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Tower of Babel

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    Posted: 20 Jun 2014 at 07:47
Did it actually once exist as told in biblical account in Genesis or it was confused with and the story inspired by the Babylonian Etemenanki Ziggurat? Worth mentioning is that other ziggurats in the region have also been mentioned to be the origin rather than the Etemenanki of Babylon.

What do you guy's think?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote toyomotor Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 Jun 2014 at 08:17
Originally posted by Panther Panther wrote:

Did it actually once exist as told in biblical account in Genesis or it was confused with and the story inspired by the Babylonian Etemenanki Ziggurat? Worth mentioning is that other ziggurats in the region have also been mentioned to be the origin rather than the Etemenanki of Babylon.

What do you guy's think?
 
Isn't that in New York City? Wink
 
Quote EXTRACT:Key parallels are seen between the Biblical and Assyrian accounts, that is, that they both speak of mankind unified by a single language and building a tower, thus angering the gods, which resulted in the confusion of the language. The Assyrian account, much like the other tablets found in the same collection, were most likely copies of older tablets. What inspired the Assyrian Babel and what was the original message conveyed? Much like its Hebrew counterpart, these questions continue to elude us.
Sources

Davidson, Benjamin. The Analytical Hebrew and Chaldee Lexicon. 11th ed. Peabody: Hendrickson Publishers, 2004. [Print]

JPS Hebrew-English Tanakh. Philadelphia: Jewish Publication Society, 2003. [Print]

Koutoupis, Petros. Biblical Origins: An Adopted Legacy. College Station: Virtualbookworm.com P, 2008. [Print]

Smith, George. The Chaldean Account of Genesis. London: Elibron Classics, 2005. [Print]

So the historical reports of the Tower of Babel are not only confined to the Bible. Although other cultures have surprisingly similar accounts of the Tower, I personally don't consider them as credible.
 
 
Once you eliminate the impossible,
whatever remains,
no matter how improbable, must be the truth.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Panther Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21 Jun 2014 at 06:21
Originally posted by toyomotor toyomotor wrote:

So the historical reports of the Tower of Babel are not only confined to the Bible. Although other cultures have surprisingly similar accounts of the Tower, I personally don't consider them as credible.
 


That is true. Sumer, Babylon, Akkadian or Assyrian come to mind. But which one was the source's originator?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote toyomotor Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21 Jun 2014 at 06:45
Originally posted by Panther Panther wrote:

Originally posted by toyomotor toyomotor wrote:

So the historical reports of the Tower of Babel are not only confined to the Bible. Although other cultures have surprisingly similar accounts of the Tower, I personally don't consider them as credible.
 


That is true. Sumer, Babylon, Akkadian or Assyrian come to mind. But which one was the source's originator?
 
Quile there are quite a few references to the Tower of Babel, I can't find a single source prepared to place a date on it's construction or existence.
 
Furthermore, archaeologically speaking, I don't thinks there's ever been a clue as to where it was constructed (if at all). The strongest hint seems to be somewhere in Mesopotamia, but that's all.
 
 
Once you eliminate the impossible,
whatever remains,
no matter how improbable, must be the truth.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote caldrail Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21 Jun 2014 at 12:23
The Tower of Babel is an allegorical construction the Bible mentions as mankind seeks to build a tower to reach Heaven. God doesn't like the intrusion on his privacy, and so makes such cooperation a thing of the past by making ccommunication difficulties via different languages (is the word 'babel' related to the graeco-roman baa-baa-baa of barbarians?)

The idea that the Tower of Babel was a middle eastern Ziggurat is related to the enthusiasm of victorian antiquarians seeking to find evidence of biblical structures.


Edited by caldrail - 21 Jun 2014 at 12:24
http://www.unrv.com/forum/blog/31-caldrails-blog/
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote toyomotor Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21 Jun 2014 at 13:29
Originally posted by caldrail caldrail wrote:

The Tower of Babel is an allegorical construction the Bible mentions as mankind seeks to build a tower to reach Heaven. God doesn't like the intrusion on his privacy, and so makes such cooperation a thing of the past by making communication difficulties via different languages (is the word 'babel' related to the graeco-roman baa-baa-baa of barbarians?)

The idea that the Tower of Babel was a middle eastern Ziggurat is related to the enthusiasm of victorian antiquarians seeking to find evidence of biblical structures.
 
Maybe, maybe not.
 
I suppose there could have been a Tower of Babel, which, after construction had the myth attached to it.
 
But still, it seems a strange way to describe a thing like people with different languages. Why not attribute it factually, "...and a stranger from a strange land arrived among them, speaking a strange tongue...", etc.
 
But in any case, it seems that the plan didn't work, as everyone in the Bible seems to understand everyone else as they travelled through the different countries.
 
 
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whatever remains,
no matter how improbable, must be the truth.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote caldrail Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 Jun 2014 at 12:00
You might be right in that the story is based on something real. However, the idea it was a Babylonian ziggurat is an assumption, nothing more, and simply because there was nothing bigger in the region. Babel might be a reference to something much earlier. There are some tantalising signs of an organised culture in North Africa and Asia Minor in our distant prehistory, with much iconography concerning lions, and who knows? Perhaps Babel belonged to them. Whatever it actually was.

Everyone understanding everyone else? Well, perhaps, but then the Bible is a collection of stories, and if you notice storytellers don't generally make a big deal of communication difficulties. The same thing is aparent today. In Star Trek, translator gizmo's make language a mere inconvenience and only portrayed to establish a sense of alien culture or a plot device. Most of the time aliens speak english, even when translator gizmo's couldn't possibly be present.
http://www.unrv.com/forum/blog/31-caldrails-blog/
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote toyomotor Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 Jun 2014 at 12:29
Originally posted by caldrail caldrail wrote:

You might be right in that the story is based on something real. However, the idea it was a Babylonian ziggurat is an assumption, nothing more, and simply because there was nothing bigger in the region. Babel might be a reference to something much earlier. There are some tantalising signs of an organised culture in North Africa and Asia Minor in our distant prehistory, with much iconography concerning lions, and who knows? Perhaps Babel belonged to them. Whatever it actually was.
I agree with you. There is no evidence of the Tower ever existing.
Quote
Everyone understanding everyone else? Well, perhaps, but then the Bible is a collection of stories, and if you notice storytellers don't generally make a big deal of communication difficulties. The same thing is aparent today. In Star Trek, translator gizmo's make language a mere inconvenience and only portrayed to establish a sense of alien culture or a plot device. Most of the time aliens speak english, even when translator gizmo's couldn't possibly be present.
 
Sorry, that was a bit of sarcasm directed at the Bible authors, not you.
 
But as I wrote earlier, why not simply introduce langauages factually, as it really happened, different cultures coming into contact with each other, and, out of necessity, learning each others language?
 
Or was it perhaps the old, " I know something you don't know" thing, so I'm superior to you.
 
 
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whatever remains,
no matter how improbable, must be the truth.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote caldrail Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24 Jun 2014 at 12:52
The Bible is not a factual document. it was never written as one, nor was it edited and censored as one. The detailed use of language is actually irrelevant anyway in the context of the Bible, because it was originally published in one language (latin) in order that priests had a conformal document, a document they could interpret for the masses, and a document that retained authority from the empire in which it was fostered.

Basically, if the whole point is a story about how three wise men journeyed from lands far-away, guided by a star in the sky, and arriving on cue at a stable where the baby Jesus is being born, then having these learned men try to explain who they were and why they were giving presents rather spoils the wonder of it. Imagine Joseph, struggling to find a bed for the night, banned from helping his wife give birth in a dirty stable because men aren't allowed to intervene, then being confronted by three old blokes on camels, covered in dust, babbling on, pointing at the sky, and trying to hand him boxes for no apparent reason.

Thankfully none of the boxes contained dangerous animals or explosive devices. (re: Life of Brian)

http://www.unrv.com/forum/blog/31-caldrails-blog/
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote toyomotor Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24 Jun 2014 at 13:58
Originally posted by caldrail caldrail wrote:

The Bible is not a factual document. it was never written as one, nor was it edited and censored as one. The detailed use of language is actually irrelevant anyway in the context of the Bible, because it was originally published in one language (latin) in order that priests had a conformal document, a document they could interpret for the masses, and a document that retained authority from the empire in which it was fostered.

Basically, if the whole point is a story about how three wise men journeyed from lands far-away, guided by a star in the sky, and arriving on cue at a stable where the baby Jesus is being born, then having these learned men try to explain who they were and why they were giving presents rather spoils the wonder of it. Imagine Joseph, struggling to find a bed for the night, banned from helping his wife give birth in a dirty stable because men aren't allowed to intervene, then being confronted by three old blokes on camels, covered in dust, babbling on, pointing at the sky, and trying to hand him boxes for no apparent reason.

Thankfully none of the boxes contained dangerous animals or explosive devices. (re: Life of Brian)

 
Once again you sidestep the question posed.
 
Why not introduce the question of different languages in a factual manner, as in "...and a stranger speaking in a strange tongue came into..."?
 
The question of the Virgin Birth was not mentioned in the OP.
 
 
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whatever remains,
no matter how improbable, must be the truth.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote caldrail Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26 Jun 2014 at 10:48
Quote Once again you sidestep the question posed.

Once again you need to read my answer.
 
Quote Why not introduce the question of different languages in a factual manner, as in "...and a stranger speaking in a strange tongue came into..."?

Because the Bible is not a factual account and irrelevant details detract from the story.
 
Quote The question of the Virgin Birth was not mentioned in the OP.

No, perhaps it doesn't, but it is part of my answer as an example of a fictional situation for which the addition of details about foreign languages would rather spoil the plot. It was the birth of Jesus. You're supposed to be transfixed by the wonder and glory of it, not amused because three old blokes turn up speaking mongolian (or whatever, but then the three wise men were never properly identified or their origins descibed. I guess that all got lost in trnslation :D )
http://www.unrv.com/forum/blog/31-caldrails-blog/
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote toyomotor Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26 Jun 2014 at 11:39
Sorry, I missed what you were getting at.
 
Never let the truth stand in the way of a good yarn.LOL
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote beorna Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26 Jun 2014 at 22:04
Originally posted by toyomotor toyomotor wrote:

Originally posted by caldrail caldrail wrote:

The Tower of Babel is an allegorical construction the Bible mentions as mankind seeks to build a tower to reach Heaven. God doesn't like the intrusion on his privacy, and so makes such cooperation a thing of the past by making communication difficulties via different languages (is the word 'babel' related to the graeco-roman baa-baa-baa of barbarians?)

The idea that the Tower of Babel was a middle eastern Ziggurat is related to the enthusiasm of victorian antiquarians seeking to find evidence of biblical structures.
 
Maybe, maybe not.
 
I suppose there could have been a Tower of Babel, which, after construction had the myth attached to it.
 
But still, it seems a strange way to describe a thing like people with different languages. Why not attribute it factually, "...and a stranger from a strange land arrived among them, speaking a strange tongue...", etc.
 
But in any case, it seems that the plan didn't work, as everyone in the Bible seems to understand everyone else as they travelled through the different countries.
 
 

The most likely Tower of babel is the Etemenanki inside the Esagila temple complex. It was a great zikkurate, destroyed a several time, at least perhaps by the Persians or after the conquest by the Persians. So the jews in the babylonian exile were aware of it and its destrution.
With the spread of different languages it has nothing to do. Probably the jews merged the story of the destruction with another story and added it to the torah.
Etiam si omnes, ego non.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote caldrail Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27 Jun 2014 at 13:11
Islam locates the Tower of Babel in Egypt (though not by name I gather). Incidentially I notice that 'Babel' is derived from the hebrew babal which means 'confusion'. Even the Romans mentioned that derivation.
http://www.unrv.com/forum/blog/31-caldrails-blog/
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote toyomotor Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27 Jun 2014 at 14:03
Beorna:
Quote The most likely Tower of Babel is the Etemenanki inside the Esagila temple complex. It was a great zikkurate, destroyed a several time, at least perhaps by the Persians or after the conquest by the Persians. So the jews in the babylonian exile were aware of it and its destruction.

With the spread of different languages it has nothing to do. Probably the jews merged the story of the destruction with another story and added it to the torah.
There are several versions of the tale, it’s not limited to the Jewish people.
Caldrail:
Quote Islam locates the Tower of Babel in Egypt (though not by name I gather). Incidentially I notice that 'Babel' is derived from the hebrew babal which means 'confusion'. Even the Romans mentioned that derivation.
Quite probably, but absent proof of if it existed, and where it was built, I’m not able to pinpoint a location.


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no matter how improbable, must be the truth.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote caldrail Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 29 Jun 2014 at 12:24
Well that's the thing. Archaeologists and anitquarians seeking to 'prove' the Bible wander around, point at the largest ancient ruin they can find sticking out of the desert, and proclaim it's the Tower of Confusion.

I have to say that the story is a bit allegorical and whilst it may well be based on something that actually happened, too many assumptions are made in order to find some physical basis for the story and also to underpin the career and profits of the guy who made the assertion in the first place.
http://www.unrv.com/forum/blog/31-caldrails-blog/
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote toyomotor Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30 Jun 2014 at 04:31
Originally posted by caldrail caldrail wrote:

Well that's the thing. Archaeologists and anitquarians seeking to 'prove' the Bible wander around, point at the largest ancient ruin they can find sticking out of the desert, and proclaim it's the Tower of Confusion.

I have to say that the story is a bit allegorical and whilst it may well be based on something that actually happened, too many assumptions are made in order to find some physical basis for the story and also to underpin the career and profits of the guy who made the assertion in the first place.
 
EX-actly. And this is the case in many of the Bible stories. An actual event is attributed to the power of an individual, the powers are exagerated over time until we arrive at the so-called miracles.
 
And it's not restricted to the Bible, so we have the Tower of Babel and many similar attributions for natural events.
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no matter how improbable, must be the truth.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Anubis Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02 Aug 2014 at 21:25
Well for what its worth there has been no Babylonian documents which refers to the subject. You may find the below helpful:

http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/15005b.htm

http://www.jewishencyclopedia.com/articles/2279-babel-tower-of
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote toyomotor Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03 Aug 2014 at 02:42
Originally posted by Anubis Anubis wrote:

Well for what its worth there has been no Babylonian documents which refers to the subject. You may find the below helpful:

http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/15005b.htm

http://www.jewishencyclopedia.com/articles/2279-babel-tower-of
 
No, not really, thanks anyway.
 
I don't go along with the mythical stories of The Bible which explain, or attempt in their own clumsy way, to explain either natural phenomena or exagerated deeds.
Once you eliminate the impossible,
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no matter how improbable, must be the truth.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Anubis Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03 Aug 2014 at 17:05
Most of it is celestial/stellar in nature....I do not buy the stuff either for that matter. 

And they said, “Come, let us build ourselves a city, and a tower whose top is in the heavens; let us make a name for ourselves, lest we be scattered abroad over the face of the whole earth.”

Therefore its name is called Babel, because there the Lord confused the language of all the earth; and from there the Lord scattered them abroad over the face of all the earth.

https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Genesis+11

This city was never completed. Shinar was what was then known has Babylon (Iraq). 


Babylonian tower temple north of the Marduk temple, which in Babylonian was called Bab-ilu (“Gate of God”), Hebrew form Babel, or Bavel. The similarity in pronunciation of Babel and balal (“to confuse”) led to the play on words in Genesis 11:9: “Therefore its name was called Babel, because there the Lord confused the language of all the earth.”

http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/47421/Tower-of-Babel

In his "Histories" Herodotus wrote:

The temple of Bêl, the Babylonian Zeus [...] was still in existence in my time. It has a solid central tower, one stadium square, with a second erected on top of it and then a third, and so on up to eight. All eight towers can be climbed by a spiral way running round the outside, and about half way up there are seats for those who make the ascent to rest on. On the summit of the topmost tower stands a great temple with a fine large couch in it, richly covered, and a golden table beside it. The shrine contains no image, and no one spends the night there except (if we may believe that Chaldaeans who are the priests of Bêl) one Babylonian woman, all alone, whoever it may be that the god has chosen. The Chaldaeans also say -though I do not believe them- that the god enters the temple in person and takes his rest upon the bed.note


http://www.livius.org/place/etemenanki/


https://eprints.soas.ac.uk/3858/

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