Flood Legends

Our brief overview of Old Testament history in summer worship and Bible class will bring us next to Noah’s flood.  According to an article in the Answers in Genesis magazine, there are hundreds of ancient stories about a disastrous flood from cultures all over the world.  The stories are not identical to the account in Genesis chapters 6-8, but they do share interesting similarities.  Here are some examples cited in the article:

Hawaiians have a flood story that tells of a time when, long after the death of the first man, the world became a wicked, terrible place. Only one good man was left, and his name was Nu-u. He made a great canoe with a house on it and filled it with animals. In this story, the waters came up over all the earth and killed all the people; only Nu-u and his family were saved.

Another flood story is from China. It records that Fuhi, his wife, three sons, and three daughters escaped a great flood and were the only people alive on earth. After the great flood, they repopulated the world.

It makes sense that every culture would have a vague recollection of the flood.  The eight people who were the only survivors of the flood were also the ancestors of every human alive today.  They certainly would have passed on the events of the flood to their descendants.  When God scattered people as they tried building the Tower of Babel, the account of the flood would have gone with them and become a part of their cultural history.  Of course, over time the stories have changed in different ways in different cultures, but the basic event – a catastrophic flood covered the world –  is a part of the history of peoples around the world.

While all of this is interesting, we realize that evidence like this for a worldwide flood is not the reason we believe Noah’s flood took place.  The article I mention appropriately ends in this way:

God clearly sent a worldwide Flood to punish humankind for their evil and corrupt ways (Genesis 6:5, 11). Even though Flood-affirming evidence from geology and other areas of study is abundant, we don’t need this evidence to know what happened. Starting with the Bible and the history that God faithfully recorded there, Christians have a tool to interpret the evidence that evolutionists and non-Christians do not. We have the record of what happened, from the One who was there.


Information quoted here came from the article “Flood Legends: The Significance of a World of Stories Based on Truth”, written by A. J. Monty White, Ph.D. and included in the March, 2007 issue of Answers In Genesis.

The entire article may be read online at: http://www.answersingenesis.org/articles/am/v2/n2/flood-legends

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