This is exactly the type of interpretation you would expect from a death cult. Make no mistake, the governing body and their minions feed off of the suffering, anguish and death caused by their teachings.
Hi Kurt. Thanks for reading, and your comment.
The Noah account is an ancient story, and not understanding the history of how it came into the Torah (and the subsequent doctrinal scripture-twisting of the JWs, only occurring within the last century) literally costs people their lives.
What a sad statement about human nature, where people are prone to becoming victims of their confirmation biases by only looking at evidence that supports their beliefs.
Many compound that error by confusing 'paradoxical' with 'wisdom', and are willing to suffer a senseless death in the name of demonstrating their respect for the sanctity of life?
Thank you for your insight. My daughter joined the JWs, and I had been attending Sunday meetings with her for about a year, until I read in the Watchtower that "in his due time, the Lord Jesus would 'bring to nothing' all those who had been deceived. The apostle pinpointed the reason for this judgment on them; it was that 'they did not accept the love of the truth.' An older JW had once told me people will have 1,000 years to come to know God. I'd already shared with my daughter my concerns about being submissive to the elders, and now I've told her I've always thought that Adam and Eve is the story of why humans wear clothing, unlike the rest of creation. I've also talked about human cultures existing all over the earth long before 4,000 BC. I may be out of her life now, since I've rejected the 'truth.'
Thanks for reading!
It's incredibly frustrating dealing with those driven by their desires, and allow 'truths' to be determined for them thus limiting what they're willing to examine. One almost needs to study the Bible as an unbeliever in order to disprove it.
If you haven't read his stuff yet, I'd recommend Steve Hassan's books, where he explains the BITE model used by cults. That may give you more ideas on how to deal with a loved one in a cult.
The good news is JWs have the highest rate of turnover of such groups, with a high level of disaffiliation (especially following prophetic failure). A 2007 Pew national survey found JWs have the lowest retention rate of any religious tradition, so hope springs eternal (and unfortunately most have to learn some of life's lessons "the hard way", no matter how much we'd like to protect them from harm).
I appreciated the author’s thoughts; however, we could do without the condescending attitude. That said, you missed the boat. You missed a few things; if you think God’s judgment was because all of man was wicked on the face of the earth, then what about the children? Where do they fit in, just collateral damage? Really, the creator of the universe, the designer of time, physics, and all the wonderful intricacies of the human body can only conceive to flood the earth to kill humankind? Your argument that all this was required to “officially” declare that murder was a sin is thin, after all, I think “most” rational people know killing another, just isn’t right, you know, it just feels wrong. It is the built in moral compass. Come on, give us some credit here. Do you need the Ten Commandments to tell you it is wrong to murder?
Now, here comes the real justification of the allegory. Satan already knew, Jesus was to come and redeem man. It was prophesied that he would be born human. Remember what the fallen angels did before the flood? They came to earth, made human bodies, inhabited them, mated with the mortal woman, and had offspring. Their offspring was a hybrid, stronger, smarter, and faster. So, I will ask you a question, what do you think would happen if this were left to continue unchecked? Bingo, man’s original DNA is corrupted and bam, prophesy cannot be fulfilled, game over. Further to this, if you read the Hebrew, It says, Noah’s generations were pure. In other words, his DNA was not corrupted, it was pure. It had nothing to do with him being righteous and everything to do with protecting our DNA and fulfilling the prophesy to redeem mankind through his son.
How much of the Noah Narrative mirrors the Gilgamesh narrative?
Yes Nick, the similarities are even readily acknowledged by JW's, who use it as the basis for supporting the historicity of the Biblical version of the flood account.
Uh, sorry: just because a story gains traction and is commonly-encountered in various World cultures doesn't mean it shares a common origin, or that it MUST be based on a historical event.
My belief is the many flood accounts actually ARE historical echoes, quite-ancient vestiges of stories handed down from the time when humans were emerging from the Ice Age (~10th C. BCE), and flooding events were a commonly-encountered phenomenon across the globe.
When combined with many cultures transitioning from hunter-gatherers to agriculture lifestyles, floods reprepresented a significant threat to their survival, not directly by drowning per se, but by destroying fertile crops and hence the feed animals need for THEIR survival.
I consider it as as ancient version of stories that gain traction due to anxiety, e.g. the fear generated by nuclear proliferation in the 1950s (when people were building bomb shelters), or stressors caused by pollution in the 1960's (or earthquakes in the 1970's).
In this modern age when we take flood control measures for granted, it's hard for most modern people to fully appreciate the threat flood events represented in the distant past, since it's been centuries since most have experienced it. However, it was likely a major cause of anxiety, esp. in a time when supernatural forces were believed to control the weather!
Broadly speaking, flood myths fundamentally have the same plot: one special human has the ability to hear the Gods warning of a flood (usually local), and the human builds a boat to save lives; he's rewarded for his foresight by being bestowed the delegated authority of the Gods to rule over his fellow man. That's the story in a nutshell (eg Gilgamesh, as you mentioned): it's a justification for a power grab, claiming the right to exercise delegated authority to serve as ruler.
In the Genesis narrative, it turns into Noah being delegated authority to enforce God's "no bloodshed" law (as found in Genesis 9), and to means to establish and justify the practice of slavery as a means to control the 'bad seed' (Genesis 10).
Remember, the only words spoken by Noah recorded in all of Genesis is his infamous "Curse of Ham" speech (which is also the "Blessing of Shem and Japeth" speech). Both blessings and curses are delivered in the name of God (again, delegated authority is the idea), so God obviously has to be the main force behind both, and therefore approved of the curses and blessings!
In fact, the first Biblical occurrence of the word "slave" is found in Genesis: it's spoken by Noah when he condemns the offspring of Ham to serve as slaves.
Of course, this was a bald-faced justification to take foreigners (namely the Canaanites, supposedly the offspring of Canaan, the son of Ham) as slaves, conquered in war. This idea is in keeping with the name 'Genesis' (which literally means 'origins' in Hebrew), reflecting the origins of various then-contemporary practices.
So per Genesis, God clearly approves of slavery, a means to enrich the houses of Shem and Japheth without having them actually do the hard labor themselves!
(This also explains the Hebrew origins of the name 'Noah' ('giver of rest') , the son prophesied by Noah's father at his birth to deliver the rest of his descendants respite from hard labor!)
Of course, a few millennia of editing and scripture-twisting has done wonders at changing the likely intended meaning of the tale to suit then-current norms and mores: that tendency will never change.
Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.