What about the Flood?

Theology

(Mark M Moore) #1

And at some point we are going to have to move past talking about Adam and start talking about the flood account too. The Christ-centered model addresses both seamlessly because the main way to view the text is exactly the same in both accounts- look at it as if it was all pointing to Christ and that the God who inspired both accounts knew exactly where He was going with it from the beginning.


Molecular Genetics of Whale Evolution
(George) #2

@Revealed_Cosmology,

You are kidding, right? Is that you in the video?

Maybe I should wait for the video that focuses on the Global Flood really being a regional flood?

  1. So, Noah actually has to build an ark instead of a sledge, and get the heck out of that flood zone?

  2. It’s a regional flood… but the ark is adrift for a year?

  3. It’s a regional flood but he has to send out a bird to see if land is near … and amazingly, the bird comes back!!! What kind of regional flood is this?

As to your comment about evolution only working if genetic information is subtracted… I don’t think you understand evolution very well.


(Mark M Moore) #3

Yes. It was a dry comedy.

Actually I find your question derisive and unhelpful. It was me in the video.

You meant 'sledge instead of an ark" I presume, but that would not have pointed to baptism, which was the picture God was framing there. Remember that Moses could not enter the Promised Land because he struck the rock twice instead of appealing to the rock the second time.

The ark rested on the seventh month, but there was still a lot of draining to do. We don’t know if they had spent some time on a swollen Caspian, or used anchors for a while before the east wind started blowing, or were surrounded by higher ground with water flows from all sides keeping them to the middle.

When California’s central valley flooded 150 years ago Sacremento stayed mostly under water for months, as did much of the valley. It takes certain land forms a long time to drain.

One that covered more range than that of a dove but less than that of a raven at that point in time according to a plain reading of the text. Also note from the text that the tops of the mountains were visible in the distance prior to the birds being released.

I don’t think that you understand me very well. I stopped responding to your comments over at Biologos because you were consistently unable or unwilling to comprehend what I was saying. It is my hope that a fresh start will help us both, but so far its not looking good.

My comment about subtraction was in the context of speciation from animals on the ark (of which I think there were only a tiny percentage of the world’s land animals). That flood was at most six or seven thousand years ago, so no I don’t think a lot if any speciation can occur among animals in that span of time, except by loss of information/splitting. If it can, I would ask “where are they?” Where are the species created by de novo genes adding function in historical times?


(S. Joshua Swamidass) #4

So, I unfortunately do not have time or space at work right now to listen to your video. Can you summarize your position? It sounds like you are arguing for a local flood; is that right?


(Mark M Moore) #5

That video above addresses only one aspect of the local flood- that it was not every animal Elohim created in chapter one which was on the ark but only the more limited set of animals Yahweh-Elohim formed for Adam in Genesis chapter two which was on the ark. There is another video to watch for the rest of the picture about the flood which explains the bigger picture you are concerned with. I will post a link at the bottom to that for when you have the time. In the mean time here is a synopsis of that second video which is posted below…

I am arguing for a local flood with global consequences. It was not the entire human race which perished in the flood but only the line of Adam. But this would have caused the eternal death of all of humanity because in ending the line of Adam it would cut off the line of Messiah who would redeem the world.Thus Elohim’s concern that the world would “go to ruin”.

Different Hebrew words are used to express what God says as Elohim vs. what He says as Yahweh. When Elohim speaks in chapter six it is the “big picture” of what the eradication of the line of Messiah would mean for creation. When Yahweh is speaking it is the pre-incarnate Christ who formed Adam and the animals in chapter two. He is saying He will destroy what HE has made. There the Hebrew words are different and have connotations of “blotting out” as in being directly killed by the flood. But a close look at the text shows He is talking about blotting out the more limited set of creatures and “the Man” whom He made in chapter two, not what the Godhead did in chapter one.

Lastly, there is the middle and back portions of the account where the narrator is describing things. According to the tablet theory of Genesis, this is the account of Shem, Ham, and Japheth. Thus they are accurately describing what they saw, but they did not see everything.

The account of the flood is really all about purifying and preserving the line of Messiah, and setting up the New Covenant and the ordinance of baptism.


(Guy Coe) #6

Once again, the dialogue is ill-served by the casual use of misleading labels. @Revealed_Cosmology , you do not, in fact, argue for a “local flood,” but a “regional flood” --i.e., one which stretches visually for as far as the writer’s eyes can see. In fact, the California Central Valley pales in comparison to the kind of geographical region you’re advocating for. @swamidass , the language “global flood” implies a planetary understanding which, it is virtually certain, the ancients did not possess. A flood which merely wipes out Adam’s lineage, farmers and animal domesticators not attuned to a migratory hunter-gatherer lifestyle, is sufficient. I lean towards the view that it was the entire Mesopotamian valley, with the Black Sea incident being an earlier, unrelated episode. No matter; let’s just not let others force us into adopting their misleading, dichotomous labels.


(Mark M Moore) #7

I almost typed “regional”. I went with local because it was targeted at the line of Adam, in and around lake Urima and the Aras River valley, and southeastern Turkey, though I think it overlapped into Mesopotamia and this was the sediments which Sir Woolley found at Ur. This was downstream of the most intense flooding though, and the water could spread out and drain in the plain, but the water trapped between mountain ranges had “no where to go” for quite a while. Yes it was much deeper than the Cali flood but I don’t think the area it covered was that much larger. Perhaps several times larger, but not 20 times larger.


(George) #8

@Revealed_Cosmology

Well, I agree with you completely that there isn’t going to be any evolution from the time of the Regional Flood. A regional flood has very little relevance to our ongoing discussions.

I am fairly skeptical that a regional flood fits the narrative of the Ark story. A regional flood fills a valley… or a country… but it doesn’t mean floating around for a year waiting for something to happen. Birds can fly out of the valley with ease… and they don’t need to fly back to the Ark to eat. Food is all around them… outside of the flooded valley… etc.

But it is good to read that you do not dismiss speciation “out of hand” … that your rejection is based on the limited time for evolution to occur.

In my view, the Flood story was an attempt to make a famous ANE story distinctly Hebrew or Jewish… it’s a perfectly natural desire: to make someone else’s story into your own story.

Unfortunately, it is the story cycle that is most at odds than a more historical view of the global natural history.


(S. Joshua Swamidass) #9

@Guy_Coe this is a good and helpful corrective to language. There does seem to be a meaningful difference between a “local” and “regional” flood, certainly in rhetoric and in meaning. Thanks for pulling that distinction out.


(Mark M Moore) #11

Well they didn’t “float around for a year waiting for something to happen.” For the first five months, the waters prevailed. There was at least as much coming in as there was going out. Only then were the fountains closed and the rain restrained. Then the wind came. Then the waters were abated- they started going down.

After two months of that the ark ran aground. Two and a half months later the tops of the mountains were seen. Forty days later came the test with the birds- the raven had no problem making it to and fro but the dove could not make it to dry land. For another week or so.

Notice that in 8:13 the waters were already dried up “from the face of the ground” - that is 10.5 months from the start of the flood and 5.5 months after peak flood waters. Noah stayed in the ark basically an extra two months past this point until the earth was fully dried and God told him to come out.

Regarding the birds, I have a long detailed video going through the language that the “all manner of birds” was related to the more limited set of animals formed in Genesis chapter 2 and not every species of non-waterfowl on the planet. But however many it was, most of them never got a chance to see if they could fly 100 miles or however far they had to go to escape the devastation. Noah only released two- one a poor flyer and the other a stronger flyer, to test how far away dry ground was.

So I guess my point is that if you want to be skeptical of the flood account then be skeptical of the flood account- but not what you imagine the flood account is saying but what the text is actually saying.

I keep hearing people say that the children of Israel adopted the ANE flood stories they heard from others, but why would they have to do so? Abraham was from that region and time. They would have had their own account of these events. It was family history to them. Family history which had not been hijacked by the kings and priesthood whom we know had a habit of changing the stories around for political purposes.


(George) #12

@Revealed_Cosmology

You write a fine apologia.

You have a choice: either the Biblical details of an historical “regional flood” have been modified to make it seem more global … or

there was no global flood.

If the scribes of Genesis had already known about this Biblical flood before writing creation, I don’t believe they would have written the ending of Cain’s marriage and city the way they did.

It indicates that the flood story was inserted after the Creation cycle had already been detailed… and probably forced a number of edits to minimize the narrative conflict of Cain marrying (some unkown woman) and founding the City that no longer had other people in it… just Cain.


(Mark M Moore) #13

Thank you. But all I did was summarize what the actual text said.

I believe you are leaving off some of my choices. I am beginning to gain insight as to why you seem to have such trouble “getting” what I am trying to communicate.

It is because you have your premises and you are not bothering to consider that I have different premises than you do. You seem to assume that the documentary hypothesis best explains early Genesis. It does not. IMHO a modified tablet theory best explains it. Perhaps they didn’t know about the flood account because the flood had not happened yet.

The text makes perfect sense, when seen through the lens of Christ. But to look at it that way you have to accept that it is Divinely inspired and not a forgery by post-exhilic priests.


(George) #14

The reason I have trouble “getting” what you are trying to communicate is because to me it is a giant canvas bag of cherry picking. When I said there were only 2 options to consider, I guess I was speaking for myself… obviously you think you have many more.

But I can barely accept 2 … the other ones are, in my view of ancient history, just fantasy.


(S. Joshua Swamidass) #15

Very good point.


(Mark M Moore) #16

“It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it.”

― Aristotle,


(George) #17

Hmmm… Maybe Aristotle was repeating what he knew others would think was wise… but
he didn’t believe it at all ! Now THAT is the mark of an educated mind!


(Vincent Torley) #18

Hi everyone,

I just came across this article:

Twenty-One Reasons Noah’s Worldwide Flood Never Happened by Dr. Lorence G. Collins, Skeptical Inquirer Volume 42.2, March / April 2018.

It’s about the most convincing summary I’ve ever seen of the scientific difficulties associated with the hypothesis of a worldwide Flood.

So the question we need to ask is: which local flood best fits the Biblical narrative? Sir Leonard Woolley’s Flood (c. 4000 B.C.) is one possibility, but I’ve also seen the Black Sea deluge (c. 5600 B.C.? / 7400 B.C.?) proposed, although there is doubt as to whether it happened. I’ve seen more recent floods (c. 3000 B.C.) proposed, too.

Has anyone read this book?

The Ark Before Noah: Decoding the Story of the Flood by Dr. Irving Finkel.

Cheers.


(Mark M Moore) #19

I have never read that book, but Sir Leonard Woolley’s flood is a good fit with the “long” way of reading the genealogies in Genesis. It would also fit well with the end of the Uruk expansion in 3200-3100 BC being associated with the “days of Peleg” and when the men left off the building of the city and dispersed at the tower of Babel. Much more detail in this book, the e-version of which is available at no charge for Kindle Unlimited accounts… https://www.amazon.com/dp/B06XRLDYJB


(George) #20

@vjtorley

The problem with the Flood is that it is the least plausible of all the story cycles of the Old Testament.

  1. The first problem is that the Flood clearly couldn’t be global within a 6000 year timeline because the Flood would have wiped out all of Egyptian civilization circa 2350 BCE, only 310 years before the start of the Great Pyramid of Giza, built around 2650 BCE, or 4,668 years ago!

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[Wiki quote on Ussher Chronology: “Ussher was influenced by the same account as the apocryphal Book of Jasher, dating the worldwide flood to 2349 BC and the birth of Terah in 2127 BC…” ]


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And regardless of exactly when the Flood occurred within a 6000 year timeframe, the flood would have left thousands of human fossils in the Nile Valley, as well as in the rest of Africa and Asia. The absence of human fossils on the same sedimentary levels as the considerable volume of known fossils, suggests that the Flood did not lead to the fossilizing of these other animals - - most likely for the singular reason that there was no global flood.

If we change the dating scheme to reflect a much older timeline than 6000 years, then the analysis is using a brand new “plain reading” of the Bible timeline, which introduces the equally likely need to using a brand new “plain reading” of the timeline of Creation.

A global flood also creates the impossible problem of how did any of Cain’s descendants survive separately from Noah’s descendants… which goes hand-in-hand with a 6 day creation (with no earlier pre-Adamite humans) that makes it impossible to explain the City of Cain.


(Mark M Moore) #21

The traditional Jewish view of the material, which unfortunately much of the church has adopted, is not plausible. However once you understand that Adam was not the first man, just the one meant to produce the line to Messiah, then it opens up a new and much much more plausible view of the flood account. The Christ-centered, Trinitarian view of it makes perfect sense, which is awe-inspiring when you consider it. You look at it through the lens of the Adamites and it makes no sense compared to what we see in the natural world. You look at it through the lens of Christ and it resolves elegantly…

See video above “a Christ centered view of the flood”.