How do you explain the similarities between the Babylonian Gilgamesh epic and the flood account in the Bible?
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.