Bernard E. Northrup Th.D.

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For generations creationists have failed to provide a working explanation of the formation of the physical record of the rocks in the earth's crust from a Biblical perspective. Far too long we have been satisfied with generalizations that have attempted to explain the geological record. Yet we would recognize that they do not work if we were to examine them carefully. Inevitably, a bit like the uniformitarians, we assume too much. For the last 90 years the major Biblical, geological catastrophe, the Noahic flood, has been distorted completely out of proportion in the light of the Biblical and the geological evidence. Far too much in the geological record has been attributed to the Noahic flood without careful consideration of other events in the Bible that would have deposited geological deposits. The physical evidence demands a far more careful look. As a result, we fail to realize that there are two very Biblical, geological catastrophes that preceded the Noahic flood and two other very Biblical, geological catastrophes that came centuries after the Noahic flood. The purpose of this study is to explain that five Biblical events of a catastrophic nature actually deposited the geological record that is being misunderstood and distorted so that it appears to witness to a purely naturalistic, evolutionary explanation of the universe and the earth and of the lifeforms that teem our planet.


The first of these catastrophes leaves a unique set of geological deposits that are totally without any fossil content. It is the outpouring of the waters which provided earth's great ocean which is described as being present on the earth in Genesis 1:2-9, Psalm 104: 5-6 and Job 38:8-11. I conclude that the so-called Archaeozoic section of the Pre-Cambrian deposits is the debris left by these waters which burst forth out of the womb of the earth when the Lord enshrouded earth with a thick swaddling band of darkness (Job 38:8-9).


The second of these geological catastrophes very plainly entombs its own unique fossil record. This evidence testifies to a unique period of major diastrophism consisting of the abrupt uplift of a single continent out of that sea. It clearly entombs the record of vast marine and continental erosion which resulted from that abrupt uplift in the third solar day of creation. It also entombs evidence that in the months and years following that uplift in Genesis 1:9, there were random, rather immobile sea creatures and plant forms which came to be buried in the vast littoral, marine deposits which formed around that great, single uplifted continent. I have concluded that the Proterozoic section of the Pre-Cambrian deposits entomb these first lifeforms that were buried after creation and that these deposits are the vast runoff deposits of materials stripped from the continent which uplifted in the first part of the third solar day of Genesis one. It is not insignificant that a great interruption of deposition sequence lies between the Proterozoic deposits and the Paleozoic deposits. Here is recorded the geological quiet between that great uplift of the continent and the beginning of the Noahic flood.


The third great (and the most important) geological catastrophe which I recognize in Genesis is that great, universal cataclysm which we call "the Noahic flood." I find overwhelming evidence that the Paleozoic deposits of geology record its beginning in the ocean bottom in the Cambrian section of its deposits. The record of the rocks displays above the Cambrian deposits the overwhelming flooding of all of the land mass as the windows of heaven were opened (Gen. 7:11). It also provides a clear record of the initial stages of the retreat of the Noahic flood in great, continental wind deposits, great shoreline oscillations and finally, the slow re-exposure of the land mass (Gen. 8:1-3). I further recognize two Biblical catastrophes that follow the Noahic flood and that must be recognized by creationists on the basis of the agreement of the Biblical and geological evidence.


The first of these post-Noahic catastrophes is the division of the continents that began about the time of the birth of Peleg (Gen. 10:25). His is the fifth generation after the Noahic flood according to the Septuagint and Luke 3. This geological catastrophe actually had its beginning in the latter days of Paleozoic (Noahic flood) times and undoubtedly played a role in the retreat of the Noahic flood before that initial plate movement ceased for a time. The real division of the continents in mid-Mesozoic times leaves powerful evidences in its rifting and uplift of the earlier post-Noahic wind and tidal wave deposits. These wind and tidal wave deposits happen to provide the major characteristics of the Mesozoic deposits. The earlier half of this great deposit sequence is filled with wind dunes and with great tidal oscillations, both of which are referred to in Genesis 8:1-3 in the description of the initiation of the retreat of the flood. The Hebrew text of verse three describes the continual oscillation of the shorelines in a way that is far more dramatic than we can observe in our English translations.

The division of the continents is an event that, according evidence in the the Septuagint and in Luke 3, must be dated five generations after the Noahic flood. This was about three generations after the division of the languages at Babel (Gen. 10:25) even though that event is not described until Genesis 11:1-9. Here compare Genesis 10:5 and 20 and the early references to the division of the languages. This follows normal Hebrew arrangement where a bird's eye view of an event often is first given and then the detailed description is given later. According to the record of the rocks, the major division of the continents began near the middle of the Mesozoic "era's" deposits. That event left massive signs of rifting of the great single continent into its present plates. The movement and collision of those plates produced great diastrophism resulting in the uplift of many of the earth's great mountain ranges. This diastrophism was produced as the continents moved apart and finally settled in their present locations. These great mountain uplifts continued throughout most of Cenozoic times. Great changes were taking place on earth that were resulting from this movement. Among these were the vast climate changes that the Mesozoic/Cenozoic volcanism precipitated by obscuring the atmosphere. This is called "changing the albedo of the earth." This is the result of the modifying the reflectivity of the atmosphere by the enormous volcanic explosions of that time.


The final geological catastrophe, the Biblical "ice age," is the direct result of the intense heat produced by the friction of the movement of the plates. That in turn resulted in the long term obscuring of the atmosphere by the vast volcanic explosions and steam which resulted throughout the later Mesozoic and Cenozoic times. There is a remarkable amount of information concerning this climate change recorded in the book of Job. Many years ago I recognized that, behind the theological overtones of the book of Job there lay a remarkable description of the catastrophic events that were taking place in the land that became Israel during that so called "ice age." The book of Job remarkably is filled with references to rain, snow, the sea freezing over, ice, cold, great cloud cover, mountain uplift and disturbance, rifting and great erosion of canyons, people living in caves and even references to animals now extinct. I personally believe that we must recognize the five Biblical catastrophes in Genesis and Job-great, geological catastrophes, every one of them. We must recognize their role providing the witness of the record of the rocks. Without that, we will never understand the record of the rocks and its witness that fully agrees with and supports the Biblical record of earth's early events. "Speak to the earth, and it will teach you. Who does not know in all of these things that the hand of the Eternal Lord has done this?" (Job 12:8-9).

January 17, 1999

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