The Search for Noah’s Flood

Scientists are looking in the wrong place

Read Ronald S. Hendel’s article “The Search for Noah’s Flood” as it originally appeared in Bible Review, June 2003. The article was first republished in Bible History Daily in 2014.—Ed.

Ronald Hendel

On my wall is a newspaper headline proclaiming, “Noah’s Ark Found in Pennsylvania! Scientist: Old Testament ship is buried in mountainside—and it looks exactly like the Bible says!” Slightly lower on the same page is another headline, “Kitty survives after being sucked into vacuum cleaner!” Now you know where I get most of my news about the Bible, once I finish my Bible Review.

Another headline about the flood has flickered on newspapers and TV in recent years. Two geologists at Columbia University made a splash when they announced that a massive flooding of the Black Sea 7,500 years ago may have been the origin of the biblical Flood legend. Shortly thereafter they published a book called Noah’s Flood about their theory.1 More recently a team of marine biologists has announced that there was no massive flooding of the Black Sea at that time, based on their study of the sediments in the sea floors of the region. So it seems that the headlines were premature. Noah’s Flood hasn’t been found in the Black Sea.

But let’s imagine that the first guys were right, and that there was a massive flooding of the Black Sea around 5500 B.C.E. What, if anything, does this have to do with Noah’s Flood?

Biblical scholars will tell you that the Flood Story in Genesis 6–9 (actually stories in the plural, since there are two versions woven together in these chapters)2 derives most directly not from an actual event, but from earlier stories. The earlier stories are from ancient Mesopotamia, best known from the Gilgamesh Epic (Standard Babylonian version, c. 1100 B.C.E.) and the Atrahasis Epic (Old Babylonian, c. 1700 B.C.E.).3 In these stories we learn of a wise man named Atrahasis (later known as Utnapishtim) whom the god Enki saves from a cosmic flood by commanding him to build an ark, put all animal species on it, and save himself and his family. The ark eventually lands on a mountain called Mt. Nimush, which has been identified with Pir Omar Gudrun, an impressive mountain in the Kurdish region of Iraq, northeast of Kirkuk. (Our marines probably have a couple of Humvees parked by this mountain around now.)

In the free eBook Exploring Genesis: The Bible’s Ancient Traditions in Context, discover the cultural contexts for many of Israel’s latest traditions. Explore Mesopotamian creation myths, Joseph’s relationship with Egyptian temple practices and three different takes on the location of Ur of the Chaldeans, the birthplace of Abraham.

The biblical versions of this older story name the flood hero Noah, but many of the details are reminiscent of the Mesopotamian story. In his classic commentary on Genesis, E.A. Speiser concludes, “It is clear that Hebrew tradition must have received its material from some intermediate … source, and that it proceeded to adjust the data to its own needs and concepts.”4 One adjustment was to relocate the mountain where the Ark lands to a higher mountain range to the north, “the mountains of Ararat” (Genesis 8:4) in eastern Turkey. The highest of these mountains is today called Mt. Ararat, and it is nearly 17,000 feet high.

If we wanted to find the flood that gave rise to the legend of Noah’s Flood, it seems to me that we should look for a big flood in northern Mesopotamia, not one in the Black Sea. And, indeed, there is archaeological evidence for many local floods in ancient Mesopotamia, since the Tigris and Euphrates rivers occasionally flood. Even a relatively small flood can be catastrophic if it kills many people in your village, and from this local trauma a story can grow and grow, until it takes on cosmic proportions. (Compare how a battle for a Late Bronze Age city in western Anatolia became Homer’s Trojan War, in which even the Greek gods are locked in battle.)

Many cultures have flood stories, and it is no coincidence that many cultures suffer from local floods. It is more compelling to connect these phenomena than to appeal to the melting of the Ice Age glaciers or a hypothetical flooding of the Black Sea. Stories happen. Even stories enshrined in the Bible. The best stories, of course, are a vehicle for profound insights into our relation to the world, each other, and God (or, for the Old Babylonians among us, the gods). The biblical story of Noah’s Flood is an exemplary and immortal narrative in this respect. Even if it didn’t happen, it’s a true story.

“The Search for Noah’s Flood” by Ronald S. Hendel originally appeared in Bible Review, June 2003. The article was first republished in Bible History Daily on March 26, 2014.



1. William Ryan and Walter Pitman, Noah’s Flood: The New Scientific Discoveries About the Event That Changed History (New York: Simon & Schuster, 1999).

2. Richard E. Friedman, Who Wrote the Bible? (New York: Harper & Row, 1987), pp. 53–60.

3. See the recent translations of Stephanie Dalley, Myths from Mesopotamia (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1998); and Andrew George, The Epic of Gilgamesh (New York: Penguin, 2000).

4. E.A. Speiser, Genesis (Garden City, NY: Doubleday, 1964), p. 55. See also the superb essay of William L. Moran, “A Mesopotamian Myth and Its Biblical Transformation,” in Moran, The Most Magic Word: Essays on Babylonian and Biblical Literature, ed. Ronald S. Hendel (Washington, DC: Catholic Biblical Association, 2002), pp. 59–74.


Related reading in Bible History Daily:

Rock Giants in Noah

The Animals Went in Two by Two, According to Babylonian Ark Tablet

Where Noah Landed?

The Curse of Ham—A New Reading in the Dead Sea Scrolls

The Exodus as Cultural Memory: Poetics, Politics and the Past
Ronald Hendel’s lecture presented at the conference Out of Egypt: Israel’s Exodus Between Text and Memory, History and Imagination at UCSD.


Related Posts

May 3
Bible Animals: From Hyenas to Hippos

By: Rabbi Dr. Natan Slifkin

Mar 23
Who Was Moses? Was He More than an Exodus Hero?

By: Biblical Archaeology Society

Exodus in the Bible and the Egyptian Plagues
Mar 22
Exodus in the Bible and the Egyptian Plagues

By: Biblical Archaeology Society

41 Responses

  1. Stephen Funck says:

    From the earliest times primitive people found sea shells and fish fossils in the rocks of the mountains. They knew the obvious reason. There had been water above the tops of the mountains.
    Therefore all peoples have stories of great floods.
    The issue to consider is the differences in meaning of those stories and determination of what is unique in the Bible account. What is common is of no importance. I suppose the unique is found in the theme of Divine judgment and the promise of fire next time.

  2. Rayburne F. Winsor says:

    We have many scientists today who are “Ever learning , and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth” (2 Tim. 3:7). How can they they when they not believe that the Creator-God was able to convey to fallen humanity His divine will and plan in written form, including the Genesis account of the global Flood of Noah (Genesis 6 to 9), without error , which is why they start with the wrong premise–that Genesis is a myth or story borrowed from ancient Babylonian clay tablets (i.e. Gilgamesh Epic or recent Babylonian clay tablet that makes the ridiculous claim that Noah’s Ark was round. So you has a very unstable ship the shape of a huge cube or square box in the Gilgamesh Epic and now you have another obvious corruption of the original Genesis account (Genesis 6 to 9) that postulates the Ark was round. Brilliant? Bible skeptics and liberal theologians would have us believe that the Jews who wrote the Bible borrowed myths of Babylonian origin concerning the Genesis Flood from the Gilgamesh Epic or a recently discovered 4000-year-old Babylonian clay tablet that postulates that Noah’s Ark was round. The big problem with this assumption is that the details of the Genesis account of a global flood are far more reasonable and believable than those of the Gilgamesh Epic and this Babylonian clay tablet, which merely reflect the true record of divine revelation (Genesis 6 to 9). For example, ship builders have calculated that Noah’s Ark (dimensions 300 cubits x 50 cubits x 30 cubits or 450 feet long by 75 feet wide by 45 feet high), with a rectangular or barge shape and a very low center of gravity (ratio 6:1) was an extremely seaworthy and stable ship compared to the dimensions of the ship in the Gilgamesh Epic (dimensions 10 rods by 10 rods by 10 rods or 165 ft. by 165 ft. by 165 ft.), which was shaped like a cube or square box and would not have been very stable in a global flood of very turbulent and high waves. The global flood of Genesis lasted 150 days before the waters receded whereas the flood in the Gilgamesh Epic lasted one week only, hardly sufficient to bring about a global cataclysmic flood as evidenced by the worldwide distribution of billions of fossils of all life-forms (many more examples).

    The true record of the Genesis Flood–given by inspiration of God to Moses, the author of the first five books of the Bible, including Genesis, from the time of creation to the world-wide flood of Noah–is supported not only by God’s providence in preserving His inspired, infallible Word over the centuries until it was finally compiled, edited, and written down by Moses, as evidenced by the accuracy and credibility of its details, but also by the One-Source Theory that leads back to the historical event of the Flood and Noah’s Ark, by the fact that the Hebrews were well known for handing down their records and tradition, and also the fact that the Book of Genesis is viewed for the most part as an historical work, even by many liberal scholars, while the Epic of Gilgamesh is viewed as mythological. On the other hand, it is quite inconceivable that the details of the Epic of Gilgamesh, as well as those of this subsequent Babylonian tablet, could be handed down for hundreds of thousands of years (Gilgamesh cuneiform tablets date as far back as 4,000 years), to be fully incorporated in the Gilgamesh Epic of the Babylonians or even later Babylonian clay tablet without being corrupted. By the way, the Gilgamesh Epic alone delivers a fatal blow to the idea of a vast antiquity for Noah and the Flood. God bless.

  3. Hendrik Schotte says:

    Why not include the Atlantis myth as a myth which tell of an inundation of a whole continent? Scientists know that different parts of the planet emerged and sinked, but always they were supposing that there were no people living in those times. So not necessarily we have to look at Mesopotamia. We have to look at those parts of the sea where buildings were seen deep down.

  4. Isiaiah Arimba says:

    Your mind is not God’s mind. the flood was real worldwide

  5. Mr. Veli Voipio says:

    I think Noah’s flood was in the early part of the second millennium BC, and fairly local. The Hebrew could be translated “towards of the mountain range of Ararat. The wind probably blew his reed boat northwards against the flood current. The reed boat was probably similar to Thor Heyerdahl’s reed boat “Tigris” having three layers of reed bundles. The text itself is fairly detailed which means it was written at the time of the flood on clay tablets. Flood stories tend to be similar even when they are independent

  6. Joey says:

    No question that there had been many floods of Euphrat and Tigris Rivers. One main question is “did the flood” cover the whole world, i.e. was it globally like the bible wrote. No, that flood in the bible wasn´t! It´s a mistake in translation. Even now our words “land” can lead to misinterpretation: land= soil or country. So “eretz”. Anyhow the ancient world that time was limited. Like it is shown on old babylonian maps. Even the quaran is more detailled and said it was only locally. There is no evidence at all for a flood covering the world at that time (whatsoever 4000 bc /- ). Arks stories are made allover the world. So it is all a myth even a lie.

  7. Joey says:

    Gary: state the source.

  8. Howard West says:

    The book of Job gives a star reference 38:32 “Canst thou bring forth Mazzaroth ( monthly constellations) in his season? canst thou guide Arcturus (Bootes) with his sons”, (Followers) Ursa Major and Minor?. When did that happen 12,500 years ago to the time of the MWP1B when sea-levels rose by 26.7 feet in less that 100 years then by over one inch per year for the next several thousand years. That my friends is the evidence of THE WORLD WIDE FLOOD!!!! But if you use that 6000 year young earth dating you will always be laughed at by those GOD hates who KNOW when the flood, MWP1B happened and hope you never will.

  9. Johnny C says:

    The whole flood story is clearly one that is handed down cross cultures. It’s as likely handed down to mesopotamian cultures as it was to the Hebrews. It’s identified with and allocated to Mesopotamian culture because they were the first to write it down. Well they were the first to write anything down, so that’s no reason to say it was definitively a mesopotamian event.
    It could well have been handed down to the Mesopotamians from the Fisher people (who predate them and are identified by the Mesopotamians as precursors). The Fisher people were probably coastal (why else would they be identified as fishermen), so came from either the South (Gulf) or North (Black Sea). Since we know there was a flood of ‘biblical’ proportions in the Black Sea when the ice-age ended, it’s reasonably likely that the Fisher people migrated from the Black Sea if it was inundated.
    A quick look at the coast of the Black Sea on Google Earth shows farming terraces well out into the sea, they’re all round the coast. The Black Sea hasn’t changed levels significantly since the inundation so we know there were people farming there at the end of the last ice-age below the current sea level, so there must have been populations who experience a black sea ‘Flood’
    None of this proves anything, but it does suggest it’s naive to preclude the Black Sea from any ‘Flood’ discussion.

  10. Kurt says:

    Stories about demigods, giants, and a cataclysmic flood are found in ancient mythologies worldwide. For example, the Akkadian Epic of Gilgamesh mentions a flood, a ship, and survivors. Gilgamesh himself was described as a lustful, violent demigod, or part god, part man. Aztec mythology tells of an ancient world inhabited by giants and of a great deluge. Norse legend describes a race of giants and a wise man named Bergelmir who constructed a large boat and saved himself and his wife. The combined testimony of all such legends corroborates the Bible’s testimony that all humans have descended from the survivors of a deluge that destroyed an ancient wicked world. Flood&p=par
    The Epic of Gilgamesh Flood and the Bible

  11. Chivotul lui Dumnezeu exista si astazi ( faptul acesta adevereste Cuvantul prin Isaia ) | behaitul oilor si Glasul Pastorului says:

    […] […]

  12. Dixon says:

    The author has gotten things mixed up….the Gilgamesh story, and others, are based on Noah’s flood and not the other way around. From a scientific perspective, dating when ancient events occurred is filled with assumptions so one should be very careful about jumping to conclusions. One quick example – carbon 14 dating technique. First one assume the amount of carbon 14 at some point and assumes how fast it decays and assumes that the decay is linear when we know various things affect its decay. Very shakey ground.

  13. Gary Harper says:

    BC and BCE: As Christ was born between sunset of 9-11-03 BCE and sunset of 9-12-03 BCE, and not right at the end of 1 BCE (12-31-1 BC) or the beginning of 1 CE (1-1-1 AC), BC and AD are misleading, as they are both off over two years from his real birthdate. Death is 4-3-33 CE.

  14. Marrian Stinson says:

    No even Biblical Archaeologist refuse to believe in ELOHIM. They rather believe that everything was created out of chaos and confusion instead of truth. It has been proven around the world that feature of the sediment layer covering the earth is that the sediment cover on the continents averages about five times the thickness (1.5 km.) of that found on the floor of the ocean. Oil is also proof of the decaying of both animal and man and other substances produce by tremendous pressure. Even the other showing a crust and the rotation around the sun. The magnetic pull on both the north and south pole. The glaciers located also in both pole and large mountains and volcanoes in the oceans along with the disruption of the Teutonic plates. Geological rock formation like the grand canyon,Yosemite Park that sits on a large volcano and large dinosaur grave sites all the world all points to a worldwide flood. Finally, all cultures identify a similar Noahic flood story. Many include that man anger their deities, water covers the entire earth, mankind all dies, many have a man who first letter start with a N, two birds, a boat is included, animals and plants put the boat or ark, and a mountain. Just because the Babylonian flood story was written first does not state that the Hebrew story copied it. If that the case why are their so many stories that have similarities? What Moses wrote was the true story that really happen. When you believe a lie everything is chaos and senseless. Even this article as well, scientists today are as clueless as some of the many flood stories.

  15. T.K. Thorne says:

    Upfront caveat: I’ve written a novel based on the Black Sea theory (Noah’s Wife by T.K. Thorne)
    That said, I am greatly interested in updates on this well documented theory by a “team of biologists” who disclaim the theory but, not only are there no references in this article as to who they were or where they published, I can’t find it on the web anywhere. Does anyone know?

    Secondly, it is my understanding from reading Pittman and Williams’ book that the Black Sea flood reversed the flow of the Tigris and Euphrates (from north to southbound), which flows all the way through Iraq, including southern Iraq which is flat and lower ground (and now floods fairly regularly). So seems to me southern Iraq could have been affected by such a cataclysmic event.

  16. Joseph says:

    It was not a global flood. This was a regional flood. The opening preamble clearly says so:
    Gen 7/1: “And the LORD said unto Noah: ‘Come thou and all thy house into the ark”
    No wild animals are listed. Only domestic animals [Noah’s household possessions] align with the boat measurements. The people of that ancient town saw it as a global flood correctly – they never ventured outside their town all their lives and never knew of other lands. This period predates even cities, nations and wars, prior to Egypt and Babylon and is only a few centuries since Adam. The people correctly described what they saw. Genesis is authentic of its periods, geography and history.

  17. Allan Rchardson says:

    I agree more with the views of this article than with those who would force the evidence around us (which, I would expect Christians to agree, was put there by the Creator; who else?) to fit into the Procrustean bed of literal interpretation of oral traditions used by God to teach moral lessons in times before scientific investigation became feasible. The story of a flood over ALL the earth at the SAME time, covering up even the highest mountains, fits neither geological evidence nor logic with respect to plant and animal survival.

    First of all, there is the question of conservation of mass. Some rough calculations show that the volume of a spherical shell of air from sea level to 30,000 feet (a bit taller than Mount Everest), less the combined volume of the land masses above sea level, would be at least as much as the total volume of water in today’s oceans. Thus, the total amount of liquid water on Earth would have to double, at least, in about 40 days, and return to the previous amount before a year passed. And, of course, except for the small amount of air that would dissolve in the water, the atmosphere would be pushed to a correspondingly higher altitude (about 6 miles). Even with the discovery of water dissolved in the rock of the mantle, this much water cannot be accounted for (besides which, the process of quickly taking it out of the mantle rocks, and putting it back, would cause two drastic changes in the composition of those rocks and thus massive continental plate disruption), unless it suddenly appeared ex nihilo and returned to nothing afterward.

    Second, there is the question of water animal and plant survival. All of the shallow waters would suddenly be under 6 miles of ocean. Animals adapted to living in shallow water, both near the bottom (for food) and near the surface (for light and lower pressure) would be unable to satisfy both requirements, and the same would be true of plants rooted in the soil of ponds and lake beds (e.g. lilies and lotus). Floating seaweed would be fine, as would fish and other sea creatures that never go to the bottom. Bottom dwelling fish such as flounder, and animals such as lobsters, would suddenly be plunged into the darkness and subjected to tremendous pressure. When the conditions reversed, they would already be dead.

    Third, there is the mixing of salt and fresh water. Since the oceans are so much more massive than the lakes and rivers of the world, one would think that salinity would spread to fresh water. But the rain water would be fresh, thus diluting the upper layer of salt water, while the mantle water (an unknown quantity) could be anything from fresh (ejected from the crystal structure of the rocks) to extremely laden with salt and other, more toxic minerals. In any case, animals used to one level of osmotic pressure would be subjected to a higher or lower level for a long time. By the time the flood dried out, they would be dead.

    Fourth, there is the gathering and re-dispersal of animals. Some of the animals to be saved would have to come from the island continent of Australia and from the other islands, where Noah would neither know how to reach them nor be able to, until the flood hit. And when the flood ended, they would tend to stay near the landing site, not disperse STRICTLY by species (and genus and family and order) to their original continents (and again, how would kangaroos get BACK to Australia?), without divine intervention.

    So in summary, such a flood would not only require divine intervention to carry out, it would also require divine intervention to falsify (YES, FALSIFY) a great deal of evidence so that it would seem never to have happened. Most enlightened spiritual people, Christians and others, expect God to give us a puzzle, but not a mass of mutual contradictions, in the physical record of the universe. Einstein expressed it as, “The Lord is subtle, but not malicious.” On the other hand, oral traditions and hand written manuscripts filtered through HUMAN minds could very well contain contradictions, and in fact contain many. The only part of their content that is reliable is the moral content. And that is, of course, the PURPOSE of Scripture.

  18. Krzysztof says:

    1) God bless BHD for conversion from long ago childish article about Noah’s Vinnery; one editorial resigned of it. It is amazing how childish are those who treaty Bible as a textbook of history!
    2) What does B.C.E. and C.E. mean? Before Christ ERa and Christ Era or childish ‘Common Era’? Atheists are taking over Akademia also?

  19. Geoffrey Sea says:

    If interested in finding the “origin” of the Flood story, one would have to look a lot further back than Mesopotamia and that is obvious both from global ethnology and the Genesis story itself. The Flood story is widely shared throughout Eurasia and both continents of the Americas. It likely “originated” with the simple attempt to explain fossils of maritime creatures found in mountain ranges all over the world, but the common form of the narrative and certain shared details suggest lineage of the biblical version that predates the settling of the Americas, that is more than 16,000 years ago.

    This is apparent within the story, which along with the Book of Job, is considered by scholars as among the oldest parts of the Old Testament. Both Job and the Noah story center on and encourage a reverence for ANIMALS, as opposed to the Garden of Eden story in Genesis which establishes man as dominant and preeminent over other “creatures.” Not only does the Noah story establish a harmoniousness between species, but it’s birds — ravens and doves — who carry the messages that establish a “covenant” on earth, a part of the story linked to other global motifs in which ravens and doves ARE the divinities (a word etymologically related to “dove”), before any anthropomorphic sky gods existed.

    That is, the Flood story itself reveals its origin in Animism, a system of belief that predates the worship of gods in Mesopotamia or anywhere else. We can presume that in earlier versions, Noah by whatever name got all of his messages from the animals, as Job is explicitly instructed to do.

  20. nonie says:

    Why is it so hard for Christians to believe in the sciences. Because science adds information to the Bible, it doesn’t make the Bible untrue. I believe the Bible is the Word of God, but I also believe that science adds to my knowledge of what the Bible writers said. Science helps me to understand how and what and why the events of the Bible occured. We don’t have to be blinded by ignorance of the world around us in order to believe completely in the Word of God, the Bible. I believe that science enhances my knowledge of the Holy Word and helps me to grow in my faith.

  21. S Cary says:

    Why does Biblical Archeology have such lame articles?

  22. Kurt says:

    Was the Flood of Noah’s Day Really Global?

    The Noachian Flood occurred more than 4,000 years ago. So there are no eyewitness survivors on earth to tell us about it. However, there is a written record of that catastrophe, which states that the floodwaters covered the tallest mountain of that time.
    The historical document reads: “The deluge went on for forty days upon the earth . . . And the waters overwhelmed the earth so greatly that all the tall mountains that were under the whole heavens came to be covered. Up to fifteen cubits [about 22 feet [6.5 m]] the waters overwhelmed them and the mountains became covered.”—Genesis 7:17-20.
    Some may wonder if the story of the whole earth being covered with water is a myth or at least an exaggeration. Not at all! Indeed, to some extent the earth is still flooded. Seawater covers about 71 percent of the earth’s surface. So in reality the floodwaters are still here. And if the glaciers and polar ice caps were to melt, the sea level would rise to cover cities like New York and Tokyo.
    Geologists studying the landscape of the northwestern United States believe that as many as 100 ancient catastrophic floods once washed over the area. One such flood is said to have roared through the region with a wall of water 2,000 feet [600 m] high, traveling at 65 miles an hour [105 km/hr]—a flood of 500 cubic miles [2,000 cu km] of water, weighing more than two trillion tons. Similar findings have led other scientists to believe that a global flood is a distinct possibility.
    For those who believe that the Bible is God’s Word, though, a global flood is more than a possibility. It is a fact. Jesus said to God: “Your word is truth.” (John 17:17) The apostle Paul wrote that God’s will is that “all sorts of men should be saved and come to an accurate knowledge of truth.” (1 Timothy 2:3, 4) How could Paul teach followers of Jesus the doctrinal truth if God’s Word contains myths?
    Not only did Jesus believe that the Flood took place but he also believed that it was global. In his great prophecy about his presence and the end of this system of things, he likened those events to the time of Noah. (Matthew 24:37-39) The apostle Peter also wrote about the floodwaters in Noah’s day: “By those means the world of that time suffered destruction when it was deluged with water.”—2 Peter 3:6.
    If Noah was a mythical figure and a global flood a fable, the warnings of Peter and Jesus for those living in the last days would be meaningless. Instead of serving as a warning, such ideas would befuddle a person’s spiritual senses and endanger his chances of surviving a tribulation greater than the Noachian Flood.—2 Peter 3:1-7.
    In speaking about his abiding mercies for his people, God said: “Just as I have sworn that the waters of Noah shall no more pass over the earth, so I have sworn that I will not become indignant toward you nor rebuke you.” As surely as the Noachian Flood did overwhelm the earth, so God’s loving-kindness will be with those trusting in him.—Isaiah 54:9.
    Ps 29:10 (footnote). By sitting upon “the deluge,” or “heavenly ocean,” Jehovah indicates that he is in full control of his power.

  23. Joe says:

    Agree with the most of the posters here: BAC should be supporting articles that demonstrate the validity of the Bible account, and not authors/archaeologists who are clearly biased against it, or who think it’s something to be deconstructed.

    That’s not to say they should follow the equally biased agenda of the extreme right or any single interpretation of scripture. E.g., the Hebrew “ereth” means earth, but it can also mean the land. Therefore, a catastrophic flood in and around ancient Mesopotamia *could* be indicated in the Genesis account and still represent it faithfully. That’s not being stated dogmatically, but rather it’s the kind of debate I’d prefer to see rather than the clichéd and pointless “Did Noah’s flood originate with the Babylonians?”

    John, I was onboard with everything you were saying until you cited the website you wrote for, a site that claims that “homosexuality is a treatable gender-role disorder.” You should think twice before aligning yourself with the hate-mongering false-Christian bigoted crowd. The right-wing modern Pharisees do NOT represent Christians (even if they have given rise to the hate-mongering new-atheist and anti-theist movement).

  24. Dr. Derek P. Blake. Ph.D says:

    Personally I welcome the film, anything that draws attention to our faith is good, let’s get people talking and discussing Christianity. As to authenticity, well all we have is the Bible, the written inspired word of God, we either believe it or we don’t, if we don’t, then we bring the whole of the Bible into doubt. If we believe that Christ was the Son of God, God incarnate, fully human and fully God, he must have known the truth. Jesus as fully God believed in ( or knew the facts) the flood of Noah’s time, so what, we call Him a liar? The question we must ask, is not about the technical authenticity of the film, but why did the real event happen, then we must look at our lives and ask, would we have been on the Ark or among the millions that perished?
    The above article is less than encouraging about the even and fails miserably in making an objective assessment of the flood event. The article leans heavily on the Gilgamesh Epic as the root of the story, has not Mr. Hendel heard of the recent discovery (from a store room) of a much earlier account, which is almost word for word of the Bible telling. I do wonder if BAC sets out to debunk the bible rather than impartial investigation into the biblical events and places. Just because the world fails to believe, why must we agree?

  25. Dr John G Leslie says:

    Dear Sirs,
    I strongly disagree with the overall views of this article. I have looked extensively at the Noah Flood Story evaluating it from the perspective of whether it is a True Narrative Representation or a myth, legend, or fable. I have concluded that it is a true eye witness account. Using the criteria of Dr John Oller, a linguistics expert, it conforms to the requirements of Determinancy, Continuity, and Generalizability necessary to be considered a True Narrative Representation. For Determinancy it uses ancient word forms (nouns, verbs) that a person would have used for descriptions of an event actually experienced. For Continuity it has a sequential time line and various ancient word constructs that tie it together as a single unit; and for Generalizability studies in biology, geology, and anthropology support the concept of a worldwide flood. Thus the Biblical Account is not a derivative of a Mesopotamian flood story and nor is it a local flood event. It is a true eye witness account of a worldwide flood in which a man, Noah, and his family are saved, in a boat, from a flood that covered the entire earth. Support for this view can be found in a dissertation I wrote for Trinity Southwest University in 2012 titled “Evaluation of the Noah Flood Account as a True Narrative Representation”. It is 500 pages in length. It can be found online at: There many other sites that support a worldwide flood including Creation Ministries International and Answers In Genesis.
    God Bless,
    John G Leslie PhD, MD, PhD

  26. Dave Lowden says:

    I find the cat in the vacuum cleaner the most credible. Keep looking though, God will choose what to reveal in His time, for His purpose and in His way.

  27. Rondee says:

    I agree with Stephen Ray, they physical evidence of the flood is world wide. I also agree with Pip! How can the findings in Turkey not be considered?

  28. Herb says:

    Just for the record, the purpose of the Bible is to illustrate “how Man goes” rather than “How goes Man”.
    To Joe: if you read the Bible in Hebrew, check out Genesis 8:4. It clearly mentions the mountains of Arrarat. Where those mountains are is anyone’s guess.

    to Paul: Two months ago, fresh water springs were located beneath the ocean floor. It was reported in the news. Probably the source of the water of the deep which erupted prior and during the flood of Noah.

    To those who think the ark was round: please read the text. It gives the dimensions in cubits. Clearly not a circle.

  29. Joe says:

    Turkey as location loses it weight in light of gen 11v1 points to Iran.

    Turkey as local was famed by Neros mother another catholic scam same thing with mt Sinai Rome put it in the traditional setting st Katherine’s etc. apostle Paul galatians 4v25 puts it in Arabia jabal alawz.

  30. Nick says:

    As a lover of the “early sciences,” I’m sad to see or read about “new discoveries by biased scientists” whose aim seems to be “try and disprove anything biblical, regardless of how “unscientific or whatever the costs.” Many of todays scientists should write on their business cards, “Pay Us Enough $$$ Money and We Will Prove Anything, True or False, Your Choice!”

  31. Nick says:

    Why are people who believe in Jesus Christ, Christians, using the “BCE & CE” when for almost 2000 years it was and is BC & AD? How easy do we accept the “language of denial” of non-believers. If we continued to use “Before Christ” & Anno Domini” (year of our Lord) non believers would have less influence on the unknowing. This also applies to maintaining the age of the earth and correcting those that claim “millions of carbon dating flawed years,” instead of thousands of more realistic and biblical (their is more “young earth” data today) history years. Just a couple of thoughts on “supple” brainwashing by many atheists and “too easily bought $ and $ paid for by so called scientists! I include this publication and others, that follow a flaw!

  32. Kern Trembath says:

    In the Bible History Daily that points to this article, Ronald Hendel is noted as teaching at “Berkeley University.” Let’s correct that to “the University of California, Berkeley.”

  33. Richard says:

    I wish that those who wrote these articles actually believed the Bible. I mean BELIEVE the Bible, not just try to use it as a source to piece together a version of events that they believe to be believable. You know. Believers. Would be nice. This guy doesn’t believe in the kind of flood the Bible describes. He believes it to be an exaggeration… a BORROWED exaggeration. It tells you all you need to know about his views of inspiration.

  34. Paul Ballotta says:

    That’s p. 70, not 60, of Reinhold’s book. I ordered it after seeing it advertised in the issues of BAR and it only cost $7.00 but its value is worth far more. At the time I wrote him and asked if he saw the similarities between the Babylonian Creation Epic’s account of the mingling of sweet waters of Apsu and salt waters of Tiamat and the then current theory about the fresh water lake mingling with sea to produce the Black Sea in the mid-eight millenium B.C.E. and he responded and said he hadn’t realized that possible connection. It’s interesting how that book quoted in the above article, “Noah’s Flood” by William Ryan & Walter Pittman contains an ancient reference to the formation of the Black Sea (p.103):
    “In his ‘Natural History,” Pliny the Elder described the Black Sea as ‘having swallowed up a large area of land which retreated before it.'”

  35. Paul Ballotta says:

    I just saw the previews of that upcoming film about Noah and they showed a scene with water geysers shooting up from the ground, like the verse in Genesis 8:11; “All the fountains of the great deep (tehom) burst apart.” In “The Ocean in the Literatue of the Western Semites,” A. J. Wensinck explains that in ancient Semitic cosmologies there consisted of upper waters and lower waters and that this tradition surved in the Koran and the Old Testament (p. 20):
    “In the Koran there are several passages which seem to support a heavenly ocean. Sura, 55, 19: ‘He [Allah} has set free the two oceans so that they meet; between them is an isthmus which they do not transgress.’ In Sura 25,55 it is said that one of these seas is sweet, the other is salt; and Sura 27,62 also speaks of two seas which are separated from one another”
    “It is well known that in the Babylonian cosmology one half of Tiamat is placed in heaven and that the biblical cosmology has a reminiscence of this mythological idea in the verse which relates that God made a separation between the waters above the firmanent and those below it”
    Wensinck also explains (p.44) how the lower subteranean waters called “tehom” and translated as “deep” serve as a metaphor for a type of “spiritual distress and destruction” as in “”revive me again, and raise me up from the depths of the earth” (Psalm 71:20) and “where deep calls to deep in the roar of your cataracts; all your breakers and billows have swept over me” (Psalm 42:7).
    In Babylonian cosmology the subteranean waters were the domain of the god Enki or Ea, who was the deity who instructed Utnapistim to build an ark. In “Hurrian Hebrews; Ea as Yahweh,” Forrest Reinhold writes (p.60):
    “An ideogram employed to represent the deity Ea was BE. Since BE has the Semitic value, naqbu, ‘fountain,’ from the root naqabu, ‘to break through from the depths under the earth,’ it can be seen that the cult of Ea was connected with the subteranean supply of water … Ea was recognized as bel nimeqi, ‘the lord of wisdom,’ literally, ‘the lord of the deep,’ … for the word nimequ, ‘wisdom,’ is derived from the root emequ, ‘to be deep.’

  36. Joe says:

    Most translations – other than the NIV – (which says just the opposite) say in Genesis 11:1 that after the flood the people migrated FROM the east and settled on the plain of Shinar – later the site of Babylon. Thus if one moves eastward – back in the direction from which the people migrated – one ends up in the mountains of western Iran. The traditional site of Mt. Ararat I think was not so named until the 11th century by Armenian monks. Maybe everyone is looking in the wrong place. I read one time where the oldest names of this mountain chain was a Zorastrian word which translated to “The mountains on which Noah landed.”

  37. Pip Dumbill says:

    Why do people continue to ignore the discovery of the boat-like formation near the village of Karzan in Eastern Turkey? Is it because it wasn’t discovered by ‘credentialed’ archaeologists? If you take time to read the evidence discovered in the area, you will wonder why this discovery has been ignored by mainstream archaeology..

  38. Stephen Ray Hale says:

    From New York to Singapore, look at the rocks below your feet and you will find “Noah’s Flood.”

  39. The Search for Noah’s Flood - Creation RevolutionCreation Revolution says:

    […] Flood legend. Shortly thereafter they published a book called Noah’s Flood about their theory.1 More recently a team of marine biologists has announced that there was no massive flooding of the […]

  40. Seer says:

    Let’s see if we can first find what happened to flight 350 before attempting Noah’s Arc.

Write a Reply or Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Send this to a friend