Noah’s Ark Fail

God’s biggest fail in the Bible is Noah’s Ark and the Flood. 

And it caused me to lose my Christian faith.

A very kind, generous, and well-intended Christian friend gave my family some toys their child outgrew and it included a Noah’s Ark clock intended to be hung in a child’s bedroom (pictured above). In the center of the clock is a bald, 60-ish Noah with a long white beard holding a large green golf umbrella on the deck of the Ark. A male zebra stands to Noah’s right and a female zebra to his left. Behind the male zebra two giraffes twist their necks so we can see their confused faces and behind the female zebra one self-conscious elephant who doesn’t seem to know what to do with his trunk squeezes into the scene. There are three portholes in the ark. The first has a pair of snakes assessing two nervous blue birds. The second porthole features a baboon couple with school picture smiles. The third porthole has two human-sized, enigmatic bunnies staring creepily out the window (Donnie Darko allusion?).  The happy ship bobs in the water beneath a huge rainbow framing the scene.

The Precious Moments cuteness of the Noah’s Ark scene that decorates many Evangelical Christian baby bedrooms and church nurseries censors crucial details from the biblical account. Hysterical mothers holding up babies pleading with Noah to save their baby do not appear. Neither do the bloated bodies of children floating face down in the water. We don’t see men and women scrambling up trees and hills to prolong their lives by a few more moments, hours, or days. Also missing is the 600 pound pile of dung the elephants produced that day. And that is just the elephants. Evangelical Christians repress the biblical account of the twisted sadistic actions of their psychopath God into a saccharine sweet story for babies.

I believed in a Literal, Historical Noah’s Ark & Flood Until I was 50

Noah’s Ark and the flood increasingly conflicted with what I believed to be historically, scientifically, and ethically true. But I continued to believe in a Historical Noah until I was 50 years old. Sometimes I feel so stupid for having believed this for so long. But I’m not stupid. I have one undergraduate degree and two graduate degrees. I am very curious, read and learn constantly. As pretentious as it sounds, I think of myself as an intellectual. I summarized below the reasons I sustained a belief in a Historical Noah for the first 50 years of my life:

The Bible was the perfect, inspired Word of God without Error

I believed the Bible was the most compelling and influential book in human history. I believed there was extensive manuscript evidence that proved the Bible I studied essentially represented the writing of the original authors. I believed that God supernaturally superintended the writing and preservation of the biblical texts, protecting them from error.

The Prophets affirmed a Historical Noah & the Flood

The priest and prophet Ezekiel affirmed a historical Noah when he wrote 500-600 years before Jesus in Ezekiel 14:12-14:

“The word of the Lord came to me: “Son of man, if a country sins against me by being unfaithful and I stretch out my hand against it to cut off its food supply and send famine upon it and kill its men and their animals, even if these three men – Noah, Daniel, and Job – were in it, they could only save themselves by their righteousness, declares the Sovereign Lord.”

The 8th century B.C. prophet Isaiah affirmed a historical Noah when he wrote in Isaiah 54:6-9:

“The Lord will call you back as if you were a wife deserted and distressed in spirit – a wife who married young, only to be rejected,” says your God.

“For a brief moment I abandoned you, but with deep compassion I will bring you back. In a surge of anger I hid my face from you for a moment, but with everlasting compassion I will bring you back. In a surge of anger I hid my face from you for a moment, but with everlasting kindness I will have compassion on you,” says the Lord your Redeemer. 

To me this is like the days of Noah, when I swore that the waters of Noah would never again cover the earth. So now I have sworn not to be angry with you, never to rebuke you again.”

Jesus affirmed a Historical Noah & the Flood

In Luke 4:35 Luke lists Noah as a member of Jesus’ genealogy.  “…the son of Shem, the son of Noah, the son of Lamech…”

Jesus himself affirms Noah, Noah’s Ark, and the Flood in Luke 17:26-27: “Just as it was in the days of Noah, so also will it be in the days of the Son of Man. People were eating, drinking, and being given in marriage up to the day Noah entered the ark. Then the flood came and destroyed them all.” (Similar passage in Matthew 24:37-39)

My Evangelical Logical Construct

My basic logical construct was:

The Bible is True + Jesus is God = If Jesus said Noah is true it must be true.

What about all of the logical problems with Noah, Noah’s Ark, and the Flood?

Universal Remedy: God can do anything. 

Then This Logic Stopped Working for Me

I became increasingly uncomfortable with the giant leaps of faith and the benefits of the doubt my Evangelical Christian faith required of me. And the idea that explanations would be provided in heaven no longer comforted me. As a general rule, if someone tells you it will all be explained to you after you die you should be very suspicious!

My new standard of belief became:

Each truth claim must stand on its own. 

With this new requirement I began facing my doubts about Noah’s Flood one by one.

First, I will deal with Noah’s Flood’s Rational Problems. Then I will deal with Noah’s Flood’s Moral Problems. And finally I examine the Theological Problems.

(Author’s note: Most of the stats and many ideas for this section of the blog post were sourced from the excellent but definitely crude Youtube video from Dark Matter 2525 Atheist Comedy – The Great Flood. If you have better statistics please refer me to your source.)

Rational Problem Number One: How did all the animals fit on the Ark?

What is the most famous ship in human history besides Noah’s Ark? That’s right. The  Titanic. Because the Titanic is such a familiar reference let’s compare the Titanic to Noah’s Ark.

Titanic                                                                              

Size: 175′ high x 882′ long x 92′ wide

Capacity: 3,597 people

Provisions: a few weeks

Noah’s Ark

Size: 45′ high x 450′ long x 75′ wide

Capacity: 17, 400 birds, 12,000 reptiles, 2,000,0000 insects, 8 humans (including one 600 year old man)

Provisions: for 370 days

Let’s use the largest zoo in the world for another familiar reference. The San Diego Zoo has 4,000 animals and the San Diego Zoo is on 400 acres of land.

Genesis Chapter 6 says the Ark has 3 decks. The picture is just thousands and thousands of animals milling about. There simply isn’t room. You would pretty much need to dedicate one deck to the really huge animals: elephants, gorillas, giraffes, rhinos, hippos, lions, bears, ostriches, wolves, crocodiles, kangaroos, moose, hogs, walruses, and camels. If you believe in a literal Noah then you would probably also need to include some dinosaurs in there. Then you have one deck left for every other living thing and one deck left to store millions of pounds of food without refrigeration. Even Marie Kondo could not tidy this place up and make it work!

Rational Problem Number Two: How did Noah take care of all of these animals?

Let’s ignore the impossibility of fitting 9,000 mammals on the Ark. How would you feed them? Two elephants eat 365,000 pounds of food per year. Two giraffes eat 54,750 pounds of food per year. Two hippos eat 65,700 pounds of food per year. Two lions eat 16,060 pounds of food per year. Where do you store all of this food for these and the other 9,990 mammals, 12,000 reptiles, 17,400 birds, 5,000 amphibians, 2,000,000 insects, and 8 humans.

And ignoring the impossibility of fitting the animals on the Ark and ignoring the impossibility of storing all of the food for the animals on the Ark, how do you go about actually feeding all of these animals? The San Diego Zoo has 1,785 employees. It would be impossible for 8 humans working 24 hours per day to feed all of the animals on the Ark. And what about the poop? The two elephants alone will produce 600 pounds of dung everyday. Even if the 8 humans shoveled poop 24 hours per day the poop would be piling up much faster than it could ever be shoveled out. Animals below deck would literally drown in their poop.

Rational Problem Number Three: There is not enough water in the world for a world wide flood.

There is simply not enough water in the world for a flood that covers the earth, much less a flood that would submerge Mt. Everest by 20 feet. And if there was a flood it would never subside because there would be nowhere for the water to go. Water doesn’t simply disappear, it has to run off somewhere. If the entire earth is submerged in water 30,000 feet deep that water is there permanently.

Rational Problem Number Four: The occupants would freeze to death or suffocate due to the elevation.

Genesis 7:17-21 “For forty days the flood kept coming on the earth, and as the waters increased they lifted the ark high above the earth. The waters rose and increased greatly on the earth, and all the high mountains under the entire heavens were covered. The waters rose and covered the mountains to a depth of more than twenty feet. Every living thing that moved on the earth perished – birds, livestock, wild animals, all the creatures that swarm over the earth, and all mankind. Everything on dry land that had breath of life in its nostrils died.”

Let’s overlook the impossibility of flooding the entire earth. What if it actually happened? Mt. Everest towers above the rest of the earth at 29,029 feet tall. According to the book of Genesis the flood waters were 20 feet above that. The ‘Death Zone’ begins at 26,247 feet. At this altitude there is 33% less oxygen. Mountain climbers do not spend more than 16-20 hours in the death zone. Once you enter the Death Zone your body is beginning the process of dying. Well, Noah and his passengers spent months at that altitude. If they didn’t suffocate they would certainly have frozen to death in the sub zero temperatures.

Rational Problem Number Five: How would Noah and the animal life survive after getting off the Ark?

Let’s ignore:

  • the impossibility of getting the animals on the Ark.
  • the impossibility of caring for the animals.
  • the impossibility of flooding the entire earth
  • the impossibility of surviving the elevation.

Now let’s focus on the impossibility of life surviving on earth after the flood.

Even though he was lucky enough to have floated pretty much back to the exact place he started, when Noah opened the door of the Ark 370 days later he would not have recognized the landscape before his eyes. Virtually all plant life has been destroyed. Even most sea life would be dead due to mixing of salt water and fresh water and changing water pressure, sunlight, and filtration.

The now 601 year old Noah says to the 7 other humans, “Release the animals.” 9,000 mammals and 17,400 birds and 12,000 reptiles and 5,000 amphibians and 2,000,000 insects waddle and flap and leap and crawl and hop their way out of the Ark. Then the carnage begins. The lions eat the gazelles and the tigers consume the pigs. The owls snap up the mice and the hawks snatch the rabbits. The elephants and the giraffes are confused. The bees buzz around in vain. Species go extinct every few minutes. Herbivores are starving to death. The earth cannot sustain life and a male and a female from each species are not enough to preserve  the earth.

Rational Problem Number Six: Kangaroos and Koala Bears

And how did the kangaroos and koala bears get back to Australia? That is a long swim for a koala bear. Australia actually has 3,000 endemic vertebrate animals. The website ‘Answers in Genesis’ provides one possible explanation:

“There is little secret, therefore, how nonflying animals may have traveled to the outer parts of the world after the Flood. Many of them could have floated on vast floating logs, left-overs from the massive pre-Flood forests that were ripped up during the Flood and likely remained afloat for many decades on the world’s oceans, transported by world currents.”

Oh my goodness.

When you start with the conclusion you can back your way into all kinds of ridiculous explanations.

Now let’s get into the moral problem of Noah and the Flood…

Moral Problem: If God drowned all life on Earth God is a Sadistic, Incompetent, Psychopath

We know who did it. God proudly confesses to Mass Murder in Genesis.

In any murder, especially a mass murder, we want to understand the murderer’s motive. God reveals his motive in Genesis 6:5, “The Lord saw how great man’s wickedness on earth had become, and that every inclination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil all the time. The Lord was grieved that he had made man on the earth, and his heart was filled with pain. So the Lord said, “I will wipe mankind, whom I have created, from the face of the earth – men and animals, and creatures that move along the ground, and birds of the air – for I am grieved that I have made them.”

Is killing everyone the best solution?

God created the Universe and everything in it and the best solution God can come up with is killing everyone? If everyone is evil this sounds more like a CREATION problem than a HUMAN problem. There is something wrong with the system that God created. And if God is going to kill everyone he at least will do it in a humane and painless way. Won’t he? They all die in their sleep. Perhaps a universal massive heart attack. Or maybe everyone just disappears? Surely God devised a method that reflects some empathy?

What does God’s method of murder tell us about God?

God drowns everyone. And all of the animals and birds and insects. God drowns the new born babies. God drowns the one year olds just learning to walk. Two year olds just starting to express themselves verbally. God drowns the mentally ill and those will special needs. God drowns everyone. Everyone is evil.

What do you call someone who seeks out inflicting pain on others? What do you call someone who wants to see women holding up their babies pleading with Noah to save them? What do call a God who wants people to struggle and scratch and claw to avoid their inevitable drowning? What do you call a God who wants to see the bodies floating in the water?

You call that God a sadistic psychopath.

Well that is disturbing, but….

….at least God killing everyone fixed the problem….right?

God selected Noah as the new hope for the human race. Surely God picked the right man for the job!

The world changing results of God killing everyone and everything clearly justified the carnage, right?

Incorrect.

God is not only a sadistic psychopath.

God is incompetent.

At the beginning of Genesis 9 God is pronouncing a blessing on Noah and giving him Adam’s mission to reproduce and take dominion over the earth. By the end of Chapter 9 Noah is drunk and his son Ham ‘saw his father’s nakedness’. We are not sure if that is a cultural offense or a euphemism for something else. Regardless, Noah pronounces a terrible curse upon his son Ham, “Cursed be Canaan! The lowest of slaves will he be to his brothers.” I am not sure what all this means exactly but it isn’t good and the downward spiral has begun.

God killed everyone and everything on the planet in order to start over with Noah and these are the results we get! God as depicted in this text is an idiot!

Theological Problems: This Proves The Bible is Not the Word of God and Jesus is Wrong

The Bible refers to Noah as a historical person and the Flood as a historical event in Genesis, Ezekiel, Isaiah, Matthew, Luke, Hebrews, and 1st & 2nd Peter. Luke lists Noah in Jesus’ genealogy. If Noah is not a historical person Noah could not be in Jesus’ genealogy. And Jesus compares his imminent return to judge the world to God’s judgement of the world through Noah’s flood judgement.

The problems with Noah takes down pillars of the Evangelical Christian faith:

  • The Bible refers to Noah as a historical person and the Flood as a historical event in Genesis, Ezekiel, Isaiah, Matthew, Luke, Hebrews, and 1st & 2nd Peter.
  • This means Genesis is in error and cannot be without error.
  • This means the prophets Isaiah and Ezekiel are in error.
  • If Luke lists Noah in Jesus’ genealogy Luke’s history is in error.
  • Jesus cannot be perfect or God if he believed Noah and the Flood were historical events.
  • Hebrews is in error if it teaches Noah and the Flood as historical events.
  • 1st & 2nd Peter are in error if they present Noah and the Flood as historical events .
  • The Bible cannot be the perfect Word of God without error if Genesis, Ezekiel, Isaiah, Matthew, Luke, Hebrews, and 1st & 2nd Peter are in error.
  • Jesus cannot be God or Messiah because he is imperfect.

If you believe Noah, the Ark, and the Flood are historical something is wrong. Unless there was a miracle!

From Junior High on I lived in a suburb north of Dallas. I can remember my high school biology teacher, Mr. Hembree, announcing on the first day of biology that he didn’t teach evolution because it was a bunch of….and then Mr. Hembree blew a raspberry. I am probably the last generation to grow up with this kind of ‘anti-science’ attitude. I am 54 and many Evangelical Christians my age still feel comfortable simply dismissing scientific claims. Blowing even settled science a raspberry. But this generation is fading and a new generation is emerging that places a high value on science, information, and data.

If you believe in a historical Noah you simply haven’t examined the information that is easily accessible. Twenty five years ago it would have been very time consuming and expensive to research this. I would have been spending time in the basement of college libraries reading microfiche. I would have been ordering obscure articles and books through the mail. But now all of this information is a google away. The facts are crystal clear. The story of Noah is absolutely impossible.

But what if there was a miracle? Well one miracle wouldn’t do it. It took one miracle to get the animals to the Ark and a second miracle to shut the door. A plethora of miracles applied liberally to the entire Noah narrative would enable Noah’s Ark to reach the plausibility of Santa Claus or the Chicago Bears finding a quarterback. A Costco-sized can of miracles is not a plausible explanation.

The story of Noah and the Flood as a pagan myth is a plausible explanation. There are several Ancient Near East Flood Myths. But here is what is unique about the Noah myth in Genesis 8:20-22. Ancient people were terrified of their God. Their mercurial God was always killing them and leaving them to guess why: flood, famine, drought, the neighboring tribe. And in order to calm down their hot-headed God sacrifice was required. But how much sacrifice was enough? A goat…a bull…ten bulls…100 cattle…a person…a son…a daughter? Watch what happens when Noah immediately offers God a sacrifice after getting off the Ark:

“Then Noah built an altar to the Lord and, taking some clean animals and clean birds, he sacrificed burnt offerings on it. The Lord smelled the pleasing aroma and said in his heart, “Never again will I curse the ground because of man, even though every inclination of his heart is evil from childhood. And never again will I destroy all living creatures, as I have done. As long as the earth endures, seed time and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night will never cease.”

This is obviously still a primitive, pagan presentation of God. God is highly anthropomorphized in this text. God smells the smoke of the burnt offering and is pleased by it. God seems soothed by it. Then God promises He will never drown everybody again. And the sign of this promise is the rainbow God causes to appear after every rainstorm.

While still very pagan, we see a developing idea of a different way to relate to God. Maybe there can be stability in this relationship. Maybe there are some predictability…some guarantees…some promises…a relational commitment.

And just because Noah’s Ark and the flood are not historical events doesn’t mean there isn’t a God. And just because the Bible is a very human book doesn’t mean there is no value in it. And just because Jesus was very human doesn’t mean Jesus wasn’t one of the most influential people in human history. And just because your beliefs are wrong doesn’t mean that your experiences are not true.

For more on that idea see True Experiences, False Beliefs.

APPENDIX:  Brilliant Responses to Reader Questions & Counter Arguments 

I have been debating how much do I want to research and address the various defenses of a literal, historical belief in Noah’s Flood. The whole Young Earth Creationist thing is more than a belief system. It is a sub-culture similar to the recent emergence of Flat Earthers.  The speculations and theories are endless because all of them ultimately appeal to miracles and completely implausible and scientifically uncorroborated ‘natural’ explanations. Appealing to miracles is like writing a Superman movie. There is no situation you can create that Superman cannot Superman his way out of. Superman spun the world backwards to bring Lois Lane back to life in the 1978 movie. And it is the same with a miraculous God. God creates an morally abhorrent judgement plan but God is allowed to do it because God cannot be judged. Then God decides he must drown everyone, which is totally stupid, so it requires countless miracle upon miracle upon miracle for it to work.  But let me respond to a couple of the most common responses .

Common Response Number 1: It was a Regional Flood

I remember mentioning to a professor in seminary that I was beginning to think Noah’s world wide flood didn’t make sense. My professor said that some people were beginning to think it was a regional flood and that the word earth was referring to the known world in the region. I remember thinking that seemed like a reasonable possibility. A Regional Flood seemed to present more realistic scientific scenario while still managing to kill all of the people and animals in the World of Noah.  There was enough there at face value to enable me to repress my doubts for a few more years.

And that is what most Evangelicals who reference the Regional Flood Theory do. It has a surface logic to it and they don’t really think it through. But the Regional Flood has to meet some exacting requirements to work. The Flood has to be big enough to kill everyone in the Ancient Near East. That means you have to figure out a way that it would rain intensely enough for the waters to continue to rise to the height of 20 feet above the tallest mountain in the Ancient Near East while it was running off at the edges of the Region. Some estimates say it would need to be at a water pressure similar to a fire hose. And that creates many of its own problems.  And why would a Regional Flood require any Ark at all? Instead of having all the animals hike to the Ark why didn’t God could just have them hike out of the region. Same with Noah. Just point Noah and his seven family members in a direction and give them a few weeks head start. And why would there be birds on the Ark for a Regional Flood?  And then the whole mythic purpose of the Noah narrative seems to be that God would never drown the wold again. Well regional floods have happened frequently in history.  Is the promise of the rainbow that God will only do small to medium floods but not large regional floods? And when Jesus says his final judgement will be like the regional flood of Noah….what does that mean exactly?

Common Response Number 2: It was some combination of a stack of miracles not mentioned in the Bible and highly improbable natural explanations of which there is absolutely no evidence (this addresses pretty much everything from Ken Ham, The Ark Encounter, Answers in Genesis, and Kent Hovind)

Here is a sampler of these arguments:

  • How did all of the animal life fit on the Ark? God caused two sets of parents of every animal, reptile, etc…to walk to the ark and then have babies which then got onto the ark in pairs. Young Earther Creationists would, of course, include baby dinosaurs. That is how there was room for all of the animal life on the Ark.
  • How did all the animal life unique to Australia get to Australia after the flood? The kangaroos and koala bears floated on trees to Australia because there were a bunch of uprooted trees floating in the ocean for a long time after the flood.
  • What did the animals eat after they got of the ark? They ate the gelled remains of dead animals that had been buried during the flood. I guess the gelled remains tasted so good that the lions did not want to eat the gazelles.
  • Where did all of the extra water needed for the flood come from? According to Kent Hovind a giant 300 degrees below zero meteor fractured and large pieces hit the north and south poles and penetrated the crust of the earth releasing a torrent of water from deep within the planet. This meteor also caused a bunch of other things that I simply do not feel like typing out. If this makes sense to you and you want to learn more about Hovind’s ideas first make sure that you took your medicine and then Google Kent Hovind.
  • How was wild animal behavior managed? All of the animals hibernated for the entire trip.
  • Where did all of the water go after the flood? During the seven months the water’s receded Pangaea was broken up and the continents pushed into roughly their current locations, the continents rose and the ocean floors sunk.
  • How did Noah deal with the completely overwhelming structural, design, and process impossibilities? Noah constructed a mind bogglingly sophisticated Ark design that is better than anything Sir James Dyson could come up with, made completely of wood,  and that is not mentioned anywhere in the Bible.

These arguments could only be considered plausible if you were already convinced that Noah’s Ark was literal history. You can only reverse engineer your way into beliefs. There is literally no support in the scientific community for any of these explanations. But what can you expect from a bunch of secular scientist clearly in the service of Satan?

14 thoughts on “Noah’s Ark Fail

  1. Noah is considered a Prophet in Islam and the Baha’i Faith and the story of Noah may be understood as an allegory in which the ark symbolises the saving grace of belief in God. Believers are protected against the destructive effects of a dissipated life. The story always had this meaning and while it was also at one time acceptable as history, it is no longer. The allegorical meaning remains, as true as ever.

    Rational argument number 4 misunderstands how atmospheric pressure works. Atmospheric pressure is due to the depth, and thus weight, of the air column. It is generally greatest at sea level (slightly higher still in those areas below sea level) because the weight of the air column above it. As the floodwaters moved upwards, the entire air column would also move upward and the weight of the air column at the surface would be more or less the same. The same atmospheric pressure would result in the same temperature (heat holding capacity) and oxygen availability. Now had Noah’s Ark had the bad luck to lodge on the top of Everest as the waters receded, then the atmospheric pressure (temperature, etc.) would have dropped because more of the air column would have been below them and they would have indeed frozen and/or suffocated.

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  2. Great post! I think (as a former YEC myself) that you don’t understand what Creationists teach about “created kinds”, since they would say polar bears didn’t exist until after the flood, but only an original bear kind was on the ark. And they’d say the pre-Flood geography was completely different, so we couldn’t know where the launching point was. But I agreed with everything you said and am walking a similar path right now. R’amen.

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  3. It seems your whole argument can be summed up by you trying to impose a purely secularist and naturalistic worldview upon the scriptures.

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  4. Good on you. I became a Christian at 32. I realised this yes stuff was wrong. Good on you for this excellent sort out of the issues. As you say, we need to provide some sense for the young people.

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  5. This is a very well-written blog post, and I gotta say you make the historical case for the Biblical flood story sound quite untenable. If I could, I’d like to offer my own responses to these questions you raise.

    Perhaps one way that we could perceive this story while retaining a sense of realistic historicity is by interpreting the story as analogical or metaphorical instead of literal.
    The precedent for interpreting Genesis as a theological allegory has its roots in some of the earliest Church Fathers. Saint Augustine himself held that the so-called “Six Day Creation” story was an allegorical/theological commentary on God’s creative act, rather than an event occurring in a period of six days.
    So too with the Biblical story of Noah we could interpret it as a sign for the washing away of sin and indeed First Epistle of Peter describes it as a way of describing the sacrament of Baptism.
    As for the passages quoted, it is not altogether clear if they are referencing a historical event, or are merely calling to mind the story for allegorical purposes as well. Certainly, the style of articulating the story with, “like the days of Noah” sounds more in line with a retelling of a story than stating this person Noah to be a historical person.
    Even listing them in the Genealogy of Luke may have a theological purpose that shows and demonstrates Christ’s connection to Adam, which shows his humanity in relation to his divinity.

    Your concern about the moral character of God is also a good point, for if God’s response to moral evil in the world is to wipe it all out, does this speak to the moral nature of God and His goodness?

    First, I think we need to remember that this isn’t an altogether new problem. From the earliest days of Christianity, Christians have wrestled with these sorts of problems. Not just as it pertains to Noah, but as it pertains to other passages that discuss violence used to enact God’s will. So much so that a group of Christians called the Marcionites tried to get rid of the Old Testament scriptures and only have the gospels and Acts in the Bible.
    I think that in this instance we need to understand that this may be an allegorical story and that it is trying to tell us something about the nature of sin and grace. One of the earliest commentators of Biblical literature was Origen of Alexandria.
    Origen theorized that we ought to read the entirety of the Bible from the lens of the last book of the Bible, specifically in Revelation. In this book, we find a depiction of a Lamb, standing as though slain, and sitting upon a scroll [representing the bible] fastened with seals. The sealed scroll signifies the difficulty it is to read and make sense of the Biblical passages, but because it is supporting the Lamb, Origen theorized that we ought to read the Bible through the lens of Christ’s love and passion for us [symbolized as the slain lamb].
    According to Origen, if the takeaway from the Bible is that God is capricious and evil, or that God uses violent means to bring about his Will, we are ipso facto misinterpreting the Bible.
    Origen theorizes that all of the passages that discuss violence are to be read as metaphorical for the destruction and cleansing of sin and the salvation of creation through the power of God. The rescuing of Noah is representative of the salvation of humanity from the slavery of sin in the world. We could also read the story of Noah as Augustine does and read the ark as a symbol of Christ’s salvific work in mankind, rather than as a historical event.

    On a final note, I don’t think this allegorical reading of the Bible discredit it, because ultimately the Bible is not merely a book, but rather a collection of Books, a library. We don’t need to take the entirety of the Bible literally in the same way that we don’t take the entire library literally.
    If you are in the poetry section, you read the literature like poetry. If you are in the theological/mysticism section, you read it like theology. If you are in the history section, you read the literature like history. So too with the Bible, there are sections of poetry, military history, theological commentary, etc. If we read certain parts as allegory, that in no way discredits the ones pertaining to historicity. Now it may be difficult sometimes to see what sections are which, but to that I think we should look to the traditional readings of the Bible given to us through the Church Fathers and passed on through the Christian tradition.

    All in all, this was a great read, and I’d love to read more posts that you put out in the future! 😊

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  6. The flood is embedded in Near East history occurring around 2900 BC. It was judgment on the Adamite population. Even the nearby Sumerians survived and rebuilt cities destroyed by the flood The ark dimensions are off but other details seem to be on target. Keep in mind that the Genesis narrative describes the history of the Semitic race, not the human race. Read my book, Historical Genesis from Adam to Abraham. I had the same kind of problems you had but kept my faith and did the homework necessary.

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    1. Dick

      Just wondering if your book has been peer reviewed by competent scholars – who would affirm your conclusions?

      Thanks

      Greg

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  7. Welcome to the club. It took until I was 45-47 to come to the same conclusion. It was taking several vacations to the Western US as a YEC and seeing geology up close, some things didn’t seem to be explainable by flood geology. The internet was just starting and I decided to find out if Christian YEC, was true, or if the Christian Old Earth creationists might be right. In the end I realized the flood never happened at all and that Christianity is the house built on sand.
    Christians must have realized there wasn’t enough room for millions of species, so they In my lifetime they changed to the space saving apologetic that there were only pairs of every “created kind” on the Ark, and after the flood they diversified, or speciated (but not evolved) into all the species we have today. So, in order to deny evolution, they propose that super duper turbocharged evolution is what actually happened.

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      1. It doesn’t rule out every God. But if Noah’s flood didn’t happen though, I’d say it does rule out the God who claims it did. I’d say it rules out Judaism, Christianity, Islam and Mormonism, except for the very liberal branches of those who don’t need the flood to be a historical event.
        I personally don’t think a first cause, hands off, deistic god can be disproved. Not much is claimed about that god, and that god isn’t threatening to burn you in hell for not believing in him.

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      2. Tim

        Thanks for the follow-up.

        That is just one narrative in a book of a minimum of 66 distinct documents at least 20 or 30 authors/editors – or many more.

        The point is that Bible really has nothing necessarily to do with a divinity at all. Nor with Jesus – and yet – various parts can be entirely historical, e.g. Babylonian captivity, etc.

        I am simply suggesting new wine and new wineskins…:-)

        Greg

        Liked by 1 person

  8. Christopher R. Heasty: This is my finding so far on my study of Noahs’ Flood.

    The Bible uses the term the earth was flooded not the globe. Below are the definitions of earth and global. Not the Earth capitalized. A correct interpretation of the flood reveals that the earth was flooded not the Earth or Globe.

    The definitions of the earth are as follows: noun
    often an initial capital letter) the planet third in order from the sun, having an equatorial diameter of 7926 miles (12,755 km) and a polar diameter of 7900 miles (12,714 km), a mean distance from the sun of 92.9 million miles (149.6 million km), and a period of revolution of 365.26 days, and having one satellite.
    The inhabitants of this planet, especially the human inhabitants: The whole earth rejoiced.
    This planet as the habitation of humans, often in contrast to heaven and hell: to create a hell on earth.
    The surface of this planet: to fall to earth.
    The solid matter of this planet; dry land; ground.
    Soil and dirt, as distinguished from rock and sand; the softer part of the land.

    The definition of global is as follows: adjective
    Pertaining to the whole world; worldwide; universal: the dream of global peace.
    comprehensive.
    Globular; globe-shaped.
    Of, relating to, or using a terrestrial or celestial globe
    It should be noted that John 3:16 says” that God so loved the world”, meaning the people, not the globe or planet.

    The Area of Noahs’ Flood

    The only place that man or humans occupied the earth at the time of the Noahs’ Flood was known as the Fertile Crescent. God did not need to destroy the entire globe or planet when flooding just this area would accomplish what needed to be done. With that in mind, there was no need for two of every species on the entire globe to be on the Ark. Noah only had to have 2 of every species that he would need to start life over when the flood subsided.

    The Biblical reference to all the earth means all the earth within this area only. That means that Kangaroos and Koala Bears did not have to leave Australia and swim across the Indian Ocean or hitch a ride on a ship heading for Arabia then walk across the desert to find Noah and get on the Ark. The same can be said for Penguins in Antarctica. This would apply to all species that were not native to that area.

    The Fertile Crescent at the Time of Noahs’ Flood
    1656 Years After the Creation of Adam.

    The photo did not transfer.

    The Fertile Crescent at the time of Noahs’ Flood included Elam, Assyria, Phoenicia, Lower Egypt, and Upper Egypt. This is the only place man could be found upon the entire globe. The Flood occurred 1,656 years after the creation of Adam. This is the extent of mans’ migration.

    At this time, Geological studies show that at the time of Noah, the Persian Gulf, Mediterranean Sea, and the Black Sea were freshwater lakes and that a huge flood deposited mud which covered freshwater clams. After the flood, saltwater clams inhabited these three areas and the waters were permanently connected to the saltwater oceans.
    It should also be noted that studies show Neanderthal became extinct at least 30,000 years ago probably from the supervolcano the erupted at about that time. It has also been found that 12,900 years ago a series of comets struck the earth some exploding in the atmosphere with one impact crater dating to that time found on the west coast of Greenland. It appears that at the creation of Adam all hominids had been eradicated from the planet. That would have left the planet open for the pure line of Adam and his descendants.

    From a study of science, Earths’ historical past, and scriptures, I am strongly convinced that God created all life from the beginning single-celled algae that took in toxic gasses from early asteroid bombardments in the creation of our planet, then producing a waste gas called oxygen which eventually oxygenated our planet for future life. God then created progressively more complex life forms as needed with each contributing to the creation of Earth for mans’ home today. The last animal form to be created before modern man was the Hominids such as Neanderthal and Homosapien. I believe these Hominids were a prototype of Gods’ final creation, us. We are not descendants of these hominids, but descendants of Gods’ final creation Adam. I believe that every created life form reproduced after its’ own kind just as God said and DNA insures. Maby we could call our species Homoadamos.

    Why Noah’s Flood was Necessary

    About 6 to 7 hundred years before Noahs’ Flood, the sons of God also know as angels were with and assisted men with tools and other technological advancements. According to the writings of Enoch and in the Book of Genesis, these sons of God saw the daughters of men and lusted after them. After having sex with them, they conceived and had offspring that were hybrid with angels. These hybrid offsprings were giants and men of renown.
    There was also genetic engineering with animals that resulted in the defilement of animals. These angels helped man defile what God had already perfectly created. The result was giants in the land that were killing people and each other. The world had become very corrupt and was headed for destruction. The wickedness and violence of men were great and the imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. The genetic makeup of men and animals was so corrupt that God was sorry he created them. He had no choice but to end it all.
    Noah and his family were pure descendants of Enoch, Methuselah, and Lamech. He was perfect in his genealogy and not defiled by these perverted hybrids. The reason for the flood was to save mankind through Noah, not destroy it. If it were not for the flood, we would not be here today. We would have eventually destroyed ourselves as we seem to be attempting to do today. Mans’rein would have ended if God had not intervened with the Flood.

    How God Caused the Flood

    I have been and am continuing to research asteroid, meteor and comet impacts of our planet. Most of the extinction events of the past were the result of such impacts. They usually occurred and were the cause of new geological periods. The best known is the K/T Extinction that occurred at the end of the Cretaceous Period. This event ended the reign of the dinosaurs, opening the ongoing path for Gods’ newest creation, mammals.
    It has been discovered that during the time of Noahs’ Flood, there was a high number of impacts that could have triggered or significantly contributed to the flooding of a large area around the Indian Ocean. One such impact crater, discovered only a few years ago, is the Burckle Impact Crater. This was caused by a 3-mile wide asteroid that hit about 975 miles southeast of Madagascar and 3500 miles south of Noahs’ construction
    This is a site map of the Burckle Impact Crater. The impact left a 14-mile wide crater at the bottom of the 12,700-foot deep ocean. It blew out all water 100 miles in diameter creating vast storms and an enormous tsunami hitting all shorelines of the Indian Ocean. The water fallout would have lasted for weeks over the surrounding continents causing massive flooding that would have been compounded by the oncoming tsunami.

    With ocean water at this site reaching a depth of 12,700 feet deep, it still left a crater 14 miles in diameter at the bottom of the ocean. It would have blown a hole in the water over a 100 miles in diameter with all that water falling on large parts of Africa, Arabia, India, and Australia. The heat and vaporized water from the impact would have caused storms of unimaginable proportions for that area of the globe. The tsunami created by this impact would have been thousands of feet high and would have hit all the shores of the Indian Ocean. To this day, the chevrons remain from the debris deposited by this huge tsunami that was created as a result of the asteroid impact. Dating of these chevrons indicates they were deposited there about 4,400 years ago, the approximate time of Noahs’ Flood. You can see them along many of the shores lines by using Google Earth. The following is an on-ground photo of the chevrons.

    It took a very large tsunami to create chevrons of this size. They can be found on various shorelines around the Indian Ocean. There are many on the south shore of the Arabian Contenant that were deposited as a large tsunami from the Burckle Impact found its way inland to the Noah’s Arc construction site. As the water from the impact splash flooded Noahs’site, the tsunami would have met the onrushing water from the splash lifting the Ark safely above the massive flooding. The force of the tsunami would have eventually pushed the Ark about 500 miles north to its final resting place in the mountains of Ararat near Armenia.

    As the water from the impact splash flowed south it would have flooded Noahs’site. At the same time, the incoming tsunami from the south would have met the onrushing water from the splash gently lifting the Ark safely above the massive flooding. The force of the tsunami would have eventually pushed the Ark about 500 miles north to its final resting place on the mountains of Aract near Armenia.

    The massive ongoing storms created by the heat and vapor from the impact would have had a continuing effect on the flooding taking place at that time. I do not know at this time how high the water got. The bible says it reached 25 feet above the highest hills. I’m not sure what hills that would have been. The Zagros Mountian Range runs along the east side of Mesopotamia up to Mount Ararat. The ridge elevation is about 6 to 8 thousand feet today. They could have been much lower at the time of the flood. Mount Ararat is much higher but that is due to volcanic activity since the flood.

    The site documented by archeologist Ron Wyatt seems to be the most applaudable landing site of the ark. You can review all the discoveries and studies by a search on YouTub. From his studies, the Ark landed on a site that is now at an elevation of 7,400 feet. Later it slid down to an elevation 6,400 feet where it rests today. However, since the flood, some of this area has been lifted by volcanic pressure from below the earth’s crust. To reach this height, the floodwater would have had to reach an elevation of at least 7,500 feet, however, we do not know the elevation of the mountains at the time of the flood. It could have been much lower.

    The photo did not transfer.

    Noah’s Arks’ landing site according to archeologist Ron Wyatt. This location is on the mountains of Ararat about 15 miles south of Mt. Ararat in eastern Turkey near the Armenian border as described in the Book of Genesis.

    For more detailed information on my study go to http://www.creationofearth.com. Thanks

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  9. It’s late and I didn’t read the whole thing you wrote, but just research this one thing you said.
    “The only place that man or humans occupied the earth at the time of the Noahs’ Flood was known as the Fertile Crescent.”
    Assuming Noah’s flood was in about 2350 BC, that statement is not even close to being true.

    Also, using respected Christian sources, research any of the many, many discoveries Ron Wyatt claimed to have made.

    Like

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