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Is there proof that YHWH came from pagan gods?

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Voting Style: Open Point System: Select Winner
Started: 6/22/2014 Category: Religion
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 561 times Debate No: 57006
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (2)
Votes (3)




I will allow my opponent to attempt to change my beliefs on the Bible by offering solid scientific, historical, archaeological, or scholarly evidence that the Bible conclusively originates within polytheistic or pagan ideas. First round is acceptance.


I accept.

As pro, I will be arguing that the Bible did originate from polytheistic or pagan ideas.

I ask my opponent to clarify who has burden of proof.
Debate Round No. 1


Pro has the burden of proof to explain why the Bible is pagan in origin.


I will now explain why the bible is polytheistic in origin.

The beginning of the bible has incredible similarities to Sumerian texts, including extremely similar creation myths [1] and story of a great flood [2]. Given how extremely similar these stories are and that Sumerian texts are older than the Bible, it is clear that Biblical stories originated from the Sumerians. And the Sumerians were polytheistic "The Sumerians originally practiced a polytheistic religion" [3] So the Bible originated from Sumerians and the Sumerians were polytheistic, therefor the bible is polytheistic in origin.

Debate Round No. 2


Similarities does not imply that it is polytheistic in origin. According to Wikipedia, there are common elements and similarities found in many myths (1):

* Creation from nothing, but through the word, dream, or thought of a deity

* Earth diver in which an animal plunges into primordial seas to bring up land

* Emergence myths where the

* Creation from chaos

Many myths also have common elements as well as Genesis, therefore it cannot be shown that YHWH came from polytheistic religions.

As for the flood, scholars see that Babylonian flood myths also share an earlier source. Many different flood myths have common elements as Noah's flood does and no longer view the Genesis flood account to have been borrowed by others (2). They are seen as parallels.

In conclusion, the Bible was not derived from polytheism.





"Similarities does not imply that it is polytheistic in origin." When multiple sources are extremely similar, it is assumed that all the rest of the sources copied the first source. And the first source in this case is the Sumerians because the Sumerian Language is the oldest written language that exists. [1] So any source that has extremely similar stories to Sumerian texts had to have copied from Sumerian texts. Even though other stories may also have similarities with Genesis, since they are not older than Sumerian texts, they can't be where Genesis first originated from.

What more evidence could you ask for when trying to prove that one story was copied from another besides having several similarities between them? This is definitely strong enough evidence to fulfill burden of proof.

Debate Round No. 3


Language doesn't imply that a whole concept originated from it as I will show.

The epic of gilgamesh according to wikipedia came from akkadian and other religions. You would have to show how God strictlycame fr om polytheism.No experts have shown such a thing. Like where do you see the concept of an invisiblebeing in oth er religions? No where


"The Epic of Gilgamesh, an epic poem from Mesopotamia, is considered the world's first truly great work of literature. The literary history of Gilgamesh begins with five Sumerian poems about 'Bilgamesh' (Sumerian for 'Gilgamesh'), king of Uruk. These independent stories were used as source material for a combined epic. The first surviving version of this combined epic, known as the "Old Babylonian" version, dates to the 18th century BC and is titled after its incipit, Sh$3;tur eli sharrī ("Surpassing All Other Kings"). " [1]

Stories of Gilgamesh originated with the Sumerians. But it wasn't until later the Babylonians combined these stories into the "Epic of Gilgamesh". So the Epic of Gilgamesh originated from poems written by the Sumerians.

It is clear these Bible stories originated from the Sumerians who were in fact polytheistic.

Debate Round No. 4


I will now quote scholars who are involved in this issue:

""As scholars studied the significant differences and omissions between the accounts [Gilgamesh and Noah's flood], they concluded that neither the Mesopotamian nor the biblical author borrowed from the other.", Couch, "The Fundamentals for the Twenty-First Century: Examining the Crucial Issues of the Christian Faith", p. 177 (2000)."

"However, it has yet to be shown that there was borrowing, even indirectly. Differences between the Babylonian and the Hebrew traditions can be found in factual details of the Flood narrative (form of the Ark; duration of the Flood, the identity of the birds and their dispatch) and are most obvious in the ethical and religious concepts of the whole of each composition. All who suspect or suggest borrowing by the Hebrews are compelled to admit large-scale revision, alteration, and reinterpretation in a fashion that cannot be substantiated for any other composition from the ancient Near East or in any other Hebrew writing. If there was borrowing then it can have extended only as far as the "historical" framework, and not included intention or interpretation.", Millard, "A New Babylonian "Genesis" Story", in Hess & Tsumura (eds.), "I Studied Inscriptions from Before the Flood: Ancient Near Eastern, Literary Approaches to Genesis 1-11", Sources for Biblical and Theological Study, volume 4, p. 127 (1994).

"The similarities between the Genesis account and the "Atra-Hasis Epic" do not support the idea that Genesis is a direct borrowing from the Mesopotamian but do indicate that Mesopotamian materials could have served as models for Genesis 1-11, as Jacobsen holds. P.D. Miller also admits that "there were Mesopotamian models that anticipate the structure of Genesis 1-11 as a whole.", Tsumura, "Genesis and Ancient Near Eastern Stories of Creation and Flood", in ibid., p. 47.

Once again, you have failed to show how YHWH not just stories in the Bible came about through polytheism


"Differences between the Babylonian and the Hebrew traditions can be found in factual details of the Flood narrative (form of the Ark; duration of the Flood, the identity of the birds and their dispatch)"

The bible contradicts itself in factual details with the flood story. [1] The flood lasted either 40 days or 150 days depending on where in the Bible you read. [1] And your source claims that differences in the duration of the flood implies that one isn"t borrowed from the other even though the Bible has differing durations of the same flood within itself. The bible also contradicts itself on what kind and how many birds were sent out. [1] Genesis does not differ from older myths much more than Genesis differs from itself, which further demonstrates how similar Genesis is to older polytheistic myths.

"The similarities between the Genesis account and the "Atra-Hasis Epic" do not support the idea that Genesis is a direct borrowing from the Mesopotamian"
Similarities do indicate borrowing.

"Mesopotamian materials could have served as models that anticipate the structures of Genesis 1-11"
This doesn"t even make sense. If you turn in a school essay and the teacher notices your essay is very similar to some other writing, he/she assumes it is plagiarism, not that the other writing served as a model that anticipated the structure of your essay; that would be ridiculous.

So in summery it is clear the Bible originated from polytheism.

Debate Round No. 5
2 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Posted by MrJosh 2 years ago
Another example of a believer not understanding the absurdity of claims to absolute knowledge.
Posted by NNEye 2 years ago
Looking forward to this...
3 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Vote Placed by Cold-Mind 2 years ago
Who won the debate:-Vote Checkmark
Reasons for voting decision: Too many similarities. Also, it is impossible to get so many practitioners if you introduce brand new religion.
Vote Placed by dsjpk5 2 years ago
Who won the debate:-Vote Checkmark
Reasons for voting decision: Better arguments
Vote Placed by Phoenix61397 2 years ago
Who won the debate:--
Reasons for voting decision: Fairly equal debate