Flood Legends and the Biblical Narrative

Unbelievers spread boilerplate criticisms of the Bible among each other, acting as if they had smoking gun refutations available. It is common to have misotheists refer to the Bible as "fairy tales" and "myths written by bronze age goat herders", but those claims are nonsense.

Honest, intelligent people may wonder if mockers have actually read fairy tales, myths, and the biblical account. It is not necessary to consult a literary scholar to see the differences. We have a couple of articles on the Genesis Flood to consider.

It is easy to wonder if mockers have ever read the biblical Flood account, since it has no resemblance to myths and legends. We have two to consider.
Storyteller by Anker Grossvater, 1884 / Source: Wikimedia Commons
A spell back, we looked at three articles regarding some marked similarities in Flood legends of the Americas. What was interesting is that while there were absurdities and changes added over time, many had basic points in common with the Bible. This indicates that the true story became legends told by descendants of Noah and the families of his sons.

There are claims that the Genesis Flood narrative was actually copied from the Epic of Gilgamesh. There are distinct differences, and it is clear that the Epic was written for entertainment purposes. Look at how the two stack up and you can see that the biblical account was written as history, not a cute story or myth.
When British explorers discovered the ancient library of the Assyrian king Ashurbanipal in 1852–1853, among its precious clay tablets was the Babylonian Epic of Gilgamesh. First translated in 1872, its contents shocked the scholarly world because it seemed to closely parallel parts of Genesis, especially the Flood account. Indeed, many scholars accused the Bible of merely retelling the epic.

The Epic of Gilgamesh is a long poem that describes a divine warning about a coming flood. A man is chosen to build a boat, animals are gathered, a single door opens into the boat, heavy rains fall, the man sends out a dove and a raven, the boat lands on a mountain, and the man offers sacrifices in thanksgiving. Is there any merit to the claim that the Genesis Flood is just another myth, perhaps even plagiarized from this Babylonian account?

To finish reading this first article, see "The Genesis Flood vs. Flood Legends". Be sure to come back for the next installment.

There is a Greek myth about a great flood that killed all the people, but there are marked difference between that and the Genesis account that can be seen even from a superficial comparison. In addition, the Greek story raises questions that the biblical narrative has already covered.

In the Greek Flood legend, a man named Deucalion was warned by his father, the titan Prometheus, that a flood was coming. So he either built an ark shaped like a chest (or, along with his wife, climbed into an already existing chest) and filled it with food and other provisions to survive the coming flood. No sooner had they constructed and provisioned the chest (or boat) that the flood came. . . . The people who didn’t die right away in the flood, because they were clinging to floating wood or debris, eventually starved to death. Considering that the flood only lasted for nine days, this seems to be an illogical position as people have been known to survive much longer periods without food. It raises the question of why the text would not state that the people all drowned.

You can read the full article at "Does the Bible Borrow from a Greek Flood Legend?"

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