Quotes & Sayings

We, and creation itself, actualize the possibilities of the God who sustains the world, towards becoming in the world in a fuller, more deeper way. - R.E. Slater

There is urgency in coming to see the world as a web of interrelated processes of which we are integral parts, so that all of our choices and actions have [consequential effects upon] the world around us. - Process Metaphysician Alfred North Whitehead

Kurt Gödel's Incompleteness Theorem says (i) all closed systems are unprovable within themselves and, that (ii) all open systems are rightly understood as incomplete. - R.E. Slater

The most true thing about you is what God has said to you in Christ, "You are My Beloved." - Tripp Fuller

The God among us is the God who refuses to be God without us, so great is God's Love. - Tripp Fuller

According to some Christian outlooks we were made for another world. Perhaps, rather, we were made for this world to recreate, reclaim, redeem, and renew unto God's future aspiration by the power of His Spirit. - R.E. Slater

Our eschatological ethos is to love. To stand with those who are oppressed. To stand against those who are oppressing. It is that simple. Love is our only calling and Christian Hope. - R.E. Slater

Secularization theory has been massively falsified. We don't live in an age of secularity. We live in an age of explosive, pervasive religiosity... an age of religious pluralism. - Peter L. Berger

Exploring the edge of life and faith in a post-everything world. - Todd Littleton

I don't need another reason to believe, your love is all around for me to see. – Anon

Thou art our need; and in giving us more of thyself thou givest us all. - Khalil Gibran, Prayer XXIII

Be careful what you pretend to be. You become what you pretend to be. - Kurt Vonnegut

Religious beliefs, far from being primary, are often shaped and adjusted by our social goals. - Jim Forest

We become who we are by what we believe and can justify. - R.E. Slater

People, even more than things, need to be restored, renewed, revived, reclaimed, and redeemed; never throw out anyone. – Anon

Certainly, God's love has made fools of us all. - R.E. Slater

An apocalyptic Christian faith doesn't wait for Jesus to come, but for Jesus to become in our midst. - R.E. Slater

Christian belief in God begins with the cross and resurrection of Jesus, not with rational apologetics. - Eberhard Jüngel, Jürgen Moltmann

Our knowledge of God is through the 'I-Thou' encounter, not in finding God at the end of a syllogism or argument. There is a grave danger in any Christian treatment of God as an object. The God of Jesus Christ and Scripture is irreducibly subject and never made as an object, a force, a power, or a principle that can be manipulated. - Emil Brunner

“Ehyeh Asher Ehyeh” means "I will be that who I have yet to become." - God (Ex 3.14) or, conversely, “I AM who I AM Becoming.”

Our job is to love others without stopping to inquire whether or not they are worthy. - Thomas Merton

The church is God's world-changing social experiment of bringing unlikes and differents to the Eucharist/Communion table to share life with one another as a new kind of family. When this happens, we show to the world what love, justice, peace, reconciliation, and life together is designed by God to be. The church is God's show-and-tell for the world to see how God wants us to live as a blended, global, polypluralistic family united with one will, by one Lord, and baptized by one Spirit. – Anon

The cross that is planted at the heart of the history of the world cannot be uprooted. - Jacques Ellul

The Unity in whose loving presence the universe unfolds is inside each person as a call to welcome the stranger, protect animals and the earth, respect the dignity of each person, think new thoughts, and help bring about ecological civilizations. - John Cobb & Farhan A. Shah

If you board the wrong train it is of no use running along the corridors of the train in the other direction. - Dietrich Bonhoeffer

God's justice is restorative rather than punitive; His discipline is merciful rather than punishing; His power is made perfect in weakness; and His grace is sufficient for all. – Anon

Our little [biblical] systems have their day; they have their day and cease to be. They are but broken lights of Thee, and Thou, O God art more than they. - Alfred Lord Tennyson

We can’t control God; God is uncontrollable. God can’t control us; God’s love is uncontrolling! - Thomas Jay Oord

Life in perspective but always in process... as we are relational beings in process to one another, so life events are in process in relation to each event... as God is to Self, is to world, is to us... like Father, like sons and daughters, like events... life in process yet always in perspective. - R.E. Slater

To promote societal transition to sustainable ways of living and a global society founded on a shared ethical framework which includes respect and care for the community of life, ecological integrity, universal human rights, respect for diversity, economic justice, democracy, and a culture of peace. - The Earth Charter Mission Statement

Christian humanism is the belief that human freedom, individual conscience, and unencumbered rational inquiry are compatible with the practice of Christianity or even intrinsic in its doctrine. It represents a philosophical union of Christian faith and classical humanist principles. - Scott Postma

It is never wise to have a self-appointed religious institution determine a nation's moral code. The opportunities for moral compromise and failure are high; the moral codes and creeds assuredly racist, discriminatory, or subjectively and religiously defined; and the pronouncement of inhumanitarian political objectives quite predictable. - R.E. Slater

God's love must both center and define the Christian faith and all religious or human faiths seeking human and ecological balance in worlds of subtraction, harm, tragedy, and evil. - R.E. Slater

In Whitehead’s process ontology, we can think of the experiential ground of reality as an eternal pulse whereby what is objectively public in one moment becomes subjectively prehended in the next, and whereby the subject that emerges from its feelings then perishes into public expression as an object (or “superject”) aiming for novelty. There is a rhythm of Being between object and subject, not an ontological division. This rhythm powers the creative growth of the universe from one occasion of experience to the next. This is the Whiteheadian mantra: “The many become one and are increased by one.” - Matthew Segall

Without Love there is no Truth. And True Truth is always Loving. There is no dichotomy between these terms but only seamless integration. This is the premier centering focus of a Processual Theology of Love. - R.E. Slater


Note: Generally I do not respond to commentary. I may read the comments but wish to reserve my time to write (or write from the comments I read). Instead, I'd like to see our community help one another and in the helping encourage and exhort each of us towards Christian love in Christ Jesus our Lord and Savior. - re slater

Saturday, November 4, 2023

Noah's Ark in Sumerian, Akkadian, Assyrian & Babylonian Lore, Part 9 - Wrap Up with ChatGPT

 Noah's Ark in Sumerian, Akkadian,
Assyrian & Babylonian Lore

Part 9 - Wrap Up with ChatGPT

by R.E. Slater

NASB Bible Verses - Genesis 5:32 to 10:1
ESV Bible Verses - Genesis 5:32 to 10:1
RSV Bible Verses - Genesis 5:32 to 10:1

Wikipedia - Noah's Ark

Upcoming Schedule

My next series of articles will be playing catch up with all the things we've missed the past month or two in the process and scientific world. I expect a dozen or so articles which I should be able to cover before my next surgery and before the Thanksgiving holiday after that when we will be hosting family and visiting friends and relatives.

After that I have already been working out a series of outlines and articles discussing the early civilizations of mankind beginning with the Fall of Jerusalem and working backwards through the bible. In so doing I hope to show how the bible fits within the overall history of ancient humanity by going backwards as far as we can go. I'll start with the world in Jesus' day, then move through the cultures of the OT, and try to go even further back beyond the biblical chapters of Genesis 1-10 themselves. I think it will be quite fun and informative.

Today should be my last article on Noah and the Genesis Flood for a bit. And since we only brushed upon the Sumerian, Akkadian, Assyrian and Babylonian literature through this series you may expect a bit more historical archaeology and paleontology to come on these important biblical cultures.


R.E. Slater
November 3, 2023

* * * * * *


(Archaic) Homo sapiens origination in Central Africa circa 300,000 BC eventually "leaving" in multiple migrations to spread throughout Eurasia (Europe + Asia) while other homo sapiens remained to spread across Africa.

Today's (modern) homo sapiens are the only species remaining and had left East Africa  many years later, circa 75,000 to 50,000 BC. All earlier (archaic) homo sapiens which had migrated out of Africa had died off along with their homonid predecessors such as the Denisovans and Neanderthals.

- re slater

Hominin Migrations

Homo Heidelbergenesis, Denisovan, and
Neanderthal Migrations (before homo sapiens)

Homo Sapien Migrations Early and Later

* * * * * *

FYI - Some of my discussion with ChatGPT 3.5 required regeneration because of the heavy amount of traffic being experience by OpenAI's / Microsoft's serves. Hence, one or two sections will be repetitive in answering my questions as I was attempting to re-establish both my connection to ChatGPT and are dialogue. Without specificity ChatGPT will lose it's context and "freehand" it's answers. You'll notice this near the end in my Jesus questsion. I had to redo it again with a fuller contextual background to the Genesis Flood. - re slater


PS - All [.....] are mine notations. - re slater 



Hello! How can I assist you today?

I'd like to discuss with you Noah and the Genesis Flood using paleontological resources and fitting it into the homo sapien evolutionary record.


Certainly, the story of Noah and the Genesis Flood is a well-known biblical narrative, and there have been various attempts to reconcile it with the scientific understanding of Earth's history, including paleontology and human evolution. It's important to note that the story of Noah's Ark and the Genesis Flood is primarily a religious and mythological account, while paleontology and evolutionary science are grounded in empirical evidence and the scientific method.

Here are some key points to consider when attempting to reconcile these two perspectives:

  • Geological and Paleontological Evidence: The biblical account of a global flood, as described in Genesis, does not align with the geological and paleontological evidence. There is no geological evidence for a worldwide flood event that occurred around 4,000 years ago.
  • The fossil record reveals a long history of life on Earth, with species appearing and disappearing over millions of years. The distribution of fossils around the world doesn't match the pattern we would expect from a single flood event.
  • Human Evolution: The story of Noah is often used to explain the origin of all human beings. However, modern scientific understanding supports the theory of human evolution, which suggests that Homo sapiens evolved from earlier hominin species over a period of hundreds of thousands of years.
  • Fossils and genetic evidence support the idea that modern humans share a common ancestry with other hominins and evolved in different parts of the world over a long period of time.
  • Local vs. Global Interpretations: Some individuals and groups propose that the Genesis Flood may have been a localized event rather than a global one. They suggest that it may have been a regional flood in the ancient Near East. However, even a local flood interpretation still lacks supporting geological and paleontological evidence.
  • Faith and Science: Many people find ways to integrate their religious beliefs with scientific understanding by adopting metaphorical or symbolic interpretations of religious texts like the Bible. This allows them to maintain their faith while accepting the findings of modern science.

It's essential to understand that science and religion serve different purposes and answer different types of questions. Science seeks natural explanations for natural phenomena, while religion deals with questions of meaning, purpose, and the divine. People may choose to interpret these stories in a way that aligns with their faith and their understanding of the natural world. However, it's important to recognize that there is no scientific evidence to support a global flood event as described in the Genesis account within the timeline proposed by the Bible.

Excellent. All good.


I'm glad you found the information helpful. If you have any more questions or if there's anything else you'd like to discuss, feel free to ask. I'm here to help with any topic or inquiry you may have.

Yes... what conjecture seems to best align with the creation of the Semitic narrative of "Noah and the Genesis Flood"... Sumerian? Akkadian? Assyrian? Babylonian?


The story of Noah and the Genesis Flood has similarities with several ancient Mesopotamian flood narratives, including those from the [chronologically older to younger] Sumerian, Akkadian, Assyrian, and Babylonian traditions. The most well-known of these narratives is the Akkadian story known as the "Epic of Gilgamesh," specifically the eleventh tablet of the epic, which contains a flood story very similar to the biblical account of Noah. The Akkadian language was widely used in ancient Mesopotamia and includes the language of the Assyrians and Babylonians.

The Sumerians, who were the earlier inhabitants of Mesopotamia, also have flood narratives that predate the Akkadian version. The Sumerian flood story is found in various Sumerian texts, such as the "Eridu Genesis" and the "Atrahasis Epic." These stories share common elements with the later Akkadian and biblical flood narratives.

It's important to note that the [Jewish] Genesis Flood narrative is generally believed to have been influenced by these earlier Mesopotamian flood stories, as the biblical account was likely written down during the Babylonian exile (6th century BCE) when the Israelites came into contact with Babylonian culture. The similarities between these narratives, such as the building of an ark, the saving of animals, and the global flood, suggest a degree of cultural borrowing or influence.

So, while there is no single "conjecture" that perfectly aligns with the creation of the Genesis Flood narrative, it's clear that the biblical story was influenced by earlier Mesopotamian flood traditions, with the Akkadian "Epic of Gilgamesh" being one of the most significant sources of inspiration. This reflects the interplay and exchange of cultural and literary ideas in the ancient Near East.

Yes, this is my similar understanding as well. Next question: "Based upon these multiple stories of flooding and survival through ancient Mesopotamia might we then propose there were several MAJOR catastrophic flooding events compounded into several cultural lores after these events?"


It is indeed a plausible hypothesis that multiple catastrophic flooding events in ancient Mesopotamia and surrounding regions could have contributed to the development of various flood narratives in different cultures. These narratives might have been influenced and shaped by the collective memory of catastrophic flooding events that left a profound impact on the people living in those areas. Here are a few considerations:

  • Geological Evidence: The ancient Mesopotamian region, often referred to as the "Cradle of Civilization," is known for its rivers, including the Tigris and Euphrates. This region is prone to periodic flooding due to the annual melting of snow in the mountains, which can lead to river overflow and inundation. These recurring natural disasters could have left a lasting impression on the people.
  • Oral Tradition: Before the development of written records, stories were often passed down through oral tradition. As these stories were shared across generations, they might have been embellished, modified, and adapted to reflect the cultural and religious beliefs of each society. Over time, distinct flood narratives could have emerged in different regions based on similar experiences.
  • Cultural Exchange: The ancient Mesopotamian cultures had interactions and exchanges with neighboring societies. These interactions could have led to the sharing of stories and the merging of flood narratives. The exchange of ideas and narratives was common in the ancient world.
  • Religious Significance: Flood narratives often carry religious or moral lessons. They can be used to explain the relationship between humans and the divine, the consequences of human behavior, and the importance of divine intervention. As such, the flood stories could have taken on symbolic and religious meanings over time.

It's important to recognize that while there may have been multiple catastrophic flooding events in ancient Mesopotamia, there is no direct geological evidence to suggest that these events were of the magnitude described in some of the flood narratives. The narratives themselves may have been exaggerated or mythologized to convey specific messages or teachings.

In summary, the development of multiple flood narratives in ancient Mesopotamia and surrounding regions could be attributed to a combination of natural disasters, oral tradition, cultural exchanges, and religious significance. These narratives served as a way for different cultures to make sense of, and convey their experiences with, major flooding events.

Relative to their religious significance how might these oral narratives influence or meaningfully assist the extant culture of that time?


The oral narratives of catastrophic floods and the subsequent flood narratives that emerged in various cultures played significant roles in shaping the beliefs, values, and behaviors of those cultures. Here's how these narratives may have influenced and assisted the cultures of their time:

  • Religious Significance: Flood narratives often held religious significance as they were used to explain the relationship between humans and the divine. They depicted the actions of gods or a divine being as the cause of the flood, and sometimes as the source of salvation. In this context, the narratives served to reinforce religious beliefs and practices.
  • Moral and Ethical Lessons: Many flood narratives conveyed moral and ethical lessons. They often portrayed the flood as a consequence of human wrongdoing, such as immorality or disobedience to divine commands. These narratives served as a means of instructing people on proper behavior and the importance of living in accordance with the values and moral code of their society.
  • Cultural Identity: Flood narratives helped establish and strengthen cultural identity. They provided a shared cultural heritage and a sense of belonging to a particular community. These stories could unify people by giving them a common origin story and a sense of shared destiny.
  • Explanation of Natural Phenomena: Flood narratives were used to explain natural phenomena, such as the periodic flooding of rivers in the Mesopotamian region. They provided a way to make sense of and attribute meaning to these events, as well as to cope with the challenges they presented.
  • Hope and Resilience: Flood narratives often included elements of hope and resilience. They frequently featured a survivor who endured the flood and eventually found salvation or renewal. This offered hope to the people facing adversity in their own lives and the belief that they, too, could overcome challenges and find a path to renewal.
  • Cultural Transmission: The oral transmission of flood narratives ensured that the stories were passed down from generation to generation. This allowed the culture to preserve its history, traditions, and values, maintaining continuity and cultural cohesion over time.
  • Rituals and Ceremonies: Flood narratives often led to the development of rituals and ceremonies. In some cases, annual rituals were performed to commemorate the flood, seek protection from future disasters, or express gratitude for survival. These rituals became an integral part of the culture's religious practices.
  • Literary and Artistic Expression: The flood narratives inspired literary and artistic works, including epic poems, songs, artwork, and architecture. They became a source of creative expression and cultural production.

In summary, these oral narratives served as a means of passing down cultural knowledge, values, and beliefs. They helped people make sense of the world around them, understand their relationship with the divine, and navigate the challenges and moral dilemmas they encountered in their lives. The narratives were a powerful tool for shaping the cultural and religious identity of the societies in which they were told.

It seems during the Mesolithic and Early to Middle Neolithic period of the Holocene Era that there were many kinds and types of catastrophic flooding regionally throughout the Asia Minor, the Levant, Mesopotamian, and the Egyptian/Kushite lands along the Nile.


You are correct that the regions of Asia Minor, the Levant, Mesopotamia, and Egypt/Kush have experienced various catastrophic flooding events throughout their history, especially during the transition from the Mesolithic to the Neolithic period and beyond. These events were often associated with the natural dynamics of rivers and their floodplains. Here are some key points about these regional flooding events:

  • Rivers as Lifelines: Many of the ancient civilizations in these regions, including the Tigris and Euphrates in Mesopotamia, the Nile in Egypt, and various rivers in the Levant and Asia Minor, relied heavily on river systems for agriculture, transportation, and sustenance. The seasonal flooding of these rivers was both a blessing and a potential curse. While the floods deposited nutrient-rich silt, making the land fertile for agriculture, they also had the potential to cause devastating inundations.
  • Variability in Flooding: The intensity and frequency of river flooding could vary from year to year, and this variability often had a significant impact on the people living in these regions. Some years might see mild floods, while others could bring catastrophic deluges. This variability likely contributed to the development of flood narratives as a way to explain and make sense of these natural phenomena.
  • Cultural Adaptation: Over time, people in these regions developed various strategies to cope with and adapt to the seasonal floods. They constructed levees, canals, and other irrigation systems to manage water flow. They also developed a deep understanding of the annual flood cycles, which played a crucial role in the development of agricultural practices.
  • Cultural and Religious Significance: As mentioned earlier, the experience of recurrent flooding contributed to the cultural and religious significance of these events. Many ancient cultures incorporated flood narratives into their belief systems, often attributing the floods to the actions of gods or divine forces. These narratives served as a way to cope with the unpredictable and often destructive power of nature.
  • Historical Records: The flooding events in these regions left their mark on historical records, such as ancient texts, inscriptions, and archaeological evidence. These records provide valuable insights into the impact of floods on these civilizations and how they were perceived.
  • Urbanization and Civilization: The development of urban centers in these regions was closely tied to the ability to manage and harness the power of river systems. The periodic flooding of rivers shaped the growth of early urban civilizations, impacting settlement patterns, agriculture, and social organization.

In summary, the frequent flooding events in the regions you mentioned were indeed pivotal factors in the development of early civilizations. They influenced agricultural practices, cultural beliefs, and social structures, and they played a role in shaping the flood narratives that continue to be of historical and cultural significance in these areas. These narratives offer a window into how ancient societies grappled with the challenges and opportunities presented by the natural world around them.

Between the Last Glacial Maximum and the Younger Dryas Period how heavy was regional flooding to the Indo-African and Asia Minor areas compared to AFTER the Younger Dryas Period?


The period between the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM) and the Younger Dryas (approximately 20,000 to 11,700 years ago) saw significant changes in climate, sea levels, and regional flooding patterns. During the LGM, much of the world's water was locked up in ice sheets, resulting in lower sea levels and altered river drainage patterns. As a result, the specific effects of regional flooding during this time were different from the period following the Younger Dryas.

Last Glacial Maximum (LGM):

  • During the LGM, the Earth's climate was much colder, and ice sheets covered large parts of North America, Europe, and Asia. Sea levels were significantly lower than they are today, as much of the planet's water was stored in ice. This led to the exposure of continental shelves and changes in river drainage patterns.
  • In regions like the Indo-African and Asia Minor areas, the lower sea levels meant that coastal areas were located farther offshore compared to the present day. Many of today's underwater regions, such as the Persian Gulf, the Red Sea, and the Mediterranean Sea, were much shallower or dry land.
  • Some rivers in these regions may have experienced changes in their courses and flow patterns, which could have led to the formation of different landscapes, including the exposure of previously submerged land.

Younger Dryas and After:

  • The Younger Dryas was a relatively brief period of climatic cooling and glaciation that followed the end of the Last Glacial Maximum. It was marked by a return to near-glacial conditions before warming again. During the Younger Dryas, some ice sheets partially re-advanced, and sea levels may have been somewhat lower than during the Holocene (the current geological epoch).
  • As the Younger Dryas ended and the Holocene began, global temperatures increased, causing the melting of ice sheets and glaciers. This melting led to a significant rise in sea levels, flooding coastal and low-lying areas. The transition from the Younger Dryas into the Holocene was accompanied by a rapid rise in sea levels, which had substantial impacts on coastal regions worldwide.

In summary, during the LGM, the regional flooding patterns in Indo-African and Asia Minor areas were influenced by lower sea levels due to the presence of ice sheets. After the Younger Dryas and the onset of the Holocene, as global temperatures increased and ice melted, sea levels rose, leading to more extensive regional flooding, especially in low-lying coastal areas. The transition from the Last Glacial Maximum to the Younger Dryas and then into the Holocene marked significant changes in sea levels and regional flooding patterns in these regions.

During Israel's period of tribal and monarchal eras were there any significant flooding events that might remind them of earlier, more catastrophic Mesopotamian flooding stories?


The biblical accounts of Israel's tribal and monarchal eras do not prominently feature significant flooding events comparable to the Mesopotamian flood stories, such as the story of Noah's Ark. While the Bible contains narratives of various natural disasters and divine interventions, the focus is primarily on other aspects of Israel's history and religious development.

It's important to note that the biblical narratives often concentrate on the experiences of the Israelite people, their relationship with God, and the events relevant to their religious and cultural history. The lack of prominent flood narratives in the biblical accounts of Israel's tribal and monarchal eras may be because such stories were not as central to the religious identity of the Israelites as they were in Mesopotamian cultures.

While there are no direct parallels to the Mesopotamian flood narratives in the biblical accounts of Israel's history, some biblical texts do contain references to water-related events.

For example:

  • The Exodus and the Crossing of the Red Sea: The story of the Israelites' escape from Egypt and the parting of the Red Sea is a well-known narrative involving a significant water-related event. However, this event is distinct from a catastrophic flood and is viewed as a miraculous deliverance.
  • The Jordan River Crossing: The crossing of the Jordan River under Joshua's leadership to enter the Promised Land is another water-related event in the Bible. This event is symbolically important in Israelite history.
  • Destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah: While not a flood narrative, the story of the destruction of the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah involves the use of natural elements, such as fire and brimstone, as a divine judgment.
  • It's also worth noting that the biblical narrative is centered on religious and moral teachings, covenant relationships, and the theological development of monotheism, rather than providing a comprehensive account of historical events or natural disasters.

In summary, while there are water-related events in the biblical accounts of Israel's tribal and monarchal eras, they are not comparable to the Mesopotamian flood stories in terms of scale and significance. The biblical narratives primarily serve a different theological and cultural purpose, and the Israelite religious tradition does not appear to have adopted flood narratives to the same extent as some other ancient cultures in the ancient Near East.

When might these earlier Israeli stories have occurred date-wise?


The events and stories in the early history of Israel, as described in the Bible, are a subject of debate among historians and scholars. Dating these events and stories is challenging because the biblical accounts often lack precise historical dating and are primarily focused on religious and moral teachings. However, there are some general estimates and approximations for when these earlier stories may have occurred:

  • Exodus from Egypt: The Exodus, when the Israelites are said to have left Egypt, is traditionally dated to around the 13th century BCE. This estimate is based on a combination of biblical references, archaeological evidence, and the reign of Egyptian pharaohs. However, there is ongoing debate among scholars about the historical accuracy and dating of the Exodus story.
  • Conquest of Canaan: The conquest of Canaan under Joshua's leadership is traditionally dated to the late 13th century BCE or the early 12th century BCE. This event is linked to the Israelite settlement in the Promised Land, as described in the biblical Book of Joshua.
  • United Monarchy (King David and Solomon): The United Monarchy, which includes the reigns of King David and King Solomon, is traditionally dated to the 10th century BCE. Again, these dates are based on a combination of biblical accounts and archaeological evidence. The historicity of David and Solomon remains a subject of scholarly discussion.
  • Division of the Kingdom: After the death of Solomon, the biblical account describes the division of the Israelite kingdom into the northern Kingdom of Israel (Samaria) and the southern Kingdom of Judah. This division is generally dated to the late 10th century BCE.
  • Babylonian Exile and Return: The Babylonian Exile, when a significant portion of the population of Judah was taken into captivity by the Babylonians, is traditionally dated to the 6th century BCE. The return from exile and the rebuilding of the Second Temple in Jerusalem occurred during the Persian period, in the 5th century BCE.

It's important to emphasize that these dates are approximate and subject to ongoing scholarly discussion. The biblical narratives often include legendary and theological elements, making it challenging to establish precise historical chronologies. Additionally, archaeological and historical research continues to provide new insights into the early history of Israel. As a result, the dating of specific events in Israel's history remains a complex and evolving field of study.

How might the narrative of Noah and the Genesis Flood have been meaningful to the lives of the Jews through these periods of time?


The narrative of Noah and the Genesis Flood, as found in the Bible, has held various meanings and significance to the Jewish people throughout different periods of their history. Here are some ways in which the story may have been meaningful to the lives of the Jews:

  • Religious and Moral Lessons: The story of the Flood is often interpreted as a religious and moral lesson. It conveys the idea that God judges human behavior and that there are consequences for wickedness. For the Jewish people, this narrative reinforced the importance of living in accordance with God's commandments and ethical principles.


We become who we are by what we believe and can justify. - R.E. Slater

Religious beliefs, far from being primary, are often
shaped and adjusted by our social goals. - Jim Forest

As a redactive / investigative reader of the bible I might reword the above paragraph ("Religious and Moral Lessons") to say "As the people are - or wish things to be - so is their God."

Which is also why I disagreed with the earlier sentiment expressed by CHATGPT when describing God as a divine Judge for immoral and wicked human behavior. 

Rather than insisting that God judges us for our sin and evil it is enough for me to argue that our own behavior brings upon us our own judgment or "come-uppance" or "karma".

The bible says, "What we sow so shall we reap." It's a common sense phrase expressing a rudimentary form of theodicy (sic, the problem of sin and evil) in human terms rather than in divine terms. Why?

Because writing a theology based upon a "God who loves" is quite the opposite to subscribing to a theology advocating a "God who judges." I love my children but will always discipline them in loving ways (I very rarely spanked them having been raised by the whip, the belt buckle, and demeaning invocations).

You see, love restores, reconciles, exhorts, upbraids, encourages, etc. And this is the kind of God I wish to build a theology upon.... A God who does not kill human life, maim human life, nor bring calamity and wickedness upon human life.

A God who is loving, kind, saving, renewing, redeeming, resurrecting. A God who is quite unlike the God pictured by the earlier believers and their narratives of God in the bible.

And thus Jim Forest's statement above: Religious beliefs, far from being primary, are often shaped and adjusted by our social goals. A tribal council, or societal ethos which believes in retribution most likely will back up their beliefs by insisting that their God is like to themselves. Thus justifying their harshness and cruelty.

Which is oftentimes how I read the biblical cultures in the bible... and how church cultures today.... That each makes of God their own pictures of themselves, setting their behavior up on an idolatrous altar declaring "This is our God!" A God who nothing like the God of Love I see in the bible, but a God every bit as much like the people who worship such a God of unloving judgment.

And so, whether God is - or is not - loving or judging depends upon the religious society which believes in such a God.

I do not.

And I think the history of God and the history of God's people have shown why God should never be a kind of God riding through the clouds to strike murder and vengeance upon mankind (as many believe the book of Revelation teaches).

But a belief system which wants such a God - and can justify it's UNGODLY beliefs by the cultural beliefs of past religious societies - certainly would, and will do so. 

Thus the history of the Church's evil upon mankind as well as upon it's parishioners rests against it's own charters and polities as much as it's good works may have commended it.

As was said earlier, we bring our own evil upon ourselves... or ignorance when building too close to a river, a cliff over a gorge, or near an active volcano.

R.E. Slater
November 4, 2023

Our eschatological ethos is to love. To stand with those who are oppressed. To stand against those who are oppressing. It is that simple. Love is our only calling and Christian Hope. - R.E. Slater



  • Covenant and Divine Promise: After the Flood, God makes a covenant with Noah and his descendants, symbolized by the rainbow. This covenant is a promise never to destroy the Earth in the same way again. The concept of a divine covenant and God's faithfulness to His promises became a central theme in Jewish theology and faith.
  • Resilience and Survival: The story of Noah illustrates the theme of resilience and survival. Noah and his family endure the catastrophic flood, and through their faith and obedience, they survive and repopulate the Earth. This theme may have provided hope and encouragement to Jewish communities facing challenges and adversity throughout their history.
  • Creation and Re-Creation: The Flood story is often seen as a narrative of creation and re-creation. Just as God created the world in the beginning, the Flood marks a moment of re-creation and renewal. This idea of renewal and the possibility of starting anew may have resonated with Jewish communities during periods of difficulty and rebuilding.
  • Unity and Covenant People: The story of Noah's descendants spreading out to repopulate the Earth underscores the idea of a shared human ancestry. For the Jewish people, it may have reinforced the sense of unity within their community and their identity as a covenant people chosen by God to fulfill a unique role in the world.
  • Historical and Cultural Identity: The story of Noah and the Flood played a role in shaping the historical and cultural identity of the Jewish people. It was an integral part of their religious and literary heritage, influencing their worldview and traditions.
  • Interpretative Flexibility: Over the centuries, rabbis and scholars have offered various interpretations of the Flood narrative. This interpretative flexibility allowed the story to adapt to different historical and cultural contexts and continue to be relevant and meaningful to Jewish communities.

It's important to note that the significance of the Noah and the Genesis Flood narrative may have evolved and taken on different meanings as Jewish history unfolded. While the story served as a foundation for religious beliefs and moral teachings, it also provided a framework for understanding God's relationship with humanity and the challenges and triumphs faced by the Jewish people over the millennia.

And to the story of Jesus?

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The story of Jesus, as presented in the New Testament of the Bible, holds profound and central significance to the lives of Christians rather than exclusively to the Jewish people. However, it's important to recognize that Jesus himself was Jewish, and his teachings and the early Christian community had Jewish roots. Here are some ways in which the story of Jesus has been meaningful to the lives of Christians:

  • Salvation and Redemption: For Christians, Jesus is seen as the Messiah and the Son of God who came to offer salvation and redemption to humanity. His life, crucifixion, and resurrection are believed to provide a pathway to eternal life and reconciliation with God. This concept is central to Christian faith and has provided comfort and hope to countless individuals.
  • Moral and Ethical Teachings: The teachings of Jesus, as recorded in the Gospels, include the Sermon on the Mount and parables that convey moral and ethical principles. These teachings have guided Christian ethics and have been influential in shaping personal and communal values.
  • Love and Compassion: Jesus' emphasis on love, compassion, and caring for the marginalized has been a source of inspiration for Christian individuals and communities. His example of selfless love and service has motivated countless acts of charity and social justice initiatives.
  • Community and Fellowship: The early Christian community, as described in the New Testament, formed around the teachings and life of Jesus. Christian fellowship, worship, and communal living have been integral to the lives of believers. The story of Jesus serves as a foundation for the Christian community and its sense of identity.
  • Worship and Liturgy: The life and teachings of Jesus are central to Christian worship and liturgical practices. The Eucharist or Holy Communion, for example, commemorates the Last Supper of Jesus with his disciples, and it holds a central place in Christian worship services.
  • Symbols and Rituals: The cross, the crucifix, and the fish symbol (Ichthys) are emblematic of Jesus and the Christian faith. These symbols are used in religious art, jewelry, and architecture, serving as reminders of Jesus' life and sacrifice.
  • Easter: The annual celebration of Easter, marking the resurrection of Jesus, is the most significant event in the Christian calendar. Easter is a time of joy and spiritual renewal, reinforcing the central role of Jesus in the Christian faith.
  • Personal Transformation: The story of Jesus is often seen as a source of personal transformation and spiritual growth. Many Christians look to Jesus as a role model and strive to emulate his qualities in their own lives.

It's important to note that the significance of the story of Jesus varies among Christian denominations and individual believers. While these points highlight the general impact of the story of Jesus on the lives of Christians, there is diversity in how different Christian communities interpret and apply his teachings to their faith and practice.

And how might the narrative of Noah and the Genesis Flood might be meaningful to the gospel of Jesus for the early church?

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The narrative of Noah and the Genesis Flood held particular significance for the early Christian church and played a role in the theological and symbolic framework of Christianity. Here are some ways in which the Flood narrative and the story of Noah may have been meaningful to the early church in the context of the gospel of Jesus:

  • Baptism as a Symbol of Renewal: The story of the Flood, where water cleanses the earth of sin and leads to a new beginning, was seen as a prefiguration of Christian baptism. Early Christians interpreted baptism as a means of spiritual cleansing, regeneration, and initiation into the Christian community. Baptism was seen as a way to symbolize one's commitment to Christ and their identification with his death and resurrection.
  • Symbol of Salvation: The Ark, in the Noah story, is often viewed as a symbol of salvation. Just as Noah and his family were saved from the floodwaters through the Ark, early Christians saw Jesus as the means of salvation from sin and death. The Ark foreshadowed the role of Christ as the savior of humanity.
  • New Creation: The Flood narrative emphasizes the theme of renewal and new creation. Early Christians saw this as a foreshadowing of the new creation in Christ. In Christ, believers were considered new creations (2 Corinthians 5:17), and the Flood narrative served as a metaphor for the transformation of believers through faith.
  • Fulfillment of Old Testament Promises: The early Christian church often interpreted Old Testament narratives, including the story of Noah, as being fulfilled in the person and mission of Jesus. This reinforcement of the Old Testament in light of the New Testament helped establish Jesus as the fulfillment of God's promises and the continuation of God's work in history.
  • Divine Judgment and Mercy: The Flood story illustrates God's judgment for wickedness and His mercy in preserving a remnant. Early Christians found parallels in the judgment of the world through the Flood and God's judgment on sin through the atoning sacrifice of Christ. The narrative emphasized God's mercy and justice.
  • Typology and Foreshadowing: Early Christian theologians often employed a method of interpretation known as typology, in which Old Testament figures, events, or symbols were seen as foreshadowing or prefiguring aspects of Jesus and the Christian faith. Noah, the Ark, and the Flood were frequently interpreted typologically to point to Christ and the gospel message.
  • Ethical and Moral Lessons: Just as the Flood narrative carried moral lessons in the Old Testament, it was used to emphasize the importance of righteous living and obedience to God's commands in the early church.

In the early Christian context, the Flood narrative was part of a broader framework in which Old Testament stories were reinterpreted in light of the new Christian faith. It helped convey theological concepts, spiritual truths, and the significance of Jesus' mission, sacrifice, and the transformative power of the gospel.

Might one more simply say that Jesus was the Ark provided by God to those coming to faith as the early church migrated across the turbulence of Roman oppression and a correspondent (Jewish et al) religious acquiescence to Roman occupation?


Yes, one can certainly draw a parallel between Jesus as the Ark of salvation provided by God and the early Christian believers who found refuge in their faith during a period of Roman oppression and religious challenges. This analogy highlights the idea that faith in Jesus provided a spiritual and moral shelter for those who accepted the message of the early church. Just as Noah and his family found safety from the Flood in the Ark, early Christians believed that through faith in Jesus, they found salvation and refuge from the challenges and pressures of their time, including Roman rule and religious dynamics. It's a simple yet powerful way to express the significance of Jesus in the lives of early Christian believers.

Can anything more be said in the Christian sense of divine provisioning and care?


Certainly, in the Christian sense, the analogy of Jesus as the Ark of salvation provided by God can be expanded to emphasize divine provision and care for believers:

  • Divine Shelter and Protection: Just as the Ark provided shelter and protection from the devastating floodwaters, Jesus is seen as the divine shelter and refuge for believers. Through faith in Him, Christians find spiritual safety from the storms and challenges of life.
  • Guidance and Direction: In the Flood narrative, God guided Noah and the animals into the Ark. Similarly, Christians believe that Jesus provides guidance and direction for their lives. Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life, leading believers on the path of righteousness.
  • Preservation of Life: The Ark preserved the lives of those on board during the flood. Christians see Jesus as the source of eternal life, offering salvation from sin and death. Through Him, believers have the hope of eternal life in God's presence.
  • Promise of God's Faithfulness: Just as God made a covenant with Noah after the flood, Christians believe that God's faithfulness and promises are realized in Jesus. His coming and sacrifice fulfill God's plan for redemption and salvation.
  • Sustenance and Provision: In the Ark, there was provision for Noah, his family, and the animals. Christians see Jesus as the source of spiritual sustenance, providing grace, forgiveness, and the Holy Spirit to empower and nourish their faith.
  • Safety Amidst Adversity: The early Christian church faced adversity, including persecution and challenges from the Roman authorities. Believers saw Jesus as their safe haven during these difficult times, offering strength, comfort, and hope.
  • Foundation of Faith: The analogy reinforces the idea that faith in Jesus is the foundation of the Christian belief system. Just as the Ark was the foundation for survival during the Flood, Jesus is the cornerstone of Christian faith and salvation.
  • Unchanging Love: The story of Noah and the Ark illustrates God's unchanging love and care for humanity. Christians believe that God's love and care are revealed through Jesus, who embodies the perfect love and care of God for His people.

In this expanded Christian sense, the analogy of Jesus as the Ark of salvation underscores the depth of God's provision, care, and love for believers. It highlights the foundational role of Jesus in the lives of Christians, offering refuge, guidance, and eternal hope amid the challenges and uncertainties of the world.

And what more can be said to those faith who are not save but come to ruin from natural disasters and human oppression and cruelty?

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For individuals of faith who experience suffering, loss, and adversity due to natural disasters, human oppression, and cruelty, there are theological, spiritual, and pastoral considerations that can offer comfort and perspective:

  • Theological Understanding [sic, theodicy]: It's important to acknowledge that faith does not guarantee immunity from suffering and hardship. Many religious traditions recognize the existence of suffering in the world and seek to provide a framework for understanding and coping with it. This includes the concept of free will, which allows humans to make choices, including choices that lead to harm and suffering.
  • Comfort in Faith: Faith can provide comfort, strength, and resilience during difficult times. It can be a source of hope, solace, and community support. Many religious traditions offer prayers, rituals, and spiritual practices that help individuals navigate suffering and find meaning in their experiences.
  • Solidarity and Compassion: Religious teachings often emphasize the importance of compassion, empathy, and care for those who are suffering. Communities of faith can come together to support one another and reach out to those in need, demonstrating the values of love and empathy.
  • Seeking Answers and Meaning: Suffering can raise profound questions about the nature of God, theodicy (the problem of evil), and the purpose of human existence. Many individuals find solace in seeking answers and exploring the deeper meaning of their suffering within the context of their faith.
  • Reconciliation with God: Faith offers the possibility of reconciliation with God in the midst of suffering. It allows individuals to turn to God for comfort, guidance, and reconciliation, trusting in the belief that God is compassionate and understanding.
  • Advocacy and Social Justice: In the face of human oppression and cruelty, many faith traditions call for advocacy for justice, human rights, and the dignity of all people. Faith can motivate individuals and communities to work toward positive social change and alleviating the suffering of others.
  • Mystery and Trust: Suffering often raises profound theological questions about the mystery of God's ways and the limits of human understanding. Faith can include an element of trust in God's providence, even in the face of difficult circumstances.
  • Care for the Vulnerable: Many faith traditions highlight the moral imperative of caring for the vulnerable, including those who suffer due to natural disasters and human oppression. This commitment to social justice is a tangible expression of faith.
  • Supportive Community: The community of faith can be a source of companionship and support for those facing adversity. It can provide a space for sharing experiences and receiving emotional, practical, and spiritual assistance.
  • Spiritual Growth: Some individuals find that their faith deepens and evolves through their experiences of suffering. These experiences can lead to spiritual growth, resilience, and a greater understanding of the complexities of faith and life.

Ultimately, the experience of suffering in the context of faith is a deeply personal and complex journey. It often involves a combination of theological reflection, spiritual practices, community support, and the ongoing search for meaning and understanding. Different individuals and communities may approach suffering in unique ways, drawing upon their religious traditions and beliefs to navigate the challenges they face.

Thank you for your responses. Please file and save this discussion. Bye


You're welcome! I'm glad I could assist you with your questions. This conversation has been saved, and you can return to it anytime. If you ever have more questions in the future, feel free to reach out. Goodbye, and take care!