The Flood

Walter Mattfeld mattfeld at
Tue Sep 26 00:48:53 EDT 2000

Michael is quite right about a flood depth of about 2 miles covering the
earth, if all the land forms were flattened. But my studies indicate that at
no time in the geologic history of mankind was the whole earth ever been
completely flooded, nor were 90% of all animal forms wiped out, save those
on the ark (by the way I am a social studies teacher, and have taught
Geography as well as History as well as Art).

The "key problem," is the dating of the Flood. The Hebrew Bible (Massoretic
Text) is quite clear that this Flood occured within the 3rd millenium BCE,
or 4th if you want to cite the LXX, and Geologists are unaware of such world
wide deposits engulfing the whole world and destroying man and animals at
this time, or at any time in the past. Dave is correct, practically all
cultures have Flood myths, but, then, flooding is pretty common, and when it
occurs, primitive man tends to see it engulfing "his world," which then
becomes through embellishment the "whole world."

Dave has pointed out, from his viewpoint, that the Hebrew Bible is as we
have an "ERRANT TEXT." IT IS NOT TO BE TRUSTED, and thus the reason for his
quest to find the original AUTOGRAPH (his "Inerrant Text").  Thus he rejects
the notion that Noah's flood occured in the 3rd millenium BCE. I would like
to take this opportunity to say that I never thought Dave Washburn and
myself would ever come to an agreement on anything, but this discussion on
the flood has proved me wrong. I find myself in agreement with Dave, the
Texts are "ERRANT," my studies in biblical archaeology have led me to this
conclusion, while Dave's "faith" position about only the autograph being
inerrant, has led him to the same conclusion (thus his rejection of the 10
pre and post flood generations and the given ages of the individuals). So,
as to "the big picture," an untrustworthy text, DAVE AND I ARE IN AGREEMENT,
but from different perspectives, or lines of inquiry.

All the best,


Walter Reinhold Warttig Mattfeld
Walldorf by Heidelberg

----- Original Message -----
From: Michael Hildenbrand <hildenbr at Haas.Berkeley.EDU>
To: Walter Mattfeld <mattfeld at>
Cc: Biblical Hebrew <b-hebrew at>
Sent: Tuesday, September 26, 2000 1:13 AM
Subject: Re: The Flood

> On Sun, 24 Sep 2000, Walter Mattfeld wrote:
> [snip]
> >
> > WM: So, let me get this straight, copious amounts of freshwater erupted
> > the ground and combined with rainwater, causing a Freshwater flood to
> > the land to a height of 15 cubits over the mountain tops ? But, Dave,
> > Freshwater would have had to merge with the Saltwater ocean (wouldn't
> > such that the debris or flood laid silt would be Saltwater laid not
> > Freshwater (I don't comprehend your reasoning here).
> [snip]
> I am not going to get deeply involved with this discussion, I only want to
> point out that the question here does not spring from the text itself.
> The comment above *assumes* that there is saltwater at the time of the
> Genesis flood, which is true to our experience, but not mentioned in the
> text.  This is also true regarding oceans.  There is no mention of oceans
> in the text of Genesis.
> Walter's first impression (which he phrases as a question) that the
> "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" appears to be what the *text* is saying.  The difficulty we
> feel in accepting this description is that we now have *very* high
> mountains.  Whether you accept the flood story as realia or myth, the text
> itself seems to point to a different topography than we see today.  BTW:
> hydrologists have estimated that the volume of water that exists on earth
> now is well capable of covering the earth to a depth of 2 miles if the
> deep valleys of the oceans were flattened.  (Don't ask me where I found
> this, it is buried in files that are packed for moving.)
> Michael

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