RE: [asa] Noah's Ark- the debate over floods... and biblical interpretation

From: Dick Fischer <>
Date: Wed Apr 08 2009 - 18:41:44 EDT

Dear Dave:


My last post of the day. Wooden cube-shaped baskets lashed together to make
the overall dimensions, or an inflated figure in Genesis, or something else,
you pick. The Sumerian king list describes repeated battles between the
Sumerians and the Akkadians. The Akkadians (Adamites) were concentrated
initially along the Euphrates River with the Sumerians located a little
further east. The flood reduced the Akkadian population to eight, but the
Sumerians survived in greater numbers as they rebuilt the cities formerly
occupied by Akkadians.


If your numbers are reduced to eight, and you are in potentially hostile
territory, sneaking your way upriver to a safe location might seem like a
good idea to you. Please remember, I didn't write any of Genesis. And
please save your incredulous remarks for the author(s) when you meet them.
I think I have accumulated enough relevant knowledge to where I can shed a
little light on some thorny issues, but there still remain a few items I do
puzzle over just as you do.


Dick Fischer, GPA president

Genesis Proclaimed Association

"Finding Harmony in Bible, Science and History"


-----Original Message-----
From: [] On
Behalf Of D. F. Siemens, Jr.
Sent: Wednesday, April 08, 2009 5:07 PM
Subject: Re: [asa] Noah's Ark- the debate over floods... and biblical



You're doing great. Now we have a three-story basket, when the scripture
says the ark was made of wood. You have 8 people punting up river, or
possibly drawn by animals along the bank. But why are they headed for Ararat
when they are next to land all the way? Have you thought of what it would be
like to try to punt a string of baskets? I find matters more and more

Dave (ASA)


On Wed, 08 Apr 2009 16:19:50 -0400 "Dick Fischer" <>

Hi David:


The other night I saw part of the movie Hamlet. Although I found it
interesting, I must admit I couldn't understand over 20% of the dialogue. I
perked up at "Alas, poor Yorick," and "To be or not to be .", but by and
large I couldn't pick up the lingo at all. We don't talk that way anymore.
Genesis is typical ANE literature. If you aren't used to ANE literature
from reading a boatload of it, you are going to miss some things. Then
there is Jewish jargon to deal with, the odd scribal error, and the
translation from one language to another. It's a wonder to me any of it
makes sense.


What I find typical of ANE literature is that persons, places, and clashes
between cities seem to be reliable. The insertion of various gods in the
affairs of men is quite common and cannot be considered "true" history. So
when the flood comes in Atrahasis we read "Enki made ready to speak, and
said to Nintu the birth goddess: "You, birth goddess, creatress of
destinies, establish death for all peoples!"




Okay, a fabricated conversation from one god or another in ANE literature is
typical. So how about this conversation: And God said, "Let us make man in
our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of
the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the
earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth" (Gen.
1:26). What makes this conversation genuine and the conversation in
Atrahasis bogus? Simple. We all know there is only one God and we don't
believe in many gods. Plus the Bible is inspired.


But the type of literature is the same. Insertions of conversations from
God or gods are the norm in all ANE literature, Genesis included. So you
accuse me of waffling? May I suggest that if you want to understand ANE
literature, you should read some of it.


Specifically to your questions, you wrote:


>The Bible says that there was no help for him while you posit tens of
thousands of people living in the valley, lots of women, with more elsewhere
on earth.<


There was no help mate "suitable." There were not "tens of thousands"
living in Eridu, more like a hundred or less at the beginning, and none of
the other cities had been established at that early date. There is roughly
600 years between the first city, Eridu, and the city Cain built, Enoch,
which was the second city. By 7,000 years ago the entire earth was sparsely
populated in the millions. Read Jacquetta Hawkes, The Atlas of Early Man.


> How does the notion that Noah simply stayed aboard the ark for two seasons
work? I can imagine him stuck on a sand bar where there was at least an area
of the ark from which he could drop a bucket to draw water for the creatures
aboard. This would not help the food problem unless he could barter with the
locals. But Mesopotamia has a distinct lack of wood. Would a mass of wood as
big as the ark not be salvaged by the locals?<


I'm not sure the voyage lasted a year. The Bible writer seemed to think so,
and we are stuck trying to make sense of it. So I'm trying. The size of
the ark is another problem area if we try to envisage the ark as a massive
450 foot long ship. A seriies of smaller baskets lashed together to form
the overall dimensions might work, or maybe the writer mismeasured, or maybe
the original dimensions have been changed. There are options. Choose.


> Floods flow downstream, with increased speed as there is more water. If
the ark were in the current, it would head for the Persian Gulf. If it got
into an area where water overflowed the banks, the water would be ponding
and going nowhere. So how did the ark head upstream to the area of Ararat?
Or is this an inaccuracy that does not disturb the message?<


If you remember the flood of 1993 in the midwest the water stayed for months
before receding. The Gilgamesh legend mentions punting holes and punting is
still a means of locomotion on the canals of Iraq. Animals on the bank
pulling the boat also might work.


There could be inaccuracies. I'm not saying there couldn't possibly be
inaccurracies in the inspired text. When Genesis depicts the God who
created the entire univerrse taking a stroll through the Garden of Eden
enjoying the coolness of the air and sniffing petunias, I, even I, have to
put on my wading boots. Still, the flood appears to be a genuine event that
actually happened. There are possible answers to the typical questions


Dick Fischer, GPA president

Genesis Proclaimed Association

"Finding Harmony in Bible, Science and History"


Let great B to B marketing solutions propel your brand to new heights! Click

To unsubscribe, send a message to with
"unsubscribe asa" (no quotes) as the body of the message.
Received on Wed Apr 8 18:42:21 2009

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.8 : Wed Apr 08 2009 - 18:42:21 EDT