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

From: Dehler, Bernie <bernie.dehler@intel.com>
Date: Fri Dec 12 2008 - 13:36:14 EST

Dick said:
"If the legend of Gilgamesh is describing only a local flood what would make you think the writer of Genesis thought it was global?"

I thought the Epic of Gilgamesh was obviously mentioning a global world-wide flood when I read it... I thought the goal of the flood was to wipe-out all humans, and Utanapishtim got the secret from a god and prevented it by saving people/animals on his ark. He was then granted immortality for that main event.

...Bernie

________________________________
From: Dick Fischer [mailto:dickfischer@verizon.net]
Sent: Thursday, December 11, 2008 8:17 PM
To: Dehler, Bernie
Cc: ASA
Subject: RE: [asa] RE: The Local Flood (was promise trumps biology)

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<http://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<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 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<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 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&versi

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&versi

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)

To unsubscribe, send a message to majordomo@calvin.edu with

"unsubscribe asa" (no quotes) as the body of the message.

To unsubscribe, send a message to majordomo@calvin.edu with

"unsubscribe asa" (no quotes) as the body of the message.

To unsubscribe, send a message to majordomo@calvin.edu with

"unsubscribe asa" (no quotes) as the body of the message.

To unsubscribe, send a message to majordomo@calvin.edu with

"unsubscribe asa" (no quotes) as the body of the message.

To unsubscribe, send a message to majordomo@calvin.edu with
"unsubscribe asa" (no quotes) as the body of the message.
Received on Fri Dec 12 13:36:54 2008

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.8 : Fri Dec 12 2008 - 13:36:54 EST