Noah's Flood - Local or Global?

Discussion in 'Archive: The Senate Floor' started by im_posessed, Aug 20, 2003.

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  1. im_posessed Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Nov 13, 2002
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    This is a topic that has interested me for a couple years now. Was the flood described in Genisis (and by other ancient texts) global or local?

    The widely accapted view amoung Christians is that it was global, because that is how it is translated in modern Bibles, but the original Hebrew allows for either a local or global explination (in fact, the word is more often used for a specific area than a general area)

    anyone have any thoughts on this?
  2. Spike_Spiegal Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Mar 11, 2002
    star 5
    Right, the Hebrew text does not indicate a global extent to the flood. That is just an interpretation (and an incorrect one in my opinion).
  3. Jabbadabbado Manager Emeritus

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    Mar 19, 1999
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    As I posted in another thread, there's evidence of a localized catastrophe that turned what was once a freshwater lake into the Black Sea when the Mediterranean sloshed over its banks and dug the Bosporous strait. That was about 7500 years ago. It forced a mass exodus of the settlements around the lake and was likely the source of the flood stories.
  4. Jedi_Master201 Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    May 5, 2001
    star 5
    I believe it was global. If it was local, then God's promise would have been broken, as there have been several local floods since then.
  5. Cheveyo Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 29, 2001
    star 5
    From my readings by those who know more than I, I have adopted to my own way of thinking the idea that "the great flood" was global... and numerous, meaning there was more than one flood in the earlier years of the planet.

  6. Spike_Spiegal Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Mar 11, 2002
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    But God's promise was that he would not destroy all of humanity by a flood, not that there would never be another flood.

    "neither shall all flesh be cut off any more by the waters of a flood; neither shall there any more be a flood to destroy the earth."

    The flood can still be considered as local and not break God's promise.


    EDIT: And the "earth" in question is not necessarily referring to the entire planet. Could be translated "land" for example.
  7. Tobie_Wan Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 1, 2002
    star 4
    I thought it was the flooding of the low plains between the Tigris and Euphrates rivers that gave rise to the Noah legend.
  8. ShaneP Ex-Mod Officio

    Member Since:
    Mar 26, 2001
    star 6
    I don't know.

    The specific flood could have been local, yet cultures throughout the world include a "great flood" in their stories.

    There may have been a great flood brought on by the end of the last ice age, particularly in the area of Southeast Asia.
  9. Cheveyo Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 29, 2001
    star 5
    There may have been a great flood brought on by the end of the last ice age, particularly in the area of Southeast Asia.

    Exactly. Many cultures have flood legends in their history and stories. "Great Flood" could be just global flooding in local areas as the ocean levels rose in response to ice melting.

  10. LadyElaine Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jun 25, 2002
    star 2
    I believe there is an element of reality in the Flood of Noah, but that it's also mythic.

    Certainly, the end of the ice age caused many large but localized floods worldwide. This is part of the reason there can be found flood myths in almost every culture.

    The other reason flood myths are so prolific, though, is that it's such a powerful mythic image. Like the image of death and rebirth, or a fall and a salvation, the flooding and drying of the earth is deeply embedded in the human collective unconscious.

    Joseph Campbell has this to say in The Hero with a Thousand Faces:

    As the consciousness of the individual rests on a sea of night into which it descends in slumber and out of which it mysteriously wakes, so, in the imagery of myth, the universe is precipitated out of, and reposes upon, a timelessness back into which it again dissolves. And as the mental and physical health of the individual depends on an orderly flow of vital forces into the field of waking day from the unconscious dark, so again, in myth, the continuance of the cosmic order is assured only by a controlled flow of power from the source. The gods are symbolic personifications of laws governing this flow. The gods come into existence with the dawn of the world and dissolve with the twilight. They are not eternal in the sense that the night is eternal. Only from the shorter span of human existence does the round of a cosmogonic eon seem to endure.
  11. darkcide Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jun 17, 2003
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    The Babalyonian story of Utnapishtam is almost identical to the story of Noah,and it's older.
  12. Spike_Spiegal Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Mar 11, 2002
    star 5
    While I think there are similarities between the two stories, describing them as "almost identical" is inaccurate in my opinion. Could you provide a link to that part of the Epic of Gilgamesh or post a quick summary so we could discuss it? :)
  13. Jamiebacca Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jun 17, 2003
    star 4
    When exactly did the Flood take place?
  14. im_posessed Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Nov 13, 2002
    star 3
    There are MANY flood theories, and i'll start looking for some of the specifics to post here. I've heard everything from the idea that it was the flood that caused pangea to separate to the idea that the flood was no more than a mudslide that wiped out a village or two
  15. Laine_Snowtrekker Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 8, 2003
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    I believe it was global, agreeing with some of the people above me.

    Snowtrekker
  16. ryan123450 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 23, 2003
    star 2
    I never knew the language allowed for a local flood. But that doesn't answer many questions that are raised if the Flood was only local.

    If the flood was local, why did Noah have to build an ark? God told him of the Flood 120 years in advance. Wouldn't that have been enough time for him to have just walked far enough away and climbed a mountain to escape?

    Why have animals on the ark? There would have been lots more all over the world.

    Why have birds on the ark? They could fly to higher ground.

    How could the water rise 15 cubits above the highest mountains?

    How could God have destroyed all humanity? Couldn't they just walk to a non-flooded mountainous area?

    The Flood was global. Creation scientists differ in opinion as to when the Flood occured, but it was sometime between 2350 and 2300 BC.
  17. ShaneP Ex-Mod Officio

    Member Since:
    Mar 26, 2001
    star 6
    ryan

    The "world" to people living then was much smaller than the one we know.

    The mediterranean and arabia was, for the most part, the extent of what the writers knew as "the world".

  18. BultarSwan Founder: Grand Rapids, MI FF

    Member Since:
    Jul 5, 2003
    star 9
    I personally believe that the flood was global. Why? That's what my Bible says. The rainbow, God's way of reminding us of his promise that He will never wipe out all human beings with a flood again, is seen throughout the entire world. God is certainly more than capable of causing a flood of such magnitude. It couldn't have happened in a small area because that means it would have had to encompass all this land: all of Ancient Egypt, all the land for at least 100 miles the whole way around the Mediterranean Sea, everything from the Caspian Sea to The Black Sea to the Red Sea and a stretch of land reaching to the Persian Gulf. The flood, if it were local would also have had to cover all the land around the Adriatic Sea and the Aegean Sea. That is not a path that floodwaters would take, because there are many natural boundaries (hills, mountains, valleys, ect. that would have thwarted such a flood. For anyone who might be thinking that the Mediterranean Sea might have simply flooded, the water would have diffused towards the oean.
  19. Jediflyer Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Dec 5, 2001
    star 5
    If the flood happened in the last 8000 years, why the hell are we not all inbred?

  20. ryan123450 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 23, 2003
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    The "world" to people living then was much smaller than the one we know.

    The mediterranean and arabia was, for the most part, the extent of what the writers knew as "the world".


    I completely understand that. But I don't see what that has to do with any of the questions I brought up. What do you mean?

    jediflyer, here's the answer to your question from www.answersingenesis.com


    Today, brothers and sisters (and half-brothers and half-sisters, etc.) are not permitted by law to marry because their children have an unacceptably high risk of being deformed. The more closely the parents are related, the more likely it is that any offspring will be deformed.

    There is a very sound genetic reason for such laws that is easy to understand. Every person has two sets of genes, there being some 130,000 pairs that specify how a person is put together and functions. Each person inherits one gene of each pair from each parent. Unfortunately, genes today contain many mistakes, and these mistakes show up in a variety of ways. For instance, some people let their hair grow over their ears to hide the fact that one ear is lower than the other?or perhaps someone?s nose is not quite in the middle of his or her face, or someone?s jaw is a little out of shape?and so on.

    The more distantly related parents are, the more likely it is that they will have different mistakes in their genes. Children, inheriting one set of genes from each parent, are likely to end up with pairs of genes containing a maximum of one bad gene in each pair. The good gene tends to override the bad so that a deformity (a serious one, anyway) does not occur. Instead of having totally deformed ears, for instance, a person may only have crooked ones! (Overall, though, the human race is slowly degenerating as mistakes accumulate, generation after generation.)

    However, the more closely related two people are, the more likely it is that they will have similar mistakes in their genes, since these have been inherited from the same parents. Therefore, a brother and a sister are more likely to have similar mistakes in their genes. A child of a union between such siblings could inherit the same bad gene on the same gene pair from both, resulting in two bad copies of the gene and serious defects.

    Adam and Eve did not have accumulated genetic mistakes. When the first two people were created, they were physically perfect. Everything God made was ?very good? (Genesis 1:31), so their genes were perfect?no mistakes! But, when sin entered the world (because of Adam?Genesis 3:6, Romans 5:12), God cursed the world so that the perfect creation then began to degenerate, that is, suffer death and decay (Romans 8:22). Over thousands of years, this degeneration has produced all sorts of genetic mistakes in living things.

    Cain was in the first generation of children ever born. He (as well as his brothers and sisters) would have received virtually no imperfect genes from Adam or Eve, since the effects of sin and the Curse would have been minimal to start with (it takes time for these copying errors to accumulate). In that situation, brother and sister could have married with God?s approval, without any potential to produce deformed offspring.

    By the time of Moses (a few thousand years later), degenerative mistakes would have built up in the human race to such an extent that it was necessary for God to forbid brother-sister (and close relative) marriage (Leviticus 18?20).12



    So at the time of Noah, it was still ok for close-relations to marry, and wouldn't have been a big deal to them. It wouldn't cause any deformations and so we arne't all inbred.
  21. Jediflyer Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Dec 5, 2001
    star 5
    Then where did the different races come from?

    How did the Indians get to America?

    When did the Egyptians build the sphinx?

    Where did the Ice Man come from (you know, the one found up in the mountain that had been murdered)?

  22. ShaneP Ex-Mod Officio

    Member Since:
    Mar 26, 2001
    star 6
    ryan

    What I mean is: Noah didn't necessarily have to sail around the globe for him and the writers of genesis to think he went around the world.

    And all the animals in the area would certainly have to be preserved from a specific area because that would've been the area most impacted.

    Other areas of the globe wouldn't have the same types of wildlife as those from Noah's

    That's why he needed an ark and needed to save certain animals.

    As for the 120 years, maybe Noah saw the advancing level of the waters caused by the melting of icecaps over generations?

    That would've given him time to plan.

    There could've been a slow advance of waters followed by a breakout or catastrophic waters caused by flows coming through mtn. passes, other geographa, etc.

  23. Darth Geist Force Ghost

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    Oct 23, 1999
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    Other areas of the globe wouldn't have the same types of wildlife as those from Noah's

    That's why he needed an ark and needed to save certain animals.


    Indeed. Noah's ark, if it ever historically existed, certainly wouldn't have held two of every species in the world.
  24. ShaneP Ex-Mod Officio

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    Mar 26, 2001
    star 6
    Right Geist.

    And it didn't need to hold every species on the globe either. Just every species from their world.

  25. ryan123450 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 23, 2003
    star 2
    Then where did the different races come from?
    How did the Indians get to America?
    When did the Egyptians build the sphinx?
    Where did the Ice Man come from (you know, the one found up in the mountain that had been murdered)?


    I could tell you what I think about all these things and give you info to back my opinions up (www.answersingenesis.com), but what does that have to do with what we are talking about?

    shanep, I'm lost as to what we're going back and forth about now. In my first post all I was saying is if the flood was local, then why would Noah need to save the animals in the Black Sea or Mesopotamian area (where ever you think it occured)? The animals would have existed outside that immediate area as well. The flood had to be global for their to be any point of building an ark and filling it will people and animals. Otherwise they could have fled the area and escaped the flood and God's judgement.

    And the ark was really really big, the Bible even tells it's specs. It could have and did fit two of every kind of animal in the world easily.
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