The Bible is well known for copying things from other religions, and one of the most obvious cases of plagiarism comes from the Epic of Gilgamesh. Let’s look at the similarities:
- Both God/s decide to destroy the earth with a flood
In both accounts mankind is corrupt and must be destroyed.
- Both Gods select a righteous man
In both accounts a righteous man is chosen to save all of the animals.
- Both men are ordered to build a giant boat with many decks
Noah’s was rectangular, and Utnapishtim’s was square – I’d love to see those boats try to sail.
- Both boats are to only have one window
The structure and design of the boats were very similar.
- In both accounts, it rained heavily and flooded the planet
It rained for 40 days and 40 nights in the Biblical account, with water coming out of the ground, but it only rained for six days in the Gilgamesh account, making it even more scientifically impossible!
- Both boats come to rest on a mountain
Noah’s boat lands atop mount Ararat, and Utnapishtim’s boat lands 300 miles away atop mount Nisir.
- Both men release a bird to see if the land is dry
Noah released a raven and three doves, and Utnapishtim released a dove, a swallow and a raven.
- And both men offer sacrifices to God when the flood has passed
Both the Christian God and the Gilgamesh gods love animal sacrifice. I wonder what species they had to exterminate.
- Both God’s promised not to do it again
God and the Gilgamesh gods all promised not to flood the earth again, and God even invented the rainbow. I wonder what they’ll do if the earth becomes corrupt again…
If you ask me, it’s pretty clear that the Bible’s flood story is awfully similar to the much earlier Epic of Gilgamesh. But to give the Bible some credit, it is thought that the Epic of Gilgamesh was copied from even earlier stories such as the Sumerian epic of Ziusudra and the Akkadian epic of Atra-hasis.
Sources, citations and further research:
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