The Ancient Document Rule and the Flood of Noah’s Day -- By: Robert T. Boyd
BSP 11:3 (Summer 1998) p. 65
The Ancient Document Rule and the Flood of Noah’s Day
When the laws of legal evidence are applied to the Biblical Flood story,
it makes a compelling case.
No other book in the world has been ridiculed, criticized and sought to be destroyed as has the Bible. People have been cruelly persecuted, burned at the stake, and lives have been forfeited by other methods of punishment simply because they read or sought to preserve the Scriptures! There is no logical answer as to “why” there has been and is such hatred for a Book whose writings have been instrumental in changing lives AND keeping morals in balance. Other books come and go, but the Bible is a supernatural Book, offering spiritual hope for the hopelessly lost.
Because critics of the Bible do not believe in divine inspiration, they attack anything that is supernatural, labeling it as fantasy, Hebrew folklore, traditional, etc., anything just to say it does not conform to natural reasoning or science. To them the Bible at best is a “man made” book, not an accurate, divinely inspired record.
The flood of Noah’s day, according to the critics, is an example of unscientific, Biblical falsehood. Genesis 6:8–8:14 gives the account of Noah’s preparation for the universal Flood and the story of the actual Flood itself. Is this account reliable? While the Christian accepts this account by faith, there is supporting evidence from various sources that critics have difficulty explaining.
The Ancient Document Rule
There is a law covering the presentation of evidence in civil court that is extremely applicable to the account of Noah’s Flood called the “Ancient Document Rule.” In McCormick’s Handbook of the Law of Evidence (1972: 549, Section 223 and 747, Section 323), we note his summation.
An ancient writing is usually regarded as sufficiently authenticated if the offering party shows that it has come from high antiquity and is unsuspicious in appearance [no evident marks of forgery], if found in a place of custody natural for such writing [found in the proper repository], and deemed by the law to be authentic and credible. The age requirement probably
BSP 11:3 (Summer 1998) p. 66
assures that there will be a special need for dispensing with the heresy rule. .. In such cases [where ancient writings are sufficiently authenticated], the burden of proof to the contrary devolves upon the objector.
It is understandable that the proper repository for military records would be in the archives of the Department of Defense and legal records in the Court House. In exactly in the s...
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