Brother AACOOLDRE : TALE OF THE SHIPWRECK SAILOR: A cut and paste job of Paul’s Shipwreck?


Well-Known Member
Jul 26, 2001
TALE OF THE SHIPWRECK SAILOR: A cut and paste job of Paul’s Shipwreck?

By Andre Austin

Cyrus Gordon has pointed out parallels in the Egyptian Tale of the Shipwrecked Sailor with Homer’s Odyssey of Odysseus shipwrecked story in book 5 & book 11. Current scholarship in the New Testament have compared the Shipwreck story of Odysseus and St. Paul in the book of Acts chapters 27 & 28 by Dennis MacDonald. I thought to myself who is right Gordon or MacDonald or a combination of the two? I then went on alert and starting digging up books on Egyptian Literature and read The Egyptian Shipwreck story and Paul’s and my mouth dropped down to the floor. I was actually reading both stories side by side. I had a Dubois’s “Double-consciousness moment combining my Afrocentric view upon the stolen Eurocentric tale. I then made an executive Solomon decision. The verdict was simple: The writer, Luke, in the book of Acts must have had available to him the Homeric and the Egyptian tale to compose the literary tale of Paul’s non-historic shipwreck tale in Acts 27 & 28.

Many black business buzzards don’t want to hear this complete story. They don’t mind hearing about Greek philosophy stealing from ancient Egyptian priests. But they dare not venture down the road of making parallels with the “unholy” Egyptian texts into the sacred writings of the gospels. Why? Their consumers of their products are black Christians. This my dear is economic blasphemy. They only want to rejoice and rally around the condemnation of the gay; while they have the aliments of Venus. My dear Black corporate friend don’t you know that the very nature of Economics is rooted in the past, present and future. Behold and take heed a proverb of Dubois stating that capitalism was basically having three ears of corn: you eat one, sell one and then plant the other for the season next year. That’s living in the past, present and future at the same time. To a Black Sea/land merchant: If the past don’t make dollars it don’t make sense and neither be led astray of Hollywoods’s magic spell (Rev 18:17-24)

We are not little kids, we can talk about controversial topics. God is Love! But blacks don’t show it. We come up short in the bed of business commercial transactions with eachother. When he comes to buying black, the bed and springs have failed to rise and shake. I know I’m off on an tangent, so let me get back to the lecture at hand. Now what was I talking about? Oh yes the Egyptian Shipwreck sailor story and Paul’s shipwreck.

OK HERE IT’S The skeleton story

Egyptian Senmut isn’t a sailor but a place they have safely return from before going on another trip.

1. Senmut’s 120 sailors a storm sinks the ship Paul has 276 sailors Acts 27:37

2. Senmut’s The ship is 120 cubits in length Paul’s waters in 120 feet deep Acts 27:28

3. Senmut’sCast on an Island and spent three days alone with the help of a piece of wood/Paul with a plank in Acts 27:44 the plank

4. Senmut’s Pleas/prays to get home in heath/ Paul heals in Acts 28:8

5. Senmut’s Cut a fire drill and made a fire and gave burnt offering to the gods Paul makes a fire Acts 28:3

6. Senmut’s Meets 75 serpents and has plenty of food to eat Paul has a snake on arm Acts 28:3. The snake at first threaten to reduce Semut in ashes/ Paul put a snake in the fire

7. Senmut’s went home makes account to his King/Paul appeals to Caesar Acts 28:19

8. Senmut’s King really doesn’t want to see/hear him/ Paul alludes to people not hearing or seeing at the end Acts 28: 26-28


The basic form of the story is very simple: an official of the king returns home from a venture which did not go well. He has to report the bad news to the king and is obviously worried about what might happen to him at the meeting. His servant, trying to cheer him up, tells him a story of something which once happened to him. The servant, who was once a sailor, tells of his own expedition which was a complete failure, much worse than that which his master has experienced, but led to a great adventure. He tells his master how he survived the shipwreck and came ashore on an amazing island where he met a great talking serpent who called himself the Lord of Punt. All good things were on the island and the sailor and the snake converse until a ship is hailed and he can return to Egypt. As the Land of Punt had been a well-known partner in trade with Egypt since the Fourth Dynasty (c. 2613-2498 BCE) it is interesting to see it portayed mythically as an island of riches and magic from which the sailor is rescued, after being helped by the serpent, and returned home a richer man.

On a surface level, the story may be read as simple comedy. The master has suffered a poor business transaction and his servant tries to cheer him by telling a fabulous story which the master is not at all interested in hearing. The master comes just short of telling the servant to go away. When the master says, "Do as you wish; it is wearying to talk to you" it is the ancient equivalent of the modern day "Whatever". The sailor insists on telling his tale, however, and the master indulges him. However entertaining the story may be, it does not seem to lighten the master's mood any. In the end, the master says "Do not continue, my excellent friend. Does one give water to a goose at dawn that will be slaughtered during the morning?" Here he is telling the servant that there is no point trying to console someone who is going to his fate. The colophon at the end is the signature of the scribe who wrote, or more likely copied, the piece.

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