This one is dated 17 April 2013, but we didn’t blog about it before. The title is Was the Flood of Noah Global or Local in Extent? That’s somewhat like asking whether Santa Claus has brown eyes or blue, but we’re always willing to learn, so we won’t dismiss the subject ab initio. Let’s dig in and see what ol’ Hambo has to say. The bold font was added by us:
Many Christians and their leaders believe that it is not relevant whether the Flood of Noah described in Genesis 6–8 was global or localized (in the Mesopotamian Valley of the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers). After all, they say, it’s not relevant to a Christian’s salvation, and the gospel message to be preached is all about Jesus.
However, whether the Flood of Noah was global or local in extent is a crucial question. This is because ultimately what is at stake is the authority of all of God’s Word.
This is the same point Hambo has already made about Genesis in general, which we discussed a few days ago in Ken Ham: Is Belief in Young Earth Essential?, so we won’t repeat that argument. Instead, what we’ll do here is pick out the parts where ol’ Hambo gives us specific arguments why the Flood had to be global. That’s right — it’s not merely a matter of faith — Hambo’s got evidence! Here we go:
The guiding principle used by secular geologists to interpret the rock record is “the present is the key to the past,” which means that the geologic processes we see operating today, at the rates they operate today, are all that are necessary to explain the rock layers. While catastrophes such as local flooding and volcanic eruptions are allowable because they do occur today, any suggestion of a global catastrophic Flood as described in the Bible is totally ruled out before the geological evidence is even examined.
Aaaargh!! No, Hambo. The Flood isn’t ruled out before the evidence is examined. Rather, that’s a conclusion which is reached after examining the evidence. That’s how the earliest geologists arrived at the idea that the Earth is old. Nice try. What else does Hambo say? Ah, look at this:
Based on that clear description of this real historical event [the Flood], it is very rational to conclude that we should expect to find evidence today of billions of dead animals and plants buried in rock layers composed of water-deposited sand, lime, and mud all around the earth. And indeed, that’s exactly what we do find — billions of fossils of animals and plants buried in sedimentary rock layers stretching across every continent all around the globe.
Aaaargh!! [* Facedesk, groan, fleeting feeling of despair *] Okay, we’re over it. Your Curmudgeon will continue. We have been called to this task, and we will not fail you. Let’s read on:
[W]hen the Flood began, we are told in Genesis 7:11–12 that “all the fountains of the great deep (were) broken up,” and “the rain was upon the earth.” Again, the words “all” and “the earth” are clearly intended to imply global extent. Indeed, this usage of universal terms is prolific as the Flood account reaches a crescendo in [scripture reference].
Yes, the Flood is described with general, all-inclusive language. There’s no hint that it was localized or limited. We can’t disagree with that. Hambo continues:
So frequent is this use of universal terms, and so powerful are the points of comparison (“high hills,” “whole heaven,” and “mountains”), that it is extremely difficult to imagine what more could have been written under the direction of the Holy Spirit to express the concept of a global Flood!
No doubt about it — that’s what the book says. Okay now — pay attention — because Hambo’s next argument is very strong:
Something else in the Flood account is irreconcilable with the Flood being localized in the Mesopotamian Valley. In Genesis 7:20 we are told that “the mountains were covered.” Because water always seeks its own level, how could the mountains only be covered in one local area without also covering the mountains in all adjoining areas and even on the other side of the planet? This clear statement in God’s Word only makes physical and scientific sense if the Flood were global in extent.
Uh, we can visualize a local flood that covers the nearby hills (“mountains” to the natives) without engulfing the entire planet, but to appreciate the power of Hambo’s argument you need to see the illustration that accompanies his article. His “Figure 2” shows a cliff of water that’s higher than an adjacent mountain, but which … well, it just stops there with a flat vertical edge, like the broken off edge of a thick glacier — but it’s not frozen because it has waves on top. If you agree that such a thing is impossible, then Hambo says you’ve gotta believe in the global extent of the Flood. Here’s another great argument:
God made a promise to Noah and his descendants that “never again shall there be a flood to destroy the earth.” In other words, God was promising never to send another event like the one Noah experienced, where we are told specifically in Genesis 7:21 that “all flesh died.”
Obviously, if the Flood of Noah were only local in extent, then because we have seen lots of local floods since the time of Noah, that have destroyed both man and animals, God has broken His promise many times over! To the contrary, this rainbow covenant God made with Noah and his descendants could only have been kept by God if the Flood were global in extent, because never since in human history has a global flood been experienced.
Admit it, dear reader. There is absolutely no way you can refute that argument. Moving along, and skipping some scripture quotes, we come to yet another powerful argument:
If the Flood were only local in extent, why did Noah have to take birds on board the ark (Genesis 7:8), when the birds in that local flooded area could simply have flown away to safe unflooded areas? Similarly, why would Noah need to take animals on board the ark from his local area, when other representatives of those same animal kinds would surely have survived in other, unflooded areas?
You don’t have an answer to that, do you? Hambo’s essay goes on a bit, but we think the point is made, so this is where we’ll leave it. Your Curmudgeon is convinced that after you’ve carefully digested all of this information you must believe that the Flood was a global event. If not, then you’re a fool!
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