The finding of a 4000 year old artifact from Babylonia that tells an earlier version of the flood myth than is found in the Bible has fundamentalist Christians in a bit of an uproar, spouting nonsense and pretending that the find doesn’t undercut their beliefs. Ken Ham’s “logic” is exquisite:
Finkel said the account of the flood and the ark was probably passed along to the Jews during their Babylonian exile in the 6th century B.C. and served as the basis for the Genesis story. Biblical Archaeology Review’s Noah Wiener said the cuneiform tablet was created “a full millennium before the Genesis narrative was written down.”
But Ken Ham, who founded Answers in Genesis-U.S. and is trying to raise $73 million to build a full-scale replica of Noah’s Ark in Kentucky, says it must have been the other way around: The true account must have come first in Genesis, and was corrupted by the time the Babylonians set down their details on the Ark Tablet.“Because the Bible is God’s inspired Word, it gives us the true account,” Ham wrote. “The other flood legends are man’s changed versions of the event called Noah’s Flood, which occurred close to 4,400 years ago!”
Fans of Ham’s Facebook page took up the argument and rejected Finkel’s claims. “This is just another clever attempt from Satan to try to disprove or distort the existence of the ark,” one said. Another wrote, “A round ark would have sunk.”
So the Biblical account must have come first because we believe it came first. How compelling. Then why, one might ask, do we not have manuscripts of the Biblical flood story from anywhere near as old as the manuscripts we have not only of this version of the story, but several others as well? If the Biblical accounts predate the Atrahasis and the Gilgamesh epic, why are the surviving versions of those stories so much older than the oldest Biblical versions? Oh, sorry. That’s an inconvenient fact and must be dismissed out of hand.