When was Noah's Flood?

What year was the biblical flood for Noah's Ark?

Drawing of Flavius Josephus ACCORDING TO ANCIENT JEWISH HISTORIAN JOSEPHUS, along with Irish archbishop and chronologist James Ussher, Bible historians and most conservative Christian scholars, the Flood of Noah's time occurred between 2500 BC and 2300 BC — probably close to 2348 BC.

First-century Jewish historian Flavius Josephus used manuscripts available during his time to calculate that Noah's Flood occurred 1556 years after the creation of Adam. By adding the ages of the patriarchs listed in the Bible, other scholars have come up with roughly similar dates.

(We must point out though, that according to the King James Version of the Bible, the Flood was 1656 years after Creation, which is regarded as more accurate than Josephus's dates.)

Noah starts a new life with the world at his feet Irish archbishop James Ussher calculated that the creation of the world took place in 4004 BC. If 1656 is deducted from 4004 then the worldwide flood of Noah's time was around 2348 BC (if both chronologies are correct; but please note that there is some disagreement even among conservative Bible believers on these dates).

Josephus, Ussher, and other scholars disagree slightly on some of their dates. But most agree that a straightforward reading of the Bible indicates the Deluge must have taken place in the third millennium before the birth of Jesus Christ — probably between 2500 BC and 2300 BC.

Evolution problems

The widely accepted evolutionary history of the world, however, theorizes that a common ancestor of humans and apes existed around 10 million years ago. Modern humans, according to the evolutionary theory, came on the scene around one million years ago. There is no indisputable fossil evidence of the many alleged missing links in human evolution of course, including the hypothetical common ancestor from which humans and apes supposedly evolved. (See our article Which ape evolved into which human?)

An interesting area of support for the biblical date comes from the study of population statistics. Dr. Henry Morris asked in his 1976 book The Bible Has the Answer whether it was more reasonable to think that the present world population came from the few people on Noah's Ark 4300 years ago, or the first “dawn man” a million or more years ago:

“The present rate of population increase in the world is more than two per cent per year, and the population is now over four billion. [This figure was correct when Dr. Morris wrote his book. The figure is now much higher. — Creation Tips editor.] However, the average rate would only have to be one half of one per cent per year to produce the present world population in 4,300 years.

“To put it another way, an average family size of only 2.5 children per family would suffice to develop the present population in just the length of time since Noah, even with an average life-span of only about 40 years per person. These figures are very reasonable, and in fact extremely conservative, showing that the Bible chronology is quite plausible in every way.

“On the other hand, this same very conservative rate of population growth (only one fourth what it is at present), if continued for a million years, would have produced a present population infinitely greater than could be packed into every cubic foot of the entire universe! This fact alone argues that the supposed million-year history of man on the earth is completely absurd, whereas the Biblical chronology is perfectly reasonable …

“Even if, by some miracle, the population growth rates were slowed down sufficiently to produce a population of only the present figure of three billion people after one million years of human life on earth, this would still mean that over 3,000 billion individual people had lived and died during that period of time. It is therefore strange that it is so difficult to find human fossils! It would seem rather that human remains ought to be extremely abundant everywhere. And this should be even more true of the pre-human ape-men that were supposedly evolving into men during 60 or 70 million years of pre-history.”

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Here are the years from the creation of Adam (the first man) until the Deluge (Noah's Flood). Years before the son's birth holds true for all except Noah, whose first son was born when Noah was around 500, then add 100 years until the flood to make the 600 shown below.

Patriarch's name Years before son's birth
 Adam   130
 Seth   105
 Enos     90
 Cainan     70
 Mahalaleel     65
 Jared   162
 Enoch     65
 Methuselah   187
 Lamech   182
 Noah   600
  To the Deluge 1656


So if you deduct 1656 from Archbishop Usher's date for creation, 4004 BC, the date for Noah's Flood would be around 2348 BC. It's not possible to narrow down the date further.

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