The answer to that question is surprisingly simple. No!
I hear you, “That’s great Carl, this is the shortest article you’ve ever written!”
Sorry, it’s not that simple, there’s more we should address. And that’s because some may be pushing back against this with claims like:
“How can you be so sure?”
“This is the cradle of civilization, we all know that!”
“The Tigris and Euphrates Rivers are there so that must be where the Garden was!”
Since the first answer was so short, let’s deal with those three common objections.
First, I can be sure because the Word of God is true and trustworthy. God tells us in Genesis 7:
17 Then the flood came upon the earth for forty days, and the water increased and lifted up the ark, so that it rose above the earth. 18 The water prevailed and increased greatly upon the earth, and the ark floated on the surface of the water. 19 The water prevailed more and more upon the earth, so that all the high mountains everywhere under the heavens were covered. 20 The water prevailed fifteen cubits higher, and the mountains were covered.
Did you catch that? The waters covered the highest mountains!
Remember, this was a Global Flood, not a local flood. When the waters covered the highest mountains the land below the water was being ripped up and re-deposited in totally different locations. The land that we see after the flood, is NOT in the same place as after the flood.
But, “This is the cradle of civilization, we all know that!” and “The Tigris and Euphrates Rivers are there so that must be where the Garden was!”
O.k., let’s deal with those two objections.
Take a look at the map. Notice the Mountains of Ararat are located at the top of the map and the “Garden of Eden” is located at that bottom. Please also notice that the Tigris and Euphrates rivers connect the two area’s.
If the biblical account is true, which I believe it is, when Noah and his family along with the land dwelling, air breathing animals came off of the Ark could they have not migrated all along this area and started the process of repopulating the earth?
From a biblical perspective, this area isn’t the “cradle of civilization”, it is the “cradle of re-civilization!”
And the reason that you find the Tigris and Euphrates rivers there is the same reason that you find many of the same names here as you do in England and France. When settlers came here, they brought names with them.
Noah and his family would have done the same thing. As they came off of the Ark they would have named rivers and mountains with the same name as from the land they came from even thou they are NOT the same rivers as before.
Another reason we can know that the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers that we see today are NOT the same as in Adam’s day is that they don’t fit the biblical description. Read Genesis again:
Now a river flowed out of Eden to water the garden; and from there it divided and became four rivers.
In the Garden of Eden we see that there was one river that became four rivers. That’s not what we see today in the Middle East.
Also, in verse 13 we read:
The name of the second river is Gihon; it flows around the whole land of Cush.
This verse is telling us that one of the rivers, Gihon, flowed around all of Cush (modern day Ethiopia). What we see in the world today though is that Ethiopia is more than 1,000 miles from Iraq! It is very clear that what we see in the world today is not what it was like in the original creation.
So even though UNESCO doesn’t have the right site I give thanks that they have taken this stand. Why? Because it gives us the opportunity to speak the truth to a world that doesn’t know there’s another way.
When we use issues that are raised in the world to teach a generation how to apply their faith good things happen. By correctly interpreting the evidence that we see around use through the proper world-view we will see things differently.
Remember, we don’t have an evidence problem. We have an interpretation of the evidence problem. What’s your worldview?