Did Noah's ark really happen?

Was Noah’s Ark just a metaphor. Did a giant flood really cover the entire earth if so how did Noah fit all those animals on the boat? Also how did he keep all the carnivourous animals from eating the other animals. This is just something sounds preposterous to me.

I think this is a remnant of an oral story of a localized flood, as there are similar stories in the Epic of Gilgamesh. But I don’t take every thing I read in the OT literally. Stories of God demanding the Israelite army kill everyone etc. Not my God.

With GOD nothing is impossible.

And yes it did happen and its a true event.

While the literal sense of scripture always points to real events, it must be read in the context of the style that was prevalent at the time of writing. As with much of Genesis, this style is that of founding mythology, how the world came to be, and how the people of Abraham, the people of Israel, found themselves in the place where God had planted them.

So when the author says ‘the whole earth’, he is not speaking as a contemporary climate scientist who can see the entire planet. There is evidence that there was flood and tectonic activity in the Ancient Middle East, which may have destroyed entire cities and countries, so it is quite believable that the entire ‘world’ that Noah and his people had known was destroyed in a flood. Imagine if a tribe of pre-Colombian Native Americans had seen the entire area between the Great Lakes flooded, the only place they had ever lived. Would they not write that the flood covered ‘the whole earth’.

If we understand the story in that way, then ‘every creature’ may likewise refer to those creatures that were part of the social ‘world’ of a settled, herding society - the animals they ate, dogs for herding, cats for keeping vermin away from crops, and we know that birds were involved. There’s no reason to believe that Noah had 2 dung beetles and 2 bengal tigers onboard the ark.

Petaro your wrong. So your also telling me that the story of The Tower of Babel:

were the whole world had one language - one common speech for all people
and God came to see their city and the tower they were building. He perceived their intentions, and in His infinite wisdom, He knew this “stairway to heaven” would only lead the people away from God. He noted the powerful force within their unity of purpose. As a result, God confused their language, causing them to speak different languages so they would not understand each other. By doing this, God thwarted their plans. He also scattered the people of the city all over the face of the earth.

So your saying this didn’t happen

Is this a joke??!! Of course it didn’t happen!

I am sorry, but I find this also allegorical explaining the structure of the world to a primitive people. It is not that I question the validity of the OT as the word of God, merely how you read it. I find it very difficult to reconcile the hard, cruel God of the OT in parts with the loving Father of the New Testament who,is loving and full of forgiveness. I will accept what the Church teaches as to the absolute historicity of the OT, but I worry about the DNA aberrations that would naturally result if the ark held the only remaining humans on the earth.
The movement of all peoples of the earth from the middle east as required by the tower of Babel would seem to be in contradiction with anthropological studies finding such movement from Africa. Still our science is often wrong.

This is an absurd way to read the Bible: picking and choosing what is historical based on your preconceived notions of what God should be like. Does that mean you also don’t believe God ordered Abraham to kill his son and all the other atrocities in the Bible? What is left then?

We don’t know. It’s not something that bothered the Church Fathers much. It’s not something that bothered the Jews much, either. So I can’t figure a literal interpretation of that particular section is necessary.

On the other hand, it’s fairly explicit, even in St. Paul’s words, that “if Christ did not rise from the dead, our faith is in vain”. That’s the loadbearing fact our hope rests on.

In other words, if you wish to know whether Christianity is true or not, why bother with minutia that only are true depending on other, much bigger questions?

I look at it two ways.

#1: It’s entirely possible that God chose to flood the whole world. It’s both within his right and ability to do so, and if that is what He chose to do, then that’s what happened.

#2: It is the recounting of a localized flood which encompassed “The whole world” as it was known to people at the time. I generally tend to favor this approach because the flood story is so prevalent throughout the world. Almost every major religion (every one that I’m aware of) includes the story of a global flood that wiped out most of the world’s population; and the story’s are usually very similar, suggesting a common origin (which I believe if faithfully recounted in Genesis). Scientifically speaking, I believe that ample evidence has been found in the Mediterranean area for a massive flood that covered a significant portion of what we known as the Middle East, as well as much of northern Africa and southern Europe. Please not that this approach does not discount God’s involvement, I’m not disputing that, it is simply a reflection on the extent of the flood.

I didn’t see any “picking and choosing” based on preconceived notions about God. Its just that certain Old Testament accounts should not be interpreted solely in the literal sense. We need to take into account the intention of the author, along with the the form and style of the text. It is very possible that one could conclude that the story of Noah’s Ark is metaphorical or allegorical and still hold that it is part of the inspired Word of God.

Does that mean you also don’t believe God ordered Abraham to kill his son and all the other atrocities in the Bible? What is left then?

That’s a non-sequitur.

Yes it did. And there has been scientific evidence through out the world that there was a great flood at this time. Moreover, every culture out there has a story about the flood, and if I am not mistaken, about the day the “sun stood still.”

Whether or not it really happened misses the entire point about what God is trying to teach us in the narrative.

It is the third account of creation. It is the third genesis. It is about the order of creation, man’s place in it, sin, justice, salvation, etc.

Whether or not it really happened is completely besides the point.


Pax Christi!

We weren’t put in this world just to study for a history test.

Love God; love one another.

God bless.

On what basis do you take into account “the intention of the author” (you don’t even know who the author(s) are)? Whatever method you use, you are still “picking and choosing” what to hold as literal. There is no agreement even on this form.


Do you believe in Hell and/or Eternal Punishment?

If so, why are people sent there?

Because if the author was attempting to relay an allegory, or was referring to a flood that didn’t cover the entire world - but rather just the area of the world that he knew - then taking the story literally would be incorrect.

You ask me “how do I know the intention of the author”? I could ask you the same question. What makes you so sure the author intended that the story be read literally? Why does the literal sense trump every other literary form? You are presupposing that the Scriptures must always be understood literally - this simply isn’t the case. While all elements of Scripture do have an important literal sense to which we should always consider first, when it becomes clear via scientific evidence, literary form, etc., that a literal interpretation was not the intention of the author, then we are expected to examine the text in other ways to search for its meaning.

For example, as a Catholic, I hold to the literal meaning of Christ’s words at the Last Supper: “This is my Body…This is my Blood”. The literal meaning here is clear. I take Christ at His word. It intrigues me that many of my Christian brothers and sisters will insist that Christ was not speaking literally when he instituted the Holy Eucharist at the Last Supper, and in the same breath will swear that the story of Noah’s Ark is a literal, historically accurate event. My point being that not even the strict Biblical literalists want to understand all the Scripture in a solely literal manner.

So once again - no - I nor the previous poster are not “picking and choosing”. We have simply chosen to examine the story beyond its literal trappings to find its deeper meaning, while still faithfully holding the story of Noah’s Ark to be divinely inspired.

I see what you are saying, christus vincit, about reading the Bible and deciphering if it is to be taken literally or figuratively, allegorically, etc…but holding to Jesus Christ’s words “This is my body/blood” as literal and then not holding God’s words, “For behold, I will bring a flood of waters upon the earth to destroy all flesh in which is the breath of life under heaven.” seems contradictory. How would you come to a conclusion that one is literal and one is allegorical? Or to put it another way, when Jesus Christ says, “This is my body.” and also says, “I am the door, gate, good shepherd, etc.” why is one taken literally and one taken as a metaphor? I apologize for all the questions. I have wondered this, that is all.

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