The first Gilgamish tablet was found in the 1850s by Henry Layard in the ruins of Nineveh and translated in 1872 by George Smith at the British Museum. It purports to be the account that Utnapishtim told Gilgamesh of how he survived the flood and gained immortality. Several versions of the story have since been discovered.
In contrast to the Bible’s majestic account, the Gilgamesh Epic is a ridiculous pagan myth on its very face.
The Gilgamesh ark is A CUBE 200 feet square, which would have been incredibly unstable even on a calm sea!
More recently, Irving Finkel of the British Museum translated another ancient Mesopotamian flood account (“British Museum: Prototype of Noah’s Ark Was Round,” The Times of Israel, Jan. 24, 2014). This tablet describes A CIRCULAR ARK as large as a football field made of a wood frame walled in with ROPE and open to the elements. Now, that would be a great ship for an ocean voyage through the worst weather this world has ever seen!
Finkel observes that there were circular boats known as coracles that were used on rivers. This is true, but a river craft is not an ocean-going craft!
By contrast, the ark described in Genesis was 450 feet long by 75 feet wide by 30 feet high, similar to the proportion of modern sea-going vessels such as oil tankers and cargo containers.
(Finkel’s tablet is of unknown origin or “provenance.” He got it from “a man whose father acquired it in the Middle East after World War II.” Thus no one knows where it came from, who wrote it, or when it was written. Yet this tablet and its silly story, with no solid history older than the mid-20th century, is a major international news item in the most recent attempt to overthrow the Old Testament. This sin-cursed world will accept the testimony of a silly Babylonian fable over that of Jesus Christ, the Son of God, who attested that the Bible is divinely inspired.)
Don’t be deceived by willfully blind skeptics. The British Museum has a peerless collection of artifacts, and I have spent many days exploring its treasures on multiple trips to England, but its interpretation of those artifacts can be misguided and prejudiced. The Museum has been proven wrong many times (e.g., the Piltdown Man hoax), but the Bible has never been proven wrong.
“Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts” (2 Pet. 3:3).
The God revealed in the Bible is nothing like the foolish gods of pagan mythology. The gods of the Gilgamesh myth are spiteful, immoral, selfish, petty, competitive, fickle, impatient, weak, cowardly, and deceitful. The chief god Ea instructs Utnapishtim to lie to his fellow men by giving them the impression that the gods are going to bless them instead of destroy them. When the storm comes, the gods are so frightened that they flee to heaven and cower like dogs, crouching outside the door of the god Anu, and the goddess Ishtar shrieks like a woman in childbirth. After the flood, the god Enlil is furious because some of the men escaped destruction.
By contrast, the creator God of Scripture is almighty, all-wise, holy, just, compassionate, merciful, longsuffering. He is the same yesterday and today. He speaks only truth. His promises are irrevocable. He is man’s lawgiver and judge, and as Creator He has every right to be man’s judge. But He is also the Saviour. He Himself purchased salvation for sinners by His own suffering on the cross, and He wants all men to be saved.
The Gilgamesh Epic is mainly about Gilgamesh’s search for immortality. He sought for it by every means, but it eluded him.
The Bible is also about man’s search for immortality, and it, too, says that man cannot find immortality through his own efforts. Happily, the story doesn’t end there. The Bible tell us that salvation was purchased by God for man and is offered to man as a gift of His grace. Jesus Christ rose from the dead to prove that this is no pagan myth.
“The LORD is merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and plenteous in mercy” (Psalm 103:8).
“For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour; Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth. For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus; Who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time” (1 Timothy 2:3-6).
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life” (John 3:16).
“For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast” (Ephesians 2:8-9).
Man’s unbelief does not change the truth of the Bible. Even if the entire world disbelieved, it would change nothing. In fact, the widespread unbelief in our day is evidence that the Bible is true. Jesus Christ warned that His return will be preceded by the same type of conditions that existed before Noah’s Flood.
“And as it was in the days of Noe, so shall it be also in the days of the Son of man. They did eat, they drank, they married wives, they were given in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark, and the flood came, and destroyed them all” (Luke 17:26-27).
Sharing Policy: Much of our material is available for free, such as the hundreds of articles at the Way of Life web site. Other items we sell to help fund our expensive literature and foreign church planting ministries. Way of Life's content falls into two categories: sharable and non-sharable. Things that we encourage you to share include the audio sermons, O Timothy magazine, FBIS articles, and the free eVideos and free eBooks. You are welcome to make copies of these at your own expense and share them with friends and family. You may also post parts of reports and/or entire reports to websites, blogs, etc as long as you give proper credit (citation). A link to the original report is very much appreciated as the reports are frequently updated and/or expanded. Things we do not want copied and distributed are "Store" items like the Fundamental Baptist Digital Library, print editions of our books, electronic editions of the books that we sell, the videos that we sell, etc. The items have taken years to produce at enormous expense in time and money, and we use the income from sales to help fund the ministry. We trust that your Christian honesty will preserve the integrity of this policy. "For the scripture saith, Thou shalt not muzzle the ox that treadeth out the corn. And, The labourer is worthy of his reward" (1 Timothy 5:18). Questions? email@example.com
Goal:Distributed by Way of Life Literature Inc., the Fundamental Baptist Information Service is an e-mail posting for Bible-believing Christians. Established in 1974, Way of Life Literature is a fundamental Baptist preaching and publishing ministry based in Bethel Baptist Church, London, Ontario, of which Wilbert Unger is the founding Pastor. Brother Cloud lives in South Asia where he has been a church planting missionary since 1979. Our primary goal with the FBIS is to provide material to assist preachers in the edification and protection of the churches.
Offering: We take up a quarterly offering to fund this ministry, and those who use the materials are expected to participate (Galatians 6:6) if they can. We do not solicit funds from those who do not agree with our preaching and who are not helped by these publications. We seek offerings only from those who are helped. OFFERINGS can be mailed or made online with with Visa, Mastercard, Discover, or Paypal. For information see: www.wayoflife.org/about/makeanoffering.html.
Way of Life Literature
Publisher of Bible Study Materials