The End of the Flood

Jesus Creed | 7/12/2018 | Staff
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Well, perhaps not so much the end of the flood as the last post on the new book The Lost World of the Flood by Tremper Longman III and John Walton. As Old Testament scholars they have explored the ancient Near Eastern and biblical context of the flood narrative in Genesis 6-9. The book works through this context.

Tremper and John are convinced that the flood story has a real event behind it. They are also convinced that the author/compiler uses rhetorical hyperbole and figurative language in telling the story of the flood. Although the flood is portrayed as a global event, the flood itself need not have been a global. The universalizing language is an example of rhetorical hyperbole – a literary technique used in Scripture in a number of different places. Given the total absence of evidence for a global, flood they conclude that the flood was not global in extent. (Stephen Moshier, Professor of Geology at Wheaton contributes a chapter on the lack of evidence for a global flood.) The argument suggesting that worldwide flood stories support a global flood is also flawed. These stories are far from universal (they are rare to non-existent in regions where flooding doesn’t occur), they are very different in detail, and often make no reference to gods at all. Many of them can be traced back to the influence of the biblical story through Christian era missionary work.

John - Tremper - Possibilities - Flood - Story

John and Tremper outline a few different possibilities for the actual flood behind the story, although none is certain. The most likely from their point of view (and I agree) is a flood ca. 5600 BC, potentially catastrophic far beyond normal river flooding in the region of the Black Sea. However, the mere fact of an actual flood isn’t really the point. The emphasis in...
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