Peter Enns & Noah

29 Aug

We have already exposed the false teaching held & proclaimed by Peter Enns for several years now so today will not be any different. His take on Noah and the flood is worth addressing. You can read the whole article at the following link:

#1.I should put in my two cents—be ready for a shock—that I don’t think much of the recent construction of a life-size but totally non-functional replication of Noah’s ark by Ken Ham and his massive following at Answers in Genesis.

For one thing, I’m not sure what is accomplished, other than, “See, we did it!”—though I assume that, being a business, AiG will realize much gain through it, financial or otherwise. All press is good press, as they say—even if it’s for building an ark (for heaven’s sake).

It seems we are not alone in our criticism of Mr. Ham and his ventures.  Having communicated directly with AIG about our ‘thoughts’ on their constructing this project we are not going behind their backs when we criticize them here or place criticism of their ventures here. Why is it that Christians let the Great Commission blind them to God’s instruction and will? There is more to the Great Commission that harvesting and while we secretly hope that some people will come to Christ because of that structure we do not support it.

Evangelism, like the farming analogy tied to it, is a lot of hard work, sweat and tears. But enough about that misguided building. Mr. Enns has listed 3 things everyone is to know about Noah’s flood but be forewarned he does not support those three things with scripture..

#2.The story of the flood seems to be rooted in history. Many biblical scholars relying on geological findings believe that a great deluge in southeastern Mesopotamia along the Tigris and Euphrates rivers (present-day Iraq) around 2900 BCE was the trigger for the many flood stories that circulated in the ancient world, some already two thousand years old by the time King David came on the scene around 1000 BCE.

These ancient stories were attempts to explain why this happened, and the cause was fixed in divine wrath/retribution.

Mr. Enns does not grasp the truth behind the existence of those flood stories. Ir he did he would see that those inscribed myths or legends came after Noah and his family, and did not influence the biblical authors.The sheer amount of flood legends from around the world undermine his point because while the Israelites spent time in Babylon the other ancient civilizations which reside din Africa, South, Central, North America as well as in many Asian regions did not. So how did they come to write their account of this great flood?

The ancient world was not limited to Mesopotamia. So why would those far away ancient civilizations take the time to explain about a flood that happened to a people they never knew or thought existed?

#3.The story of Noah and the flood, though rooted in history, is also rooted in the stories told among other ancient people living in or near Mesopotamia. Israel’s version of the story is not the oldest one, and its existence certainly cannot be divorced from these older versions (like the Atrahasis epic and Gilgamesh epic).

Whether or not the author/s of the biblical version was/were aware of any of these older stories or consciously worked off of them is impossible to know and immaterial (though the similarities between the biblical account and the Atrahasis epic raises questions of dependence of the former on the latter, namely the sequence: creation—population growth—an unforeseen problem—devestating flood.)

Understanding the impact of these first two points will lead to the third:

The problem with this point is that Mr. Enns is mistaken. The other flood stories inscribed legends may have survived longer than the Israelite scriptures but that does not make them the oldest accounts. Because of Noah, the Israelite account is the oldest, Any written accounts of Noah and his family’s experience were not lucky enough to survive to the present day.

Another problem is his declaration that the Israelite version ‘cannot be divorced from the other accounts’. Mr. Enns and any other biblical critic has yet to prove that the biblical authors copied their information from other stories or people. That idea is read into the controversy not taken out from actual evidence. It is assumed only and is not proven fact. we have mentioned this information before as the book Mesopotamia and the Bible edited by Chavalas and Younger contains an article that shows that it was the Old Babylonians who copied from everyone else so where is the documented information that shows that the Israelites did the same?

There is none.If there was, we would have heard and seen it by now. We are not even going to go into the ramifications that would take place if God had his people copy from unbelievers. Mr. Enns certainly fails to grasp them.

#4. The story does not depict an “accurate” account of history, but the ancient Israelites’ understanding of that long-past event that survived in cultural memory.  Reading the flood story in Genesis does not tell us “what happened,” but it does tell us something of what the Israelites believed about their God.

Now we have to go back to the old question: Really? How does he know? What evidence does he have to support that declaration? Obviously he has none as we have spent years documenting the evidence for the flood and we have most of it on our other website


So what is his evidence?  We also posted a little while ago something that defeats any critic of the flood and it comes from the following work WILLMINGTON’S GUIDE TO THE BIBLE by Dr. H. L. Willmington TYNDALE HOUSE PUBLISHERSINC. WheatonIllinois and it readsd.

 If the flood was local, then God lied to Noah when he promised never to send a destructive flood again (Gen. 9:11). But there have been, of course, many local destructive floods since.

Why make a promise if the flood was not real?  If the promise isn’t real then the people would have complained and had it removed from the scriptures for there is no reason to keep a false promise in one’s holy writings. If you do it defeats the purpose of having holy writings.

#4.In other words, it is a statement of theology, not history (despite the historical trigger mentioned above).

Just what that theology is isn’t laid out for us in black and white. You have to read between the lines a bit. But the story is certainly connected to two others in the Bible: creation and the exodus from Egypt.

If you are going to dismiss and exclude the theology that is present in the account, you better make sure you have a replacement and inform every one of how easy it is to find. How can the theology be true if the history isn’t?  Or how can the theology be true if the account it is based upon is myth? That kind of defeats the purpose of having a theology based upon the story. If the story is false then so is the theology.

#5. The reason given in Genesis for this need to start over is human wickedness. Now, this raises (and has raised for a long time) all sorts of problems, namely why God goes so over-the-top. We’re only in the 6th chapter of the Bible. Couldn’t God think of another solution or was drowning the only option?

Here Mr. Enns demonstrates his lack of understanding of the wickedness that was taking place in the pre-flood world. When no one petitions Noah to save their families then the world is beyond the point of no return. And while God could probably thought of another way to destroy the world, Mr. Enns would probably have problems with that alternative as well. His problem isn’t with the punishment used but the fact that unrepentant sinners are doomed and that sin is wrong and needs to be punished.

Even today people are trying to redefine sin so that they will not feel the burden of the need to repent and feel good about their sinful lifestyles.

We are not going to go through the whole of Mr. Enns’ post at the initial link but yo get the gist. When you stop believing Moses you lose sight of the truth and do not understand what Go dis telling us through his word. You also make mistakes about different characters of the Bible and their experiences. For example:

Likewise, Noah and his family are saved in an “ark” waterproofed with pitch. The Hebrew word for ark is tevah (TAY-vah), and its only other use in the Bible is in the story of Moses, where, as an infant, he is placed in a “basket” (tevah) lined with pitch to escape Pharaoh’s edict to kill the Israelite male children. Both Noah and Moses are brought safely through a watery threat.

Moses was under no such threat. He was being watched over by his mother and sister and he was sent in the direction of the  Pharaoh’s daughter who was present at the river at the time. When you stop believing Moses, God and Jesus then you really have spiritual problems and it i snot the Bible who is at fault when you misunderstand what is being said.

You are not going to get to the truth when you exclude the truth from your studies.

Comments Off on Peter Enns & Noah

Posted by on August 29, 2016 in academics, Bible, church, comparative religions, controversial issues, faith, history, leadership, theology


Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: