Noah's Flood: Global or Local?
Noah's Flood: Global or Local?
A. Various people who study Scripture conclude that the Flood of Noah was not a global deluge.
B. Gap Theorists and Christian Identity types (Two-Seeders) are examples of Bible-readers who
may believe that Noah's flood was a local event.
1. Gap Theorists such as C.I. Scofield tend to believe in life and death before Adam in a
world which was destroyed by a catastrophic judgmental flood.
a. A local Noahic Flood better supports their accommodationist theological
framework which allows for millions of years of earth history: “...may warrant the conclusion that each creative ‘day’ was a period of time marked off by a beginning and ending... Relegate fossils to the primitive creation, [world which was destroyed and reformed before Adam was created] and no conflict of science with the Genesis cosmogony remains.”
(Scofield Reference Bible footnote on Genesis 1)
b. Death before Adam corrupts the gospel. ROM 5:12-19; 1CO 15:22.
2. Christian Identity religion requires that the ungodly seed line of the Devil through Cain made it through the Noahic flood. Thus, a local Noahic flood is critical to their system.
C. Consider the following:
1. To conclude that GEN 6-9 is talking about a local event is to deny the primary meanings
of the words there. Note GEN 7:17-24.
a. One would have to ignore the preponderance of emphases there that all should
perish who were not on the ark.
b. The language so obviously describes a geologically and anthropologically
universal inundation that God might well be charged as an obscurer if He meant
to describe a local flood.
2. If there were ungodly men who were not destroyed in the Flood, did God mess up when
he sought to destroy the world of the ungodly? 1PE 3:20 c/w 2PE 2:5.
a. Remember that the earth was filled with violence. GEN 6:11-13.
b. An earth filled with violence implies an earth filled with people, contrary to the
notion of an anthropologically limited flood.
c. If the flood was only for destroying a locally violent region, then it must be
assumed there must have been decent, peaceful folk living elsewhere. the flood were only local, what need was there for an ark?
a. There were 120 years from the Divine decision until the Flood (GEN 6:3). This
would have provided ample time for Noah to hike to an unaffected area, as was
the case in Sodom and Gomorrah's destruction. See GEN 19.
b. What need would there be to provide sanctuary and sustenance for the animals if
they could have survived elsewhere?
(1) Was all air-breathing animal life concentrated in only that area which was
going to be locally flooded, necessitating their preservation in the ark?
(2) If God could direct them to the ark (GEN 6:19-20; 7:7-16), He certainly
could have directed them to high ground and food sources elsewhere if
such an “elsewhere” was not going to be under water.
local flood would likely not take four months to recede sufficiently for the dove to
find dry land. GEN 8:4-12.
5. Local or regional floods of a grand scale have occurred throughout history with great loss of life.
a. The Huang He River in China flooded in 1887 taking 900,000 lives.
b. It flooded again in 1931 taking 3,700,000 lives.
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c. If Noah's Flood was only a local flood, then what becomes of God's promise to “...no more destroy all flesh with a flood of water?” GEN 8:21; 9:11, 15.
d. God's everlasting covenant with His elect is as sure as His post-Flood promise (ISA 54:8-10). If the post-Flood promise only considered a local flood and since there have been many large-scale local floods since then, where is the comfort and security in His everlasting covenant?
6. If Noah and his family were not the only survivors of the Flood, how would the terms of the post-Flood covenant apply to the rest (GEN 9:1-6)? Would they be exempt from eating flesh?, from the law of capital punishment?, from the law against eating blood?
7. Scripture plainly declares that the present human race are all the descendants of Noah and his family, which hardly accords with the idea that others made it through the Flood. GEN 9:1, 18-19; 10:32; ACT 17:26.
8. A local flood of the Mesopotamian basin can not account for the aquatic creatures embedded in the strata at high elevations in the world's mountain ranges.
a. The observable evidences are everywhere of a sudden, rapid burial and
deposition of plants and animals: “Billions of dead things buried in rock layers
laid down by water all over the earth.” (Ken Ham)
b. Nevertheless, Bible-denying academics mock the idea of a global flood on Earth
while, on the basis of very limited evidence, concluding that the presently cold,
arid Mars was once covered in water.
c. The faith of humanists sometimes shames the faith of saints.
9. If the Flood was not universal, what does that do to the parallel that Scripture draws between the Flood and the Final Judgment?
a. Scripture sets forth a universal final destruction of the earth (and heavens).
PSA 102:25-26; ISA 51:6; MAT 5:18; 24:35; HEB 1:10-12; REV 20:11; 21:1.
b. Peter strongly parallels the consumption of the wicked and the earth itself at Christ's return with the Flood. 2PE 3:3-12.
(1) Peter's parallel breaks down if Noah's Flood was not universal.
(2) A local Flood would imply that only a portion of the earth will be burned
up at the Second Coming. 2PE 3:10.
(3) If Noah's Flood was local and there were sinners outside his protection
that were unaffected by it, this would imply that there will be sinners
outside of Christ not affected by Final Judgment.
10. If the flood was only local, why was the token of the rainbow universal? GEN 9:12-17.
a. A token that could only have meaning to those who escaped a local flood would be irrelevant to anyone who was never affected by it nor had knowledge of it.
b. If the rainbow is a token that God would never again send a local flood, then the rainbow has no significance since large local floods have since occurred.
c. Sinners might scorn Scripture, mock God, even use the rainbow against Him.
D. Believers may be assured that:
1. There was a worldwide flood even as there shall be a worldwide inferno.
2. As there was a righteous man (Noah) for whose sake his family was saved, so Christ is
the righteousness of His family that saves them from final judgment. ROM 5:19.
3. As there was a sure covenant of preservation made with the earth after sin’s judgment,
so there is a sure covenant of everlasting duration to those in Christ.
JOH 10:27-29; HEB 13:20; JUDE 1:1.
4. As the rainbow was a comforting token of God’s faithful mercy until time ends, so N.T. faith is our comforting token of survival in Christ until He returns. HEB 11:1-4.
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