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The stories known to us as the Atrahasis Epic (introduced last week) and the Gilgamesh Epic both include stories of a cataclysmic flood. tablet of the Atrahasis Epic, especially lines However, these fifty-six lines . the first word or phrase (note also ana epiei [1] andku la here another . Babylonian myths of Gilgamesh and Atrahasis. The story of Adapa, found in parts in the Tell el-Amarna archives and the library of Ashurbanipal, is similar to.

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Francis Collins is a physician and geneticist known for spearheading the Human Genome Project and for his landmark discoveries of disease genes. At times our world feels ztrahasis dark.

Hatred, lies,loneliness, and racism are thriving All of us long for something better. We long for a light to shine into our darkness, and for the darkness to not overcome it. What is the value of biological diversity?

Gilgamesh, Atrahasis, and the Flood

The answer is not only of academic interest; it has enormous ramifications for sustaining the ecological systems that support a healthy planet and the people that inhabit it. The biblical flood story Genesis has certainly taken a beating over the last two or three centuries. The problems began in earnest once geologists realized that a literal submersion of the entire earth in water is contradicted by clear scientific evidence.

Maybe the biblical story is just a plagiarized version of these older stories? I am going to focus on the theological issues raised by the older flood stories from Mesopotamia. The similarities between these stories and the biblical story are well known, striking, and incontrovertible. The version we have probably dates to about the seventeenth century BC, and it is a retelling of a story that is certainly older. Part of this story recounts a flood.


The gods had created humans to be their slave laborer. But they were becoming too noisy, and this disturbed the gods. The god Enlil decreed that humans should be destroyed in a flood. Atrahasis, through the help of the god Ea, escapes the wrath of Enlil by building a large boat in which to save humanity. Atrqhasis failed to respect the distance the gods had put between them; they atrahasid not being what they were created to be. Also, the earliest versions of this epic did not even include a flood story.

Adapting older stories is an important point for us to keep in mind as we think of the biblical flood story. This same pattern is at work in the biblical flood story.

The biblical story is also a reworking of older, well-known themes for a fresh purpose. Atrahasiz survives in twelve tablets, and the eleventh recounts the flood.

After the death of his dear friend Enkidu, Gilgamesh takes a journey to find the secret of immortality. This quest leads him to track down the hero of this version of the flood story, Utnapishtim.

Gilgamesh, Atrahasis, and the Flood

Maybe he has the answer. Alas, Gilgamesh does not find the immortality he sought, but amid his conversations with Utnapishtim, the flood story is recounted to him in some detail.

There you have the basic outline of these two stories. Perhaps they may not seem to connect too closely with the biblical flood story.

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Atrahasis – Viquipèdia, l’enciclopèdia lliure

The following summarizes the similarities: Some scholars also feel that the episode of the birds in Genesis 8: But for us, it is not necessary to ponder whether Genesis is dependent on these ancient Mesopotamian stories.

The various flood stories simply share common ways of speaking about a horrible flood of some sort. It is a common scholarly view that either a severe local flood around B.

Most biblical scholars understand these ancient stories as attempts to explain why such a thing could happen. The similarities are clear, but the theology of the biblical story goes off in fresh directions. Translations of these stories agrahasis not hard to find. One convenient and affordable source is B.

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Gilgamesh, Atrahasis and the Flood View all posts in this series.