Were There Rainbows Before the Flood?

by Ken Ham on June 20, 2018
Featured in Ken Ham Blog

A short opinion piece in the religion column of a newspaper in Walla Walla, Washington, was recently brought to my attention. This article by Mark Koonz of Emmanuel Lutheran Church claims “some well-meaning interpreters distort the message of Genesis.” But, in reality, what Koonz does is distort what AiG teaches!

He claims I “insist that Genesis 9 teaches there were no atmospheric conditions that could produce the visual appearance of a rainbow before Noah’s flood. In short, this was the very first human sighting of a rainbow ever!” I would like him to show where I have even suggested that—let alone “insist” it’s true!

Indeed, we have an article from 2010 and 2015 that refute the idea that there was no rain before the flood and therefore no rainbows (the idea that there was no rain before the flood comes from a model called “the vapor canopy model,” which was long ago abandoned by the vast majority of creationists). In that article (part of the series “Arguments to Avoid”), AiG’s Dr. Tommy Mitchell writes,

Well, then, how about the rainbow? Didn’t God specially create the never-before-seen rainbow as a sign of His promise? Not necessarily. In Genesis 9:13, God said, “I do set my bow in the cloud,” and the fact that God does not imply that He had never set a rainbow in the clouds before but only that, from now on, the rainbow—appearing as it so often does as rain is ending—would henceforth have a special significance as a token (reminder) of God’s promise to never again send a worldwide Flood.

I share this column by Koonz with you as a reminder that there’s a lot of what’s called “fake news” out there. When you read something about the Ark Encounter, Creation Museum, Answers in Genesis, or even about me, be sure to research it on our site to verify that it’s true. People often spread misinformation or lies about our ministry, and we will receive concerned letters from supporters wondering if the allegations are true. A quick search on our site will usually tell you if it’s true or not!

The rainbow was likely an existing symbol that God repurposed to remind us of his promise never to flood the earth again.

And always keep this highly practical verse at the back of your mind: “If one gives an answer before he hears, it is his folly and shame” (Proverbs 18:13). In other words, hear both sides of a matter before coming to a conclusion.

Now, there are some Christians who have proposed such things, but, no, I do not insist there weren’t any rainbows before the flood. The rainbow was likely an existing symbol that God repurposed to remind us of his promise never to flood the earth again. Just as the cross took on new meaning when Jesus died upon it, so the rainbow took on a new meaning when God declared it was a symbol of his unending promise for all generations.

Thanks for stopping by and thanks for praying,

This item was written with the assistance of AiG’s research team.

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