Noah's Flood and 2 Peter - Creation and Evolution

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Noah's Flood and 2 Peter

English > Fields of Research > Genesis Interpretation

P. Rüst (2008), "Noah's Flood and 2 Peter - Young Earth Creationism Violates the Biblical Context",
Manuscript, 3 p.'sFlood+2Peter.pdf

Translated from the German original: P. Rüst (2008),
"Petrus zur Sintflut - Der Kurzzeitkreationismus verletzt den biblischen Zusammenhang"
Manuskript, 3 S.


A pseudoargument of Young Earth Creationism:
"...sin came into the world through one man,
and death through sin..." (Romans 5:12)

- therefore: death came with Adam's fall
- therefore: no fossils of dead creatures before Adam's fall
- therefore: mountain ranges containing fossils rose later
- therefore: Noah's flood was the required global catastrophe

A supposed biblical proof:
Peter says: only Noah and family survived,
global flood parallels global final judgment

- Gott did not spare the world, but saved Noah (2 Peter 2:5)
- flood destroyed old world, fire will destroy today's (2 Peter 3:5-7)


1. Young Earth Creationist prejudice about the Flood
2. A global flood?
3. The flood as a sign pointing to the destruction of the whole earth by fire
4. Different meanings of the terms "earth" and "world"
5. Why was 2 Peter written?
6. God's rigteousness in history
7. God's word is reliable
8. The mistake of the scoffers
9. Young Earth Creationism violates the context

Lot flees out of Sodom

(besides Noah's flood,
2 Peter also mentions
the clearly local
judgment of God over
Sodom and Gomorrah)

- Young Earth Creationists believe that any kind of death, human or animal, came into the world by Adam's fall. Thus, all fossils of dead animals must be younger than Adam. As they occur even in the highest mountain ranges, these must have been piled up in a worldwide catastrophe after Adam's fall, i.e. in Noah's flood.

- According to 2 Peter 2:5, the old world apparently perished in a worldwide flood, as only Noah's family survived.   

- Just as, according to 2 Peter 3:5-7, the old world perished in water, the present earth will perish in fire. Because the final judgment will be global, the flood must have been global.

- But neither the Greek for "earth" and "world" in 2 Peter, nor the Hebrew for "earth" in Genesis 6-9 is unambiguous. All can also mean "land" or smaller regions, or their population. Immediate and wider contexts have to be considered.

- 2 Peter encourages and admonishes the persecuted christians. In particular, they are threatened by heretic teachers seducing them to a licentious life, and scoffers deriding their hope of Jesus coming soon. Both would lead to godlessness.

God's angels hurry Lot out of Sodom, before it is destroyed by fire

- 2 Peter 2 warns about the seduction through false prophets. God's judgment meets these, while the believers are saved. This is illustrated by the fallen angels, Noah's flood, and Sodom and Gomorrah. The latter judgment was clearly local. The extent of the flood is here irrelevant.

- 2 Peter 3 emphasizes the reliability of God's predictions through his prophets and apostles and warns about scoffing seducers. The judgment over such came by water in the flood and is coming by fire in the final judgment, but the believers may confidently await the fulfillment of God's promises. The extent of the flood is here irrelevant.

- Ignorant scoffers imagined that, as Jesus had not come back as expected, he would never come. But God is not slow to fulfill his promise but patient. And his timetable is hidden. Peter illustrates God's guiding history with the example of creation: the world existed since long ago, the land emerged out of water and continued through God's word. There were both sudden events and long developments. The extent of the flood is here irrelevant.

- Nothing in 2 Peter has anything to do with the geographical or social extent of the flood. Young Earth Creationists' interpretation of verses 2:5 and 3:5-7 distorts the text. They should read the bible more literally, by taking into consideration its literary and cultural environment.

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