Where Did All the Water Come From… Or Go? -Noah’s Flood Part III

The Bible says that “all the springs of the great deep burst forth, and the floodgates of the heavens were opened. And rain fell on the earth forty days and forty nights.” -Genesis 7:11-12 (ASV). So according to the Bible, it came from two places: From underneath the oceans and raining down from the sky for 40 days and 40 nights.

And if it came from underneath the oceans, was that in the form of water, or was it in the form of steam as volcanic eruptions took place along the earth’s crust sending huge plums of steam into the atmosphere where it cooled and then fell back to earth as rain?

It would be quite the cataclysm would it not?

In fact, although God, by definition of being God, could certainly create water and then remove water in some supernatural way, truth is you don’t need a miracle to flood the entire planet. You just need one huge cataclysm.

That’s the difference typically in the point of view of someone who looks at the world from a Biblical world view, and someone who looks at it from an evolutionary world view. The Biblical world view says the evidence we see today was put there through sudden and powerful forces. In the case of a flood, the scientific models associated with it include catastrophic volcanic eruptions, immense tidal waves, movement of the ocean floor, and in some theories, even large-scale meteor strikes. It’s not really far-fetched. Cataclysmic events that fall more in line with the Bible are often found.

Like this one. Evidence of huge flooding… no kidding.

In general, an evolutionary world view tends to assume “uniformitarianism,” which means whatever is happening today, is how it has always happened. Instead of sudden and catastrophic events, the evidence we see today was put there through slow, and gradual processes. So for instance, if the plates of the earth crust move only fractions of an inch each year, then it must have taken millions of years for those plates to move as far as they have. Or if a stalactite in a cave is currently getting longer and bigger by only a small fraction each year, then it must have taken millions of years to get as big as it has.

The assumptions are different, and so the evidence takes different people in different directions. But coming from a Biblical world-view, where did that pesky water come from?

The Bible doesn’t tell us, in fact, it gives only a few details. Details which indicate that the water came from below and above, the water prevailed on the earth for a certain number of days, and covered the tallest mountains. The Bible indicates this was world-wide in nature and that the water receded over many months. Genesis 7-8.

The scientific models based on the idea of a global flood however, do have some theories about the water. They say the water from the flood is right there in the oceans, and even on the polar ice caps. Although we have often pictured the idea of a few clouds forming and rain falling for 40 days and covering the earth, the fact is the Bible, and every scientific theory about it, would say there was a lot more involved than simply rain. It was a catastrophe. A cataclysm, as they say, of Biblical proportions. Tidal waves, volcanic eruptions, and more.

Here are a few links if you’re interested in checking out some of the theories. Like everything in geology, remember they are works in progress.

Dr. Jackson from Creation Truth. Short article.

Great in-depth Q & A Interview with John Baumgardner who pioneered flood science.

Explanation in detail of flood science from many sources.

Scientific pros and cons of flood models. Great website for the latest on science from a Biblical world-view.

Another, shorter, explanation of Baumgardner’s model.

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2 thoughts on “Where Did All the Water Come From… Or Go? -Noah’s Flood Part III

  1. The important teaching from the flood story is that G-d promised humanity that no matter how bad it may become, He would never again destroy it in its entirety.

    This is ultimately an uplifting message about G-d’s love for humanity. Whether the story is factually true or a tool used by G-d to teach that uplifting lesson is not really important. The lesson is what is important.

    Therefore, it is more important that we focus our time on the lesson and what it may mean in our own lives — for example, perhaps to inspire us to focus on bettering our behavior toward others as instructed elsewhere in the text. Rather than to spend the time attempting to “prove” or disprove the fact portion of the story.

  2. I agree and disagree. I agree there is an uplifting message about God’s love for humanity in there, but there is more. There is also a sobering message about God’s judgment in there. And the truth of the story itself is also important. We are talking about a Christian faith that makes very specific factual claims about the resurrection of Jesus and the reality of life after death. If there is no truth to be found in many of the stories, then it would be more difficult to believe in the stories which are central to the faith. Does the flood have to be global or more localized in order for the Scripture to be trusted? That’s up for debate. If the story is nothing more than a fairy tale, then it calls into question the fact claims found elsewhere. Fortunately, there substantial scientific evidence for a major flood, including a global one. It allows me to remain very confident in the Scriptures.

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