account was like the ANE version of Star Wars, so it was unlikely that it was unknown to the Israelites before the exilic period. In any case, direct interaction with the story and its ideology is almost a given at this point.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Nice. Make Sure You Don't Have the One Group of People Who Will Actually Make Your Life Above Average 

I think Steve hit on something vitally ironic here. The primary path to truly becoming above average for most people is to be the most highly significant, and person of greatest prestige, TO YOUR CHILDREN. No one else is going to view you in such a way without your becoming President of the United States, and even then, not so much. You will never be held in such significance as by your children (and that's true even if you're a bad parent). You will forever be the reference point of all of your children. You will always be the most important person in their lives. No one will ever hold your place of honor in that. You alone are the hero or villain of that story. You alone will forever hold the place of the extraordinary in their lives. You're just another boring vacation story to people if you just backpack through Asia, get a job promotion, or even win the Nobel Prize. So what? People will forget about you as they think about what is truly important in their lives. Fools seek prestige and worth among men who can never give it to them. Such is given only to your children to think so highly of you as to reference you, both consciously and unconsciously, in all things. Attempting to be such for strangers is not only misguided, but will surely end in an average, and forgettable, life in the eyes of everyone, without the exceptions of your children.