Re: Noahic Covenant

From: gordon brown (gbrown@euclid.colorado.edu)
Date: Sat Jul 20 2002 - 16:32:31 EDT

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    Marque,

    Welcome to this forum. Based on the example of your contribution so far I
    expect that you will have much of value to contribute.

    I have some additional comments to add to yours about Mt. Ararat.

    The Genesis account of the Flood has been augmented in many popular
    retellings by statements that are not really found in the Bible. For
    example, Genesis does not really say that the ark ran aground on Mount
    Ararat. Mount Ararat has only borne that name for about a thousand years.
    Genesis says that the ark rested on the mountains of Ararat. Ararat was
    the Hebrew name for Urartu, an ancient country just north of Assyria. It
    was called a kingdom in Jeremiah 51:27 and a land in II Kings 19:37 and
    Isaiah 37:38. Thus we are really told only the country in which the ark
    came to rest. I think there are some pretty good clues in Genesis that
    point away from a 17,000 foot volcano as being the resting place of the
    ark. Before the water had receded from the land around the ark, other
    mountains were visible even though Ararat is the highest mountain in the
    region. Where was the olive tree growing? The description of the drying up
    of the ground doesn't sound like what would happen to volcanic rock. I
    have always thought that these expeditions to find the ark were a waste of
    time based in part on misreading Genesis.

    Gordon Brown
    Department of Mathematics
    University of Colorado
    Boulder, CO 80309-0395

    On Fri, 19 Jul 2002, Victrorian Wife wrote:

    > I'll give a few general and then some specific comments to think about in
    > relationship to global versus regional flood.
    >
    > Was it global?
    > 1. It destroyed all life under the heavens (6:17)
    > 2. The waters rose at least 20 feet above all the high mountains (7:19-20)
    > 3. The flood lasted 371 days, indicating more than just local flooding.
    > 4. The final fiery judgement of the "whole earth" is compared to Noah's
    > flood (2 Peter 3:3-7).
    >
    > Was it regional?
    > 1. Why did the ark land on Mount Ararat (8:4), floating so few miles from
    > where it started?
    > 2. Why doesn't the original Hebrew use the most common word for "world" even
    > once in the whole account? Why instead does it use a word for "earth" that
    > can also be translated "land" or "country"? (The same word is used later to
    > describe a famine "in all the world", meaning the world as known from the
    > writer's perspective.)
    > 3. It may have covered a region of the world but is described in universal
    > language - much as speaking about a world war without precisely meaning that
    > every nation was involved.
    >
    > Now onto the science and logistics of a global flood (just to make it clear
    > - I support a more regional flood).
    >
    > 1. If the sea level rose for 150 days until it covered the tops of the
    > mountains and then subsided for another 150 days, it is relatively easy to
    > prove that this is physically impossible. If the sea level rose to the
    > 16,946 level of Mount Ararat (this doesn't take into account even the taller
    > Alps) the sea would have had to rise approximately 16,946 feet all over the
    > planet earth. That would require 630 million cubic miles of additional
    > water weighing 3,000,000,000,000,000,000 tons. Where did all that water go
    > during the second 150 days? It could not evaporate or it would still be the
    > atmosphere and it is not and it couldn't drain to low places because they
    > were already filled up. That much water vapor would obscure the sun from
    > the earth and life would not be sustainable.
    >
    > 2. Assuming 21,000 species of animals represented on the ark, that would
    > have required taking 42,000 individuals. There were 8 people on the ark and
    > they would have had to of visited 2,637 cages a day for feeding and
    > cleaning. Other problems include loading all those animals, discarding
    > 78,750 liters of urine, etc.
    >
    > 3. How can there still be freshwater lakes and streams if they were all
    > inundated with salt water? How did the freshwater fish survive?
    >
    > 4. How could have animals only found in Australia today gotten back to
    > their continent? How did they get to Noah?
    >
    > 5. How did the animals (such as hippos and elephants) get down off of the
    > high peaks of Mt Ararat. How did the animals get back to their native
    > habitats?
    >
    > These are only a few examples, I could list more. I think it is obvious that
    > the logistics, when put into a scientific light, would be all but
    > impossible. Obviously, some could argue divine intervention to "make it all
    > happen" but if we are using the Biblial text as it reads, there is no
    > mention of other interventions.
    >
    > There are other compelling geological and language arguments for a regional
    > flood but I won't go into them unless there is an interest. I think the
    > most important thing is to always keep in mind the theological significance
    > of the Genesis flood story. What it tells us about God, man and sin is the
    > most important thing. Debating the logistics and scientific detail are more
    > like brain candy - I love sweets!
    >
    > If I am covering old ground, I apologize - I didn't go back and conduct an
    > extensive review of the archives.
    >
    > Marque
    >
    >
    >
    >
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