As the years go by evolutionary scientists accept more and more the concept of catastrophic floods having occurred in the history of the earth. However, philosophically they cannot accept a global Flood because that is too biblical. This secular position influences many Christian laypeople to accept the idea that if there was a Noah’s Flood as described in the Bible then it had to be a local flood. The question is, how do the biblical and scientific evidences align in this matter? Does a local flood make any sense according to God’s Word? Let us contemplate ten considerations on the topic.

  1. If there was only a need for a local flood, why did God have Noah build the ark? It would have made more sense to just direct righteous Noah and his family to move away from the area of the local flood to be saved.
  2. Similarly, for a local flood the animals outside the range of the flood would have survived nicely and avoided the judgment entirely.
  3. Vertebrate animals living in the area of the flood may have been exterminated by a local flood, but those in other areas would have been unaffected. Why would the ark need to have been so large if only a few kinds of local animals were to be loaded on the ark?
  4. Birds were brought onto the ark. Birds can fly hundreds of miles in a few days. They could have easily flown out of the range of any imagined local flood.
  5. In Genesis 7:20 we are told that the water rose to be over twenty feet above the tops of the mountains. Since water seeks its own level it could not have risen to cover just the local mountains without affecting the remaining mountains on the earth as well. I have collected fossils formed in sedimentary layers at the tops of mountains. This is an indication of flood waters at those elevations. Creationists argue that the pre-Flood mountains were lower than post-flood mountains which rose up during and after the Flood (see Psalm 104).
  6. Local flood proponents commonly suggest the geographical area for Noah’s Flood was in Mesopotamia. This doesn’t work because the geography does not allow for it. In Mesopotamia we have mountains in the north and lowlands in the south. A massive wall of water would have taken the ark south far away from the Ararat Mountains that the Bible describes as being where the ark landed.
  7. Noah and his family were on the ark for over one year because the ground was not dry enough for them to safely disembark until then. Local floods do not last anywhere near that long!
  8. Whether one believes in a 6,000 year-old-earth or a billions of years-old-earth it would be expected that there would have been many people that would have escaped judgment from a local flood. In Matthew 24:37-39 Jesus tells us Noah’s Flood was a universal judgment. This means all excepting those on the ark perished! That could have happened only in a global Flood.
  9. In Genesis 9:11-16 God promised he would never send such a Flood again. The Bible says it is not in His nature to lie or break His promises. There have been many thousands of local floods since the time of Noah.
  10. In 2 Peter 3, the coming judgment by fire is likened to the judgment at the time of Noah’s Flood. The Bible is unswerving in advising us that no one will escape the final judgment. If these two judgments are parallel, then Noah’s Flood was worldwide.

Biblical creationists are consistent in pointing out that true geological, biological, and paleontological science does not match up to the uniformitarian paradigm. The present is clearly not the key to the past. Rather the past is the key to the present, a past that included a cataclysmic global Flood about 4,500 years ago as described in the Bible!

J.D. Mitchell


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