Essay on Noah ' s Ark

Submitted By russclay
Words: 989
Pages: 4

Western Civilization | The Story of Noah and the Epic of Gilgamesh | Same Story or Two Different Tales | | RUSSEL CLAY | 2/21/2013 |

The story of the great flood as written by the Babylonian and Noachian people has been a topic of great debate. This topic is as controversial as which came first the chicken or the egg. Which story is fact and which story is fiction? Scholar and religious philosophers have debated this question for centuries. The one common fact, that is accepted, is that there was a great flood destroying every living animal. Which story is true and which one is a myth is still open to debate. Using multiple sources, I will try to show the startling similarities and also the wide differences between the two stories. So which came first, Noah or Gilgamesh? (2) The epic of Gilgamesh was discovered in the mid-nineteenth century in the great library of Nineveh. Carbon dating has twelve large tablets which are the most complete version of the story, dating back to 650 B.C.A. These tablets, however, are not the original version. Since fragments of the same tale have been found dating back to 2,000 B.C.A. The first writing, on the biblical story of Noah were written by a Yahwistic source, who lived around 800-900 B.C.A. This would lead you to believe that the Gilgamesh tale occurred first, and the Hebrew story of Noah could be a retelling of the same fable. The Jewish counter, to this argument, is that many stories of Noah and other biblical accounts were passed down from generation to generation. They were told as stories, until the written language was introduced. The discussion is not only which happened first, but also what is the true story and what is just a retelling of the original account. The reason for this topic is the many similarities between the two tales. In both stories we have: (1) * A worldwide flood sent by a god that would kill all forms of man and animals. * Both gods knew of only one righteous man. (Noah or Ut-Napishtim) * Both arks are to be made of wood, sealed with pitch, and have multiple stories and compartments. * The arks both had only one door and at least one window * A sample of every animal species would be loaded on the ark * The arks landed on a mountain in the Middle East. * The first two birds returned to the ark. The third bird apparently found dry land and did not return. * Noah and Gilgamesh, ritually burned a sacrifice to the gods, and were blessed. * * The gods or god in both stories are remorseful for what they have done, and promised to never destroy mankind again. The most striking similarity is to the reason, why god destroyed the world. In Genesis we all know that God proclaimed (3) “Now the earth was corrupt in God’s sight and was full of violence. God saw how corrupt the earth had become, for all the people on earth had corrupted their ways.” So God said to Noah, “I am going to put an end to all people, for the earth is filled with violence because of them. I am surely going to destroy both them and the earth”. In the epic of Gilgamesh, on the eleventh tablet found at Nineveh, line 180 reads: Lay upon the sinner his sins; lay upon the transgressor his transgressions. Both reasons for judgment can be attributed to immorality. There are significant differences that would lead one to believe that the stories are not just a retelling of one account. The idea of two separate accounts, is just as compelling. (1) * Noah received his direction directly from Jehovah. Ut-Napishtim received his indirectly from a dream. * Noah’s ark was 3 stories high and…