We have received so many questions about the Ark Encounter based on misconceptions about the project itself. Some of these come from people who are supporters and others come from critics and skeptics. These types of questions give us an opportunity to correct these misunderstandings, so we’ll spend several posts addressing these issues.
Question: Why aren’t you using a 900 year old man to build the Ark?
This objection came from a critic who wanted to mock the Ark Encounter project. His full comment was, “To make your Ark project authentic you will need a 900 year old with zero knowledge of boatbuilding and a maximum construction crew of 8, surely?” Another person claiming to be a Christian who didn’t believe in a literal Genesis wrote in and said, “If you believe the ARK was built by one man, then you should let one man build the ark for your theme park. Then maybe you will believe it was pretty much impossible for one man to have built this ark.”
It’s important to understand that scoffers rarely pay close attention to the text and simply try to make the view they are criticizing sound as outlandish as possible. So before we ever respond to someone like this, we need to take a close look at what Scripture really does state on this issue (as we should do with any subject).
First, the Bible does not teach that Noah was 900 years old when he constructed the Ark. He lived for 350 years after the Flood began and died at 950 (Genesis 9:28–29). The Flood began in his 600th year (Genesis 7:11), and he undoubtedly spent several years constructing the Ark prior to this, so he would have been in his 500s while building the Ark (Genesis 5:32).
Second, how could the skeptic possibly know that Noah had zero knowledge of shipbuilding? What was Noah’s occupation prior to the Flood? The Bible doesn’t tell us. He may have already been experienced in shipbuilding, or he may have worked to acquire this skill after God called him to build the Ark. Whatever the case, we are confident that God made sure Noah was properly equipped to complete the task.
Finally, where does the Bible limit the size of Noah’s construction crew to eight people, or to just Noah himself as the second person asked? We are told that only eight people boarded the Ark and survived the Flood, but Scripture does not tell us how many people were involved in building the Ark. Noah may have hired workers or had other family members (like Methuselah and Lamech) assist with the project.
Remember that mockers are not interested in finding real answers to their scoffing questions. They simply want to ridicule rather than investigate. Sadly, even some professing Christians aren’t really interested in finding answers to these questions and they end up dismissing parts of Scripture. Don’t be taken in by these foolish practices. Instead, dive into God’s Word and you’ll see that the answers to these objections can be found.