Different Versions of the Flood Story and the Theology Behind Them

Gustav Doré, 1866

Tonight is the final night of my church’s Vacation Bible School. We’ve been studying the story of Noah. We have some incredibly imaginative and creative members – I wish you should see the way they have transformed our auditorium and vestibule into an ark!

The Book of Genesis is not the only ancient account of a great flood. Other cultures, particularly in the region of Mesopotamia, also have flood stories. One of the most famous accounts of a flood is the Epic of Gilgamesh, which apparently preserves an even earlier flood story found in the Epic of Atrahasis. Continue reading

Is Anything Too Hard for the Lord?

The Bible reading schedule my wife and I are using  raised an interesting contrast between two passages from Monday’s reading (which was Gen. 16-18 and Mark 6).

Is anything too hard for the Lord? (Genesis 18:14).

And he could do no mighty work there, except that he laid his hands on a few sick people and healed them. And he marveled because of their unbelief (Mark 6:5-6).

In the first instance, the angelic visitors reassured Abraham (and an eavesdropping Sarah) that God indeed could give the elderly couple a child, even though he would be 100 years old (and she 90). But in the second instance, the text of Mark 6 says that Jesus could do very few miracles in Nazareth.

From one perspective, God’s power is not limited by man’s faith. God can do anything

Giovanni Andrea de Ferrari, Abraham and the Three Angels, 1660s, oil on canvas, Saint Louis Art Museum, St Louis, USA

He wants to do. And even though Abraham and Sarah literally fell down laughing when God told them He intended to keep His promise and give them a son of their very own, He kept His word. So God’s power is not inherently dependent on human faithfulness.

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Reading Genesis

Was one of your resolutions for the new year to read through the Bible? Me, too! It can be a daunting task for sure, but there are lots of great reading schedules available on the web. My personal favorite is one developed by my friend Mark Roberts – check it out here. It follows a five-day a week schedule, giving you a chance to catch up if you miss a day here or there. For some other plans head over to Bible Gateway for a wide variety of options. Continue reading