Flooded with Floods

Author Greg Koukl Published on 03/22/2013

Do other ancient flood stories undermine the historicity of the Biblical flood account?

In a recent debate on the existence of God, well known skeptic Michael Shermer attempted to discredit the biblical account of the flood by citing a similar Sumerian account written much earlier than Moses’ record. Many other cultures have flood stories in their mythologies, Shermer pointed out. Therefore, he reasoned, all were myths.

It made me think of winter in Chicago where I grew up. When the snow begins to fall, kids might hear their grandfathers talk about the great blizzard of ’67. Some will hear about four days of storm with drifts five feet high. Others will hear of a snowstorm that lasted a week and buried whole houses.

When boys compare their fathers’ tales, do you think they’ll conclude that dads just have a habit of making up yarns about blizzards? No, I suspect they’ll figure all their fathers ramble on about the blizzard of ’67 because it actually snowed pretty hard that winter. It did. I was there.

It’s true that virtually every major culture has a flood story in its folklore. It’s curious, isn’t it, that there aren’t any worldwide fire myths or global hailstone tales mixed in. Everybody talks about the flood, though. Maybe the best explanation is that there really was a flood of such magnitude it kept people talking for thousands of years, even though some of the details got mixed up in the retelling.

I think we owe thanks to Michael Shermer for pointing out all the collaborating evidence for a world-wide flood.