Posted by: BibleScienceGuy | June 8, 2022

Evidence of Noah’s Flood: Worldwide Memories

(4 Minute Read. 8Jun2022)

The Deluge by Gustave Doré (1866)
Frontispiece to Doré’s illustrated Bible.
Depicts humans and tiger futilely trying to
save children and cubs from Noah’s Flood.

The Bible clearly and unambiguously records an amazing truth:
Noah’s Flood was global!
Does evidence exist today of a worldwide flood?

A flood of water engulfing the entire globe surely would have left evidence of such a disaster. Is there evidence today that a flood once covered the entire earth?

Cultural Tales

Before considering new evidence in this Series on Noah, let’s consider a totally hypothetical example.

Let’s suppose, just for the sake of making a point, that as anthropologists investigated human cultures scattered around the world that they found a common theme. Suppose that as they researched records of military expeditions, logs of missionaries, and reports of explorers they found that hundreds of people groups from all over the world had similar stories of their origins. Suppose that all the varied stories from diverse cultures and locations around the world had a common theme of how an ape-like creature turned into the father of the people.

Of course this never happened. Such evidence does not exist. It’s only a hypothetical example to make a point. But if there were many such legends, wouldn’t it be significant? Wouldn’t many similar legends from disparate cultures and people groups around the world be recognized as dim memories of a genuine event?

If such stories were discovered, don’t you think that history books would trumpet these hundreds of cultural tales as strong evidence that man evolved from apes?

(Again, man did not evolve from apes. I’m just using this as a hypothetical example to make a point.)

Flood Memories

Interestingly enough, there is a common story from hundreds of different people groups scattered all over the world. But it is not trumpeted in history books nor is it recognized as the dim memory of a genuine event.

What is this common story? Why is it not recognized?

It is the story of a flood that destroyed the world except for one man’s family and animals saved in a boat.

Many cultures all over the world past and present have oral traditions, histories, and memories of some version of Noah’s Flood. Flood Stories from Around the World is a website by a non-creationist, but it has extensive data that is significant. Flood stories from 265 people groups are documented, including story summaries and references. These people groups include Babylonians, Egyptians, Greeks, Romans, Turks, Germans, Celtics, Scandinavians, Chinese, Africans, Russians, Australians, Incas, Mayans, Mexicans, Hawaiians, Native Americans, and many, many more. There are even flood stories from many tribes in South America and the Pacific Islands on the opposite side of the world from where the Ark landed on Mt. Ararat.

Noah’s Ark saved only 8 from the Flood.
They passed to descendants their memories.

The New World Encyclopedia article Great Flood also lists many flood stories from around the world. A great many of the world’s cultures have memories of a great flood that destroyed previous societies.

Is it surprising that so many cultures have these memories? I don’t think it is. If it is true as the Apostle Peter reports that Noah’s world was destroyed, being flooded with water (2 Peter 3:6), then wouldn’t such a catastrophic event leave an indelible impression on the survivors and their succeeding generations of descendants?

Wouldn’t you expect that as Noah’s descendants spread around the world after the Flood that they would carry a memory and account of the Great Flood with them? Wouldn’t you expect to find “legends of a Flood” in people groups all over the world? As the accounts were passed down through the generations, inaccuracies would creep in. But wouldn’t you expect that the basic account of judgment for evil by a worldwide flood and the preservation in a boat of a family and animals to repopulate the earth would be preserved in the lore of the world’s tribes?

And this is exactly what we do find all over the world — flood stories from at least 265 different people groups, many including a version of Noah’s name.
– 95% of them say the flood was worldwide, killing almost everyone
– 70% say the flood was sent by “god”
– 60% say the flood was because of man’s wickedness
– 66% say a god forewarned the family of the flood
– 70% say one family was saved on a boat
– 25% say animals were also saved on the boat
– 57% say survivors landed on a mountain
– 7% mention a rainbow
– 9% say exactly eight people were saved

For example, Hawaiian lore has many similarities to the Genesis account. Man’s sin and evil were punished with a flood. The man Nu-u built a house on a great canoe for his family and animals. A flood covered all the earth and killed all the people except for Nu-u and his family. After the waters subsided, Nu-u left his ship on a mountain and offered sacrifices. The rainbow was given as a perpetual sign of forgiveness.

For another example, ​the Wallam Olum (Red Record) is the ​ancestral record of North America’s Delaware Indians dating back about 4,000 years. It contains the account of a great flood that “flooded, filled, smashed, and drowned” everyone. Nenabush, the ancestor of the Delaware people, built a ship to make it through the great flood.
(The Red Record (The Wallam Olum): The Oldest Native North American History, Translated and Annotated by David McCutchen, Avery Publishing Group, 1993.)

How could cultures as totally different as the Hebrews, Pacific Islanders in Hawaii, and American Indians in Delaware, separated by thousands of miles and thousands of years, have such similar reports of a great world-destroying flood? These must be reports of an actual event. Noah, Nu-u, and Nenabush are similar names for the same man who built an ark to preserve the human race through the Great Flood.

The hundreds of similar accounts from hundreds of other cultures simply strengthen the evidence that Noah’s Flood was a true historical event.

In Conclusion . . .

What are we to make of these hundreds of similar stories of a worldwide flood. What is the most reasonable explanation for the prevalence of these cultural memories?

The most logical explanation for these flood stories from all over the world throughout history is that they are faded memories of a real historical event, namely Noah’s Flood recorded in Genesis.

Memories of Noah’s Flood permeate the history of almost every human society. The only credible way to understand this is to realize that every one of these human cultures consists of people descended from those who lived through a real worldwide flood in a large boat. These flood memories from around the world testify of Noah’s Flood of around 4500 years ago.

Questions to Ponder

1. Are you embarrassed to admit you believe in a real global Flood? What words from this article can be a confidence-builder and talking point for you?
2. How do you think reports of Noah and the Flood became so widespread?

Share your thoughts on these questions in the comments below. It could encourage or help another reader.

For Christ and His Kingdom. Soli Deo Gloria. Alere Flammam Veritatis.

This is the 15th in a series of articles on Noah. This Noah Series will suggest answers to many of the questions believers and skeptics have about Noah, Noah’s Ark, and Noah’s Flood.
Read the prequels:
1. Think You Know Noah?
2. Did Jesus Think Noah Was Real?
3. How Long Did It Take Noah to Build the Ark?
4. Could Noah Build the Ark in 75 Years?
5. How Big Was Noah’s Ark?
6. Were Dinosaurs on Noah’s Ark?
7. Could Noah Fit All the Animals on the Ark?
8. What Was Noah’s Flood Like?
9. Was Noah’s Flood Global or Local?
10. Life on Noah’s Ark
11. Were Zebras on Noah’s Ark?
12. Evidence of Noah’s Flood: Canyons
13. Evidence of Noah’s Flood: Fossils
14. Evidence of Noah’s Flood: Rock Layers

Read the sequel:
16. Significance of Noah’s Flood

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©William T. Pelletier, Ph.D.
“contending earnestly for the faith”
“destroying speculations against the knowledge of God”
“for the defense of the gospel”
(Jude 1:3; 2 Cor 10:5; Phil 1:16)
Wednesday June 8, 2022 A.D.

Then God said to Noah, “The end of all flesh has come before Me; for the earth is filled with violence because of them; and behold, I am about to destroy them with the earth. Make for yourself an ark of gopher wood; you shall make the ark with rooms, and shall cover it inside and out with pitch. This is how you shall make it: the length of the ark three hundred cubits, its breadth fifty cubits, and its height thirty cubits. You shall make a window for the ark, and finish it to a cubit from the top; and set the door of the ark in the side of it; you shall make it with lower, second, and third decks. Behold, I, even I am bringing the flood of water upon the earth, to destroy all flesh in which is the breath of life, from under heaven; everything that is on the earth shall perish.
(Genesis 6:13-17)

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  1. Brilliant answer! For some reason I didn’t think of that!


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