The First Flood Story - How Much Do You Know About It?
You may have heard that before the Genesis document (of the bible) was written there was a flood story circulating in West Asia.
If your short of time, here's a 5 minute video by Irving Finkel discussing a Flood story document written in cuneiform.
Of course, the Christian argument may be that the Bible had the original (truthful) version and the cuneiform story came later.
But that's so difficult to prove. We can locate the approximate time that the cuneiform version was written, but we have no ancient versions of the Genesis document that go back to that time. All the extant versions are much later.
And, if we accept the JW/WTS perspective on Genesis, i.e. that Moses wrote it based on earlier documents, we need to ask what kind of documents were they and who wrote them? The WT publication, 'Aid to Bible Understanding,' claim's Moses was born about 1593 BCE.
Above is a section of the tablet Irving discusses.
A claim made in the Sumerian King List says: In ancient Mesopotamia, the Sumerian King List reads
After kingship came down from heaven .... the kingship was taken to Shuruppak. In Shuruppak, Ubara-Tutu became king; he ruled for 5 sars and 1 ner. In 5 cities 8 kings; they ruled for 241,200 years. Then the flood swept over.
So you can note the claim of the extraordinary long lives led by pre-flood worthies.
If you're interested in all the the legends of destructive floods, Wikipedia may be a good general view of these stories.
It says: "The Mesopotamian flood stories concern the epics of Ziusudra, Gilgamesh, and Atrahasis. The Sumerian King List relies on the flood motif to divide its history into preflood (antediluvian) and postflood periods. The preflood kings had enormous lifespans, whereas postflood lifespans were much reduced. The Sumerian flood myth found in the Deluge tablet was the epic of Ziusudra, who heard the gods' plan to destroy humanity, in response to which he constructed a vessel that delivered him from great waters. In the Atrahasis version, the flood is a river flood.
In the Genesis mythology of the Hebrew Bible, Yahweh decides to flood the earth because of the depth of the sinful state of mankind. Righteous Noah is given instructions to build an ark. When the ark is completed, Noah, his family, and representatives of all the animals of the earth are called upon to enter the ark. When the destructive flood begins, all life outside of the ark perishes. After the waters recede, all those aboard the ark disembark and have Yahweh's promise that he will never judge the earth with a flood again. He causes a rainbow to form as the sign of this promise.
In the 19th century, Assyriologist George Smith translated the Babylonian account of a great flood. Further discoveries produced several versions of the Mesopotamian flood myth, with the account closest to that in Genesis found in a 700 BC Babylonian copy of the Epic of Gilgamesh.:20 In this work, the hero Gilgameshmeets the immortal man Utnapishtim, and the latter describes how the god Ea instructed him to build a huge vessel in anticipation of a deity-created flood that would destroy the world. The vessel would save Utnapishtim, his family, his friends, and the animals.
In Hindu mythology, texts such as the Satapatha Brahmana and the Puranas contain the story of a great flood, wherein the Matsya Avatar of Vishnu warns the first man, Manu, of the impending flood, and also advises him to build a giant boat.
In Plato's Timaeus, Timaeus says that because the Bronze race of Humans had been making wars constantly Zeus was angered and decided to punish humanity by a flood. Prometheus the Titan knew of this and told the secret to Deucalion, advising him to build an ark in order to be saved. After nine nights and days, the water started receding and the ark was landed at Mount Parnassus."
In the example of Plato's story we may be noting that his version of what he had heard (or, read) was adapted to suit Greek religion and history.
Is that what the author of the Genesis document also did?
The wt commits to a total submersion of the entire globe with water....so.
So one of the most 'bizarre' creatures the Kangaroo in various breeds is missing from the account and I am not aware of any fossil or archaeology specimens ever found in the middle east or anywhere else! This would suggest theflood while massive was not the earth under water the wt emphasises.
There is no doubt that there never was a Global Flood, and of course from a logical point of view an Omniscient god would not do something so stupid, knowing that mankind would reject him again.
Many scholars feel that Moses was a fictional/mythical figure, though like many such, perhaps based upon a real person or persons.
It is my feeling that the Hebrew Scriptures that were compiled after the Babylonian Exile drew on scant written material from earlier, and some oral tradition, and most of it was invented at the time. It is difficult to be sure about any of this, but it is my gut feeling that the Genesis Flood Story is later than many others, in the form that we have it.
Yup, I think that's the way we got the bible.
Experts in the field claim that the writings found in Sumer were much older then anything that’s ever been written in the Bible. Another think to consider is if Moses was alive around 1500 BCE then what language did he write his writings in because the form of Hebrew used wasn’t around yet. Also did Moses travel to Sumer because most of the stories found in Genesis were found there but none mention a god Jehovah.
Its also interesting that Moses was born then put into a basket and floated down a river yet this had already been done by Sargon’s mother and another woman in India with her son.
"...what kind of documents were they and who wrote them?..."
"Nonexistent" and "nobody"?