Noah’s Flood Trivia Quiz
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1. All around the world
Flood stories are found in most cultures, from Greenland to Australia. Some are very similar to the story of Noah, including the very first known account of a great deluge. In what language was it written?
Your answer — D) Sanskrit — was incorrect.
Akkadian, the language of ancient Babylon, was written in the wedge-shaped markings known as cuneiform. Many other Bible stories also had precursors in much earlier Babylonian tales. Around 1800 BC, the Mesopotamian Epic of Atrahasis was set down in cuneiform on three tablets. As in the story of Noah, the hero is warned of a flood, and instructed to build a boat sealed with bitumen. Like Noah, Atrahasis takes his family, animals and provisions on board with him.
The earliest mention of Noah in Hebrew writings occurs in the Dead Sea scrolls, from after 1000 BC. Around 300 BC, the Greeks recorded their own variation: the story of Deucalion, who survived a flood unleashed by Zeus by building a “chest”. Deucalion’s story gradually accumulated details drawn from the Biblical flood story. Yet another parallel is seen in the Shatapatha Brahmana, a Sanskrit work from between 800 and 600 BC. The hero Manu saves a fish, who in return advises him to build a boat to escape the coming flood.
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