"AS I SEE
Volume 4, Number 5, May 2001
["As I See It" is a monthly electronic magazine compiled and edited by Doug Kutilek. Its purpose is to address important issues of the day and to draw attention to worthwhile Christian and other literature in order to aid believers in Jesus Christ, especially pastors, missionaries and Bible college and seminary students to more effectively study and teach the Word of God. The editor's perspective is that of an independent Baptist of fundamentalist theological persuasion.
AISI is sent free to all who request it by writing to the editor at: DKUTILEK@juno.com. You can be removed from the mailing list at the same address.
All articles are by the editor (unless otherwise noted) and are copyrighted but may be reproduced for distribution, provided the following conditions are met: 1. articles must be reproduced in unedited, unabridged form; 2. the writer must be properly credited; and, 3. such reproduction must be for free distribution only. Permission to distribute in any other form must be secured in writing beforehand. Permission for reproduction in Christian print periodicals will generally be given.]
"Expecting Great Things From God," Spurgeon-Style
"Why, we have not half the
confidence in God about our religious efforts that we ought to have. We go to
work with a faint heart, and tremblingly hope that perhaps we shall succeed.
Look how amazed we are when we find a soul converted here and there, and what a
noise we make over a solitary convert, like a hen that has laid a single egg and
must tell all the parish about it. If we had more confidence in God, we should
expect converts by the hundred, and we should have them."
Charles H. Spurgeon,
Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit,
vol. 25, 1879, p.667.
I am pleased to report the publication of a new book, ONE BIBLE ONLY?, edited by Dr. Roy E. Beacham and Kevin T. Bauder. This book of 238 pages carries the subtitle: "Examining Exclusive Claims for the King James Bible." Seven past or present faculty members of Central Baptist Seminary of Plymouth, Minnesota contributed to this volume. It was my privilege to write the chapter on the history of the modern King James Only movement. Kregel is the publisher, and the book may be obtained from the usual book suppliers. The retail price is listed as $13.99.
"The Son of God" or "A son of the gods" Revisited
In AISI 3:11 (November, 2000), we addressed the issue of how a phrase in Daniel 3:25 should be translated into English, whether "the Son of God" (as in the KJV and NKJB [text]) or "a son of the gods" (as in the ASV, NASB, NIV and NKJB [margin]). Just today I discovered yet another bit of information to add to what I wrote there. I demonstrated in that article that the translation "a son of the gods" was not a sell-out by the ASV et al. to 19th century higher critical attacks on the Bible, but was an interpretation of the Biblical text by devote scholars at least as early as the Reformation (both Luther and Calvin understood it that way, as did Adam Clarke three centuries later).
Today, almost on a lark, I checked the Reina-Valera Spanish version on this point. The Reina-Valera is the standard Protestant translation used in Latin America to this day, in various editions and revisions. I checked both the 1602 and 1960 editions at Daniel 3:25, and discovered that it reads, "y el aspecto del cuarto es semejante a hijo de los dioses"--"and the appearance of the fourth is like a son of the gods."
And then, with my interest sparked, I also checked the centuries-old Portuguese version of John Ferreira d'Almeida. D'Almeida translated the NT entire (published 1681), and the OT as far as Ezekiel. The translation of Daniel in this version was the work of one C. T. Walther. This was published in an edition of the Major Prophets in 1751, and, apparently, of the whole Bible in 1753, and ever since (see T. H. Darlow and H. F. Moule, Historical Catalogue of Printed Editions of the Holy Scripture, vol. II, part III, pp. 1232-1236). Daniel 3:25 reads, "e o aspecto do quarto e semelahante ao filho dos deuses" which, literally rendered into English is "and the appearance of the fourth is like a son of the gods."
These add to the evidence that the translation of the ASV etc. is not a capitulation to recent higher critical views, but was a settled opinion of devote scholars and translators, based on the original Aramaic text, hundreds of years before the ASV saw the light of day, indeed, even before the KJV was ever published.
KJVO-ISM GONE TO SEED: THE "REY JAIME" VERSION
One of the surest methods of discovering and exposing theological error is to press a doctrine to its fullest extent, following to the end its logical deductions, and then examining where your journey has taken you. If it results in complete absurdity, then the doctrine is obviously and inherently flawed. This has been done in regard to "King James Only-ism," not by its adversaries, but by some of its proponents.
KJVO partisans insist that the KJV is the only valid translation of the Bible in English, and that it is indeed their "final authority," superceding and surpassing in authority even the original Greek and Hebrew texts from which it was made. Pressing this conclusion to its ultimate end, some KJVOers have logically and reasonably concluded (granting their basic premise for the sake of discussion) that not only is the KJV the "final authority" in English, it should also be such in all other languages as well. As a consequence, they conclude, no non-English version has any authority where it differs from the KJV, and since ALL foreign language versions differ in lesser or greater degrees from the KJV, the task at hand is to provide KJV-based and KJV-conforming translations in various languages. In other words, the original Hebrew and Greek language texts are not valid bases for translations of the Bible into Spanish, French, Portuguese, Italian, Japanese, and the thousands of other languages spoken on earth. Only the KJV is such a valid basis. This they logically and reasonably conclude, granting a priori their basic premise of the infallibility of the KJV. (We must note in passing, that the great pioneers in modern missions Bible translating, namely William Carey and Adoniram Judson, and others of similar stripe, based their versions on the Greek and Hebrew, not on the KJV English. Misguided dupes, I suppose).
As a consequence, some unnamed individual or individuals (and I have been unable to discover his/their identity), took upon themselves to translate the KJV New Testament into Spanish--this in spite of the fact that there exists in Spanish a Bible version that has been blessed for centuries by God to the conversion and edification of millions. I speak of the venerable Reina-Valera version (1602), which pre-dates the KJV, and was in fact consulted by the KJV translators as they went about their work! (see the next to last page of "The Translators to the Readers" in the original edition of the KJV; it should be noted as well that in that same preface to their work, indeed on the same and the preceding page, the KJV translators declare that they worked directly from the Hebrew and Greek originals, not basing their translation on any existing translation--exactly the opposite of the policy of the translators of this new KJV-conforming Spanish version. If the KJV is perfect, shouldn't those making "KJV equivalent" versions follow the same translation policies?).
The Reina-Valera, based on the same Hebrew and Greek texts as the KJV, has been linguistically up-dated several times, most notable among them 1909 and 1960. In its 1960 revision, the R-V is the standard version used by most evangelical and fundamentalist missionaries and national churches in the Spanish-speaking world.
Returning to the subject of the Spanish "KJV"--The title page of this undated translation of a translation reads: "El Nuevo Testamento de Nuestro Senor y Salvador Jesus Cristo" ("The New Testament of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, " words translated directly from the title page of the 1611 KJV New Testament), which is followed by the words: "Biblia autorizada del Rey Jaime 1611" ("Authorized Bible of King James 1611"). Below this is a literal translation of most of the explanatory gloss provided on the 1611 KJV NT title page: "Traducida del original Griego y diligentemente comparado y revisado con las traducciones anteriores por mandato especial de su majestad" ("Translated out of the Original Greek: and with the former Translations diligently compared and revised, by his Majesty's special Commandment"). Only the introductory word "Newly" is left out of the formula. How absurd all of this is!--This new Spanish version was NOT "translated out of original Greek" but out of the "original English"! And King "Jaime" has been moldering in the grave for the better part of four centuries--he made no such command regarding this Spanish version! And this version dates from the late 20th century, not the early 17th century. And what former translations were diligently compared and revised? "Oh judgment, thou art fled to brutish beasts and men have lost their reason!"
On the backside of the title page inter alia, are quoted in Spanish two passages from the OT, Psalm 12:6-7; and Proverbs 30:5. I assume that these were made directly from "the original English" since they do not conform to the 1602 or 1960 R-V wording. The Psalm 12 quote is particularly notable where it differs from the R-V. On the basis of gender agreement, it is clear in the old Reina-Valera version that the promise of preservation in verse 7 ("los guardaras") refers back to "the poor" ("los pobres") and "needy" ("los menesterosos") of v. 5, not "the words" ("las palabras") of v. 6. And in this regard, the Reina-Valera agrees with the Hebrew text (see the commentaries of Delitzsch or Gill, loc. cit., for the particulars). The translation in this new version alters "los guardaras" to "las guardaras" to make the referent of the promise of preservation the "words" of v. 6, in harmony with the standard KJVO mis-interpretation of this verse, but contrary to the original Hebrew text inspired by the Holy Spirit.
At the bottom of the backside of the title page, we are informed that this printing was done on the authority of Pilgrim Baptist Church in Abingdon, Virginia (no doubt there is a hint of Landmarkism in there). Correspondence sent to the address given was not answered.
How the translation of the KJV English into Spanish is actually carried out is a wonder to behold; we are compelled by limitations of time and space to note only some of the more "amazing" results:
--Where the KJV has "Holy Ghost" (e.g., Matthew 1:20) this version has "Fantasma Santo." "Fantasma" is the Spanish word meaning "apparition, phantom, spectre, ghost." It is derived ultimately from the Greek word phantasma, which is not the word used for the Holy Spirit, that word being pneuma, whether translated "Spirit" or "Ghost" in the KJV (the KJV by using two separate words to translate pneuma when referring to the Holy Spirit creates in English a distinction not found in the Greek). The Greek word phantasma does occur twice in the NT, Matthew 14:26; Mark 6:49, wherein the disciples mistook Jesus walking on the water for a ghost/spook. I guess the thinking in regard to "Fantasma Santo" is that since the KJV makes a distinction between "Holy Spirit" and Holy Ghost,"--even though there is no such distinction in the Greek--so the Spanish KJV should also! Yet they fail, in contrast, to distinguish "eternal life" and "everlasting life" in John 3:15,16 [in Greek they are identical; Jack Hyles once preached a sermon trying to distinguish one from the other; it was nothing short of preposterous]. And in I John 2:24, where the KJV in this one verse uses three different English words, namely abide, remain, and continue, to translate the same Greek word, meno, the Rey Jaime uses only two different Spanish words, permanecer and continuar. If the KJV is really their "final authority, they should have found a third Spanish word to use.
--At 2 Timothy 3:16, the "Rey Jaime" version literally translates the KJV's "given by inspiration of God" by "dada por inspiracion de Dios." Of course, here the KJV is a five-word paraphrase of the single Greek word, theopneustos, which the NIV more literally and accurately translates as "God-breathed;" Reina-Valera here has, adequately though not quite literally, "inspirada divinamente" ("divinely inspired"). The translation principle followed in this place in the Rey Jaime is apparently, "where the KJV paraphrases, the Spanish version must literally translate the KJV's paraphrase."
--Matthew 27:44 in the "Rey Jaime" version has "Tambien los ladrones . . . lo mismo echaban en sus dientes," which is a literal rendering of the KJV's , "the thieves also . . .cast the same in his teeth." Here, the KJV's phrase "cast . . . in his teeth" is a very free paraphrase (at best) of two Greek words, oneidizon autoi" which literally mean "[they] were reproaching him." I have no explanation for this paraphrase in the KJV (it is also found in some earlier English versions). It certainly is not literal, yet the Rey Jaime literally translates it into Spanish. I wonder just how obscure this must be to the Spanish reader.
--At Matthew 1:23, the Reina-Valera version reads, "la virgen" ("the virgin"); the new Rey Jaime, conforming to the KJV, reads instead, "una virgen" ("a virgin"). What is notable here is that the Greek text of Matthew 1:23, and the Hebrew text of Isaiah 7:14 from which Matthew quotes both have the definite article, so the R-V translation "la virgen/ the virgin" conforms precisely to the inerrant original text in both Testaments, while the Rey Jaime (and KJV) do not.
Not only do the translators of the Rey Jaime assume the inerrancy of the KJV, they also assume their own inerrancy as interpreters of the KJV. This is evident from several passages:
--At Mark 2:23, the KJV mentions the picking of "corn" on the Sabbath. In 1611 British English, "corn" meant "grain" (of whatever sort, but usually wheat, rye or barley), not specifically what we in America today call "corn" (think "Iowa in July"). As Americans who misunderstood the KJV's use of "corn" as though it was the 20th century American meaning of the word, the Rey Jaime translators give "maiz" ("corn," that is Indian corn; the Latin name being Zea mays). What is especially egregious about this mistranslation based on personal ignorance is that they have introduced into their version what is an actual historical error. You see, what we Americans call "corn" is a native American plant and was completely unknown in the Old World in general, and in Palestine in particular, until some while after A.D. 1492 when Columbus made his first voyage to the New World. To insert this plant into a first-century Palestine narrative is as much a historical error as if we found Paul driving to Damascus in a Chevy or Peter watching "The CBS Evening News with Dan Rather" on TV while on the rooftop of the house in Joppa.
--The KJV's archaic "prevent" as in "we. . . shall not prevent them," in I Thessalonians 4:15, is widely recognized, even among many KJVOers as meaning, precede, or, go before. Apparently this fact is not as widely known as we had assumed, for the Rey Jaime gives "no nos impediremos a los" ("we will not impede, prevent"--in the modern sense-- "them"). Such crass stupidity as is displayed here is criminal. They are, after all, pretending to be translating the Word of God. Those who undertake such a task should at least labor to discover what it actually means before attempting to translate it.
--2 Thessalonians 2:7, KJV, reads in part, "He who now letteth, will let." "Let" is recognized as having meant in 1611, "to hinder, restrain" (as the Greek original has it) rather than our modern sense of "to allow." Yet with a depth of ignorance that absolutely takes your breath away, the Rey Jaime's "unlearned men" give the reader "el que ahora se deja se dejara"--"he who now allows, will allow."
--The treatment of Acts 28:13 is if anything even worse. The KJV's obscure "we fetched [original KJV, "fet"] a compass" is literally given by our blunderers as "buscamos un compas" which means "we looked for a compass" (yes, the instrument for finding magnetic north). The Greek here is a common verb, meaning "to go around, to come around" and has nothing whatsoever to do with any kind of instrument. The KJV's rendering is apparently an archaic idiom which adequately expressed in its day the meaning of the Greek, but certainly does not mean what the mis-translators of the Rey Jaime version suppose it to mean. Is this not to handle the word of God deceitfully?
What need have we of other witnesses?
Let us hear the end of the matter: never was any Bible translation so badly conceived or so badly--dare I say wickedly?--carried out. Such a performance can only make the Bible a laughing stock, and expose the perpetrators of such a monstrosity to fully deserved ridicule and derision. Such a production neither benefits man nor glorifies God. To offer this as an improvement on the Reina-Valera, or even a substitute for it is sheer folly. The R-V, because it followed the Greek instead of the English, makes none of the blunders discussed, nor dozens more which could have been noted.
Yet, such a deplorable production is the logical outcome of imputing to the KJV an inerrancy it does not possess, of denying to the original Greek and Hebrew the inerrancy and authority they do inherently possess (and virtually vilifying them in the process), and of presuming on the correctness of one's understanding of centuries-old English without the correcting and guiding hand of the original text. Traced to its ultimate logical outcome, KJVOism leads to absurdity. I therefore reject it as a colossal error and fraud.
NOTES ON SEVERAL FOREIGN LANGUAGE BIBLE TRANSLATIONS AND THEIR RELATIONSHIP TO ENGLISH VERSIONS
And while we are discussing the improper use of English versions as the pattern or standard of translations, let me note some examples not involving the KJV.
Some years ago, I made a detailed study of various Bible versions and translations into Romanian. Among those I examined was a New Testament called (being translated) "The New Testament to be Understood by All." This 1984 rendition was published by Living Bibles International, and as you might suspect, is a more or less literal translation of the Living Bible paraphrase.
As I stated in an earlier issue of AISI ("A Word About Paraphrases of Scripture," 3:3), I do not condemn either the making or using of paraphrases as Bible study tools (though I do find them inadequate for close and regular Bible reading). However, a paraphrase should be anchored in the original language Bible texts, not a version. The Living Bible is based on the American Standard Version, which, very literal though it may be, is an insufficient foundation for a paraphrase; how much more so is a translation of a paraphrase of a translation, as this Romanian NT is, detached from its proper base. Yet, for all that, if a Romanian reader had nothing but this NT, three steps removed from the original as it is, he could still see the light of the Gospel clearly and find peace and forgiveness in Christ, and could feed his soul sufficiently to grow much in grace.
Such second and third hand versions are not rare historically. The Old Latin translation of the Old Testament, used for centuries by Latin-speaking believers in the Western Roman Empire, was made, not from the Hebrew, but from the Greek translation of the OT, the Septuagint. Similarly, all the vernacular Bible translations made in Western Europe during the Middle Ages--whether into Anglo-Saxon, Provencal (here I speak of the Scriptures of the Waldensians), German, French, Spanish, Italian and Wycliffe's English version--were all made from the Latin Vulgate version of Jerome, not from the Greek or Hebrew. While this is not an ideal situation, it proved adequate to keep alive the light of the Gospel in Western Europe until the Reformation brought a return to the Greek and Hebrew originals as the basis for translation.
A trend has developed in the last decade in the making of modern language versions to pattern them after the New International Version. Let me preface my remarks by saying that when I read the Bible in English, I usually do so in the NIV, and have done so for more than 20 years. I will acknowledge it as an adequate and suitable Bible for public reading and personal study with, I readily declare, some maddeningly imprecise renderings in spots, some unnecessary paraphrase, and a few outright blunders in translation. (My "ideal" English version would be something between the NASB and the NIV, with some differences from both. However, so far, nobody has "died and left me in charge" of anything!)
But as I was saying, some foreign language versions, naturally enough those sponsored by the International Bible Society, copyright holder on the NIV, show a too close conformity on the NIV. Among these is a Spanish translation, Nueva Version Internacional, which in its preface acknowledges its conformity to the NIV, though claiming the original Greek as its base. An example (of many) of this too close reliance on the NIV is 1 Thessalonians 1:3. The NIV reads in part: "your work produced by faith, your labor prompted by love and your endurance inspired by hope." Here the words "produced by," "prompted by," and "inspired by" are the translators' paraphrastic insertions, which in Greek are simply a series of genitive cases, which are literally translated in the KJV, ASV, etc. by a series of "ofs." I will allow that some kind of explanatory translation of the force of the genitive case is allowed here, but using three different though synonymous inserted phrases as the NIV does, strikes me as overdoing it.
Well, the Spanish NVI has picked up exactly the practice of the NIV in this place, reading "obra realizada por su fe, el trabajo motivado por su amor, y la constancia sostenida por su esperanza" ("the work performed because of your faith, the labor motivated by your love, and the constancy sustained by your hope.") Surely it is not necessary to ape the NIV to produce a readable modern language version in Spanish, yet that is exactly what is done here, and often elsewhere in this version.
I will note in passing an objectionable footnote in both the NIV and NVI. At Romans 9:5, while the text correctly makes Christ the antecedent of "God," ("Christ who is God over all, forever praised"/"Cristo, quien es Dios sobre todas las cosas. Alabado sea por siempre!"). The marginal notes in each give alternate renderings (two in the NIV, and one in the NVI) which separate "Christ" from "God." While these are, strictly speaking, grammatically possible according to the Greek--though much less likely than the translation in the text--a careful study of the pattern of the numerous doxologies in Paul's letters shows that Paul undoubtedly intended to ascribe Deity to Christ here. Therefore these notes are misleading and unnecessarily cast doubt on whether Paul here ascribes Deity to Christ, and should be eliminated.
Returning to Romanian language translations--in 1996, the International Bible Society published "Noul Testament: O Traducere in Limba Contemporana" ("The New Testament: a translation in contemporary language.") This was first announced in the early 1990s, and the few translators then associated with the work were students at a Bible institute in Oradea, Romania. It was clear to me that they were not linguistically qualified to work directly from the Greek text. When the complete NT appeared, I wrote to both the International Bible Society and the Romanian Missionary Society (co-sponsors of the work) to obtain a complete list of translators. I received not a single word of information--not even a letter of acknowledgement--from either.
The only name mentioned in the introduction is Josef Ton, a man with legitimate scholarly credentials, but he does not claim to have made the translation by himself. He mentions numerous collaborators in the work, and indeed notes that this is but a preliminary effort at producing a Romanian translation into contemporary language.
At 1 Thessalonians 1:3, the shadow of the English NIV and its paraphrasis is evident: "de felul cum v-ati pus credinta la lucru, de truda voastra motivata de dragoste si de rabdarea voastra inspirata de speranta" ("the manner in which you put faith to work, of your toil motivated by love, and of your perseverance inspired by hope"). Two of the three paraphrasitic elements in the NIV reappear in Romanian garb.
(In 2000, Josef Ton published a revised edition of the standard Cornilescu translation of the NT; it evidently has no relationship to the 1996 edition, and is much more formally equivalent. Several Romanian preachers have highly commended it in my presence).
My point in all this is not to condemn these partially NIV-dependent versions--all were done by theologically conservative translators and can be recommended for use. But I do wish to utter a word of caution: just as the KJV is not a suitable basis for a translation of the Bible into some language other than English (unless the translator had no other alternative, particularly due to his own incompetence in using Greek and Hebrew; better a second hand translation than none at all), so also, neither is the NIV a proper basis for making modern language versions in Spanish, Romanian, or any other language.
This is not to say that a Bible translator should not consult translations in other languages. Jerome consulted not only the Hebrew text of the OT, but also the Septuagint Greek version. Luther translated from the Hebrew and Greek, but with the Latin Vulgate also close at hand. Tyndale translated from the Greek, but also referred to Jerome's Latin--and likely Erasmus' Latin version as well--and Luther's German. The KJV translators expressly mention versions in more than half a dozen languages which they consulted. Were I today making a Bible translation into some language, I would consult Bible versions both ancient and modern in every language in which I had sufficient competence. The caution here is that no version is sufficient by itself to serve as the basis and pattern for any other translation, unless no other alternative is possible. And rarely today is no other alternative possible. Therefore, consult, but do not rigidly conform, either to the KJV or NIV, or any other translation.
Doug...thanks for the article on "God forbid" [AISI 4:4]...every time that I point this out to those who are condemning other translations for the use of dynamic equivalency, there is a painful silence...keep up the good work!
DOWN IN WATER STREET by Samuel H. Hadley. New York: Fleming R. Revell. 1902. 242 pp., hardback.
The first "rescue mission" ever established in this country, or in any country for that matter, was the mission on Water Street in New York City. The founder was Ireland-born Jerry McAuley (1837-1884), who was converted from a life of thievery and drunkenness while in Sing Sing prison. After his release, he struggled to gain the victory over alcohol, with numerous setbacks and failures, and a reversion to life as a thief. He was ultimately reclaimed for good from his old ways in 1868, and four years later, 1872, began the Water Street Mission to rescue men like himself who were far gone in sin, drunkenness and crime, and who needed to hear of the love of God and the mercy and grace offered by Him to sinners.
McAuley led the mission until his death from disease in 1884. The leadership fell to Samuel H. Hadley, author of the book. The volume is chiefly short accounts of the lives, both before and after Christ, of men enslaved to alcohol and tobacco, who had thrown away home, and health, and family and fortune for drink. The transforming grace of Christ--mediated through the love and concern of "satisfied customers" (other sinners who had experienced God's forgiveness)--resulted in thousands of conversions in the mission's first three decades, and the spawning of similar missions in other parts of New York City, and in other cities across the nation.
The book is similar in content to THE PACIFIC GARDEN MISSION by Carl F. H. Henry, reviewed in AISI 4:3, about a rescue mission in Chicago, though this is the better of the two books, though not substantially superior.
I cannot help reflecting on certain matters: God values the gutter drunk as much as He values the "respectable" sinner. Christ died to save both. God wants both to come to repentance, rather than perish. We seem to have a habit in fundamentalist Christianity of continually moving our churches out of "bad neighborhoods" to the suburbs. But aren't those bad neighborhoods made up of sinners who need Christ as much as the "better class of sinners" we locate among in the suburbs? I think we are sadly neglecting an important duty in this regard, and are turning a blind eye to our responsibilities. Not all are guilty but many, likely most, are.
NOAH'S ARK: A FEASIBILITY STUDY by John Woodmorappe. Santee, Cal.: Institute for Creation Research, 1995. 306 pp., paperback. $19.00
Critics of the Bible have long sought to discredit a literal reading of Scripture, especially the early chapters of Genesis, by claiming that events recorded there simply could not have happened as described because of numerous "impossibilities." Probably the Great Flood of Genesis 6-9 has been singled out for the greatest amount of attack.
John Woodmorappe has compiled the attacks of the critics and has systematically answered them, showing that many of them are based on imputing to Genesis things which it does not claim. Other claims are exposed as based on the gross ignorance on the part of the critic of the facts at issue (and are often nothing more than mere quibbling or fault-finding). Yet others, which at first blush seem to have some plausibility, are shown by extensive appeal to published scientific and other literature to be groundless.
Among the critics' claims: the ark wouldn't hold all the animals that would have been necessary; the ark wouldn't hold enough food and water for a year for the animals; the ark had insufficient ventilation and illumination for the animals; eight people couldn't feed, water, clean-up after and otherwise care for the thousands of animals on the ark; the necessary specialized diet for some animals couldn't have been provided; the ark wouldn't have been seaworthy; the post-flood world couldn't provide sufficient food for the animals; the animals could not have successfully reproduced in the post-flood world; etc., etc. Woodmorappe shows from very extensive quotation of a vast array of articles, books and other documents--the bibliography fills 77 pages, and includes over 1,500 items from the past two centuries (I have no idea how he even located some of the really obscure stuff he quotes)--that all of the critics' claims are devoid of factual basis. All the necessary factors for the survival of all the animals, and crew, on the ark and afterward could have been met without any appeal to direct miraculous intervention (and Genesis speaks of no such miracles, beyond the coming of the Flood itself). .
Almost every claim I have ever heard voiced against the Genesis account of the Flood and a number of other criticisms I hadn't thought of are presented and responded to in a highly persuasive manner. The author did not address the matter of post-Flood geographic dispersal of the animals, but little else is missed. Most of the book is readily intelligible to the non-specialist, though I will admit to being mentally out to sea when reading his discussion of genetics and the post-Flood world.
The Genesis account of the Flood, is, in truth, eminently reasonable. Mr. Woodmorappe has done us a great service in producing this book that must have cost him vast and extended labor. It is and should long remain the standard work on the subject.