Earth’s Pre-Flood Vapor Canopy: A Review Article -- By: John C. Whitcomb

Journal: Grace Theological Journal
Volume: GTJ 03:1 (Spring 1982)
Article: Earth’s Pre-Flood Vapor Canopy: A Review Article
Author: John C. Whitcomb


Earth’s Pre-Flood Vapor Canopy: A Review Article

John C. Whitcomb

Donald B. DeYoung

The Waters Above: Earths Pre-Flood Vapor Canopy, by Joseph C. Dillow. Chicago: Moody, 1981. Pp. 479. $12.95.

Christian scholarship owes a tremendous debt of gratitude to Joseph C. Dillow and to Moody Press for this magnificent analysis of the biblical and scientific evidence for the vast vapor canopy of water that existed above the atmosphere from Creation to the Flood. Nothing remotely comparable to this work is known to the reviewers. It is definitely a landmark, a significant step forward, and an encouraging sign of the health and vigor of the modern creationist/catastrophist movement within evangelical Christianity. The 32-page bibliography, including numerous personal communications with leading authorities, provides a clue to the enormous amount of research that has been invested in this study.

With both science and theology in his academic background (B.S., University of Oregon; Th.D., Dallas Theological Seminary), Dillow has served as a visiting professor of systematic theology at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, and now works in Vienna, Austria, with a missionary society, Inherit a Blessing, Inc.

Joseph Dillow’s basic thesis is that God enveloped the pre-Flood earth “in a thermal vapor blanket capable of precipitating many feet of water which condensed in the recent geological past in 40 days due to volcanic eruption, resulting in a geographically universal flood” (p. 136). Six key points in his model are: (1) The celestial ocean of Gen 1:6–7 turned to vapor by the fourth creative day due to lower pressure and higher temperature; (2) About 40 feet of water, causing 1.14 additional atmospheres of pressure, fell at the average rate of one-half inch per hour for 40 days at the beginning of the Flood year; (3) The days of creation were literal and there were no gaps in the genealogies of Genesis 10–11, thus dating the Flood to about 2500 B.C.; (4) The condensation of the vapor canopy during the Flood caused atmospheric pressure to drop suddenly to its present level; (5) This condensation was apparently caused by volcanic ash hurled into the atmosphere; (6) The massive amounts of rain produced a geographically universal deluge (pp. 137-38).

In the light of this model, Dillow next proceeds to offer ten predictions concerning the geophysics of the ancient earth: (1) a greenhouse effect; (2) a more rapid formation of 3He (an isotope of helium) from tritium (a heavy

isotope of hydrogen); (3) a greater atmospher...

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