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The Great Flood (spin off from: Question For Those Who Don't Believe In The Bible)

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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:

(source)

The most documented Biblical event is the world-wide flood described in Genesis 6-9. A number of Babylonian documents have been discovered which describe the same flood.

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...

(source)

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.)


by on Nov. 2, 2011 at 10:57 AM
Replies (11-20):
Clairwil
by Silver Member on Nov. 3, 2011 at 1:48 AM

BUMP!

B-FigNewton
by on Nov. 3, 2011 at 1:56 AM

I believe there was a flood.. 

Clairwil
by Silver Member on Nov. 3, 2011 at 2:11 AM
Quoting B-FigNewton:

I believe there was a flood.. 

I also believe floods happen.  Here, for example, is a picture from a recent flood in a flat area of Pakistan that covered all land for more than a hundred miles in all directions:

Under water ... floods have swamped an area the size of England


The question here is whether there is a particular flood that has happened in the past that triggered the chain of stories traceable through ancient texts that eventually ended up in the Semitic canon that we know as the Old Testament.

And, if so, what was the nature of that flood.  Was it large but local (like the flood in Pakistan), or was it global covering even the tallest mountains?  Which of the myths is most accurate to what happened: the version in the Bible, or the earlier versions from which the Bible version appears to be an adaption/exaggeration ?

B-FigNewton
by on Nov. 3, 2011 at 2:13 AM
1 mom liked this


Quoting Clairwil:

Quoting B-FigNewton:

I believe there was a flood.. 

I also believe floods happen.  Here, for example, is a picture from a recent flood in a flat area of Pakistan that covered all land for more than a hundred miles in all directions:

Under water ... floods have swamped an area the size of England


The question here is whether there is a particular flood that has happened in the past that triggered the chain of stories traceable through ancient texts that eventually ended up in the Semitic canon that we know as the Old Testament.

And, if so, what was the nature of that flood.  Was it large but local (like the flood in Pakistan), or was it global covering even the tallest mountains?  Which of the myths is most accurate to what happened: the version in the Bible, or the earlier versions from which the Bible version appears to be an adaption/exaggeration ?

I am more apt to believe a smaller more local flood than something as asinine as "the whole world flooded." JMO

Sanctimommy
by Platinum Member on Nov. 3, 2011 at 2:39 AM

The manuscripts for the deluge related by Utnapishtim predate the Bible by centuries, even when using the traditional dating method agreed upon by Christian authorities. They are found in the eleventh tablet of the Epic of Gilgamesh which is part of the Enuma Elish. The Biblical account relates two versions combined by Ezra the redactor shortly after 450 BC into its present day form. This version was created in order to promote peace and prevent civil war between two opposing Hebraic religious factions. It worked. 

It is generally agreed that the Biblical deluge myth was in fact based on the Sumerian myth, and recorded sometime around the second return of the Israelites from their exile in Babylon led by Ezra in 458 BC. The Israelite elite had, by then spent about two hundred years in this land, learning the myths and religions of their captors. It's no surprise that Ezra included those stories in his Biblical revisions.

Sanctimommy
by Platinum Member on Nov. 3, 2011 at 2:44 AM
1 mom liked this

You are correct. This theory has been proven. The flood in question is believed to have been an ancient memory of the Black Sea, preserved in stories repeated for centuries until the advent of writing.  The predominance of deluge stories from the area of the globe that would have been affected by the Black Sea event confirms the theory.

Quoting B-FigNewton:


Quoting Clairwil:

Quoting B-FigNewton:

I believe there was a flood.. 

I also believe floods happen.  Here, for example, is a picture from a recent flood in a flat area of Pakistan that covered all land for more than a hundred miles in all directions:

Under water ... floods have swamped an area the size of England


The question here is whether there is a particular flood that has happened in the past that triggered the chain of stories traceable through ancient texts that eventually ended up in the Semitic canon that we know as the Old Testament.

And, if so, what was the nature of that flood.  Was it large but local (like the flood in Pakistan), or was it global covering even the tallest mountains?  Which of the myths is most accurate to what happened: the version in the Bible, or the earlier versions from which the Bible version appears to be an adaption/exaggeration ?

I am more apt to believe a smaller more local flood than something as asinine as "the whole world flooded." JMO


Clairwil
by Silver Member on Nov. 3, 2011 at 2:59 AM
Quoting B-FigNewton:

I am more apt to believe a smaller more local flood than something as asinine as "the whole world flooded." JMO

By the way, can we please try to avoid getting this thread locked?   Let's stick to neutral language, such as "improbable" or "lacking objective evidence", rather than getting insulting about it.

It makes for more interesting conversations.

B-FigNewton
by on Nov. 3, 2011 at 3:02 AM


Quoting Clairwil:

Quoting B-FigNewton:

I am more apt to believe a smaller more local flood than something as asinine as "the whole world flooded." JMO

By the way, can we please try to avoid getting this thread locked?   Let's stick to neutral language, such as "improbable" or "lacking objective evidence", rather than getting insulting about it.

It makes for more interesting conversations.

That's why I said it was just my opinion, but sure.

Sweet_Faith
by Ruby Member on Nov. 3, 2011 at 5:43 AM

Bump for later

Sweet_Faith
by Ruby Member on Nov. 3, 2011 at 6:06 AM

Well I believe there was a flood that covered the entire world and the only ones that survived were Noah, his family and all the animals on the arc. I have to say that this is a fascinating topic and I found this article to ve very interesting as I scanned it quickly this morning.

http://www.time.com/time/world/article/0,8599,1985830,00.html


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