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