Is there any confirmation of Biblical events from written sources outside the Bible?

The most documented Biblical event is the world-wide Flood described in Genesis 6-9. A number of Babylonian documents have been discovered which describe the same Flood.

Sumerian King List. Photo copyrighted.
Ancient tablet listing the Sumerian kings
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The Sumerian King List (pictured here), for example, lists kings who reigned for long periods of time. Then a great Flood came. Following the Flood, Sumerian kings ruled for much shorter periods of time. This is the same pattern found in the Bible. Men had long life spans before the Flood and shorter life spans after the Flood. The 11th tablet of the Gilgamesh Epic speaks of an ark, animals taken on the ark, birds sent out during the course of the Flood, the ark landing on a mountain, and a sacrifice offered after the ark landed.

The Story of Adapa tells of a test for immortality involving food, similar to the story of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden.

Sumerian tablets record the confusion of language as we have in the Biblical account of the Tower of Babel (Genesis 11:1-9). There was a golden age when all mankind spoke the same language. Speech was then confused by the god Enki, lord of wisdom. The Babylonians had a similar account in which the gods destroyed a temple tower and “scattered them abroad and made strange their speech.”

More examples of extra-Biblical confirmation of Biblical events

More Information About the Sumerian King List

Sumerian King List. Photo copyrighted.

There are more than 16 fragments and one nearly complete copy of the Sumerian King List found at different places at different times. The first fragment was discovered in the temple library at Nippur, Iraq, at the turn of the century and was published in 1906. The most complete copy, the Weld-Blundell prism, was purchased on the antiquities market shortly after World War I and is now in the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford, England. For a thorough discussion of the Sumerian King List and its Biblical implications, see “The Antediluvian Patriarchs and the Sumerian King List,” by Raul Lopez, in the CEN Technical Journal 12 (3) 1998, pp. 347-57.

Author: Bryant Wood of Associates for Biblical Research

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