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The Flood is described in the mythological tales of various ancient cultures as a god-sent catastrophe with the aim of destroying all humanity and land animals. Only a few particularly godly people escaped the catastrophe. As the reasons for the Flood, the Flood narratives usually name the wrath of God or the gods over the transgressions of mankind. The most famous reports have come down to us:

In early Christian writings and in the Koran , history is also referred to or told.


The German word "Sintflut" came from Middle High German sin (t) vluot , Old High German sin (t) fluot , which means something like "comprehensive flood". So it has nothing to do with the word "sin". The Germanic prefix sin means "everlasting, lasting, comprehensive, large" and has been since the 13th century folk etymology reinterpreted as "Sünd-". The spelling “Sündflut (h)” was used in a number of publications up into the 19th century, later it was used as the title or theme of fictional and dramatic works.

In English the deluge is called great flood or deluge from the French word déluge . Spanish it is called diluvio universal and Italian diluvio universal . The Hebrew word for flood, מַבוּל mabūl , designates the heavenly water jugs (cf. נֵבֶל nēvel "storage jug", also "string instrument"). It is derived from the Hebrew verb root בלל bll with the meaning “moisten, mix, confuse”, which refers here to the “sweating” of a porous jug. The root of the verb also appears as a play on words with the name of the city of Babel ( bāb īlim "Gate of God") and the confusion of languages ​​there.

Ancient oriental reports of the flood

11. Panel from the Epic of Gilgamesh , British Museum

A very old mention of the Flood can be found in the Sumerian King List , which lists royal dynasties in Sumer before and after the flood. The Atraḫasis epic from the 19th century BC is considered to be the oldest coherent written record of the Flood saga . Parts of this story were taken over in the Gilgamesh epic .

In the Atraḫasis epic , Ziusudra (in Berossus Greek : Xisouthros, named Uta-napišti in the Gilgamesh epic ) built a boat with which he and his relatives as well as selected animals survived the flood disaster. In this original form of the myth there were various details such as the advance warning to Ziusudra by Enki and the thanksgiving offering for salvation, which are similarly handed down later in the Bible. The Atraḫasis epic also tells the story of the sending of birds at the end of the flood. Due to missing lines on the third tablet of the epic, the name of the mountain on which the boat stranded could only be deduced from the Gilgamesh epic. There he is named with 'Nisir' ( Mount Nimuš ). A weighty difference to the biblical narrative is the reason for the Flood: In the Atraḫasis epic, the contrary world experiences are divided between two different gods. The flood is associated with the capricious storm god Elil, while the rescue of the hero Atraḫasis comes from the god of wisdom (Enki / Ea). The one God in the Bible, however, has to fight the struggle between the will to destroy and the will to preserve man: In the end God decides not to punish man again with the flood, although the sin persists.

In the Sumerian Etana myth , the "great flood" took place immediately before the first earthly king Etana .

The biblical flood

Gustave Doré - Flood

According to the biblical account in the Old Testament , the god-fearing Noah (also Noe , Hebrew : Noah ) was warned by God of a great flood and commissioned to build a large box-shaped ship, an ark , to house himself and his family as well as the land animals save. The flood lasted a calendar year and 10 days. Even the mountain peaks were covered with water ( Gen 7,10–24  EU and Gen 8,1–14  EU ). The flood is described in several phases:

  1. In Noah's 600th year, the flood began on the 17th day of the second month.
  2. The flood lasted 40 days on earth. After a total of 150 days of swelling, the water decreased.
  3. On the 17th day of the seventh month the ark touched down in the mountains of Ararat .
  4. On the 1st day of the tenth month the first mountain peaks became visible.
  5. On the 11th day of the eleventh month, Noah opened the window and let a raven fly: It flew in and out until the water on the earth had dried up .
  6. In Noah's 601st year, the water had run away on the 1st day of the first month.
  7. Noah left the ark on the 27th day of the second month.
Stone tablet with dove and olive branch ( Gen 8.11  EU ), Domitilla Catacombs , Rome

According to the Masoretic text and the Samaritan Pentateuch , only Noah managed to survive with his family (his wife, his three sons and their wives) and many animals. The ark finally landed "on the mountains of Ararat ". The dove plays in the biblical flood narrative the role of joyful ambassador: A rollicking Noah dove returns with a fresh olive branch in its beak to the ark back ( Gen 8.11  EU ). From the mountains of Ararat, life spread over the earth again. The biblical account tells of the fact that God subsequently made a new covenant with humans and animals in which he vowed never again to bring a flood of such magnitude over the earth. The sign of this covenant is the rainbow .

The biblical version agrees with the Atraḫasis epic in essential narrative features, i.e. takes up the (older) Sumerian-Akkadian tradition.

Depiction in the Apocrypha

In the Ethiopian Enoch , reference is made to the Jude of the New Testament, which is also in the Dead Sea Scrolls were found and that still belongs to the canonical writings of the (Christian) Ethiopian Church today, this story is explained in detail. The Flood is understood as a divine reaction to the inexcusable rebellion of the “guardian angels” under the leadership of Azazel . They were not satisfied with their closeness to God, but instead taught people different arts (cf. Prometheus in Greek myth) and eventually even mixed up with them sexually. While Azazel and his co-conspirators are thrown to earth as punishment for their arrogance and bound until the final judgment, the part of humanity that has been irredeemably corrupted by the seeds of the apostate Sons of God must be extensively wiped out.

A more recent Christian apocryphal tradition contradicts this legend. It was recorded in the Oriental Book of Adam and in the Syrian Treasure Cave . Accordingly, the descendants of Cain were increasingly sinful, and most of the descendants of Seth also got involved. The Flood appears as a cleansing from this sin.

Flood legends in other cultures

Greek mythology knows a similar story in the Deucalion myth. Corresponding traditions are also known in Indian mythology. Due to their geographical proximity, both could easily originate from the same legacy from the Mesopotamian region. Similar stories can also be found in the legends of peoples who had no contact with Sumerian culture:

  • The Indians know the Vishnu incarnation of the fish Matsya , who asked Manu , the first man, to build an ark in which he saved the seven Rishis .
  • The creation story of the old Icelandic prose Edda also knows the story of a worldwide flood that only the giant Bergelmir and his wife survived. In the creation story of the Australian Aborigines , the dream time , there is the myth of the great kangaroo , which once with other "animal people" held back the "Great Flood".
  • There are legends from Chinese antiquity from the time of Emperor Yao that "floods tower up to the sky", or of "floods that threaten the sky with their floods". These legends are usually equated with the " flood of the Ogyges ". Fu Xi , who was the only one saved in the whole country, is often seen as the Chinese equivalent of the biblical flood saga with Noah .
  • The ancient American Indians also knew stories of a flood that is said to have washed over the entire surface of the earth.

Classical flood myths do not occur in Africa, as narratives about the origins of the world are almost entirely absent in African cosmogony . Periodic floods such as the Nile flood did not produce any idea of ​​a one-off flood event. From southern Africa there is only one legend of a village that once sank into a lake.

Some flood myths are known from New Guinea and the South Sea Islands, the character of which dates back to pre-Christian times. The Fayu creation myth connects the mythical pair of ancestors with a flood.

In the 7th century, a Syrian - speaking author called pseudo-Methodius wrote a legend based on the biblical flood in which Noah, the ark and the devil appear. In the Russian translation it is widespread in Eastern Europe and came to Siberia with Russian settlers, enriched by the stubborn donkey from the Islamic cultural area. Noah shouted at the donkey: "Go in, cursed". At that moment the devil crept in unnoticed. He later referred to having been addressed personally by Noah and asked to enter. In other North Asian legends, the builder of the ship is called Noj , derived from the biblical Noah , in the Altai Nama . His wife is regularly portrayed as evil and allied with the devil.

The hero of the Flood appears in North Asian stories as the well-known progenitor of today's people, and in Tuvinian legends also as the divine creator of the world. There the flood occurred because the turtle lying in the primordial ocean and carrying the world mountain moved once. An old man who foresaw the Flood built a raft and gathered his loved ones on it. After the flood, the raft landed on a high mountain where it is still today. The old man, called the “gracious prince”, now created the world anew. Such deification cannot be derived from the Bible, but is linked to the old Iranian hero Yima or Jamschid . In the Altai, his name was Shawl-Jime.

Structurally related to the Flood is the rare end of the world due to a severe frost period that destroys all life. Such stories are known from ancient Iran, North Asia and Scandinavia. This also includes the legends of fire disasters recorded among several Asian peoples, which show similarities between Buddhist and early Christian mythology. Every time the earth is cleansed of devilish influences and a new better world is created.

Different interpretations and references to the biblical flood

In the first biblical narrative of creation (Gen 1, 6–8), upper and lower waters (eternity and time) are just being separated on the second day of creation in order to create space for individual life on earth. “With this mabul [= flood], however, this divorce is abolished again, and individual life, as it could express itself, is also destroyed. (…) The Egyptians also drowned in the water that covered them, while Israel, like Noah, came through the water. Moses also came into a 'teba' [ark, box - cf. Ex 2.5-10] and was thus preserved in the water. "

The Hebrew Tewa means the (written) word (Moses is the 'man of the word'), i.e. the word of God (see Noah's Ark ). In the belief in the word as the way of being righteous before God (Noah is the 'righteous' - Gen 6,9; cf. Wis 14,7) and the associated "hope full of immortality" (Wis 3,4) is life in The 'water' of time has always been saved. This belief exists in the covenant as the right connection between heaven and earth, eternity and time, which has its covenant sign in the seven-colored rainbow. The arch symbolically shows the connection between heaven and earth or “the hieros gamos [holy wedding] in the world of divine powers”: Rabbi Moses Cordovero interprets the arch with a view of Ez 1.28 - the bright glow of the fire of the hips (loins ) the divine figure on the cosmic throne of the Ezekielvision was "like the sight of the rainbow" - as the "life of the worlds"; What is meant by this is the fertile-generating power of the 9th Sefira of the ten-limbed Sefiroth tree ( tree of life ), which has a pronounced phallic symbolism.

According to Kabbalistic interpretation, this generating power is embodied in Joseph of Egypt. He is regarded as the figure of Adam Kadmon (the original man) and as the “keeper of the covenant” par excellence ”because he“ resisted the temptation of unrestrained sexuality and received the covenant sign of circumcision on his body. The praise of Joseph in Jacob's blessing was understood in this sense (Gen. 49:24): 'His bow was preserved in (its original) power. ”The two signs of the God's covenant, rainbow and circumcision, thus correspond to one another. Joseph of Egypt, on the other hand, is considered the type of the Redeemer or the New Adam in the Christian interpretation: "Here the redemptive work of Christ is anticipated ..."

The return of the dove with the olive branch is understood as a sign of the conclusion of peace between God, man and creation; Dove and olive branch become symbols of peace .

Hans-Peter Müller sees the Flood myth of the Mesopotamian and Biblical tradition as an antimythos to the respective creation myths. While the creation myth explains and guarantees the presence of man in the world, the destruction myth tries to ban everything that can endanger this presence. But while the Babylonian myth ultimately seeks the causes of the flood in a dispute in the polytheistic heaven of gods and man only triggers it, monotheistic Judaism must ascribe the blame to man. The punishment for human guilt is disproportionate and unmotivated in both cases.

In the New Testament (1 Pet 3,20f; 2 Pet 2,4f) and by the church fathers, the flood is understood as a symbol of baptism . The baptismal symbolism of death and resurrection or new creation (2 Cor 5:17) is expressed in the figure eight of the people saved in the 'ark' - with Noah, the “herald of righteousness”, as the “eighth” (2 Petr 2, 5). According to early church interpretation, the day of Christ's resurrection is the eighth day after the Sabbath (= 7th day) or after the 7-day creation . Baptism as a sacramental sign of the covenant was therefore given in octagonal baptisteries. “The eighth day is the day of the Messiah”, the “King of the 8th day”.

Theological interpretation

In dispensationalist theology , which in the Bible assumes the development of certain times of salvation in order to save people lost in sin, the antediluvian time finds its place as a time of unrestrained human autonomy. In the fall of man he had sought his autonomy (... you will be like God) and thereby lost paradise. In this first time of man outside of paradise man now had two instruments for his spiritual development, which should bring him back to God.

The long life of people should serve to keep this testimony, which could only be passed on orally, alive as long as possible (Gen 5: 5). This testimony could of course be questioned by Adam's descendants. Adam might have made it up. So then as now it was necessary to believe in a hidden, but nevertheless revealing God. Second, there was man's conscience as a moral authority that made him aware of whether something was good or bad . This moral awareness of the man who held him responsible corresponded to the image of the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil (Gen 2:17). Adam and Eve ate this fruit and actually received the ability of moral discernment, which should clearly distinguish the autonomous man from the animal. He had passed from a state of innocence into an existence that made him responsible for what he did, because autonomy and responsibility always go hand in hand. Hence the report by Cain and Abel immediately. Cain, who kills Abel, is warned beforehand by God (Gen 4: 6–7), because sin, that is, evil, wanted to take possession of him. That Cain knew this is proven by the fact that he lowered his gaze, which to this day is an unmistakable sign of a guilty conscience. But Cain did not listen to his conscience, but let sin "in through the door" and as a result killed his brother Abel. What began as jealousy that should have been fought ended in fratricide. As early as the second generation it became apparent that conscience alone, as a moral authority, was not suitable for enabling man to return to God. Because as a result it became clear that the autonomous person knows what is good and what is bad, but has a clear tendency to do what is bad. Only through faith can this be broken, which is indicated in the Enoch story. Enoch walked with God (that is, sought to do good by faith) and God took him (Gen 5: 21–24). But the line of Seth, Abel's successor, was subsequently too weak because it was mixed with the line of Cain and the malice developed at a dramatic speed until, in the end, faith and a life according to conscience were only found in Noah. Everyone else had killed their conscience and turned violent. This fact is indicated in Gen 6: 1–3, along with God's judgment to destroy all humanity by a flood and to start over with Noah under different conditions.

After the flood, therefore, the Noah covenant (Gen 9) came about, which established these conditions. Man should not live that long and his autonomy, which had not proven itself, should be curtailed. This should happen because humanity should no longer be a single people, but peoples should form with social structures and written and unwritten laws. In this way, man should be responsible to man: from the patriarchal family association to the rule of princes that began later when a people had grown up (Gen 10: 8-10). In the Babylonian confusion of languages ​​(Gen 11: 1–9) this condition is sealed and the endeavors of the people to form only one people again under a single metropolis, namely Babylon with its towering tower, are stopped. In doing so, God prevented the establishment of world domination while this tower was being built. The peoples should stand in moral competition with one another and prevent with their laws that the antediluvian condition could ever develop again.

Coat of arms in the cloister of Wettingen Monastery: Noah's Ark in the Flood

The post-Flood covenant with Noah therefore represents the necessary framework for the subsequent dispensation. These dispensation are based on the election of Abraham, the law of Moses, the appearance of the Messiah Jesus Christ, the mission of the peoples and the Parousia, the second coming of Jesus and the associated apocalyptic phenomena. The goal of the evolving dispensation is the restoration of Paradise under the rule of Christ in the next millennium, which will be replaced by the new Jerusalem, the ultimate Paradise.

In Judaism

The Judaism has on the question of why an omniscient and benevolent God could let it come the flood, including the Rashi given -Comment the answer is that the severe punishment of God was necessary because of the scale of human crimes and the wickedness of the antediluvian gender . Accordingly, there was massive violence between people, especially against women, so that the right of the strong prevailed. Among other things, a passage from Genesis 6: 2 serves as evidence, in which it says: “They took themselves to women whom they only wanted”.

The judgment of God was therefore: “All the endeavors of their hearts were only evil all the time” (6.5) and “The earth was full of violence” (6.11), which in this particular case denoted particularly shameful violence such as robbery . Judaism therefore understands the reaction of God as the answer to the so-called atrocities: “The end of all flesh is decided with me” (6:13). Violent crime, robbery and rape are, if one follows the Flood story, the greatest sin in theological terms .

This view is expressed in the words of Rabbi Jochanan:

Come and see how terrible is the power of violence! For you see, the generation of the Flood committed every sin imaginable, but their fate was only sealed when they stretched out their hands to prey, as it is said, “For the earth is full by violence through them, and I will destroy it with the earth . "

The Midrash regards it as the corrupting nature of "violence capable of demoralizing the good in man and standing as an insurmountable barrier between man and his Creator". The question why God desires the death of sinners and not their repentance is justified by humanity that has been irreparably corrupted by violence. A new beginning was therefore only possible with a new human race that had emerged from a righteous person.

In Christianity

In the New Testament , the Flood in Luke's Gospel (17:27) and in the corresponding parallel passage in the Gospel according to Matthew (24:38) serves as a parable for the coming of the Son of Man , which is prophesied as sudden and unexpected:

And as it was in the days of Noah, so it will be in the days of the Son of Man: They ate, they drank, they set free, they were set free until the day that Noah went into the ark and the flood came and brought them all around.

Martin Luther , who consciously adhered to the belief in the historicity of this tale of the flood, sees in his various interpretations of the book of Genesis the flood with Genesis 6 as God's just punishment for the apostasy of all people from God who are among the members of the "true church " (ie the descendants of the patriarch Seth as opposed to those of Cain) expressed primarily through “mixed marriages” with the unbelieving descendants of Cain (6.2; cf. Gen 24.3; Deut 7.3–4).

The modern question of theodicy therefore does not arise for him because he sees in Genesis 6 decisive evidence for the doctrine of original sin (esp. VV. 3 and 5); so he does not count on a natural goodness of the human being, against which suffering (and punishment) would have to be specifically justified (see Gen 3:17–19; 4,10ff.). In general, in his interpretation of Gen 6: 5–7, he rejects it as theologically dangerous to speculate about God's nature and his properties - about his goodness and omnipotence - apart from his word. Such action by human reason, according to Luther, does not lead to the true God, but bypasses him.

Although he knows the (Jewish) interpretation of Gen 6: 2 on demonic or angelic beings, he rejects it: for him the "sons of God" are those who promise by believing in the so-called Proto-Gospel (Gen 3:15) Savior members of the “true church” are or at least should be (cf. Gal 3:26). In the end, however, it was only Noah who held fast to the faith (cf. Heb 11: 7) and therefore also led an exemplary moral life that set him apart from his contemporaries. Luther is serious about his fundamental insight that only saving faith is active through love (Gal 5: 6). Where the former is lost, the love of God and one's neighbor (according to the two tables of the Ten Commandments ) strikes back in self-love (Rom. 1). The tide is so Luther not simply a call for moral and mitmenschlichem action, but above all a call to faith in Christ in light of the imminent return of the Son of Man to the world court (see Mt 24.37 to 39), but also to 'Wedding' ( see Mt 25, 1–13).

Luther sees precisely in Noah, the “preacher of righteousness (of faith)” (2 Pet 2,5), the prototype of all true prophets and preachers, who are commissioned by the true God, their contemporaries to the word of the Lord and thus alone to call back saving faith in Christ, but until the end of the world so that because of the depravity of the people they will not gain great popularity, but will be mocked as unconvincing prophets of doom (see again Mt 24, 37-39 and 2 Pet 3: 3ff).

Evangelical groups see the story as a description of a historically contingent event. The followers of a young earth among them also believe that everywhere encountered sedimentary rocks are caused by the flood. Since the sin of man is in turn the cause of the Flood, the formation of these stratified rocks and the fossils found in them must be set after the creation of man.

Dating the Biblical Flood

Christian historians dated the Flood very differently on the basis of the Old Testament information, mostly between 2578 BC. BC and 2282 BC But there are also older dates, such as the year 2242  Annus Mundi (3268 BC), as in the pseudo- Manethonic tradition " Book of Sothis ". In the 17th century, the Irish theologian James Ussher calculated in his Annales veteris testamenti, a prima mundi origine deducti (Annals of the Old Testament, derived from the earliest beginnings of the world) the point in time when the Flood is said to have taken place. It came to the year 2501 BC. Chr.

Correlation with suspected flood disasters

In the creation of myths and legends, the typical phenomenon of excessive drama appears in the infinite. Historical experiences of some of those involved often take the path as a fantastic vision ; in the flood tale in this case as a collection of myths about the demise of almost all people and animals . Scientific theories were developed and checked with regard to possible connections; none could be proven as a source of myths, many are in this respect disproved.

Local flooding

The in Science earlier preferred theory that all Mesopotamian flood myths to the traumatic experience of local Schwemmfluten of the Euphrates and Tigris in Mesopotamia go back proved, based on archaeological studies, now considered less likely. The periodically occurring flood of the Nile makes the ancient Egyptian notions of a flood understandable.

Continental mega-floods

In various regions of Central Asia and Northern Europe, between 13,000 and 9,000 BC occurred. BC (at the end of the Pleistocene and beginning of the Holocene ) continental mega-floods caused by the breaking of ice reservoirs , probably repeated.

Volcanic eruption on Santorini

In another attempt to explain the flood, it was attributed to the Minoan eruption on the island of Santorini and the subsequent tsunami . In addition, reference was made to similar legends of the Greeks and Cretans, which are said to have survived later in oral tradition among the inhabitants of the Levant . However, archaeological research has not been able to confirm these theories as the Santorini eruption between 1625 and 1530 BC. And the text finds of the Babylonian Flood epic to at least the 18th century BC. To date.

Impact theories

In 1932, the Wabar meteorite was discovered in the desert of Saudi Arabia . In first estimates, the impact was around 4000 BC. And cited as a possible reason for a tidal wave. Other fragments of the meteorite have been estimated to be around 3500 years old. This led to the assumption that around 1500 BC Another impact in Saudi Arabia occurred. The force of the impact was compared to the force of the Hiroshima atomic bomb . Current studies have shown an actual age of 300 to 500 years. The theory that the meteorite Wabar was a possible trigger of the Sumerian flood disaster is ruled out.

In 2006, the Jabal Waqf es Swwan crater in Jordan was initially estimated to be less than 10,000 years old due to the relatively low level of erosion by the explorers Elias Salameh, Hani Khoury and Werner Schneider . This led to a connection to the Flood story and, in particular, the Gilgamesh epic being made in mass media . According to more recent investigations, it is indeed an impact crater, but from the Eocene , i.e. from a period between 56 and 37 million years ago.

Otto H. Muck developed a scenario according to which the large island of Atlantis sank due to the impact of an asteroid from the Adonis group in the western Atlantic . The resulting enormous tidal waves drowned people and animals in a great deluge in the east and west, which appears in the legends and myths of the peoples east and west of the Atlantic . During the impact , enormous amounts of ash and water were torn into the air, which then also poured onto the land. Muck describes the following scenario with numerous clues and quotations from the legends of the Flood of ancient peoples. He dates the trigger of the Flood to the zero year of the Mayan calendar: the year 8498 BC. According to current research, the Mayan calendar begins on August 11, 3114 BC. Chr.

In 1993 Alexander Tollmann published the book "And the Flood did exist". In it he develops the theory that a comet that had disintegrated into seven parts hit the earth in all oceans at different times. His investigations are based on the evaluation of geological data and on myths and legends. Analogous to the research results on the end of the Cretaceous impact , he developed a sequence of events (impact - impact quake - world fire - tsunami tidal waves - impact night - impact winter), which correlated with countless traditions. He categorically rejects the survival of only two people. He dates this impact, known as the Tollmann event, to the year 9545 ± a few years. This scientific work is criticized on the one hand because of the "exceeding (s) the limits of scientific knowledge" and the proximity to esotericism, on the other hand because of the inconsistent working method and selective evaluation of the source material.

Sea and earthquakes

On July 21st, 365 AD, a severe earthquake struck the entire eastern Mediterranean. The subsequent tsunamis ran over the flat coastal areas and destroyed settlements. According to tradition, Alexandria recorded around 50,000 victims. The cause of the severe earthquakes in this region is the northward thrust of the African plate , which is pushed here under the Eurasian plate . The compressed subsurface is therefore constantly under tension and is criss-crossed by fault zones and fault lines. Especially in the east of the sea basin, the smaller Anatolian plate is the focus of these movements. There are repeated severe tremors along the North Anatolian Fault .

In retrospect, tsunamis triggered by sea or earthquakes are not uncommon in this region and occur at cyclical intervals. Another assumption of the tsunami theories names a landslide on Mount Etna that occurred around 8000 years ago as the trigger for a tsunami (see Etna tsunami ), which in later traditions was declared a flood. Due to the frequency of these events, however, all assumptions are previously unprovable speculations.

Water ingress into the Black Sea

After many years of research, in 1997 the American marine geologists Walter Pitman and William Ryan published the theory that the Flood was due to a water ingress into the Black Sea . In their opinion, this took place when, after the end of the last ice age, all sea levels rose worldwide due to the melting of the glaciers and thus also that of the Mediterranean rose and around the 7th millennium BC. Reached the level of the Bosporus . Within a short period of time, the water level in the depression increased by more than 100 m, and populated areas were also flooded.

Mark Siddall developed a virtual physical model of the rifts on the Bosporus and the Black Sea. On this basis, he was able to simulate all flood scenarios:

“When the Black Sea Dam broke, the water flowed through the Bosphorus, reached the Black Sea Basin in a gigantic crash, and downstream of this crash zone there must have been an impressive jet stream, a fast jet of water that ran along the coastline and there must have plowed a deep trench in the ground. "

- Mark Siddall

William Ryan checked the bottom of the Black Sea with echo sounders . The evaluations showed that the trench is exactly where Siddall had predicted it.

Finds of freshwater mussels made by Petko Dimitrov ( Bulgaria ) in various places from sedimentary deposits at depths of up to 120 m and deposits of a saltwater sea above with a very thin boundary layer, which were dated using the radiocarbon method, support this theory, because they prove that Until the end of the last ice age, the Black Sea was a large freshwater lake, which, in the opinion of Yossi Mart (University of Haifa , Israel ), suddenly became a saltwater sea , whereby the researchers believe that the old coastline could also be clearly reconstructed. Settlement finds in today's coastal area of ​​the Black Sea ( Romania ) suggest, according to the proponents of this hypothesis, that the inhabitants of that time were descendants of the people who had to flee the lower-lying areas, which are also very likely populated, due to the saltwater flooding.

These findings contradict older theories, such as B. by Teofilo Abrajano from the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute , who, in his studies from 2002, took the view that freshwater from the Black Sea first flowed into the Marmara Sea and then into the Mediterranean Sea, i.e. that there was no sudden salt water ingress into the Black Sea have.

However, other research results question the thesis of Pitman and Ryan and show, based on various findings, that a catastrophic flooding of the Black Sea from the Mediterranean via the Marmara Sea is unlikely, at least within the last 30,000 years. In addition, even those researchers who consider a sudden saltwater ingress into the Black Sea a few millennia ago to be possible, doubt that this event could have formed the historical basis for the Flood stories, which were first written down much later and at a considerable distance.


To reports of the flood that were distributed worldwide

On the relationships between oriental, biblical and ancient deluge traditions

  • Gian A. Caduff: Ancient deluge legends . Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, Göttingen 1986, ISBN 3-525-25180-7 .
  • Florentino García Martínez u. a. (Ed.): Interpretations of the flood (= Themes in biblical narrative. Vol. 1). Brill, Leiden 1999, ISBN 90-04-11253-7 .
  • Alfred M. Rehwinkel: The Flood in the Light of the Bible, Geology and Archeology. Concordia, Saint Louis MO 1957.
  • Byron Christopher Nelson: The Deluge Story in Stone. 7. print, Bethany Fellowship, Minneapolis Minn. 1968.
  • Reginald Daly: Earth's Most Challenging Mysteries. Craig Press, Nutley NJ 1981.

On the Black Sea Flood Theory

  • Harald Haarmann : History of the Flood. On the trail of the early civilizations . Beck, Munich 2005, ISBN 3-406-49465-X .
  • William Ryan, Walter C. Pitman: Deluge. A riddle is being deciphered . Bastei-Lübbe, Bergisch Gladbach 2001, ISBN 3-404-60492-X .
  • Valentina Yanko-Hombach: The Black Sea flood question: Changes in coastline, climate and human settlement . Springer, Dordrecht 2007, ISBN 1-4020-4774-6 .
  • Petko Dimitrov, Dimitar Dimitrov: The Black Sea, the flood, and the ancient myths. Slavena, Varna (Bulgaria) 2004, ISBN 954-579-335-X ( online ).
  • Dimitar Dimitrov: Geology and Non-traditional resources of the Black Sea. Lambert academic publishing (LAP), Saarbrücken 2010, ISBN 978-3-8383-8639-3 .

Web links

Wiktionary: Deluge  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations
Commons : Deluge  - Collection of images, videos and audio files

References and comments

  1. Heinrich Lüken: The traditions of the human race or the original revelation among the heathen . Aschendorff, Münster 1869, p. III (foreword).
  2. ↑ The Flood. In: Wolfgang Pfeifer et al .: Etymological Dictionary of German , 1993
  3. Irving L. Finkel: The Ark Before Noah: Decoding the Story of the Flood. Hodder & Stoughton, London 2014, ISBN 978-1-4447-5705-7 .
  4. Jörg Jeremias: Theology of the Old Testament . In: Outlines of the Old Testament. Volume 6 . Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, Göttingen 2017, ISBN 978-3-525-51697-3 , pp. 20 .
  5. James Legge : Shoo King, the Canon of Yaou. 1879; Chrétien-Louis-Joseph de Guignes: Le Chou-king. 1770; J. Moryniac: Histoire générale de la Chine. 1877.
  6. Hartley Burr Alexander: North American Mythology. 1916 and Latin American Mytholog. 1920.
  7. Richard Andree: The Flood Tales. From an ethnographic point of view . Braunschweig 1891, pp. 47-54, 55-67.
  8. Uno Harva : The religious ideas of the Altaic peoples . FF Communications N: o 125. Suomalainen Tiedeakatemia, Helsinki 1938, pp. 131-139.
  9. ^ Friedrich Weinreb: Creation in the Word. The structure of the Bible in Jewish tradition. 3rd edition, Verlag der Friedrich-Weinreb-Stiftung, Zurich 2012, ISBN 978-3-905783-35-3 , pp. 444–473 (The word carries life through time), here p. 448.
  10. Gershom Scholem: Colors and their symbolism in Jewish tradition and mysticism. In: Eranos-Jahrbuch 1972 , Leiden 1974, pp. 1-49, here pp. 40f.
  11. Gershom Scholem: Colors and their symbolism in Jewish tradition and mysticism. In: Eranos-Jahrbuch 1972 , Leiden 1974, pp. 1–49, here p. 40.
  12. Cardinal Carlo M. Martini: The pilgrim knows where he is going. On the way with Joseph from Egypt and Ignatius from Loyola. Freiburg 1993, p. 94.
  13. See Willem Barnard: Bezig met Genesis. Voorburg / Netherlands 1987, p. 47ff.
  14. Hans-Peter Müller: The motive for the flood. The hermeneutic function of the myth and its analysis. In: Journal of Old Testament Science. Volume 97, 1985, pp. 295-316.
  15. ^ Jean Daniélou: Liturgy and Bible. The symbolism of the sacraments among the Church Fathers. Munich 1963, pp. 80-86 (Sintflut). This also applies to medieval literature, cf. Meinolf Schumacher : Sin filth and purity of heart. Studies of the imagery of sin in Latin and German literature of the Middle Ages. Munich 1996, pp. 488-492 ( digitized version ).
  16. ^ Jean Daniélou: Liturgy and Bible. The symbolism of the sacraments among the Church Fathers. Munich 1963, pp. 265-289.
  17. ^ Friedrich Weinreb: Creation in the Word. The structure of the Bible in Jewish tradition. Zurich 2012, pp. 230–247.
  18. Most recently in his great old work, the Genesis lectures from 1535 to 1545, WA 42, p. 264ff.
  19. With evolution against "Bible fundamentalism" . Statement of the study group Wort und Wissen on: Hansjörg Hemminger : With the Bible against evolution. Creationism and 'intelligent design' - viewed critically (= EZW-Texte. Vol. 195). Evangelical Central Office for Weltanschauung questions, Berlin 2007, discussion contribution 2/08.
  20. Gerald P. Verbrugghe, John M. Wickersham: Berossos and Manetho, introduced and translated. Native traditions in ancient Mesopotamia and Egypt . University of Michigan Press, Ann Arbor (Michigan) 2000, ISBN 0-472-08687-1 , p. 125.
  21. Biblical narrative and Epic of Gilgamesh correspond in the rescue of animals on land (animals of the steppe). Fish are not mentioned; only dove and raven are mentioned as bird species.
  22. Terra X - Wild Planet: The Flood. The Gilgamesh Epic - Myth or Truth? ( Memento from September 21, 2017 in the Internet Archive ) Film by Martin Papirowski and Heike Nelsen-Minkenberg on from April 22, 2007; last accessed on August 18, 2015.
  23. cf. Harald Haarmann in History of the Flood. Munich 2005, p. 22ff.
  24. VR Baker : Global Late Quaternary Fluvial Paleohydrology: With Special Emphasis on Paleofloods and Megafloods. ( PDF; 1.2 MB ) In: John F. Shroder (ed.): Treatise on Geomorphology. Volume 9: Fluvial geomorphology. Elsevier, Amsterdam 2013, pp. 511-527.
  25. Keenan Lee: The Altai Flood. On: of October 4, 2004 ( PDF file ( Memento of August 11, 2011 in the Internet Archive )).
  26. Alexei N. Rudoy : Glacier-dammed lakes and geological work of glacial superfloods in the Late Pleistocene, Southern Siberia, Altai Mountains. In: Quaternary International. Vol. 87, No. 1, January 2002, pp. 119-140, doi : 10.1016 / S1040-6182 (01) 00066-0 .
  27. Alexei N Rudoy, ​​VR Baker: Sedimentary effects of cataclysmic late Pleistocene glacial outburst flooding, Altay Mountains, Siberia. In: Sedimentary Geology. Vol. 85, No. 1-4, May 1993, pp. 53-62, doi : 10.1016 / 0037-0738 (93) 90075-G ( full text online ).
  28. Victor R. Baker, Gerardo Benito, Alexey N. Rudoy: Paleohydrology of late Pleistocene superflooding, Altai Mountains, Siberia. In: Science. January 15, 1993, Vol. 259, pp. 348-352 ( PDF file ).
  29. ^ Stefan M. Mau: The Gilgamesh epic. Beck, Munich 2005, ISBN 3-406-52870-8 , p. 14.
  30.   Images of the Wabar meteorite
  31. Researchers in the footsteps of the Apocalypse , Der Spiegel, August 12, 2006.
  32. Site surveys  ( page no longer available , search in web archivesInfo: The link was automatically marked as defective. Please check the link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. , Museum for Natural History of the Humboldt University Berlin in May 2008.@1@ 2Template: Toter Link /  
  33. ^ Earth Impact Database
  34. ^ Otto Muck, Theodor Müller-Alfeld; F. Wackers (Ed.): Everything about Atlantis. Old theses, new research. Econ, Munich 1976, ISBN 3-430-16837-6 , 382 pp.
  35. Alexander and Edith Tollmann: And the flood did happen. Knaur 1993. ISBN 3-426-77139-X .
  36. ^ Richard Lein: Austrian Geological Society obituary for Alexander Tollmann ( memento from July 6, 2011 in the Internet Archive ). Retrieved June 29, 2015.
  37. Thomas Fritsche: Book review "A. Tollmann, And the flood did exist". Retrieved November 21, 2014.
  38. Ute Kehse: Deluge from a tsunami? ( Memento from October 2, 2008 in the Internet Archive ) On: from November 29, 2006, accessed on May 19, 2014.
  39. ^ Maria Teresa Pareschi, Enzo Boschi, Massimiliano Favall: Lost tsunami. In: Geophysical Research Letters. Vol. 33, No. 22, November 2006, doi : 10.1029 / 2006GL027790 ( PDF file ).
  40. Report ( Memento of the original from March 18, 2009 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. on ZDF. @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  42. a b c report ( memento of the original from July 20, 2011 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. on ZDF. @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  43. Report ( Memento of the original from March 18, 2009 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. on ZDF. @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  44. Report ( Memento of the original from January 26, 2012 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. on ZDF. @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  45. Joachim Schüring: Deluge was not [1] in spectrum of science June 15, 2002.
  46. Ute Kehse: "Researcher: The Flood did not take place on the Black Sea" [2] . On: - Earth and Space - Geosciences from April 26, 2002, accessed on May 19, 2014.
  47. ^ Ali E. Aksu, Richard N. Hiscott, Peta J. Mudie, André Rochon et al .: Persistent Holocene Outflow from the Black Sea to the Eastern Mediterranean Contradicts Noah's Flood Hypothesis. In: GSA Today. Vol. 12, No. 5, pp. 4-10, ISSN  1052-5173 ( PDF file ).