The Flood

Alan Feuerbacher


General Description of the Flood

Alan Feuerbacher


The Noachian Flood account is a foundation stone of the Bible, since many Bible writers refer to the Flood as a historical event. If it could be shown by geological evidence that the Flood occurred, strong support would be lent to the Bible's truth. However, if such evidence indicated the Flood did not occur, its claim of inspiration could be damaged for those who respect truth.

In this essay I will examine evidence, especially geological, that the Watchtower Society uses to prove the Flood was a historical event, as well as information the Society has not covered. After researching this material, I was forced to conclude there is little geological evidence the Flood occurred. If it occurred, it left few traces, except possibly in legends and certainly in the Bible.

General Description Of The Flood

The events of the Flood according to the Genesis account and Watchtower publications are:

From Genesis:

1. The flood was a global cataclysm.

2. It lasted about a year.

3. The highest mountains were covered by the floodwaters.

4. The draining of the floodwaters took about eleven months.

5. The source of the waters was the "floodgates of the heavens" and the "springs of the watery deep."

From the Insight1 book:

6. The source of the flood was the water above the "expanse" created on the second creative day of Genesis.

7. Prior to the flood there were no high mountains, no deep sea basins, and no icecaps.

8. During or after the flood the earth's crust shifted, mountains were created, and the shallow sea basins were deepened.

From the Aid2 book:

9. There was no rain prior to the flood.

10. The polar regions were suddenly plunged into a deep freeze.

11. Great gorges and drifts of debris were created.

The evidence presented in Insight on the Scriptures and in Aid to Bible Understanding is in three categories: the scriptures, legends, and physical evidence. The scriptural evidence is not an issue since the Bible clearly says there was a Flood. Hence, I will discuss the physical evidence in detail, as well as each of the above listed points, and bring in other references to the Flood in the Society's publications as needed. Legends are difficult to objectively assess, and therefore I will have less to say about them. Note that Genesis says nothing that can be proved or disproved by reference to physical phenomena. A miracle could have occurred and there would be no way to detect it. The problem in that case is how such a global cataclysm could leave no physical traces.


1 Insight on the Scriptures, Vol. 1, pp. 609-612, Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of New York, Inc., Brooklyn, NY, 1988.

2 Aid to Bible Understanding, pp. 449-441, 1230, Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of New York, Inc., Brooklyn, NY, 1971.