Epic of Gilgamesh Compared to Noah's Ark

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Anatoliy Sirotinsky
Professor Norris
World Literature
14 October 2010

The Past Disproving the Present
In today’s primarily Judeo-Christian society nearly every person has knowledge of Noah’s Ark and the associated flood story but, only a handful of those people have been exposed to the flood story in The Epic of Gilgamesh. By observing the similarities in both stories one should come to realize that one of these stories must have been written before the other. According to Britannica, the clay tablets which the Epic of Gilgamesh was imprinted on predate any recordings of the flood story from the Bible. Since the Epic of Gilgamesh is known to be nothing but a gripping story, much like Greek epics, containing glorious adventures with recurring mention of polytheistic beliefs from the time, this should spark some curiosity as to how true a literal interpretation of the Bible is. The Bible makes the gigantic claim of being the absolute truth which every person seeks but, after establishing that the story of Noah is nothing more than a folk tale, the Bible falls short of its claims. In order to be certain the Epic of Gilgamesh will falsify an absolute truth, close analysis of both pieces is required. A basic outline of both stories with the similarities being emphasized will provide sufficient results for analysis. Both flood stories contain a hero who is forced into enduring the flood because of the disgust humans have caused the supernatural beings. The God or gods decide to exterminate humanity because of the actions of humans. Both stories continue into the selection of a hero by the divine powers giving specific instructions on what needs to be done for survival from what will be the extinction of humanity. The higher beings have chosen their heroes to save humanity. The reason that element of mercy exists in these stories is because the authors wanted to give their listeners something to have faith in. Modern religions exist for that sole purpose. The creators of these religions believe that having faith in something is better than not believing in anything at all. Religious people believe that they now have a divine purpose to be on this planet. A divine reason rather than a biological reason, they choose to accept fantasy, this has come to be viewed as average human behavior. The myths then continue when the omniscient powers choose to destroy the humanity with excessive water. After the massive ships are settled in the water; the heroes release birds to find land. After the birds notify the heroes that there is land the heroes anchor and are given gifts from the Gods. The gifts are different in both stories; they differ only to match the beliefs of the cultures the stories were written for. God makes a covenant with Noah and all the rest of humanity and Enlil grants Utnapishtim immortality. After Utnapishtim finishes telling Gilgamesh the story, Utnapishtim advises Gilgamesh on how he can gain eternal life. Gilgamesh eventually fails to gain eternal life because of a snake. The snake is synonymous for evil and deception. This symbolic snake is also in the book of Genesis from the Bible. The snake who tells Eve to eat the forbidden fruit, this snake is the barrier to eternal life. Humans can never achieve eternal life because the snake will always deceive.

Historical evidence must also be scrutinized in order to solidify the claim of Gilgamesh falsifying the Bible.  The Epic of Gilgamesh, our fullest version of which is furnished by an Akkadian recension prepared in the seventh century B.C. for the great library of King Ashurbanipal at Nineveh; the story itself is far older. Fragments of versions exist dating as much as a thousand years earlier, and portions of a Sumerian archetype also exist.      In the Mesopotamian version: the gods apparently displeased with the evils of mankind decided to destroy it by means of a great flood. Ea, the god of wisdom and subtlety, was privy to their council and warned...
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