Sumerian King List

The Bible account of history should be confirmed by ancient historical documents. Corroboration of Bible history is found to some degree in the ancient Assyrian texts excavated from Nineveh, which hark back to ancient Sumerian myths and historical records.

Mythical Documents

Those ancient Assyrian texts, such as the Epic of Gilgamesh, Enuma Elish and Epic of Atrahasis do relate aspects of human history reflective of Biblical history. Those reflections are tainted, however, by the polytheistic mythology interpolated into the historical record, such that the documents are considered mythical, rather than historical. Nonetheless, spontaneous creation and a global flood are significant aspects of Biblical history which are clearly celebrated in the ancient Sumerian legends.

It is worth noting that the ancient Assyrian writings do not involve myths about evolution, millions of years, ice-ages, missing links, spontaneous generation, punctuated equilibrium, a big bang or life from outer space. Yet those myths do speak of divine creation, mankind under divine accountability and a global flood. It is logical that these myths involved such events because they were part of the true history within human consciousness.

Non-Mythical History

What we should expect to find and what would be valuable in support of the Bible is a non-mythical historical document which attests to creation and the flood, and therefore supports the Bible narrative. We should expect to find a document which is not tainted with mythology, but which reflects from ancient times an independent affirmation of what the Bible declares is to be our human history.

The Sumerian King List is such a text.

The King List

An historical record of kings has survived from the Sumerian age, speaking from antiquity and tracing human history from the very beginning though to the time of Hammurabi of Babylon. This record offers a window into the ancient past which lends historical support to the Bible record.

The list appears to have developed through history, with successive kingdoms taking charge of continuing the record from earliest times. Sixteen copies of the list have been identified, but not all are in good condition. Some later versions display the process of later kingdoms adding themselves and their kings to the continuing genealogy.

As one kingdom conquered the dominant kingdom of the day it then added its lineage of kings as an extension of the historical record. Then when that kingdom was overthrown the conquerors maintained the record and added their own names in succession, until they, in turn, were overthrown.

There is no reason to doubt the validity of the list, except for some omissions and disparity among the records. Many of the names and places have been confirmed by archaeology. The list attests to its own accuracy by giving specific detail, such as one king whose reign was detailed down to include the three months and three and a half days, as well as the total of years. Another person is detailed as having ruled for forty days. Yet another person is identified as the older brother of his predecessor and also son of the predecessor’s father, Sargon.

Corroboration

The Sumerian King List is an independent corroboration of the Biblical record of divine creation followed by a global flood just a handful of generations after the original creation.

Yet it stands independent from the Biblical record. Where the Bible record follows one of the family lineages from Noah’s three sons, the King List follows a different line. Where the Bible record focuses on a family lineage the King List records successive kings, who are from various families.

The King List, then, cannot be argued as some kind of religious source for the Bible record. The two stand independent from each other, yet they support each other in several significant facts.

The King List is a secular document. It is not maintained as part of religious worship, nor does it set out to deify the Kings or invoke particular religious sentiment, as the Epic of Gilgamesh was made to do. This is significant, because it stands as a secular, non-mythical, historical account of ancient times, yet with remarkable corroboration of the Biblical historical record included in its content.

Creation

The Sumerian King List totally ignores any notion of evolution through vast ages, and speaks from a divinely initiated beginning, as does the Bible. Its opening words are, “After kingship had descended from heaven, Eridu became the seat of kingship.”

Just as the Sumerian and Assyrian mythologies and epics speak of a divinely motivated creation, albeit with grotesque, polytheistic artefacts included, this ancient Sumerian historical record attests to the same reality. Spontaneous creation was not only a fact in the distorted mythical legends, but also in the historical records, just as it is a fact of the Bible record.

The Flood

This King List also attests to a unique flood event very early in the earth’s history. The Bible describes a flood which occurred in Noah’s day. Noah was the tenth person in the historical lineage from the creation of Adam.

The King List speaks of a unique flood event after the eighth generation from the beginning.

“Total: Five Cities, eight kings, reigned 241,200 years. The FLOOD then swept over.”

No other natural or astrological event is referred to in the entire list. The only such event is this reference to “the flood”. All other floods were ignored. No other natural or astrological event was worth reference, but this one flood event was enshrined in the record. Such significance given to the flood attests to it fitting the Bible account of Noah’s global flood.

In the light of this historical record, the mythological references to a global flood which destroyed almost all of mankind, as in the Epic of Gilgamesh, give even more resoundingly credibility to the Bible account.

Kings in Mind

The King List is exactly that: a list of kings. The King List identifies eight kings before the global flood. The Bible records ten generations before the global flood. It is logical that both the King List and the Bible account came from the same information carried on Noah’s Ark. So, why the discrepancy?

The Bible record identifies ten family generations, but only eight patriarchs. Neither Enoch nor Lamech outlived their father, so there were only eight “kings”, or heads of the family line, before the Flood. Thus, even in this detail, the King List corroborates the Bible account.

Mythical Life-spans

Scholars refer to the Sumerian King List as a “mixture of fact and fantasy“. One of the principal reasons for the ‘fantasy’ charge is the unbelievable life spans attributed to the earlier members of the list. The earliest kings were recorded as living for tens of thousands of years.

This problem has been successfully tackled, at least in part, by John Walton, writing in the Fall 1991 issue of Biblical Archaeologist. Walton attributes the problem to an error made along the way, probably when one kingdom took new possession of the list by overthrowing the previously dominant kingdom. The error would have related to the Sumerian numerical use of base 60 in its calculations. In simplified terms this would mean that the numbers were blown out by a factor of 60 times.

Walton was able to rework the ages of the eight persons listed prior to the flood and found that they came very close to the ages ascribed to the eight people between Adam and Noah in the Bible.

Walton’s work brings the King List into greater correlation with the Bible record, but also reveals that the Sumerian document supports the Biblical history of people who lived for close to 1,000 years. He also removes the mythical quality from the list and brings it back into the realm of factual history.

Observations

The Sumerian King List brings the following relevant observations to our understanding of ancient times.

Genealogical records were kept from the earliest of time. Moses was able to provide acurate and detailed information about events which occurred thousands of years before he was born, in the same way successive generations of kings were able to refer back to the Sumerian list.

Genealogical records summarised history around significant personalities, in the same way the Bible accounts for history along one principal family lineage. The Sumerian King List records those who were “king” or head of the family or clan at the relevant time. On that basis we discover that Noah was the eighth in lineage from Adam, even though he was the tenth generation by birth order. Thus Peter records Noah as the “eighth person” in 2Peter 2:5

“And spared not the old world, but saved Noah the eighth person, a preacher of righteousness, bringing in the flood upon the world of the ungodly” 2Peter 2:5

Expanding Record

These Sumerian records were passed down from generation to generation. Conquering kings took over the records in their own court, adding themselves to the grand list. The record grew in stages over time.

The King List record is therefore a true account of people that did live and victories that did occur. The record traces the kings of each dominant kingdom in a succession of kingdoms. We see that several kingdoms enjoy repeated dynasties as the dominant kingdom.

Those who perpetuated the ongoing genealogy understood the record to be fact and worthy of adding their inclusion.

Mathematics Mixed

As discussed earlier, the earliest age accounts were misunderstood at some point in the passing of the records, causing a blow-out of the figures, as per John Walton’s 1991 calculations.

John Walton’s assumptions result in the record of the ante-diluvium kings matching the Genesis record. The error most likely occurred when a new conquering kingdom updated the records, but without understanding the original Sumerian mathematical base.

Genesis Supported

The Sumerian King List is a sound attestation to several elements of the Genesis record.

It accounts for a divine element in the creation.

It accounts for a time of creation, with a beginning that did not need a preceding extended evolutionary history.

It accounts for the limited number of generations before the global flood.

It concurs with the long lives of the ante-diluvium generations.

It confirms the unique global flood incident, worthy of being recorded apart from all other flood or natural events, and thus matching the flood of Noah’s day.

It attests to the process of passing down historical records and “generations” as was done from Adam to Moses, in the compilation of the Genesis historical record.

It allows for misunderstanding in the passing down of the record, as conquering kings took possession of the record but may not have fully understood the basis on which it was maintained. This is different to the lineage record passed down to Moses, as that record was kept in the family, along with a supporting oral tradition. The Biblical detail is therefore factual and reliable.

It allows for the interpolation of spurious divinity into the record, as a conquering king made his self-appointed assertions of the basis of his authority, without denigrating the actual record itself. When King Meskiaggasher of Eanna conquered Kish he had his scribes add him to the list, but as a “son of Utu” (the sun god). This deistic insertion would have been an attempt to aggrandize and elevate himself, as was done in the deification of Egyptian Pharaohs and others.

The list confirms the real existence of Gilgamesh, and thus reveals the encroaching religious mythology which developed in some kingdoms over time. The Epic of Gilgamesh, a real person, presents a perverted mythological tale involving polytheistic deities who were imagined and interposed into human consciousness somewhere during the time of the Sumerian kings.

The emergence of polytheistic concepts represents a degeneration of human consciousness, rather than the forward movement of the evolution of religious thought.

The King List starts with reference to heaven, as per the Bible account, but degenerates into mythology as the centuries pass. The Bible account has maintained its integrity, being preserved by God from the deception and delusion which shrouded the minds of those influenced by the serpent ‘Satan’ character described in Genesis 2.

A Valuable Find

In light of the points mentioned above, the Sumerian King List proves to be a valuable document in support of several aspects of the Biblical record. I commend it for inclusion in discussions on the historicity of the Book of Genesis.

The Truth About Natural Selection

When Charles Darwin observed Natural Selection and proposed that it was the alternative to divine creation, the world stood in awe of his amazing insight. But I am here today to show that Darwin’s guess was completely the reverse of reality. Darwin was a good observer, but a failed prognosticator. He failed to interpret reality and he distracted, fooled or misled generations of the most brilliant minds.

So it is time to take stock of the truth about natural selection.

Diversity Observed

Charles Darwin and Alfred Wallace both published their concepts of evolution in the same year. They had both travelled to strange and exotic places and observed creatures which were new to their audiences. The mystique of their amazing travels and the authority which they could purvey on the basis of their experiences outside those of other men, gave their ideas an undeserved level of credibility.

What Charles Darwin observed on his six year voyage as naturalist aboard the HMS Beagle was ‘diversity’. He observed the same process which breeders had known for centuries.

The Bible records the selective breeding activities of Jacob, grandson of Abraham, almost 4,000 years ago. So the creation or refinement of diversity through breeding activities is nothing new.

Darwin observed finches and tortoises on the Galapagos Islands, as if he was discovering something profound and new. He certainly was observing diversity and the results of selective breeding by the natural isolation of animal communities. In this work he was not remiss.

Natural Selection

Rather than selection by human agency, such as animal and plant breeders would do, Darwin celebrated nature’s ability to provide the selection process. Here, without human intelligence, the process took place regardless.

Darwin’s religious perspective (seeking to prove creation without a creator) prompted him to an interpretation that misled generations of the world’s best minds. Darwin, happy to find an alternative to the reality and presence of an all-knowing and holy God, postulated that ignorant and mindless ‘nature’ could take a hand in the selection process. This allowed room for something other than an intelligent and divine creator.

Here Darwin stopped being an observer and became an interpreter. But every interpreter is influenced by his underlying premises. No scientist operates in a vacuum, but in the context of his or her frame of reference. Darwin’s frame of reference was antithetical to true science. His religious notions, when woven with his scientific observations, took on a scientific significance that has beguiled the world ever since.

Now We Know

Darwin was blind to many realities which we now know. He considered the cell to be a very simple entity. We now know that the simplest cell is more complex than a modern highly integrated city. Darwin imagined that the fossil record held evidence it did not contain. Darwin imagined that such processes as sexual relations contributed to the process of transformation of the physiology of a creature (sexually transmitted physiology into adult organisms).

Charles Darwin was patently wrong on these and many other accounts. As a prognosticator he was a miserable failure. As a hypothesiser he was a miserable failure. As a theorist he was a miserable failure. He was a good observer and there he should have stopped.

The Underlying DNA

What Darwin did not know is that the underlying DNA code does not just describe the organism as it is observed and as it currently functions, but that DNA also contains a much more vast scope of possibilities for the organism.

From an evolutionary point of view each new and discreet function is seen as advancement. It is seen as the ‘emergence’ of something new.

And there evolution is patently deceptive and patently wrong.

Evolution seeks to explain the creation of new features. But that creation happened only once, by a supernatural act of a supreme intelligence. No evolution has happened in the beginning or since. No evolution will ever happen. It is a fool’s notion.

What is really happening is that no new features are created, but the features which have already been gifted into the organism’s DNA are able to be activated or deactivated by the breeding process.

Each new and discreet function within an organism is not a creative process but a process of activation or switching, so that previously unseen features are now displayed. However, there is no new information within the organism. Nothing new has been created.

That is why the evolutionists are at a complete loss to explain the ongoing creative process. There is no such process! Evolutionists point to natural selection, as Darwin did, with the religious conviction that such an invocation will bring along a favourable fairy to solve their problem. But they are empty handed.

Of Breeds and Breeding

Any breeder knows that while you may be able to cross come creatures sexually the new animal may be sterile. This sterility factor is the means by which scientists are able to identify the genetic relationship between apparently similar kinds.

The mule is an example of a cross that creates a sterile animal. Dog breeders have proven the wolf as the ancestor to the modern dog breeds by this sterility factor.

“A wild wolf is genetically little more distant from the domesticated dog than a wild mustang is to a quarter horse. (That wolf and dog can be hybridized, while a fox and dog cannot, points to the genetic and ancestral affinities of wolf and dog.)….”In actuality, a poodle, like any purebred dog, already has innumerable wolf genes since they share a close common ancestry.” Dr. Michael W. Fox, D.V.M., Ph.D., D.Sc., Vice President, Bioethics, Humane Society of the United States. Affidavit.

Note in the quote from Dr Fox that the wolf and dog can be successfully bred together (hybridised) but the fox and dog cannot. There is an underlying DNA connection between the wolf and all the varieties of dog. There is no underlying DNA connection between the fox and dog. By this it can be determined that the dog was not bred from the fox, but from the wolf.

Full Genetic Complement

Note also that the fully hybridised dog variety still contains “innumerable wolf genes”. Hybridisation does not even have to involve the “loss of information” which many creationists refer to. It is possible to have remarkable hybridisation of a species and yet to have the entire underlying DNA intact. The function is not necessarily the addition or removal of DNA elements but the activity of “gene expressors” which effectively flick the switch to turn on or turn off certain genes.

Thus Brisbin notes that there is no discernible DNA distinction between dog breeds, despite the obvious physiological distinctions which we readily recognise.

“….Breeds of dogs can not be distinguished from each other by any known anatomical attribute or even biochemical genetic test, including DNA fingerprinting. Since a given breed of dog can not be defined by any scientific means currently known, our contention is that it is not possible to write any ordinance or law that would single them out for special treatment since they cannot be so defined in a legal sense. … there is no biochemical genetic test that can even distinguish wolves from domestic dogs. I. Lehr Brisbin, Jr., Research Professor, Savannah River Ecology Laboratory, The University of Georgia. Letter, 30, Jan. 1990

The Truth About Natural Selection

Natural Selection is just a fancy term for breeding that takes place without human involvement. The truth about natural selection is that it is not in any way related to the mythical concept of evolution. Natural Selection, as is the case with all breeding and cross-breeding, involves activation and deactivation of the pre-existing, and continuing DNA information contained within the organism since the entire genus was created.

There is no new information. Darwin and all who follow after cannot postulate a valid scientific process for the creation of new information, because there is no such process. There never has been such a process. There is no need for such a process.

God created the vast library of genetic options into the various kinds when He created them and we have had much amazement ever since as we have explored the limits of that genetic variety.

Modern science attests to this reality. The DNA of dogs and the DNA of the Galapagos Tortoise are all evidence for initial creation.

For more information about the failure of evolution and for evidence for special creation go to: http://creationontheweb.com

The Empty Natural Man

Where do you trace yourself back to? Your answer makes a Huge difference in defining who you are and what you are worth. It also defines the potential of your life. So, don’t just take this lightly. Where do You trace yourself back to?

Two Original Sources

People’s beliefs about where they come from fall into two main ideas. Some believe they came as a product of natural processes, such as evolution is believed to be. These people I shall call ‘naturalists’ – not because they study nature, but because they believe they are a product of ‘natural’ processes.

The rest most commonly believe they came from a creator. These people believe they come from Divine Will, rather than natural processes. The Bible reveals God as a creator and man as God’s principal and most cherished special creation.

For the purposes of this discussion I will label those who trace themselves back to nature as Natural Man and those who trace them selves back to divine creation as Divine Man. In both cases the word ‘man’ is meant to incorporate humanity, of both male and female varieties.

Who You Are

The Natural Man, originating from natural sources, is an equal to all other natural phenomena. Natural Man, by definition, has the same value as every other natural thing. A rock came about by natural processes, and so (as they believe) did the natural man. A pig came about by natural processes, and so (as they believe) did natural man. A lion came about by natural processes, and so (as they believe) did natural man. The same could be said for trees, bees and fleas, if you please.

The Divine Man, on the other hand, tracing himself back to God and accepting that he is a special creation at the hand of God, is not on an equal footing to other natural phenomena. Divine Man is in a class above all other natural entities. This superiority is not by virtue of strength or power over all those other things. Divine Man is weaker than many other created beings. Divine Man is vulnerable to many natural forces which frequently take his life. Floods, fire and lightning claim many human lives, and so too do snakes, spiders and wild animals.

Divine Man’s elevated position is not measured in natural terms, but on the basis of the divine will that created him. Divinity gives mankind the privileged position of having been made “in the image of God”, as explained in Genesis 1:26.

Your Worth

If you are a product of nature, with nothing more to commend you than your ability to survive in the natural world, then your value approximates that of a wild animal, a tree or a rock. You have no more right to breath than the donkey braying in the paddock or the dog chasing his tail. You have no more intrinsic value than the mosquito you squatted, the ant you squashed or the orange you squeezed. There is no reason we should seek to preserve your existence above any other creature. Nor should we lament your passing any more than we lament the death of a tree.

If you are, on the other hand, a divine creation, then your value is as high as that creator deems you to be. You have rights and authority over all other creatures, to the degree that your creator assigns it to you. You have worth on the earth from the day of your birth.

Your worth is radically different to others, depending on whether your origins are natural or divine. You will rise in the eyes of the creator divine or go thud in the mud of your natural line.

Your Potential

Where you can go is also dramatically altered if you are natural or divine. Your potential to amount to anything at all is governed by where you came from. If you are a product of natural processes then you have nowhere to go, but back to the dust from which you came. Your highest thoughts, greatest riches, most awesome achievement and your most powerful contribution will all amount to a hill or beans, a pile of rocks and a dead tree stump. They are intrinsically meaningless, except for the transient sense of momentary meaning you can derive during the process of going nowhere.

Those who recognise their divine origins and walk in relationship with their divine creator, have the potential to rise to the heights of God’s divinity. They can go as far as God empowers them to go. They can impact all of humanity and experience divinity. They can exist beyond this natural moment and enjoy new existence opened up by their divine creator. They can overcome natural processes, including death itself, because they are connected to divinity which is outside the finiteness of the natural world.

Natural Man is Empty

Why in the world would anyone want to be a natural man? Why would someone wish to be nothing? Why would anyone celebrate their futility, when they were created for divine destiny?

Natural man comes up empty on every count. There is no prize, no reward and no hope in being a product of natural process. And there is no need to ever restrict oneself into such a poverty-stricken place. God has revealed to us in the Bible that He does exist and is our creator. God has revealed that He is all powerful and that He created mankind to be in intimate relationship with Him. God promises to empower us to live beyond the limitations of natural life, both while alive and beyond the grave.

There is no reason to remain empty.

The Challenge

I challenge you to step aside from the lie of your meaninglessness. You are a created being. You have dignity and destiny which transcends anything ever conceivable within natural limits. You have offer of relationship which is beyond all that human experience can ever conceive. You have the open offer to become an intimate of the very divine entity who is all powerful, all loving, eternal, transcendent above all else and who created you specifically to welcome you into His family for eternity.

Don’t come up empty. Come to the Living Lord God Almighty, the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, your Creator and the God of the Bible. Come and enter into the glories of divinity, for which you were created.