How did noah know about God?


Of course that is a metaphor, and supports the idea that Noah and the Flood is a metaphor, not required to be literally believed.


Post reference where the Church requires belief in a literal Noah.


To my knowledge, the Church does not require Catholics to believe or not believe that a literal Noah existed.

However, in Matthew 24:37 (and again in Luke 17:26), Jesus refers to Noah by name. I don’t think Jesus would have referred by name to a completely fictional person who never existed. There is also other New Testament support for Noah’s existence.

The Catechism also specifically speaks of God’s covenant with Noah. (CCC 56-58; other references in the article I just posted above)

It would seem that the Church encourages belief in the existence of Noah, even as it teaches that we need not take Genesis as literal history.


Given the background you posted it seems odd that the Church “encourages” belief in Noah rather than mandates it. This would seem an issue there is no need to nuance and would be clearly revealed by God to His Church.


Seems pretty clear to me, but I’m looking through the eyes of faith.


I would add that I think the Church tries to minimize overall the number of “required” beliefs and leave the rest of it up to our faith and prudential judgment. It’s their way of making the tent as big as possible.


Is the entire content of the Catechism required belief?


The Catechism is considered a compendium of the essential teaching of the Church, so basically, yes, we have to believe what’s in it.


What do you mean by the qualifier “basically”? It is a very long list of required beliefs contrary to your prior point:

I would add that I think the Church tries to minimize overall the number of “required” beliefs


If you look at the headings of the sections “I believe in God” etc, that’s the required belief. The rest of the Catechism, expanding on each of the required beliefs, is intended to be a teaching tool to help Catholics understand the belief and help catechists present it.

The required belief is not going to change. The underlying references from Scripture and the councils are not going to change. However, the way the material is presented for purposes of catechesis might change based on the audience. We already have an official YouCat for youth that presumably is easier to understand for young people than plowing through the official Catechism for adults.

The Catechism also gets into moral teachings, in other words the application in our society of the beliefs. Pope Francis recently made a change to section 2267 of the Catechism on the death penalty, indicating the basis for the change. The underlying Church teaching on dignity of life did not change. The way it’s applied changed due to changes in our modern awareness and our societal conditions. Therefore, the Catechism can evolve in this way regarding how the unchanging Church teachings are to be applied. The Catechism is not written in stone. That’s why I said “basically”.

If you’re really interested, the USCCB has a long discussion of the purpose of the Catechism, including answers to frequently asked questions, and guidelines for its use, here:


When using allegory, it’s customary to deal with such figures as if they were real. Taken at the literal level, the Flood narrative really doesn’t make much sense theologically, scientifically, or logically. Taken as allegory, it makes a great deal of sense.


Post reference where it says we aren’t required to? Orginal sin is thrown out of the window if he didn’t exist. It’s as simple as that.

Secondly the biblical Geneologies include Noah. Our Lord spoke of Noah as a real figure who existed.


It makes a whole lot of sense and even Our Lord spoke of him as a literal figure. Even biblical genealogies include noah. Original sin hinges upon his existence too.


Wandile, since you have mentioned Noah as essential to the “original sin” doctrine in about 3 posts now, can you please provide a full explanation, with references, as to how Noah’s existence is essential to belief in original sin? Even though I tend to believe there was an actual Noah who made a covenant with God and survived some type of flood disaster, I do not follow all this original sin stuff you are saying. Explain to me like I’m 5, please.


Essentially orginal sin is passed on through procreation. As Noah and his family, as per scripture and tradition, were the only survivors of the flood… all human nature inherited original sin from Adam, through Noah to us today. With no Noah, then how do we have original sin today? Further, if there was no Noah, how was Christ ever born (who came to conquer orginal sin) if he was a descendant of Noah?

Too many people have Protestant mentalities when it comes to the Old Testament. You can’t pick and choose what you want to believe. The church has allowed minimal leeway in matters such as how long the creation account took or the extent of the flood but NOT of the figures in those stories. Adam did exist. Noah did Exist. We venerate them liturgically. Christ is said to have descended from them.


I agree that Christ’s geneaology including Noah is another reason for believing in a literal Noah.

However, there are interpretations of the flood narrative based on the original manuscripts that suggest that the flood did not destroy the whole human race but only those in a particular wide area that might have seemed like the whole human race to Noah and company. It’s possible descendants of Adam survived someplace else.


It’s says only his family were left of humanity… it doesn’t say other people survived. It’s says ever living thing wa skilled except those on the ark. There’s nothing ambiguous about that.

Scripture says all men descend from Adam through Noah. If any other people were around then they didn’t need descend from Adam… which poses a bigger problem as some men didn’t have orginal sin. I don’t think people realize the theological implications of denying some of the key details of Genesis.

Secondly Christ is God himself and he testified of Noah as a real person when he spoke about him. St Paul spoke about Enoch and his prophecy… Enoch’s was Noah’s great Grandfather.

Even liking outside of canonizes scripture and the wider Jewish tradition. The other non-canonical books of the Jewish tradition confirm again that it wa wonky Noah’s family that survived.

Whether you believe private revelation or not… it’s telling that the saints who had visions of the past also confirm that only Noah’s family survived.


Which saints?


First coming to my mind is Blessed Anne Catherine Emmerich. You can read her writings online even.


Unfortunately, it’s highly likely that she did not write those and that they were fraudulently written by Clemens Brentano instead, and attributed to her.

Any other saints? I’m genuinely curious, not trying to be mean. I haven’t heard before of saints having private revelations about Noah.

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit