Some argue that Noah’s flood was only local. What’s your view on this?

In my experience, those who have proposed a local flood have done so in
order to provide some sort of reasonable natural explanation of the flood,
making it more easily acceptable to skeptics of the Bible flood story. The
problem with these attempts is that in general they create more problems
than they cause. The Bible, in Genesis 6-8, describes a flood of massive
proportions which lasted for about half a year. Even if one were to not
take absolutely literally that the water covered the entire earth as high
as Mt. Everest, one is clearly and unavoidably left with the impression
from the flood account that this involved an unprecedented amount of water
which covered the ground to a great depth. “For forty days the flood kept
coming on the earth, and as the waters increased they lifted the ark high
above the earth.” (Genesis 7:17)

In order for water to cover, for example, Mesopotamia to a depth
sufficient to lift the ark high above the earth for more than 150 days, it
would be physically impossible for the flood to be strictly a local event.
Gravity does not allow for this. The only possible way this explanation
can work is for God to somehow put some sort of wall around the area,
allowing the water to rise locally but not spill out to other areas. This
clearly creates more problems than simply to accept that if the flood
story is true, then the flood affected the earth on a massive scale. This
would require the flood to involve a miraculous creation of water and
later removal of the water. It is not surprising that atheists and Bible
critics in general have a problem with this, but those who accept the
awesome and divine power of God and who accept the Bible to be the
inspired Word of God, the idea of God judging the world through water is
quite understandable.

I would prefer not to be dogmatic on such things, but that is how I
understand it.

John Oakes, PhD

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