Spin off from the thread: Question For Those Who Don't Believe In The Bible
The link given by the OP in that thread gives, as evidence of the veracity of the Christian Bible:
The Sumerian King List (pictured here), for example, lists kings who reigned for long periods of time. Then a great flood came. Following the flood, Sumerian kings ruled for much shorter periods of time. This is the same pattern found in the Bible. Men had long life spans before the flood and shorter life spans after the flood. The 11th tablet of the Gilgamesh Epic speaks of an ark, animals taken on the ark, birds sent out during the course of the flood, the ark landing on a mountain, and a sacrifice offered after the ark landed.
For a thorough discussion of the Sumerian King List and its Biblical implications, see “The Antediluvian Patriarchs and the Sumerian King List,” by Raul Lopez, in the CEN Technical Journal 12 (3) 1998, pp. 347-57
My question is: should this really be taken as evidence that the Bible is correct, or, if the earlier stories from other religions are actually more accurate, should it be taken as evidence that the Bible is wrong - an exaggeration of a story stolen from elsewhere?
Here's what the Epic of Gilgamesh actually says about the flood. It doesn't claim the whole world was flooded - it appears to be a more local affair...
Here's where he talks about the loading of the Ark:
I had all my kith and kin go up into the boat, all the beasts and animals of the field and the craftsmen I had go up.
In other words, he loaded his household goods, his family, the servants with useful skills, and the herdbeasts in his fields - his sheep, goats and cattle. Nothing about all the species in the world.
Here's where he talks about finding a place to moor the boat after the rains stop:
I looked around for coastlines in the expanse of the sea, and at twelve leagues there emerged a region (of land). On Mt. Nimush the boat lodged firm,
When the waters subsided a bit, here's where it talks about the long voyage to find the edge of the flooded region:
Then Gilgamesh raised a punting pole and drew the boat to shore.
At twenty leagues they broke for some food, at thirty leagues they stopped for the night.
At that point Gilgamesh sat down, weeping, his tears streaming over the side of his nose. "Counsel me, O ferryman Urshanabi! For whom have my arms labored, Urshanabi! For whom has my heart's blood roiled! I have not secured any good deed for myself, but done a good deed for the 'lion of the ground'!" Now the high waters are coursing twenty leagues distant,' as I was opening the conduit(?) I turned my equipment over into it (!). What can I find (to serve) as a marker(?) for me! I will turn back (from the journey by sea) and leave the boat by the shore!" At twenty leagues they broke for some food, at thirty leagues they stopped for the night. They arrived in Uruk-Haven.
(The [...] are where I've left out long sections where he berates the gods, sacrifices to them, and asks for punting directions.)
Earlier versions, upon which the Gilgamesh version was based, give more details still.
Atrahasis' Dream Explained
[i.b35] Enlil committed an evil deed against the people.
[i.c.11] Atrahasis made ready to speak,
and said to his lord:
"Make me know the meaning of the dream.
let me know, that I may look out for its consequence."
[i.c15] Enki made ready to speak,
and said to his servant:
"You might say, 'Am I to be looking out while in the bedroom?'
Do you pay attention to message that I speak for your:
[i.c20] 'Wall, listen to me!
Reed wall, pay attention to all my words!
Flee the house, build a boat,
forsake possessions, and save life.
[i.c25] The boat which you build
... be equal ...
Roof her over like the depth,
[i.c30] so that the sun shall not see inside her.
Let her be roofed over fore and aft.
The gear should be very strong,
the pitch should be firm, and so give the boat strength.
I will shower down upon you later
[i.c35] a windfall of birds, a spate of fishes.'"
He opened the water clock and filled it,
he told it of the coming of the seven-day deluge.
Atrahasis and the Elders
Atrahasis received the command.
He assembled the Elders at his gate.
[i.c.40] Atrahasis made ready to speak,
and said to the Elders:
"My god does not agree with your god,
Enki and Enlil are constantly angry with each other.
They have expelled me from the land.
[i.c45] Since I have always reverenced Enki,
he told me this.
I can not live in ...
Nor can I set my feet on the earth of Enlil.
I will dwell with my god in the depths.
[i.c50] This he told me: ..."
[ii.30] whatever he had ...
Whatever he had ...
Pure animals he slaughtered, cattle ...
Fat animals he killed. Sheep ...
he choose and and brought on board.
[ii.35] The birds flying in the heavens,
the cattle and the ... of the cattle god,
the creatures of the steppe,
... he brought on board
[ii.40] he invited his people
... to a feast
... his family was brought on board.
While one was eating an another was drinking,
[ii.45] he went in and out; he could not sit, could not kneel,
for his heart was broken, he wat retching gall.
The outlook of the weather changed.
[The storm god] Adad began to roar in the clouds.
[ii.50] The god they heard, his clamor.
He brought pitch to seal his door.
By the time he had bolted his door,
Adad was roaring in the clouds.
The winds were furious as he set forth,
[ii.55] He cut the mooring rope and released the boat.
Each time, the earlier the version we look at, the more specific the details and the less exaggerated the story.
by IhartUNovember 2, 2011 at 11:05 AM
My question is: If the earlier stories from other religions are actually more accurate, should it be taken as evidence that the Bible is wrong - an exaggeration of a story stolen from elsewhere?
I'd say yes- the older and more 'virgin' tale would be the correct one. Another example is the far older The Righteous Sufferer and the OT story of Job.
Finally, when we trace the story back to the document that was written down first, what we find is a simple tale about a Sumerian king named Ziusudra who was chief executive of the city-state Shuruppak at the end of the Jemdet Nasr period about 2900 BC. A six-day thunderstorm caused the Euphrates River to rise 15 cubits, overflow the levees, and flood Shuruppak and a few other cities in Sumer. A few feet of yellow sediment deposited by this river flood is archaeologically attested and artifacts at about this sediment level have been radiocarbon dated.
When the levees overflowed, Ziusudra boarded a commercial river barge that had been hauling grain, beer, and other cargo on the Euphrates River. The barge floated down the river into the Persian (Arabian) Gulf where it grounded in an estuary at the mouth of the river. Ziusudra then offered a sacrifice on an altar at the top of a nearby hill which storytellers mistranslated as mountain. This led them to falsely assume that the nearby barge had grounded on top of a mountain. Actually it never came close to a mountain.
Here's what the grain barges of the time roughly looked like:
Here's a link to a map of the area
Here's more about Shuruppak
So there you have it.
Which story came first?
Which story is more plausible?
Which story has more evidence behind it?
The.flood of Noah was to.destroy the hybrids Satan created. The nephilim were destroyed. Yeshuah had to be born of human woman not angel human hybrids. YahWeh sent the flood to.save the human race
That's your version of the myth, yes.
But what we're discussing here is the evidence for various versions of the myth.
What real life events, if any, was the myth based upon; which version of the myth is most plausible and which is the best fit for the objective external evidence (such as the size of flood archeology and geology show happened in that time period).