Epic Of Gilgamesh And Book Of Genesis Of The Holy Bible

1050 words - 4 pages

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 humans and wildlife.  This god can also communicate with mortals,

either through dream or direct conversation.  In both cases, the mortals

worshiped the god(s), but in the epic it seemed that the gods were more

likely to be persuaded by their servants.  In Genesis, God remains a fairly

strong, static being who, although unwavering, is fair and good to his

followers.

 

      The main character in the epic is Gilgamesh.  He is an extremely

powerful and beautiful man, created by the gods.  He is given human-like

qualities such as fear, sorrow, mortality, and thirst for knowledge but all

in all he behaves like a god.  He fights everything that gets in his way

and sleeps with every woman he desires.  It is not until his lone friend

and companion, Enkidu, dies that he begins to feel scared.  He wants to

live forever, so he sets out to find a means to do so.  He soon finds that

immortality is impossible for, although he was created by gods, he cannot

be one of them.

 

      Abraham was an important character in the book of Genesis.  Unlike

Gilgamesh, he was born a normal human,...

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