Noah's Ark and The Gilgamesh Epic
 
by Rick Dack, Founder and Director of Defending the Bible Int’l.
 
 
 

(All images and text are owned/purchased by Defending the Bible Int'l. and cannot be used without permission)
 
 
Celebrity opinion, religious bias, satirical abuse, and academic liberalism powered by the television networks have given viewers false impressions about the Bible. Cable & Network stations such as A&E, NBC, CBS, ABC, The Cartoon Network, FOX, The Discovery Channel, National Geographic Channel, and The History Channel have broadcast documentaries about the Bible. The Bible is either mocked, considered a myth, an exaggerated text or a plagiarized (stolen or copied) compilation by those within the media and liberal academia. Noah's Ark and Noah's Flood are subjects that have been accused of being at least 3 out of the 4.
 
The Gilgamesh Epic, discovered about 1871, has been used specifically as proof that Moses stole (plagiarized) the flood story from an earlier culture.
 
It is the belief of A.D. Communications that the Flood Story of Noah was contained on earlier tablets than that of the Epic of Gilgamesh dismissing the idea that Moses stole from earlier cultures to write Genesis.
 
Anti-Noah’s Ark media quotes
 
Quote: "The Noah story contains all the best elements in folklore…a threat to humanity, a sense of precariousness of life, the danger and possibility of interacting with…the divine." - David Vanderhooft (Asst Professor of Hebrew Scripture at Boston College") made the above quote on "Mysteries of Noah's Flood" - TLC (2002).
 
My Comment: Noah's Ark is folklore? I thought these programs were meant to provide both sides of the topic or issue. I guess I was wrong. They are propagandist at their core.
 
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Quote: "…here for the first time was practically verbatim written confirmation that the stories contained in the Bible had (occurred - my insertion) outside of the Bible." - Dr. Steve Tinney (Asst Curator, University of Pennsylvania Museum) made the above quote on "Mysteries of Noah's Flood" - TLC (2002).
 
My Comment: The Gilgamesh Epic, of whom Tinney is referring, is not even practically verbatim of Noah's Flood. There are 11-12 similarities, 2-3 lines of discrepancy and over 22 differences between the Bible and The Epic of Gilgamesh. Verbatim? Was Moses a Plagiarist?
 
 
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Quote: "If you read the stories...the passages in Gilgamesh and you didn't tell people where they come from you'd say… this is from the Bible it sounds almost the same." - Bruce Zukerman (Univ. of S. Ca.) made the above quote on "Mysteries of Noah's Flood" - TLC (2002)
 
My Comment: The Gilgamesh Epic, of whom Tinney is referring, is not even practically verbatim of Noah's Flood. There are 11-12 similarities, 2-3 lines of discrepancy and over 22 differences between the Bible and The Epic of Gilgamesh. Verbatim? Was Moses a Plagiarist?
 
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Quote: "There is very little doubt that the Mesopotamian literary traditions that include these flood narratives is much older than the Hebrew one." - David Vanderhooft (Asst. Professor of Hebrew Scripture at Boston College) made the above quote on "Mysteries of Noah's Flood" - TLC (2002)
 
My Comment: Just because Genesis was "compiled" during the 1400's doesn't mean that it originated with Gilgamesh or that Moses was a plagiarist. The same argument can be reversed. No doubt that Noah had tablets passed down to him from previous generations that were eventually passed down to Moses. The Jews had a strong written and oral tradition. Remember that the Gilgamesh Epic (discovered about 1871) fragments were dated anywhere from 1750-612 B.C. (Randall Price, The Stones Cry Out) over 1,000 yrs of fragments to piece together. No doubt a copy of an earlier text (presumably 2600 B.C.) was written but it has not been recovered so what we see is the opposite of the programs assertion. We have a fragmented copy that dates before, during or after the compiling of Genesis around 1400 B.C. but the program writers/interviewees don't tell you that fact. The flood story is contained on tablet 11 of the 12 discovered. I personally believe the Flood occurred pre-Hassuna (5500 B.C.) and others believe it happened during the Ubaid period (4100-3750 B.C.). I personally believe that the Tower of Babel events occurred during this period (Ubaid) and not the famed Flood due to the introduction of mud brick construction to build structures including Ziggurats (Tower of Babel). This is just a theory which is all anyone else can academically conclude.
 
 
 Did Moses plagiarize the Gilgamesh Epic to write the Noah story?
 
I have provided a side by side comparison. You be the Judge.
 
 
  
  
If your interested in more information about the Gilgamesh Epic or would like to read an english translation of the texts, buy James Pritchard's book series called The Ancient Near East (Volumes I and II). Please be aware that Prichard has scripture references in the margins pointing out where there might be parallels with the Bible.
 
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This artifact was discovered at Nippur during the excavations that started in 1890 by John Peters and resumed later by John Hayes (1893). The artifact contains the names of pre-flood kings (Alulim - Shruppak) and post-flood kings. The last king was Shuruppak, King of Ubar-Tutu.
 
The artifact also contains the line, "The flood swept there over. after the flood had swept there over, when the kingship was lowered from heaven, the kingship was in Kish." This also lists the extended ages of kings.
 
Sources: Keith Schoville, Bible and Spade Magazine.