“And the waters prevailed exceedingly upon the earth; and all the high hills, that were under the whole heaven, were covered. Fifteen cubits upward did the waters prevail; and the mountains were covered.”
I grew up with the strong impression from family, school, and church, that what we read in Genesis is not literally true. So it did not occur to me that anyone would believe that water really covered the whole Earth. After all, preachers at the church my family attended did not believe it. But one minister suggested that there might be a grain of truth behind the story. Maybe, he opined, there was some sort of a big flooding event in the Middle East, perhaps between the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers. That was all the world they knew at the time, so maybe the flood myth in Genesis was, in fact, a distorted memory of a disastrous local flood.
For those of us who take the Bible seriously, there are some major problems with the concept of a local flood, however. Here are just two.
The Bible says that all the high mountains were covered to a depth of about 22 feet. How could a localized flood cover mountains to such a depth? Water will find its own level. It defies scientific reason to suppose that water could be piled up in a local area to cover such high hills.
Not only that, but the Ark was to hold birds and other flying creatures, as well as land animals. Yet, if the flood were only local, it would not be too difficult for birds to fly away to an area that was not being flooded.
I wish those church ministers from my youth had simply believed what the Bible teaches. That is the most logical and scientific position.
Prayer: Forgive us, Lord, when we try to reinterpret Your word because of our unbelief. Thank You that You did everything as You said You did. Amen.
Ref: Ham, K. (2010), The New Answers Book 3, (Green River, AR: Master Books), p. 59. Image: Adobe Stock Images, licensed to author.