Timeline for Noah's Flood, Genealogies, Etc.

Discussion about scientific issues as they relate to God and Christianity including archaeology, origins of life, the universe, intelligent design, evolution, etc.
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Timeline for Noah's Flood, Genealogies, Etc.

#1

Post by Philip » Tue Apr 11, 2017 2:57 pm

One issue that is frequently debated, is how much can one deduce about when Noah's flood was, and how old humanity was, from the genealogies in the Bible. Reasons.org ways in - and notice it is a five part article with links at the page bottom:

http://www.reasons.org/articles/from-no ... ure-part-1

Here, Reasons.org speculates on a date/age for Adam and Eve, and the flood of Noah: http://www.reasonsblogs.org/2016/10/19/ ... m-and-eve/

Outtake from above article: "Though the biblical genealogies offer little help in establishing Adam’s creation date, three other biblical clues do. First, Genesis 10:25 states that the world was divided in the time of Peleg. Given the context of God scattering humanity over the whole face of Earth, this statement probably refers to the time when the Bering land bridge became the Bering Strait. Reliable carbon-14 dating places this event at 11,000 years ago. This date implies that the worldwide scattering of humanity must have predated 9000 BC and that Noah’s flood must have occurred before 9000 BC. The creation of Adam would have occurred much earlier yet."

OK, so if Noah's flood occurred before 9,000 BC - that means it was before 11,000 years ago. But then, I see articles like this one (from today): http://www.foxnews.com/world/2017/04/11 ... erica.html - with a 14,000-year-old village in Canada discovered???!!! That means the village is 3,000 years older than the latest estimated date for the flood, according to Reasons to Believe. Something is wrong - either the flood was MUCH earlier, or that village ain't 14,000 years old. y:O2

These are all interesting to speculate upon - there's just so much we don't know, and only so much we can. God knows!

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Re: Timeline for Noah's Flood, Genealogies, Etc.

#2

Post by Kurieuo » Tue Apr 11, 2017 7:25 pm

Reasons to Believe has since evolved on their understanding, and I believe pushed such a date under the rug (which goes back to a 90s RTB interpretation I believe). Hugh Ross reasoned that the flood must have came before the time of "Peleg", and thereafter people were dispersed when continents were bridged together. So then, humanity prior to this was grouped altogether. Yet, the timing as you note, is off. And, as time goes on, timings just got worse with RTB's positions try as they much to make Scripture fit -- both with origin of modern humanity and the flood.

So then, I ended up recoiling back to Scripture, our knowledge of civilisations and the like, to a more reasonable date of about 5000 years ago is when we likely ought to expect any flood event taking place if true.
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Re: Timeline for Noah's Flood, Genealogies, Etc.

#3

Post by Ged » Tue Apr 11, 2017 10:47 pm

My studies of genealogy lead me to believe that a precise count of years goes back to Abraham (born 2165 BC.) Genealogy beyond that point seems to have had gaps. However, I still describe myself as a "Young Earth Creationist" because I dont think that the gaps were 'massive.' My guess (unproven admittedly) in that the earth is approx 10 to 30000 years old.
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Re: Timeline for Noah's Flood, Genealogies, Etc.

#4

Post by abelcainsbrother » Tue Apr 11, 2017 11:04 pm

Based on geneality I try to go by what the bible says first,as close as possible,don't we all?So based on this I put Noah's flood at aproximately 5000 years ago.The bible teaches us the heavens and earth are old and without habving to stretch out the days to be long periods of time so I believe it and since it was Christians who started modern science that discovered the earth is millions of years old I accept it.Because I reject evolution and they extended the earth's age so that life would have enough time to evolve I don't know if I necessarily accept it,eventhough based on the fact God is eternal the earth could be even older than 4.5 billion years old.
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Re: Timeline for Noah's Flood, Genealogies, Etc.

#5

Post by Philip » Tue Apr 11, 2017 11:10 pm

K: So then, I ended up recoiling back to Scripture, our knowledge of civilisations and the like, to a more reasonable date of about 5000 years ago is when we likely ought to expect any flood event taking place if true.
K, even that date is WAY off, when we consider the estimates like the village in Canada they thing is 14,000 years old - the oldest habitation in N. America. I truly wonder if a separate line of humanity that began long before, but unconnected to Adam and Eve, is possible, Scripturally speaking? y:-?

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Re: Timeline for Noah's Flood, Genealogies, Etc.

#6

Post by abelcainsbrother » Tue Apr 11, 2017 11:16 pm

Philip wrote:
K: So then, I ended up recoiling back to Scripture, our knowledge of civilisations and the like, to a more reasonable date of about 5000 years ago is when we likely ought to expect any flood event taking place if true.
K, even that date is WAY off, when we consider the estimates like the village in Canada they thing is 14,000 years old - the oldest habitation in N. America. I truly wonder if a separate line of humanity that began long before, but unconnected to Adam and Eve, is possible, Scripturally speaking? y:-?
For me? It is easy if you have a gap.
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Re: Timeline for Noah's Flood, Genealogies, Etc.

#7

Post by RickD » Wed Apr 12, 2017 2:36 am

Philip wrote:
K: So then, I ended up recoiling back to Scripture, our knowledge of civilisations and the like, to a more reasonable date of about 5000 years ago is when we likely ought to expect any flood event taking place if true.
K, even that date is WAY off, when we consider the estimates like the village in Canada they thing is 14,000 years old - the oldest habitation in N. America. I truly wonder if a separate line of humanity that began long before, but unconnected to Adam and Eve, is possible, Scripturally speaking? y:-?
I'm interested in this idea as well.
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Re: Timeline for Noah's Flood, Genealogies, Etc.

#8

Post by Kurieuo » Wed Apr 12, 2017 3:45 am

Philip wrote:
K: So then, I ended up recoiling back to Scripture, our knowledge of civilisations and the like, to a more reasonable date of about 5000 years ago is when we likely ought to expect any flood event taking place if true.
K, even that date is WAY off, when we consider the estimates like the village in Canada they thing is 14,000 years old - the oldest habitation in N. America. I truly wonder if a separate line of humanity that began long before, but unconnected to Adam and Eve, is possible, Scripturally speaking? y:-?
It is only way off if you're trying to conform to a local flood idea. Research like this and history really throws a spanner in the work, and to me really means the demise of a local flood theory.

Take a look 12 or so months ago at my discussions with Hugh on the flood, and I was positing even 45-50k years ago, to try conform to a local flood. I was toying, since I've actually never tried to look into any reconciliation, since I just assumed we don't have all the facts (and we don't). Yet, if we also accept an "out-of-Africa" type model of humanity, like RTB did and does, then we have such happening around 50k years ago. This would really push a "local flood" date right back.

As for my own thoughts, there is a difference between "anatomically modern humans" and "behaviorally modern humans". I attach more significance to the latter really. While what gets classified as anatomically modern humans extends back to 125k to 200k years ago (depending on who you ask), the fuller range of human behaviour, intelligence and consciousness is displayed around 17,000 years ago with animal farming, agriculture, heighten spiritual expression and the like.

Now if we loosen the reigns on "all" as not always meaning absolutely everything, but rather take its often intended use in language -- for example, when the Apostle traveled all over the world debating people and bringing gentiles to Christ, we understand that he didn't literally travel all over the world, but rather visited a great many gentile nations -- then there is little issue. There are many instances in Scripture where "all" doesn't mean all.

Second, the Biblical flood is within the context of Israel history and narrative. The "whole world" then, to borrow from local flood ideas, can and likely does have the context of the Middle-East region in mind. Therefore, we are to understand Noah's flood within that context. Further, "the world at that time [being] deluged and destroyed" (2 Peter 3:6), the context here clear seems to be the world as in "people" rather than all the earth. Yet, I think global flood proponents have a good Scriptural point, in that that it does appear as though the whole world was nonetheless affected. To what extent, I do not believe ALL the world as in ABSOLUTELY ALL, but rather there would have areas untouched and humans outside the ark who survived. The bulk of the event Scripture records would be the Mesopotamian region. The only animals Noah would have therefore taken, would have been certain kinds around there to perhaps ensure some species and ecosystems were able to be continued after. Other accounts of the flood (for example, the Greek mythological flood accounting) says some people escaped to the mountains. So, what we have is simply a catastrophe that devastated and left a known impact on our world.

When in doubt, like with not really knowing what happened with the extinction of dinosaurs, a favourite catastrophe is to assume a comet hit earth. ;) And that's my likely scenario, since such could displace much water and cause all sorts of other devastating consequences reported not only in Scripture, but features found in 100s of flood stories around the world.
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Re: Timeline for Noah's Flood, Genealogies, Etc.

#9

Post by DBowling » Wed Apr 12, 2017 3:46 am

As much as I respect RTB I have to disagree with two of their primary premises mentioned in the OP.
1. I do not believe that the world being divided at the time of Peleg has anything to do with the Bearing Strait
2. I do not believe that the world wide scattering of humanity occurred after the time of Noah (or even Adam for that matter)

As I mentioned in another post somewhere the RTB model is inconsistent with the description of human civilization before the time of Noah described in Genesis 4.

I have personally landed on an 'Old Earth, Young Adam' model that pretty much takes the OT genealogies at face value.
In Summary:
1. Genesis 1:26-27 corresponds with the first appearance of 'physically modern humans' in Africa. Humans then migrated out of Africa around 50,000-60,000 years ago and populated the planet by around 20,000 years ago.
2. The story of Adam and Eve in Genesis 2-3 occurs in Mesopotamia around 5,000-6,000 BC (which is generally consistent with the OT genealogy timeframes). I do not believe Scripture claims that Adam and Eve are the genetic progenitors of all humanity. Rather I believe that they are presented in Scripture as the genetic progenitors of God's covenant people (the sons of God)
3. I believe the story of Noah takes place in Mesopotamia around 3,000 BC (again consistent with the OT genealogies). I believe the scope of the Flood as described in Scripture is limited to "the land" of Mesopotamia and the inhabitants of "the land" of Mesopotamia.

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Re: Timeline for Noah's Flood, Genealogies, Etc.

#10

Post by Philip » Wed Apr 12, 2017 4:46 pm

Many random thoughts:

- The ONLY way that the death of the entire earth's population of humans was possible, was if, at the time of the flood, they were all gathered within the parameters of one region.

- If Noah's flood was only 5,000 - 10,000 years ago, then it doesn't appear possible that the flood could be global, as we have evidences of civilizations flourishing, far earlier, and with continuity, and with no catastrophic evidences of them being wiped out.

Genesis 3:20 is very interesting:

ESV: "The man called his wife’s name Eve, because she was the mother of all living."

NIV: "Adam named his wife Eve, because she would become the mother of all the living."

The King James and the NASB pretty much parallels the ESV translation. "Was" she the mother of all of a particular line (Christ's!) living at one later time in history? Or of ALL people, across ALL time? Let's not forget, that when this was written, A) It's after the flood and B) is being written as long-past history, at the time of Moses.

If ALL of humanity was wiped out, it could be that Eve was not the mother of all humanity that may have preceded Adam, that was wiped out, but only mother of the line (God's line!) that would eventually survive from those on board Noah's ark - IF the flood truly destroyed ALL humans everywhere. Remember, it would appear that not before Genesis 3:16 did Adam realize that he would have offspring, upon God telling Eve, "I will make your pains in childbearing very severe; with painful labor you will give birth to children." Another interesting thing: Eden was not the entire world. In fact, the garden only took up an area with Eden, and in the "east" - east of WHAT? So, IF there were other humans, created long before Adam and Eve, it is entirely possible that Adam was not aware of them, if his reason for naming her Eve (related by Moses) was because she would "become" the mother of all the living - at least if the NIV translation is the more accurate one. So, the name Eve may have been given as a prophetic symbolism to Adam's future.

An interesting question: Would Adam not have named Eve upon receiving her from God? Did he just call her “Hey, you?” What? Also, is “Eve” perhaps the second name for Eve – maybe Adam just called her “woman” for a bit – she had to know he was referring to her – no other chicks around, haha: Genesis 2:23: “She shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.” Is that just a name for her gender and physical source? The name Eve appears to come later. Or is the sequence of events as it would seem? Genesis 2 seems to indicate that Adam was created and THEN placed in the Garden (God had ALREADY planted?). The text refers to the man God “HAD” formed – does that indicate Adam was formed before the Garden? Where was Adam before the Garden?

If the ESV/NASB/King James translation of the Genesis 3:20 passage is more accurate, it would seem that God inspired Adam to make a prophetic statement in naming Eve the mother of ALL humanity that would eventually spring from her - as there were yet no children born. It would seem Adam named her immediately after having received her from God. However, IF there were other humans - and THAT line (which would not have been God's line), it is likely Adam didn't know of them - as He was isolated in a Garden, somewhere in Eden. Is Moses referring to Eve as the mother of all living - AT THE TIME - or is he referring to all people ever created?

Back to the Genesis verbiage and the question to whether it is sequential in time:

DID Adam and Eve already have children when they sinned, because we see a curious word in God's stated punishment for her (ESV / NASB): God tells Eve He will surely “multiply” her pain in childbearing. Huh – as in, more pain than in her PAST childbearing???!!! And IF the sequence of Genesis 3:20 is correct, it would appear that Eve received her name after the Fall – because it is mentioned immediately after the punishments for their sin are detailed, per the statement about Eve receiving her symbolic name. Of course, again, this is Moses giving history, a long time away from Adam, in the distant future. It's likely not sequential. But that God tells Eve of an “increased pain” (in childbirth) seems a warning – if she had not yet had children, how would she have understood that the pain would be worse – worse than WHAT? WHEN? Before???!!!

And, we also have the NIV translation of Genesis 3:20, stating that Eve would "become" the mother of all the living - seeming to indicate that, when named, Eve had not yet become a mother AND there were no other humans - or her children ("all of the living") would result in a long Godly line. And yet, we still see that God says her child pains will "multiply." The NIV says only that her pains will be "very severe." Of course, we're still back to the basic question: WAS there a previous line of humans, created long before Adam and Eve's time? What portion of humanity was Eve the mother of? And when did they live (that humanity referred to)? Then? All til now? A line?

Sorry for "typing out loud" - I'm sure there are many posts on this stuff.

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Re: Timeline for Noah's Flood, Genealogies, Etc.

#11

Post by DBowling » Wed Apr 12, 2017 5:55 pm

Jumping off a couple of Philip's thoughts
Philip wrote: - The ONLY way that the death of the entire earth's population of humans was possible, was if, at the time of the flood, they were all gathered within the parameters of one region.
I don't see Scripture teaching that the entire earth's population of humans was wiped out by the flood. I see Scripture making two specific claims about the Flood.
1. All humanity within the geographical scope of the Flood were killed by the Flood. The same land/erets that was covered by the Flood was the same land/erets within which humans were wiped out. I don't see any Scriptural requirement for humanity outside the geographical scope of the Flood to have been affected.
2. Scripture also indicates that the Flood wiped out all of God's covenant people (ie the descendants of Adam) with the exception of Noah and his family.

The problem with the RTB premise that a local flood killed all humanity is that there is no time and place in human history when that could have happened. Especially in the Neolithic time frame described in Genesis 4 (which occurred over ten thousand years after humanity had populated the planet).
Genesis 3:20 is very interesting:

ESV: "The man called his wife’s name Eve, because she was the mother of all living."
NIV: "Adam named his wife Eve, because she would become the mother of all the living."

NIV translation is the more accurate one. So, the name Eve may have been given as a prophetic symbolism to Adam's future.
I think Eve's name is a very practical description for the task that she and Adam were given as the first of God's covenant people.
As one of the first two people to have a spiritual relationship with the One True God, it would be very appropriate to refer to a person who was tasked with spreading the truth of spiritual life to humanity as a "life giver"

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Re: Timeline for Noah's Flood, Genealogies, Etc.

#12

Post by Philip » Wed Apr 12, 2017 6:37 pm

DB, I agree your ideas might be correct about what "all the living" might mean - per an eternal view.

What these many clues suggest is that our Sunday School versions of the Genesis accounts may have many elements that are more the result of tradition absorbed into doctrine. One wrong assumption can lead us to many false beliefs. But as K says, there are many things we just can't know. But the truth so often is far stranger, etc.

As for Hugh and Reasons to Believe - their issue stems from the fact that Hugh is a scientist first, one who has often taken Scripture at is surface, English meanings. He seems to be a Bible literalist where it is convenient, but not when it isn't. But he certainly has done Christiandom a great service in showing that dangers of extreme literalism in areas where the text was never meant as such. His organization is at its most effective when it's revealing the marvels of design and massive complexity and numerous essential aspects of the universe that simply cannot be the result of blind, random, Godless processes. Where RTB really needs to back off is trying to perfectly match up scientific understandings and Scripture. I believe Hugh has forced some square pegs into round holes. He seems unable to back up in some of his long-assertive narratives. Point is, he so often goes off into issues that are so obscure as to their apologetics value and Christian witness. And by trying so hard to achieve harmonious narratives between Scripture and science, Hugh finds himself in position corners that are hard to back out of, as more info becomes available. I see that particularly when he involves himself in issues like hominids, Neanderthals, etc. And RTB will get so deep into some murky subjects and then try to connect a cute apologetic point. Not sure how effective that is about increasing faith or encouraging it in unbelievers.
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Re: Timeline for Noah's Flood, Genealogies, Etc.

#13

Post by Kurieuo » Wed Apr 12, 2017 7:16 pm

DBowling wrote:Jumping off a couple of Philip's thoughts
Philip wrote: - The ONLY way that the death of the entire earth's population of humans was possible, was if, at the time of the flood, they were all gathered within the parameters of one region.
I don't see Scripture teaching that the entire earth's population of humans was wiped out by the flood. I see Scripture making two specific claims about the Flood.
1. All humanity within the geographical scope of the Flood were killed by the Flood. The same land/erets that was covered by the Flood was the same land/erets within which humans were wiped out. I don't see any Scriptural requirement for humanity outside the geographical scope of the Flood to have been affected.
...
The problem with the RTB premise that a local flood killed all humanity is that there is no time and place in human history when that could have happened. Especially in the Neolithic time frame described in Genesis 4 (which occurred over ten thousand years after humanity had populated the planet).
I'm very much in agreement here. I do not see the Bible telling us all of earth's human population was wiped out. Nor, do I see that the whole world needs to be totally inundated with water. Rather, I do believe the extent of the flood (or many flooding events) was worldwide in reach (which I believe largely due to different stories around the world), that such was felt by most of humanity, and dramatically impacted many people scattered around the world.

How much so were other people affected around the world? Scripture doesn't say because it sticks to the story of Noah who would have been is the Mesopotamia region. That is the context the story is within. So when Noah's story it says the whole world was flooded and all life on the land was destroyed, it's within the context of that world.

While Scripture remains largely within that world, we have strong mythological evidence that share many similar as well as unique features to the story of Noah's flood. None of them appear earlier than about 4,700 years ago. These are found literally all over the world. Yes, humanity could have dispersed from one area if the flood was one major local event with all humanity huddled in together, however these varying flood stories often talk of features to do with the locations and landscape in which they're found. These stories all need explaining, the best theory that can explain them, well, I think we then also have our Noah's flood.

Obviously, there naturally isn't enough water to fully inundate the Earth, and then simply disappear. There is enough water that can however be displaced with earthquakes, comets and the like to essentially affect the whole world. One just needs to loosen their strangling each and every word in Scripture, words are often used and intended in ways other than precise literal meanings. This doesn't mean resorting to symbolism, but rather literal word definitions simply don't always provide the most plain understanding of what a person intends.

Here's an interesting article that came out around 10 years ago:
Mega-tsunamis more common than we think
2. Scripture also indicates that the Flood wiped out all of God's covenant people (ie the descendants of Adam) with the exception of Noah and his family.

Genesis 3:20 is very interesting:

ESV: "The man called his wife’s name Eve, because she was the mother of all living."
NIV: "Adam named his wife Eve, because she would become the mother of all the living."

NIV translation is the more accurate one. So, the name Eve may have been given as a prophetic symbolism to Adam's future.

I think Eve's name is a very practical description for the task that she and Adam were given as the first of God's covenant people.
As one of the first two people to have a spiritual relationship with the One True God, it would be very appropriate to refer to a person who was tasked with spreading the truth of spiritual life to humanity as a "life giver"
On #2 though, I don't agree with a covenant people idea, nor do I see any need for it. It seems kind of plucked out from nowhere to me. Perhaps you've read some books that influenced you, I did once entertain a similar idea of my own accounting a great many years ago, but it was short-lived when I brought it back to Scripture. There's no way to make it fit that Adam and Eve were like singled out of humanity rather than being the first of God's human creation.

Nonetheless, we reach similar end conclusion with perhaps the extent required in Noah's flood I guess, just different beliefs get us to that end.
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Re: Timeline for Noah's Flood, Genealogies, Etc.

#14

Post by abelcainsbrother » Wed Apr 12, 2017 7:48 pm

Well I'm going to try and bring a different perspective to this discussion. First off there was no man or woman until God created Adam and Eve although there were man-like creatures before this that existed.We know both hominids and Neanderthals existed but often time this evidence is looked at from an evolution perspective which I don't do. I do not look at the evidence from an evolution perspective,instead I first try to go by what the bible says and then try to see if there is evidence to back it up.

The bible tells us that God created Adam and Eve and so this means they were new creations of God,however we have hominids and Neanderthals that are often seen as creatures man descended from and I think this causes a flawed view of the evidence. We simply had man-like creatures in the former world that were not man and then after the regeneration of the heavens and the earth in the six days God created Adam and Eve. I see no problem with this interpretation both biblically and scientifically,but I'm not at all influenced by evolution. This does not mean there are no problems to confront just like with the other interpretations that run into issues they are confronted with.It is no different with this interpretation.

Some issues are that scientists have found human DNA in Neanderthals and so it can imply they wrere related,but it does not really prove it.There is alot of debate and disagreement even amongst scientists themselves but since they are looking at everything from amn evolution perspective it is easy to just say they are related. However,there are other explanations like fallen angels tampering with DNA in Genesis 6 or going after strange flesh. If they tampered with DNA in Genesis 6 or went after strange flesh then why could'nt they have done it in the former world also?

Another problem is the Greenland ice sheet that is atleast 100,000 years old,but this does not necessarily disprove a gap.

Now once we confront these issues we are set and are going by the bible and science. And now we can say that Noah's flood effected this world aproximately 5000 years ago.
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Re: Timeline for Noah's Flood, Genealogies, Etc.

#15

Post by Philip » Wed Apr 12, 2017 8:15 pm

K - you MUST read that Miller book!

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