Taken from "The Long Summer, How Climate Changed Civilisation", by Brian Fagan

"Imagine a lake whose waters suddenly rise 15 centimeters a day. Envisage living in a village on a river terrace a short distance inland, watching an inexorable flood moving upstream as much as 1.6 kilometers daily. The inundation never pauses, just rises and rises, drowning crops, leaving only treetops emerging from the still, rising water. A red-brown muck from the water coats the green leaves, which soon vanish beneath the rising deluge. Canoes drawn up on the river bank float away. Within days, the flat river valley forms part of a growing, increasingly brackish sea.

One of the greatest natural disasters to affect humanity came in about 5600 B.C., when the rising waters of the Mediterranean flooded the deep basin of the Euxine Lake, 150 meters below the sea of Marmara, to form the balck sea"

Does this sound familiar to anyone?

It sounds a bit like the story from the Epic of Gilgamesh

localized flood. Many people have accepted that there was a localized flood.

No, it sounds like a flood. THe bible describes a world wife flood, and Jesus and others endorsed that view, not a view of a local flood.

2Pe 2:5 And spared not the old world, but saved Noah the eighth [person], a preacher of righteousness, bringing in the flood upon the world of the ungodly;

1Pe 3:20 ...in the days of Noah, while the ark was a preparing, wherein few, that is, eight souls were saved by water.

8 souls, were saved...this makes no sense if it was local. If it was local then the number would be much higher.

Gen 6:17 And, behold, I, even I, do bring a flood of waters upon the earth, to destroy ALL flesh,

Gen 9:11 And I will establish my covenant with you; neither shall *ALL *flesh be cut off any more by the waters of a flood; neither shall there any more be a flood to destroy the earth.

Luk 17:27 They did eat, they drank, they married wives, they were given in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark, and the flood came, and destroyed them all.

It's pretty clear that it takes some real twisting to belive the authors viewed this as local...but hey, what do Peter, Moses, and Jesus know...;-)

This is the formation of the Black Sea due to ice melt at the end of the Younger Dryas..pretty spectacular I'd have thought for those in that region. As the ice retreated you'd also get localised flooding in other parts too. Might seem as if your world was disappearing under water. Time is in the right ballpark too.

If you want to go further back to the end of the last great ice age you have massive flooding everywhere (eg creation of north sea, creation of baltic, mediterranean etc). Interesting to think about.

8 souls of a tribe? Remember that people at the time had no way to appreciate the whole world. Wasn't god talking to that tribe? What is the world to a primitive tribe?

Here is a biblical argument for a local flood for those who are interested:


yes that sounds reasonable

The entire point of the story is meaningless if its a local flood.

How does a local flood punish the wickedness of the world?

How could a local flood require bringing animals to preserve them from extinction?

Either accept the story or reject it, but I hate this choose your own adventure shit.

"Yeah and maybe Jesus walked on chunks of ice in the water!"

Yeah it was all "street-magic"....

How many geologists think there has been a worldwide flood? Have they done a survey?

LOL, at the attempts to pretend that the scriptures are talking about a local flood. Wow.

Why is it funny?

because it's an attempt to take what is clear in the scriptures and what was clearly understood for over 2000 years and then try to squeeze and massage and "fix" it to say something else. The scriptures are clear...it was a world wide flood that destroyed all flesh...but 8.

Yes but Ridgback's interesting link shows how translations from the Hebrew may have seriously affected the meanings of some terms. We also have direct geological evidence for the creation of the black sea (a massive catastrophic event in the correct time period) but none at all for the mysterious global flood. When we therefore pull together the evidence from various sources, a localised yet massive flood becomes a distinct possibility, despite what the English translation of the bible says about it.

Since God didn't write the bible, and no-one else at the time could see the whole world, what objection do you have to the idea of a localised catastrophic flood? What would be the difference and why would it matter particularly?

"that link ridge posted has some interested discussion about the hebrew terms used in the story and their different connotations which are lost in the english translation"

Yeah I probably should have read that first before running my mouth. I still dont agree however.

I see this stuff constantly and its flat out insulting for the most part.

We now have the "real story" for:

Moses parting the red sea: It was the "reed sea" and the tide went out so the 10 inch water went to 0 inches, the Jews walked across and then it came back and Pharoah couldnt follow.

Jesus walking on water: there was a rare climate phenomenon and he stood on sheets of ice floating in the water.

David and Goliath: David was a 20 year old man and Goliath had acromegaly so the stone hit his tumor and ruptured it.

I think examining the stories is absolutely fascinating but changing them to appear more palatable to secular people is just straight up pandering.

1) God did write the bible, through men.

2) There is evidence of a world wide flood.

3) the story of a world wide flood is found universally, something collectively branded itself in the mind of the ancients, divided by geographical boundaries, language, culture etc.

4) The translations used to indicate "local" are incorrect.

I'd be happy to list the support for all 4 points but I have a feeling we will talk past each other.

THE world was destroyed once by water and it is prophesied that it will be destroyed again by fire. THis is a type of the blood and the Spirit. It is a recurrent theme found over and over in the bible.

THE water of the flood was meant as a type of the blood of Christ. It cleansed the world. It buried sin while separating those who found "grace" in the eyes of the Lord from sin.

It's a type of the new birth. the old world of sin passed away and a new life for Noah and his family was achieved. it was a world free from sin.

To say that the flood was local destroys the type set forth indicating that the blood was not shed for the world, and that some don't need the blood and that the blood is not universal.

If you read the similarities of the flood stories they contain the same elements including a destruction of the entire world. (of course entire world doesn't really mean that).

Also, what makes a type so powerful is how it teaches in principle a truth.

The blood of Christ covers all sin, not just localized sin.

The bloof of Jesus completely covers our old life and brings us to a completely new life.

You are violating the type. It's like saying, "well, you don't have to have a pure lamb, unspotted...it's a symbol. You can actually kill a spotted lamb and put the blood on the doorstops."

it kills the type.

That's why Moses, as awesome as he was, was not allowed to enter the promised land. He struck the rock TWICE. THe rock is a symbol of CHRIST and CHRIst was supposed to be struck down ONCE. He died once for all men, not twice. it broke the type.

That's why CAIN was condemned for offering his best (of the land). THe type required that a blood sacrifice.

THe type is very, very important. In the case of the flood, the type it was teaching is that the blood is both the instrument of COMPLETE cleansing as well as judgement. On the righteous, salvation...on the unrepentant, disobedient sinner...judgement.

you cannot have a partial covering of the blood.

The Bible says the flood was global?



"The Bible says it. I believe it. That settles it!" The phrase is a common argument used for those  who call for the "literal reading" of the Bible. I have no complaints with the concept of reading the Bible literally. However, many who claim to be literalists apparently do not believe everything the Bible says. The concept of a global Genesis flood can be easily eliminated from a plain reading of Psalms 104,1 which is known as the "creation psalm." Psalms 104 describes the creation of the earth in the same order as that seen in Genesis 1 (with a few more details added). It begins with an expanding universe model (reminiscent of the Big Bang) (verse 2, parallel to Genesis 1:1). It next describes the formation of a stable water cycle (verses 3-5, parallel to Genesis 1:6-8). The earth is then described as a planet completely covered with water (verse 6, parallel to Genesis 1:9). God then causes the dry land to appear (verses 7-8, parallel to Genesis 1:9-10). The verse that eliminates a global flood follows: "You set a boundary they [the waters] cannot cross; never again will they cover the earth." (Psalms 104:9) Obviously, if the waters never again covered the earth, then the flood must have been local.

Local perspective of the flood

Does the Genesis text indicate that the flood was local? If you read it carefully, you can determine that the perspective is local. The key verses can be seen below:

  • Gen 8:5 And the water decreased steadily until the tenth month; in the tenth month, on the first day of the month, the tops of the mountains became visible.
  • Gen 8:6 Then it came about at the end of forty days, that Noah opened the window of the ark which he had made;
  • Gen 8:7 and he sent out a raven, and it flew here and there until the water was dried up from the earth.
  • Gen 8:8 Then he sent out a dove from him, to see if the water was abated from the face of the land;
  • Gen 8:9 but the dove found no resting place for the sole of her foot, so she returned to him into the ark; for the water was on the surface of all the earth. Then he put out his hand and took her, and brought her into the ark to himself.

We see that in the tenth month, the mountains became visible to Noah (Genesis 8:5). Some 40+ days later (Genesis 8:6), Noah sent a dove out of the ark (Genesis 8:8). However, the dove was unable to land because of all the water (Genesis 8:9). Then, the text tells us that water was "on the surface of all the earth." This is obviously a bad translation of kol erets, since we know that the water had not covered the mountains for at least 40 days. The context makes it clear that kol erets must refer to local geography and should be translated as the "all the land" or "all the ground." In fact, all our major English translations (NASB, NIV, KJV, etc.) make this same error. It is no wonder that people who read the English translation of the Bible "literally" come to the conclusion that the flood must have been global. However, it is apparent that our English "translations" of the Genesis flood text are more than just "translations," but actually interpretations (and probably incorrect ones at that).

There is another indication in the text that the flood did not cover the highest mountains. Again, from Genesis 8:

So he waited yet another seven days; and again he sent out the dove from the ark. And the dove came to him toward evening; and behold, in her beak was a freshly picked olive leaf. So Noah knew that the water was abated from the earth. (Genesis 8:10-11)

If the ark had come to rest on the top of Mount Ararat, this would be at 17,000 foot elevation. Olive trees (and every other tree) do not grow at 17,000 feet. In fact, you will not find olive trees growing much above 5,000 feet. Therefore, we know from the Bible that the ark did not come to rest on or near the top of Mount Ararat, but probably somewhere on the foothills of the mountain.

The method by which the flood ended also tells us that the flood was local. According to Genesis, the water receded and was dried by the wind.13 If the flood were global, there would be no place for the waters to recede to. Likewise, a wind would not significantly affect a global flood, further suggesting that the Genesis flood was local in extent.

If the Genesis flood were local, why didn't God just sent Noah and his family packing. Once they were out of the Mesopotamian flood plain, God could have judged the unrighteous without making Noah go to all the trouble of building a huge ark. It is true that God could have done this, although there are some good biblical reasons why He chose not to do so. Why did God make the Israelites march around Jericho for seven days prior to the wall falling down? Why did God make the Israelite look upon the bronze serpent to be healed of snake bite in the wilderness? Why did Jesus make the blind man go to the Pool of Siloam to heal his blindness? Were any of these things actually required for God to do His work? No! God could have just wiped out all the evil people in the world, as He did later to the all the Egyptians' first-born. Maybe God had good reasons for Noah to build the ark? God has a purpose for each person of faith to join Him in preaching His message. God's plan will be accomplished regardless of our participation in it. However, God gives obedient humans the privilege of participating in God's plans. Likewise, God had a plan for Noah, part of which was for him and his sons to demonstrate their commitment and perseverance to the Lord.

One will notice in the judgments that God renders, He almost always gives a warning to those who are being judged. For example, God sent angels to Sodom before it was to be destroyed,14 sent Jonah to Nineveh to warn them of the judgment to come,15 and will send two prophets to warn the people of the earth of the final judgment.16 The building of the ark was a great testimony of the coming judgment, since it was preached for 100 years during the building of the ark. The New Testament states this idea directly, since it says that Noah was a "preacher of righteousness":

For if God did not spare angels when they sinned, but cast them into hell and committed them to pits of darkness, reserved for judgment; and did not spare the ancient world, but preserved Noah, a preacher of righteousness, with seven others, when He brought a flood upon the world of the ungodly; (2 Peter 2:4-5)

If God had told Noah to just migrate away from the flood area, the people would not have been warned of the impending judgment. Ultimately, they were without excuse in their rebellion against God, since the impending judgment was proclaimed to them for 100 years before it happened. Likewise, God will send two preachers for 1260 days prior to the ultimate judgment of God.16 Those who get on God's ark (Jesus Christ) will be saved from the judgment and pass from death to eternal life.

Some animals are indigenous only to that area. More importantly, it would have taken hundreds of years longer to replace the fauna if everything had been wiped out and had to migrate back in. In addition, Noah would have had a huge problem replacing his herds.

Why were birds on the ark?

If the Flood was local, why would birds have been sent on board? They could simply have flown to a nearby mountain range. Most birds (other than a few migratory birds) have a very localized territory. They would have been killed in the local flood, since they are not designed to fly long distances. Certainly archaeopteryx was not a strong flyer. Hummingbirds would drop dead in 20 minutes or less. One thing that you will notice when there is a strong rain is that birds do not fly. Flying in heavy rain is not easy. They would have sat on their perches until the water drowned them.