Flood Myth

Among the various world cultures, an account of a catastrophic deluge is almost ubiquitous, and these accounts are as varied as they are widespread. Yet this myth represents more than a mere anthropological interest to modern scholars. The presence of this myth in Genesis, part of the Hebrew Bible (and the Christian Old Testament), has meant that this narrative has a central place in Western religion. Moreover, a version of the story—based on the much older biblical account—has found a place in the Qur'an, the authoritative scripture for Muslims. Consequently, the most famous account of a primordial flood—the story of Noah and his ark—has a central place in the Western imagination and, more important, world religion.

The Biblical Account

This preeminent narrative is found in Genesis 6:5–9, ...

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