The reliability of the Genesis Flood account

Why? What do disinterested academics say? Do they agree? Does he cite any in support?

PS and a sceptic is half way there, i.e. is a blind man looking for a shadow of doubt, agnostic, fence sitting, a “don’t know”, someone who doesn’t know their epistemology from their elbow. Science knows that there is no reliability in the Genesis Flood account as anything other than a remarkable paternalistic attempt to civilize, positively humanize God.

But Bonhoeffer’s hermeneutic () is worth way more, infinitely more.

On top of a liberal studies degree, aye.

You can have his hermeneutic and a comparable relationship to God without one.

He couldn’t. And his failed him. And sustained him to the end.

He couldn’t what? What failed him? I very much doubt that you know.

He couldn’t have his hermeneutic and a comparable relationship to God without the equivalent of a liberal studies degree. Keep up mate.

His hermeneutic and a comparable relationship to God failed him as he - completely understandably on his own recognizance - conspired to assassinate Hitler.

I know that. And how he died with unbelievable courage and dignity. Although the account is a lie, I’m sure he did.

What’s this got to do with the reliability of the Genesis Flood account as scientifically, historically accurate 2348 or any other BCE because an old cop says so?

I provided an example above of where the Bible isn’t scientifically consistent so it would appear Jim just ignores all such examples.

Thanks for this. I had not thought of it quite in this way. So, the world is flat. The earth is a globe. Two different things.

It seems to me when looking at scripture, many tend to ignore the issue of genre. Job when examined is obviously a story set up to make theological statements, a play script perhaps, rather than some historical document, whether there was some shadowy historical Job or not. I would put Jonah in the same catagory. Early Genesis is similar, giving a back story to explain who God is and what his relationship is to first Israel and now to us, but not a history of the planet earth.


Then you are understanding neither what I mean by his hermeneutic nor his relationship to God. That is no surprise.

The only failure was in failing to assassinate Hitler. His understanding and his relationship to God were still intact.

You do not. And it is not unbelievable that he died with enormous courage and dignity – it was because of his hermeneutic and his relationship to God. “Although the account is a lie.” That is something else that you do not know.

The point is that textual criticism, scientific and historical accuracy are hardly the most important things in comparison to his exemplary relationship to God, and how he used his ‘hermeneutic’, his understanding about to how to use the Bible to grow that relationship and to help him to be who he should be before man and before God. You have some catching up to do.

I disagree. To me it very much looks like Genesis has a definite historical intent – telling the story of where the Israelite people came from, setting up the framework for the relationship between them and God. The most you can say is that it reaches back into the mythical past as does many similar stories in other cultures like King Arthur of England or Romulus and Remus in the founding of Rome. This suggest they are stories told in oral traditions long before anything was written down. Some of it even suggests that more than one oral tradition has been combined in order to put them all down into a written account, and not so much like a story simply made up by an imaginative author.

In Job we have very little story as a framework for a long theological discussion and thus this has all the character of a literary device. Jonah certainly isn’t that but it does lack historical connections and it looks a great deal like a parody or a story to illustrate a point, so this is not clearly historical, but likely homiletical instead.

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This may well be true without it being actual history. It helps unify a people around a common mythology (used is the positive sense) and identity. However, most of Christiandom is not in an emerging people group who need that sort of tie to bring them together. Christ does that for us. Genesis then becomes meaningful for its theology, not its historical claims, which have fallen away. Perhaps those who claim it as history still are using it as a glue to bind a group together, but I think they are in danger of missing the forest by focusing on a tree.
As usual, just musing and open to correction and direction in these thoughts.


The Flood story in Genesis actually shows evidence of two stories being pasted together, and the two stories differ significantly in detail. It’s all based on an older Babylonian tale, anyway.

So it is false history?

Well it certainly isn’t history by the standard of modern academia, let alone a video camera recording. It is more of a “this is who we are and what we remember,” rather than “this is what we can prove.” Memory is highly interpretive and focuses on what we think is important and meaningful. So it is definitely more like that. We may not know for certain that things happened as we remember, but it is all we have to provide a context which gives the present meaning. I think uncertainty is a poor reason for replacing it with a complete vacuum. On the other hand, refusing to question it or insisting on it despite all evidence to the contrary isn’t helpful either.

Here is an related article by the speaker.

Is Noah’s Flood Simply A Retelling Of Prior Mythologies?


So are you saying that one needs to pull together a collection of writings from distant lands and cultures in order to mount something we can begin to compare to the rich, diverse insights of Job 38- 40?

The unique aspect of this text, is not just the topics covered, but they are in the context where the author is claiming to be the creator/inventor and manager of it all.

Im trying to fathom the extent of the insights, from cosmos, to weather patterns, descriptions of sea/pack ice, to even the character and psychology of horses and osterich.
The key point being made to Job, like a parent to child, is, oh so you think you know whats best and how to rum the earth…

I think you cherry picked the video to match your belief?

Cherry picking implies you look over a article and pick out one thing. I literally just went to 10 minutes before the end, which you indicated is where I should begin, and found an error. If an error (and actually I found 2) is that easy to find it means there are many others. And just one error shows his basic premise is incorrect.

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Semantics imo.

Well, you got me, I said watch the last 10 mins,I should have said 11mins, i forgot some people are so literal.

When Jim refers to the hydrological cycle, he provides these passages…which you appear to omitted, overlooked?

Job: 26
[8 ] He binds up the waters in his thick clouds, and the cloud is not burst under them.

Job 36: 27 For he draws up the drops of water, which distill in rain from his vapor,

28 which the skies pour down and which drop on man abundantly.

The wind goes toward the south, and turns around to the north. It turns around continually as it goes, and the wind returns again to its courses.

7 All the rivers run into the sea, yet the sea is not full. To the place where the rivers flow, there they flow again.

Alos 9:6
6 He builds the upper rooms of his palace in heaven and sets its foundation supports on the earth. He summons the water of the sea and pours it out on the earth’s surface. The LORD is his name.

I havn’t found a referrence to the Dome’ on your translation. That said, is it entirely incorrect as you clain. I.e. our attmosphere is contained within a ‘dome’.

You said 10 minutes and yes I am very literal when it comes to reading. It is what I do for a living.

Try here Amos 9 New American Standard Bible
This is also referred to as the firmament or vault of heaven and the implication is it is a solid something as things are referred to as being above, below, or in the dome. There are said to be windows in the dome. So yes it is entirely incorrect.

The verses from Ecclesiastes are referring to “Futility of futilities, says the Preacher” not the weather. And you left off 1:5 " Also, the sun rises and the sun sets; And hurrying to its place it rises there again." Last time I checked the sun never hurries anywhere in the sense used here.

So now you have shown how Jim cherry picked several verses to try to put them together to mean something that the original author did not intend. And it is still not a scientifically accurate description of the hydrological cycle, but then why should it? It isn’t what God intended to communicate.


“Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.” -Colossians 4:6

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