CBN ‘News’ and the Noah’s Ark Myth


There have been lots and lots of news reports about the ancient Babylonian text about the building of a round ark, a text that predates the Biblical texts by nearly 2000 years. I’m sure it won’t surprise anyone to find out that Pat Robertson’s CBN “News” handled the find with their usual dishonesty:

Archaeologists say writings on an ancient tablet confirm there was a global flood and an ark that carried animals.

No, that isn’t what archaeologists are saying about this find. In fact, quite the opposite.

A recently deciphered 4,000-year-old clay tablet, discovered in modern-day Iraq — which is ancient Mesopotamia — reveals striking similarities to the biblical account of Noah. The tablet describes a massive flood that destroys the earth and instructions that animals should be loaded onto the craft “two by two.”…

Experts say other ancient civilizations adapted versions of Noah’s story to their own cultures.

No, experts say the exact opposite. This document is much older than any of the Biblical texts. The Israelites adapted their story from a number of similar Ancient Near East flood stories, not the other way around.

Comments

  1. Chiroptera says

    The tablet describes a massive flood that destroys the earth and instructions that animals should be loaded onto the craft “two by two.”…

    Wha…? That’s not what it says in Genesis!

  2. matty1 says

    I don’t understand why this should be a deal breaker either way. We already knew there were plenty of flood myths, whether you take that the reasonable way and see Noah as another myth on the list or assume they are all accounts of a real event adding one more would change nothing.

  3. alanb says

    No, experts say the exact opposite. That’s not true. That’s what the professors at liberal, Godless universities say, but they’re not experts. To find out what the real experts say, you have to go to Answers in Genesis or the Institute for Creation Research.

  4. John Pieret says

    Look, there is an ancient text that has an account vaguely like the one in the Bible. That confirms the Flood and Ark, exactly as Genesis said, just as tales of dragons confirms that humans and dinosaurs lived side-by-side. Sheeesh! Can’t you atheists see what is as plain as the nose on your face?

  5. Sastra says

    A fairly liberal Catholic friend of mine was entranced by the many myths of the ancient world and their common themes — especially that of the savior hero with humble beginnings who turns out to be a god or king. When I asked whether their similarity to the Christ story doesn’t undermine the belief that that particular story is real, he told me that no, it did the opposite. God knew there would be a Christ. Therefore, he inspired a common belief in such a figure around the world, so that when it actually happened people were prepared to accept it.

    Believe it or not, that is a more ‘sophisticated’ level of apologetics than the one here on CBN news, which pretends that the time discrepancy isn’t there at all. At least he tried to deal with the facts in order — by coming up with an “explanation” which would fool no one but someone grasping desperately for reasons to hold on to faith. The equivalent here would be insisting that the false flood stories were inspired by God so that the real event seems more plausible and people can convert.

  6. Nemo says

    BTW, I can’t believe they went and made a mainstream Hollywood movie out of the ridiculous Noah story, here in the 21st century, with big-name actors and a famous director. But they did.

    This news almost seems timed to promote the movie.

  7. Scr... Archivist says

    Once again, I have to note that this story is four years old.

    http://www.theguardian.com/uk/2010/jan/01/noahs-ark-was-circular

    Even the Institute for Creation Research “reported” on the cuneiform cylinder back in early 2010.

    I wonder if the Guardian reported on it again recently because of the Channel 4 documentary, and the upcoming movie. Then I guess Fox News and everyone else picked up on it, as well.

  8. magistramarla says

    Nemo @ #6
    Meh, I’m more interested to see what Hollywood did with the Pompeii movie.

  9. k_machine says

    Why can’t Hollywood get some of that sweet, sweet rube money?

    Why should anyone outside of Hollywood care about their profits

  10. Matt G says

    Now I’m all confused – was the ark rectangular or circular? Or a rectangular circle (with God, all things are possible).

  11. Michael Heath says

    Sastra writes:

    A fairly liberal Catholic friend of mine was entranced by the many myths of the ancient world and their common themes — especially that of the savior hero with humble beginnings who turns out to be a god or king. When I asked whether their similarity to the Christ story doesn’t undermine the belief that that particular story is real, he told me that no, it did the opposite. God knew there would be a Christ. Therefore, he inspired a common belief in such a figure around the world, so that when it actually happened people were prepared to accept it.

    Believe it or not, that is a more ‘sophisticated’ level of apologetics than the one here on CBN news, which pretends that the time discrepancy isn’t there at all. At least he tried to deal with the facts in order — by coming up with an “explanation” which would fool no one but someone grasping desperately for reasons to hold on to faith. The equivalent here would be insisting that the false flood stories were inspired by God so that the real event seems more plausible and people can convert.

    Ironically, the more credible scholars I’ve encountered generally use the ‘criterion of similarity’ to challenge/discount claims about a particular protagonist if these stories are attributed to earlier characters that supposedly existed in history. E.g., global flood stories prior to the time the supposed Noah lived and went through a global flood.

    There are several attributions to Jesus that we find previously attributed to previous historical characters though these aren’t always as clean as we’d like. For example the story about Jesus miraculously counting the fish in the net from shore was also attributed to Pythagoras five centuries prior to the time of Jesus. However the documents in our possession noting such about Pythagoras post-date the manuscripts about Jesus doing the same. So whose zooming who?

  12. says

    I heard that it was a Donzi “Cigarette” and that he just took the DNA of a pair of every animals*. Then they got lost in the Bermuda Triangle until JESUS appeared in a pillar of fire (with a huge Viagra logo right up the puisating, throbbing, spurting shaft) and led them to Bimini where…

    Hey, you get to have your watery disaster myth, I get to have mine!

    BTW, why do they never talk about the insects and plants?

    * Except for earthworms and those other disgusting, unnatural animals that don’t have two separate sexes like other, normal, GODLY animals.

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