“How should modern readers interpret the creation-flood story in Gn 2: 11? The stories are neither history nor myth. “Myth” is an unsuitable term, for it has several different meanings and connotes untruth in popular English. “History” is equally misleading, for it suggests that the events actually took place. The best term is creation-flood story.”
USCCB website, Introduction to the book of Genesis
38 For as in those days before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, 39 and they did not [a]understand until the flood came and took them all away; so will the coming of the Son of Man be.
26 And just as it happened in the days of Noah, so it will be also in the days of the Son of Man: 27 they were eating, they were drinking, they were marrying, they were being given in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, and the flood came and destroyed them all.
7 By faith Noah, being warned by God about things not yet seen, [a]in reverence prepared an ark for the salvation of his household, by which he condemned the world, and became an heir of the righteousness which is according to faith.
20 who once were disobedient, when the patience of God kept waiting in the days of Noah, during the construction of the ark, in which a few, that is, eight persons, were brought safely through the [a]water.
1 Peter 3:20
5 and did not spare the ancient world, but preserved Noah, a [a]preacher of righteousness, with seven others, when He brought a flood upon the world of the ungodly;
2 Peter 2:5
There will be a new version of the Bible to be released with the imprimatur of the USCCB. The above quote taken from the USCCB website on the creation and flood story, and as can be seen, the USCCB takes the position that the story of the flood is considered allegorical and not literal. The USCCB wants to claim that the author of Genesis “borrowed” the flood story from an earlier tale spun from accounts and myths from the Mesopotamia era. In fact, the USCCB goes on to make this following statement concerning many of the stories in Genesis:
“There is unfortunately no direct extra-biblical evidence confirming (or disproving) the stories.”
Unfortunately and sadly, the USCCB is wrong on this note, and it will be covered in a later post the significant amount of evidence by geologists and archaeologists of a flood that covered the whole world. It is also rather sad that the USCCB calls into question the accounts in the Bible and it does nothing other than creating doubts in the believer. For if the stories in Genesis are false, or allegorical, then what about the rest of the Bible? How does one determine which is true and which is myth, or allegory?
What is truly at issue here is the soul of our Church. We have a band of Bishops that are making a claim these events never happened, and none of these men were alive at the time of these events. They are juxtaposed by the King of Kings, and Lord of Lords, who was not only present at the time of the flood, He acknowledged the flood taking place, and clarified that it was Noah and his family that was in the ark. Now, if the USCCB wants to make the claim that the Cannon of Scripture is inaccurate, or that Jesus really didn’t mean what he said concerning Noah, then they are bordering on heresy. To try to sell to the laity their ideas that most of genesis did not happen, they then call into question how much of the Bible didn’t happen, and thus, how can it be an inspired book, and who and what determines which story is literal and which is allegorical.
I am glad the USCCB does not speak with magisterial authority. Since they do not, we are not obligated to follow questionable teachings such as this. Their statements fall in line with others the USCCB has either put out, such as their voting guide faithful citizenship, and their silence concerning many of the state votes on homosexual marriage. The USCCB has been very consistent in their watering down of the faith, and hanging much of the laity and some faithful priests out to dry, theologically speaking. It leaves one to wonder if the USCCB is in a crisis of faith, or if they simply don’t believe what the Church they are supposedly representing actually teaches. Either way, their statements concerning Genesis is nothing short of scandalous, and will do nothing other than to sow more doubt about the faith of the True Church of Jesus Christ.
The most interesting part of the USCCB is they will attempt to sell this to the American Church with magisterial authority, and will have no tolerance for anyone disagreeing with their position. This very weak and cowardly band that has let down those fighting against legalized child killing and homosexual marriages really has lost their moral authority to teach in a fashion that will inspire laity or faithful priests. It is actually creating division and discord by calling into question very basic and clear tenets of the faith, and buying into social relativism that appeases those in the same camp as Nancy Pelosi, the late Teddy Kennedy, John Kerry, Sotomayor and all of the other so called Catholics who make and follow their own rules concerning these social issues, and receiving communion when they should be denied it.
This is going to accomplish nothing more than creating confusion in the ranks, and pushing many into complacency. The USCCB would have been better off making no comments on this than what they did. If it is true that most of the Bishops on the USCCB backs this interpretation, then maybe they ought to go on a long retreat that focuses on prayer and reflection concerning their vocation, and sit in on some basic scripture and patristic theology classes. Or maybe just outright resign and hand out smiley stickers at Wal-Mart where they can’t do any damage.
Cross references: Luke 17:26 : Luke 17:26-27: Matt 24:37-39Luke 17:26 : Gen 6:5-8; 7
Cross references: Matthew 24:38 : Matt 22:30Matthew 24:38 : Gen 7:7