Did Noah's Ark Exist?

Did Noah’s Ark Exist? There was a big flood all over the world? There was many animals entering the ark? Or it is all just a metaphore? What is the Official position of the Catholic Church about it? Thank you:)

Yes, of course it did.

Jesus Christ spoke of it.

Matthew 24:37-39 'As it was in Noah’s day, so will it be when the Son of man comes. For in those days before the Flood people were eating, drinking, taking wives, taking husbands, right up to the day Noah went into the ark, and they suspected nothing till the Flood came and swept them all away. This is what it will be like when the Son of man comes.

Jesus doesn’t talk rubbish.


Well, to start with, the Church doesn’t have “official” positions about every biblical account. There is no document that states: “Noah’s Ark actually existed”. Rather, the Church tells us that the accounts in the OT are trustworthy and of benefit to our faith.

Even if the Noah story were a metaphor, it wouldn’t mean that it has no value. Myths are not falsehoods, rather they are a means of conveying truth in story form–a particular type of story.

Having said that, yes, we Catholics hold that Noah was a real person and his story is true. However, again, the story is not meant to be read in the modern way of reading stories, as if it were written by a modern historian or reported in the news. When the Bible tells us that all the mountain peaks were covered, it does not necessarily mean Mt. Everest was under water. It means that the area in which the flood took place drowned out all the high places humans and animals could seek refuge. So, Noah did not need to take every living species of animal with him, but only those affected by the flood, as God commanded him. And even with those animals the water creatures would not need rescuing–just to give you a couple of examples.

There have been various flood events that may have been the flood referred to in the Bible (and other ancient accounts) stemming from a real event that took place in that region of the world many centuries ago. We don’t know which one it might have been, but it isn’t really important. What matters is the meaning for us in our times–that God will punish sin, that he had a plan for the redemption of man and of creation, and that plan was fulfilled in Christ, who alluded to the story to teach us lessons about being alert and ready at all times to give an account of our lives before God. I hope that helps. Others will have their own ideas about this biblical account that, as long as none of our ideas teach anything contrary to the teachings of the Church in matters of faith and morals, are perfectly fine. :slight_smile:

Okay, but I see many scientists saying that there couldnt be a big flood, and there are no evidences anywhere for a flood in earth? And scientists says by the variety of animals in the world, there couldn’t be one pair of each species in the ark, and that stuff

There was no global flood.
There was no ark that contained all the creatures of the globe.

Genesis and human reason are not mutually exclusive - they speak of different truths.

"In the Beginning…" A Catholic Understanding of the Story of Creation and the Fall (Eerdmans, 1986, 1995), Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger (Pope Benedict XVI)

…the Bible is not a natural science textbook, nor does it intend to be such. It is a religious book, and consequently one cannot obtain information about the natural sciences from it. One cannot get from it a scientific explanation of how the world arose; one can only glean religious experience from it. Anything else is an image and a way of describing things whose aim is to make profound realities graspable to human beings. One must distinguish between the form of portrayal and the content that is portrayed. The form would have been chosen from what was understandable at the time – from the images which surrounded the people who lived then, which they used in speaking and in thinking, and thanks to which they were able to understand the greater realities. And only the reality that shines through these images would be what was intended and what was truly enduring. Thus Scripture would not wish to inform us about how the different species of plant life gradually appeared or how the sun and the moon and the stars were established. Its purpose ultimately would be to say one thing: God created the world.

Perhaps I ddn’t make my points clearly enough. I never stated that the flood covered all the earth or that the Church teaches this–I stated just the opposite. :slight_smile: Your “many scientists” apparently don’t know what Catholics are obliged to believe about this issue . Many fundamentalists believe in a world-wide flood of the type you mean, but we Catholics do not have to hold to this belief.

I also never stated that all the animals in the world were on the Ark, nor does the Church make that claim–I stated that only those species in the region in which the flood account took place were probably included–those that would need such a vehicle to survive a flood in that area of the world. That area would be the Middle East/Mediterranean.

There is plenty of archeological evidence that large areas of the Middle East/Mediterranean suffered tsunamis and other large floods at the time the Noah story happened. You have been reading the wrong “scientists”. :wink:

Yes, I believe the Flood was a historical event.

Maybe not every detail of the story was factual (parts of the language could be figurative). Maybe not the whole world, but the known world was only destroyed? All of this is possible with God.

We do know that Noah was a just man, and God saw this. God decided to destroy all living people and creatures except for Noah, his family, and the pairs of living creatures that he brought on board with him before the rain fell for 40 days and 40 nights.

Scientists don’t claim that a “big flood” is impossible, but they certainly do reject the idea that the Flood from Genesis was on a global scale.

A more modern hypothesis on the catastrophic flood motif is the Black Sea deluge, which is believed to have occurred around 5600 B. C. E. (if it occurred at all). If memory serves, though, this hypothesis was quite controversial at the time. I would have to research into it to see if it’s still considered a valid point of discussion.

But even if this deluge did happen, it still wasn’t global.

and there are no evidences anywhere for a flood in earth?

We do have evidence of flooding in ancient Shuruppak, Ur, Kish, Uruk, Lagash, and Ninevah (just to list some examples). None of these floods were global in scale, though; they were localized.

And scientists says by the variety of animals in the world, there couldn’t be one pair of each species in the ark, and that stuff

Pangaea beginning to rift is believed to have happened 200 million years ago. In other words, the seven continents that are currently configured today would have existed during Noah’s time. If that’s the case, then there certainly is a major problem with the idea that Noah took every species of land animal on the Ark with him.

Personally, I believe the Flood happened on a more localized scale than what Scripture describes. Further, I believe that Noah took the regional animals that would have been killed by the Flood on the Ark with him. I see this as a much more plausible conjecture.

Also, the flood happened before the peoples of the world had migrated out of the Middle East/African area in which humankind began. So, naturally the flood story went with the survivors to all parts of the world.

Jesus Christ speaking of it doesn’t mean it’s real. My professors in school spoke of Zeus and other deities. They aren’t real. There is no logical reason to conclude that because Jesus talked about it matter of factly that it literally happened.

There’s not just no evidence that there was a flood. There is evidence that there was no global flood.

Cultures and new languages and entire societies numbering in the tens of thousands that retained the flood story had developed all over the world within a decade or so of each other and within decades of the flood itself? That doesn’t seem physically possible.

I laugh at those programs that show people looking for the ark. The story is a metaphor for social upheavals that overturn the status quo. A modern example would be the Great Depression. “Floods” happen all the time, and as Jesus said, unexpectedly.

Yes, unless Jesus told mythological stories, which he didn’t. He told it like it was and didn’t have to make up a fake creation stories either.

If they all had experience of a flood within their histories, it is physically possible. What you mean is we don’t understand how/why. That’s okay. We may understand it as archeologists uncover more evidence, but then we may never know in this life. The important thing is the lessons these flood stories tell us about God and man and our responsiblities to both. :slight_smile:

I think the term is “parables”.

Very wrong. The Genesis account that Jesus told and Noahs ark are not parables. The parables of Jesus are listed by the church and do not include Noahs Ark or Genesis as Jesus told it from the NT.catholic-resources.org/Bible/Parables.htm

Jesus spoke in the language and idiom of the day using stories that His audience would understand and relate to.

He would not have used scientific language because the people would not have understood a word He said.

I don’t understand why Catholics would want us to believe the literal truth of Genesis when our own Church documents say that we do not need to.

If someone wants to believe in Genesis literally then fine, fill your boots, but do not demand that other orthodox Catholics should, because to do so would be to deny the teaching of the Church in this matter…

But monotheistic Jews would understand that a man was Jehovah? Thats more than scientific.

“We don’t need to” is your wording.

As Catholics we are not afraid of the Truth.

God didn’t give us a brain in order to confuse us, nor did He place fossils in the ground to lead us astray:


VATICAN CITY (CNS) – Jesuit Father Jose Funes is pleased with the successful landing of the Curiosity rover on Mars, and he thinks “everybody should be happy with the success.”

The Argentine Jesuit, director of the Vatican Observatory, said the rover’s mission is important: “to see if we can learn a bit more about Mars and the possibility of organic elements on the surface of Mars,” which would indicate that some living organism had lived or could live on the planet.

The Curiosity landed on Mars Aug. 5 and is set to explore the planet for two years.

Father Funes told Vatican Radio Aug. 6 that he thinks the rover is perfectly named because curiosity is “a driving force to do science, to do research. Human beings basically are curious and we want to know how many things in the universe work: what is the logic, what are the laws in the universe.”

In addition, he said, human beings want to know if life forms exist anywhere else besides Earth.

So far, there is no evidence of a living organism elsewhere, “but still the search for life is worthwhile. We can learn many things, even if we cannot find signs of life,” he said.

**Asked if the church had anything to fear from the possible discovery of life forms elsewhere, Father Funes said, "Of course not. We are not afraid of science.

“The reason why the Catholic Church has an observatory is because we are not afraid of the truth, whatever the truth might be,” he said.**

… Father Funes spoke about the search for life on other planets and what it could mean from the point of view of Christian faith.

Just as God created multiple forms of life on earth, he had said, there may be diverse forms throughout the universe. “This is not in contrast with the faith, because we cannot place limits on the creative freedom of God,” he said.

Vatican Observatory and the “God Particle” romereports.com/palio/the-vaticans-observatory-and-the-god-particle-english-7423.html#.UCrI9WE9jSg

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