A growing number of people today do not believe in the Bible. They have science, history, and logic. To them the Bible is just an outdated book that people use wrongfully. Religions under the name of “God” have caused many wars and bloodshed. The younger generation often look at the Bible and think “animal sacrifices, stoning, and multiple uses for the word abomination–I’m out.”
When my oldest son was in elementary school, he was asked to write a paper on a nonfiction book. He chose Noah’s Ark and received an F on his paper or a zero/incomplete. He brought it home in tears. My oldest son always strived to make good grades. He looked scared when he came home. I asked him what was wrong as he is my charismatic child, and with trembling lips he said, “Momma, I got an F.” Then he told me he got yelled at for having his bible with him to read part of the story of Noah before turning in his paper.
I’m sure the teacher was like many today. She probably thought, “why do these religious fanatics tell their children fables about animals on a boat? Please learn Science and stop feeding your children hogwash!” (Stay with me, science nerds and atheists)
Back to My son:
I met with the principal about our faith, and however ridiculous it may have seemed to his teacher, I told her, “We believe in the story of Noah.” I was irate. She tried to console us, and after being insulted by the teacher in the office, who said, “You really believe that animals came out of nowhere and got on an Ark?” You can’t possibly call this story nonfiction.”
I went home, tried to calm down and then contacted Jay Sekulow. Yes, back before, most of the world knew who he was. Sekulow has been chief counsel of the American Center for Law & Justice since 1991. After the principal received a call from Jay or one of his associates, she called me at home and asked for another meeting. I arrived the next morning. She was warm, smiling, explaining how she, too, was a Christian but how the story of Noah was not listed as a nonfiction story, and the rules were the rules. Now, forgive his teacher and you’ll feel better. She tried to console me by explaining, “Jesus turned the other cheek.” (Also taken out of context) She informed me that my son’s teacher had agreed to give him the option of choosing another book for nonfiction and turning in another paper to make a better grade. My son was a child who had no idea what he had done to deserve a bad grade. He asked questions like, “Mom, why does my teacher think we are bad? She told me I could not bring my Bible to school again. What did I do wrong, mom?” I could see his worried face and how it made him feel in class. Suddenly, I told the principal I would call the news media if someone told my child he was not allowed to bring his bible in his backpack or further write his report on Noah, and with that, she just about fainted.
Back in the late 80s and early 90s, I was a young mother who became easily intimidated by the helpful attorney who tried to tell me my religious freedoms were being harmed. He wanted me to contact the local news channel but that sounded scary. He used vocabulary over my 11th-grade education at the time. After weeks of pressure, my son was given an A on a nonfiction book. The whole thing blew over, and I dropped all my threats. A few weeks went by and suddenly one night after dinner, I turned on the 6 o’clock news and there was my son’s teacher, she was caught cheating on the mandatory test issued by the state for students. If her students did poorly on these tests it would make her look bad. There were other charges, and she was fired from the school. If she would have believed in the Torah/commandments, even if she did not believe in a worldwide flood with an Ark, she could have read about lying and cheating, about reaping what we sow, and possibly kept her job.
I say all this to write about a condition today where the wise are no longer sought after for wisdom. Job said,
But now they mock me, men younger than I am, whose fathers I would have refused to entrust with my sheep dogs.” (Job 30:1).
Like Job, the Bible is mocked. Men say things like, “how could anyone with half a brain believe this boat story ever happened.”
Jeff Benner, the founder of the Ancient Hebrew Research Center, explains it this way in his article The Importance of Proper Biblical Interpretation:
Is there a large difference between the Ancient Near Eastern perspective of the Hebrews and our Modern Western perspective? From my research and studies, I would have to say there is not only a difference but a large chasm between the two. The only way to cross this chasm is to construct a bridge that will span these two different, and oftentimes opposing, perspectives. That bridge is built by studying the Ancient Hebrew culture, lifestyle and philosophy.
In this article, Benner ironically covers a verse that mentions a flood of water, Psalm 29:10.
“In our modern culture, a flood always brings to mind death and destruction, and if we use this interpretation of a flood in Psalm 29:10, we will never understand what the Psalmist was trying to tell us. In the Ancient Hebrew mind, a flood always brings to mind life and prosperity, not death and destruction. In a desert region such as in the land of Israel, water is very scarce and the floods, coming down from the mountains, bring the much-needed water, and it also deposits nutrient rich soil on the land that makes the growing of crops possible. If we revisit Psalm 29:10 and interpret it from a Hebraic perspective, we have the following understanding.
YHWH dwells as the flood that covers all the land spreading water and nutrients, and YHWH is the king that spreads life and prosperity through all the land as far as one can see.”
Language barriers and errors in translation over time have changed much of the Bible’s contexts. Many Biblical stories we have been taught are not valid. For instance, Lots’ wife more than likely never became a pillar of salt–a statue. But she did stand, cover, and guard the way for her daughters and husband, losing her life to spare theirs. “Remember Lot’s wife!” He said. “Whoever tries to keep their life will lose it, and whoever loses their life will preserve it” (Luke 17:32–33). Have we been flipping this verse? Only seeing it in one way? It is possible Lot’s wife lost her life and preserved it for a more significant resurrection. For more on this story, click HERE.
But let’s get back to the flood—Noah’s Ark:
If you dig into History, which also has been tampered with, you find another story of a flood:
An ancient Babylonian flood myth, the Epic of Gilgamesh, tells us a story analogous to that of Noah and his ark. In it, a man named Utnapishtim builds a ship to save his family and animals from floods brought on his city by a wrathful god. After seven days, Utnapishtim and his family come to rest safely on a mountaintop.
“Then the LORD saw that the wickedness of man was great upon the earth, and that every inclination of the thoughts of his heart was altogether evil all the time. And the LORD regretted that He had made man on the earth, and He was grieved in His heart. So, the LORD said, “I will blot out man, whom I have created, from the face of the earth—every man and beast and crawling creature and bird of the air—for I am grieved that I have made them.” (Gen. 6:5-7).
In Noah’s day, men were acting like beasts. They had a beastly appetite for lust and fleshly things and were overcome with violence. Sound familiar? The earth needed LIFE. A FLOOD, vegetation, and healing waters. Remember, if we revisit Psalm 29:10 and interpret “flood” from a Hebraic perspective, one meaning is, “The king spreads life and prosperity through all the land as far as one can see.” It is after the flood that the curse on the land is removed.
Interesting read: postgraduate physics students at the University of Leicester were blown away that their experiment worked.
The Art & Science of Museum Conservation
In Genesis 6:13-22, the dimensions of the ark are listed. Establishing the precise measurements of the ark according to the instructions according to the Bible, postgraduate physics students at the University of Leicester worked out that it would have been buoyant enough to be fit for purpose. Based on the conversion of one Egyptian and Hebrew “cubit” measurement being 48.2cm, the students found the ark would have been around 144 metres long – a full 100 metres shorter than the HMS Ark Royal. Using approximate animal weights and some basic physics principles, they found that such a vessel could have stayed afloat with 70,000 animals on board.
Student Benjamin Jordan, 21, from Bury St Edmonds, told the Telegraph: “Using the dimensions of the ark and the density of the water, we were able to calculate its buoyancy force, which, according to Archimedes’ principle, is equal to the weight of the volume of fluid the object displaces.
“This meant we were then able to estimate the total mass the Ark could support before the gravitational weight would overcome the buoyancy force, causing the Ark to sink.”
Noah’s Ark and Moses’s Ark are the same Hebrew word. Moses was hidden in an Ark. Noah was hidden in an Ark. David carried the ark of the covenant. Compartments hide things. I believe there was a flood. I am not sure it covered the whole earth. I have written a blog here filled with links and articles written by people smarter than me. Regardless of what all I don’t know about an ancient Hebrew book, this I do know, it speaks to me. The Bible gives me hope. It gives me life. And as we learn more and more, we realize that Science and the Torah are starting to become one. Meggido has an interesting article. What evidence shows the Genesis flood was not universal? I was drawn to read this because I have always believed in the story of Noah, but not that it was worldwide. This article explains my thoughts better than I can. I’m sure many believe differently, and that’s okay. None of us got it all right.
Evidence of a worldwide flood is lacking. However, there is convincing evidence of an extensive flood in the Mesopotamian area. Digs near the ancient city of Ur uncovered a layer of clay deposit almost ten feet thick, sixteen feet below the present surface and covering evidence of human habitation. This led to a more extensive search for Flood evidence and the results established that “the disaster engulfed an area northwest of the Persian Gulf 400 miles long and 100 miles wide. Looking at the map today we should call it ‘a local occurrence,’ for the inhabitants of the river plains it was, in those days, their whole world” (Keller, Werner; The Bible As History).
“By the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of water and in the water, by which the world that then existed perished, being flooded with water” (II Pet. 3:5-6).
I wonder where my son’s teacher is today. I wonder if many of the skeptics who have to see with their own eyes to believe in anything ever try on faith like a garment. I wonder if we can throw off what we think we know for a minute, and sing to the One who created birds? He is the lover of our souls. Childlike faith is amazing faith.