The most familiar parts of the Bible are often the parts we have the hardest time reading through ancient eyes. And everyone is familiar with the story of the flood: Noah, the ark, animals marching on two-by-two— basically the life-blood of every Sunday school class flannel graph and coloring page. We suppose it can’t be helped. After all, animals on a boat with a rainbow above seem friendly enough. Plus, the story comes with a nice lesson about God’s faithfulness. Only, it’s not a children’s’ story, and the way it is presented to children tames it to the point of distortion. The flood story isn’t an ancient version of Bambi or The Lion King. It’s more like 28 Days Later or Contagion. The flood story is a horrific moment in Genesis. The human experiment has failed, and apparently the only possible solution open to God was to kill every living thing, by drowning all things, save for one family and a limited number of animals. Why would a loving God, and master designer of the cosmos, do such a thing? This is one of those stories where leaving the modern world behind is absolutely necessary. We might want to read this story as a scientific account of the past, arguing whether it was a global flood or a local flood, or wondering if the extinction of dinosaurs can be chalked up to a lack of room on the ark. But none of these questions helps us see the story as ancient Israelites would have seen it. — Byas, Jared; Enns, Peter (2012-04-09). Genesis for Normal People: A Guide to the Most Controversial, Misunderstood, and Abused Book of the Bible (Kindle Locations 802-815). Patheos Press. Kindle Edition. (via firstbreath90)
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