But it requires looking at the Bible in a whole new light.
First, let’s take a look at the common controversies.
The story of Noah and the Flood is probably one of the most controversial of ancient legends.
The story can be found in the Bible.
Below is a summary (Genesis 6-9:17).
The world had become filled with wicked people. God decided to wipe out all life on earth. He would send a worldwide flood to bring about a worldwide extinction of all life. Nothing on earth would survive. However, one person who had not become corrupt was Noah. God instructed him and his family to build an ark – a ship – upon which he should load pairs of all creatures, one male and one female. He was also instructed to load the ship with sufficient food to feed the animals and his family.
After they all entered the ark, it rained for 40 days and nights. The flooding that ensued wiped out all life on earth. Noah’s ark came to rest on the Ararat mountain range. However, Noah and his family did not disembark for another eight months until all the water had receded and dried out.
Then God instructed Noah to come out of the ark. Upon doing so, Noah sacrificed one of his animals to God. Pleased with Noah, God promised never to send a flood to destroy all life again.
1. Other cultures and religions tell almost identical stories as Noah and the Flood.
There are differences in details but the core legend is the same and unmistakable: God is angry with mankind. He sends a flood to wipe out all life on earth. He selects a noble person to build an ark. The person is instructed to load pairs of creatures or ‘seeds’ of all beings onto the ark. There follows a period of worldwide flooding. All life is wiped out worldwide.The ark comes to rest on a mountain. The noble person disembarks and populates the world with the creatures he saved on the ark.
Challenge: It is difficult for Bible proponents to argue that the Bible’s story is uniquely revealed to Jews or Christians.
2. The almost identical flood story in other traditions is often older than the Bible’s by hundreds or even thousands of years.
Challenge: It is difficult for orthodox Bible proponents to argue that the Biblical story of Noah and the Flood is the original one and that it has not been borrowed from another, older religious tradition.
3. Modern engineering shows that Noah’s Ark – an enormous vessel (440 feet long, 73 feet wide, and 43 feet high) constructed from wood – as described in the Bible would be plagued with leaks due to bending and stresses.
It would be a death trap in itself. Such an enormous ship could not be constructed decently from wood even today. (All of this doesn’t even consider the huge logistics of cutting the trees and curing the wood, and so many other issues.)
Challenge: It is difficult for Bible proponents to argue that Noah’s huge ark was a physical possibility in every detail as described in the Bible. Neither have any remnants of an ark ever been discovered on Arafat or anywhere else even after numerous and extensive hi-tech search expeditions over the last few centuries and decades.
4. Biblical scholars argue that Noah’s flood must have occurred between 5,000 to 10,000 years ago.
They believe that the end of the Ice Age around 5,000 years ago and the melting of vast amounts of ice might have caused extensive flooding worldwide that would cause a worldwide extinction of life.
Challenge: This is not the case at all. Sea levels did rise, but modern science proves there was no global flood or worldwide extinction of life 5,000 to 10,000 years ago. The last mass extinctions occurred millions of years ago. And the last worldwide extinction that nearly wiped out all life from the face of the Earth – like the Bible describes – was the end-Permian extinction 250 million years ago.
5. Scientists have proven that there was a local flood in the area created by the Mediterranean Sea around 5,000 years ago. They say that this might be the flood described in the Bible.
Challenge: This diminishes the authenticity of the Bible. Agreeing to this Mediterranean Sea Flood theory implies that Biblical stories are not divinely revealed but are bits and pieces of human history muddled into a spiritual framework by ignorant human beings. Rejecting the global flooding and global extinction of all life on earth that the Bible describes and accepting that Noah’s flood might have occurred locally just 5,000 years ago also implies that the Bible is not the word of God. It means it is the work of ignorant men. It means the Bible is inaccurate.
6. There are various and earlier flood stories than Noah’s flood that have been described by other cultures in other lands perhaps thousands of years earlier.
Challenge: It implies that the earliest flood story (from another land) cannot refer to the Mediterranean Sea Flood. It refers to flooding in the vicinity of those other cultural regions. So there may have been a number of such floods – which is highly likely. Nevertheless, science establishes there has been no global extinction episodes during human history or even since 250 millions of years ago – the time of the end-permian extinction. So even the floods and mass extinctions described in those other cultures cannot be worldwide ones – if they are to be understood as having occurred just 5-10,000 years ago.
1. Accept the scientific view that Noah’s flood was a relatively recent and local event that did not wipe out all life on earth. By accepting this, the Biblical story would be vindicated, at least partially. But the Bible would also be shown to be a work of less-than-knowledgeable human beings.
2. Reject the scientific view that Noah’s flood describes the Mediterranean Sea Flood (or any other local flood), assert that it refers to a truly worldwide flood and extinction just 5-10,000 years ago, and wait hopefully for the highly unlikely event that science will collapse and recant and unearth corroborating evidence in the future.
3. Reject the orthodox date of the flood. The Bible itself does not state when the worldwide flooding and extinction occurred. Orthodox Biblical scholars, many of whom still believe the world began only 6000 years ago, are responsible for pinning down the date of Noah and the Flood to around 4000 BC. They do so on the basis of genealogy. They count the number of descendants of Noah and averaging out their life spans, conclude the flood should have occurred around 4000 BC.
But this is an assumption. Their understanding of the genealogy may be mistaken. It could be conceived that some of those individuals with the genealogy had much longer life spans, or that the genealogy is fragmentary. If so, the date of the worldwide flooding could be pushed back significantly.
4. Try something never thought of before: Look for clues outside of Babylonian, Sumerian, and other neighboring cultures.
For instance, study the worldwide flood and extinction legend in India’s ancient yoga texts.
Due to the assumption that the greatest influence on the Bible would be from neighboring cultures, the ancient yoga texts have remained largely unstudied.
Remarkably, however, the flood story from ancient yoga is almost identical to that given in the Bible.
And it is possibly 500 to 1000 years more ancient!
It first appears in texts called the Shatapatha Brahmana, the Mahabharata, and Matsya Purana.
COULD THIS BE THE PERFECT SOLUTION TO THE CONTROVERSY?
Below is the legend in ancient Yoga texts.
About 250 million years ago, a celestial patriarch of the Earth was ruler over the welfare of the world. He had a lifespan of 300 million years. Like Noah, this heavenly being was the world’s wise, virtuous, and seventh patriarch. His name was Vaivasvata Manu. God appeared to Manu in the form of a fish in a river. Initially, the Fish Avatar was small, but grew so large, Manu needed to relocate it in the ocean. The fish had a horn or spine on its head. It described to Manu impending catastrophic volcanic activity and global flooding. These would lead to extinction of life worldwide. Manu was told by God to place the seeds of all life-forms in an ark for protection and use them to restore life on Earth after the extinction. After the flood, the Ark settled on the side of a mountain. He was to disembark and repopulate the earth with the preserved life forms.
There are unmistakable correlations with the Biblical Flood:
1. Like the sages of the Bible, the Yogis spoke of an early period on Earth when nearly all life was wiped out.
2. There would be worldwide flooding.
3. That there was a virtuous patriarch.
4. He was instructed by God to preserve all life forms on an ark.
5. The ark ended its journey on a mountain.
6. He disembarks and repopulates the earth with life.
BUT HERE’S THE DIFFERENCE
The Yogis revealed additional details that help resolve three important issues in the Biblical extinction episode: its Cause, Scope, and Date.
According to the ancient Yoga texts the extinction did not occur 5-10,000 years ago. Neither was it localized. Nor was it caused solely by water.
The Yoga texts state that Noah’s flood was caused by the oceans deluging continents worldwide, That this was preceded by catastrophic volcanism. And it occurred from 250-120 million years ago.
These descriptions are a game-changer and a powerful proof of the Bible’s truth and divine nature!
Because the Yoga passages coherently describe what scientists call the end-permian extinction.
It was the worst of the world’s extinctions and is famously known as the ‘Great Dying’ – a time on Earth when life nearly ended.
Exactly as the Yogis revealed, the episode was associated with catastrophic volcanism and widespread global flooding that followed from 250-70 million years ago!
In all, the descriptions of Noah’s Flood in the ancient Yoga Literature display twenty correspondences with modern science with ZERO contradictions.
These descriptions in the ancient Yoga Literature are brilliant and Genesis is proven to be genuine!
The ancient yoga flood legend corresponds with science amazingly.
If the same story was to have been found in the Bible it would be news and cause for celebration for millions of Jews, Christians, and Muslims around the world.
BUT IT IS THE SAME FLOOD STORY! It IS cause for celebration for countless Jews, Christians, Muslims, and Hindus around the world.
To this extent we also have unification of the world’s Faiths with each other as well as with modern science.
Importantly, this does not mean that the Biblical account is incorrect.
It is simply a synopsis of a long and complex episode.
As such, it may be too brief. However, within a larger framework, Noah and the Flood legend is completely corroborated by mainstream science.
Importantly, it also serves as beautiful proof that some parts of the Bible are divinely inspired.
THE YOGA MIRACLE – How Yoga and Meditation Bring You Health, Happiness, and Spiritual Wellness
Review from scientific writer for the CAMBRIDGE UNIVERSITY
Monograph Series and the fine journal
THE SCIENTIFIC AMERICAN – “REALLY LIKED IT … AUTHENTIC.”
Prof Pankaj S. Joshi. Expertise: general relativity, cosmology, stellar evolution, naked singularities, black holes.
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