Lost world of the flood

I’m currently watching this interview of John Walton, my favourite Bible Scholar, on the flood. Thoughts? Will Biologos interact with Walton on this?


You mean beyond various article’s Walton’s written on the main site? John Walton - Person - BioLogos

There’s also already 43 articles on the Flood on the main site, maybe there can be some more? Resources - BioLogos

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Yes. Stay tuned :wink:


I am either a theistic evolutionist or a progressive creationist, i.e., the universe and earth are ancient. Do I believe as some TE’s that Genesis 1-11 should be taken as theological allegory or literally? I tend to agree with the late Rev. Billy Graham, BTh, BA. As a linguistic scientist, I tend to have trouble with Genesis 11, the Tower of Babel event. Language evolution has continued. It could be that God has not stopped the process of the Tower since it began and we can take the event as a literal fact. I believe that Noah’s Flood actually happened; however, it took place in Mesopatamia. I read an article many years ago when I was in college. It showed the archeological work being done there and layers of flood strata were found. My hypothesis is that this was the place where Noah had the ark. I do not believe there were dinosaurs living with human beings and none were in the ark. I must accept that the scientific evidence proves that the dinosaurs were destroyed when an asteroid hit the Yucatan peninsula in Mexico. In any case Reggie, I wish to thank you for the very grand presentation. Dr. John Walton is a very fine scholar.

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I’m hoping Walton writes a book on the Tower of Babel next. Of all the parts of Gen 1-11, it’s probably the hardest to reconcile with reality. I’m still not entirely sure how we can do this, since there was absolutely more than one language over 4000 years ago. Egyptian, Sumerian and Akkadian inscriptions date back a thousand years before Babel. At where I am now I see it as an anecdote on power and divine providence, and how it should be used.


I see your view and perhaps you are correct. Good reasoning.

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I need help with a creationist rebuttal in the comment section:

So when does universal language indicate and actual universal scope? If the authors of Genesis wanted to indicate that there really was a global flood, how would they? The context indicates the meaning. The flood lasted for forty days and nights, it took months for the waters to recede, Noah and his family had to take two of each kind of animal, the ark landed on top of a mountain range, etc. If these details were never mentioned it may be possible to say it’s hyperbole. But all the details surrounding point to the literal global scale of the flood. And if it was in fact only local, then God certainly would have broken his promise to never flood the world again. There have certainly been many local floods in the area since then. And without the global scale it would lose the theological significance of recreation.

It sounds more like eisegesis to say that it’s local and this is what I mean: no one just reading it without any outside influence would conclude this is hyperbole. Only someone with an agenda to not want to say there was a worldwide flood would. So you haven’t truly used the Bible as your starting point. You’ve used outside beliefs about the past as your starting point.

It seems to me that the questioner is already missing Walton’s point (if this was a response to Walton – but even if it’s only a general response to the local flood notion). I would respond that the language used in Genesis already does use universal scope because that is what the author wanted and intended. But “universal” then did not carry the same meaning (“scope” if you will) that we pack into that concept now. What they meant when they said “world” or “earth” need not mean the same as what we mean, and in fact it is anachronistic for us to insist on it. But no doubt their express intention was to say that this flood went everywhere and nobody except the chosen few escaped that judgment. We often use hyperbole when giving things emphasis today – as does the Bible in places too. Why that literary technique suddenly becomes disallowed here is only explainable by us wishing to import our modern literalist readings back into this particular passage.

No one has ever read/heard the account without “outside influence” including the original audience, so who cares what this hypothetical, imaginary, totally divorced from reality audience would conclude? It’s irrelevant when you are trying to determine meaning. The commenter is reading the account with the “outside influence” of years of teaching that it is a literal account.


@Reggie_O_Donoghue, @Mervin_Bitikofer, @BradKramer
I believe that I understand where you are coming from, Christie. I took Dr. Lamoureaux’s course designated Science and Religion 101. The good doctor is a nice person and very intelligent. He sent me information on how I could contact him at St. Joseph’s College at the University of Alberta. I believe that he considers Genesis 1-11 to be allegory; however, the literal history begins with Genesis at chapter 12 and continues through the Old Testament. Genesis 1-11 teaches an allegory explaining that God created life, the earth, and the very ancient universe according to modern science. In the Old Testament, the ancient Hebrews would use a numeral next to the word “Yom.” If I were to say, God created some life on the evening of morning of the first Yom, then it meant a 24 hour day. Not all theologians would agree with me, however. If one considers him/herself a theistic evolutionist says that this in Genesis is an allegory, then one does not have to consider this a literal 24 day. It can be millions of years. What can a progressive creationist say who does not consider the numbers of the Yom, such a scholar could ignore the numbers and consider the Yom as ages of time. I realize that many of you already know this, however, there are others that may not have taken this into consideration. That is why a Young Earth Creationist and a Progressive Creationist think as they do. Of course, there may be other reasons that we may not know about. Only the LORD is the one who knows everything. May God bless all of you and bring you into His Glorious Kingdom on the New Earth. I also ask that my friends keep my wife, Nancy, in prayer. I had to take her to the hospital 3:30 AM this morning. I just praise our Lord Jesus that it was not a heart attack. But boy, am I awfully tired now; therefore, I must say “cheers.”

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Glad your wife is ok. I will send a prayer on her behalf.
I too took Dr Lamoureux’ course last fall. I am grateful for the work he did in his lifetime of research that culminated in part in this. While it was excellent and freed my mind from many problems, I too am struggling still to apply what I learned. Solo Deo Gloria.

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I want to thank you Brother Randy. God bless

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