Tuesday’s Column: Dale Mail

Not long ago my wife and I went to visit the ark exhibit located in Williamstown, Kentucky. While exploring the decks you get to imagine what it may have been like to walk in Noah’s sandals. Half of one floor was dedicated to ancient legends that told of a worldwide flood as well as the religious beliefs and backgrounds of the various cultures. Two things resonated with me as I read the plaques and took in the artifacts on display. First, the similarities in the flood legends. The second observation was the fact that the further from Mesopotamia you traveled, both in time and distance, the more implausible the story seemed. While the inspired Genesis account gives a great deal of detail other legends lack the realism and plausibility factors. Genesis records construction of the ark giving us the material, water-proofing methods, dimensions, and labor period. It tells us where the flood waters came from and even the general area where the ark came to rest. Interestingly, the seaworthiness of the ark has even been tested in the modern era.

“…naval architects have confirmed that a barge with the Ark’s dimensions would have optimal stability. They concluded that if the wood were only 30 cm thick, it could have navigated sea conditions with waves higher than 30 meters” 

(Hong, S.W. et al., Safety Investigation of Noah’s Ark in a Seaway.,Journal of Creation)

Known legends written closer to Noah’s time and neck of the woods like the Sumerian version (Epic of Gilgamesh) describe an ark as being cube shaped. A cube shaped ark would tumble and role in the treacherous deluge. Further evidence for the reliability of the Biblical account can also be seen in the date of writing. Noah’s flood was written earlier than the Sumerian version and the proof is in the religious practices depicted in these competing tales. Even secular scholars confirm that early mankind were monotheistic. In the Epic of Gilgamesh there’s a small pantheon of gods mentioned, and this pantheon grew as time passed. One character in the Sumerian version offers a sacrifice after the flood waters receded, but Christians will pick up on the language used to describe this offering. 

The gods smelled the savor,
gods smelled the sweet savor,
and collected like flies over the sacrifice

The gods also bickered amongst each other and showed incredibly human attributes. They were fickle and violent, often contradicting their own alleged virtues. 

Two Concluding Thoughts About The Almighty 

God is the only form of our imitation. His Holiness and righteousness is set apart from humanity— He supersedes the natural world.

God is the owner of absolute truth: To know Him is to know truth, to know love, to know forgiveness, to know honesty, to know perfection. God wants all of us to come to a knowledge of Him, because a knowledge of Him is to know Truth. This point is emphasized in the Book of John. It’s essential in the development of our relationship with Him. If one doesn’t know Truth, then one doesn’t know God. 

Dale Pollard

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