I have a question regarding the biblical history of humanity and the archaeological view which has been bugging me lately.  Allow me to explain: In the early chapters of Genesis, there is evidence of human agricultural activity (Gen 2:15) (Gen 4:2) before the Tower of Babel incident which spread humanity across the face of the earth. However, the evidence from archaeology indicates that humans had spread across the world by about 40,000BC while agriculture didn’t come about until around 15,000 to 10,000BC. How do you view this information in regards to the Scripture? 


First of all, we really cannot know the date of the flood in the time of Noah.  We can make a very approximate guess as to the date of the Tower of Babel, which is somewhere in the third millennium BC.  I do not take the years in the genealogies in Genesis to represent the entire human history.  Almost certainly there are gaps in this record, which was common to Jewish genealogies.  We do not know when Adam and Eve lived, and we do not know when the flood happened.  Personally, although I believe the effect of the flood was worldwide, I believe that there were remnant animal and human populations scattered across the globe.  I do not believe that kangaroos hopped to the ark and hopped back to Australia.  I do not believe that llamas were on the ark.  The story of the ark involves the events in Mesopotamia which happened during the flood. 

I believe that those in Babel were not literally the only people in the world.  There was only one language and people in the Mesopotamian area at the time, and God scattered those people, but they were not the only people on the entire earth.  I believe that there was likely farming long before the Tower of Babel in many parts of the earth, such as in China and India. There was agriculture before the flood as well.  In fact, Cain and Abel were farmers.   There may have been intelligent hominids on the earth before Adam and Eve were the first persons who were made in God’s image.  I believe that Adam and Eve were special creations–given the image of God and accountable to God, but I do not know when they lived and what other creatures–even hominids–were in existence before Adam and Eve.  The Bible simply does not answer these questions.  This is because it was not the intent of God or of those who created the Genesis accounts to give us a scientific or even a complete historical account.  We should not interpret these passages as a detailed chronological history or as a scientific treatise.  I believe that these things did indeed happen, but the things recorded are there to tell us about God and his relationship with us, not as science or as history in the Western sense of history.

John Oakes

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