Bryan Fischer of the American Family Association is spinning tales again — this time, on Twitter:
Ancient Mesopotamian tablet confirms biblical account: worldwide flood, huge ark, animals in pairs. http://t.co/hD8T6y7cI7
— Bryan Fischer (@BryanJFischer) January 25, 2014
The battered, light brown tablet in question, about the size of the average cell phone, is inscribed with 60 lines of Mesopotamian cuneiform thought to contain instructions for building a circular vessel called a coracle. The ancient object includes a reference to putting animals on the boat “two by two.”
It went on display at the British Museum the other day after Irving Finkel, the museum’s assistant keeper of the Middle East, managed to translate the writing.
Finkel wrote a book about his discovery, The Ark Before Noah, whose title is the first indication that Fischer’s tweet is not, let’s say, 100 percent rooted in fact.
Via the Raw Story, we learn that Finkel dated the tablet to almost two thousands years before the Bible was written.
[H]e figures the Bible’s writers were drawing on accounts that had been passed around “by Hebrew scholars during the Babylonian exile.”
In other words, a Mesopotamian folk tale ended up being recycled for the Bible. (And there are plenty of other examples.)
The tablet’s tale is supposedly spoken by a deity, but Finkel doesn’t say which Mesopotamian god described the ark (there were plenty of gods to choose from). One thing’s for certain: it’s not the god of the Bible.
Also, this, from the Guardian:
“I am 107% convinced the ark never existed,” Finkel said.
Just a pretty fish tale, then. Sorry, Fischer.