On your webpage https://www.evidenceforchristianity.org/why-is-it-that-people-say-the-ancient-sumerian-tablets-are-similar-to-the-book-of-genesis-why-do-people-try-to-find-relationships-between-these/
you mention that: “Logically, one might assume that since the Gilgamesh Epic precedes the Bible account, at least in its written form, it was the source for the biblical story of the flood. From an historical or literary point of view, this is hard to disprove. However, if one can assume that the book of Genesis is inspired by God, then the idea of the Genesis flood account being borrowed from Gilgamesh does not work. […] If the Bible, and therefore Genesis, is indeed inspired by God, then the most likely conclusion is that Gilgamesh represents a tradition which goes all the way back to the actual flood which is recorded in Genesis, and that the account in Genesis, being inspired by God, is a separate, but much more accurate depiction of the actual events which occurred in this massive event as described in Genesis chapters 5-7.”Wouldn’t that be the other way around? The Gilgamesh Epic is much more detailed in many spots than the account in Genesis, isn’t it? It seems clear that parts of Genesis were based on the Epic, and it is also clear from biblical archaeology that many of the historical accounts in the Old Testament were based on actual events, but it seems that your position is an either/or proposition. Why can’t it be both? Anyway, I’ve enjoyed your articles on your website. Thanks for writing them!
You are proposing that the more detailed account is the source of the less detailed account. I would argue that with time, stories tend to get embellished rather than simplified. The argument that the simpler story probably came from a more complex and full story is not a strong one, in my opinion. It does not seem clear to me “that parts of Genesis were based on the Epic.” Are there similar elements? Absolutely! Does this make it clear that Genesis was derived from Gilgamesh? Not in my opinion. It is POSSIBLE that the writer of the Genesis account used Gilgamesh as a source, but it is also possible that both relied on an earlier source or both accounts are separate, independent accounts of the same event. I see no compelling reason to believe that the biblical account was created by someone who was using Gilgamesh as a source. So, I agree that the biblical account may derive from a common source or that the biblical writer actually have had Gilgamesh in mind. However, it seems far fetched that it could be both. How can both derive from each other? An earlier account cannot be derived from a later one. Both could derive from an earlier or one could derive from the other, but both deriving from each other seems illogical to me. I will stand by the opinion I expressed in the article that I find the thesis that Genesis derived from Gilgamesh to be fairly unlikely, but I cannot absolutely rule it out. I will stand by my opinion that it is more likely both derive from the same event, but separately. The main point I am making in this article is that the Genesis creation story has clear, unambiguous signs of being inspired and the Gilgamesh Epic does not.
OK, now that I got started, let me list all possibilities, in order of the likelihood (obviously, according to my opinion, which you can take for what it is worth)
1. The two stories are completely independent accounts of an actual event, but the biblical one is more accurate.
2. Both stories derive from the same, but earlier account of the flood. (a source which is no longer extant)
3. The biblical story is derived from an earlier source and Gilgamesh is derived from the biblical story. (I list this third because there is no direct evidence of the biblical story from before about 1400 BC, so it would be rather speculative)
4. The Gilgamesh story is derived from an earlier source and the biblical account is derived from Gilgamesh. (listed as fourth because a more accurate and believable story deriving from a less accurate one seems very unlikely)
5. The two stories derive from each other (why can’t it be both)?