RE: [asa] RE: The Local Flood (was promise trumps biology)

From: Dick Fischer <dickfischer@verizon.net>
Date: Thu Dec 11 2008 - 23:16:43 EST

Hi Bernie:
 
Science is only one limiting factor. History is the other. The
eleventh tablet of Gilgamesh precedes Genesis and parallels Genesis.
Gilgamesh is listed on the Sumerian king list as the fifth ruler of Uruk
(Erech) and is dated to between 2800 BC and 2700 BC. This would put him
contemporary to Noah who lived after the flood from 2900 BC to about
2550 BC. And of course, Gilgamesh and Utnapishtim (literally
"long-lived") are the characters in the story. Compare this excerpt
with Genesis
 
When the seventh day arrived,
I sent forth and set free a dove.
The dove went forth, but came back;
Since no resting-place for it was visible, she turned round.
Then I sent forth and set free a swallow.
The swallow went forth, but came back;
Since no resting-place for it was visible, she turned round.
Then I sent forth and set free a raven.
The raven went forth and, seeing that the waters had diminished,
He eats, circles, caws, and turns not round.
Then I let out (all) to the four winds
 
Gen.8:7-12: "And he sent forth a raven, which went forth to and fro,
until the waters were dried up from off the earth. Also he sent forth a
dove from him, to see if the waters were abated from off the face of the
ground; But the dove found no rest for the sole of her foot, and she
returned unto him into the ark, for the waters were on the face of the
whole earth: then he put forth his hand, and took her, and pulled her in
unto him into the ark. And he stayed yet other seven days; and again he
sent forth the dove out of the ark; And the dove came in to him in the
evening; and, lo, in her mouth was an olive leaf pluckt off: so Noah
knew that the waters were abated from off the earth. And he stayed yet
other seven days; and sent forth the dove; which returned not again unto
him any more.
 
These commonalities in the two accounts are too close to believe they
could possibly have arisen independently. If the legend of Gilgamesh is
describing only a local flood what would make you think the writer of
Genesis thought it was global?
 
Dick Fischer, GPA president
Genesis Proclaimed Association
"Finding Harmony in Bible, Science and History"
www.genesisproclaimed.org
 
-----Original Message-----
From: asa-owner@lists.calvin.edu [mailto:asa-owner@lists.calvin.edu] On
Behalf Of Dehler, Bernie
Sent: Thursday, December 11, 2008 12:41 PM
Cc: ASA
Subject: RE: [asa] RE: The Local Flood (was promise trumps biology)
 
Dick said:
" "Why" questions are always the hardest to answer and I don't feel
qualified to speak for God's actions or question His motives. "
 
If you take the text the way it was written and taken by the original
author and audience, the "why" is obvious- it was to save all life from
becoming extinct. The only reason for doubting it is because of modern
science. Without science, you can take it at literal face value. as
evolution-deniers do today.
 
As for punting in a boat, they could always punt until the water covers
the highest place- but if it covered the highest place by 20 feet for a
year, then obviously the whole Earth is flooded. The bowl has been
breached. Young earth is disqualified because of science- local flood
is disqualified because it claims to take the story literally but really
doesn't.
 
FYI- I grew up as a Catholic thinking these were non-literal
non-historical stories, then as an Evangelical tried to take them as
history. Now as a creationary evolutionist, I do not see them as
history (creation and flood accounts).
  _____

From: Dick Fischer [mailto:dickfischer@verizon.net]
Sent: Wednesday, December 10, 2008 9:34 PM
To: Dehler, Bernie
Cc: ASA
Subject: RE: [asa] RE: The Local Flood (was promise trumps biology)
 
Hi Bernie, you wrote:
 
>> I don't understand how you can deal with the top of the mountains
being covered by 20 ft. Seems like every translation is saying the same
thing. What do you think the point of the text is in mentioning
20ft.?<<
 
Punting poles are still used today to navigate along the canals. When
the ark's crew of eight could no longer touch bottom they knew they were
higher than the poles could reach. That was about 16 feet as I
remember.
 
>> So now you are saying that the flood is not a miracle? Or are you
choosing which parts are a miracle, and which aren't, such as the
animals coming to the ark being a miracle but the amount of water not
being a miracle?<<
 
Floods happened every spring. This one was a whopper. Noah was warned,
however, so obviously some Divine action took place. If the animals
lined up in neat pairs one behind the other in order of size, I'd agree
with you.
 
>> And what animal species would have to be saved from a local flood?
Seems to me like every animal species would represented beyond the local
flood area also (likely no ecological barrier preventing the
spread-out). What animal can you name that would be saved by an ark,
because if it wasn't, it would go extinct? If the point of putting the
animals on board wasn't to save them (as a species), then it was just
for a joy-ride. And why is God concerned about saving a few local
species when 99% of all living species were already wiped-out anyway by
then (according to the fossil record)?<<
 
Again, you ask thoughtful questions. I don't think any animals would
have gone extinct. Only that the animals saved would be useful to Noah
at the end of the voyage, but that is only a guess, Bernie. There have
been frequent extinctions, the fossil record attests to that. "Why"
questions are always the hardest to answer and I don't feel qualified to
speak for God's actions or question His motives. For me, "when,"
where," and to some extent "how" questions are easier to handle.
 
Dick Fischer, GPA president
Genesis Proclaimed Association
"Finding Harmony in Bible, Science and History"
www.genesisproclaimed.org
 
-----Original Message-----
From: asa-owner@lists.calvin.edu [mailto:asa-owner@lists.calvin.edu] On
Behalf Of Dehler, Bernie
Sent: Wednesday, December 10, 2008 2:25 PM
Cc: ASA
Subject: RE: [asa] RE: The Local Flood (was promise trumps biology)
 
Hi Dick- I don't understand how you can deal with the top of the
mountains being covered by 20 ft. Seems like every translation is
saying the same thing. What do you think the point of the text is in
mentioning 20ft.?
 
Also, you said:
"An appeal to a "miracle" as the answer is a throw-the-hands-up
solution. When all else fails, try a miracle."
 
So now you are saying that the flood is not a miracle? Or are you
choosing which parts are a miracle, and which aren't, such as the
animals coming to the ark being a miracle but the amount of water not
being a miracle?
 
And what animal species would have to be saved from a local flood? Sems
to me like every animal species would represented beyond the local flood
area also (likely no ecological barrier preventing the spread-out).
What animal can you name that would be saved by an ark, because if it
wasn't, it would go extinct? If the point of putting the animals on
board wasn't to save them (as a species), then it was just for a
joy-ride. And why is God concerned about saving a few local species
when 99% of all living species were already wiped-out anyway by then
(according to the fossil record)?
 
.Bernie
 
  _____

From: Dick Fischer [mailto:dickfischer@verizon.net]
Sent: Wednesday, December 10, 2008 10:31 AM
To: Dehler, Bernie
Cc: ASA
Subject: RE: [asa] RE: The Local Flood (was promise trumps biology)
 
Hi Bernie:
 
You ask good questions even if you don't seem to pay much attention to
the previous answers. Okay, try this:
 
Gen. 7:18: "The waters rose and increased greatly on the [land], and
the ark floated on the surface of the water. 19 They rose greatly on the
[land], and all the high [hills] under the entire [sky] were covered. 20
The waters rose and covered the [hills] to a depth of more than twenty
feet."
 
All these substitutions are acceptable translations consistent with the
original Hebrew words.
 
An appeal to a "miracle" as the answer is a throw-the-hands-up solution.
When all else fails, try a miracle. I think a local flood necessitates
a smaller boat loaded with fewer animals. I've mentioned before that a
local flood covering two rainy seasons with Noah floating around in
between is a possible solution. Although I freely admit there is no
flood scenario I can imagine that doesn't stretch the limits of
credibility. It's simply that some scenarios stretch it more and some
stretch it less.
 
Dick Fischer, GPA president
Genesis Proclaimed Association
"Finding Harmony in Bible, Science and History"
www.genesisproclaimed.org
 
-----Original Message-----
From: asa-owner@lists.calvin.edu [mailto:asa-owner@lists.calvin.edu] On
Behalf Of Dehler, Bernie
Sent: Wednesday, December 10, 2008 12:54 PM
Cc: ASA
Subject: [asa] RE: The Local Flood (was promise trumps biology)
 
Dick- how do you deal with all highest (local) mountains being covered
with water- by over 20 feet?
 
If it simply spilled-over, it wouldn't get to be more than 1 feet. But
if it spilled-over, and filled the whole earth, then it could rise to 20
feet.
 
As for where the water came and went- no problem- MIRACLE! The whole
story is covered in animals, such as the wild animals getting on board,
and even Noah making such a huge boat that would float and not leak
enough to sink.
 
If the mountains are covered with 20 feet of water, there simply is no
bowl-effect keeping in the water. The writer went out of his way to
tell you that.
 
Gen. 7:
18 The waters rose and increased greatly on the earth, and the ark
floated on the surface of the water. 19 They rose greatly on the earth,
and all the high mountains under the entire heavens were covered. 20 The
waters rose and covered the mountains to a depth of more than twenty
feet.
 
  _____

From: Dick Fischer [mailto:dickfischer@verizon.net]
Sent: Wednesday, December 10, 2008 9:26 AM
To: Dehler, Bernie
Cc: ASA
Subject: The Local Flood (was promise trumps biology)
 
Hi Bernie:
 
This looks like selective reasoning. Bernard Ramm estimated it would
take four times the amount of water the earth possesses to flood the
entire earth. And if the entire globe was covered, where did the water
drain off? Since the impossible is less plausible than the possible a
local flood is far more likely.
 
The Hebrew word har means either mountains or hills. Thus the high
"hills" were covered. Unenlightened English translations occasionally
do us a disservice. Granted, a year-long flood is hard to reckon, but
it is just as hard to reckon whatever amount of land was flooded. If
the dove plucked a green leaf off the olive branch, however, you can bet
the tree was never submerged for months in salt water, and therefore,
the flood was confined to the Mesopotamian basin and the tree was
located on higher ground.
 
Dick Fischer, GPA president
Genesis Proclaimed Association
"Finding Harmony in Bible, Science and History"
www.genesisproclaimed.org <http://www.genesisproclaimed.org/>
 
 
-----Original Message-----
From: asa-owner@lists.calvin.edu [mailto:asa-owner@lists.calvin.edu] On
Behalf Of Dehler, Bernie
Sent: Wednesday, December 10, 2008 11:44 AM
To: asa@calvin.edu
Subject: RE: [asa] promise trumps biology
 
If the writer wanted to make the reader clear that it really was the
whole world, he might put in extra words to be very clear about that.
And that's what he did by saying how long the flood was (1 year, which
is impossible from experience for a local flood) and how it covered the
highest mountain and then some.
 
A local flood requires a bowl shape to keep in water. If the water goes
over the roof of the bowl, it can't be contained. Scripture clearly
says the water went over the mountains. It follows that it went over,
it wasn't just spilling, but also filling up, so the whole Earth was
covered in water-- it spilled over until the water was the same level
everywhere until it couldn't spill over any more and the water level
simply covered the tallest mountain and then some, as scripture says.
 
Why not just believe it, literaly? Because of science. The writers of
the Bible didn't have this scientific knowledge. We do. I think
honesty requires us to read it as intended, and then deal with it
according to the truth/light that we have. It is unreasonable to think
that the text is trying to describe a local flood, or that a local flood
could fulfill the passage.
 
...Bernie
 
-----Original Message-----
From: asa-owner@lists.calvin.edu [mailto:asa-owner@lists.calvin.edu] On
Behalf Of George Cooper
Sent: Wednesday, December 10, 2008 6:50 AM
To: asa@calvin.edu
Subject: RE: [asa] promise trumps biology
 
Bernie,
 
2 Peter 3 does not say "whole world", regardless of which Bible version
selected. This phrase, however, is used a number of times in the NT.
But
even these do not necessarily refer to the entire globe, but rather the
whole known world, apparently.
 
Consider...
 
Rm 1:8 "First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for you all, that
your
faith is spoken of throughout the whole world."
 
That makes sense if it is in the context of those in the known world,
and
not every human on the planet.
 
 
The use of "world" in the 16th century was often used to refer to the
cosmos
or universe. Copernicus used it many times in his de Revolutionibus.
 
Coope
 
 
-----Original Message-----
From: asa-owner@lists.calvin.edu [mailto:asa-owner@lists.calvin.edu] On
Behalf Of Dehler, Bernie
Sent: Tuesday, December 09, 2008 5:52 PM
To: asa@calvin.edu
Subject: RE: [asa] promise trumps biology
 
Gordon Brown said:
" There are problems with proof texting when one uses an English
translation. The English may be more clear-cut than the original. In the
Biblical languages the same word is used for land and earth."
 
RE:
2 Peter 3:
6By these waters also the world of that time was deluged and destroyed.
 
Here it says the whole "world."
 
Strong's says this:
http://www.blueletterbible.org/lang/lexicon/lexicon.cfm?Strongs=G2889&t=
KJV
 
None of those options (in the definition by Strongs) involve a partial
covering of the Earth.
 
Literally, I think it is clear Peter meant the whole world. I think he
was
wrong, because he didn't have the luxury of science as we do now, to
know
that the whole Earth was never flooded.
 
I don't see the relevance of your mentioning Deut. 2;25- you'll need to
explain more fully. I think they meant the world as they knew it, in
that
passage.
 
My point wasn't to argue the flood. My point was that Dick said that
George
didn't believe Moses, so it appeared to me the same charge could be
leveled
at Dick himself. I'm sure Moses thought the flood was worldwide, and
wrote
as such. If Moses (and Peter) thought the flood was local, he sure was
a
super lousy communicator!
 
...Bernie
 
 
-----Original Message-----
From: asa-owner@lists.calvin.edu [mailto:asa-owner@lists.calvin.edu] On
Behalf Of gordon brown
Sent: Tuesday, December 09, 2008 1:29 PM
To: asa@calvin.edu
Subject: RE: [asa] promise trumps biology
 
On Tue, 9 Dec 2008, Dehler, Bernie wrote:
 
> RE:
> Genesis
6:17<http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?book_id=1&chapter=6&verse=17&v
ersi
on=31&context=verse>
> I am going to bring floodwaters on the earth to destroy all life under
the
heavens, every creature that has the breath of life in it. Everything on
earth will perish.
>
> Genesis
9:11<http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?book_id=1&chapter=9&verse=11&v
ersi
on=31&context=verse>
> I establish my covenant with you: Never again will all life be cut off
by
the waters of a flood; never again will there be a flood to destroy the
earth."
>
> 2 Peter 3:
> 6By these waters also the world of that time was deluged and
destroyed.
7By the same word the present heavens and earth are reserved for fire,
being
kept for the day of judgment and destruction of ungodly men.
>
 
There are problems with proof texting when one uses an English
translation. The English may be more clear-cut than the original. In the
Biblical languages the same word is used for land and earth. In Greek
the
word world (cosmos) is not the same as the physical earth (ge). For how
much of the earth might be meant by under heaven, see Deuteronomy 2:25.
 
Gordon Brown (ASA member)
 
 
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Received on Thu Dec 11 23:17:11 2008

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