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The Ark before Noah?

Is the Genesis narrative of the Flood merely a reworking of old myths, or is it the primary, eye-witness account of the Flood later distorted in the Gilgamesh Epic and elsewhere?

The claim that the Genesis account is a reworking of old myths is ubiquitous, both in academia and in the lay press. For example, an Associated Press news article, published January 24, 2014, titled "Ancient Tablet reveals new details about Noah's Ark prototype" reported:

A recently deciphered 4,000-year-old clay tablet from ancient Mesopotamia --- modern-day Iraq --- reveals striking new details about the roots of the Old Testament tale of Noah. It tells a similar story, complete with detailed instructions for building a giant round vessel known as a coracle --- as well as the key instruction that animals should enter "two by two."

The tablet went on display at the British Museum on Friday,...

It's also the subject of a new book, "The Ark Before Noah," by Irving Finkel...

Is 4,000 years ago --- the reported date of this tablet --- before the time of Noah?

No.

Traditionally the discipline of Biblical Chronology (mistakenly) placed the time of Noah about 2500 B.C. That is 4500 years ago. Modern Biblical Chronology places the time of Noah one thousand years earlier, at 3520 B.C. --- over 5500 years ago. Thus this tablet originates, in fact, 1,500 years after the time of Noah.

Why, then, does Finkel write a whole book with the title "The Ark Before Noah"?

That's a hard question to answer, but truth is evidently not of great concern to Finkel:

"I don't think the ark existed --- but a lot of people do," [Finkel] said. "It doesn't really matter..."

Actually, it does matter. And Biblical Chronology shows unequivocally that the account of the Flood found in Genesis greatly predates all other versions of the Flood. The evidence we possess at the present time says overwhelmingly that Genesis holds the original, true, eye-witness account of the Flood.

 
 
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