Monday, May 30, 2011

Noah's Ark

For this is as the waters of Noah unto me: for as I have sworn that the waters of Noah should no more go unto the earth; so have I sworn that I would not be wroth with thee, nor rebuke thee.
Isaiah 54:9

The article above in the British tabloid the Daily Mail gives us a picture of what lengths governments and their intelligence agencies would go to, to undermine and discredit the Bible and its history.  A number of researchers on the Biblical flood asked a very serious question during the height of the Cold War.

Why are the CIA and its Russian spy counterpart, KGB, interested in Ararat expeditions?  Satellites used to verify whether the Russians are keeping their part of the SALT arms limitation agreement are equipped with television cameras, infrared, and other sophisticated sensors that can operate day or night, in any weather.  From roughly 600 miles up, they can monitor movements with great clarity; or if activities are undercover, can watch related patterns of movement, according to statements made during a February, 1976, (Washington, D.C.) news conference with Malcolm R. Currie, director of the Pentagon’s Defense Research and Engineering Division.  We have been told by reliable Pentagon sources that these highly sophisticated military satellites are capable of photographing the Ark not as mere dot but as a well-defined structure.  Our Defense Department source says that military photos of the Ark probably exist in Pentagon files, to which civilians would never have access. (1)

The Pentagon, the headquarters of the US Department of Defence has satellite imagery in its archives of Noah ark.  It is unknown whether they have been classified or de-classified

The Biblical flood is the most dominant universal story that is preserved in nearly every ancient culture on the earth.  Its effects are also seen all around the world.  There are four things that authenticate the historical accuracy of the flood:

·      The rainbow is a sign that God will never destroy the world by a global flood ever again (Gen. 9:8-17)

·      The Geological and fossil record (Gen. 7:21, 22; 8:1)

·      The earth’ surface is covered by 75% of water (Gen. 8:2, 3)

·      Flood traditions are preserved worldwide

By faith Noah, being warned of God of things not seen as yet, moved with fear, prepared an ark to the saving of his house; by the which he condemned the world, and became heir of the righteousness which is by faith.
Hebrews 11:7

Noah is the Anglo-Saxon derivation of the Hebrew No-akh.  His name has been amazingly preserved in many of the ancient cultures.  The Persians called mount Ararat in modern day Eastern Turkey (the Armenian plateau), Ko-I-Nuh, which means Noah’ mountain, where the Holy Scriptures said the ark rested (Gen. 8:4).  The Hindu legend of the flood narrates how Vish-Nu incarnated himself as a fish to save Manu from the global deluge.  In the Sudan He is known as Noh; in Hawaii as Nu-u; in China they have a flood legend that they say they are descendants of Nu-wah.  Is it a coincidence that Noah’ name is preserved throughout many different cultures all over the world who live thousands of miles apart from each other over land and sea?

The Chinese symbol for Nu-wah (Noah) was their great hero and descendant

The Chinese symbols or word for "ship" consists of the symbols  "mouth" and "eight".  There were eight people in the ark

The Hindu deity Vish-Nu who according to ancient Indian legend transformed himself into a fish to save a family from a flood

Modern critics try to discredit the universal flood stories by calling them a mere coincidence and primitive myths.  What exactly is a myth?  They are stories that are preserved in ancient primitive cultures that resonate certain truths and concepts of reality.  The ancients logged and recorded their stories through oral communication, on parchments, shells, baked clay tablets, cave paintings and petroglyphs in a language many modern day scholars cannot appreciate.  When the Egyptians said the forces of darkness blinded the eye of Ra, they were describing an eclipse.  Many historians would disregard it as the ancient Egyptians just preserving their mysticism in the ‘Book of the Dead’, but Ra, the sun god was their supreme deity and that is how they described an eclipse, not as a mere darkening of the sun for a short measure of time as we would view it, but an attack on their chief deity.

Over the years approximately 80,000 books pertaining to the Deluge have been written, in no less than seventy-two languages – and these are the only ones that are traceable through the card indexes of the great libraries of the world.  The famed German researcher Dr Johannes Riem stated in the introduction to his impressive work on Flood legends, Die Sintflut in Sage und Wissenschaft: ‘Among all traditions there is none so general, so widespread on earth, and so apt to show what may develop from the same material according to the varying spiritual character of a people as the Flood traditions.  Lengthy and thorough discussion with Dr Kunnike have convinced me of the evident correctness of his position that the fact of the Deluge is granted, because at the basis of all myths, there is a real fact, but during a subsequent period the material was given its present mythical character and form.’  His position is one that is echoed by many other researchers.  The noted nineteenth-century Scottish geologist Hugh Miller, and ardent collector of the world’s most haunting traditions, writes: ‘There is, however, one special tradition which seems to be more deeply impressed and more widely spread than any of the others.  The destruction of well-nigh the whole human race, in an early age of the world’s history, by a great deluge, appears to have impressed the minds of the few survivors, and seems to have been handed down to their children, in consequence, with such terror-struck impressiveness that their remote descendants of the present day have not even yet forgotten it.  It appears in almost every mythology, and lives in the most distant countries and among the most barbarous tribes…’  Yet among even these forgotten races of the human family [Indians of the Orinocco] he found the tradition of the Deluge still fresh and distinct; not confined to a single tribe, but general among the scattered nations of that great region, and intertwined with curious tradition, suggestive of the inventions of classical mythology of the Old World.  Dr. Reims book had one other important feature: a world map showing the various areas where Flood traditions have been located.  Most of the traditions were found in Asia and on the North American continent, but Australia, Europe, Africa and the South Sea Islands also had their own individual traditions. (2)

The geological record provides abundant evidence that past Earth processes were substantially different from those of today.  This applies both to rates of erosion on land and deposition in the sea.  Noah’s must have involved both. (3) Today palaeontologists are still puzzling over the fact that myriads of early life remains are embedded in the sprawling rock formation of the postdiluvian earth, and there is simply no way to account for them other than the Flood story.  The upheaval was so terrific that today the greatest mountains on earth – the Rockies, the Andes, the Himalayas, the Alps – still bear the telltale signs of seashells and other evidence of ocean life that existed thousands of years ago. (4)

Geologist H. Miller, describing the Devonian Sedimentary deposit covering much of England, says:

At a period in our history, some terrible catastrophe involved the sudden destruction of fish in an area at least a hundred miles from boundary to boundary...

The same platform in Orkney as at Cromarty is strewed thick with fish remains, which exhibit unequivocally the marks of violent death.  The figures are contorted, contracted, curved; the tail in many instances bent around the head; the spines stick out; the fins are spread to the full as in fish that die in convulsions.

The famous Baltic amber deposits in Eastern Europe, extensively investigated by Dr.  Heribert Nillson, late director of the Swedish Botanical Institute describes his finds at the lignite beds in Geiseltal, Germany:

Here ... there is a complete mixture of plants and insects from all climatic zones and all recognized regions of the geography of plants and animals. (5)

Mount Ararat in Armenia where the Holy Scriptures said Noah’ ark rested

Robert L. Ripley (1890-1949), an anthropologist, entrepreneur and cartoonist, a man who was never refuted in his lifetime, with the anchors of Noah’ ark (in background on left) 

Fossilized fish in the Natural History Museum in London, England

 A fully intact fossilized lizard in the Natural History Museum, London, England

'Human tracks have been found beside the Paluxy River in the Dinosaur Valley State Park, at Glenrose, Texas.  These are not only in the same formation but actually on the same bedding plane and, in some cases, overlapping the dinosaur tracks.  This means that men and dinosaurs must have been contemporary and that Cretaceous rocks cannot be older than human origins on earth.' (6)

The Navajo Indians believed the Grand Canyon was carved out by water erosion as a result of the flood

The Maya of Meso-America (Mexico) had a sacred book called the 'Popul Vuh', where it recorded the creation and the story of the flood

Memories of a terrible flood resulting from divine displeasure are also preserved in the Popul Vuh.  According to this archaic text, the Great God decided to create humanity soon after the beginning of time.  It was an experiment and he began it with 'figures made of wood that looked like men and talked like men'.  These creatures fell out of favour because 'they did not remember their Creator':

And so a flood was brought about about by the Heart of Heaven; a great flood was formed which fell on the heads of the wooden creatures ... A heavy resin fell from the sky ... the face of the earth was darkened and a black rain began to fall by day and by night ... The wooden figures were annihilated, destroyed, broken up and killed.

Not everyone perished, however.  Like the Aztecs and the Mechoacanesecs, the Maya of the Yucatan and Guatemala believed that a Noah figure and his wife, 'the Great Father and the Great Mother', had survived the flood to populate the land anew, thus becoming the ancestors of all subsequent generations of humanity. (7)

A 7th century BC tablet in the British Museum, which occupies almost 200 lines of poetry in the Assyrian version of the flood in the Gilgamesh Epic.  It is borrowed from an earlier one in ancient Babylon

Atrahasis Epic, 18th century BCE

Gilgamesh Epic, tablet XI, 7th century BC

"Wall, listen to me."
Atrahasis III, 1, 20
"Wall, pay attention"
Gilgamesh XI, 22

"Like the Apsu, you shall roof it"
Atrahasis III, 129

"Like the Apsu, you shall roof it"
Gilgamesh XI, 31
"I cannot live in [your city]"
Atrahasis III, 1, 47

"I cannot live in you city"
Gilgamesh XI, 40
"Ninurta went forth make the dykes [overflow]"
Atrahasis U rev 14

“Ninurta went forth making the dykes overflow” Gilgamesh XI, 102
"One person could [not] see another"
Atrahasis III, iii, 13 

"One person could not see another"
Gilgamesh XI, 111
"For seven days and seven nights came the storm"
Atrahasis III, v, 24

"For seven days and seven nights came the flood"
Gilgamesh XI, 127
"He offered [a sacrifice]"
Atrahasis III, v, 31

"And offered a sacrifice"
Gilgamesh XI, 155
"The lapis around the neck"
Atrahasis, III, vi, 2

"The lapis lazuli on my neck"
Gilgamesh XI, 162

There are similarities between the Babylonian account of the flood in the Atra-hasis and the Assyrian account in the Gilgamesh Epic, but there are also differences. 

In 1872 English Assyriologist George Smith (1840-1876) discovered the famous flood tablet that was among the 12 tablets of the famous Epic of Gilgamesh, found in the library of Assyrian monarch Ashurbanipal (685-627 B.C.) in Nineveh (Iraq).  He translated and copied the ancient cuneiform text and he presented his discovery at a conference where the British Prime Minister W. E. Gladstone (1809-1898) attended.

Smith read his paper on the Deluge Tablet before the Society of Biblical Archaeology on Dec. 3, 1872; and his discovery made a profound impression on his hearers.  Sir Henry Rawlinson was presided, and there were present on the platform Mr. W. E. Gladstone, Mr. Childers, Mr. Giffard (later Lord Halsbury), Dr. Birch, Mr Emmanuel Deutsch, Mr. J. Bonomi, Mr. J. W. Bosanquet, Canon Cook, Mr. Fox Talbot, Dean and Lady Augusta Stanley, the Rev. J. M. Rodwell and several distinguished scholars, theologians and archaeologists. (5) He had…given to students that important document the “Chaldean Account of the Deluge,” which may be called the Magna Charta of Assyriology, and which at once showed Biblical students the valuable aid they might expect from the clay tablets of the buried libraries of Nineveh and Babylon. (8)

'Deucalion. in Greek legend, son of Prometheus, king of Phthia in Thessaly, husband of Pyrrha, and father of Hellen, the mythical ancestor of the Hellenic race.  When zeus had resolved to destroy all mankind by a fkood, Deucalion, advised by his father, constructed an ark.  The ark of Deucalion floated for nine days, after which it came to rest on Mt. Parnassus.  When the rain ceased Deucalion came out of the ark and made a sacrifice.  Zeus, thus appeased, then sent Hermes to offer Deucalion anything he wanted.  Deucalion chose to increase the human race.' (9)

The stories in Meso-America by the Maya, the Semites of Assyrio-Babylonian and the Greeks of Europe all have great similarities to the flood account in the Holy Scriptures, but there are also some major differences as in other flood stories in different cultures.  Though they differ the underlying message is the same, a flood encompassed the earth as a result of man' constant disobedience.

Why is the story of the flood so pertinent for us today?  Does it have any relevance to us, or is it just a mere story stuck in time with some strong moral lessons to learn from?  When Jesus was describing the spiritual state of the earth just prior to His Second Coming, he compares it to the days of Noah when ‘the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished’ (II Pet. 3:6) and Jesus encouraged those who had an interest in making it into eternal bliss, to study the state of man’ heart in Noah’ time where it will repeat itself in our own time (Gen. 6:5, 11; II Tim. 3:13).

But as the days of Noe were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.  For as the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark, and knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.
Matthew 24:37-39

Source: (1) In Search of Noah’s Ark pp. 192, 198 by Dave Balsiger and Charles E. Sellier, Jr; (2) Secrets of the Lost Races pp. 12, 13 by Rene Noorbergen; (3) The Case for Creationism p.74 by Colin Mitchell; (4) Secrets of the Lost Races p.13 by Rene Noorbergen; (5)  In Search of Noah's Ark pp. 41, 42 by Dave Balsiger and Charles E. Sellier, Jr; (6) Origins p. 99 by Colin Mitchell; (7) Fingerprints of the Gods  p.205 by Graham Hancock; (8) Rise and Progress of Assyriology p.113 by Sir E. A. Wallis Budge; (9) Encyclopaedia Britannica, volume 7 p.319

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