Comparison of the Babylonian and Noahic Flood Stories

The Chaldean Flood Tablets from the city of Ur in what is now Southern Iraq, describe how the Bablylonian God Ea had decided to eliminate humans and other land animals with a great flood which was to become “the end of all flesh”. He selected Ut-Napishtim, to build an ark to save a few humans, and samples of other animals.

The Babylonian text “The Epic of Galgamesh” 1,8 and the Hebrew story are essentially identical with about 20 major points in common. Their texts are obviously linked in some way. Either:


  • Genesis was copied from an earlier Babylonian story, or
  • The Galgamesh myth was copied from an earlier Hebrew story, or
  • Both were copied from a common source that predates them both.

5 Comments

  1. “Noah’s ark landed on Mt. Ararat; Ut-Napishtim’sat on Mt. Nisir; these locations are both in the Middle East, and are located few hundred miles apart ”

    I think Ea and god must have worked together. But still wanted arks of their own.

    I wonder whose idea it was first.

  2. “Noah’s ark landed on Mt. Ararat; Ut-Napishtim’sat on Mt. Nisir; these locations are both in the Middle East, and are located few hundred miles apart ”

    I think Ea and god must have worked together. But still wanted arks of their own.

    I wonder whose idea it was first.

  3. Yeah, but this doesn’t mean anything to the religious croud. They always find some obscure excuse for these kinds of massive biblical inconsistancies and latch onto them – which would be fine if they could just keep their religion to themselves and not try to impose it on the entire fucking world (but they can’t).

  4. I expect fundamentalists will likely attribute any similarities to ‘based on actual events, accurately described by all accounts.’ It is a straightforward approach that presents a position that is immune to proof or contest. At that time, even a regional flood would have felt like the whole world.

  5. In high school, I had to read The Epic of Galgamesh for an english class. We were told from the beginning to take note of similarities between it and the bible – as it was assumed we were all avid Bible readers.

    Having read the Bible, not for love of the church, but because my parents thought it important for me to be well educated and able to recognize biblical reference, I thought I’d drawn the same conclusions as everyone else; Clearly, as the third example state, “Both were copied from a common source that predates them both.” I simply stated that there is physical evidence to support a (what would be at the time) vast flood did occur, and over generations the story took off in two different directions.

    Unfortunately, this Honors English class in a public, class A high school, which i thought might be mildy stimulating, turned out to be much like the rest of the town. In a matter of seconds I heard “WELL, if you believe in the word of GOD…” blah blah blah. I can’t remember who said what, or in what order they said it, but it was clear that I was no longer welcome to voice my not-so-christ like opionions.

    This was in Michigan, in 2001.

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