The Genesis Flood: An Interpretative Key to the Past -- By: Henry B. Smith, Jr.

Journal: Bible and Spade (Second Run)
Volume: BSPADE 19:4 (Fall 2006)
Article: The Genesis Flood: An Interpretative Key to the Past
Author: Henry B. Smith, Jr.


The Genesis Flood:
An Interpretative Key to the Past

Henry B. Smith, Jr.

In the 600th year of Noah’s life, on the 17th day of the second month—on that day all the springs of the great deep burst forth, and the floodgates of the heavens were opened (Gn 7:11).

For centuries, the Biblical Flood described in chapters 6–8 in the book of Genesis was considered global, cataclysmic and historical. Since the late 18th century, however, the historicity of the Flood has come under constant attack, and is now rejected as a fable by most people in Western societies. Even some in the Church have rationalized the so-called “evidences” against the Flood, trying to reinterpret it as local event. This has been most unfortunate, because Noah’s Flood is one of the most significant events in the history of the world, impacting interpretations in the physical sciences, history, archaeology and Biblical studies. My purpose here is to briefly review the implications on some of these fields of study.

1) Geology.1 Clearly, if the Flood of Noah’s day was a recent and worldwide event, it would have drastically affected the topography and geology of the entire planet. Major geological structures and topography are much better explained by recent catastrophism, not slow processes over eons of time. Mountain formation, ocean floor topography, plate tectonics, river valleys, volcanism, canyon formation, the formation of coal deposits, lakes and a plethora of other geologic features are dramatically impacted by the reality of a recent, cataclysmic Flood. The formation of these and many other structures will be misunderstood if not interpreted via a young earth/Flood model, a framework that the Bible plainly presents in its teaching. The dogma of uniformitarianism dominates all current paradigms, so the Flood is rejected out of hand. Additionally, the Flood is a very plausible triggering mechanism for the Ice Age, which required a set of unique and simultaneous circumstances unexplainable by uniformitarian principles.2

2) Biology. The Bible tells us that God sent two of each kind of land animal to the Ark so that they would be preserved during the Flood (Gn 6:19–20). When the Flood ended, the animals dispersed from “the mountains of Ararat” (Gn 8:4) and began to repopulate the planet. The history of animal habitat and genetic distribution across the planet must be understood in the context of the Flood and its immediate aftermath, or erroneous conc...

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