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Simon’s Thoughts on Noah’s Flood, Religious Beliefs

We’re concluding our conversation with Dr. Simon Southerton.  Searching for answers about Noah’s flood led him to study more about DNA & the Book of Mormon.  Is there evidence for Noah’s flood?

Simon:  There was a very large deluge because the flood myth is not common to just Christianity.  There are other belief systems throughout the Middle East and Mesopotamia that all contain this flood myth.  There was—I think it was the Black Sea. There was a major deluge when rising sea levels after the Ice Age broke the entrance into the Black Sea through the Strait of Bosporus.  There is plenty of scientific evidence for major deluge that flooded the area surrounding the Black Sea.  So, there would have been devastating consequences for all of the farming communities around there at the time.  I don’t know the date of that, but it might have been 8000 years ago.  So yes, it was an event.  It just didn’t happen.

GT:  What didn’t happen?

Simon:  A global flood.

GT:  Oh, ok.

Simon: The only way it could have possibly happened would be if God had hidden all of the evidence of it, deliberately, and manipulatively hidden all of the evidence of the flood to trick everyone.

(Don’t forget to check out what Dr. Perego thinks about the flood.)  Does Simon still believe in the Bible?   What are his religious beliefs?  Could he accept a non-literal interpretation of the Book of Mormon?  We’ll answer these questions in our next conversation…..

Does Simon believe in Noah’s flood? What are his religious beliefs now?

 

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Nephi’s Sea Trials & the Magi

Growing up in Jerusalem, Nephi likely had little experience in sailing.  How did he learn how to sail?  In our next conversation with George Potter, we’ll talk about Nephi’s training as a sailor.  How did he travel?  What were Nephi’s sea trials like?

How did Nephi learn to captain a ship?  It takes dozens of skills that you have to get right the first time and every time if you’re going to sail even out of the harbor, and make it out of the harbor.  What is interesting is that that harbor was used in ancient times to be a shelter during the winter season for the ships of the Indian Ocean.  The Greeks wrote about it.  The Arabs did it before then.

But in the Indian Ocean you sail one way in the spring, and another way in the fall, because of the prevailing winds of the monsoons.  So, the ships would go from Oman to go to India, then they would cross over the Indian Ocean to Zanzibar. Then they would come back to Khor Rori, and then they would wait out the winter there where there’s no wind in that harbor.  These are the only sailors in the world at that time who knew how to sail across open seas, the only ones.  There is no record every of the Phoenicians being able to sail outside of the sight of land.  They are great sailors, but we have no record of them ever sailing outside.

We’ll also talk about the Magi that knew about the birth of Jesus.  How did they get this information?  Is there a Book of Mormon connection?

How in the world did they ever know that the Christ child was born, the Savior of the World?  To my knowledge, only one person knew when the Lord would be born, and that was Lehi had a vision that he would be born 600 years from then.  They came from Oman.  They came from the land of frankincense, myrrh, and gold.  They were wealthy.

 

George Potter talks about Nephi’s sea Trials. Did Lehi tell ancestors of the Wise Men about Jesus’ birth?  Check out our previous episode about Nephi’s Harbor!

Check out our conversation…..

 

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Found! Nephi’s Harbor

At the end of the Frankincense Trail, Nephi built a ship.  But where did he build this ship?  Where is Nephi’s Harbor?  George Potter makes the case for Khor Rori, an ancient harbor with known shipbuilding in the area.

Now curiously, Nephi says that he was building a ship different than the way that other men were building ships.  Now how would he know how other men were building ships?  He had to be in a shipyard, right?  And we know that they were building ships at Khor Rori as far back as 1000 B.C at that harbor to support the trade.  Even up in the cliffs you see the petroglyphs of ships that they were making, different from any other ships that were being built anywhere around the Indian Ocean.  So, they were uniquely being built at Khor Rori.  We have the ways that still exist when they lowered their ships into this natural harbor.

I’ll ask him about another potential harbor as well.  (I hope you have joined us for our previous conversations along the Frankincense Trail!

George Potter thinks Khor Rori is a likely spot for Nephi’s Harbor where he built a ship.

Check out our conversation…..