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The nature of man and the flood

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#1 Ivan Miletic

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Posted 14 March 2011 - 04:05 AM

I was meditating a bit on the nature of man and I recalled the flood story. Any thoughts on the following?

To me the flood story seems to say that the ones that were destroyed were not really human (I know they were of course) in a way, or at least not completely, since they were not open to the Lord. In some sense they were missing this attribute, an affinity to God, due to sin. This seems to suggest that sin erases the image of God in people and makes them something other than completely human. The ark opened after the flood to populate the world again with a rebirth with those who did not sin.

27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.
28 And God blessed them, and God said to them, "Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth and subdue it; and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the air and over every living thing that moves upon the earth." (Gen 1:27-28 RSV)

7 So the LORD said, "I will blot out man whom I have created from the face of the ground, man and beast and creeping things and birds of the air, for I am sorry that I have made them." 8 But Noah found favor in the eyes of the LORD. 9 These are the generations of Noah. Noah was a righteous man, blameless in his generation; Noah walked with God. (Gen 6:7-9 RSV)

17 Bring forth with you every living thing that is with you of all flesh -- birds and animals and every creeping thing that creeps on the earth -- that they may breed abundantly on the earth, and be fruitful and multiply upon the earth." 18 So Noah went forth, and his sons and his wife and his sons' wives with him. 19 And every beast, every creeping thing, and every bird, everything that moves upon the earth, went forth by families out of the ark. (Gen 8:17-19 RSV)

#2 Antonios


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Posted 14 March 2011 - 07:20 AM

Noah's flood is often regarded as a prefigurement of baptism by many of the fathers.

#3 Dcn Alexander Haig

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Posted 14 March 2011 - 08:20 AM

The story of Noah needs to be read within the context of the whole Scripture and the life of the Church: as an isolated incident it is easily misinterpreted. First, consider that God created man to be like Him but man fell away from this calling, he tried to be like Him without Him (the serpent said you will be like God if we taste of the fruit, exactly what man was created for but not in the way that God had set out for him).

So, man was sent from Eden, commiting fratricide from the beginning: mankind was not 'one as we are One.' Finally, God found Noah and his family. The family unit, the basic unit of society, was all that God could find that would remain faithful. He created a covenant with them but immediately after coming out of the ark the family was broken and divided. Again, God did not forsake man, but found Abraham and made a covenant with him and his nation. Out of this nation, which continually wandered away from God, the most perfect human was made, the Theotokos: who, by the Holy Spirit, brought forth Chirst who made a new covenant with all humanity.

So, Noah was God's first step to bring back man to himself. We should understand then, that the flood was not sent for destruction but salvation. So, it was a type of Christ's salvific work, achieved perfectly on the Cross.

There are many on monachos.net who know more theology than I, if I have erred then please correct me.

Wishing you a joyful fast
With love in Christ


#4 Ivan Miletic

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Posted 18 March 2011 - 04:55 AM

I understand the baptism prefigurement idea well enough. J

I am wondering if it seems, to anyone, that in this story sin makes one something less than human.

I see the story as saying that without baptism we are not fully realized, or fully awake people. To me it seems like this is so, in particular since the sinful cannot see the future after the flood, and are left behind, dead. Life is after the flood (baptism) and they do not participate.

To me, this means the rebirth of new people therefore has started as a result.

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