Has Noah’s Ark Been Discovered and Does It Really Matter?

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Kenneth Kitchen’s book On the Reliability of the Old Testament

33 Comments
  1. Here’s a link to some responses posted on the ASOR blog (American Schools of Oriental Research, a professional society for real archaeologists in all areas of the ancient Near East).

    http://asorblog.org/?p=355

    The Bible doesn’t stand or fall by archeolology but it is interesting to see all the genuine evidences for the Bible. It’s a pitty all the bogus stuff makes the headlines when the real stuff goes unoticed by the mass media, its almost like they dont want to promote the Bible (sarcasim intended):-)

  2. I’m still really wondering about the Red Sea Crossing data by Swedish scientist Lenert Mollert ~ the chariot wheels, human and horse bones, all consumed by coral, but still in their original forms ~ except for the golden wheel upon which coral can’t grow; it’s in the best shape… I saw the DVD and it sure seemed to be legitimate. Snopes.com did not confirm OR deny it; their page says it is still “being researched.” Here’s a link which covers the story to some extent. I don’t know if anyone at LOF has heard of it…

    http://www.truthorfiction.com/rumors/c/chariot-wheels.htm

  3. Does the Ark of the Covenant exist on earth, and is its discovery important? may be a more appropriate and timely concern as the Age draws to conclusion.

  4. Just want to add that while I don’t base my faith on Biblical archeology (my experience of God’s redemption was not an intellectual exercise, though it was not UNreasonable to me, either) — nonetheless, if events described in the Bible actually happened, it’s only fair to say that there should be some evidence in the physical world. As investigative techniques become much more advanced, more data should (and has) come up. For some, it can be a starting point of belief. When Jesus touched on this topic of believing in His presence (without having the evidence of the five senses) He said: “Blessed are those who have not seen and yet believe.” (John 20:29) This was in response to Thomas’ insistence of touching and feeling the risen Master’s body personally. Jesus’ words may have been a reference to future believers. “Blessedness” may still sound ambiguous or unproveable to some and the way in which we as believers “know” something is hard to quantify for skeptics. Maybe God intended it to be that way?

  5. Dr. Brown – you’re right to say the discovery of a giant boat in Turkey wouldn’t “prove anything.”

    But a giant boat found 11,500 feet up on Mt. Ararat is a different story. Unless it could be argued that the Ark was built in the mountains as some sort of shrine, it would at least prove that water levels reached an extreme altitude at some point. Couple that with the location (mentioned specifically in the biblical account), and I think we would have solid evidence for a global flood.

    Unfortunately, I think the discussion is moot because it’s an obvious hoax.

  6. Jake,

    For sure, the true find would prove something, but would it prove the global flood? If so, would you say this because of the height involved? In what other ways do you think this would prove a universal flood? (Not challenging your views; just inquiring.)

  7. jj,

    Thanks for the ASOR link and your comments. I used to subscribe to BASOR (their journal) and obviously, they represent some of the top archeologists in the world, although many are not evangelical believers.

  8. Some of you might want to research the reports of Ron Wyatt. He’s claimed to have found Noah’s ark, the remains of Sodom and Gomorrah, the Red Sea crossing site (along with chariot wheels and such), and the location of the ark of the Covenant. (though a actual ark has not been brought forth)

    Just put “Ron Wyatt” in the search engine.

    He claims he didn’t find any wood from the ark as the wood had been replaced by minerals from the earth as it deteriorated. (petrified)

    He also has claimed to have found the Mt. Sinai site. The top of the mountain is said by him to be charred black.

    I can’t say that any of these things are the actual places and things, but did find them interesting.

    I know that God told Noah to build the ark, put the animals inside that God brought to him, enter it with his family, and that he exited it at the time determined, to be fruitful and inhabit the earth again.

    I wonder if he used the kind of pitch I think about, the naturally occuring bituminous type such as what’s found in tar pits.

    If so, can you imagine how two timbers glued together with the stuff and left together for a dozen years or so would hold together? Do you think they could be pulled apart?

  9. Very interesting issue Dr. Brown, thanks for bringing it up! I love your radio station!!

    One thing I’ve always struggled with that runs along the same lines is: what does the bible tell us to believe about the age of the Earth?

    Science seems to be completely convinced that it is billions of years old, but the Jewish calendar tells us that creation only happened about 6,000 years ago. How can I avoid having an “ostrich reaction” to this data? I believe God is completely capable of creating the world in 7 days 6,000 years ago–but is that what the bible tells us He did?

    Thanks! and God Bless you!
    Lior

  10. Ruth,
    FYI, I left other considerations for you as to what you discussed regarding the Obama statement (and your take on Jesus and the poor). As you had a personal interest I follow up for there with notice here.

  11. Ray wrote
    “He also has claimed to have found the Mt. Sinai site. The top of the mountain is said by him to be charred black.”

    The Apostle Paul indicated that Mt. Sinai is in Arabia –

    Paul’s reference to this: “For this Hagar is Mount Sinai in Arabia, and corresponds to Jerusalem which now is, and is in bondage with her children..” Galatians 4:25

    which is on the other side of the gulf of Aquaba, which was known, in Solomon’s time,as Yam Suf (Red Sea) — his fleet was known to be docked there. The gulf of Aqaba itself has an amazing underwater landscape. There is a kind of “land bridge” with extremely deep valleys on either side of it. It was on the high, wide area where the artifacts are reported to have been found.

    The attachment of Wyatt’s name to the Red Sea Crossing site would make anyone wonder about its authenticity; how could this one man be so fortunate at finding important archeological sites and artifacts; admittedly, that alone sounds spurious. But the evidence presented for this whole theory does seem well-grounded. Far as I know, no one has refuted it…

  12. On the issue of whether or not these kinds of discoveries really matter…God did what He did on earth and He meant it to be a sign or memorial for future generations. When the ancient Israelites were to have placed some manna in a jar and kept it in the Ark, it was for future generations to have visible proof of that phenomenon.

    Exodus 16:33 And Moses said to Aaron, “Take a pot and put an omer of manna in it, and lay it up before the LORD, to be kept for your generations.” 34 As the LORD commanded Moses, so Aaron laid it up before the Testimony, to be kept.

  13. I do think ancient discoveries are important, but I also believe there is something to keep in mind. When Jesus told the story of the rich man and Lazarus, towards the end there is mention that we have “moses and the prophets” and that even if one returned from the dead (evidence) people still won’t be convinced. Also, when the Father spoke to Jesus some heard thunder, others an angel. If an Ark is found, the evidence will be interpreted by man to suit himself. Not that evidences aren’t necessary and that Christians shouldn’t give a reasoned answer for their faith, but we shouldn’t hold out hope for some piece of evidence to convince unbelievers. Our hope for unbelievers should ultimately be in what our Lord gives us, the Holy Spirit to convict and convince of the truths of the gospel message.

  14. I can’t help but wonder: if we had the manna today? It would be scrutinized under a microscope, for sure…but it would have silenced a lot of critics and maybe even led to more being saved. It was a sin of omission to let that be lost, wasn’t it? Not to heap more criticism upon God’s people, but … there are consequences for everything…

  15. God has given me a “heart for Israel” and I love Jewish people. I also appreciated Art Katz’ interview so much that was posted on this site — what integrity! — If what Art sees will come to pass in my lifetime, I hope I will be willing to lose my life to do the right thing. But I have noticed that we can’t criticize Jews today without the stain of “anti-Semitism” being brushed on us. I post this now because of my earlier criticism of “God’s people” neglecting to keep the jar of manna safe. Being that they have been “unsafe” so many times themselves, perhaps this is why, and if so, I need to acknowledge that I [obviously] am not their judge anyway. I appreciated your take on Anti-Semitism in your video, Dr. Brown, and agree wholeheartedly. But I also think that not all criticism of Jews is anti-Semitism, any more than to criticize Christians would be “anti-Christ” in thinking. We have to be willing for correction, we have to own up to our mistakes. Criticism of the Christian church is certainly justified; the atrocities committed in His Name! Yet we go on, hopefully learning from the past; but without acknowledgement of failures, there can be no learning.

  16. I just listened to the question you answered regarding the age of the Earth in an earlier program!! thanks for addressing the issue and thanks for being such a man of God!

    the Lord reaches countless searching people with intelligent questions through your extraordinary ministry!

    God Bless you,
    Lior

  17. When we consider the age of God’s created things, let’s also remember the wine Jesus made from water at the wedding in Cana.(John 2)

    If that wine would have been examined that day by the same wine experts and scientists that we have today, I wonder how far off their estimate of it’s age would have been?

    We just don’t know as much as we often set forward. The tongue seems much too eager.

  18. Steve and everyone,

    Good point Steve!

    Luke 16
    29 Abraham saith unto him, They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them.
    30 And he said, Nay, father Abraham: but if one went unto them from the dead, they will repent.
    31 And he said unto him, If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded, though one rose from the dead.

    Do we really hear Moses and the prophets? Why do we invent new Sabbath days, feasts and dietary laws? Why should unbelievers believe Christianity when it so obviously overthrows YHWH’s commands?

    I was talking to a unbelieving friend one time. He said, “If Jesus is really who He said he was, why doesn’t He appear for CNN and do some miracles so everybody can believe?”

    The real problem is that men love darkness and won’t come to the light. Many people saw Messiah’s miracles and still refused to believe. I told my friend this. He still want’s to make his own rules. He want’s to be his own elohim (god) instead of submitting to the real one.

    Do we not do the same when we ignore YHWH’s instructions about life? We have Moses and the Prophets, but we won’t hear them either.

    Malachi 3
    6 For I am the LORD, I change not; therefore ye sons of Jacob are not consumed.

    Malachi 4
    4 ¶ Remember ye the law of Moses my servant, which I commanded unto him in Horeb for all Israel, with the statutes and judgments.
    5 Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the LORD:
    6 And he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse.

    Messiah is returning and there are those that are acting in the spirit of Eliyah the prophet. Will we remember the Law of Moses or not? YHWH does not change.

    There is one that rose from the grave that said, “Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil. For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled. Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.” (Mat. 5:17-19)

    I appreciate the creation ministries greatly. It is wonderful to have confirmation on a scientific level, but the real issue is on a spiritual level.

    Do we really accept the “whole truth”, or just the parts that can be scientifically verified? Do we really practice the “whole scripture”, or just the parts that those around us are doing?

    We have Moses and the Prophets and the Apostolic writings. Lets believe, practice and teach it all. Don’t we want to be great in the kingdom? Don’t we want to live a consistently scriptural life so that there is no grounds for the unbeliever to blaspheme YHWH on our account?

    Romans 2
    21 Thou therefore which teachest another, teachest thou not thyself? thou that preachest a man should not steal, dost thou steal?
    22 Thou that sayest a man should not commit adultery, dost thou commit adultery? thou that abhorrest idols, dost thou commit sacrilege?
    23 Thou that makest thy boast of the law, through breaking the law dishonourest thou God?
    24 For the name of God is blasphemed among the Gentiles through you, as it is written.
    25 For circumcision verily profiteth, if thou keep the law: but if thou be a breaker of the law, thy circumcision is made uncircumcision.
    26 Therefore if the uncircumcision keep the righteousness of the law, shall not his uncircumcision be counted for circumcision?
    27 And shall not uncircumcision which is by nature, if it fulfil the law, judge thee, who by the letter and circumcision dost transgress the law?
    28 For he is not a Jew, which is one outwardly; neither is that circumcision, which is outward in the flesh:
    29 But he is a Jew, which is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit, and not in the letter; whose praise is not of men, but of God.

    Mt 4:4 But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.

    Shalom

  19. There seem to be two claims with history and possibility of a plausible Ark sighting. One high up in a snowfield/icefield on Mt. A., the other nearby in the A. Mnts. area 18 KM away on a lower placement. Both have their unique stories and interesting twists and turns with folks of faith searching and finding, and both are speculative, yet involve good scientific promise.

    What is not mentioned in the Wiki Encyclopedia article viewed is the in the last decade GreenPeace reconstruction effort of an ark replica on Mt. A. Little seems to be available on that reported action, which may or may not involve the considerations of authenticity involved in the icefield possibility.

    One site is out of high altitude ice and air, and is in a petrified replacement mineral status, but with interesting relevant evidence, the other is still a great mystery, though having a long relevant sightings history involving an unsolved uncovering of a supposed buried and broken ark.

    A Chinese believers website of recent vintage reports on examining wooden rooms, a large cavern with wooden sides, floor, etc., deeply buried in ice on Mt. A. So, yes, it would be valuable to understand the technology, obedience specifics, and historiography of an actual Noah’s Ark. The other petrified site possibility has an interesting history, with a village close by and structures labeled as a place of the eight for many centuries (the 8 people reported on the Ark).

    The last mentioned site has its vesting with Los
    Alamos scientists, and consultations with many other characters, including the late Jim Irwin, an Ark seeker, exastronaut, and now deceased Christian. I recall his visit to my then church in the 1970s, in Colorado, and his sincere heart toward the effort. He had been high on Mt. A. in the icefield three times, and fallen once, which almost did him in.

  20. Thanks, Ewan. The evidence suggests something beyond sloppy archeology going on: downright deception.

  21. All, I would suggest you read the Wiki piece and its source material. It is too easy to dismiss either site I mention above. Read in depth, both claims for a possible source have some plausibility. There are “anchor” and “ballast” debris, and the “Valley of 8” ancient civilization references long before the named suspect survery is named as suspect. I challage all to read all the accounts, not simply the last referenced website final statement, and conclude that its representation as such is a fraud. It has as much scientific possibility as the icebound sighting.

    It seems more doubtful that a “memoral” explanation for the last Hong Kong group exploration site explored is plausible. Having been a mountaineer for 40 years, erecting such at high altitude without helicopters–as are used in the So. Colorado Mnts for refined rare earth element mining purposes–in what borders on being prehistory is highly doubtful. It took years to build the Ark, under divine guidance, and it will take some true open and documentable exploration to draw any conclusions from either site possibility.

  22. Yes, Ron W. is associated with the pertrified site; no, all his claims are not erroneous on its possibilities (in spite of his other commercially exploited book ventures). Would the Turkish government have founded a national park on that site based only on speculation? They put their own scientists on the study after RW’s group, and the scientists involved in that effort, were no longer given visas. In other words, the Turks started protecting the area as a possible national landmark.

    Getting open access to the icefield areas has always been tough because the Chinese government is involved on one of Ararat’s outlooks, stemming back to the NATO vs. communism’s days. Now we have the Islamic complication, with Turkey moving away from past Israeli and western alliances.

    The heavens continue to hold back the Return of the Lord until all is completed from the Holy Prophets of Old (Acts 3:21). And the restrainer restrains antiChrist forces from their own fraud of hearts and minds in all instances of possibility. Biblical finds continue to bolster the Bible as the book of books.

  23. Hey folks,

    Here is a very interesting email that was sent to Dr. Al Mohler by a friend of mine re: the ark. I post it here with his permission, but anonymously. What do you think?

    Dear Dr. Mohler,

    Searching the net for evangelical responses to the recent announcement by the Hong Kong evangelical group NAMI and Turkish archaeological authorities, I discovered your comments at: http://www.crosswalk.com/blogs/mohler/11631570/

    Your remarks on this archaeological announcement are preceded by what all evangelicals, including those at NAMI, would agree is the sad truth concerning the veneration of relics:

    “The leadership of the Roman Catholic Church has failed its members and betrayed the Gospel by embracing and allowing various forms of the veneration of relics, and this particular feature of Catholic piety and theology cannot be isolated from the larger project of Catholic doctrine.

    “Evangelical Christians observing the veneration of relics by Catholics are rightly horrified by the practice, but may be wrongly satisfied that nothing like this marks evangelical piety.

    “This temptation should be checked by the realization that many evangelicals fall prey to similar modes of thinking.

    “Consider the attention given in recent days to the claim that remnants of Noah’s ark had been found on Mount Ararat in Turkey. A team from “Noah’s Ark Ministries International,” based in Korea, claimed that wood found on the mountain came from Noah’s ark — with a certainty of “99.9 percent.”

    “Archaeologists remain skeptical about the claims, and the controversy is likely to continue for some time. But Christians should not give too much attention to such claims in the first place. Our confidence that the account of the flood and Noah’s ark happened in space, time, and history is grounded in the Bible, not in remnants of ancient timber.

    “If archaeologists later agree that the fragments are indeed from Noah’s ark, that will be a matter of real interest to Christians, but this should add nothing to our confidence in the Bible. If the fragments are determined to be authentic or, most likely, if there is no consensus at all, this will not detract anything from the truthfulness, authority, and sufficiency of the Scriptures.

    “Our confidence is in the Bible as the Word of God, not in gopher wood.

    “I am always glad to hear from readers.

    “Write me at mail@albertmohler.com

    Thanks for inviting you readers to write. I am disappointed that you conflate archaeological discoveries with veneration of relics and introduced your readers to this exciting announcement in such a fashion. I would think better examples of the evangelical form of relic piety to be found at the Billy Graham “Library” in Charlotte, NC. The Billy Graham Evangelistic Association encourages and has received large numbers of pilgrims, especially from Southern Baptists. But I can’t understand how NAMI’s announcement relates to that, or why tangible evidence of these important events in the Bible should be less important to Christians than those relating to Billy Graham – unless Billy Graham and evangelical culture are more important than the things of the Bible. I also have a few questions.

    1. Would your remarks be the same for other archaeological discoveries relating to the Bible?

    2. Are you against Christians visiting the Holy Land?

    3. Is the “Word of God,” a lamp that we are to hide in our hearts, or may we also use it for studying archaeology and history?

    4. Why do you suppose the Lord told Moses to place a jar of manna and Aaron’s rod that budded in the Ark of Testimony with the Word of God?

    5. If external evidence is not important, do claims for and against an empty tomb of Jesus matter?

    6. As Jesus said, blessed are those who believe but have not seen. Still, he showed Thomas what he requested. Thomas ended his life as a martyred witness for the Lord. How do we distinguish claims of not needing evidence from spiritual pride that masks hypocrisy or secret, fearful unbelief?

    If the Bible is myth, indeed these things would not matter. Historical truth does not seem to concern other religions. Nor did it concern those like Rudolph Bultman or Karl Barth who loudly proclaimed “”the Word of God” whatever they meant by that against the historical truth of Jesus. It seems the position that these things don’t matter would be preferred by those who are anxious or unconcerned about the truth of their beliefs.

    I am glad that you express your faith in the truth about Noah’s Flood. Since Jesus referred to Noah’s Flood, how could we trust to our future to someone who believed myth concerning the past! Those like the Apostle Paul who suffered greatly for Jesus are indeed of all men most miserable if the gospel is not based on truth.

    Fortunately, this does not seem to be the case. While myths are too vague to study evidence in historical place and time, the Bible shows Noah’s Ark landing in the mountains of Ararat sometime in the third millennium before Christ. The Bible also gives some detail concerning the construction and size of the vessel. That is no guarantee that we will find the ark, but it does give us some idea of where to look, and what to look for.

    I have looked at the evidence being presented by NAMI and I am impressed:

    http://noahsarkdiscovery.blogspot.com/2010/04/why-i-am-impressed-with-namis.html

    I think this should be a time for those who believe the Bible to be rejoicing.

    Your brother in the faith,

    (Name withheld for the Line of Fire post)

  24. As a Christian I am thrilled and happy if I learned that evidence of biblical events are found and verified to be true. However I believe that it has nothing to do with our faith.

    I agree with the saying that says, “No evidence is necessary for a believer, and no evidence is
    enough for unbeliever”.

    Jesus Himself said that even the dead will rise from the grave and testify of something the unbeliever would still not believe.

    Jesus also said that blessed are those who believe though they have not seen.

    That’s right, because it is a proof that you really have faith and it is the distinguishing factor that identify a believer from the unbeliever, a child of God from the child of the devil, a saint from the sinner.

  25. Is peity established by a false dichotomy between physical evidence and written scripture, or a preference for either? If the two agree there is no dichotmy. So, researching both and either in light of either is not vanity, but truth seeking.

    The last post by Michael Brown basically says that we can get off on the wrong foot about what is vital to our faith, but that there is nothing wrong with verifying its claims any truthful way possible. We do not need to get into the old comparisons of which believers are more sacrosanct in outlook by their preferences, or likes and dislikes. Do not confuse any of these with the essential elements of faith, hope, or love.

    As I shared above, the Chinese have an outlook on Ararat, as, literally, so does the former Soviet Union. These outlooks, as that of Ron W., have merit in their own interest, as well as contribution to plausible truth. It would be erroneous to ignore the possibility of Noah’s Ark found, or evidenced, in time (time going both directions).

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