Noah and Moses

As a child hearing the story of Noah, it seemed perfectly reasonable that if it just kept raining, eventually the whole world would flood. After all, if you leave a faucet running, the sink will eventually fill up. It didn’t occur to me until I was a teenager thinking about the stories in the bible critically that there simply isn’t enough water on Earth to cover the whole world deeper than Mount Everest. That started me looking for ways I could reconcile the account and everything I found proved time and again that the flood could never have happened.

The most convincing arguments come from a rather famous atheist activist named Aron Ra. I did not discover Aron’s work until a couple of years ago and to be fair these videos only started in December of 2016. Had these existed when I was a teenager, it would have saved me a lot of time trying to research the flood’s plausibility.

Rather than going over all of Aron’s arguments again here, I would encourage you to watch the series of videos. The simplest summary is just that there are many different methods of investigating whether a global flood happened and all of them disprove a literal interpretation of the bible. There are cultures older than 6000 years that have writings and continuous history that doesn’t mention a flood. There is no geological evidence of a world-wide flood. Biology doesn’t show any gap where all the animal and plant life died and started from pairs. Not to mention the simple logistical problems of getting kangaroo from Australia to the Middle East and back along with every other form of life. It just cannot be literally true.

If videos aren’t your style, there is an article from 1983 that does an excellent job of laying out these problems with the story of Noah called The Impossible Voyage of Noah’s Ark.

This was becoming a theme with my research. Every time I tried to prove that the bible was the Word of God and that every part of it was literally true, I kept discovering that it was impossible. More and more of the Old Testament in particular could not be anything other than metaphor (generously) or even myth and legend.

Surely, I thought, at least one of these accounts from the Pentateuch must have some evidence. What about the story of Exodus? If 600,000 Hebrew slaves spent more than 400 years in Egypt, there must be archaeological evidence. Unfortunately, there really isn’t. Once again at best this story is an exaggeration. There is no account outside of the Pentateuch that mentions Hebrew slaves and that many could have outnumbered the Egyptians present at the time. Given the number of slaves that were supposed to have wandered the desert for 40 years, if they walked single file with a distance of three meters between them, the start of the line would have reached the promised land before the last even left. It’s only 240 miles and they could have followed the coast for the entire journey. There are no artifacts that indicate any significant Hebrew population in Egypt–certainly not one that rivaled the entire Egyptian populace.

Israeli scholars with the Mosaic agree. “The exodus as we know it didn’t happen. But it’s a great story.”

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