Noah’s Flood Is a True Story, and Here’s Proof

There’s a very long article at the website of Answers in Genesis (AIG), the creationist ministry of Ken Ham (ol’ Hambo). It was written by two of ol’ Hambo’s creation scientists: Troy Lacey and Lee Anderson. Their credentials are briefly described at the end of their article. It first appeared in October of 2013, but somehow we missed it. Fortunately, they’re re-posting it today.

The title is The Genesis Flood vs. Flood Legends. The article is of great importance, because it compares Noah’s flood, which of course is The Truth, and other flood legends, which are shown to be nonsense. It’s a great article, but it’s very long. Here are some excerpts, with bold font added by us for emphasis, and occasional Curmudgeonly interjections that look [like this]:

“The Genesis Flood is just another ancient myth.” Ever heard that before? It doesn’t take much to show the emptiness of this claim. By highlighting the majesty of God’s historical account, you can easily show how every ancient myth drowns in irrelevance.

And now they make good on that promise:

When British explorers discovered the ancient library of the Assyrian king Ashurbanipal in 1852–1853, among its precious clay tablets was the Babylonian Epic of Gilgamesh. First translated in 1872, its contents shocked the scholarly world because it seemed to closely parallel parts of Genesis, especially the Flood account. Indeed, many scholars accused the Bible of merely retelling the epic.

You’ve heard that before. Wikipedia has an article on the Epic of Gilgamesh. That article makes a good case that the scriptural account of Noah’s flood was probably based on the earlier Gilgamesh tale. But AIG strongly disagrees. They say:

Is there any merit to the claim that the Genesis Flood is just another myth, perhaps even plagiarized from this Babylonian account? The best way to answer this question is to get down to specifics. What does the Bible actually teach about the Flood, and how does it compare to the manmade myth?

[…]

This poem [The Epic of Gilgamesh] is just what the title says: an epic. The poet weaves a fictional tale to entertain his audience. The text employs lofty poetic techniques expected of such recited fiction, such as easy-to-memorize couplets and stock phrases. No hearer expected that it was to be taken as word-for-word history

In contrast to The Epic of Gilgamesh, Genesis presents every detail of the Flood as a historical record to be taken seriously. The Bible claims to be divinely inspired (2 Timothy 3:16–17), and since God cannot lie, we expect all of His historical claims to be true.

[…]

As it relates to the Flood, the language of Genesis 6–9 is so descriptive and matter-of-fact in stating the details of what God did and how Noah obeyed God, that there is no room for considering it allegory or mythology.

Persuasive, isn’t it? And that’s not all. The creation scientists tell us:

Moreover, the rest of Scripture considers the events of Genesis 6–9 to be factual history For example, the writer of 1 Chronicles records Noah as being the ancestor of Abraham (1 Chronicles 1:4, 1:27). Jesus mentions Noah as a real historical person and the Flood as a real historical event (Matthew 24:37–39). Luke includes Noah in the genealogy of Christ (Luke 3:36), while Peter twice mentions that Noah built the Ark and was one of only eight people saved (1 Peter 3:20; 2 Peter 2:5).

Need more evidence? No problem! The article continues:

Consider the plausibility of the Gilgamesh epic versus the Bible. The god of crafts and wisdom, Enki, warns Utnapishtim (the Babylonian “Noah” figure) about the coming flood and tells him to tear down his reed house and prepare a large boat in the shape of a cube. Yet a cube is not seaworthy and would capsize quickly. The boat is built in no more than seven days, during which time Utnapishtim also had to gather the animals from all over the world. Although the flood lasted only seven days, it still covered the earth. After a week of rain, the sea and wind calms, and the boat grounds to a halt on Mount Nimush.

Only a fool would believe a story like that! Let’s read on:

In contrast to Utnapishtim’s ridiculously shaped boat and the unrealistically short construction time, the Bible gives a very reasonable account of all these practical issues. God gave Noah instructions on how to build a rectangular Ark that has been shown experimentally to be very seaworthy. Noah also received a much greater advance warning about the Flood, perhaps more than one hundred years. Furthermore, God, not Noah, brought the animals to the Ark.

And would ya believe it, there’s still more proof. Here’s another excerpt:

The Bible mentions several natural mechanisms behind the drowning of the world, including the breaking open of the fountains of the great deep and the opening of the floodgates of heaven (Genesis 7:11). These mechanisms caused the Flood to last over a year, which is much more plausible than the seven-day rainstorm described in The Epic of Gilgamesh.

We’re only about half-way through the AIG article, and we know you want to read the rest, so click over there and go for it! Then come back here and tell us that you’ve been persuaded. If you’re not, then there’s no hope for you — ever.

Copyright © 2021. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

16 responses to “Noah’s Flood Is a True Story, and Here’s Proof

  1. chris schilling

    “Genesis presents every detail of the flood as a historical record to be taken seriously.”

    Except for the precise year, or decade, or century in which it actually took place.

  2. Dave Luckett

    No, chris schilling, not only in that. These people simply don’t have a clue about genre or narrative convention or fabulation. Aesop’s fables present every detail as if it were historical record. The legends of King Arthur or Robin Hood do the same. Hell, “Goldilocks and the Three Bears” relates the events of that tale as if they were real.

    Jesus did not speak of Noah as a historical person, nor the flood as a historical event. He referred to them just as I might refer to any character from literature. I could say that a person was like Micawber for optimism, or like Shylock for cunning, or even like the fox who deprecated the grapes. I could say, “If you go on in this way, you’ll end up like Tom Rakewell”.

    I sometimes think that the main problem fundies have is that not that they don’t understand the science. They don’t, of course, and that is a major problem, but it’s not the one that prevents them understanding the Bible – for after all, the Bible contains almost no science. No, it’s that they don’t understand the very idea of narrative. Fiction itself is closed to them. It’s as if they think that for a narrative to be accepted as fictional, the teller has to begin and end with a disclaimer, “Now, this didn’t really happen, OK. It’s a story, right?”

    Which is exactly the converse of the truth.

  3. I’d point out that Jesus spoke in parables, without any need for the characters in the stories being taken as real, historical people.
    BTW, 2 Timothy 3:16 is not about the historicity of the scriptures, but about their usefulness.

  4. Charles Deetz ;)

    Who decided that God can’t lie? Or that telling a story by a non liar means it can’t be fiction or allegory?
    These stories fill in meaning and history to early man’s world, with a helpful dose of morality. That’s what I grew up thinking, even while I believed in a God who would create these stories. That they were fact never occurred to me, and I can’t remember adults insisting they were true.

  5. Lacey/Anderson:

    “The Bible claims to be divinely inspired (2 Timothy 3:16–17), and since God cannot lie, we expect all of His historical claims to be true.”

    God cannot lie?

    Au contraire, mes frères

    God lied to Adam in Genesis 2 when He told him he would surely die if he ate from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil

    (We know this is not a metaphorical death because God subsequently says “The man has now become like one of Us, knowing good and evil. He must not be allowed to reach out his hand and take also from the tree of life and eat, and live forever.”)

    Jesus also lied

    He lied when He told his brothers that no, He would not go from Galilee to the Festival of Tabernacles in Jerusalem, but then after they had left He sneaked up to the Festival of Tabernacles in Jerusalem (John 7)

    Jesus also lied when He told a crowd that He would return to usher in his Kingdom within the lifetime of some of those listening (Luke 9, Matt 16, )

    (“Whoever is ashamed of me and my words, the Son of Man will be ashamed of them when he comes in his glory and in the glory of the Father and of the holy angels.
    “Truly I tell you, some who are standing here will not taste death before they see the kingdom of God.”)

    God Himself is the actual Father of Lies

  6. Charles Deetz 😉
    If you say something misleading to someone who is bent on doing evil, is that a lie?
    If your audience misunderstands what you say, is that a lie?
    Do we sinful people have a right to be told the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth?
    If God kills people, is that murder?

  7. So… the sky is a dome with floodgates? Okay thanks!

  8. One difficulty for the story of Noah’s Flood being historically factual is that it is internally inconsistent. That it is physically impossible is no help.

  9. bewilderbeast

    Once again an apologist doesn’t know what “almighty” means! Hambo says “God cannot lie.” Jeeesh!

  10. I believe Israel Finkel has shown that the boat of Gilgamesh/Atrahasis was actually round, not square. It’s essentially a much, much bigger version of the reed boats that are still used in Iraq to this day. Even the amount of rope and pitch specified in the story is pretty accurate. So even though the original story is not any more factual than the one in Genesis, the internal details actually line up a bit better.

  11. “The Bible claims to be divinely inspired”

    Whoever wrote that particular verse claims that “scripture” is. (Paul or whoever.) I suspect whoever wrote that verse didn’t think the verse he/she just wrote was scripture at the time lol. Divinely inspired, or technically “breathed by God.” So the author basically is accusing God of having scripture-breath. More proof that God may have been completely sloshed half the time, which would explain a lot.

  12. Dave Luckett

    There are several overlapping translation problems with that text, 2 Timothy 3:16. One is where the verb goes – because it isn’t actually there in the earliest mss. The second is the precise meaning of the conjunction “kai”, which usually means “and”, but can mean “also” or “even” as in “even more”.

    That is, does it read “Every scripture (is) God-breathed, and profitable…”, or does it read “Every scripture God breathed also (is) profitable…” The first asserts that God breathed every scripture. The second implies that all scripture is not God-breathed.

    Then there’s the question of what “theopneustos” means. It is usually rendered as two words separated by a hyphen in English: “God-breathed”, but in the original Greek text there is no punctuation, nor even gaps between words. Does it mean “inspired by God” working in the opposite sense? “Inspired” means “breathed in” by the inspired person. This apparently means “breathed out” by God. Why “breathed out”, if that is indeed what it means? Why not “given” or “rendered” or “spoken” by God?

    Apparently the writer did not mean something so definitive and direct as that, but it is difficult to say what was really meant. The construction “theopneustos” is unique, apparently a coinage. Fundies always talk as though the writers of the Bible were taking God’s dictation, but the writers themselves only make that claim very rarely, and only for specific words. To be “inspired of God” is surely a weaker claim.

  13. @Dave Luckett
    And then there is the issue of whether Scripture is always correct (or true). This proof-text does not address that. It uses the word “profitable” (or “useful”).

    Now, everybody knows about the ways of the Lord, when he does things that are not to our way of thinking. Whatever excuse or explanation there is for that, can that also apply for Scripture, not being up to our standards of science, but still being useful for teaching morals and spiritual doctrine?

  14. Many years ago I visited the Institute for Creation Research in San Diego. I spent time in the library. They had a good collection of George McCready Price books of which I read parts. They were relatively unused. On the other hand books on the discovery of Noah’s Ark were well used. It’s clear that Christian fundies love stories and steer clear of anything intellectual.

  15. Either way, God has lungs and vocal chords, therefore don’t scuba diving, God, since the only things in heaven are bronze-age inventions, which does not include scuba gear.

  16. And lo! The charming folks at Hobby Lobby have managed to insert themselves into the epic of Gilgamesh: Gilgamesh tablet: US authorities take ownership of artefact