The Flood

Walter Mattfeld mattfeld at
Sun Sep 24 16:28:42 EDT 2000

Dear Dave,

I make the following rebuttals to your earlier observations:

WM: [snip]
> > You have on earlier occasions proclaimed to this list that you are an
> > inerrantist. I appreciate that declaration, for it helps me to
> > "your presuppositions" when you you offer "your" interpretations about
> > texts. But as an inerrantist, would you please clarify for me which text
> > to be regarded "as inerrant," the Masoretic, The Septuagint (used by
> > Christians), the Samaritan, or the Peshitta (Aramaic Christianity) ? I
> > disagreements amongst these texts on various data, like different ages
> > the 10 pre and post flood individuals. Which text is inerrant for you
> > why ?
DW: The autographs, which we no longer have. <snip> Searching out the
autographs is why I am also
> active in textual criticism.<snip>
WM: Thankyou Dave for clarifying your position. If only the autographs are
inerrant, then the received text is subject to being errant ?

WM: > In the Ancient Near East, where the biblical stories are situated, the
> > documented Flooding is that of the Nile or the Tigris and Euphrates
> > valleys. In Lower Mesopotamia microscopic analysis reveals that in every
> > case the various flood deposits were freshwater silt from the flooding
> > Euphrates and Tigris rivers, not a world engulfing saltwater flood as
> > portrayed in Holy Writ that covered the mountain tops to a depth of 15
> > cubits (Ge7:20).
DW:> I like the way you subtly threw in the word "saltwater," something
> that neither I nor the texts mentioned.  In fact, in Genesis the water
> comes from the sky and from underground, so it's doubtful it would
> be saltwater.  Another unfounded assumption.

WM: So, let me get this straight, copious amounts of freshwater erupted from
the ground and combined with rainwater, causing a Freshwater flood to engulf
the land to a height of 15 cubits over the mountain tops ? But, Dave, this
Freshwater would have had to merge with the Saltwater ocean (wouldn't it),
such that the debris or flood laid silt would be Saltwater laid not
Freshwater (I don't comprehend your reasoning here).
> Archaeologists have concluded that these various Floods
> > occurred at different times, in different locations within the confines
> > Lower Mesopotamia, and in no way totally destroyed mankind and his
> > even locally (that is, that not all the cities of Lower Mesopotamia were
> > simultaneously destroyed in one great Flood event).
> When did these floods occur?
WM: The 4th through 2nd Milleniums BCE
 How far back do they go?
WM: The 4th through 2 nd Milleniums BCE

I already
> addressed this.  We don't know when this event occurred, because
> the genealogies are not a reliable criterion of chronology.  So in
> terms of this archaeology, all I can say is "So what?"

WM: Thankyou for clarifying your position. In essence then, you are saying
that "only the autograph is inerrant," thus anything the received text
suggests is open to errancy and not to be trusted and taken at face value,
at least as far as the ages of the individuals in the ten generations of the
pre and post flood world ? As no one knows what the autographs were really
like, this leaves the door wide open for all kinds of speculation about
everything in the texts, doesn't it ?

All the best,


Walter Reinhold Warttig Mattfeld
Walldorf by Heidelberg

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