On Establishing a Date for the Deluge of Noah

As of late, I have been pondering Noah’s placement within the chronology of the ANE. For quite a while I accepted the arguments of RTB, which claim the deluge was around 40,000 BC, as it had to of whipped out very human alive. I now see that this is archaeologically unsupportable.

More recently I have been searching for a flood in the last 12,000 years. Several candidates come to mind, like the Shurrupak flood, or the Ryan-Pittman Black Sea flood, but I believe both of them still have too many problems to accept. The Shurrupak flood was not very big at all, and hardly deserves the language used in Genesis 6-9. The Ryan-Pittman flood did not recede as the Genesis narrative records, so I have eliminated that as well. I think the flood is better placed in very early Proto-Sumerian history around the Persian Gulf, but I haven’t had any input on this idea.

If anyone has any suggestions or theories about these matters, bringing them to my attention would be extremely helpful.

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Nice to meet you @Ur-Namma. Tell us about yourself?

I think the Persian Gulf Oasis is pretty important context for your question. From WLC:

13 posts were split to a new topic: Did the Flood Really Happen? Is it Essential for Christianity?

One of the best candidates for Noah’s flood that I’ve seen is Dr. Bastawesy’s proposal of a Persian Gulf flooding. I have linked the paper below in case anyone wants to take a look.

The geomorphological and hydrogeological evidence for a Holocene deluge in Arabia

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This is interesting. It is related to the Jeffery Rose paper, but I had not heard of this one yet.

I’m curious what the geologists think. @davidson

One of the only other candidates for the Deluge of Noah would be the alluvial plain flooding in Shurrupak and Ur around 2900 BC. In my opinion this is highly unlikely, as this flood barely destroyed any cities, and hardly deserves to be called a de-creation. I, however, am consistently drawn back to it by a couple of facts relating to the SKL.

On the SKL Ziusudra (the Sumerian Noah) is listed as being a king of Shurrupak, which just so happens to be the hardest hit city by the 2900 BC flood. I could just write this off as a coincidence, but that seems lazy. I have suggested that the Sumerian flood is a combined memory of the 2900 BC flood and an earlier much more destructive flood. Does anybody have any thoughts on this?

I have linked an excellent paper on why the 2900 BC flood is untenable below:
https://www.asa3.org/ASA/PSCF/2018/PSCF9-18Dickin.pdf

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I took a look at the Persian Gulf flooding paper. My first comment is that I will not pretend to have a lot of expertise in fluvial or lacustrine geomorphology. For an assessment by someone with personal experience in the region and interest in Noah’s flood, Steve Moshier would be one of the best sources. I found the paper a little hard to follow mostly because the figures lacked keys. The premise did seem at least plausible, and there is wide spread agreement that the last ice age brought a much wetter climate to the region. In the Ryan-Pittman Black Sea flood study, an important piece of their argument is the existence of large chunks of rock (breccia) ripped up and tossed into the Black Sea by the raging overflow waters that cut the Bosporus Straight. I didn’t see where the Persian Gulf model presented similar evidence in outwash deposits, so that piece of the puzzle appears missing. It doesn’t mean Bastawesy is wrong - but follow work may be needed.

As far as an opinion on whether this could be the origin of the story of Noah’s flood - it seems to me that the most likely location of a flood that would have transmitted to us today would have directly impacted the fertile crescent, making Bastawasy’s flood too far to the southwest. That is just a hunch of my part, however, not a declaration!

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If the Gulf Oasis is to be identified with Eden, then I think a flood further south makes sense. The research is still preliminary, and I do agree that it probably needs to affect some larger population centres to be the flood that destroys the world of the ungodly. However, I do believe that the time period Dr. Bastawesy places this flood in makes the most sense considering data about monsoon patterns as well as archaeological data.

@davidson, what does Ken Wolgemuth think?

@Ur-Namma

Here is some more of my thinking on trying to find the elusive flood:

A) Even more persistent than a memory of a flood, is the evidence of LOTS of flooding throughout the Mesopotamian area. As people went about their daily business, traveling here and there, they would see flood evidence, with the especially large displays of sedimentation triggering a simple question:
“What do we Sumerians think happened back when this BIG FLOOD occurred?”

B) In the same way that Greek myths were evoked to explain natural phenomena, the Sumerians might have particularly liked a version of the flood story - - and over time, other writers added to or subtracted from the basic story.

C) At the end of the cuneiform traditions, we have multiple versions of a big flood … and yet not have ANY actual memories from the mythological event.

ADDENDUM:
Jack Naylor, I couldn’t find our original discussions at BioLogos on how your views differ from
Old Earth Creationism. So maybe you could just write a sentence or two explaining why we
don’t want to confuse you with Old Earthers?

I believe in an evolution that NEEDS God, not Neo-Darwinism. Some at Biologos would claim that God essentially conforms to what ever evolution does, in this case God bows to evolution. I believe this is totally unbiblical, and rather evolution bows to God.

@Ur-Namma

I agree with you completely. And it was the timidity of BioLogos on this matter that aggravated me so much about their stance!

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