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Legend and Scripture

27 September 2014

At www.thunderbolts.info/wp/2014/09/22/lost-for-words-part-two/ … is the second of Rens posts on the way myth and legend around the world was influenced by the spread of the Bible – and reinterpreted accordingly (but still retaining independent features not found in Genesis). He returns again to the Tower of Babel and in an interesting manner as even the Bible has reinterpreted an original myth. The tower was perceived as a human endeavour. The giant in the sky, Nimrod, was reduced on a human scale as a mighty hunter and his followers, also depicted as human, were a rebellious faction that challenged God. Not only that, Jewish legend found a tower on Earth to identify as the tower of Babel, the ziggurat at Borsippa. It seems that just such an interpretation also occurred in the New World – and he provides several examples of buildings identified with the rebellion (such as the mountain of unbaked bricks at Cholula). The tower is usually destroyed by thunderbolts, fire from the sky, or a great wind. It seems that subsequent generations of humanity found it difficult to perceive of a tower in the sky as a natural phenomenon – and reduced it in terms they could understand, a building project that showed evidence of destruction and belonged somewhere in the past. Sumerian Borsippa fitted the bill as far as the later West Semitic speaking Babylonians were concerned – a structure that showed signs of fire damage and was suitably ancient and built by a defunct ethnic polity. Rens adds that the tower was a 'wondrous atmospheric structure beheld worldwide' (see also www.mythopedia.info)

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