Son of a Lutheran theologian, Friedrich Delitzsch (1850-1922) was a professor of Semitic languages and Assyriology at Leipzig, Breslau and Berlin. A founder of the German Oriental Society, he caused a furore far beyond the world of Ancient Near Eastern studies when, in January 1902, he gave a lecture 'upon the relations between the Bible and the recent results of cuneiform research' in the presence of the German emperor and his court. Delitzsch demonstrated for his non-specialist audience that (as many biblical archaeologists already knew) several Old Testament narratives, including the stories of the Creation and the Flood, were derived from earlier Babylonian myths. The Cambridge Assyriologist C. H. W. Johns, who translated and edited this illustrated 1903 English edition of the original lecture and its sequel, remarked that the book 'is now a historic event', with print runs of 40,000 copies. This edition also includes Delitzsch's responses to his critics.