Comparative approach to religious studies is of greater importance when it comes to understanding religious matters. This is even more compounded by the fact that we are living in a globalized world where unity, brotherhood and cross-cultural practices are the order of the day. …
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A comparative study of religious literature and religion itself might just be more beneficial to people towards pleasing God (Taylor 23-98). This paper takes a keen look at the resemblances found between Sumerian Epic of Gilgamesh, the Codes of Hammurabi, the doctrines of the Koran and the doctrines of the Old and New Testament with a view on establishing how they could have evolved from one ancient common cultural memory. The confrontation of races considered alien and diverse did not always turn out the causes of war, but it occurred that this was often the opportunity and condition for psychical conflict that is even still being experienced today (Peters 92).
The origin of the Old Testament could be considered as a natural development that resulted out of the Babylonian religion (Rogers 107). This could be seen from the examination of certain religious practices and concepts such as the world’s origin, the fall of man, the flood, and life after death, demons, the devil, angels, the Sabbath, sacrificial cult, priesthood, names and worship of God, and the monotheistic notion of deity. The concept of deity is fundamental to all religious writings and thinking (International Bible Society).
The Sumerians descended from Ham, according to the records in Genesis 10:6-10, Nimrod led the Sumerians in Shinar. These represent a group of Cushitic people that moved south of Egypt and were black in complexion (Sayce 276-277). In Sumerian stories of as depicted in the Epic of Gilgamesh, creation is said to be the origin of man and this is the same belief that the Old Testament, Genesis presents. To Sumerians, Dilmun is paradise and seen as the place where the sun does rise and is the land of their living this place appears vividly as the scene of the creation stories told in Sumerian religious myths. The hero of flood is also mentioned who is Ziusudra or Utnapishtim that the gods took to make him live forever. Utnapishtim happens to be Noah who is the center of man’s salvage from the floods in the OT. This Utnapishtim is celebrated in Sumerian poems as a very wise king and priest at the same time leading the people of Shurrupak and is the son of Ubara-Tutu or he Who Saw Life and appears as the protege of god Ea that by his grace does survive the flood together with the wife and the seed of all living creatures. The revelations made to Babylonian Noah by God in the OT are evident here in that Ea is friendly to mankind and does reveal to him Enlil’s design that was meant to destroy mankind from the face of the earth. There is also a multiplicity of gods. We also have a king list which tells the length of reign for each king just as it is the case with the OT, although the Epic of Gilgamesh does not give clear chronology as is seen in the OT because of the father age revelations in OT. The chief god of these Sumerian people happens to be Bel and this is the cognate of Baal mentioned in the OT for the Canaanite people. It is interesting to note that Gilgamesh is a true depiction of Nimrod mentioned in the Old Testament (Delitzsch 65). The idea of Queen of Heaven is presented in the Gilgamesh Epic and the same idea is in Mesopotamian pagan religion and even in Jeremiah 7:18, the Jews are seen to imitate it and this annoys God. Even in catholic worship, Mary is seen as the Queen of Heaven. Tower of babel is also eminent. An interesting
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