6. Demythologizing Mythology

Article Abstract

The prevailing understanding among critical scholars is that Genesis is made up of stories that are parochial versions of popular mythological stories and what they consider to be the unquestionable proof is the story about Noah and the flood that supposedly was copied from the ancient story about Gilgamesh. Moreover, scholars claim that what characterizes all these ancient stories is that they were written by people who had mythical minds and what they wrote had no relationship to the world as we know it. The article analyses these ancient stories and finds out that the reason modern scholars cannot make any sense of these stories is because they are handicapped by the concept of objective reality so that they interpret all the images used by ancient authors as descriptions of a world that they imagined and had no relationship to the world in which they lived. Scholars claim that the reason ancient writers were unable to provide descriptions of the world in which they lived that made sense is because they had a different kind of mind than that of modern people, mind that they call mythical and is radically different from their own that they call scientific. As a result of this study, those supposed mythical minds that ancient people had turns out to be a myth in itself, but one created by the scholars themselves due to their inability to read ancient texts, and debunking this myth is meant by demythologizing mythology. Therefore, ancient stories not only were not written by idiots who were unable to describe the world in which they lived, but were masterpieces that not only accurately described the problems that ancient societies faced, but those problems are to a greater extent present today. Although traditional understandings of mythological stories are fascinated with great heroes such as Herakles/Hercules, Achilles, Odysseus/Ulises, Hector, Paris, Aeneas, Gilgamesh, and so on, when read with the proper concepts and methodology developed for these studies, they make clear that violence has always led to the collapse of all ancient societies and civilizations and they do not see or offer any solution to the problem of violence and evil. As the story about Gilgamesh and about Noah prove, the biblical writers not only were aware of the mythological stories that were popular at their time, but unlike those stories that only accurately described the problems that human societies from all times faced without offering any solution, the Bible is the only book that offers a radical and revolutionary solution to the problem of evil.


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