The Flood: Local, or Worldwide?

Opening: The Bible describes the flood of Noah’s day as a worldwide, historical event. Yet some believe it was only a local flood.

What are the consequences of these views?

Can the Bible teaching be harmonized with a local flood?

Some people doubt, or deny that the flood was worldwide. But we should seriously consider the Biblical evidence as it is laid out in the book of Genesis!

Here is a summary of Biblical evidence that the flood was a worldwide event:

01) The wording throughout uses expressions that are clearly referring to a worldwide event: whole earth, under the whole heaven, etc..

See 6:13,17; 7:3,4,21-23. [6:7; 8:9,21; 9:11,15]

02) All flesh under the whole heaven died, including all “that had the breath of life” and all men. The only ones that survived were the ones on the ark (6:13,17; 7:4,21-23; 8:21; 9:11,15).

How can this be explained, except by a worldwide flood? In a local flood, some animals and almost surely some people in other places would survive!

03) The flood involved a steady downpour, combined with “the fountains of the deep” breaking up for a period of 40 days, followed by a period of 150 days in which “the waters prevailed”. A whole year passed before the ground was suitable for human habitation (7:11,12,24; 8:3,5,14)!

Surely the result would create more than just a local flood!

04) The water covered all the high hills under the whole heaven. It prevailed over the mountains by 15 cubits (7:19,20) and continued this way for 150 days (7:24).

Water naturally flows to the lowest level. It could not cover and remain above the mountains, unless the whole surface of the earth was covered!

05) Five months after the flood began, the ark rested on Ararat (7:11; 8:4). But another 2½ months followed before the tops of the mountains were visible (8:5). Forty days after that, a dove that Noah sent out, could find no place to land, because the water still covered the whole earth (8:6-9).

Again, clearly this required a worldwide flood!

06) We are later told that all living things on the earth were descended from Noah and the animals on the ark. See 9:1,18,19 (note the genealogy in chap 10, especially 10:32). If the flood was not worldwide, there would be other people and animals elsewhere to repopulate the earth [8:17,19] and it would be impossible that all mankind is descended from Noah and his family.

Even science tells us that all mankind is descended from a single man and a single woman! How could this be possible, if evolution is true and apes eere evolving into men all over the planet?! This scientific fact alone, disproves evolution and proves the Biblical account!

07) God promised He would never again send such a flood to destroy all flesh from the face of the earth (8:21; 9:11,15). If this was just a local flood, God has repeatedly broken this promise, since there have been many local floods since!

08) The Bible refers to the flood throughout. Even Jesus referred to the flood, such as in Luke 17:27, where He said that the flood, “killed them all”.

Peter also used the flood as a parallel of the worldwide judgment to occur when Jesus returned (2 Peter 3:3-7). If the flood was not worldwide, then how can the judgment be worldwide?

09) There are four styles of writing used in the Bible: History, Law, Poetry and Wisdom.

All scholars will agree, that Genesis is written in the historical style and is intended to portray a historical account.

Thus, you either believe it is history, or not. But you cannot relegate it into being intended as “just a story”! It was written as and intended to relate the history of the world and the people of Israel (and others)!

10) Going back in time again, to build the ark and place the animals on it would be absurd, if this was only a local flood! In a local flood, animals elsewhere and probably people elsewhere would have survived!

God could have saved some people and animals to repopulate the earth much more easily, by simply having them migrate to where the flood would not be! Yet the account clearly says that the ark was needed to save the people and animals from passing from the face of the earth (see 7:3,4,23)!

And when these people who were making fun of Noah, he kept warning them about how they would die if they did not heed his words to them.  But how would Noah prove his words true, if it were a local flood, given that people could have just evacuated the area, caught up with Noah in another place and said; “Na, na, na, na, na!”. :)

Summary: To deny that the flood was worldwide is to simply deny the very Scriptures themselves! And to claim that it is just a legend; a story, is to make a mockery of God’s word!

And; “Woe to him who calls evil good and good evil!” (Is 5:20), because by calling a Biblical writing intended as a historical account “a story”, is to call it a deception, or at best, something written by ignorant fools! And that makes it evil, or at best, nonsense!

Once again, there is no middle ground! We must accept the Biblical account as historic truth as it is written, or we must simply deny that the Bible is inspired by God; deny that it is His word!

Those who claim that this is a local flood, effectively deny that God is All-Wise! These deniars make Him out to be more foolish than the average human!

Closing: Let’s think about it logically for a minute, even forgetting the whole argument of it being God’s word or not and whether it was written as history, or just story telling.

Why? Because the truth; the reality is, that even if it were story telling, we have to assume that the writer had at least some brains!

Why do I say that? Simple! Because even if it were “just a story”, it still doesn’t make sense for it to be a local flood! It would be too easy to avoid and building the ark would have been just plain stupid! :)

In other words, if the flood was to be local, then why didn’t God just tell Noah to move?! Hello?!? :)

Leave a Reply