The Impact of the Floods Although there are some differences, the similarities between the Gilgamesh flood story and the Genesis flood story are more significant. This story is a common one throughout many mid-east cultures, both past and present. The most notable of these is in the ancient Mesopotamian mythology, with the story of Utnapishtim and his story of survival of the god's wrath. Though both are telling what is assumed to be a tale of the same event, there are many similarities as well as differences in certain details of the story. Although some of these differing aspects are for the most part, fairly trivial, some of them are relatively drastic from one version to the other.
The source of the myth in the two cultures is reasonably different, as well as the way the story was told. In the case of the ancient Mesopotamian version of the myth, it is found in The Epic of Gilgamesh.
Utnapishtim tells it to Gilgamesh when Gilgamesh meets him while on his quest for the plant of everlasting life (Wilkie, Hurt 55-58) Here is a first hand account of the flood, by one of the sole survivors of the flood, the tale itself is found in an epic of a great king, which wasn't exactly valued as a sacred book in the Mesopotamian culture, but was still treated with a great deal of respect.
This is different from the ancient Hebrew account of the flood. In the Old Testament, it is presumably Moses who is telling the story of Noah in the book of Genesis (Lorey 1). In this case, we have a second hand account of the story, found in what is considered to be a sacred piece of scripture, as written by one of the most important figures of the...