How could Noahs family be the only survivors?


I was reading the thread on Gods promise to Noah and it got me thinking about how the bible says Noah and his family were the ONLY people to survive, but in another verse, regarding the Nephilim, it says they were on the earth before AND AFTER the flood, so, which is it?

** I want to point out, I do not wish to discuss what the Nepilim actually were, whether they were just normal men (like many on here believe) or something else, too many threads on that already, Im just trying to find out how its possible ‘someone’ other than Noahs family could live on to be there after the flood.

For the sake of this thread, lets assume the Nephilim were just regular men.


This might be way off base, but I would like to hear what others hold.

In the Bible we often hear that people are goats, sheep, fish canine and the like.

Jacob even tells his children that they are animals–one, a raw boned ***.

Could Noah have gathered together many different kinds of people?



Noah’s family is symbolic of New Creation . And Just as Adam and Eve and sons were a new a start outside of Eden, Noah’s family is symbolic of a New start for humanity. Again , the earth’s population is replenished by One Family. We are all related to one another- we have common ancestors . We are our Brother’s keeper.


Well since the entire Creation story is a metaphor , the Noah family has to resemble the Adam’s family😁 ^All of humanity was born from a Adam,Eve and son. In the Noah story new Creation, New humanity is a",again , birthed by One Family.


Easy solution from the Catholic Encyclopedia:

"Many difficulties have been raised, especially in our epoch, against the pages of the Bible in which the history of the Flood and of the Ark is narrated. This is not the place to dwell upon these difficulties, however considerable some may appear. They all converge towards the question whether these pages should be considered as strictly historical throughout, or only in their outward form. The opinion that these chapters are mere legendary tales, Eastern folklore, is held by some non-Catholic scholars; according to others, with whom several Catholics side, they preserve, under the embroidery of poetical parlance, the memory of a fact handed down by a very old tradition. This view, were it supported by good arguments, could be readily accepted by a Catholic; it has, over the age-long opinion that every detail of the narration should be literally interpreted and trusted in by the historian, the advantage of suppressing as meaningless some difficulties once deemed unanswerable. "

I suggest your question is directed to “some difficulties once deemed unanswerable” but rendered “meaningless” by a rational approach to the Noah story.


No, not a “metaphor” but the preservation under the embroidery of poetical parlance, the memory of a fact handed down by a very old tradition. The catechism uses the term “figurative language” which affirms a primeval event, a deed that took place at the beginning of the history of man.




Which parts of the biblical flood story do you reckon are actually true facts?


Thank you, Deacon Jeff, for your cogent explanation. I have a sense of these prehistoric events passed on verbally long before they were reduced to writing by inspired authors for the purpose of revealing theological truth transcending mere police blotter reportage of matters all but lost to human memory. There is much physical evidence of a catastrophic flood happening after the Ice Age. Did it involve “all” mankind? Perhaps we can say that for all practical purposes, it did. Were there isolated human tribes far away from the epicenter of this event? Who knows, and what difference would that make to the essential theological message?


No doubt, the story of Noah is based on a factual event since archaeologists have found evidence of great floods that took place during biblical times. This does not mean, however that every detail of the story of Noah’s Ark is factual. We have no reason NOT to believe that a just man named Noah saved his family and many living creatures from a flood that devastated the known world at that time. However, it is hardly conceivable, in my opinion, that a simple man like Noah could build an ark of such huge proportions and then gather two of every known living creature – one male and one female – and house them safely within it and feed them and dispose of their waste over a period of 40 days. That’s quite a zoological fete! The less-than-factual character of certain aspects of this story, however, in no way diminish the truth and sacredness of its message. At times, biblical authors, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, used figurative language to communicate God’s truth. It is indeed possible for something to be truthful but not necessarily factual. When Scripture says that “God is my rock,” (Psalm 18:2) we are not to believe that God is literally a rock. The image, while not intended to be literal, expresses a truth about God using figurative language – like a rock, God is strong, steadfast, solid, and can be leaned on! Likewise, the story of Noah’s Ark employs a great deal of figurative language to express an absolute truth about God and our relationship with him: when we sin, it is as if we are drowning, however, God will spare us if we live justly as Noah did.




I believe that post-flood Noah’s family, like Adam and Eve, were not the only people on earth. They are spoken about as if they were the only people on earth because they were the only people that mattered in the story of our salvation. Adam and Eve, then Noah, were the beginning of the line of people that ended in Mary and Jesus. But other people were on earth also. How else could the children of Adam and Eve find spouses?

Many cultures have flood traditions. Some cultures say their ancestors were saved by building a raft and putting their families and animals on it. This may have been going on all over the world at the end of the ice age. But Noah’s family is the center of the saga of salvation, that’s why they alone are featured in the story of the flood. :twocents:


Party pooper! :slight_smile:


The lesson is not only that people should live justly, but trust God - respond when he leads us, even when others who seemingly should know better, seem to be ignoring God’s leading. But this means not just people in general, but the person reading the story of Noah (or the persons posting and writing on this forum).

I find it hard to keep affirming Christian faith on subjects like prolife and marriage, when the culture in general, and my friends and relatives, regard my views as quaint. The example of Noah needs to be taken literally in my life, and yours as we respond to God’s call, no matter what the opinion polls say, no matter the people who either directly oppose us, or (worse) are condescending. Sometimes for years.

Yeah Noah!


I’m afraid if I stay a few more months on CAF…I will completely lose my faith & become an atheist! :eek:


Thanks for responding. Just one more question. In your interpretation of the flood story, does God directly cause this (localized) flood – as he does in the biblical story – or does he merely permit it?


Well, no, not really, from Noahs account, we can surmise the Nephilim were a terrible people, keep in mind God floods the earth as a way to kind of start over…yet he allows at least some of these other people to live on…which means, they can go on to procreate, raise their kids with the same terrible ways, how is this ‘starting over’?

I dont think the entire story is a metaphor, saying that to justify other people surviving the flood has some huge implications, it also means, many other very important events in the bible may just be metaphors too. I dont like where that road leads.


I dont doubt any of this, after all, God can do anything he likes, We have to keep in mind, God was heavily involved in the logistics of this, its not like Noah was doing this all on his own. Plus, the bible gives the exact dimensions of the ark, if it never existed, why bother with the details?

Its getting a bit scary when we try to interpret these things away to a point where they didnt even happen…if this is true, it may also mean, some other very important, very incredible things in the bible didnt actually happen either.

I think the problem is we keep trying to look at these things with human eyes, imaging how we could do such a thing on our own, but thats not possible, many of these OT events, God played a huge part in them.


Why? When has the Church ever taught that ever single word of the Bible is to be taken literally and fundamentally?


The thing is the church has never encouraged literalistic reading of scripture. And a fundamentalist reading is heresy. We are like the Jews, we interpret and study and try to discern what is really being said.
Meanwhile metaphors , images and other literary devices are to give depth to the words. Booksvw would be really boring without them. And not every book is to be read as a narrative. There are multiple genres in the bible. You can’t read poetry like a novel, can you?

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