How do you explain the similarities between the Babylonian Gilgamesh epic
and the flood account in the Bible?
There are five logical explanations I can think of for the admittedly
striking similarities between the two accounts:
1. It is coincidence.
2. They are both a record of an actual event (even if semi-mythical as
described by the Babylonians).
3. The Jews borrowed their account from the Babylonians.
4. The Babylonians borrowed from a more primitive and accurate flood
story, which was also the source of the Jewish story.
5. The Babylonians borrowed from the Jewish flood story.
I reject explanation number one as defying believability.
For chronological reasons, I reject explanation #5, but I cannot
absolutely rule it out, as Abraham lived around 1850 BC.
Between explanation 2-4, I prefer explanation #2 or #4, as the Hebrew
account has less of the feel of a classic myth. For this reason, it does
not make sense to me that the Jews borrowed straight from Gilgamesh. The
Jews working from a more primitive and accurate source makes more sense to
me. I can admit to you that my predisposition to believe the Bible is
inspired may cause my interpretation of the information to be biased. I
am sure you can reach your own conclusion! It is my belief that God
influenced, by inspiration, the Genesis account. I will admit that I
cannot prove this, and that this is a presupposition based on other
evidence for inspiration. The point is that Gilgamesh has all the marks
of a myth. The Genesis flood account has a very different feel to it.
The similarity connot be coincidental, but the superior account is that of
the Jews in my opinion.