The Grand Canyon and Biblical Catastrophes -- By: Bernard E. Northrup

Journal: Chafer Theological Seminary Journal
Volume: CTSJ 10:2 (Fall 2004)
Article: The Grand Canyon and Biblical Catastrophes
Author: Bernard E. Northrup


The Grand Canyon and Biblical Catastrophes1

Bernard E. Northrup

Bernard E. Northrup earned his Th.M. and Th.D. from Dallas Theological Seminary and has taught Hebrew and Old Testament at San Francisco Baptist Theological Seminary, Baptist Bible Seminary in Clark’s Summit, PA, and Central Seminary in Minneapolis. He later served as dean at Shasta Bible College. Dr. Northrup has traveled as a translation consultant with Bibles International, checking the accuracy of translation work done by nationals in more than 20 different languages in India, the Philippines, and Africa. He was the first to recognize that the book of Job has much to say about earth’s fifth great cataclysm, the biblical icy catastrophe. Dr. Northrup may be reached at bernarden@shasta.com.

Introduction: The Danger of a Simplistic Approach

The Grand Canyon poses a problem for the evolutionist, who has for generations been happy to announce to every visitor at the rim of the canyon, “The river cut it!” But this is now known to be too simple. In a similar fashion, the Grand Canyon poses a serious problem for the creationist, who proclaims, “The Noahic flood deposited and then cut it!” and ignores evidences in and around the canyon that speak to the contrary. But what does the Grand Canyon, one of the world’s most spectacular displays of the sequence of earth’s history, actually tell us?

The view that the article presents was developed over many years of personal study in four areas:

  1. The study of the record of the rocks on every continent except the subcontinents of Australia and Antarctica
  2. Continual reflection upon the record of the rocks and the evaluation of its interpretation by historical geologists
  3. Repeated visits to the Grand Canyon while leading geology field trips
  4. The examination of the Creation record found in the Hebrew Old Testament, particularly in Genesis 1–8

A creationist who recognizes what the Bible reveals about the five great biblical catastrophic events is suddenly faced with the remarkable chronological and logical correspondence among the results of these five biblical events. One who has studied the physical data can readily trace these events in the physical record of the rocks.

This consideration of the deposition and erosion of the Grand Canyon, I will briefly develop this material around five great catastrophic events described in the Bible. Regretfully, these are ignored by many creationists. They are as follows:

The First Cataclysm: The Pre-Adamic Universal Flood

Genesis 1:2–8...

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