Noah's Flood is the historian's best friend— or, at least, it is one of the historian's best friends. The best friend of the historian (indisputably) is the birth of Jesus Christ. Why? Because it was a clear and distinct event which marked a dramatic change in human history. Such a date was convenient to make use of— and historians continue to make use of it today. Whenever someone dates an event using either B.C. or A.D. (or their modern, non-offensive, equivalents: B.C.E and C.E.), that person is recognizing the dramatic impact that the birth of Christ had on history.
Like the birth of Christ, the flood is among the historian's best friends because it was a distinct event which marked a change in history. Which brings up the next question: How might have believers dated events a couple hundred years after the flood? Did Noah speak of Enoch being taken up as having occurred in 669 BF (before Flood)? While such questions may seem speculative, they do have some purpose.
Since the student of Scripture must also be a student of history, it is important to think about how history is organized. What is the best way to organize history? Which events should be used to mark major changes in history? Which events should not be used?
Without a doubt, Noah's flood is one of those events that should be used. After all, the flood changed many things. Just to name a few, the flood marked...
- The destruction of all people (millions, perhaps billions) on the face of the earth, except Noah's household (for more info see Genesis 6:17).
- The decline in the length of human life (from close to 1000 to close to 100, for more info see Genesis 5:27).
- A major change in the earth's geography (for more info see this article and Genesis 7:11).
- And much, much, more...
State of the World (2349 BC): The Flood - Genesis 7:11
A New Year, A New Era, A New World - Genesis 8:13
The Cave Men of Genesis - Genesis 4
Noah's Name: Its Meaning and Significance - Genesis 5:29