Flood Geology - Biblical Basis

Biblical Basis

Flood geology is based on a literal interpretation of the flood narrative in the Book of Genesis (Genesis 6–9). The narrative begins with God's decision to bring a deluge which will wipe out all life on earth except for those to be saved on Noah's Ark. In the 600th year of Noah's life God opens the "fountains of the deep" and the "windows of Heaven" and causes rain to fall on the earth for 40 days and nights. The flood increases for 150 days and covers "all the high mountains under heaven," at which point the Ark grounds on the mountains. The waters then retreat for 150 days, the earth dries, and Noah and his family and the animals and birds emerge to re-establish life on earth. (Seeley states that the authors of Genesis, like other peoples of the ancient Near East, conceived the earth as a flat, circular disk, floating like a bubble in a limitless expanse of water, with a solid sky (the firmament) separating the dry land inhabited by man and the other animals from the surrounding waters; when God opens the "windows of heaven" and the "fountains of the Deep", it is these waters which enter and flood the world).

Genesis also contains a chronology which places the Flood in the year 1656 after Creation in the standard Hebrew text (the Masoretic text - other texts have slightly different chronologies). Correlating this with a date in the modern calendar has proven contentious - there have been over two hundred attempts, with outcomes varying from 2304 to 6934 years BC — but modern flood geology attempts to fit geological time within the framework of a "young" Earth.

Biblical scholars believe that the flood story was written around 550–450 BC as a reworking of the ancient Mesopotamian myth of the flood-hero Utnapishtim. For the ancient author or authors, the purpose of the story was theological, elevating Hebrew monotheism over Babylonian polytheism. Within the overall narrative of the Genesis, the Flood mirrors, but in reverse, God's creation of "the heavens and the earth" in Genesis 1. That story tells how God creates an Earth which is good, but which becomes corrupted with violence, until in Genesis 6 he decides to destroy all life. He does this by opening the "windows of the firmament" and the "fountains of the Deep" and allowing the waters of the cosmos in. The chronology of the Flood replicates the chronology of the seven days of Creation: it begins in the second month, equivalent to the second day of Creation, the day on which the firmament was created; the waters then rise for 150 days (five months of 30 days each), until at the end of six months (equivalent to the six days of creative work in Genesis 1) the ark grounds on the highest mountain peak. (To underline the point, Noah's name means "rest" in Hebrew). After a month of rest (the equivalent of the seventh day of the Creation story), the waters recede for 150 days/five months as the world is "re-created": in the sixth month Noah waits, and in the seventh he and the animals exit the ark and give thanks to God.

Belief in a global Flood and a 6000 year history for the Earth had been largely abandoned by the mid-19th century. Their revival and rapid growth in the United States can be dated to the early 20th century, including, in a contemporary form, by Answers in Genesis:

The debate about the age of the earth is ultimately a question of whose word we are going to trust: the all-knowing truthful Creator who has given us His inerrant book (the Bible) or finite, sinful creatures who give us their books that contain errors and therefore are frequently revised. If you firmly trust and carefully read the Bible and become informed on creationist interpretations of the geological record, you can easily see how the rocks of the earth powerfully confirm the Bible’s teaching, both about Noah’s Flood and a young earth.

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