Josh Hartnett – Noah’s Ark and Salvation: Another Reason the Flood Could Not Have Been Local

About 1,656 years after the creation of the world, God destroyed all humans, except for eight1 on the Ark that Noah built, and all air-breathing land animals (except those on the Ark) in a great global judgment. Many marine creatures were also destroyed—some 95% of all fossils found are the remains or impressions of creatures that once lived in the sea. We see evidence of this deluge all over the earth, including on the highest mountains. Mt Everest has marine fossils at its peak.

Scripture tells us,

“… when once the long-suffering of God waited in the days of Noah, an ark having been prepared, into which a few, that is, eight souls, were saved through water. Which antitype now also saves us, baptism (not a putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God through the resurrection of Jesus Christ … .)” (1 Peter 3:20–21).

The Apostle Peter describes our being baptized into Christ’s death as an antitype of the saving of eight in the Ark. The original Greek word ἀντίτυπος (antitypos) has the meaning of a ‘representative’ or a ‘figure’. The dictionary definition of the English word ‘antitype’ is ‘something that is represented by a symbol’. It comes from ‘anti’ meaning ‘opposite’, as well as ‘in place of’, and ‘typos’ an impression like from a die or stamp. So an opposite to the die is a representation or symbol of the original. In short, the Bible makes it clear that the Ark, which saved eight souls through the deluge, is a figure, or ‘type’, of Christ and His salvation. Through entering the Ark, all who responded to Noah’s preaching could be saved from the waters of judgment. Even so, by entering into Christ, the ultimate Ark of salvation, we are saved from the judgment to come.

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Ken Ham and Tim Lovett – Was There Really a Noah’s Ark & Flood?

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The account of Noah and the Ark is one of the most widely known events in the history of mankind. Unfortunately, like other Bible accounts, it is often taken as a mere fairy tale.

The Bible, though, is the true history book of the universe, and in that light, the most-asked questions about the Ark and Flood of Noah can be answered with authority and confidence.
How Large Was Noah’s Ark?

The length of the ark shall be three hundred cubits, its width fifty cubits, and its height thirty cubits (Genesis 6:15).

Unlike many whimsical drawings that depict the Ark as some kind of overgrown houseboat (with giraffes sticking out the top), the Ark described in the Bible was a huge vessel. Not until the late 1800s was a ship built that exceeded the capacity of Noah’s Ark.

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The dimensions of the Ark are convincing for two reasons: the proportions are like that of a modern cargo ship, and it is about as large as a wooden ship can be built. The cubit gives us a good indication of size.1 Using the most likely cubit length, an ancient royal cubit of at least 20.4 inches (0.518 m), we know that the Ark must have been no less than 510 feet (155 m) long, 85 feet (26 m) wide, and 51 feet (15.5 m) high. In the Western world, wooden sailing ships never got much longer than about 330 feet (100 m), yet the ancient Greeks built vessels at least this size 2,000 years earlier. China built huge wooden ships in the 1400s that may have been as large as the Ark. The biblical Ark is one of the largest wooden ships of all time—a mid-sized cargo ship by today’s standards.

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Don Batten – Did Noah Need Oxygen Above the Mountains?

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Question: If mountain climbers need oxygen tanks to climb Mount Everest, how were Noah, his family, and the animals able to breathe on the Ark when they were above the mountains (‘ … and the mountains were covered.’, Genesis 7:20)?

Answer: This question presupposes that Mount Everest was the height it is now (8,848 m = 29,028 ft), and that the air pressure would not have changed at that height above normal sea level with the addition of the flood water.

Mount Everest was not the height it is now during the Flood. Earth’s highest mountains have fossils of sea creatures at their tops, showing they were once under the sea. The possibilities are that the sea rose to cover the mountains, or the mountains were once under the sea and have since risen out of the sea, or a combination of the two.

Many creationist scientists think that mountains such as the Himalayas were probably built by catastrophic movement of the earth’s continental plates during and after the Flood (see Q&A: Plate Tectonics). Measurements indicate that the Himalayas are still rising). The rate of rise now measured is just the remnant of the processes that occurred much faster in the past.

Mountain building occurred as a part of the geologic processes that deepened the oceans to take the waters off the land towards the end of the Flood. Some mountains could have existed before the Flood, but none like the current Himalayas, Alps, or Andes in height. In any case, there is only enough water on all the earth to cover mountains about 3 km (2 miles) high, if all the ocean basins were raised. So, if the waters were not 9 km deep, but much less, the question is no longer an issue.

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Bodie Hodge – What Did Noah’s Ark Look Like?

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Most of us have seen various depictions of Noah’s Ark—from the large, box-like vessel to the one in children’s nurseries with the giraffes’ heads sticking out the top. But what did the Ark really look like? Can we really know for sure?

Depicting the Ark — A Sign of the Times?

Noah’s Ark has been a popular subject for artists throughout the centuries. However, it is not easy to adequately depict this vessel because the description in Genesis 6 is very brief. To paint a complete picture, the artist must assume some important details.

As the invention of Gutenberg’s movable-type printing press in the 1400s made rapid and widespread distribution of the Holy Scriptures possible, Noah’s Ark quickly became the subject of lavish illustrations. Many designs were pictured, and some were more biblical than others. Often, artists distorted the biblical specifications to match the ships of the day. For instance, the picture shown in figure 1 has the hull of a caravel, which was similar to two of the small sailing vessels used by Christopher Columbus in 1492.

Unlike most other artists, Athanasius Kircher (a Jesuit scientist, 1602–1680) was committed to accurately depicting the massive Ark specified in Genesis. He has been compared to Leonardo da Vinci for his inventiveness and his works’ breadth and depth. This early “creation scientist” calculated the number of animals that could fit in the Ark, allowing space for provisions and Noah’s family. His realistic designs (figure 2) set the standard for generations of artists.

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Tim Chaffey – Fantastic Voyage: How Could Noah Build the Ark?

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To many people, Noah’s Ark sounds like a fantastic voyage that never could have happened. Ancient man didn’t have the technology. A single family would not have enough time, manpower, or resources to complete such a massive undertaking. Oh really?

Noah slapped his pen on the desk in frustration. “That won’t work either.” He buried his head in his hands and prayed. O God, help me. Stirred by his wife’s footsteps, he looked up to see her approaching.

“What’s wrong?” Emzara asked.

He sighed and raised his hands in frustration. “How can I make it strong enough to hold together in rough seas?”

“I’m sure you’ll figure it out.” She gently massaged the back of his neck. “The Creator wouldn’t command you to build the Ark without enabling you to do it.”

He patted her hand softly and nodded. “I know. There’s just so much to think through.”

Apart from the Ark’s critically important dimensions and a few other features, the Bible reveals very little about God’s instructions to Noah.

Did the Lord give him detailed plans beyond what we read in Scripture so that Noah only had to prepare the pieces and put them together? Or did Noah have to figure out most details as depicted in this fictional conversation with his wife (whose name is not given in Scripture)?

Modern skeptics frequently assume that someone living in Noah’s time would have been wholly incapable of building something as large and sophisticated as the Ark. Their views raise several interesting questions that force us to dig deeper and find truths—about God’s Word and His work in history—that we might otherwise miss.

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Nathaniel Jeanson – What Happened to the Animals After Noah’s Ark?: Stepping Back in Time

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In our previous posts, we observed that Noah took just a few thousand animals on board the Ark. They survived the yearlong Flood and then stepped off the ship around 4,500 years ago.

And then? Where did they go? What was their fate?

As we discovered in previous posts, the kinds that Noah brought aboard the Ark are approximated by a classification rank somewhere around family and order. In other words, Noah would have brought two representatives from the cat family, not two tigers, two lions, and two ocelots.

The Fact of Mammalian Extinction

In calculating the total number of these kinds that went on board the Ark, we included fossil families as well as living families. Among mammal families, we found that the families alive today represent only approximately 30% of the mammal families that ever existed. Which means that around 70% of mammal families are now extinct.

In other words, 70% of the kinds of mammals that Noah brought on board the Ark died. This is not extinction by virtue of burial in the Flood. Rather, it’s extinction after the Flood.

This fact may seem counterintuitive. If the purpose of the Ark was survival, why let over two-thirds of the kinds die off after the voyage was complete? To a skeptic, this fact might intimate failure on the part of God.

The Theology of Mammalian Extinction

However, following this logic through to its conclusion, the skeptic would then also need to conclude that not only the Ark but also the Flood was a failure as well. After all, salvation via the Ark wasn’t the only purpose God achieved in the Flood narrative; He was equally determined to judge sinful humanity who refused to repent and exercise faith.

Yet in just a few generations following the Deluge, the descendants of faithful, righteous Noah descended into gross wickedness again. Mankind rebelled in trying to build a tower to the heavens (Genesis 11:1–9). In response, God judged mankind again, not by sending a global Flood (since He promised to never do so again) but by confusing the languages of mankind.

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Nathaniel Jeanson – Which Animals Were On the Ark with Noah?: Stepping Back in Time

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As we observed in our previous post in this series, for many readers of Genesis 6–9 the account of Noah’s Ark contains deep mystery. Which animals boarded the Ark with Noah? Did any of them fail to make it? Could millions of animals really have squished themselves in Noah’s ship for a yearlong voyage in the rough and open seas?

Though Genesis 6–7 do not enumerate the creatures on the Ark with Noah, these chapters give us clues to their silhouettes.

The images that emerge are striking.

What Does Min Mean?

The most important Scriptural clue stems from the Hebrew word min, which English Bibles typically translate as kind. Though the word min occurs only 31 times in the Old Testament, these uses are enough to reveal a clear meaning. Just like the English language, the contexts in which min is found illuminate its interpretation.

The use of min in Genesis 6–7 is the most relevant for our purposes. In verses 19–20 of chapter 6, when God commands Noah to bring animals on board, God says,

And of every living thing of all flesh you shall bring two of every sort into the ark, to keep them alive with you; they shall be male and female. Of the birds after their kind, of animals after their kind, and of every creeping thing of the earth after its kind, two of every kind will come to you to keep them alive.

Why would God stipulate that both male and female of the kinds be brought on board the Ark? In the long term, an important function would need to be fulfilled—“to keep seed alive upon the face of all the earth” (Genesis 7:3, KJV). The Hebrew word translated seed1 is elsewhere used to obviously denote offspring (e.g., see the promises of God made in Genesis 3:15 and 13:16). Hence, Noah brought males and females on board the Ark for the purpose of reproducing after the Flood in order to preserve the lineage of each kind.

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Tim Chaffey – Ark Tales: 10 Popular Misconceptions about the Flood

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The human mind has the uncanny ability to fill in details that simply don’t appear on the page. While this skill helps us digest information quickly and fill in gaps, it has a downside. We can miss important details or see things that aren’t there. That’s why publications need multiple proofreaders, since the mind naturally glosses over errors and “sees” what it expects to see.

This is an easy mistake to make when reading the Bible, too. We hear stories since childhood, graphically retold by imaginative Sunday school teachers and preachers. Then we sit down to read the text itself, expecting those details and voilà they’re there! Some misconceptions are relatively innocent, but others can lead to serious misunderstandings that ultimately cause people to question things the Bible never actually stated.

Misunderstandings are on full display when it comes to the biblical account of the Flood. Are you guilty of any of these ten common misconceptions?

It Never Rained Before the Flood

Many creationists insist the Bible teaches that rain had never fallen prior to the Flood. This idea largely comes from a phrase in Genesis 2:5: “. . . before any plant of the field was in the earth and before any herb of the field had grown. For the Lord God had not caused it to rain on the earth, and there was no man to till the ground” (emphasis added).

Is this verse referring to all of the time between Creation and the Flood? Certainly God could have created a different hydrologic cycle than the one in place now, but what is stated?

Another way to understand this passage is that it refers to the conditions prior to the first man and his Fall. That is, before Adam was created, rain had not fallen and two particular types of plants had not grown but would appear after he sinned. The plants mentioned in Genesis 2:5, the “plant of the field” and the “herb of the field,” refer to cultivated plants and desert shrubs, respectively.1 These are not the same plants mentioned as being created on Day Three (Genesis 1:11). The reason these plants had not grown yet is that “God had not caused it to rain on the earth, and there was no man to till the ground.” These conditions would soon change.

So rather than describing Earth’s conditions throughout the pre-Flood world, this verse is likely just explaining the environment prior to Day Six.

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Lita Cosner – The Global Flood: According to the New Testament

Many Bible skeptics regard Genesis 1–11 as mythical, copied from Enuma Elish, the Epic of Gilgamesh, and other such ancient writings—so not only is it a primitive myth, it’s not a particularly original one, in their view. We’ve often written about the characteristics of Genesis that show it claims to record history.

Sadly many believers have bought into these interpretations, but as Christians, aren’t we supposed to believe what Jesus did? And it’s easy to extend that to believing what the apostles that He appointed and inspired by the Holy Spirit to author Scripture believed as well. If Christians don’t believe the Bible, in what sense are they ‘Christ followers’? So let’s look at what Jesus believed and what the New Testament tells us about the circumstances surrounding Noah’s Flood.

The world at the time of Noah

In Noah’s day, Jesus tells us that people were going about conducting ‘business as usual’ until the Flood came: “in those days before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day Noah entered the ark, and they were unaware until the flood came and swept them all away” (Matthew 24:38–39). But it wasn’t a pleasant place to live—the culture was so immoral that Peter called it “the world of the ungodly” (κοσμῳ ἀσεβῶν, kosmō asebōn, 2 Peter 2:5). There were even angels who sinned at that time (2 Peter 2:4) by deserting their proper positions (Jude 1:11). While the New Testament doesn’t specify exactly what this sin was, it fits in nicely with the assertion in Genesis 6 that the ‘sons of God’ took wives among the ‘daughters of men’—in other words, angels taking human wives1 and fathering the Nephilim.

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Tony Breeden – Was Noah A Millionaire? James McGrath’s Theology Stumbles On Scripture

What you’re about to read is what happens when a man who doubts the historical veracity of the Bible finds something in the Bible that contradicts his loosely Bible-inspired theology. Basically, he’s stubbed an opinion on a passage of Scripture. It’s sad. It’s instructive. It underscores the truth of Jesus’ warning in John 3:12 about the interconnectedness of earthly facts and heavenly truths.

Dr. James F McGrath recently posed the snide question “Does Ken Ham Think Noah Was A Millionaire?” His reasoning, if we may use that term loosely, is that the Ark Encounter’s modern-day price tag is $24.5 million dollars. Tellingly, he scoffs alongside atheists like PZ Myers over the fact that the Ark Encounter project has raised only $4 million of the money needed, to date. That McGrath takes his seat with the scoffers should give us a clue how low his view of Scripture is.

In fact, in a rather misleading statement, he says:

“Why does one need even 4 million dollars to demonstrate the literal truthfulness of an ancient story about a lone man, without modern technology, perhaps helped by some family members and slaves, building a box-shaped boat capable of housing two or seven of all kinds of animals, if Answers in Genesis and their interpretation of the Noah story is correct?”

We pause here to correct a handful of erroneous notions evident in McGrath’s analysis.

First, we note that the height, width and length of the Ark are indeed given in the Bible, but this in no wise means that the Ark was box-shaped, any more than giving the basic height, width and length of a modern yacht or cargo ship require a box shape. If he had bothered to do the research [he either hasn’t, evidencing willful ignorance, or he has and he hopes to purposely mislead folks], he’d know that Biblical Creationists affirm that these are the basic dimensions of the Ark and that, while a box shape would in no wise invalidate the Genesis account, there’s quite a bit of creative room within those dimensions.

Second, even if Noah, Shem, Ham and Japheth worked alone on the Ark, is McGrath suggesting that the feat could not have been completed in a time frame of 120 years?? Ridiculous!

Thirdly, McGrath makes the point that Noah built the Ark without modern technology. I remind him that Stonehenge and the pyramids were built without modern technology and modern technicians marvel at these feats because they are not able to determine how such things were accomplished in the timeframes history records. Of course, McGrath and others who scratch their heads at how the pyramids were built by “primitive” peoples with “primitive” technology are begging the evolutionary question. The Bible records that man was never primitive in this sense, but has degraded to such “primitive” conditions in many cases.

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