Really? We're talking about Noah? Why are we doing that? What can you do with the story of Noah’s ark? This week's Bible study covers Genesis 6:9-22; 7:24; 8:14-19.
As viewed by some, Noah's ark is a historical reality. The whole world was corrupt and then God sent a massive flood and everyone except for Noah, Noah’s family, and a pair of each of the animals that walked on the Earth was killed. Then when everything dried up they started over. And the whole world again became corrupt.
As viewed by others, it’s an ancient epic tale that recounts some kind of massive flood. We find ancient flood tales in other holy writings – Manu from Hindu texts -- Greek Mythology tells of Deucalion who was saved when Zeus destroyed the world by flood. The Epic of Gilgamesh tells a very similar story where Utnapishtim is saved when the world is flooded. And Utnapishtim’s story comes from another story – The Epic of Atrahasis – recounting a very similar flood epic. That epic probably comes from another – Eridu Genesis – where the hero, Ziudsura, is saved from a massive flood. There are many flood stories that come from many cultures all over the globe. Science has attempted to understand the origins and several theories, some suggesting an ancient Tsunami, others that suggest glacier melt from the ending ice age.
Both of these views try to understand the origins of the story of Noah’s Ark. How about the theological questions, though?
Why is Noah’s Ark in the Bible? What does it have to teach us? What can we learn from Noah’s Ark?
- Is it about faith and following God?
- Is it about the continuing story of the Bible where God creates, we mess up and God creates and we mess up . . . ?
- Is it about judgment for any who don’t listen to God?
- Is it about God providing a fresh start when we’ve continually failed?