Noah's Ark

Noah's Ark

Publié le : 2022-09-08 08:43:21
Catégories : Religious News

  • What is the history of Noah's ark?
  • What are God's instructions for the preparation of Noah's ark?
  • The size and structure of Noah's ark
  • The inhabitants of Noah's ark
  • The flood
  • The hope of a return to dry land
  • The search for the truth about Noah's Ark and the Flood
  • Where is Noah's Ark today?
  • Does Noah's Ark exist?
  • Are there any traces of the Flood?
  • The story of Noah's Ark is still relevant today
  • Research on noah's ark and the flood
  • Some reconstructions of Noah's Ark

Animals are very present in the stories of the Bible, both Old and New Testaments. Already in the Old Testament, animals are regularly mentioned. One of the reasons for the presence of these creatures of God in ancient writings is that the people of the time when the Bible was written were closer to nature than we are. 

There are also many mentions of animals in the New Testament. These are very often symbolic, supporting a strong idea in the writings and providing an image that speaks to all.

The best known mention of animals in the Bible is in Genesis during the episode of Noah's ark. Today we will look at this story by focusing on the original story in the Bible. We will also explore the research that has been done around Noah's Ark. Indeed, the context of the construction of the ark in order to protect the best of God's creation from the flood has puzzled many scholars.

What is the story of Noah's Ark?

In the Genesis account, God calls out to Noah: he is dissatisfied with the conduct of men on earth. He judges them to be cruel, wicked and perverse. Among men, God singles out Noah for his integrity and devotion to God.  After thinking for a while of totally destroying his creation, he changed his mind and wished to spare Noah and his family, as well as the animals of the earth and sky, from the destruction that God was planning to spread over the earth.

He therefore orders Noah to build an ark with his family, for which he gives very precise instructions on how to build it.

What instructions does God give for the construction of Noah's ark?

 The size and structure of Noah's ark

According to Genesis, God is very precise in his instructions: dimensions, wood used, waterproofing of the boat, structure of the ark: God's orders are clear. He gives details of the height, width and length of the shelter that will contain his creation. The ark must have a roof and an entrance on the side, and it must also contain three floors.

 The inhabitants of Noah's ark

In his instructions, God is also very specific about who will be lucky enough to escape the flood in the ark:
Noah is to enter with his entire family: he and his wife, his three sons Shem, Ham and Japheth accompanied by their wives. He must also gather the animal creation.
Noah must take seven pairs of animals considered pure into the ark, and only one pair of unclean animals. However, he must not forget to take even the smallest of God's creation.

Finally, he must provide food for each of them.

Noah's ark under the flood

On the very day that Noah completed the ark, and all his family and animals were sheltered in it, the flood began. According to the scriptures, "on that day all the springs of the great deep gushed out and the floodgates of heaven were opened" (Genesis 7:11). Rain fell on the earth for forty days and forty nights. Even the highest mountains are covered. According to God's plan, all living creatures on earth die. Only the inhabitants of the ark: Noah and his family and the animals sheltered there survive. The ark then sails for two hundred and twenty days before running aground on the mountains of Ararat. And the waters recede for more than forty days.

The hope of a return to dry land

In order to find out whether the land is suitable for humans and animals, Noah decides to send a raven and a dove as scouts. The latter, finding no place to land, returned to the ark. Seven days later it finally returns to Noah with "a fresh olive branch in its beak" Genesis 8:11.

Noah realises that the earth is soon ready to receive God's creation. He releases the dove again seven days later and this time it does not return. For Noah, this is the end of the trial.

 God orders Noah to get out of the ark with his family and release all the beasts so that they will "abound in the earth, be fruitful and multiply" (Genesis 8:18). (Genesis 8:18)

The Genesis texts then go on to discuss the resumption of life on earth and the life of Noah's family.

If one reads the entire Genesis text of Noah's story one may be struck by some repetitions as well as contradictions: Is the actual duration of the flood forty or one hundred and fifty days? What is the role of the raven when it is released from the ark by Noah?

The search for the truth about Noah's Ark and the Flood

The story of Noah's Ark is fascinating. In fact, there are more than six hundred ancient myths in human history describing a flood that drowned an antediluvian world.
Among the most frequent questions about the flood and Noah's ark that made it possible to cope with it, there is the question of the real existence of the ark and its location. Finally, the very existence of the flood is sufficiently questionable that the scientific community has looked into it through various disciplines.

Where is Noah's Ark today?

Many scientists, archaeologists and researchers have set out on the trail of Noah's Ark. The Genesis texts state that the ark landed on the Ararat Mountains. The Ararat Mountains are extinct volcanoes located on the border of Armenia and Turkey.

These places are the focus of much research by scientists who are looking for evidence of the existence of Noah's Ark. In particular, it is the site of Durupinar, 30 kilometres south of the Ararat Mountains, which is the focus of most research and questioning. Nothing has been proven yet, but according to researcher Andrew Jones and senior scientist Dr Fethi Ahmet Yüksel of the Department of Applied Geophysics at Istanbul University, 3D scans of the site show parallel and angular structures 8 to 20 feet deep.

This data is disputed by the scientific community, which believes that these are natural geological formations.

Does Noah's Ark exist?

Here too scientists are divided: pieces of wood dating back 4,000 years have been found, but no indisputable proof has yet allowed researchers to agree.

Have traces of the Flood been found?

According to scientist Robert Ballard, renowned for his work on underwater wrecks, the flood episode is based on real historical events. While digging in the Black Sea, his team found evidence of the catastrophe indicating that a wall of water from the Mediterranean Sea fell on a part of the Balkans with a force two hundred times greater than Niagara Falls. Robert Ballard and his team discovered the remains of an ancient coastal shoreline 400 metres below the Black Sea.

Robert Ballard links this discovery to the flood narrated in Genesis, explaining that such a traumatic episode must have been told and passed on from generation to generation until it became the story of the flood myth.

The story of Noah's ark is still relevant today

Research on Noah's Ark and the Flood

As we have seen in the previous sections, a part of the scientific world but also of biblical fundamentalists continue to be fascinated by Noah's Ark and the Flood. As a result, scientific articles regularly appear on possible traces of the ark or on geological traces accrediting the thesis of the sudden submersion of a civilisation.

Some reconstructions of Noah's Ark

There is a reconstruction of Noah's Ark in the Netherlands. Johan Huibers, a Protestant millionaire who initiated the project, turned it into a museum about the Bible. This Noah's Ark was built on a river and can be moved. The millionaire's plan is to display it in several cities so that as many visitors as possible can have access to it.

More controversial is the creationist project in Kentucky, USA. This replica of Noah's Ark was built on land. It contains reconstructions of biblical scenes from Genesis and numerous depictions of animal pairs, including dinosaurs.
The episode of Noah's Ark in Genesis is one of those remarkable stories from the Bible that have a place in our collective imagination and in the general culture of our civilisations.

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