[b-hebrew] Re: Eden and Flood

Karl Randolph kwrandolph at email.com
Tue Jun 15 02:48:12 EDT 2004


I don‘t now of a single person who claims that sola scriptura is all that we need to know. The claim is that the Bible is true does not automatically include with it that the Bible is exhaustive in all the subjects it treats.

For example, whereas linen and flax are mentioned in Tanakh, nowhere is it mentioned the steps needed to change flax into linen. The vocabulary is also lacking. Yet it would be very surprising if the terms were lacking in the everyday speach of ancient Israel.

Similarly, did the flood completely rearrange the surface of the earth? Did Noah and his sons name new lands and rivers with the names with which they were familiar from before the flood? (Of course they did not name the places before the flood.) Or a question I brought up earlier, did David and his armies succeed because they were armed with steel while their foes were mostly armed with bronze? The answer to these and other questions will not be found in Tanakh. ”Sola scriptura“ doesn‘t work in all these cases. Does that mean that Tanakh is wrong? Again no. Tanakh is silent. The answers to these and many other questions are not to be found in Tanakh.

What was the antediluvian landscape like? How about its atmosphere? Did God use a physical event to cause the flood, or was it only a miracle? How much rearranging of the lithosphere did the flood cause (if it was worldwide as Tanakh claims, its effects would be off the charts—even the Grand Canyon is peanuts in comparison. Underwater erosion does not occur only when the water is still.). The answers to these and similar questions is mere speculation by any modern person, as we cannot go back in time to observe.

Karl W. Randolph.

----- Original Message -----
From: <david.kimbrough at charter.net>

> Well that was interesting.
> A few emails back, someone asked where the Land of Nod 
> (wandering) might be.  I emailed and suggested that since 
> Nod was east of Eden.  If we know where Eden was, we  know 
> about where Nod was.
> In an other email I suggested that whoever wrote Genesis 
> and 2 Kings (how many authors that might be is not 
> important) seemed to think Eden was northwest of 
> Mesopotamia.   As a result, Nod might be in northern 
> Mesopotamia or the Median highlands. 
> I took a strictly *sola scriptura* approach, i.e. only from 
> what the Bible says.  I thought this approach would appeal 
> to folks on this list who seem to favor more traditional 
> views of exegesis.  Imagine my surprise at some of the 
> responses.
> Nowhere in the Bible does it say Noah and his sons named 
> the four rivers of Genesis 2.  In fact ?nahar? does not 
> even occur in Genesis 6 ? 9.  Furthermore, Genesis is 
> surprising explicit, locating Eden at the headwaters 
> (roshim) of four rivers, including the Euphrates and 
> Tigris.  These two rivers actually have their headwaters 
> near to each other in the highlands of southern Turkey, in 
> the land of the Medes.  It is actually unique in the world 
> for two large rivers to have their headwaters so close 
> together, flow opposite directions for hundreds of miles, 
> and then come together again at their delta.  
> The Bible also says nothing of the world?s features being 
> unrecognizablely changed by the flood.   Indeed there are 
> many features identified in Genesis 2 were observable after 
> the flood (i.e. later in the Bible) and even today.   The 
> Euphrates and Tigris rivers are listed before and after the 
> flood (visible even today).  The land of Cush (kw#) is 
> mentioned several times after the flood.  Asshur is 
> likewise mentioned before and after the flood. *Indeed,  
> Eden itself is mentioned twice after the flood, in 2nd 
> Kings (as noted before) and Ez 27.*   A literal and 
> conservative reading of the OT would suggest that there was 
> no change in the features of the Earth.
> Stepping outside of the realm of exegesis, mountains, 
> hills, rivers, shorelines, and valleys are actually pretty 
> durable creations.  Water flow can change geological 
> features, not doubt about that.  While presumably the 
> amount of rainfall in those 40 days and nights was 
> unprecedented,  once a geological feature is submerged, 
> erosion is actually much slower than in the air.   Wind is 
> a major source of erosion.  None of that underwater.    
> Erosion caused by rain and freezing would not be a 
> happening either.
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