Did the flood recorded in Genesis 6-9 really happen? Here are three popular theories.

Universal Flood

This theory holds to the position that the flood encompassed the entire world.

There are some logistical problems with this view:

  • The water vapors from that much water would block the rays from the sun.
  • Once the storm stops, how would there be a distinction from fresh water and salt water?
  • How did Noah have enough food to feed 42,000 animals for a year?
  • There is no convincing archeological evidence.

Although these logistical problems are present, we must remember that God does not need to operate according to logistics. Logistical problems are not problems to God. Additionally, this view does have the strongest linguistic support.

Regional Flood

This theory holds to the position that the flood only took place in part of the world. Generally, those who hold to this theory believe that the flood was localized and took place somewhere in the Middle East. This view could be stated as, “The flood did not happen to the entire world, but it happened to the ‘known’ world of the author.”

Metaphorical Flood

This theory holds to the position that the flood did not actually happen. This view is actually the least common of the three views. Virtually every ancient civilization has some version of a flood story in their recorded history.