Name: Gilgamesh Epic
Origin: Nineveh 650 BC
Discovered: Nineveh 1857 by Layard, translated 1870 by George Smith
Size: L 15.24cm W 13.33cm
Critics would argue that because there are multiple different stories about a large flood within various religions and cultures, the fact of the matter is that it does nothing more than help to support that there was indeed a flood and that there was an original story.
When I find myself speaking to skeptics about this, I like to bring up an interesting fact. During the early era of civilization, particularly the Adamic-Moses period, most of history was passed down orally. One person would teach the lesson to their child or students and then have them repeat it back. To my own understanding, this process was repeated until the listener was able to repeat the story back to the one teaching.
The Epic of Gilgamesh is one of my personal favorite artifacts of history. It tells about a man Gilgamesh who is seeking immortality and meets a man named Ut-napishti who explains how he gained immortality after surviving a flood. Ut-napishti was instructed by the god Ea to build a large boat and bring his own family and living creatures onto the vessel. After seven days the sea grew calm and the floodwaters ceased. Ut-napishti then sends out a dove, swallow, and raven. After the storm, Ut-napishti exits the vessel and offers a sacrifice to the gods. As a reward, Ut-napishti and his wife are given immortality.
Does this summary sound familiar? Noah was charged to build an ark (Gen. 6:14-16), to take his own family inside, as well as two of every kind of animal (Gen. 6:18-7:3), forty days and nights the storms raged (Gen. 7:11-24), Noah sends out a raven and dove (Gen. 8:6-12) Noah leaves the ark to offer a sacrifice to the Lord (Gen 8:20-21).
The beauty of this tablet is not that it supports the argument that there are multiple stories, therefore the bible can’t be trusted. But rather that there was and IS an original true story. Which is the deluge the Lord Almighty brought forth in Genesis.