The Biblical Flood Explained

Introduction

Second only to Creation, the Flood described in Genesis stands out as a most mysterious event. It is presented as the greatest catastrophe the earth has ever witnessed. It wiped out the entire human population of the earth, it destroyed all the beasts, and buried all the trees on earth – except those saved in a vessel called the Ark. An estimated billion people were on the earth before the Flood, and the earth was covered by immense forests. The so-called wild and exotic animals such as the dinosaurs and the mammoths had roamed the earth, but they all perished. If you doubt that these things did happen during the Flood, just read on. You are in for a great surprise.

But that is not all. After the Flood, a new world emerged, the one that we live on. The events of the Flood changed landmarks, topography, climate and food supply drastically. It was more than just a Flood that happened; we shall find what the real event behind the Flood was in the following pages.

Why should you check out the Flood? Because it unfolds earth’s mysterious past called ‘prehistory’. You will realize that the school books have been covering up the mightiest event since Creation and presenting a totally different explanation for past earth events, based on evolutionary models. You have not been told the real origin of fossils and the real story of prehistoric life. My account of the Flood will cover all these items.

Please read all the articles in the Flood Mysteries section to get a complete picture of the Flood and its aftermath. The present article covers the Flood Event and its causes.;

A Universal Flood That Destroyed the Earth

The Bible says there occurred a universal Flood at the time of Noah, hence we call the event Noah’s Flood. This event can be dated by biblical chronology to about 5,000 years ago (more on the dating, later). The account of the Flood is found in Genesis 7-8 chapters; the chapters before and after describe the condition of the earth just before and after the Flood. There is no doubt when we read the Genesis account that the Flood was universal. God had told He was going to destroy the whole earth (‘earth’ is land in the Bible, see Gen. 1:10). Gen. 7:19 says the waters rose above the mountains everywhere. Yet, several skeptics have considered the Flood nothing more than a flood in Mesopotamia or in the neighboring regions. I shall give further evidence below for a universal Flood.

    1. Worldwide Flood Traditions

    At least 67 cultures in the world from all continents and many islands have ancient Flood tradition. Some of them have marked similarities to the Genesis account. The Babylonian story of the Flood discovered on clay tablets is the Gilgamesh Epic. Gilgamesh, a king of Uruk (Babylonia) ca. 2600 BC, went on a epic journey to meet Utnapishtim, the legendary Flood hero who had become immortal after passing through a great Flood. The reasons for the Flood and other details have mythological elements. The common elements include the building of a ship and taking all kinds of animals in it. Byron Nelson, in his book, The Deluge Story in Stone, has tabulated the common features of the Flood legends of many cultures and compared them with the biblical account.

    2. Massive Destruction of Life

    Mass graveyards of elephants, horses, dinosaurs and other creatures are found worldwide. Fossils are distributed worldwide.

    3. Petrified Forests

    Many petrified forests overlaid with lava are found in many parts of the world. Yellowstone National Park in USA has such forests.

    4. River systems, watermarks

    The earth’s major river systems and deltas do not go back to a long past; only several thousand years. The present topography and river systems of the earth resulted from the topographical changes that occurred during and after the Flood.

    Watermarks in old dried up lakes, old river terraces and ancient elevated shorelines found in different parts of the world testify to a watery event and deposition of layers.

    5. Origins of civilizations

    Reliable historic records of the most ancient civilizations do not go back beyond 5000 years before Present. Then the Middle East bursts with a number of civilizations: Chaldean, Assyrian, Babylonian, Hittite and Egyptian. The reason is that after the Flood mankind spread in these regions within a few hundred years.

    6. Radiocarbon dating of fossils

    Direct radiocarbon dating has been possible on many thousands of fossils. An analysis of 15,000 fossil dates give a startling confirmation of a catastrophic death several thousands years ago (to be discussed later).

    These items will be examined in more detain in Article 2 of this section.

The Biblical Account of the Flood

Here we examine in detail the Flood destruction that is narrated in Genesis chapters 7 and 8. It is important to know what the Bible says about the Flood..

The following characteristics of the Flood are noteworthy:

  1. The fountains of the deep burst forth and the windows of the heaven were opened (Gen. 7:11).
  2. Forty days and nights of incessant rain (Gen. 7:12). The Ark was lifted up and it floated (Gen. 7:17)
  3. For 150 days the waters rose and covered all land including mountains to a depth of 15 cubits (Gen. 7:19-20; 24)
  4. Then a mighty wind swept the earth over the waters. The fountains of the deep and the windows of heaven were shut (Gen. 8:1-2).
  5. The waters receded for 150 days (Gen. 8:3).
  6. The Ark came to rest on the mountains of Ararat exactly five months from the start of the Flood (Gen. 8:4).
  7. It was after one year and ten days from the start of the Flood that the earth became completely dry. God commanded Noah to bring every creature in the Ark outside to repopulate the earth (Gen. 8:14; 18-19).

The total duration of the Flood was one year and ten days. If the pre-Flood year was different in length from the post-Flood year, the exact duration of the Flood would be a matter of conjecture. From the Flood account of Genesis, one Ark explorer, David Fasold, has concluded the year must have been 300 days long. From Gen. 7:24, 8:3,4 we see 150 days equated to five months. Therefore a month should be 30 days. There is no mention of an 11th or 12th month. In the post-Flood world the solar year is a little lower than 365 and a quarter days. and the lunar year is 354 days for 12 lunar months. The Hebrew nation adopted the lunar year (as did other nations) which removed the solar year and the lunar year further apart so a periodic correction was made by adding an extra month. Since we use the solar calendar in most nations, we consider a year 365 days; then we add an extra year every fourth year divisible by 4 except in century years that are not divisible by 400. There will be need for further correction over a longer period in the future. Some geological and celestial events may have affected earth’s rotation and revolution during the Flood event. Perhaps in the pre-Flood world the solar and the lunar years were of the same length, fitting for the ideal World.

Noah’s Ark: Fact or Fable?

Evolutionists and liberal Bible scholars not only disbelieve the biblical Flood, but they also try to discredit the story of Noah and the Ark he had made

‘Show us Noah’s Ark!’ has been the challenge to Christians. It may be stated that until the middle of the 19th century, the biblical story of the Flood was accepted by all Christians. The evolutionists and the rationalists have taken up the fight to question the Bible and to discredit it. Several ancient authors have mentioned the Ark’s whereabouts. Josephus, the first century Jewish historian, in his Antiquities mentioned the Ark was still there to be seen. The Koran, the holy Book of the Moslems (7th century AD) states the Ark had landed on Al Judi in the Ararat region. The Bible says the Ark landed on the ‘mountains of Ararat’ (Gen. 8:4). Many Ark explorers have searched Mt. Ararat, a 17,000 ft volcanic mountain peak, to look for the Ark, believing it was lodged in the icy cliffs. So far all such attempts have been in vain. There was nothing to show the world except dubious eyewitness accounts and drawings. The Ararat region of eastern Turkey is shown below.

Then, in 1959, a Turkish pilot flew over the Ararat region for aerial survey purposes and took many aerial photos. One of these turned out to show a boat shape formation about 500 ft long. The picture shown below on the left is a cut-out of the photo that appeared in Life magazine, September 5, 1960 issue. The picture on the right is the view of the formation from the ground level. (Courtesy: Wyatt Archaeological Research).


Noah’s Ark? Life Photo Sep 1960

Ark Remains As It Appears Now

This site is some 17 miles south of Mt. Ararat, yet it is in the Ararat region. The elevation is about 6,000 ft; in fact it is a mountain slope region accessible to people. Interestingly enough, the locals call this the Doomsday mountain. The nearest town, Dogubeyazit, is 12 miles away.

One expedition group led by George Vandeman in mid-1960 reached this site in and saw the formation. However, what they saw was contrary to their expectation. They had expected to see Noah’s Ark remains, but they did not see any. Ever since, most Ark hunters have shunned this region and have gone back to Mt. Ararat – with no success.

Enter Ron Wyatt from Tennessee, a person with little biblical and archaeological background at the time he saw the Life magazine pictures. He was 27 and had to raise some very young children. For the next 17 years he studied about the Ark and ancient civilizations. Finally, in 1977 he and his two sons boldly went to Turkey and with great difficulty and divine guidance (as he admits) reached the ‘Boat’ formation. This started an intensive exploration of the formation for the next decade by himself and with experts using sophisticated instruments such as subsurface radar. The Turkish experts independently conducted their own investigation. Finally, the Turkish government officially declared that the formation was the ruins of Noah’s Ark, and on June 20, 1987, a formal ceremony was conducted at the Ark site to build a Visitor’s Center there. The account of this fascinating exploration may be found in Wyatt’s Newsletters, his book, ‘Discovered: Noah’s Ark’(1989), and in the more recent video, ‘Noah’s Ark’ Ordering information may be found on the website: www.anchorstone.com/wyatt.

Wyatt has made at least 27 trips to the Ark site. However, eastern Turkey is extremely dangerous for tourists, so regular tours are not available. Ron’s findings were confirmed by others who had joined him later such as David Fasold who wrote the book, The Ark of Noah (Wynwood Press, New York, 1988). Fasold takes a different view from Wyatt on the shape of the Ark and its construction Any doubts you may have about the formation will vanish after a careful study of all the evidence shown in the above references.

The boat shape is 515 ft long by actual measurement. The Bible says the Ark was 300 cubits long. It is generally assumed that a cubit is about 18 inches 1½ ft), hence the length would be 450 ft. However, this is the Hebrew cubit of much later origin. The cubit mentioned in the Ark account is the Royal Egyptian cubit of 20.66 inches which was used in Israel even at the time of King Solomon. 300 cubit turn out to be 515 ft. The width of the formation is much larger than the 50 cubits of the Ark. This is because the formation we see today suffered earthquakes and splitting lengthwise to widen it. The top part of the Ark, the roofing, has been gone long time ago. The wooden boat was later on covered by lava flow. All the wood was decayed or petrified. Subsurface radar clearly showed a pattern of many cells or rooms. Iron rivets were used for joints. Soil samples have shown organic carbon present. Wyatt’s museum in Cornersville, Tennessee, has a model of the Ark.

One of the most interesting items found by Wyatt near the Ark site, in a village, was a number of ‘anchorstones.’ These were huge, almost seven feet tall, thin rock slabs with a hole (‘eye’) near the top. Apparently Noah’s Ark used these stones suspended by ropes from either side for balance. They were cut off just before landing. Some of these stones had eight crosses carved on them (later work by Armenian Christians). More information on this and Wyatt’s Ark model will be given in another section (‘Sacred Relics’) or may be found from Wyatt’s website and publications.

The skeptics continue to disbelieve the findings about the Ark. But this is to be expected, because admitting it as truth would undermine the very foundation of evolution theory. Accepting the Ark would imply accepting a Universal Flood.

Noah’s Ark was not a ship like modern ships. It was just a floating vessel. Its stability in turbulent waters have been tested by models. The Ark’s size and tonnage was exceeded only in modern times The Ark could accommodate many thousands of animals. There was no need to carry fully grown up animals such as the mature dinosaurs and elephants (they were surely in the Ark!). Animal care was not a problem if they went into hibernation most of the time. How did the animals arrive in the Ark? We don’t need to assume they all came from the ends of the earth. Like our zoos, Noah probably had a zoo and the animals were just led from it to the Ark. God, of course, could have led the animals from distant lands to the Ark. The wood of the Ark is described as ‘gopher’. Wyatt has recovered a chunk of ‘laminated wood’ from the Ark formation.

Dating the Flood

I have discussed this matter under CREATION MYSTERIES. However, I shall repeat the essential information here. According to the Ussher chronology, the date of Creation is placed 4004 BC, and the Flood is placed at 2348 BC (1656 years after Creation). The chronology of the Old Testament found in our English Bibles would support these dates. This chronology is based on the Hebrew manuscripts of the Old Testament (OT). Unfortunately the oldest preserved OT manuscript goes back only to 10th cent. AD. There is a Greek manuscript of the OT going back to the 5th cent. AD. This is a copy of a 3rd cent. BC translation from Hebrew known as the Septuagint (LXX). This text shows the Flood occurred some 3,300 years BC. All historical records favor the Septuagint dating. There cannot be any civilizations earlier than the Flood that we can find on earth with continuity. Ancient structures such as the Stonehenge and the Pyramids are post-Flood structures, yet they would appear to be pre-Flood structures based on the Ussher chronology. Other than the chronology table, the Septuagint and the Hebrew text show considerable agreement. All quotations in the New Testament are from the Septuagint because Greek was the popular language a the time.

Analysis of 15,000 Radiocarbon Dates

In 1970, Professor Robert Whitelaw of Virginia Polytechnic Institute examined the radiocarbon data reported in the journal, Radiocarbon. He was startled to find that several of these came from specimens which would be considered several million years old by evolutionary dating. Examples are:

Sabre-toothed tiger: 28,000 years (evolution: a few million)
Petrified wood: 10,000 years (evolution: several million)
Carboniferous coal: 1,680 years (evolution: above 300 million)

Radiocarbon dating is not precise beyond 30,000 years, yet these dates were within that limit.

Since Creationists believe the earth’s atmosphere is not more than several thousand years old (this does not imply that Planet Earth and the Universe are only that old), the basic assumption of carbon dating that the C-14(radiocarbon) specific production rate in the upper atmosphere was stabilized long before the Six Say Creation date cannot be trusted. Whitelaw argued that at the time of the Six day Creation, some 7,000 years ago, a plant specimen that died would probably show almost an infinite age The specific production rate of radio carbon was estimated to be 3.4 times higher than since the Flood. However, radiocarbon dating done in the labs ignores this fact and uses the current rate for all specimens, modern and ancient. Whitelaw’s correction showed that the agreement between actual age and measured age would come closer and closer with time, but would be very divergent as we go back in time. Examples are shown below:

 True Age 
Measured Age
1000
1155
2000
2310
3000
3500
4000
4725
5000
5990
6000
12530
6500
19100
7000
Infinite

Using such a correction, Whitelaw converted 9671 radiocarbon dates for land life in all the continents (humans, animals and trees) and 1587 marine specimens. Grouping them in 500 year periods, he produced a statistical distribution of these specimens shown below.


Radiocarbon Dates Prove the Flood: Whitelaw’s Charts

In 1979 he examined another 15,000 dates and selected a total of 20,297 specimens for statistical analysis. The pattern was similar to his earlier analysis. Whitelaw’s articles may be found in (1) Symposium on Creation (V) 1975, and (2) 15th Anniversary Convention of Bible-Science Association, 1979.

The analysis clearly showed that if we adjust the Creation date to 7,000 years Before Present, a massive death of men and animals and trees took place 5,000 years ago, which is the approximate date of the Flood. The specimens after the Flood show a steadily increasing number of deaths starting with zero, due to the increase in population. Marine life also suffered a high rate of death. Even more striking is the fact that marine specimens above sea level (some even on top of the Alps and the Himalayas) are non-existent after the Flood date.

What on Earth Happened?

What really happened during the Flood has been a mystery. The biblical account and other ancient records do not shed much light on the Flood event. The reason is, the survivors of the Flood were shut up in the Ark for the entire period of the Flood. God never explained to Noah the details of the Flood. Noah recorded what he experienced while in the Ark. The Flood started with two major events (Gen. 7:11):

  1. The fountains of the deep burst forth
  2. The windows of heaven were opened

This latter event is connected with the 40 days and nights of rain from above. What about the first event? Apparently there were exploding noises from beneath the waters of the ocean. It would seem that water gushed forth from underneath the oceans from explosions. Any time volcanoes erupt, a lot of steam is given off along with other fumes. Did volcanoes erupt under the oceans?

The truth is, something far more powerful than a few volcanic eruptions occurred. If you look closely the topographical map of the earth (see below), you will see a chain of mid-ocean ridges on the ocean floor connecting all oceans.

Geologists have recognized that these ridges are fracture lines on the earth’s crust. They have estimated some 200 million years ago the continents were joined together as one piece, and they have named this supercontinent Pangea. A model of the Pangea was presented in the section, Creation Mysteries. Since then Pangea broke up as a result of the earth’s Crust breaking up into pieces, or plates, which have since been drifting from each other or drifting towards each other. Thus the Americas are moving at a rate of an inch from Europe and Africa per year. The present separation is about 3,000 miles. The major mountain chains of the world such as the Alps and the Himalayas were formed by the collision of plates bearing these continental masses against each other. In other areas the collision caused one plate to go under the other as in the case of the Pacific plate moving under western edge of the US continent. This process is still continuing, hence the periodic earthquakes in California.

The scientists are correct about the breakup of a supercontinent. But they are completely wrong about the dating of the event because they have used evolutionary dating.

The creationist view is that the breakup of the supercontinent happened some 5000 years ago, and was the main event of the Flood. The supercontinent that broke up was the Good Earth which I described under Creation Mysteries.

How can we prove the breakup of the supercontinent took place just 5000 years ago? The main arguments are given below.

Dating the Breakup of Pangea

The geologists have been able to match plant fossils on wither side of the Atlantic. The plant species they identified belonged to the Mesozoic era on the evolutionary time table known as the Geological Column. This period is between 63 million and 230 million years. Continental Split is believed to have taken place somewhere in the Middle Mesozoic era, the Jurassic period (time of the dinosaurs).

The Creationist response is that all life, past and present, cannot be more ancient than the Six Day Creation. Most fossils are the result of a massive death, and the only massive death since Creation occurred during the Flood. The geological time scale is an artificial one, with no validity at all. The spread of ancient life over 600 million years is an evolutionary scheme. The fossil-containing layers are sedimentary rocks which were deposited during the Flood. The entire fossil column spanning 600 million years was deposited in a one year period at the time of the Flood. We shall see more about it in a discussion of the Geological Column (See ‘Dating of Ancient Life’).

If we extrapolate the present rate of drift of continents from each other, we would arrive at many millions of years, assuming a uniform rate of drift. This is another fallacy. The breaking up of the Crust was an explosive event of unprecedented magnitude, considering the fact that the mid-ocean rides extend some 40,000 miles. The broken parts did not just move at the rates we see today. The mantle rocks beneath the Crust were so hot that the broken plates could move without much friction for many hundreds of miles per hour initially. As the rocks cooled down, the movement began to slow down. It is this slowed down rate we are seeing today. We can assume an exponential decay in the rate at which the plates moved apart or moved against each other.

The schematic figure below illustrates the movement of broken crustal plates with the force of separation. The crustal plates are shown moving away from each other by the explosive force of the breakup assisted by the fluidity of the underlying hot molten rock (magma). Scientists cannot explain why the magma got so hot, but the Creationists know that God had masterminded the event, and some agent unknown to us triggered the overheating. There is suggestion that radioactive rocks were the source of the heat, but is by no means certain.


Continental Split and Drift, Schematic

Where Did the Flood Waters Come From?

Most people assume the Flood waters came from the 40 days of rain. The question is, was there that much water held up above to pour down and submerge all land mass including the mountains?

It has been estimated that if the atmosphere is water saturated, the total water content when condensed would not create more than 30 ft.

The most popular Creationist explanation for the waters from above is that in the pre-Flood world there was a water vapor canopy surrounding the globe, and that its sudden condensation caused the 40 days of rain.

Proponents of this view have re-examined their position and have admitted that to hold that much water, the Canopy had to be immensely thick, and would have to exist a ice crystals. What would hold the Canopy intact? Such a canopy would have obstructed the view of the heavenly bodies – the sun and the moon and the stars. Yet, the atmosphere was clear on the fourth Creation day to view these objects. The Canopy theory falls apart on scrutiny. A further claim was that the Canopy shielded the earth from the ultraviolet rays of the sun which could explain the longevity of the antediluvians.

I have found a much more convincing source of water for the 40 days of rain. Remember, the earth’s crust broke up at the start of the Flood? Huge eruptions under the oceans for thousands of miles literally boiled the ocean and released steam into the air along with volcanic ash. Immense tidal waves were also created. The steam and the ash that went up precipitated as rain for the entire period of the eruptions. This phenomenon is known to all that are familiar with volcanic eruptions. There would be a cooling down of the earth’s atmosphere as well due to the blockage of sunlight.

The oceanic waters not only boiled off and gave the rain, but also swept across all land mass with such force that the soil and all the trees were uprooted into a muddy soup.

The pre-Flood earth did not have the high mountain peaks we have today which are the result of the collision of crustal plates. In my model of the Good Earth, I assumed the earth’s land mass had a gradual slope from the center which was at top elevation where I placed the Garden of Eden. To preserve mild weather, the elevation could not have been more than a few thousand feet above sea level. So it would not require five miles deep water to submerge all land as we have now. The mountain peaks including Ararat are the result of the Flood event. The Ark rested on the mountains of Ararat at about 6000 feet elevation. Mt. Ararat itself came into being from the volcanic eruptions during the Flood.

The Flood: Master Key to Earth’s Riddles

Once we accept the Flood was the most destructive event that ever occurred in the past when there was life on earth, and involved violent eruptions, crustal breakup and complete submersion of all land in water with the destruction and burial of all life, we begin to realize that the Flood is the Master Key to understanding the earth’s past

Would you believe the Flood event can explain the following mysteries of earth’s past and present?

  1. Distribution of continents, earth’s topography, deserts, forests, cold regions
  2. Stratified rock layers, canyons, river systems, petrified rock
  3. Prehistoric life and fossils
  4. The supply of coal
  5. The Ice ages
  6. Human and animal distribution
  7. Origin of civilizations, cultures, races and languages

Some of these have already been described. A more detailed discussion of these items will be given in the next article, ‘The Master Key to Earth’s Riddles’