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Dove Sent Forth from the Ark by Gustave Doré

The global flood or flood of Noah (Major event::17 Bul 1656 AM) is an event recorded in ancient histories in various forms across cultures worldwide. The entire world was covered with water as divine punishment, and only a small number of humans and animals survived. The account in Genesis is the best known and the most detailed account, but the same events are described in the Islamic Qur'an, the Book of Jubilees, and the Book of Enoch. Direct references occur in the Critias and Timaeus of Plato, and the ancient Babylonian Epic of Gilgamesh.

The following elements are common to nearly all the accounts:

  • A flood was sent by the divine to punish mankind.
  • A family of people and a number of animals were spared from the flood in a boat.
  • All life on earth outside the boat or not native to the water was destroyed.
  • The residents of the boat repopulated the whole earth.

Flood Waters

Main Article: Flood water

According to the Biblical account, the flood of Noah was caused by a forty day rain that was accompanied by an upsurgence of subterranean waters lasting for one hundred and fifty days. It is largely presumed that the latter was the principal supply of flood waters that covered the earth.

Several theories have been put forth to explain the source and eventual recession of these waters. While early models held to the existence of a vapor canopy as supplying the flood waters, the majority of creation geologists now support the waters from beneath the Earth's crust as responsible.

The exact depth of this water within the Earth's crust varies with different models. The Hydroplate theory places the water below a 10 mile thick crust, the remnants of which are now the continental crust. Hydroplate theory is the first flood model to deal with the springs of the great deep. Modeling the springs of the deep is an important aspect of any Flood model and one where hydroplate theory excels. It is an important aspect of flood geology but one that still requires much work.

Historical Records

Main Article: Flood legends

Native global flood stories are documented as history or legend in almost every region on Earth. In The Antiquities of the Jews, first-century historian Josephus cites myriad ancient histories recording the flood, including those by Berosus the Chaldean, Hieronymus the Egyptian, Mnaseas, and Nicolaus of Damascus. (Antiquities I:3:93-95.) In addition to these written accounts, scores of oral traditions about the flood exist throughout the world even today, including Native American and Aboriginal societies. Old world missionaries reported their amazement at finding remote tribes already possessing legends with tremendous similarities to the Bible's accounts of the worldwide flood. H.S. Bellamy in Moons, Myths and Men estimates that altogether there are over 500 Flood legends worldwide. Ancient civilizations such as (China, Babylonia, Wales, Russia, India, America, Hawaii, Scandinavia, Sumatra, Peru, and Polynesia) all have their own versions of a giant flood.

These flood tales are frequently linked by common elements that parallel the Biblical account including the warning of the coming flood, the construction of a boat in advance, the storage of animals, the inclusion of family, and the release of birds to determine if the water level had subsided. The overwhelming consistency among flood legends found in distant parts of the globe indicates they were derived from the same origin (the Bible's record), but oral transcription has changed the details through time.

Biblical Record

Main Article: Noah's ark

The Biblical account of the flood contains a remarkable degree of detail. Precise dimensions are given for the ark and each of its decks. It also provides the exact year, month, and day of the flood. In Genesis 7:11 we read that the flood occurred in the six hundredth year of Noah's life, on the seventeenth day of the second month. According to the Biblical genealogy, this was 1656 years after the creation.

The Bible account also states exactly how long the flood lasted:

The water receded steadily from the earth. At the end of the hundred and fifty days the water had gone down, and on the seventeenth day of the seventh month the ark came to rest on the mountains of Ararat. Genesis 8:3-4

The waters continued to recede until the tenth month, and on the first day of the tenth month the tops of the mountains became visible. Genesis 8:5


By the twenty-seventh day of the second month the earth was completely dry. Genesis 8:14

This degree of detail — day, month, and year — is common in first-hand historical accounts, but is rare in myths and fiction.

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." Genesis 6:7

According to the Biblical chronology the global flood occurred approximately 4500 years ago. If this event occurred as described in the Bible, the fossil record left behind could never be correctly interpreted by a naturalist. Although the earth is completely covered in monumental amounts of flood sediment, a naturalist would have to explain the survival of animals using natural processes, such as many local floods, and gradual deposition over millions of years. However, the Bible specifically says God caused the earth to be flooded until the waters exceeded the highest mountain by 15 cubits (22.5 feet, or 7 meters) (Genesis 7:20 ). The waters covered the mountains to the extent that no human was capable of surviving without supernatural intervention. The evidence of this event covers the world, but cannot be correctly interpreted by scientists who hold to an atheistic philosophy and naturalistic presuppositions.

In the six hundredth year of Noah's life, on the seventeenth day of the second month — on that day all the springs of the great deep burst forth, and the floodgates of the heavens were opened. Genesis 7:11

Explicit biblical references to Noah

Near explicit references to Noah

  • 2Peter 3:3-9 (vss 5-6) — (the word translated "flooded" here is the root of our word cataclysm)

Possible implicit references to the flood

Noahic Flood Story Explanations

There are two explanations for the widespread flood story:

  • The global flood was a popular and fictional myth created by early man, passed from culture to culture and gradually exaggerated.
  • The global flood was a historical event, of which the events were recorded and retained to varying degrees of accuracy in different cultures over the years.

Those who hold to the second approach challenge those who hold to the former in the following ways:

  • If this was a fictional myth, why did all the cultures take it as historical fact?
  • If this was a fictional myth, why was it found among Native American people who (according to the evolutionary view) had no contact with people of the Middle East for tens of thousands of years?
  • If this was a fictional myth, why is there such a spectacular degree of detail, particularly in the Genesis account, which provides the exact day, month, and year for the events of the flood?
  • Why is the geologic record so much more consistent with catastrophism than with uniformitarianism?[1]
  • Why does the physical evidence such as the massive fossil graveyards, huge sedimentary deposits, vast coal and oil fields and chalk deposits indicate a massive flood so strongly?

Many of those who most vigorously object to the second approach (historic event) do so for philosophical reasons. Because the most complete account of the Flood is found in Genesis, any admission of a major flood in human times would present a threat to Naturalism philosophy. They object to the idea that a God of judgement would reveal the future to a human and then destroy almost all land-living animals. Even evolutionists who agree with catasrophism often seek other explanations. This philosophical objection results in a great number of apparently scientific arguments against a global flood. However, most of these arguments are unfounded and do not hold up to scientific scrutiny.

Pre-flood and Post-flood differences

Most historical information regarding the pre-flood world and the post-flood world is based largely on speculation. However, one conclusion that is usually agreed upon is that the pre-flood world and post-flood world were dramatically different.

The following table is a summary of the known and assumed facts based on scientific research and biblical history.

Category Pre-flood Post-flood Comments
Lifespan Long lifespan. Short lifespan. Prophecy before the flood: (Genesis 6:3 )
Nutrient Availability Full nutritional diet available in plants and/or other resources.(Genesis 1:9 ) Many creatures, including Man, are now allowed to eat meat because there is a loss of nutrient resources.(Assumption based on Genesis 9:2-4 ) It is clear that before the flood, plant life was ample to sustain man, but after the flood, God also made animals available for man as a food source.

Fragen und Antworten

Was ist mit all dem Wasser passiert?

Manche, die die Idee einer globalen Flut verwerfen, tun dies, weil sie sagen, die Flut hätte so hoch steigen müssen wie der Mount Everest, weil es in Genesis 7:19 heißt, dass alle hohen Berge bedeckt wurden. Der Mount Everest ist 8850 Meter hoch und sie sagen, es gäbe nicht genug Wasser auf der Erde, um sie so hoch mit Wasser zu bedecken.[2]

Mountains rose

This is actually a straw man argument. Creationists do not claim that the Flood covered Mount Everest to its current height (see below). Those who accept the local-flood theory have to admit that the flood must have covered Mount Ararat, because that is where the ark landed. Mount Ararat is now 17,000 feet (5182 meters) high. In the local-flood theory, it would have had the same height before as after the Flood. But waters do not form a cube 17,000 feet high, which seems to make the local-flood theory illogical. The Bible tells us what happened:

6 You covered it with the deep as with a garment; the waters stood above the mountains. 7 But at your rebuke the waters fled, at the sound of your thunder they took to flight; 8 they flowed over the mountains, they went down into the valleys, to the place you assigned for them. 9 You set a boundary they cannot cross; never again will they cover the earth. Psalm 104:6-9

This passage tells us that mountains rose and valleys sank during the Flood. Mount Everest rose up during the Flood, so the Flood did not need to reach the height that Mount Everest is today.

There is enough water on earth for a global flood. If the earth was smoothed out, the water in the oceans would cover it to a depth of about 8,813 feet (2.6 kilometres). This does not include the water in rivers, lakes, glaciers, and other sources. They would add about another 2–3 thousand feet (600-900 metres). In reality, the Flood would only need to be a little over 7,000 feet (2.1 kilometres) deep.

So the real question is whether it is possible for Mount Everest to have risen to its current height fast enough to fit a time-scale consistent with the Flood. The earthquake that caused the Indonesian tsunami of December 26, 2004 caused an uplift of at least 20 feet (six metres) in a few minutes, which is a speed of about 240 feet per hour (84 metres per hour). At that rate Mount Everest could have reached its current height in about five days. Forces observed in earthquakes are sufficient, if extended long enough, to quickly raise the highest mountain to its current height in just a few days.

The result is that, based on the amount of water on earth, and observed tectonic forces, there was the potential to quickly raise mountains. So the global Flood of the Bible is theoretically possible. You can see a seafloor study that traces culprits behind Indian Ocean tsunami[3] for further explanation.


If water flooded the earth to the highest mountain today, there would need to be enough water on the earth to prove this could be done. On the surface there is not enough, nor is there enough under the surface of the crust. However, further down into the upper part of the earth's mantle, locked in a mineral called Wadsleyite,[4] it is estimated there is enough water to fill 30 of our oceans. This is more than enough water to flood the enitre earth above it's highest mountains.

Was the flood regional?

Main Article: Local flood

Although the Genesis account of the flood of Noah has traditionally been interpreted as meaning a global event, some believe it was merely a regional catastrophe. The local flood view is held by old-earth creationists known as Day-age or Progressive creationists. Arguments in favor of this position use the original Hebrew wording, which is ambiguous about whether the flood was universal. Local-flood advocates also cite many ancient historians who have claimed that Noah's Flood was regional. In addition, some Islamic and Greek historians recorded the flood as regional.

However, a regional flood makes nonsense of the story. The size of the ark means that its building is likely to have taken several years. That being so, it would always be simpler to migrate away from the region rather than build an ark. In addition, there would be no need to preserve animals through it, since they too could have walked to safety. No conceivable regional flood, in the earth's current configuration, could cover so wide an area as to require an ark rather than feet in order to escape it.

Furthermore, John D. Morris, at the Institute for Creation Research, points out that the Hebrew and Greek words used in the Bible for the Global Flood were substantially different from any words used to describe either a local flood or a metaphor for a military invasion.[5]

Could a just God destroy innocent life?

This objection refers to the many living things that were destroyed in the Flood. Why destroy the innocent animals? This is answered with an examination of the context. Mortal life, including plants and animals, since the Fall of Adam and Eve, is subject to death. Withholding a global flood would not have saved any animal or plant from death. The justice of God provided a way for many species to be saved on the Ark. God waited as long as his justice would allow, before causing a Flood that would shorten the life spans of individual creatures but would not destroy species: Life would return and the earth would be repopulated.


  1. Catastrophism vs. Uniformitarianism, All About Creation, 2002. Accessed March 9, 2008.
  2. Haverluck, Michael F. "The Global Flood as You've Never Seen It." CNN, November 30, 2007. Accessed March 9, 2008.
  3. Harder, Ben, and Petherick, Anna. "Seafloor Study Traces Culprits Behind Indian Ocean Tsunami." National Geographic News online, December 23, 2005. Accessed March 9, 2008.
  4. Bergeron, Lou. "Deep waters." Lambert Dolphin's Library online. Accessed March 9, 2008
  5. Morris, John D. "'Cataclysmed' with Water." Institute for Creation Research. Accessed March 9, 2008.

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