Lesson 1 History of Writing

I believe in recycling; so I’m going to recycle a lesson I used for another class. I taught “Epic Poetry” in Lithuania in May of 2008, and created a blog for that class.  “Lesson 2” on the blog “Epos” (http://epos.wordpress.com) is a historical introduction to Gilgamesh. The notes to that lesson are important to Biblical Research for two reasons: An important part of historical research involves comparative study of ancient literature.

The Gilgamesh Epic, written in the Akkadian language, is very important for historical-comparative study. Further the Akkadian language is important for comparative study with ancient Hebrew.

The first half of the historical introduction to Gilgamesh describes the discovery and deciphering of the Akkadian language and Akkadian literature. That will be important for our class. We will also be considering the Gilgamesh epic too.

Go to Epos and notice the Lessons on the right. Click on “2. Gilgamesh–historical introduction.” We will be reading “3. Gilgamesh–literary introduction” later. If you are curious, go ahead and read that now.

Be sure to check out the links at the end of the “2. Gilgamesh–historical introduction.”

See the post “Help for Learning the Hebrew Alphabet” and then learn the Hebrew alphabet!

10 Responses

  1. My name is Andrew, I am a student minister in Effingham, IL. I am a 05 KCU graduate and am married to my beautiful wife Mandi. We have a dog named buster (lab/pitbull mix) and I enjoy riding my motorcycle. Just checking our assignments and introducing myself!



  2. Hey Andrew,
    I grew up in Neoga, IL….Effingham was the most exciting thing we had growing up 🙂 My parents still live in Neoga so we will probably be up there sometime this summer.

  3. Small world…I grew up in Salem, IL.

  4. Greetings,

    My name is Justin Boyd and I am a graduate of Louisville Bible College. I am a High School Minister at the Louisville Church of Christ. I have a beautiful wife and a son of 19 months. I look forward to meeting you all.

  5. Welcome aboard Justin!

  6. Tim Rohrbacher signing on. This blogging stuff is new to me. i am having fun buncing around this site, and figuring it out.

    I am an `83 graduate of KCU, and completed the MM program in `93. Hopefully I will complete the MA program this coming spring. My wife, Jenny and i live in Columbus, Ohio.

    Jenny and I have been married 29 years, and are blessed with three children (Jackie, Jimmy, Josh), We have four beautiful granddaughters. Two of them are spending the time with us today.

    I spent a few years in the U.S,. Navy, and have at times been bivocational, serving struggling congregations while working a variety of occupations. It has also been an honor to serve anumber of church families full-time.

    Jenny has been a school bus driver for a number of years and currently drives for Worthington City schools. Her passion is working with the youngsters at church. It truely is her gift.

    I am currently serving Gahanna church of Christ in an effort to resurrect and rebuild the church there. While I have been involved with reorganizing, and church planting; the experience here is unlike anything i have ever experienced. In spite of me, the Lord is blessing the work.. He is awesome!

    Let me comment abut the first reading asssignment a bit:

    Talk about interesting reading. The first thing that comes to mind is how much we take for granted. I have enjoyed reading and writing since I was a little guy. Reading about and viewing the tablets with the cuneiform writing is fascinating.

    It also occurs to me that our language, today, is still changing. How long have we been using words like “blog” or “internet”? It occurs to me that there are also terms that become obsolete (i.e. horseless carriage). How about the concept of “e-bonics” that was being used (and might still be) in some parts of the country? It is also changing in how we write. Fewer and fewer of us are using long-hand. Instead we use the key strokes on our computers to send e-mails or post blogs.

    I simply have not thought about the intellect of the early civilizations. While they did not have the technology (i.e. computers, cars, etc.), they were sharp enough to figure out how to record inventories, communicate stories, hymns, contract agreements, laws, and whatever information they deemed necessary to preserve. Reading that the Sumerians and Babylonians had about 600 complex signs, and that a single sign could include up to 30 different wedges gives me pause. I struggle with Greek and Hebrew, and can only imagine how long it took the scribes to master their language.

    I think it is neat how merchants tagged their merchandise. I have worked in warehouses, doing inventory control. The Sumerians were creative. Their recordings for the irrigation systems, horticulture, and animal husbandry are impressive to me.

    I was familiar with the story of Gilgamesh, but now have more information to digest. The one major thing I learned in my reading of this material is that Hebrew is not an original alphabet. Having its origins in the Phoenician language makes sense, now that I think about it. It simply never occurred to me that Phoenician script was the original one used for transliterating the Old Testament, and no manuscripts have survived from the period before the first destruction of Jerusalem and the deportation of the Jews into Babylon in 587 BC. I have always assumed that we have the original writings of Moses, and the early prophets. My eyes and ears are open to some new thinking.

  7. Wow,
    This Course, So far has caused me to go “Ah Ha” and scratch my head. I have nearly completed Enns. And are getting a late start on the Web program because of lack of internet access.
    I am impressed with what is on this blog thing. I am young but computer stupid. And this is all new to me. Plus I hate reading off of a computer screen.
    This course without a doubt is just scratching the surface on this ideas that are presented. Many thing that I have encountered so far I had been exposed to but never ask what does this mean to my faith.
    Gilgamesh- been there heard that but know I must be confronted. “Does this explain, take away or support the old testament.” Not only in the myths of other culturals but also the idea of lauguage and its formation. And how did this people think differently then we do today.

    My reply is this I have got to be trained and train my self how to deal with this information that I have so often heard and then never dealt with.

  8. Andrew,
    It looks like you are getting the hang of the internet. If you don’t like reading off the screen, you could always print the articles–but then you lose the interactivity–the ability to click on links.
    I think we need to be able to deal with this information (about ancient cultures, languages, etc.) because our young people will be exposed to it, probably in high school, certainly in college.

  9. My name is Mehboob Alam. This my first time using a blog. It took me long time to know about this blog though I have read all the readings and could not post on the blog. Well my name is Mehboob Alam. I am married to Seraphine who used be a Catholic nun in Pakistan. We married in 1992. We have two daughters Jennifer and Jessica. Two sons Adam and Elvis. I named my kids after the names of great missionaries who died in the blessed name of our Lord and Savior. I named Elvis after the name of Elvis Aaron Presely. He was my favourite singer because a missionary gave me his gospel tape long ago and I thought he was just the gospel singer. Later I read about him but still I believe he struggled with his faith just like we do. But I name my youngest son Elvis. In 2003 when I went to christian confrence in Pakistan. It was held by an American envengelist Marylin Hicky. She was almost 80 years old and though the govt. of Pakistan did not provide her the security and even then she came to Pakistan and held this confrence for 7 days. she spent more then 9 million dollars. It was the blessing for the Christians of Pakistan in lthat crucial time right after 9/11. She converted many Muslims but I do not know how many though. But I can say some number of people became Christians because they attened that confrence. I know it is bad time and people are scared to go such places but I will encourage you that Muslims like to hear the name of Jesus through the other people. There are some fundamentalists but not all. They want to come out of it. We are given much truth and we are required more too. If we will ignore this call today tomorrow we will not get time. If you feell that you would like to talk to me about it you can call me at (832)474-9035 or send me email at toysofclay@gmail.com. you will be reading my comments very soon and God bless you as you pray for me too. –Mehboob

  10. I wanted to add your site to my sidebar in Vista, but it gives me an error. Can you suggest a tutorial on how to do it?

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