A couple of years ago we wrote Top Ten Reasons Noah’s Flood is Mythology. It’s been viewed almost 8,000 times, so we were concerned when one of our top ten reasons was recently called into question.
Our reason number 9 was:
Why has Noah been forgotten? Except for those cultures that have been exposed to the tale of the Ark as found in the Old Testament, no other people on Earth remember the name of Noah — the father of us all. It is absurd in the greatest degree to think that nations which routinely preserve the names of their great kings, warriors, and heroes, have somehow forgotten about Noah, to the point where they don’t even remember his name or the fact that he once existed.
No one ever informed us that we were mistaken about that, so we were surprised by a recent post at the website of the creation scientists at Answers in Genesis, the on-line ministry of Ken Ham (ol’ Hambo), the ayatollah of Appalachia. It was written by ol’ Hambo himself: The Flood of Noah: Legends & Lore of Survival.
It’s a promotion for a new children’s book about the Flood. We were going to ignore it because it’s the usual creationist material, but then one paragraph caught our attention. Describing the book’s contents, Hambo says:
We then are given some of the names of Noah and his wife in the different cultures’ Flood accounts from around the world. Quite a few of the accounts have the name of Noah, or a very similar name like Nuah, Noe, Noeh, Nol, or Nu’u. Why would cultures as far away as China, Ireland, and Hawaii have similar names for the patriarchal figure who survived a great Flood unless there was an actual worldwide Flood with human survivors and the account was passed down almost universally?
How could we have been unaware of those other names for Noah? So we looked some of them up. The first one, Nüwa, according to Wikipedia:
is a goddess in ancient Chinese mythology best known for creating mankind and repairing the wall of heaven. Depending on the source, she might be considered the second or even the first Chinese ruler, with most sources not putting her on the role, but only her brother and/or husband Fu Xi.
Sorry, Hambo, but she ain’t Noah. Not even close.
Then there’s the last name in Hambo’s list, Nu’u, of whom Wikipedia says:
In Hawaiian mythology, Nu’u was a man who built an ark with which he escaped a Great Flood. He landed his vessel on top of Mauna Kea on the Big Island. Nu’u mistakenly attributed his safety to the moon, and made sacrifices to it. Kane, the creator god, descended to earth on a rainbow and explained Nu’u’s mistake.
Huh? We searched further. Hawaiian Mythology by Martha Beckwith gives a few different versions of the story, one with no boat at all, and states that the natives’ legend was intermingled with stories told to them by missionaries. That guy ain’t Noah either.
We searched for Hambo’s other names for Noah — Noe, Noeh, and Nol — but we couldn’t find them. If you know who they are (or were), dear reader, please let us know.
For the moment, we intend to stick with our top ten reasons. If there really is another legend about Noah and the global flood out there — one that isn’t the result of missionary influence — we’ll make an appropriate notation in our original post.
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