Extra-biblical Flood Legends | The Institute for Creation Research

Extra-biblical Flood Legends
“Creation stands or falls on the Genesis Flood,” stated a creation geologist years ago. The fact of the Flood covering all the earth is undeniable. As described in Genesis 7,

19 And the waters prevailed exceedingly upon the earth; and all the high hills, that were under the whole heaven, were covered.

20 Fifteen cubits upward did the waters prevail; and the mountains were covered.

21 And all flesh died that moved upon the earth, both of fowl, and of cattle, and of beast, and of every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth, and every man:

22 All in whose nostrils was the breath of life, of all that was in the dry land, died.

In addition, 73% of the earth’s crust is covered by sedimentary rock laid down by the Flood’s waters about 4,500 years ago. Within these rocks are trillions of fossilized animals (mostly marine invertebrates) and plants—remnants of a world “filled with violence.”

Between Scripture and the geological-paleontological record, the effects of the Flood are clearly seen. There is, however, a third indication of this worldwide, devastating event—the universal flood legends recorded by all the major people groups of Earth. If “the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished” (2 Peter 3:6), it would undoubtedly leave an indelible memory of the generations following the Flood.

As people groups spread and migrated after the Tower of Babel, they would carry with them the Flood story. Through the centuries, stories of the Flood were passed on to each generation via early patriarchs such as Joseph, Jacob, and Abraham, records that Moses had access to. As the years went by in some parts of the world, there would be editing and embellishments of the Flood event, but the basic story of judgment via a worldwide deluge, the preservation of a remnant in a structure, and the events directly afterwards would be preserved. The account of the Flood in Genesis comes from Noah himself and is written and edited by Moses and is not dependent on Near Eastern texts. Knowing this, a wise historian would search out similarities between Moses’ Flood story and the flood stories told in other cultures.

Nick Liguori is a civil engineer and an avocational researcher. He has applied his knowledge of biblical history to painstakingly put together a compendium of Flood traditions from North and South America. His 2021 book documents these fascinating oral traditions. Entitled Echoes of Ararat (Master Books, 298 pages), Liguori shows the reader that the critical opening chapters of Genesis are true and historically accurate. Such Flood traditions have been found to be even more prevalent than was originally thought, offering Liguori’s book as a fresh new resource for those interested in Flood geology and early biblical history.

A brief sampling of stories recorded by Nick Liguori are

The water grew higher and higher until all the earth was covered . . . A single family remained alive. —the Chimila tribe of northern Colombia

Then the waters went up, up and up, flooding all the mountains and highest hills and killing all that had life on the earth. Only one house had been raised over the waters, which had covered all the species of animals. —Mayan ancestors of the Jakalteks of northwestern Guatemala

They have a tradition of the floud [flood], that all the world was once drowned, except a few that were saved, to wit, about seven or eight in a great canoro [canoe]. —Rev John Clayton (d. 1725) recording the narrative from the Powhatan tribe of Virginia

Very long ago there was a great flood by which all men and animals were destroyed, with the exception of a single raven. —the Kootenay people of southeastern British Columbia

You may purchase this new resource here.

*Mr. Frank Sherwin is Research Associate at the Institute for Creation Research and earned his master’s degree in invertebrate zoology from the University of Northern Colorado.
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