Many Christians today think the Flood of Noah’s time was only a local flood, confined to somewhere around Mesopotamia. This idea comes not from Scripture, but from the notion of ‘billions of years’ of Earth history.
But look at the problems this concept involves:
If the Flood was local, why did Noah have to build an Ark? He could have walked to the other side of the mountains and missed it.
If the Flood was local, why did God send the animals to the Ark so they would escape death? There would have been other animals to reproduce that kind if these particular ones had died.
If the Flood was local, why was the Ark big enough to hold all kinds of land vertebrate animals that have ever existed? If only Mesopotamian animals were aboard, the Ark could have been much smaller.1
If the Flood was local, why would birds have been sent on board? These could simply have winged across to a nearby mountain range.
If the Flood was local, how could the waters rise to 15 cubits (8 meters) above the mountains (Genesis 7:20)? Water seeks its own level. It couldn’t rise to cover the local mountains while leaving the rest of the world untouched.2
If the Flood was local, people who did not happen to be living in the vicinity would not be affected by it. They would have escaped God’s judgment on sin.3 If this happened, what did Christ mean when He likened the coming judgment of all men to the judgment of ‘all’ men (Matthew 24:37–39) in the days of Noah? A partial judgment in Noah’s day means a partial judgment to come.
If the Flood was local, God would have repeatedly broken His promise never to send such a flood again.