Board index Noah's Ark & the Flood

Re: Noah's Ark: literal/metaphor?

Postby Spinner » Tue Aug 21, 2018 11:33 am

So let’s assume for the moment that your rescuing devices intended to refuse a plain reading of the text are sufficient.

So what in the text, when read plainly, specifically denotes a local, non-global flood that didn’t wipe out all land life in the planet nor cover the mountains up to 15 cubits high?
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Re: Noah's Ark: literal/metaphor?

Postby jimwalton » Tue Aug 21, 2018 11:33 am

It's impossible to read the text reasonably as a global flood.

    * Such a cataclysm doesn't fit the ancient cosmological view of the earth as a flat plate surrounded by and under washed with cosmic waters.
    * The earth doesn't have that amount of water.
    * The sky doesn't have that much rain.
    * For water, even if there were that much, to rise that fast would have created currents that would have destroyed the ark.
    * That much water would throw the earth off its orbit.
    * The ancients didn't have the technology to make a wooden boat that size. I'm not sure we even have the technology to make a wooden boat that size. It's never been done.
    * Our science tells us it's impossible on SO many different levels.

But what in the text tells us it's hyperbole?

When read plainly, the text speaks of a global flood. As I've said several times (maybe to you, maybe to others), the author uses the language of universality to get his theological point across. But there's more to the text than "reading plainly."

    * The Earth was not destroyed (6.13)
    * A wooden boat of that size (6.15) is impossible, and they knew it.
    * "All" (6.17) in Genesis is used elsewhere for a particular population (Gn. 41.57). It is used in Exodus where "all" is not what happened (the plagues). It is used in Deuteronomy for local populations (2.25). These books are all from the same authorial source.
    * "The great deep" and "the floodgates of the heavens" in Gn. 7.11 refers to an ancient cosmological perspective where the subterranean waters below the surface of the earth were joined with the waters of the firmament above. This is obviously figurative language, and the extent of their scope of hyperbole.
    * The vast upheaval described (6.11) would have overturned any boat.
    * Rain for 40 days and nights is impossible (6.12). "40" is always (as far as we know) a symbolic number in the Bible.
    * Neither ravens nor doves can fly at the altitudes required for the text to be "read plainly."
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Re: Noah's Ark: literal/metaphor?

Postby Spinner » Wed Aug 22, 2018 11:02 am

So it seems all your reasoning for the Bible implying a local flood is entirely non-Biblical. Nowhere in Genesis or the Bible in general is the flood described as local. Is that the extent of your reasoning then? Reinterpreting the plain reading to remove all clear mentions of a global flood and worldwide destruction, and reinterpreting other parts using non-Biblical ideas and perspectives to implant the idea of a local flood in?
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Re: Noah's Ark: literal/metaphor?

Postby jimwalton » Thu Sep 13, 2018 7:19 am

> Nowhere in Genesis or the Bible in general is the flood described as local

I know. You don't seem to be following what I'm saying. What I've written is:

    * "The author uses the language of universality to get his theological point across."
    * "We have to interpret the text to get back to the intent of the author. We can't just read it shallowly in English and expect that we have it, especially a complex text like this one."
    * "This is a case of hyperbole, a rhetorical device to make a theological point. A local but cataclysmic flood is intentionally described as a global flood for rhetorical and theological purposes."
    * The terminology can be interpreted in different ways.
    * "The Bible uses hyperbole to describe historical events ... And since we know the bible is not at all averse or slow to use hyperbole in its writings, it's plausible to think it's hyperbolic."

> Is that the extent of your reasoning then?

No, I can't give you all of it. It's too much for the limitations of the forum. I'm just giving you highlights and important peaks.


Last bumped by Anonymous on Thu Sep 13, 2018 7:19 am.
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