We’ve written before about a the translation of a 3,700-year-old clay tablet which was done by Irving Finkel, an archaeologist and Assyriologist, who is the Assistant Keeper of Ancient Mesopotamian script, and a curator at the British Museum. That was Hey, Hambo — Noah’s Ark Was Round!
The Babylonian text describes the ark as a round 220-ft diameter coracle with walls 20-ft high. Besides being the “wrong” shape, the tablet is a chronological disaster, because as Answers in Genesis (ol’ Hambo’s online ministry) says in this article: Timeline for the Flood, based on the Ussher chronology, the Flood began in the year 2,348 BC.
If the Babylonian tablet is 3,700 years old, it was written around 1,686 BC, a mere 662 years after the Flood, and around 700 years before Genesis was written. The tablet is far too old. Also, it doesn’t mention Noah. The ark-builder in the tablet was a Sumerian king named Atram-Hasis. That’s a strange detail to get wrong in an account written so soon after the Flood.
Besides being the wrong shape and the wrong date, and getting Noah’s name wrong, the ancient description of the Ark presents another problem for creationists. This article in the Guardian, Babylonian tablet shows how Noah’s ark could have been constructed, quotes Finkel, the translator of the tablet, as saying:
Noah’s ark was never built, still less crash landed on Mount Ararat, a British Museum expert has declared – despite holding in his hand 3,700-year-old instructions on exactly how to construct one. “I am 107% convinced the ark never existed,” Irving Finkel said.
The Guardian also says:
The tablet gives a version of the ark story far older than the biblical accounts, and Finkel believes the explanation of how “holy writ appears on this piece of Weetabix”, is that the writers of the Bible drew on ancient accounts encountered by Hebrew scholars during the Babylonian exile.
Finkel said that not only did the ark never exist, but ark hunters were looking in the wrong place – the map shows the ark in the direction of, but far beyond the mountain range later known as Ararat.
How have creationists been reacting to this news? So far, the outfits we follow have been silent, but we found one amazing article at the website of the Christian Broadcasting Network, founded by televangelist Pat Robertson. It’s titled Archaeologists: Ancient Writings Confirm Noah’s Ark. BWAHAHAHAHAHA! Here are some excerpts, with bold font added by us:
Archaeologists say writings on an ancient tablet confirm there was a global flood and an ark that carried animals.
They also describe the tablet as being 4,000 years old instead of 3,700. Hey, what’s 300 years? But they get one part right, when they say:
The tablet differs from scripture in its description of the ark. It tells of a giant round vessel, two-thirds the size of a soccer field. In the book of Genesis, God commands Noah to build a longer vessel, providing specific dimensions that are not round.
What do they make of the round description in the tablet? Here it comes:
Experts say other ancient civilizations adapted versions of Noah’s story to their own cultures.
So there you are. Creationists never have a problem with facts. Why should they? They’ve got The Truth™.
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