Was there really a big flood?

noah.jpgSome people – Christians included – mock the story of Noah and the great flood as being fictional.  One alleged Christian accused me of worshiping a demon because I quoted from the Noah story and took it at face value. 

Yet nearly every ancient culture includes an account of a major flood.  The details vary, as you would expect, but does that mean there wasn’t a major flood? 

If you ask about the New Orleans flood of 2005 in 100 years (or even now) you’ll get different accounts.  But there is no disputing that there was an actual flood. 

Also, there is a lot of archeological evidence for a major flood. 

Click here to read Why Does Nearly Every Culture Have a Tradition of a Global Flood?

Most importantly, consider that Jesus believed Noah existed and that the flood really happened:

Matthew 24:37-39 As it was in the days of Noah, so it will be at the coming of the Son of Man. For in the days before the flood, people were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, up to the day Noah entered the ark; and they knew nothing about what would happen until the flood came and took them all away. That is how it will be at the coming of the Son of Man.

Some people think they know the location of the remains of the ark.  This would be an interesting find, of course, but not required to believe and understand this passage. 

21 thoughts on “Was there really a big flood?”

  1. I tend to not question the parts of the Bible that I don’t understand, so the Flood has never been a problem for me.

    But reading the descriptions from other cultures was pretty neat. It (almost) proves that there was Something that happened.

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  2. There’s no doubt in my mind that there was a flood. I won’t claim that all the traditional details are exactly correct like whether it was global or regional. But I also won’t argue that our traditional belief in the flood as a global flood is wrong. It is something that I leave up to my faith. And that is why I believe we won’t ever find an ark. Some things are simply meant to be taken on faith. I suspect God would like for us to have faith here, and so I don’t believe He’ll reveal the ark. But when all these faiths having a flood story, it’s kind of like having several eyewitnesses at the scene of an accident. They may have differing details, but they all claim that there was an accident.

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  3. I think the strongest argument against the flood being regional was one that I read by James Montgomery Boice, who pointed out that if the flood was regional, then why build the ark. Simply have Noah and his family move to higher ground.

    Just a thought.
    Blessings

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  4. I once saw a painting of what the “local” flood would have looked like. It had a dude walking around with a big wall of water just stopping right next to him. It was adequate in demonstrating how silly it was to think there could be a local flood that was consistent with the Scriptural account.

    I like this one, if the flood wasn’t global, why didn’t God just have them move?

    tr

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  5. Neil,
    Something I have been curious about for years are the fossils of dinosaurs and plant life below the surface of the earth.
    Isn’t crude oil supposed to be the result of dinosaurs and plant life hundreds of feet below the surface? Were they all herded down into a mine shaft along with the vegetation before what could have been a flood that put enormous amounts of pressure on them and sealing that era of time on the earth away for good?
    Crazy ramblings; maybe. However, something separated the different eras of time quite effectively.
    This leads me to think that crude oil is not what we have thought all along. There could not have been enough organic matter on the face of the earth to form the oil fields beneath the crust as they are. In my opinion, oil is a fluid that runs like a river between the core and the crust of the earth.
    My reasonings? We are slated to run out of oil in a set amount of time by the estimations of several “scientists” around the globe yet there are reserves all over the earth that have not been tapped .
    This was a bit off-topic but a global flood would have changed the entirety of the surface of the planet.

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  6. Hi Michael – I haven’t researched it that much, but I think the dinosaur / oil thing is an urban legend or a wild hypothesis at best. I have heard various reconciliations of fossil locations and the general state of the planet to the probability of a global flood.

    P.S. I should have titled this better – I wasn’t after the local / global thing as much as the flood itself.

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  7. Answers in Genesis is a great resource.

    BTW- (Sedimentary) Rock samples from the bottom and the top layers of the Grand canyon were taken and dated. The ones at the BOTTOM of the Grand Canyon were YOUNGER than those at the top. The only thing that could explain it is the flood.
    It is also interesting that the fossils of dinosaurs are incased in sedimentary rock. They were all covered by mud, all at the same time. Isn’t it odd that they all “got trapped in mud?” How can that happen?
    And how could large trees take in so much mud and then be fossilized?
    Where did all the water that carved out Carlsbad caverns and the like go?
    There’s just so much compelling evidence in the world for a great flood. It is so neat how the entire world points to God and His truth.

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  8. Wow Ivan, that article by Rich Deem is detailed and has a lot of good points. Was he channeling Hugh Ross or what? Wish I had time to respond or post a link to an equally lengthy rebuttal 🙂

    On balance I still think that the Global flood is by far the superior inference.

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  9. As you can see from the following, my freind Aric addressed this is an earlier blog post. There is really nothing anyone can add to this.

    “Even more absurd – the text claims things that simply cannot be supported. There is not enough water on earth to cover all land up to and including Mount Everest to a depth of 20 feet. Every species on earth cannot fit in a boat, let alone food for them all, and a species cannot replenish itself from one mating pair because there is insufficient genetic diversity. There is no credible evidence of a world-wide flood. None whatsoever. It didn’t happen.”

    “Thus, either the text is not claiming the flood as history, or the text is wrong. God did not flood the entire earth. This at least puts our primary question at one step-removed. God has never killed nearly every living thing in a giant flood. The question remains, whether God is the type of person to do so.”

    “Could God flood the world? It’s a meaningless question, because God does not will it. This same principle for understanding God’s sovereignty applies to the natural world. God has willed the universe to exist precisely in certain ways and does not arbitrarily contradict these laws, because what God wills, God wills eternally. There would have to be internal contradictions within God to make sense of God’s decision to be in favor of gravity one moment and opposed to it the next. Miracles, are not therefore a contradiction of the natural order, but precisely the moments where the purpose of the natural order are shown most clearly.”

    Excerpts from posts on the flood dated October 9 and October 13, 2007

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  10. Neil,

    I don’t like to think of it as seconding his comments, as much as pointing out his interesting assertions and bad theology. As I said ,(tongue in cheek doesn’t translate well to the blog world) after that what else can anyone say. Enjoying your blog.

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  11. If the biblical flood is true, and was global, did God give the Chinese and Egyptians gills?
    Both cultures carried on through that period without missing a beat.

    Neil said: There are wide differences of opinion on the date of the flood.

    P.S. If you want to post here you need to capitalize “God” (I fixed it for you this time).

    P.S.S. To you and any authentically interested parties, here is a good apologetics site on specific passages – http://www.tektonics.org/index2.html . Just click the drop down box for the letter of the topic you want or the book of the Bible.

    Also spend some time at their main site – http://www.tektonics.org/ . It caters to skeptics. Or treat yourself to a Christmas present and get yourself a book that addresses Bible difficulties.

    It has been a fun week with the “raiding party” guys, but I’m going to be busy the next few days and after that we’ll be back to normal. I’m accumulating a list of the bad lines of reasoning (11 so far) I’ve picked up just in this week’s 400 comments and will post them later.

    P.S.S.S. Brian, – er, uh, Havok – please see the note directly above if you really want answers to your dating questions. Because I’m sure that you are sincerely interested and will change your worldview once you get the answers, and that you are not just wasting my time. There are lots of more detailed sources for truly inquiring minds.

    Enjoy!

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  12. The flood was a judgement on the world of that time. It is what wiped out the dinosaurs. You do not get fossils unless there is a fine silt mud first deposited. The type of mud that a worldwide flood would leave.

    The geological record isn’t what most people think. It isn’t neat and tidy like you see in college text books where the older layers only contain a certain type of animal and the upper ones another.

    The flood described in the bible was catastrophic beyond what we can imagine. People have found human tools and other evidence deep in coal mines. Unfortunately, this doesn’t fit the evolution model and is discounted or ignored by the scientific community.

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  13. Some Food for Thought:
    I find it odd when people wonder if there was enough room for the animals on the ark, for that point is moot. An animal usually eats many times its own body weight in food in one year. The animals spent one year on the ark. Here are a few examples of how much food is required for various animals: 370000 lbs for 2 elephants, 55000 bls for 2 giraffes, 66000 lbs for 2 hippos, 16000 pounds of meat for 2 lions (the meat would rot), etc. At the end of the trip, the animals would have to find food on a barren earth with near extinct animals and nonexistent vegetation. If Noah had brought only baby animals, the problem would be much worse, because they wouldn’t know how to forage or hunt upon being released – not that they’d have anything to forage or hunt anyway. Let’s not forget the animals’ water needs. Could they have used rain water? I don’t know; it rained for 40 days, but they spent a year on the ark… That wouldn’t really matter either, because any water 20 feet above Mt. Everest is frozen water. For that matter, any living thing 20 feet above Mt. Everest is a frozen (and suffocated) thing.

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    1. I love these people’s line of thinking. Let’s prove it never happened by making HUGE assumptions.

      Like the animals were all full grown animals. Yeah that makes sense. Let’s put two 4 ton elephants on the ark as opposed to two recently weened elephants. God is logical, I believe the animals were young animals and required much less than you suggest.

      Also, there is such things as instincts. For instance, my Great Pyrenees was removed from the sheep farm we got him from at 12 weeks old. He never learned from other Pyrs how to guard sheep. But you should seem him leap into action when a perceived threat is around. He chases the other dogs off (to protect them) then turns to face the danger. Instincts.

      Finally, what people like Mr. Sanders really leave out of these discussions is God. All things are possible with God. They will discuss this issue, assuming God made it rain for 40 days and nights and opened the fountains of the deep, yet he couldn’t make sure the animals on the ark were taken care of. Amazing how you unlimit God then limit God all at the same time.

      Did the ark hold those animals for the amount of time it says it did? Yes. My proof? God said so.

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