Author Topic: Do you believe the flood of Noah was global, as the Fathers say?  (Read 2322 times)

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Offline Xavier

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Some Christians are saying that the flood of Noah was a purely local event. Do you believe this? It sounds modernistic through and through.

All Catholic and Orthodox Christians know the Fathers took the flood of Noah as a real event; moreover, they indicate, as even St. Peter did in the New Testament, that as all except the family of Noah on the Ark perished, so all outside the Church perish in the flood of sin; but what becomes of this patristic analogy if in fact many survived outside this ark? It is clear that such forced intepretations do violence to the plain sense of Scripture and Tradition.

Some non-Christians believe there was catastrophic flooding - on Mars! Suffice very briefly to say there is much stronger evidence for global flooding back home on God's good green and blue earth. If a recent worldwide flood did not pose so many difficulties for evolution, they would not be so unwilling to consider the possibility.

Almost every culture has preserved historical details of a single family that survived a flood, from which all human posterity descended. Is that really just a coincidence?

https://answersingenesis.org/the-flood/global/worldwide-flood-evidence/

Quote
Evidence 1: Fossils of sea creatures high above sea level due to the ocean waters having flooded over the continents
We find fossils of sea creatures in rock layers that cover all the continents. For example, most of the rock layers in the walls of Grand Canyon (more than a mile above sea level) contain marine fossils. Fossilized shellfish are even found in the Himalayas.

Focus in: High & Dry Sea Creatures

Evidence 2: Rapid burial of plants and animals
We find extensive fossil “graveyards” and exquisitely preserved fossils. For example, billions of nautiloid fossils are found in a layer within the Redwall Limestone of Grand Canyon. This layer was deposited catastrophically by a massive flow of sediment (mostly lime sand). The chalk and coal beds of Europe and the United States, and the fish, ichthyosaurs, insects, and other fossils all around the world, testify of catastrophic destruction and burial.

Focus in: The World’s a Graveyard

Evidence 3: Rapidly deposited sediment layers spread across vast areas
We find rock layers that can be traced all the way across continents—even between continents—and physical features in those strata indicate they were deposited rapidly. For example, the Tapeats Sandstone and Redwall Limestone of Grand Canyon can be traced across the entire United States, up into Canada, and even across the Atlantic Ocean to England. The chalk beds of England (the white cliffs of Dover) can be traced across Europe into the Middle East and are also found in the Midwest of the United States and in Western Australia. Inclined (sloping) layers within the Coconino Sandstone of Grand Canyon are testimony to 10,000 cubic miles of sand being deposited by huge water currents within days.

Focus in: Transcontinental Rock Layers

Evidence 4: Sediment transported long distances
We find that the sediments in those widespread, rapidly deposited rock layers had to be eroded from distant sources and carried long distances by fast-moving water. For example, the sand for the Coconino Sandstone of Grand Canyon (Arizona) had to be eroded and transported from the northern portion of what is now the United States and Canada. Furthermore, water current indicators (such as ripple marks) preserved in rock layers show that for “300 million years” water currents were consistently flowing from northeast to southwest across all of North and South America, which, of course, is only possible over weeks during a global Flood.

Focus in: Sand Transported Cross Country

Evidence 5: Rapid or no erosion between strata
We find evidence of rapid erosion, or even of no erosion, between rock layers. Flat, knife-edge boundaries between rock layers indicate continuous deposition of one layer after another, with no time for erosion. For example, there is no evidence of any “missing” millions of years (of erosion) in the flat boundary between two well-known layers of Grand Canyon—the Coconino Sandstone and the Hermit Formation. Another impressive example of flat boundaries at Grand Canyon is the Redwall Limestone and the strata beneath it ...
Locution, Aug 18, 2014: "That is why the Holy Father and all the Bishops must make this Consecration in a public way and must specifically mention Russia. The Russian people must know the source of the gift. This is also why I wait and wait, even though the Holy Father delays. I must have the Holy Father act in the name of the Catholic Church so the Russian people know that the Catholic Church has released this gift. "
http://www.logosinstitute.org/Locutions---selection-2.html

Offline biro

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Re: Do you believe the flood of Noah was global, as the Fathers say?
« Reply #1 on: April 18, 2018, 01:25:16 AM »
Answers in Genesis is a Protestant site.
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Offline RaphaCam

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Re: Do you believe the flood of Noah was global, as the Fathers say?
« Reply #2 on: April 18, 2018, 01:32:34 AM »
Smells global to me.
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Offline Xavier

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Re: Do you believe the flood of Noah was global, as the Fathers say?
« Reply #3 on: April 18, 2018, 02:02:21 AM »
Some people ask for scientific evidence rather than look to the patristic testimonies. But Ok, here's an Orthodox site: "The event of the flood had a great allegorical importance for the Apostles and the Church Fathers, since Peter himself indicates the Ark as a type for Christ and the Church, and the flood as a type for baptism.

Jewish authors Philo and Flavius Josephus as well as many Church Fathers (such as Justin Martyr, Theophilus of Antioch, Tertullian, Gregory of Nazianzus, John Chrysostom and ]]Augustine of Hippo]]) firmly believed in a global extent of the flood" https://orthodoxwiki.org/Great_Flood_of_Noah
Locution, Aug 18, 2014: "That is why the Holy Father and all the Bishops must make this Consecration in a public way and must specifically mention Russia. The Russian people must know the source of the gift. This is also why I wait and wait, even though the Holy Father delays. I must have the Holy Father act in the name of the Catholic Church so the Russian people know that the Catholic Church has released this gift. "
http://www.logosinstitute.org/Locutions---selection-2.html

Offline Wandile

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Re: Do you believe the flood of Noah was global, as the Fathers say?
« Reply #4 on: April 18, 2018, 04:27:47 AM »
Yes it was global.
I do not post here anymore until the end of the year. God bless.

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Offline Tikhon.of.Colorado

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Re: Do you believe the flood of Noah was global, as the Fathers say?
« Reply #5 on: April 18, 2018, 07:48:14 AM »
I don't believe there is evidence for a global flood having happened.  Once a bishop told me that Jonah never was eaten by a whale and survived inside it, because these things simply are impossible.  What is important is the story, and that could be the case with Noah's flood.

Offline juliogb

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Re: Do you believe the flood of Noah was global, as the Fathers say?
« Reply #6 on: April 18, 2018, 07:52:25 AM »
Yes, I believe it was global, and yes, Jonah was in the fish/whale/sea monster.


Offline Iconodule

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Re: Do you believe the flood of Noah was global, as the Fathers say?
« Reply #7 on: April 18, 2018, 08:04:13 AM »
We believe in these things and we don’t rely on (or distort) materialist science to “prove” it.
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Offline Xavier

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Re: Do you believe the flood of Noah was global, as the Fathers say?
« Reply #8 on: April 18, 2018, 08:12:00 AM »
Ok. Fair enough. In some cases, science or history can be helpful to some. Christ mentioned both Noah and Jonah; and as real persons. It would be best to believe Him just because He has said so. Many have called all this into question: historicity of Adam and Eve, universality of Noah's flood etc. I believe that is wrong, and can unfortunately slowly lead to full unbelief if not corrected.
Locution, Aug 18, 2014: "That is why the Holy Father and all the Bishops must make this Consecration in a public way and must specifically mention Russia. The Russian people must know the source of the gift. This is also why I wait and wait, even though the Holy Father delays. I must have the Holy Father act in the name of the Catholic Church so the Russian people know that the Catholic Church has released this gift. "
http://www.logosinstitute.org/Locutions---selection-2.html

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Re: Do you believe the flood of Noah was global, as the Fathers say?
« Reply #9 on: April 18, 2018, 08:31:53 AM »
I don't believe there is evidence for a global flood having happened.  Once a bishop told me that Jonah never was eaten by a whale and survived inside it, because these things simply are impossible.  What is important is the story, and that could be the case with Noah's flood.

Isn’t a man rising from the dead impossible? Isn’t a virgin bearing a child impossible? Isn’t men suddenly receiving the ability to speak multiple languages at once impossible?

On what point do we differentiate between these events and those in the Old Testament and hagiography which are so often written off as tall tales or allegories?

The very foundation of our faith is that which is “impossible.”
"For what shall it profit a man, if he gain the whole world, and suffer the loss of his soul?" - Mark 8:36 (DRA)

Offline juliogb

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Re: Do you believe the flood of Noah was global, as the Fathers say?
« Reply #10 on: April 18, 2018, 09:18:26 AM »
I don't believe there is evidence for a global flood having happened.  Once a bishop told me that Jonah never was eaten by a whale and survived inside it, because these things simply are impossible.  What is important is the story, and that could be the case with Noah's flood.

Isn’t a man rising from the dead impossible? Isn’t a virgin bearing a child impossible? Isn’t men suddenly receiving the ability to speak multiple languages at once impossible?

On what point do we differentiate between these events and those in the Old Testament and hagiography which are so often written off as tall tales or allegories?

The very foundation of our faith is that which is “impossible.”

Sometimes I see some people in the orthodox and RC world wanting so bad to avoid protestant biblical literalism going all the way to the also protestant theological liberalism.

Offline Rohzek

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Re: Do you believe the flood of Noah was global, as the Fathers say?
« Reply #11 on: April 18, 2018, 09:32:44 AM »
No flood ever happened. The story of Noah in the Book of Genesis should only be read at the spiritual and intellectual level, not at the corporeal level.
"Il ne faut imaginer Dieu ni trop bon, ni méchant. La justice est entre l'excès de la clémence et la cruauté, ainsi que les peines finies sont entre l'impunité et les peines éternelles." - Denise Diderot, Pensées philosophiques 1746

Offline Iconodule

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Re: Do you believe the flood of Noah was global, as the Fathers say?
« Reply #12 on: April 18, 2018, 09:39:09 AM »
No flood ever happened. The story of Noah in the Book of Genesis should only be read at the spiritual and intellectual level, not at the corporeal level.

Okay, but when you say "no flood ever happened" you are already taking the corporeal level as the most real level.

Sometimes I see some people in the orthodox and RC world wanting so bad to avoid protestant biblical literalism going all the way to the also protestant theological liberalism.

Right, and there is a common materialist substrate to both positions. This literal reading of texts ties in with what St Nikolai Velimirovich called a literal reading of nature.
« Last Edit: April 18, 2018, 09:40:32 AM by Iconodule »
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- Lovecraft, At the Mountains of Madness

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Re: Do you believe the flood of Noah was global, as the Fathers say?
« Reply #13 on: April 18, 2018, 12:32:52 PM »
Oh you of little faith.

Both the flood, and Jonah being swallowed by a whale, occurred. 

The Lord created the world, do you think He cannot make these two events happen?

What about Lazarus, dead and decaying.... brought back to life?
What about walking on water, or stilling the storm?

Is it just God that is doubted?  What about the saints and the miracles they performed in His name?
Did St. Herman actually stop a tsumani by merely praying and placing an icon on the shoreline?
Or the healing of many by the Apostles?

What about God creating the world in 6 days...and resting on the 7th?  Also just a story?


Do not doubt...but, believe.... and in your belief, turn to Him more often... and see what is truly possible.
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Re: Do you believe the flood of Noah was global, as the Fathers say?
« Reply #14 on: April 18, 2018, 12:38:04 PM »
The question isn't what is possible, but rather what happened.

Offline Vanhyo

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Re: Do you believe the flood of Noah was global, as the Fathers say?
« Reply #15 on: April 18, 2018, 12:57:05 PM »
Answers in Genesis is a Protestant site.
Yeah i don't trust the protestants, even if they appear to be telling the truth in a rare occasion, its like the devil saying something that appears to be true in order to destroy you.

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Re: Do you believe the flood of Noah was global, as the Fathers say?
« Reply #16 on: April 18, 2018, 01:02:00 PM »
Of course the flood happened ~ we got off the Ark ~ came down from the mountain ~ and began anew ~ some did not tell their children ~ and ~ some children ~ doubted their parents ~ but we remember ~ because ~ we were there ~ those who feel they ~ come from a mucky pool ~ may have made ~ a ~ truth of their own ```

Offline Antonis

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Re: Do you believe the flood of Noah was global, as the Fathers say?
« Reply #17 on: April 18, 2018, 01:10:26 PM »
I don't believe there is evidence for a global flood having happened.  Once a bishop told me that Jonah never was eaten by a whale and survived inside it, because these things simply are impossible.  What is important is the story, and that could be the case with Noah's flood.
Ignoring the fact that God could preserve Jonah and anything else is implicit atheism, the Prophet in his prayer indicates he is, in fact, dead:

Chapter 2

1 Then Jonah prayed unto the Lord his God out of the fish's belly,

2 And said, I cried by reason of mine affliction unto the Lord, and he heard me; out of the belly of hell [Sheol] cried I, and thou heardest my voice.

3 For thou hadst cast me into the deep, in the midst of the seas; and the floods compassed me about: all thy billows and thy waves passed over me.

4 Then I said, I am cast out of thy sight; yet I will look again toward thy holy temple.

5 The waters compassed me about, even to the soul: the depth closed me round about, the weeds were wrapped about my head.

6 I went down to the bottoms of the mountains; the earth with her bars was about me for ever: yet hast thou brought up my life from corruption, O Lord my God.

7 When my soul fainted within me I remembered the Lord: and my prayer came in unto thee, into thine holy temple.

8 They that observe lying vanities forsake their own mercy.

9 But I will sacrifice unto thee with the voice of thanksgiving; I will pay that that I have vowed. Salvation is of the Lord.

10 And the Lord spake unto the fish, and it vomited out Jonah upon the dry land.
« Last Edit: April 18, 2018, 01:13:16 PM by Antonis »
How has Antonis not become an Old Calendarist yet?
I thought he had, a few posts ago.

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Offline Sethrak

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Re: Do you believe the flood of Noah was global, as the Fathers say?
« Reply #18 on: April 18, 2018, 01:13:49 PM »
Quote LizaSymonenko : Do not doubt...but, believe.... and in your belief, turn to Him more often... and see what is truly possible.

Shad Avor Liza ~ bless your good heart ~ I remove my hat ```

Offline Vanhyo

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Re: Do you believe the flood of Noah was global, as the Fathers say?
« Reply #19 on: April 18, 2018, 01:18:53 PM »
No flood ever happened. The story of Noah in the Book of Genesis should only be read at the spiritual and intellectual level, not at the corporeal level.
If you do not believe something as basic, what business do you have pretending to be a christian or preaching anyway ?

If the flood didn't happen, you are wasting your time with christianity.

Offline Iconodule

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Re: Do you believe the flood of Noah was global, as the Fathers say?
« Reply #20 on: April 18, 2018, 01:21:51 PM »
The flood is not an article of faith. It's rather over-the-top to question that someone is a Christian solely based on his doubting it. It is worth asking though if this doubt comes from a materialistic bias- something most of us are afflicted by, however unconsciously, due to the surrounding ideology.
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Offline minasoliman

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Re: Do you believe the flood of Noah was global, as the Fathers say?
« Reply #21 on: April 18, 2018, 01:25:56 PM »
+1

The question that should be asked, does the flood's veracity, let alone occurrence, matter in the overarching faith?  Because if so, it should be in a canon of faith somewhere, like the Creed for instance.

Furthermore, when quoting the Fathers, in what way did they talk about the Flood?  Was it taken for granted, or did they write about it refuting those who disbelieved in it?  In other words, what's the primary purpose of their discussion of the flood?

These are necessary questions in your analysis of faith before you place needless burdens on folks.
« Last Edit: April 18, 2018, 01:29:00 PM by minasoliman »
Vain existence can never exist, for "unless the LORD builds the house, the builders labor in vain." (Psalm 127)

If the faith is unchanged and rock solid, then the gates of Hades never prevailed in the end.

Offline Antonis

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Re: Do you believe the flood of Noah was global, as the Fathers say?
« Reply #22 on: April 18, 2018, 01:35:30 PM »
I think no one doubts that the primary importance of the flood and Jonah's descent are types of what would become our Faith, and which is creedal, "He was crucified for us under Pontius Pilate, and suffered and was buried; And He rose on the third day, according to the Scriptures," and "I confess one baptism for the remission of sins," to name two.

Nevertheless, would the fathers have denied the historical reality of these types? Like I think you are suggesting, Mina, I think it was taken for granted, and there is no reason for us not to do likewise. So maybe I am confused about your statement "does the flood's veracity matter in the overarching faith?" Why wouldn't it? How are elements of salvation history a needless burden rather than something which ought to be taken for granted?
« Last Edit: April 18, 2018, 01:42:13 PM by Antonis »
How has Antonis not become an Old Calendarist yet?
I thought he had, a few posts ago.

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Offline Vanhyo

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Re: Do you believe the flood of Noah was global, as the Fathers say?
« Reply #23 on: April 18, 2018, 01:49:38 PM »
@Mina, your icon profile picture is incorrect, there should be a troublemaker whispering in his ear instead of a halo.

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Re: Do you believe the flood of Noah was global, as the Fathers say?
« Reply #24 on: April 18, 2018, 01:57:52 PM »
The Hebrew word "eretz" can be interpreted land or earth, so it is difficult to say if the flood was regional or global.  I have no problem with it being global.  The Lord is certainly capable of it.

Offline minasoliman

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Re: Do you believe the flood of Noah was global, as the Fathers say?
« Reply #25 on: April 18, 2018, 02:19:17 PM »
I think no one doubts that the primary importance of the flood and Jonah's descent are types of what would become our Faith, and which is creedal, "He was crucified for us under Pontius Pilate, and suffered and was buried; And He rose on the third day, according to the Scriptures," and "I confess one baptism for the remission of sins," to name two.

Nevertheless, would the fathers have denied the historical reality of these types? Like I think you are suggesting, Mina, I think it was taken for granted, and there is no reason for us not to do likewise. So maybe I am confused about your statement "does the flood's veracity matter in the overarching faith?" Why wouldn't it? How are elements of salvation history a needless burden rather than something which ought to be taken for granted?

Let's suppose a geologist wants to get baptized in the faith, and then he reads up on the flood of Noah and the proposed date of a global flood, but he himself has done research that says otherwise.  Wouldn't it be a burden of faith to include that for him?

St. Gregory the Theologian has given us his favorite passages of Origen on how to interpret the Scriptures, some of which are literal and some of which can be fiction interwoven into the literal to paint a more complete picture of the gospel of the passion and Resurrection of Christ.  I think we need to base our understandings on the gospel of Christ, not a literal historical account of Christ's ancestry.  Whether or not the historical account can be verified to have happened historically matters little to the faith at hand.
« Last Edit: April 18, 2018, 02:22:47 PM by minasoliman »
Vain existence can never exist, for "unless the LORD builds the house, the builders labor in vain." (Psalm 127)

If the faith is unchanged and rock solid, then the gates of Hades never prevailed in the end.

Offline minasoliman

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Re: Do you believe the flood of Noah was global, as the Fathers say?
« Reply #26 on: April 18, 2018, 02:20:17 PM »
@Mina, your icon profile picture is incorrect, there should be a troublemaker whispering in his ear instead of a halo.

^^^That's what troublemakers usually say.
« Last Edit: April 18, 2018, 02:20:32 PM by minasoliman »
Vain existence can never exist, for "unless the LORD builds the house, the builders labor in vain." (Psalm 127)

If the faith is unchanged and rock solid, then the gates of Hades never prevailed in the end.

Offline Antonis

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Re: Do you believe the flood of Noah was global, as the Fathers say?
« Reply #27 on: April 18, 2018, 02:37:14 PM »
I just can't see as Orthodox a minimalist view that requires a literal understanding of only the articles of the Creed--a Jeffersonian faith, plus 12 articles. If a paleoseismologist can't find evidence of an earthquake occurring near Golgotha in the year 33 A.D., is that a burden placed on his faith? If an archaeologist can't find disturbed tombs from the same era? These are only tangential to the literal articles found in the Creed so we can't expect this burden of people?

It just seems a very non-Christian, non-Patristic, un-poetic mindset. God, the supreme Poet, has guided all history and has arranged it literally and symbolically, and has inspired Scripture to reflect this truth. Is it too much to assume that a Christian believes the Prophets "literally," however that is meant? I can't see this "burden" as anything other than a beautiful liberation.
« Last Edit: April 18, 2018, 02:40:29 PM by Antonis »
How has Antonis not become an Old Calendarist yet?
I thought he had, a few posts ago.

"I hate the poor." --Mor Ephrem

"This is the one from the beginning, who seemed to be new, yet was found to be ancient and always young, being born in the hearts of the saints."
Letter to Diognetus 11.4

Offline Antonis

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Re: Do you believe the flood of Noah was global, as the Fathers say?
« Reply #28 on: April 18, 2018, 03:04:34 PM »
@Mina, your icon profile picture is incorrect, there should be a troublemaker whispering in his ear instead of a halo.
Vanhyo,

Your comment is unrelated to the topic of the thread. Disguised full polemic is still full polemic, and you know better.

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How has Antonis not become an Old Calendarist yet?
I thought he had, a few posts ago.

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Re: Do you believe the flood of Noah was global, as the Fathers say?
« Reply #29 on: April 18, 2018, 03:27:39 PM »
I just can't see as Orthodox a minimalist view that requires a literal understanding of only the articles of the Creed--a Jeffersonian faith, plus 12 articles. If a paleoseismologist can't find evidence of an earthquake occurring near Golgotha in the year 33 A.D., is that a burden placed on his faith? If an archaeologist can't find disturbed tombs from the same era? These are only tangential to the literal articles found in the Creed so we can't expect this burden of people?

It just seems a very non-Christian, non-Patristic, un-poetic mindset. God, the supreme Poet, has guided all history and has arranged it literally and symbolically, and has inspired Scripture to reflect this truth. Is it too much to assume that a Christian believes the Prophets "literally," however that is meant? I can't see this "burden" as anything other than a beautiful liberation.

I may be wrong, I don't know.  However, I don't think the main elements of faith should be to debate whether the flood was global or not.  At the same time I don't think what I said meant this extends on a completely minimalist view either.  I did not say all the Old Testament is or should be fiction, but the literalness is of secondary importance to the ultimate purpose of our lives, which is the gospel.

And I don't think what I said is un-patristic either or un-poetic.  Scriptures is not just divine, but also human.  It's an interaction between the Holy Spirit and man.  We have to understand that the Holy Spirit can guide and inspire even through man's honest mistakes or myths.

Neither am I holding to a Jeffersonian faith either.  I think that's a gross misunderstanding.  I do believe some literalness is necessary, but not all, and that's also key as well.  I especially do not deny the literalness of the gospel.
« Last Edit: April 18, 2018, 03:29:19 PM by minasoliman »
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Re: Do you believe the flood of Noah was global, as the Fathers say?
« Reply #30 on: April 18, 2018, 03:47:58 PM »
I may be wrong, I don't know.  However, I don't think the main elements of faith should be to debate whether the flood was global or not.  At the same time I don't think what I said meant this extends on a completely minimalist view either.  I did not say all the Old Testament is or should be fiction, but the literalness is of secondary importance to the ultimate purpose of our lives, which is the gospel.
We are in complete agreement as far as this is concerned. I just think the historical veracity is assumed, even if it is secondary. In my mind, though, I can't divorce a "spiritual history" separate from a "real history." I can't imagine the God of Heaven and Earth doing such a thing. I think to separate the Scriptures and salvation history into "literal" and "otherwise" is to operate using scientistic (if you'll forgive the adjective) categories unique to our era, categories that even St. Gregory differentiating between "the literal" and "myth" wouldn't be able to relate to.

I want to reassure you that what I was saying was in no way meant to malign you or your Christianity, Mina. You are a model of Christian conduct on our forum. I'm just trying to understand this angle because I think it's a rather common one and I can't wrap my head around it. I appreciate the dialogue.
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I thought he had, a few posts ago.

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Re: Do you believe the flood of Noah was global, as the Fathers say?
« Reply #31 on: April 18, 2018, 03:56:51 PM »
I'm not an example of model Christian conduct either.  That's a gross misinterpretation of my professionalism ;D

But don't worry.  I did not take anything you said as an attack to me.

I think the issue is where does one "draw the line", and I asked the same question for myself on this issue.  The answer to this is I really don't know.  I have full faith in my Church and in her doctrines that no historical or scientific discovery can shake, even if it may shake up or contradict a detail in Old Testament history.  But I can imagine God our Father being a condescending God to our every need in every generation based on our collective intellectual and spiritual capabilities, which grows generation after generation.  Which means our knowledge of God grows generation after generation as well.  And I think we have to take that into account when discussing these things.

Now, when I go back to a youth meeting or Sunday School and teach about the flood of Noah, I teach it as a person who teaches iconography.  How does this mirror my salvation, my image and likeness in Christ, in His passion and Resurrection.  All things I talk about must lead to that, whether they be fiction or fact.  The determination of fiction or fact is not up to me, but it is up to a discerning heart of someone who grows mature in the faith.  I am not saying that I am mature either for that matter, but I understand discernment is important in one's growth, and I am ready to say "I don't know" to things that do not make sense now, because I also believe that the God of Heaven and Earth does not send us contradicting signals in historical and scientific evidence either.  :)
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Re: Do you believe the flood of Noah was global, as the Fathers say?
« Reply #32 on: April 18, 2018, 04:54:35 PM »
I've been thinking about this off and on over the years, and this has been my attempt at a saving throw (or cop-out, depending on how cynical one wants to be). I'm starting to try and salvage literalism by an appeal to empirically unknowable alternate universes- either in terms of quantum mechanics or in terms of philosophical reasoning a la David Lewis, for example.

Suppose that the Flood is literally global, and the Earth is literally 6000 years-old, T-Rex literally ate coconuts prior to the Fall, whatever one's theology requires- but those statements just apply to a different Earth than the one that most of us happen to be living on at this point. The OT is accurate, it just doesn't give us all the information in terms of which this is so.

The Liturgy and the Incarnation can then be seen as a "blurring of the lines" by which all Christians "straddle the universes" by the miraculous power of God and partake of the various universes in which these things are literally true.

This is all entirely non-falsifiable since, sadly, I don't think there's any theoretical science that could allow us to traverse the multiverse. But strictly speaking it doesn't seem to be impossible (unless a global flood and a young earth is a logical contradiction in terms, I guess, but I'm not sure that's true- the equally Patristic Geocentric universe might be much harder to salvage, though). As such, I'm sure most skeptics would dismiss this as nothing but "woo." But maybe it still has some application in terms of reconciling science and theology for the believer.
« Last Edit: April 18, 2018, 04:56:23 PM by Volnutt »
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Offline Tikhon.of.Colorado

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Re: Do you believe the flood of Noah was global, as the Fathers say?
« Reply #33 on: April 18, 2018, 06:16:20 PM »
I don't believe there is evidence for a global flood having happened.  Once a bishop told me that Jonah never was eaten by a whale and survived inside it, because these things simply are impossible.  What is important is the story, and that could be the case with Noah's flood.

Isn’t a man rising from the dead impossible? Isn’t a virgin bearing a child impossible? Isn’t men suddenly receiving the ability to speak multiple languages at once impossible?

On what point do we differentiate between these events and those in the Old Testament and hagiography which are so often written off as tall tales or allegories?

The very foundation of our faith is that which is “impossible.”

This is just my problem.  This conversation troubled me to the point of questioning everything.  How can a bishop say parts of the faith are fictitious?  And where does it end?  So troubling.  If I have to limit myself to believing only what is logical to my mind and scientifically possible - then I am merely an atheist, and that is the world I’ve been living in for so long.  Is there uniformity on what parts of scripture are considered fictitious and what parts are considered to have actually occurred?  Who makes those determinations?  My friend was scandalized to the point of non belief by this comment.  People who make their living spreading the faith should say that parts of that faith are fictitious (can you sense my bitterness? ;) )

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Re: Do you believe the flood of Noah was global, as the Fathers say?
« Reply #34 on: April 18, 2018, 06:36:29 PM »
I don't believe there is evidence for a global flood having happened.  Once a bishop told me that Jonah never was eaten by a whale and survived inside it, because these things simply are impossible.  What is important is the story, and that could be the case with Noah's flood.

Isn’t a man rising from the dead impossible? Isn’t a virgin bearing a child impossible? Isn’t men suddenly receiving the ability to speak multiple languages at once impossible?

On what point do we differentiate between these events and those in the Old Testament and hagiography which are so often written off as tall tales or allegories?

The very foundation of our faith is that which is “impossible.”

This is just my problem.  This conversation troubled me to the point of questioning everything.  How can a bishop say parts of the faith are fictitious?  And where does it end?  So troubling.  If I have to limit myself to believing only what is logical to my mind and scientifically possible - then I am merely an atheist, and that is the world I’ve been living in for so long.  Is there uniformity on what parts of scripture are considered fictitious and what parts are considered to have actually occurred?  Who makes those determinations?  My friend was scandalized to the point of non belief by this comment.  People who make their living spreading the faith should say that parts of that faith are fictitious (can you sense my bitterness? ;) )

Even if you feel bound to a literal reading of Jonah, why would you conclude that Christianity is false and not that he's just a crappy bishop?


Fwiw, I have no problem with a literal Jonah (or a literal Resurrection, for that matter) since God can do anything. I wouldn't even have a problem with a global flood or a Young Earth if there was evidence for it (For me, it's not a question of "What can God do?" it's "What did God do?"). But I just don't see any evidence for it outside of tin foil hatland (maybe on another Earth it's a different story, though).

And if I'm going to wade into those waters on this, why don't I also "look into" Holocaust denial or 9/11 Truth or antivax? Can't trust them "experts," after all! Everybody lies, everybody's biased, etc, etc! Where does it end?

All I have left is mystical speculation like I posted above, I guess.
« Last Edit: April 18, 2018, 06:38:21 PM by Volnutt »
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Re: Do you believe the flood of Noah was global, as the Fathers say?
« Reply #35 on: April 18, 2018, 10:10:35 PM »
I'll try to answer some of the questions directly posed to me and also comment on somethings just in passing.

In answer to whether I think the corporeal level is the "most real level," I think it depends upon what you mean by "real." If you mean by "real," something that pertains to a material reality (let's not get into the discussion of how nebulous a term "material" is but just stick with common sense notions), then yes. But if you mean by "real," something that is of the grandest importance, then absolutely not. It is part of sacred tradition that the spiritual and intellectual levels of reading scriptures are far more important than the corporeal level.

In answer to Liza, you are right. God could very well indeed have made this historical event happen at the corporeal level. I just happen to think that it is not essential to the faith that He did so. Again, I think the primary importance of many of these events, especially in the Old Testament, is that these events, whether occurring at the corporeal/historical level or not, prefigure the coming of the Christ and New Covenant. If one looks at the vast swath of pre-first-millennium biblical exegesis, their focus is almost entirely on the spiritual and intellectual levels. They pass over the corporeal level with little comment, probably assuming that the events described really happened but whose meaning was both intuitively obvious and entirely banal to the faith, with few exceptions of course (such as the resurrection). In fact, some biblical commentators even wrote that non-Christians could read the scriptures and their witness at the corporeal level and accept it, but that this acceptance means very little to their salvation. In short, communion with God, while not mutually exclusive to historical/corporeal reality, often transcends it. As for the resurrection itself, that necessarily had to occur historically/corporeally. This matter was even confronted in the early church and settled early on as an article of faith. I am in full agreement with St. Paul on this subject - without the resurrection, there is no Christianity.

As for why I don't believe that the flood occurred at the corporeal level, either locally or globally, is because it is impossible to fit all of the animals on such a boat as detailed. It is also impossible that such a boat would have been sea worthy. And furthermore, there is no archaeological evidence indicating that there was a flood at the regional or global level. So for me, I am faced with two choices. Either I believe the flood happened and that God made it so in a way that defies reason at every level or that it never historically happened. In either case, however, I am still left with far more important and transcendent truths that bring me closer to God. My choice to go with the latter option then is more a matter of personal taste - a taste that I think more people should follow, but I don't think it to be a moral imperative. So my apologies if my usage of the word "should" in my original post implied such a thing.
« Last Edit: April 18, 2018, 10:20:00 PM by Rohzek »
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Re: Do you believe the flood of Noah was global, as the Fathers say?
« Reply #36 on: April 18, 2018, 11:18:32 PM »
Once a bishop told me that Jonah never was eaten by a whale and survived inside it, because these things simply are impossible.
"With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible."

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What is important is the story, and that could be the case with Noah's flood.
Well, the story is more important than the facts, this is why the Bible and Old Testament Holy Tradition care little about some kings and judges and has so much to say on prophecy and parable. But it doesn't mean most of the stories aren't pretty real.
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Re: Do you believe the flood of Noah was global, as the Fathers say?
« Reply #37 on: April 19, 2018, 12:08:35 AM »
It's a myth the Jews probably picked from elsewhere. I love a passage from a novel by Anatole France where he has a now monk lament his pagan days when he was deceived by the fables of the poets and philosophers  to the extent he believed there was a flood in the days of Deucalion.
« Last Edit: April 19, 2018, 12:10:44 AM by augustin717 »
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Re: Do you believe the flood of Noah was global, as the Fathers say?
« Reply #38 on: April 19, 2018, 10:58:01 AM »
The problem here is that science isn't an exact science. Its a system that has limitations. One example of this is the calendar. Math doesn't actually explain what is actually happening in our solar system. Its a set of rules that comes close. So math isn't at the core of the truth. Its a representation of it. What people do is accept the math as an essence and try to explain everything using it.

I can see a global flood happening. A fossil record isn't going to show something that lasted only 40 days. Beside that or compliment to it. Ive seen on TV and various other places. That the the fossil records show sea creatures on tops of mountains. For all we know. Those fossils made it that high because of a flood. Forensic science might be wrong. Who knows for sure.

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Re: Do you believe the flood of Noah was global, as the Fathers say?
« Reply #39 on: April 19, 2018, 12:34:49 PM »
1. St. Theophilus, Patriarch of Antioch, is typical of the early Apostolic Fathers: "the flood lasted forty days and forty nights, torrents pouring from heaven, and from the fountains of the deep breaking up, so that the water overtopped every high hill 15 cubits. And thus the race of all the men that then were was destroyed, and those only who were protected in the ark were saved; and these, we have already said, were eight. And of the ark, the remains are to this day to be seen in the Arabian mountains. This, then, is in sum the history of the deluge." (Apology to Autolycus 3.19) St. Chrysostom comments with similar reverence for the sacred history recorded by the Prophet Moses in the Book of Genesis. True, the Church has never explicitly formulated "I believe the flood of Noah was global" in a creedal formulation, but we all know the consensus of the Fathers in exegeting Scripture constitute a norm of Tradition from which it is never lawful to depart.

In Scripture, the corroborating testimony of the Apostles and the Lord to that of the Prophet Moses is plain: St. Peter uses a beautiful expression, "the world that then was", to show us the global extent of the flood. "Whereby the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished." (2 Pet 3:6) And in his first epistle, he says plainly that ony 8 people (cf. 1 Pet 3:20) survived. Finally, God confirms the Apostle's testimony with His own, "They did eat and drink, they married wives, and were given in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark: and the flood came and destroyed them all." (Luk 17:27). Jesus, our Creator, was an eyewitness to everything from heaven; if He says all outside the Ark were destroyed, we can surely safely believe Him.

2. For those still struggling with doubts, Tzimis' point is a great one. An excerpt on fossilized sea creatures in the Himalayas: "Marine fossils are also found high in the Himalayas, the world’s tallest mountain range, reaching up to 29,029 feet (8,848 m) above sea level.3 For example, fossil ammonites (coiled marine cephalopods) are found in limestone beds in the Himalayas of Nepal. All geologists agree that ocean waters must have buried these marine fossils in these limestone beds. So how did these marine limestone beds get high up in the Himalayas?" Those espcially from India, Pakistan and Nepal etc will know just how high the Himalayas and how nigh irrefutable a proof this is of a universal flood wiping out life.

Again, Christian faith is not based on any of this: it is only based on the testimony of the Apostles and the Prophets, and especially of the Lord God Himself, which we are to hold with unwavering faith, in the sense in which Tradition has always taught it.

I personally sympathize a lot with Christians who have difficulty with this, especially because I also did for a long time.

3. Gen 8:4 says the Ark came to rest on the Mount of Ararat or Armenia near Turkey. We saw St. Theophilus say remnants of the Ark were preserved; in Catholic Bp. Haydock's commentary, he mentions other testimonies about the Ark, "The ark being about fourteen cubits sunk in the water, might soon touch the summit of the highest mountains, such as M. Taurus, of which the Ararat, here mentioned in the Hebrew, a mountain of Armenia, forms a part, according to S. Jerom. The Armenians still boast that they have the remains of the ark. Berosus, the Pagan historian, says bitumen was taken from it as a preservative. Jos. Ant. 1. 3. Eus. præp. ix. 4 ... The Armenians call the mountain near Erivan, Mesesonsar, or the mountain of the ark" Recent research has found more in Mount Ararat: https://wyattmuseum.com/analysis-reveals-metal-content-in-specimen-taken-from-ark-site-in-turkey/2016-11865

You can't really ask for a clearer historical proof than that almost every culture, in every continent, has preserved a record of a flood that wiped out almost all life. You have it in China and in India, in Australia and in Mesopotamia and almost everywhere else! The global flood is one of the best recorded facts in global history. It is almost lamentable to watch the ways modernist historians try to run away from it - they resort to a "psychological" explanation wherein the "collective human psyche" of cultures that would have otherwise had no contact with each other all simply invented the same record! Anyway, one of the best known underwater archaeologists of recent times, Robert Ballard, who excavated the Titanic, says he is fairly certain a global flood happened circa 5000 B.C. Agnostic and modernist historians know that if such a flood did happen, only a divine and Provident intervention could have miraculously saved humanity and preserved all life after the Deluge - hence their reluctance to interpret the evidence properly.
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Re: Do you believe the flood of Noah was global, as the Fathers say?
« Reply #40 on: April 19, 2018, 12:53:33 PM »
"And of the ark, the remains are to this day to be seen in the Arabian mountains."

"the Ark came to rest on the Mount of Ararat or Armenia near Turkey"

Which is it?



"the flood lasted forty days and forty nights, torrents pouring from heaven"

"In the six hundredth year of Noah’s life, on the seventeenth day of the second month—on that day all the springs of the great deep burst forth, and the floodgates of the heavens were opened.... For forty days the flood kept coming on the earth, and as the waters increased they lifted the ark high above the earth... The waters flooded the earth for a hundred and fifty days... By the first day of the first month of Noah’s six hundred and first year, the water had dried up from the earth. Noah then removed the covering from the ark and saw that the surface of the ground was dry. By the twenty-seventh day of the second month [i.e., over a year later] the earth was completely dry. Then God said to Noah, 'Come out of the ark...'"  (Gen. 7-8)



"Tzimis' point is a great one"

plate tectonics



"Tzimis' point is a great one"

If there was a sudden flood that killed creatures all at once, we would find a jumble of such fossils in one layer, as opposed to finding creatures that died 300 million years ago always at a different (older) layer than a primate that died off 3 million years ago



"almost every culture, in every continent..."

...which experiences significant floods... have tales about significant floods
« Last Edit: April 19, 2018, 12:53:56 PM by Asteriktos »

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Re: Do you believe the flood of Noah was global, as the Fathers say?
« Reply #41 on: April 19, 2018, 01:29:29 PM »
Quote
If there was a sudden flood that killed creatures all at once, we would find a jumble of such fossils in one layer, as opposed to finding creatures that died 300 million years ago always at a different (older) layer than a primate that died off 3 million years ago

Yeah, that's the killer. If you really want to disprove evolution using fossils, you need to find a rabbit in the Precambrian layer, or something like that.
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Offline Rohzek

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Re: Do you believe the flood of Noah was global, as the Fathers say?
« Reply #42 on: April 19, 2018, 02:37:04 PM »
The problem here is that science isn't an exact science. Its a system that has limitations. One example of this is the calendar. Math doesn't actually explain what is actually happening in our solar system. Its a set of rules that comes close. So math isn't at the core of the truth. Its a representation of it. What people do is accept the math as an essence and try to explain everything using it.

Yeah, all knowledge systems have limitations - even theology. What you've said is a truism that science itself even acknowledges.

I can see a global flood happening. A fossil record isn't going to show something that lasted only 40 days. Beside that or compliment to it. Ive seen on TV and various other places. That the the fossil records show sea creatures on tops of mountains. For all we know. Those fossils made it that high because of a flood. Forensic science might be wrong. Who knows for sure.

Hold on a second, a regional or global flood that was serious enough to gather 2 of every creature in a boat on account of killing the rest, leaves no fossil record whatsoever? That is a gross misunderstanding of how fossil records work.
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Re: Do you believe the flood of Noah was global, as the Fathers say?
« Reply #43 on: April 19, 2018, 03:14:27 PM »
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If there was a sudden flood that killed creatures all at once, we would find a jumble of such fossils in one layer, as opposed to finding creatures that died 300 million years ago always at a different (older) layer than a primate that died off 3 million years ago

Yeah, that's the killer. If you really want to disprove evolution using fossils, you need to find a rabbit in the Precambrian layer, or something like that.
And you would need science to do that? Carbon dating as a system could be flawed. I haven't seen evidence that its in some perfected stage. Only believers in it thing this.

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Re: Do you believe the flood of Noah was global, as the Fathers say?
« Reply #44 on: April 19, 2018, 03:21:08 PM »
The problem here is that science isn't an exact science. Its a system that has limitations. One example of this is the calendar. Math doesn't actually explain what is actually happening in our solar system. Its a set of rules that comes close. So math isn't at the core of the truth. Its a representation of it. What people do is accept the math as an essence and try to explain everything using it.

Yeah, all knowledge systems have limitations - even theology. What you've said is a truism that science itself even acknowledges.

I can see a global flood happening. A fossil record isn't going to show something that lasted only 40 days. Beside that or compliment to it. Ive seen on TV and various other places. That the the fossil records show sea creatures on tops of mountains. For all we know. Those fossils made it that high because of a flood. Forensic science might be wrong. Who knows for sure.

Hold on a second, a regional or global flood that was serious enough to gather 2 of every creature in a boat on account of killing the rest, leaves no fossil record whatsoever? That is a gross misunderstanding of how fossil records work.
Who knows what is sitting at the bottoms of oceans. They cant even find Malaysia Airlines Flight 370. Thats with sophisticated electronics on board.
You expect to much from people. The world isnt as smart as you make it out to be.