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Washington Post reports evidence of ‘catastrophic flood’ 7,500 years ago


WASHINGTON (BP)–A front-page story in The Washington Post Nov. 18 cites the discovery of “dramatic new evidence of a sudden, catastrophic flood around 7,500 years ago — the possible source of the Old Testament story of Noah.”
An undisturbed coastline 550 feet deep in the Black Sea was discovered by explorer Robert D. Ballard, The Post recounted, and scientists have determined that “freshwater mollusks subsequently dredged from the ancient beach date back 7,500 years,” while freshwater species were 6,900 years old.
According to the story, Ballard said the discovery proves the existence of a flood between the 600-year gap. “What we wanted to do is prove to ourselves that it was the biblical flood,” Ballard was quoted as saying.
The article also quoted Hershel Shanks, editor of the Biblical Archaeology Review, as saying, “All modern critical Bible scholars regard the tale of Noah as legendary.” Shanks also said, “There are other flood stories, but if you want to say the Black Sea flood is Noah’s flood, who’s to say no?”
Despite what scientists say the discovery proves, Ted Cabal, dean of James P. Boyce College of the Bible in Louisville, Ky., urged Bible-believers to exercise caution before jumping to conclusions. Boyce College is the undergraduate school of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary.
“I think at the moment the prudent thing is to not get too excited one way or the other regarding this announcement,” Cabal said. “Patience at the moment may forestall embarrassment later and prevent the need for retractions. It is way too early to pronounce this discovery as either confirmation for or against the Noahic flood.”
Cabal also took exception to Shanks’ remarks. “One thing is for sure, Hershel Shanks is wrong in saying that all modern critical Bible scholars regard the biblical story of Noah’s flood as legendary,” Cabal said.
Kurt Wise, director of origins research at Bryan College in Dayton, Tenn., and a leading proponent of biblical creationism, spoke about the validity of biblical accounts of the flood during a Nov. 2-3 lecture series at Southern Seminary.
Wise’s lectures can be heard in their entirety on Southern Seminary’s Internet site at www.sbts.edu.
The Washington Post article can be read at www.washingtonpost.com.

    About the Author

  • Tim Ellsworth
    Tim Ellsworth is associate vice president for university communications at Union University in Jackson, Tenn. BP reports on missions, ministry and witness advanced through the Cooperative Program and on news related to Southern Baptists’ concerns nationally and globally.Read All by Tim Ellsworth ›