STILL WORKING MY WAY through maps for the Casual English Bible atlas of Genesis, I spent much of yesterday trying to illustrate the Flood story as it’s reported in Genesis 7.
It’s unbelievable, as far as some Christians are concerned. They simply don’t read the story literally, as accurate history. They think of it as part of the ancient culture of storytelling, back before Netflix started streaming all the movies you’d never want to see.
As the Bible story goes, the flood topped every mountain on earth, and then some. A giraffe standing on top of the tallest mountain would have needed a two-foot stepladder to catch a breath. An adult giraffe stands up to 20 feet tall. The water rose “22 feet [7 meters] above the highest mountain peak” (Genesis 7:20 Casual English Bible).
Many Christians say they take the story as genuine history, in spite of the fact that geologists tell us there’s not that much water in the vicinity of the planet.
Who knows, maybe God borrowed the water from Mars. If not, many argue, he’s the Creator. He can create whatever he wants.
For many Christians, perhaps most, that’s enough to get them past this story that sounds to many like a whopper.
If you don’t mind telling me, what’s your take on the Flood story?
Fact? Legend? A parable-like story to teach the power of God and the danger of sin?
More maps ahead.
Genesis has 50 chapters. There’s a constant temptation to rush. The trick is to remember that whatever I’m working on at the moment is the most important thing for me to be doing. So I’d better take the time to do it right.
That said, this map is beta. Not yet carefully proofed.
But it will be.
Blog subscribers who win books this week
- Theron Taylor
- Lisa Austin
I give away free books every week to randomly selected Stateside subscribers to my free blog or my quarterly newsletter.
Winners now get to choose from a stack of titles, including my most recent: A Visual Walk Through Genesis .
Note to the two winners: send me an email and I’ll give you the full list of books from which you can choose.
The deal’s good for a month, or for as long as I have giveaway books available.
Many Bible scholars believe in a localized flood (fertile crescent) — that’s another alternative.
Stephen M. Miller
Thanks, Wayne. I should’ve mentioned that. A lot of Christians believe that theory. But the one statement by the Genesis writer, talking about the flood going over the highest mountains, seems to argue against the theory.
I take it as fact, if the Bible is the inspired Word of God then it has to be fact. And who’s to say the Earth wasn’t half the size it is to day and God made it bigger to hold all the water.