"You want to see Noah's ark?"
"Who are you trying to kid?"
"Stop your typing," Carol suggested, "and come look at this."
Since the book I am writing involves the ark, I thought I better see what this was all about. Numerous books are required to adequately address the various theories of the flood event, so I'll keep this painfully brief.
First, a look at scripture. According to the Bible: The earth was covered with water. God ordered dry land to appear. The flood -- commonly called Noah's flood -- occurred about 1,656 years after Adam and Eve left the Garden. One interpretation of the narrative reveals the flood could have occurred around 2,300 to 3,000 BC, and it didn't rain from the time of man's creation until the flood.
Now a little geological, atmospheric, and astronomical info.
No rain means: no snow, hail, or ice. It means no high mountain ranges, deep valleys, or deserts. However, scientific studies have verified that the entire earth was a green-house in the distant past, and the atmosphere was much denser (thicker) than it is now. Obviously, there wasn't enough water to cover all the hills in Noah's time, so more water was needed. The polar ice caps appeared and the earth suddenly cooled. This could have been accomplished by comets. Sea shells and fossilized sea critters are found on the highest mountain ranges. (Many comets, if not most of them, are composed primarily of frozen water.)
"So, how did the ark get to Kentucky?" I asked facetiously.
"It's only a model. Look at the picture; what do you think?" After studying the advertisements, online information, and discussing it for a week, we decided to go visit the ark.
We reached Williamstown, Ky., on June 5, 2017. Even though I've studied the Biblical account for some time, I was impressed with the size of this thing. This model is 510 feet long, 85 feet wide, and 51 feet high. The Bible calls out the dimensions as: 300 cubits long, 50 cubits wide, and 30 cubits high. Tradition puts that size at: 450 feet long, 75 feet wide, and 45 feet high. Either way, it is huge! I also might disagree about some of the features of the Kentucky model, but none of us has seen the real boat so we'll let that go, too.
It is estimated that each deck of Noah's ark could carry the cargo of 150 semi-trucks, or about 185 railroad stock or cattle cars. The total floor-space was the size of about 20 college basketball courts.
Skeptics today challenge the Bible, saying even if there was a flood, the ark couldn't contain two each of every unclean animal, and seven each of the clean animals. But that challenge is based on incomplete information. God is the master architect and knew how many animals He would bring to the ark, so He gave Noah the proper dimensions. Also, God didn't need two of every flamingo, eagle, chicken, robin, etc., because the genetic code God built into birds was sufficient to generate all the different kinds of birds. Apply that to lizards, dogs, cats, cows, deer, and the rest of the animals.
And God didn't need adult critters. I think He brought young elephants, giraffes, hippos, etc. to the boat. Young animals take up less space than adults, they are not as heavy, they don't eat as much, and there is less clean-up after them. God had it all figured out.
As Carol and I toured the Kentucky ark, we were amazed. The designers understood Noah's situation, his time frame, food availability, the need for air movement, water, and for human and animal excrement removal. They understood the intense stresses the craft would endure for the time it would be tossed about on the tumultuous, open seas.
But let's not forget the purpose of the ark -- the preservation of mankind during judgment. Man had rebelled against God in the worst ways they could imagine. They had reduced Almighty God, the Creator of the universe, to a minor deity believed in by weak-minded people. Matthew 24:37 and Luke 17:28 tell us humanity would be the same when Jesus returns.
Friends, humanity IS the same now as it was then! Is the time drawing near for Jesus to return?
I enjoyed the experience in Williamstown, Ky. If you have a desire to enliven and enhance your Biblical understanding, I heartily recommend visiting the ark.
-- Gene Linzey is a speaker, author, mentor and president of the Siloam Springs Writers Guild. Send comments and questions to firstname.lastname@example.org. The opinions expressed are those of the author.Religion on 02/07/2018
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