Was Noah's flood a local event in Mesopotamia?

(Henry Stoddard) #1

It seems that me whenever I read the Bible that Noah’s flood was a local event in Mesopotamia. For this reason, I cannot believe that dinosaurs were aboard the ark. I know that some of you might disagree with me, but that is how I feel. I also believe in the view that Adam and Eve are recent representatives of mankind. Dr. Haarsma mentions that in her book from 256 to 260. How do the rest of you feel?

(Henry Stoddard) #2

It seems that someone did like my statement above. Whoever that was, I thank you. I wish that more had taken interest in the subject.


You have mentioned two topics that are key in trying to reconcile science and faith. Regarding the flood, that has been discussed with some detail in the Forum topics “The Problem with the Flood” and “Continuing Discussion on The Problem with the Flood.” I have doing some further research on this, most recently with the new (secular) book, “The History of the Ancient World.” The author, Susan Wise Bauer says that the amount of ‘mythic’ flood stories seems to indicate that there was likely a real, catastrophic regional flood in pre-history, either in Mesopotamia or Black Sea region. It seems likely that it was before 9000 years ago, quite possibly before 12,000 years ago. To be sure, at that time boat-building capabilities were pretty primitive. There is evidence of less notable flood around 4800 years ago when there would be somewhat more advanced boat building.

Regarding Adam and Eve and Haarsmas’ Origins book, I lean more towards a variation of “Adam and Eve as a Pair of Ancient Ancestors” and “Variation:Group of Ancient Ancestors,” where Adam and Eve were not the very first humans, but were the first ‘spiritual humans.’ Their spirituality came from an encounter with God that is a partly literal, partly figurative telling of the Genesis account. And this “spiritual” nature spread (probably at the time there was a bottleneck in homo s. sapiens) to all surviving behaviorally modern humans, making them the spiritual parents of all humans. See Finding plausible answers to The Problem of Adam and Eve for more information. @aleo tells a slightly different version of the scenario.

(George Brooks) #4


There is a tremendous difference between saying that a regional flood INSPIRED the story of Noah’s Ark … and saying that Noah’s Ark is an historical story. If the regional flood was 9,000 or 12,000 years ago - - obviously it’s not the right time period… and the odds that the regional flood would put a boat at the top of a mountain is also break in a purported thread of historicity.

Fantastic regional floods happened all around the world.

Having pairs of animals walking into a ship is clearly not an ordinary circumstance.

The Flood is NOT a divine instrument. It is a chaotic event of nature that writers have wanted to put into the hands of God for eons.


(Henry Stoddard) #5


Since I am a Billy Graham Baptist, I take a literal approach to Noah. As I have mentioned, Billy Graham is willing to accept Theistic Evolution, George. One can still be a literalist and believe in BioLogos. It is always good to hear from you, George, even though we may not agree on some issues. God bless.


I did not make any statement on the literalness of the Noah Flood story. I am very aware of the problems with various elements of the story which I noted in the “The Problem with the Flood” topic. However, it’s possible that there was a mix of literal and figurative aspects to the story. It is interesting that even a respected secular historian would consider that the amount of flood stories would indicate that there is a good chance that a catastrophic (but not global) flood happened.

(George Brooks) #7


I think any intelligent man would HAVE to agree … that there was some big FLOODS in the history of the Earth. There’s every reason to think the Black Sea flooded in a catastrophic event… and even the Mediter. Sea seems to have flooded in a dramatic and massive event.

But there doesn’t seem to be any evidentiary link between THESE events … and the flood described in Genesis.

I’ll count the similarities:

  1. lots of water;
  2. no one saw it coming!

Did hundreds of animals walk onto a random boat just before the Black Sea filled up?
Did the boat spend a year crossing the new Black Sea?
Where’s the mountain?

The story of Noah is a Jewish version of the Sumerian flood story. Nobody thinks the Sumerian story is literally true.


(system) #8

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