The History behind Noah’s Ark

The building of Noah's Ark | Courtesy of the film "The Bible"

Over the years there have been several adaptations regarding the biblical story of Noah’s Ark, whether the comedy film starring Steve Carell, or a film narrating the Bible story. However, the adaptation that the majority of people do not recognize is the Bible story itself. The story of Noah and his ark was actually adapted from the eleventh and twelfth tablets of the Epic of Gilgamesh. The Epic of Gilgamesh is an epic poem that narrates the adventures of a fictional hero named Gilgamesh.1 The reason that Noah’s Ark is an adaptation is due to the many parallels between the two stories. Some similarities include the wrath of a deity upon humankind, as well as the creation of a type of vessel in order to survive the flood.

Before the 19th century, the Bible was believed to be the most credible source of historical information about the Ancient Near East. However,“The Epic of Gilgamesh is the oldest surviving epic poem in history, dating from about 2500 B.C.E.”2 The discovery of the Epic of Gilgamesh, specifically the tablets containing the excerpts detailing the Great Flood myth, caused turmoil among the ancient historical community, due to the fact that the Great Flood myth was written about a thousand years before the Bible story of Noah.3

The Flood Tablet. This is perhaps the most famous of all cuneiform tablets. It is the eleventh tablet of the Gilgamesh Epic, and describes how the gods sent a flood to destroy the world. Like Noah, Utnapishtim was forewarned and built an ark to house and preserve living things. After the flood he sent out birds to look for dry land. ME K 3375.
The Flood Tablet. The eleventh tablet of the Epic of Gilgamesh, describing how the gods sent a flood to destroy the world | Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

The eleventh tablet narrates one of Gilgamesh’s adventures in search for immortality.4 Yet his search leads him to a wise man named Utnapishtim. Utnapishtim then reveals to Gilgamesh how he achieved immortality. He begins to explain how the god Ea informed him of the devastating flood created by the gods in order to extinguish humanity. He was instructed to construct a boat of immense size and to tell the people of Shuruppak to assist him in the building of the boat. Once the boat was complete, he was to load it with every living thing and his family in order to survive. Seven days later the great flood began its reign of destruction upon humankind. During this time, Utnapishtim and his ark ran aground on a mountain peak. He then released a dove in order to find land but the dove returned, not having found land. The same thing happened when he sends a swallow. However, the third time he releases a raven that never returned. Upon reaching land, the gods in heaven realized the great service Utnapishtim had done by saving humankind; thus, they granted him and his wife eternal life.

Much like the Epic of Gilgamesh, the story of Noah’s Ark conveys a similar destruction tale.5 The book of Genesis narrates how God began to despair over the creation of humankind due to humanity becoming sinful and evil. Therefore, God decided to create an immense flood in order to destroy and cleanse the world. However, God chose a man named Noah due to his immaculate behavior, and He instructed him to build a boat or an ark. Once he completed the ark, he was to load it with a pair of every animal on earth along with his family. For the next forty days, God plunged the earth with devastating rains, causing the earth to be flooded for a whole year. Noah then released a dove and it never returned, meaning that it had found dry land. Once the water receded, the earth was restored and became once again fertile. God made a covenant with Noah promising that his lineage will be fertile and that he will never destroy humanity again by flood.

The parallels between both stories are clear to see, due to the similarity in content and story structure. For example, both narratives include an extremely powerful deity or deities, that form a plan to wipe out humankind by creating a great flood in order to restore the earth, as well as how a single man was chosen by a higher power to save humanity.6  Another parallel is how both individuals were instructed to construct a boat in order to survive the coming flood. The content of both vessels is also similar due to them being loaded with all the living things on earth, even though in the Epic of Gilgamesh it was all living things while in Noah it was the pair of every animal on earth, along with their families. Once the earth was flooded, both Utnapishtim and Noah release birds in order to find out if the land was yet dry. Finally, both men upon reaching land are rewarded by higher powers, due to their involvement in saving humanity, and the creation of a new world.

  1. Benjamin R. Foster, Douglas Frayne, and Gary M. Beckman, The epic of Gilgamesh: a new translation, analogues, criticism (New York: Norton, 2001), 60-65.
  2. Jerry Bentley, Herbert Ziegler, Heather Streets Salter, Traditions & Encounters: A Brief Global History Volume 1 (New York, NY: McGraw-Hill Publishers, 2016), 17.
  3. James B. Pritchard, Ancient Near Eastern texts relating to the Old Testament (Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1969), 3.
  4. Pritchard, Ancient Near Eastern texts, 273.
  5. Jerry Pinkney, Noah’s ark (New York : SeaStar Books, 2002), 20-30.
  6.  Pritchard, Ancient Near Eastern texts, 10.
The History behind Noah’s Ark
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  • This is an awesome article. I have of course read the story of Noah and the ark several times and i have read the Epic of Gilgamesh as well. I can see how it would cause turmoil to all those scholars and how it might upset many Catholics as well for people to say that one of their most famous stories was copied from somewhere else. As a catholic i feel the need to defend the bible but i also find it interesting how one culture can influence another even 1000 years later. Great article!

  • It’s fascinating that the epic of Gilgamesh has the stories told before the Bible. It kind of contradicts some peoples saying that the Bible is the only book with the earliest stories. I believe the flood started in the Gilgamesh and it has to be accurate since its the first story of the flood and the flood actually happened after it said it was.

  • I thought it was interesting to read that there was a correlation between the epic of Gilgamesh and Noah’s ark. The picture of the eleventh tablet detailing the story of the flood was an eye grabber. I love that the article devoted one paragraph to the story from Gilgamesh and another paragraph for the story of Noah’s ark. It then presented contrasts and similarities between the two, smoothly written.

  • This is a great article on Noah’s Ark, I feel as though I have a deeper understanding of the background of the story now and what led to the story of the ark. This article makes me want to go and read the story all over again and really be able to grasp the concept behind it. You did a great job on the description and on the article as a whole, well done.

  • Thank you for this article! It is really interesting to see that these texts and religions have so many similitudes. Also, I’m amazed that such old documents have been conserved and that we are still able to learn about them today. I’m wondering what texts influenced the other. They have so many points in common that I don’t think that it would be a coincidence.

  • On my English Literature class on high school I learned about this similarities between the two stories. It is interesting how cultures influence each other through time, and more when some elements are kept through long periods of time just as the story of the flood of the Epic of Gilgamesh made it all the way through until Christian and Hebrew culture. Excellent article, very well made and interesting topic.

  • Ivanna Rodriguez juxtaposes the parallels between the Epic of Gilgamesh and the great biblical story of Noah’s arcs. Rodriguez does a fantastic at providing the readers with the similarities and the differences of the two. However, she should have focused on one specific portion rather than the holistic dissection, therefore, her article could have been more specific. Rodriguez provides readers with an interesting reading.

  • I have read the story of Noah’s Ark in the book of Genesis and had heard of the Epic of Gilgamesh but never compared them. I have never read the Epic of Gilgamesh but now that I have read this article, I can really see the similarities. I never would have imagined that the story of the famous flood and Noah’s ark was based off of a much older story. This article did a great job in portraying both stories and showing their similarities.

  • Really great article. To be honest I clicked on it to see how the biblical story of Noah could possibly be historical and was pleased to see the mention of the Epic of Gilgamesh. It astounds me that for so long so many people accepted the Bible as historical fact. While I had heard of the Epic of Gilgamesh, I was not really familiar with the details. Your article does a great job of informing the reader about the importance of the epic and the influence it had on ancient people.

  • I’ve always heard the stories of Noah’s Ark but I never knew that the Epic of Gilgamesh was one of the sides to Noah’s Ark. Especially when I had no clue that the Bible Version was an adaptation. This such a great article it was great how you left the reader wanting to know more and more about the topic.

  • I really liked the way you have managed your article. It was well written and informative. Honestly, as I grew up in a Hindu society, I don’t know much about this. Through your article, I got to know about The Epic of Gilgamesh and Noah’s Ark. It’s really amazing that the two stories were quite similar. To sum it up, it was a good read.

  • I like how you constructed this article. I liked seeing the parallels between both stories, but also, I think that if you brought up some more of their differences it would be a more well-rounded article. I also would not be so bold to say that Noah’s Ark is just an adaptation of the Epic of Gilgamesh. If there was a major flood, then it makes sense for each culture or tribe to have a story of they experienced. For all we know, both cultures might have witnessed the flood but they both added their own twist to it.

  • All my knowledge about Noah’s ark came from the movie “Evan Almighty” starring Steve Carrel. I really enjoyed this article because I enjoy learning more about the creation of this world and the bible. But before this I never knew that the Epic of Gilgamesh was like Noah’s ark. They have some differences they are not the same stories. For example, Noah only releases one animal, which is the dove. In the Epic of Gilgamesh, they released three different animals. The similarities are that they both had to deal with the wrath of deity upon humankind, and both created something to deal with the flood. This is a great article!

  • Wow I did not know about the extreme parallel of Noah’s ark, and the epic of Gilgamesh. Almost the same exact plot, only twist is what the gods tell them to save. It’s very interesting to think about how this was made before the Noah story. Did genesis mean to copy the story like this and still claim it as a origin story. With it being the most oldest piece of literature that we know of, is almost convincing to think about what else did genesis base off its teachings from other cultures and story’s. I feel like I was enlightened in this article, not only being able to know this information but know see the creation story in a new light.

  • From a Christian perspective, this serves as a lightbulb turning on above my head moment. I had never even heard of the Epic of Gilgamesh before reading this article. However, I definitely knew of the story of Noah’s Ark. It’s crazy to think that the Noah’s ark story was an adaptation of the Epic of Gilgamesh considering, to me, the first time ever hearing of this story it came from the bible.

  • I did not know of all the parallels between the epic and Noah’s story. It surprises me that there could be a close relationship, especially since one was written before another. Even the sequence including sending birds to check for land, that detail which is found in both surprised me. But it’s stories like these which prevail over time, and in many other cultures a flood was sent to purge humanity.

  • This article was a complete surprise to me, I had no idea that the story of Noah and the Ark was influenced The Epic of Gilgamesh. The similarities of both of these stories is quite remarkable, both stories have a main character that builds a ark to survive a flood. I like how the author was able to draw similarities while also dividing up the stories based on their unique point of view.

  • WOW! This is completely new knowledge for me. Growing up Catholic I believed the tale of Noah’s ark was original to the Bible. However, when comparing it to the story found in the Epic of Gilgamesh that “originality” starts to fade. I loved your point by point comparison of the two tales, it makes the reader quickly grasp and understand the similarities between the two. Also, great conclusion, it synthesizes what is to be remembered from your impressive article!

  • Since the Second Vatican Council, the free interpretation of the Bible has been a theme that has really affected, in my opinion, the vision of biblical teaching. The vast majority of Catholics read the Bible in a literally way. They have not done any deepening in the historical context that surrounds each chapter of the bible. That is why I celebrate this article, as it allows a more academic and historical view of a story as well known as Noah’s Ark. Evidently, the book of genesis was written during the time of the exile of the Jews in Babylon. The Tower of Babel, for example, is an exemplification of a Babylonian Ziggurat. Many Babylonian traditions were inherited by the Jews. Before the chapters of the Ark of Noah, the genealogy of Adam is narrated to Noah. In total, there are ten descendants of colossal ages. Scholars claim that they represent the ten great kingdoms that preceded the Great Flood. Why is it important to study the historical context of the Bible? Because there are biblical parts that go completely against the vision of Jesus, our pastor. When one reads Noah’s Ark, one is surprised at the cruelty and lack of mercy on God’s part. However, when one learns that it is inspired by The Epic of Gilgamesh, one can conclude that this vision of God is part of the Babylonians, and should not be part of our faith. Again, I congratulate the fact that an article seeks to penetrate the historical context of the bible. I hope I can read more articles of this type, in order to improve my biblical understanding.

  • Such an interesting story. I grew up Catholic and went to a catholic school all of elementary so I believed that the story of Noah was one of its own. How surprising to see that there is a story, before the time of the bible, that is so similar. Definitely has me thinking. From the metaphorical and literal text, your article has showed me how these articles are truly parallels.

  • This is such a great article, it is very informative and it is clear to me that the story of Noah’s Ark and The Flood are very very similar. It makes one question what we know thus far and whether any of it is actually the original, because what if there is a story discovered even way before the Epic of Gilgamesh? I can see how there would be so much controversy between historians and the religious groups.

  • This article was very interesting! I was engaged in the story throughout the whole article. I know that many people including myself grow up knowing the story of Noah’s Ark but never know the full true story that it tells. I liked how you compared the parallels between the Epic of Gilgamesh and the Biblical story of Noah. Comparing the two stories helped me get a better understanding of both of the stories and where they may overlap and also have their differences.

  • I grew up in the catholic church so I’m very familiar with this tale, but I had no idea that the story paralleled so much with one of Gilgamesh’s adventures. Part of me wonders if the story was written by someone else and the variations of stories were just told by two different people if the same event. But over all I think this article was researched really well, and really well written.

  • Great article. I grew up as a catholic and religion was very important in my household, I never would have thought that Noah’s Ark was derived from a different tale. However, its interesting learning about Gilgamesh’s quest for immortality and the similarities that there are between Noah’s Ark and the Epic of Gilgamesh. Overall great job comparing the similarities between both writings and informing the reader about the origin of Noah’s Ark.

  • Great article, was nice to be refreshed on the history of noah’s ark, haven’t read about it in a while. Outlined the story of noahs are very well, The article compared the historical representation of Noahs ark and the Religious representation very well, it showed how they are actually very in common and have the same story outline as each other. It shows how the bible is actually a representation of history as well. Great article! very detailed and well written!

  • Very interesting article, you kept me wanting to read more! I have grown up as Catholic my whole life and gone to a Catholic school so I only knew the Bible side of Noah’s Ark. I think it’s interesting that the two stories are parallel to each other. I thought there was only one story of Noah’s Ark. The way you displayed and described the two was great and showed how there can be more than one story.

  • This article was amazing! I had no idea that the story of Noah’s Ark that I grew up knowing was not the correct one! Before reading this, I had no knowledge of the Epic of Gilgamesh, I didn’t even know of the eleventh tablet! I loved that you managed to fit so much information into one article and still you were able to weave everything together perfectly! Thank you, I now have a perfect amount of insight on Noah’s Ark! Great article, great topic!

  • This was an amazing article. I did not know that Noah’s Ark was a derived from the Epic of Gilgamesh. But after the background of the Epic it seems really interesting and very similar to Noah’s Ark. Since the epic of Gilgamesh came first it is the original story. Very informative comparing the two stories. Keep up the good work.

  • Wow, you left me speechless. This is such a good article and the topic is AMAZING! I had never heard about the Epic of Gilgamish, let alone about the eleventh tablet. I had learned about the different versions of the story of Noah, but all of my life I had thought that he was the original. You did a great job making your readers wanting more and more!

  • Wow! I found this article very interesting and informative, I have never heard of the epic of Gilgamesh! I am sure that your article might have a lot of controversy considering that the Epic of Gilgamesh and the bible’s Noah’s ark are so similar. Amazing job, tying these two stories together, I believe your article flowed very smoothly and was very organized!

  • Great job! This a well written article and in my opinion, it flows nicely from paragraph to paragraph. You did a nice job of explaining the story of Gilgamesh and then comparing it to bible’s story of Noah’s ark. It’s crazy how these two stories were written by different people in different societies with different beliefs and yet the stories are almost identical. Great Article !

  • I was never really familiar with the Epic of Gilgamesh since I always heard about the biblical story of Noah’s Ark. Well done drawing together the parallels of both stories very clearly. I found it very interesting that the Epic of Gilgamesh was written before the Noah and the flood. Since I was not familiar with the Epic of Gilgamesh, it was very surprising to me that it was written way before what was indicated in the bible and how close the similarities are. But I also learned from your article that there are different background meanings behind it. For example, God promised Noah that He would not flood the earth again because the time He did it was to cleanse it. Very good research!

  • Very informative article. I grew up constantly hearing the story of Noah’s Ark. The epic of Gilgamesh was never mentioned. It is fascinating how similar they are. You did a great job of comparting both stories. I wonder how civilizations years apart and possibly in different locations have almost identical stories. Your writing was very easy to understand and fun to read. Great job!

  • Amazing how these two historical scripts were written hundreds of years apart and yet they are still very similar if not identical. Nice mention on Steve Carell’s movie on this very story, one of my favorite movies growing up! And I also want to mention that an architect created a replica of Noah’s Ark not too long ago and that might have been a good picture to put in this article. Well written article!

  • The comparison of the two stories was very well represented. I was always under the impression that the story of Noah was original and its own but it is interesting to see how another tale was very similar. I was actually in disbelief to see that both stories had exact similarities, and even more so when many believe that the Bible is “the most credible source of historical information.”

  • Growing up hearing about this story and getting to the point where there is very nothing left to find out I was interested in your approach to this topic. That was amazing to hear of this story whether or not the Bible took from it not it great to see the story existing in other cultures and how similar they can be.

  • Who would have thought a story like Noah’s Ark would be similar to another. As Catholic always hear about Noah’s ark and never about the poem of Gilgamesh. It’s interesting to see how the epic Poem of Gilgamesh predates Noak’s Ark. Maybe the plot of Gilgamesh influenced and inspired the creation of Noah’s Ark. Overall I think the article was great.

  • Good article and good connection of similarities between these two stories. This article is good because it is thought provoking and begs the question as to why these stories are very similar. One could argue that one copied the other or that it came by other means but nonetheless it does throw Christianity in somewhat of a dilemma since if this was the word of God how was it that someone else had a story so similar before the Bible? This is also part of a new debate which sends some skepticism as to the validity of the Bible since it does seem to have parallels to other stories some after and before the Bible was written and published.

  • This is a great article. Having heard the story of Noah’s Ark as a child, I was somewhat familiar with the purpose, how God created a flood to erase the sin of his people at the time. As well as God’s promise to never destroy his people by flood again. However, I was unaware of the connection this story shared with the Epic of Gilgamesh. The many similarities drew and maintained my attention throughout the article.

  • Great Article. I’ve heard about Noah and the ark but didn’t realize it was a poem similar to it in the Epic of Gilgamesh. I did not know anything about the Epic of Gilgamesh. You did an outstanding job explaining both the stories. It surprises me that Gilgamesh is not know like Noah is. Overall, you did a outstanding job.

  • What an interesting topic! I was intrigued all throughout the article because although I have been recited the story of Noah’s ark a hundred times I honestly had no idea it was similar to the Epic of Gilgamesh. You did a great job of summarizing both and pointing out their similarities. The content was strong, clear and concise. Great Job!

  • This was a very interesting article. Me being catholic, in CCD classes I would always learn about Noah’s Ark. In regards, I had never heard of this poem & I find it interesting that these stories are in some way side to side to each other and correspond. Although some things were tough to understand I learned so much about the Ark of Noah and before the time it was written. I believe you did a good job of detailing certain things to make them clear.

  • Really intriguing article! I have heard of the story of Noah’s ark many times, but never really gotten the full explanation. It is interesting to me to hear of the Gilgamesh poem now, and find out that it actually predates the Bible. Even further interesting is that you can actually point out and see the similarities. Overall, really interesting.

  • Very interesting, I have never heard of this poem. Being Catholic I was always taught about Noah’s Ark. I find it interesting that these stories parallel with each other. I see how both main characters had tasks to overcome; Noah’s goal is to serve God, while Gilgamesh does it for immortality. With both of these stories I feel that they should not be taken literal but as a figure of speech toward your faith.

  • What a wonderful presentation of these two seemingly parallel stories. It only furthers my faith as I see that more than just the Hebrew People recognize the event in ancient history, whether it be in a poetic form or a Biblical narrative, you can not deny the rainbows that appear even to this day, signifying God’s promise to not flood the earth again.

  • Interesting article. I have always heard about Noah and the ark but did not know that there was a similar poem in the Epic of Gilgamesh. You did an excellent job in explaining the parallels between the two stories. It amazing me that Gilgamesh is not as well known as Noah for saving humanity. Interesting article. Great job.

  • I like how educational this article was. I learned so much about the ARk of Noah and before the time it was written and when it was written. The amount of scandis things that could have happened this was pretty interesting. I believe you supplied a wonderful amount of information and made it seem as if we were back there. I think you did a great job overall.

  • Interesting article on historical parallels between cultural mythology! As Trey put it in his comment, there is some doubt as to whether the writers of Genesis were unaware of these parallels. Mythologies and religious/philosophical beliefs have intermixed with each other with consistency throughout time. Islam, Christianity, and Judaism will admit this openly. While the former may reject the latter (Christianity will reject Islam, Judaism will reject Christianity, etc.), most faiths are well aware of the historical borrowings of their faiths. They often are not coincidental or unconscious, even. Despite this, however, Trey also mentioned another good point. People often forget they are borrowed mythologies. It is important to remember them to understand religious beliefs and perceptions accurately. That being said, acknowledging these connections and maintaining awareness of them is important for religious and non-religious alike. Thanks again for the interesting article!

  • Good article. It’s interesting to see how similar the stories are related. I always knew about Noah’s Ark but I have never heard of the Gilgamesh story. So it was eye opening to read about his story or about the poem for his search of immortality. I really enjoyed you comparing and contrasting the two. Keep up the good work.

  • My favorite aspect of this article was how you compared the story in the Bible to those in the Epic of Gilgamesh. you gave well thought summaries of both of these stories and compared them in the end. I was not expecting that from the title, but after reading it, the title was perfect. I knew these stories were similar, but I had never actually analyzed the two. If I would have, I probably would have noticed the same similarities. I also loved how you told a biblical story but kept the history aspect.

  • Great choice in article! I’ve heard about the Epic of Gilgamesh, however never knew much about it, let alone the many similarities it shares with the story of Noah. It’s interesting to learn how Gilgamesh was written about a thousand years before Noah. Very informative!

  • This article was both informative and interesting. I did not know that there was a written source, much less an epic poem, that predated even before the Bible. And their parallel story is very astonishing. Could it be that this story and the story of Noah could be the same story?

  • Great article. I remember hearing this story over and over again from teachers and parents when I was in elementary school and middle school, however my favorite version of it was the one with Steve Carrel in it. I had no idea this story was related to the Epic of Gilgamesh. It’s always cool seeing how much epic stories such as these are repeated and taken as inspiration for others. Well done!

  • It is kind of funny, over the summer I retook the S.M.C Reflections God Course and one our topics of conversation one day in class was about your topic, two stories telling relatively the same thing with slight variations. However, when we discussed it, the exchange was short and very one-sided; some of the specifics were fuzzy in my memory but now I remember the stories in full. Thank you for restoring my memory and excellent job on comparing the two great stories and I wish you luck on your future works.

  • I grew up learning the story of Noah, so to hear about this poem was quite shocking.  The most interesting and controversial part was that the poem claims to be written before the biblical story. This article will definitely have many of our fellow classmates discussing the meaning of this material. 

  • It was very interesting how you wrote about the similarities between two stories. I always heard about the Noah’s Ark and the story about it but I never heard of the Gilgamesh’s story. Well researched and written article. Good Job

  • Thanks for bringing to light this parallel. Going to Catholic schools my whole life, I’ve actually never heard of the epic of Gilgamesh. It was interesting to see the stark similarities between the two stories. You chose really nice sources which allowed you to write a thorough, informative, and engaging article.

  • Very interesting never heard of the Gilgamesh story…..but the story is similar to Noah’s, like you compared. But Noah’s story comes from the bible and Gilgamesh comes from an old epic poem. So different on what they both did it for though, Noah believed in God the creator and was promised to wipe out all sinful people and start over with a promise that he will never flood the earth again. And Gilgamesh was promised eternal life by Gods. Great article. Thank You.

  • Fantastic article! I realized a lot of people from our class had previously encountered the Epic of Gilgamesh and therefore, had some previous knowledge of this story. I unfortunately never learned about it until now. I am glad that you were able to decipher the parallelisms between both stories. It is interesting to think that many of us thought that the story of destruction in Genesis was an original tale. Now after reading of the many similarities, it might even mean that Noah’s Ark might have been influenced by this text. I’m excited to read your next publication.

  • Very informative article! Since Noah’s Ark has so many similarities to the Epic of Gilgamesh, it leads me to believe that the bible story is a reflection of the culture it emerged from more than anything else. Well done, it seems like a good amount of research was done for this article!

  • This article was extremely eye opening. I’m not sure where, but I remember hearing somewhere that the bible contained the oldest written stories, so to see a tale that directly parallels the bible, and that predates it, is unbelievable. The parallels in this story are interesting as well, while both heroes undergo more or less the same quest, Noah does it to serve God, while Gilgamesh does it for immortality. This is a great way to compare other religions that existed at the time. I cant help but wonder what inspired someone to adapt the Gilgamesh’s story for the bible.

  • This article was very interesting. Especially since I never realized the bible story was an adaptation. The parallels between both stories are very intriguing. Keep it up!

  • Interesting parallels between the Epic of Gilgamesh and the biblical story of Noah and the flood. Any thoughts on how or why such a similar story showed up in the lore of two different civilizations?

  • Great article, the parallels used in your narrative are excellent and they delineate very clearly the content and story structure in both stories.

  • This is a very good article! You kept me engaged throughout the entire reading. Most people are familiar with the narrative of Noah presented in the Bible, but many others, including myself, may not know that this story may be an adaptation of an old epic. It was very interesting to read about the similarities of both narratives and compare them side by side. You did a great job in portraying the parallels of both stories in this article.

  • Interesting to see how so many people are so mislead. It would be interesting to see how people who “live” by the bible would react to this. Great flow to the article as well.

    • While people today would be shocked by this, maybe even scandalized, I don’t think the audience that the Genesis writers were writing for would have been too surprised. Certain people today, even, would not be too surprised. The Catholic Church, at least, is aware that not everything in Genesis is meant to be taken literally or as historically accurate. From what I understand of my Major Old Testament Themes class that I’m taking, many of the stories, at least in the first five books of the Old Testament were either loose adaptations of other civilizations’ myths or at least of the same genre as certain myths. While I don’t know if the Jews at the time were aware of the similarities to Gilgamesh’s story specifically, they likely would have been aware of the similarities to other cultures’ flood myths. The question that the Genesis writers were trying to answer was not, “Is this historically accurate?” but rather “What does this story say about the relationship between God and mankind?” While I’m not as good an example of “living by the Bible” as I should be, I believe that if the Jews that first read Genesis were able to persevere in their faith, even being strengthened in it, while reading Genesis, I can do the same.

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