googlef87758e9b6df9bec.html A Sure Word: Has Noah's Ark Been Found?

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Has Noah's Ark Been Found?

There's quite a buzz on the net after a group of Turkish and Chinese explorers have claimed to have found Noah's Ark (read one story online here). Maybe I shouldn't say they have claimed to have found it; one team member described it this way:

"We are not saying that we are 100 percent certain that what we found is Noah's Ark. No one has ever seen the ark, no one knows what it looks like. We are only 99 percent certain that it is Noah's Ark based on historical accounts, including the Bible and local beliefs of the people in the area, as well as carbon dating."

Could they really have found the Ark? Let me start by saying that I firmly believe there was a real Ark as described in Genesis. I also believe there was a world-wide deluge and that only those eight people who were on the Ark survived. However, given the sparse facts that we have from the Bible, I would think it to be highly unlikely that the Ark could ever be found today.

One reason why I doubt the Ark could be found is that we don't know precisely where to look for it. For some reason, people have the impression the Ark is on Mt. Ararat. The Bible doesn't say this specifically. Rather, Genesis 8:4 says, “And the ark rested in the seventh month, on the seventeenth day of the month, upon the mountains of Ararat” (KJV). This clearly refers to a region and not necessarily a specific mountain. Moreover, the modern mountain identified as “Mt. Ararat” did not receive it's modern name until around 1200 AD. The Hebrew word rendered as “Ararat” is possibly referring to an ancient kingdom named, Urartu, a mountainous region north of Mesopotamia.

Besides not knowing exactly where to look for the Ark, we must consider the very real possibility that the Ark simply did not survive long after fulfilling its mission. Wooden structures of any sort tend to rot away rather quickly except under very special conditions. In the case of the Ark, it may not have even had the opportunity to rot. Mature trees would have been destroyed by the Flood and the Ark would have been an abundant source of pre-cut lumber that Noah and his family could use for building. It is inconceivable that Noah would have simply abandoned all that timber but most likely would have begun dismantling the Ark almost immediately.

There's also a certain “crying wolf” feel to the recent announcement. As a young boy, I recall hearing about Ark sightings 30 years ago but I'm sure they go back much further. I've read that the Russian Duchess, Anastasia, owned a cross allegedly carved from the wood of the Ark. The Ark has been “found” so many times already that it's hard to take serious still another claim that it has been found.

I admit I would be thrilled if the Ark were someday truly discovered. It's one of those stories we would love to be true. My faith isn't contingent on finding the Ark though. It's not like I'm waiting for such a find to “prove” the Bible is true. Stories like this arouse a certain “what if” spirit in me but unless someone presents some new and compelling evidence, I will continue to remain skeptical.

1 comment:

Robert said...


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