Noah and the Ark have been in the headlines quite a bit lately. In January, media outlets proclaimed that the biblical account borrowed from an ancient Mesopotamian tablet, which describes the Ark as a large round vessel. The upcoming big-budget Hollywood movie Noah, starring Russell Crowe, has generated significant buzz in the media and in Christian circles and will surely continue to do so as we approach its release date later this month.
Of course, around here the major news on the subject was our big announcement that the bond offering to fund the first phase of the Ark Encounter was successful. We are very excited to be moving forward with this amazing project designed to remind people of God’s judgment on sin and His tremendous mercy.
With so much publicity centered on Noah and the Ark, Christians will likely have opportunities to discuss the biblical account of the Flood with unbelievers. We need to be prepared to accurately address their questions and point out misconceptions they may have about the event. News articles about the Mesopotamian tablet misrepresented God’s Word, and based on what we know of the film, we fully expect the Noah movie to give viewers numerous false ideas about the biblical account.
At the Ark Encounter, we will do our very best to make sure we aren’t misrepresenting the biblical account. However, no matter how we portray it, we will necessarily need to use artistic license in making some educated guesses about certain matters. For example, what did Noah and his family look like? How did they dress? What did the Ark animal kinds look like? We realize that some visitors to the Ark Encounter will likely take portions of our model (i.e., what we have inferred from Scripture) and treat it as though it is directly from the text. That’s always a danger when portraying biblical accounts.
So how can a person avoid confusing God’s Word with depictions of biblical accounts that are based on Scripture? How can someone be prepared to address those who have been or will soon be talking about Noah and the Ark? The answer is simple, but it is often overlooked or carried out with less than due diligence: Read the Bible. That’s right, if you want to know the truth about Noah, the Ark, and the Flood, read God’s Word. Study it. Pray about it. Read it some more. Pay close attention to the text itself and guard yourself against reading your own ideas into the Bible—something that seems to inevitably happen.
Compare everything you read, hear, or see with the Word of God. Be like the Jews in Berea who were praised by Luke for comparing Paul’s teachings to Scripture on a daily basis (Acts 17:11).
For the truth about Noah, read the following passages of the Bible: