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Great Discoveries of the Bible

— A Landmarks of Faith Seminar —

Great Discoveries Seminar

Before the Flood, Noah, and Babel
Booklet  See notes below.

Portions of this lecture are also available as videos with powerpoint:
Lecture 1c Video: Noah to Babel, Gen. 8:20-9:29, 11:1-9 (Hosted by YouTube: English and Chinese)
Lecture 1d-2a Video: The Descendants of Noah, Gen. 10 (Hosted by YouTube: English and Chinese)

Lecture #1b:

Or click here for more listening options at Internet Archive.

Great Discoveries of the Bible Lecture #2a ⇨
⇦ Great Discoveries of the Bible Lecture #1a


Lecture #1b Notes

Mosses that today grow to 1 inch in height grew to 2 or 3 feet in height. Horsetail reeds that today grow to 5 or 6 feet in height were up to 50 feet tall!

Giant mammals included the giant ground sloth, the giant rhino, and others.


Saxon and Welsh chroniclers, using ancient pagan genealogies, figured the date of the Creation at 5193 BC.

The ancient Irish, who preserved similar ancient genealogies, put the date of the Creation at about 4000 BC.

The ancient Maya in South America put the beginning of this current age in a world-destroying catastrophe of water at 3113 BC, which is remarkably close to the Biblical date of the Flood.


The Babylonian Gilgamesh Epic: Includes a Babylonian version of the Flood story.

Utnapishtim: The Babylonian name for Noah.

About 200 stories of a world-wide Flood have been recorded from around the world! They come from Europe (9), the Middle East (8), Africa (15), Asia (37), North (78) and South America (22), even from Australia and the islands of the Pacific Ocean (27).

Seven common elements in world-wide Flood stories: 1) This was a Flood that flooded the entire earth. 2) The Flood took place because of the disobedience of mankind, except 3) for one tiny group of people, usually a single family, that did not disobey. 4) One man of this family was warned in advance of the coming Flood. 5) This small group were the only ones to survive the Flood. 6) They survived by floating in the water, often on a single boat (though sometimes by going to the top of a very high mountain). 7) From this tiny group, the entire earth was repopulated.

Other preserved elements include: 1) That the Flood was caused by waters coming from under the earth (the fountains of the great deep in Gen. 7:11), 2) that exactly 8 people survived, 3) that the survivors save animals along with themselves, 4) that these animals are brought in pairs, 5) that the boat comes to rest on a high mountain, 6) after which a test is done to see if the waters have dried up, often using birds, 7) that a rainbow is associated with the story.


Notes for Video 1c:

Claims that the ark could still be seen were made not only by Josephus the Jewish historian, but by Berosus the Chaldean, and Nicolaus of Damascus, plus dozens of ancient Christian and Muslim writers.

Map of Mesopotamia

Gen. 8:4: The ark rested on the mountains of Ararat

Urartu: The ancient region of Ararat, north of ancient Assyria.

Agri Dagh: Mountain at the eastern edge of Turkey, popularly known today as Mt. Ararat.

The Ararat Anomaly: An ark-shaped object spotted on top of Mt. Ararat.

Cudi Dagh: Mountain in southeastern Turkey associated with the Ark before the 12th cent. AD. Ancient Christians built a monastery on the summit called the “Monastery of the Ark.”


The Covenant with Noah was intended to prevent the situation that brought the Flood from ever happening again.

Gen. 6:11,13: Now the land was corrupt in the sight of God, and the land was filled with violence.... Then God said to Noah, The end of all flesh has come before me, for the land is filled with violence because of them, and look, I will destroy them with the land.


1) Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth (Gen. 9:1,7; compare Gen. 1:28).

2) The eating of animals is permitted, with the exception of blood, which is forbidden (Gen. 9:3-4; compare Gen. 1:29).

3) The penalty for murder of a human being by either man or beast is death, a penalty to be executed by human beings (Gen. 9:5-6).

Gen. 9:4: Yet flesh with its life, its blood, you will not eat

Acts 15:20: ...that they avoid the defilements of idols and fornication and what is strangled and blood


Gen. 11:2: And it happened in their journeying in ancient times that they found a valley in the land of Shinar (Sumer), and they lived there

Gen. 11:1: And all the earth was of one language and the same words

At Shinar or Sumer is the first evidence of writing and literature, of law, of city-states, of the potter’s wheel, the sailboat, the plow, metalworking with bronze, of advanced musical and architectural forms, of weaving, leatherwork, and masonry.


Gen. 11:4: Come, let us build for ourselves a city and a tower and its top will be in the heavens...

Ziggurat: Name of the temple towers or stepped pyramids of Mesopotamia, of which the Tower of Babel was the earliest example. Babel (Bab-illu): Bab = gate, illu = of the gods.

A Ziggurat

Gen. 6:2: The sons of God saw that the daughters of men were beautiful; and they took wives for themselves

Nimrod: Biblical figure associated in popular imagination with the Tower of Babel (Gen. 10:8-9). Credited with the origins of warfare, idolatry, magic, astrology, and human sacrifice.

Both modern and ancient history trace astrology and certain kinds of magical divination back to ancient Babylon, as well as the development of idolatry into a politically powerful institution. It has also been connected with the origins of human sacrifice and ritual prostitution.

The evolutionary view of the origin of human language claims that languages started out very simple, as a series of grunts, and got increasingly more complex over time, as human society grew more and more complex.

The truth about language is that the oldest known languages are the most complex—even the languages of supposedly primitive tribal peoples, while modern languages spoken in advanced societies have been considerably simplified over the years.


Early Bronze Age: Marked by the appearance of elaborate defensive fortifications around cities. This is what archeologists and historians have long called the origin of civilization: walled cities to protect you from the murderous attacks of other civilized people.

The oldest pyramids in Egypt are step-pyramids (at Saqqara and Maydum.)

Pyramids can be found in Eurasia in Sudan, Ethiopia, Turkey, Greece, Cyprus, Spain, Ireland, England, Germany, Norway, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Cambodia, Burma, Russia, China, Korea, Japan, Indonesia, New Guinea, Australia, Tahiti, Western Samoa, and Micronesia. They can be found in the Americas in Mexico, Belize, Guatemala, Honduras, and Peru, and in the United States in Wisconsin, Illinois, Alabama, Louisiana, Minnesota, Arkansas, Mississippi, Missouri, Indiana, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Kentucky, West Virginia, Ohio, Georgia, Florida; as well as in Texas, Arizona, Oregon, Utah, California, North Dakota, South Dakota, New Mexico, Iowa, Michigan, New York, Virginia, and Oklahoma.

The earliest pyramids outside of Sumer all appear at about the same time: 2700 BC, the same date given by Genesis (in the Septuagint) for the Tower of Babel. The early step-pyramids of Egypt date to 2600 BC. The earliest pyramids in Greece are dated 2700-2100 BC. The oldest pyramids found in Uzbekistan are dated to 2700 BC. The earliest pyramids in China’s Shensi province are dated to 2500 BC, and in Inner Mongolia to the same general time frame (c. 3,000 BC). Even the earliest step pyramid in England is 2660 BC, and the earliest in the New World, in Peru, is dated to 2627 BC. This is an amazingly consistent date for the appearance of pyramids around the world!

Notes for Video 1d:

Sumerian and Babylonian ideas that still affect us today: the 12 zodiac signs, the 360° circle, the 60 minute hour, and the 24 hour day.

Astrology today is based not on where the stars actually appear in the sky today, but on how they appeared more than 4,000 years ago.

Other common elements of Babylonian world religion include: a fascination with the stars and planets, astrology, human sacrifice, and idolatry.

Gen. 8:21: For the intent of man’s heart is evil from his youth

Copyright © 2014-15, 2019-2020 by Jeffrey J. Harrison.
Many of the Scripture verses quoted have been translated or modified by the author to bring out details of the original Greek or Hebrew text. Otherwise: Scripture taken from the NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, © Copyright the Lockman Foundation 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995. Used by permission.
Unattributed photos are by the author. All rights reserved.