Now, just hear me out… and, NO, I’m not a homosexual, you weirdo..
Open your King James Bibles to Genesis 7. This is the chapter wherein the Lord instructs Noah to load his Ark with animals and family because the fountains of the deep were to open up, and all the high mountains of the earth were to be underwater. The Great Flood commences here.
I realize many don’t want a Bible lesson. I realize many will think I’m crazy. Whatever. Gotta’ keep it real.
Now, the scholars whom King James I of England commissioned to translate the Latin Vulgate Bible into English ascribed dates to every single chapter of all 66 books. Genesis 1:1 – the first chapter of the first book – is dated 4004 BC. Revelation 22 – the last chapter of the last book – is dated 96 AD.
Those scholars “borrowed” the dating method of an Irishman named Ussher. Ussher used the death of the Babylonian King Nebuchadnezzar – the one who sacked Jerusalem in Jeramiah – as the basis for building time backwards. The date of Nebuchadnezzar was known in secular history. It is also mentioned in the Bible. Thus, Ussher calculated backwards the events of the Old Testament from this secular date to arrive at 4004 BC.
Well, Genesis 7 – the Flood – is dated 2349 BC. This was 4,368 years before my trip. How accurate was Ussher’s dating method? Don’t know. But I wanna have fun with this.
Now, before I continue, of course those who reject Christianity would cry “The Flood never happened!” They would say, “Of course that date is wrong!” They would call me one of the biggest idiots in the world merely for considering scholarship from 400 years ago to conceive of any accurate world timeline, much less the age of the Earth itself. They would say that modern science has so unequivocally proven the Bible to be a bunch of malarkey, and… blah, blah, blah…
Ok. Maybe they’re right. Maybe I am an idiot for even minutely considering the above.
But hold on, cowboy.
One, there are stories of a massive flood all over the world. From North America to Asia to Australia and to other lands that did not know the Bible, and had not the naval technology to cross seas and share each other’s stories, indigenous people everywhere had their own stories of a Flood. One scholar says there are 270 stories across the world. How? Why? Of course, such doesn’t prove a Flood, but, it’s a darn curious anthropological question.
However, even though I am Christian, I’d believe in a Flood even if I were an atheist. Thank Grand Canyon geology for this. Seriously, I don’t buy for a second that the Colorado River cut that canyon over a long period of time. Also, I also thank all the brilliant Creationist literature and videos I’ve absorbed to make me not only believe in a Flood, but also question modern science’s proposed age of the earth itself.
Unfortunately, it would be too much of a rabbit hole right now to address the objections and excoriations that be could showered upon me for professing to be a Creationist, that is, someone who reads Genesis from a literal perspective. I’ll just say I didn’t grow up believing such, which is to say I don’t believe this because I fear damnation for believing otherwise. I’ll also say that if you want an introductory to such thinking, watch the documentary “Is Genesis History?” by the Christian apologetics ministry Answers in Genesis. They do an outstanding job. But more on this later…
So, again, is 2349 BC an accurate date for the Flood?
Don’t know. But, let’s suppose it is…
That 4,368 years is eerily similar to the age estimated for the oldest living trees on planet earth. Some of the bristlecone pines of the Ancient Bristlecone Pine Forest of Inyo County, California – my destination today – are estimated to be over 4,000 years old. These ages were only established in 1956.
A year later, the men investigating these bristlecone pines discovered a small grove in which ALL of them were over 4,000 years old. By core sampling – by counting its rings – one was dated at 4,789 years old. They named it the Methusaleh Tree, Methusaleh being the grandfather of Noah and the one who lived the longest of all those ancient ones enumerated in Genesis as descending from Adam.
Granted 4,789 and 4,306 (2349 BC to 1956 AD) differ by 483 years. Perhaps that is too big a difference to signify anything. But perhaps not. As I see things, if the Flood was around 4500 years ago, give or take a couple hundred years regardless of Ussher, the Methuselah Tree is within that margin of error. Thus, the romantic in me wondered if these oldest living things had come alive right after the Flood waters receded.
WHAT IF??? I know some men who would respect such a question.
Then, of course, there is the omnipresent, overarching question of why do the tallest, biggest and oldest trees in all the world grow in California? Could those White Mountains, which are a separate mountain range east of the Sierras, where the Ancient Bristlecones grow, hold some secret?
Probably not. I’d seen redwoods and sequoias by then, and no secret had been revealed. However, regardless of your faith, and regardless of what you think of me, such notions in my head charged me with excitement.
That’s the beauty of Romance. That’s the beauty of letting your imagination be open to new interpretations, regardless of what others say. At some point you have an obligation to yourself to hold fast to some notion you may think is true, and verify when you can if it is true, regardless of what others say. It’s letting curiosity and wonder possess you. It’s using the mind God gave you to think for yourself.