Hey guys i know this topic has been mentioned before but i have a few questions regarding it. I understand OT is not so much meant to give historical accounts as the NT is but rather convey certain religious truths through the medium of stories similar to how J.R.R Tolkien understood the power of myth.
After the 19th century discovery of the tablets revealing the epic of Gilgamesh, a story closely resembling Noah’s ark over 1000 years before it was written it is obvious this story inspired Noah’s ark. It is widely believed among scholars that the stories in Genesis and their similarities with other cultures at the time was actually to be an antidote to them, their familiarity with these stories was to speak to a people that would easily understand them. For example the Babylonians and other surrounding cultures believed the creation of the world was a result of chaos of competing deities, they also had a hierarchy of Gods all of whom were one being among many in the universe. This is in contrast and extraordinarily different from the one god of the bible who philosophers would later describe as the prime mover of reality itself.
In the epic of Gilgamesh the similarities between it and Noah is striking, so much so the mechanical details such as about the ark, the flood and what happens after are extremely similar however where the HUGE difference ly is how they portray the supernatural. The God’s in Gilgamesh are fallable, immoral and limited deities who end up fearing the flood and try to escape it themselves, their action to exterminate humanity is down to a arbitrary decision that we have gotten too noisy and must be silenced. In Noah God is in control at all times, he is the author and sustaining power of nature itself and this is evident throughout the story. In the end he tells to Noah never again will he flood the earth preventing any future anxiety yet in the story of Gilgamesh Utnapishtim and his wife are given the power of immortality after being favored by the Gods but no such promise is given to ease anxiety that future populations could never again suffer such a fate.
Anyway my question is this, did Noah exist or was he and the entire story allegory? If Noah and the story of the flood did not exist then what do you think Christ meant when he said
Matthew 24:37-39 'As it was in Noah’s day, so will it be when the Son of man comes. For in those days before the Flood people were eating, drinking, taking wives, taking husbands, right up to the day Noah went into the ark, and they suspected nothing till the Flood came and swept them all away. This is what it will be like when the Son of man comes.