Ark Builders

Author: Lexi Mitchell | Student, Living Education – Charlotte, 2023-24

“May you live in interesting times”

Dr. Douglas Winnail began his forum for the Living Education students by reading this ancient Chinese “curse”. Although it has lost its spiritual nature, the concept still holds true to this day.

We live in increasingly secular and materialistic times. Before, religion was an integral part of society. Now, it is effectively nonexistent. The Bible is disregarded and laughed at, being considered a compilation of children’s stories and tales that simply never happened. 

However, despite the rapidly increasing disregard for the Bible as a reputable source of wisdom, the world is still fascinated with the story of Noah’s ark.

The ark was a gigantic vessel.

The ark took about 100 years to build, and many elements and workhands were needed to construct the building in its entirety.

Dr. Winnail explained that, among many people, they would have needed people to act as timber cutters, pitch appliers, timber transporters, timber finishers, food growers and gatherers, animal handlers, among many, many others.

Since we have historical record of where the vessel finally landed- Mt. Ararat in Turkey, as seen in Genesis 8:4– many people have attempted to locate fragments of it even to this day.

But even though people claim to have found pieces of it, it is highly unlikely because there has since been 4000 years worth of time for the wood and all other materials to have decomposed.

There are a number of life-sized models of the ark around the world today, including one in northern Kentucky, The Netherlands, Hong Kong, and Wisconsin Dells to name just a few. And although they are not perfectly accurate, just being able to witness the sheer size and scale of the models is enough to put us in awe of its magnitude.

Which story is right?

The story of a worldwide flood is a popular one around the world, so much so that it has been adapted to regional myths. There are legends from around the world of an ark and a flood, with people and animals being rescued. In fact, there are over 270 versions of the account. Some of the origin countries include Persia, Greece, Egypt, Syria, Italy, India, and Russia, just to name a few.

Although there are many versions, one of the most highly debated comparative legends is the Epic of Gilgamesh from Mesopotamia. It contains an account of a great flood, similar to the Biblical account in Genesis. However, there are major differences, and to even consider the Epic as the original account is unrealistic.

  • In the Epic, human noise disturbed the gods, however, in the Bible, man’s folly and human sin was what angered God.
  • The Mesopotamian ‘ark’ was an unstable cube, but the true ark was as big as a modern ocean liner.
  • In the Epic, it rained for only seven days and was gone in one. In the Biblical account, there was rain for 40 days and receded in 150.
  • The Mesopotamian hero was saved by his own wisdom and courage, but in the Bible, Noah was blessed with God’s mercy and was saved by his righteous character.
  • The Mesopotamian gods were selfish and deceptive, but in stark contrast, the true God of the Bible is righteous and merciful.

“All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness.” 2 Timothy 3:16

Simply put, if the Bible is credible, so is the flood story. All scripture is inspired by God, so we are not to be deceived by the legends of this world. We should all make sure to study history accurately to make these determinations for ourselves!

Modern parallels 

“For as in the days before the flood, they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, and did not know until the flood came and took them all away, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be.” Matt 24:38-39

There are an alarming number of similarities to the days of Noah and our modern today. Noah was a preacher of righteousness, and worked to show the world the right way. But those who didn’t listen were destroyed in the flood. Although many recognize the problems in the world today, human solutions to the decline of society such as lighting candles, buying guns and gold, voting for who they consider to be the ‘right person’, running and hiding, and praying to false gods, are simply not adequate to solve these problems.

“You did not choose Me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit, and that your fruit should remain, that whatever you ask the Father in My name He may give you.” John 15:16
Only those who do the will of God will be saved. We have been chosen as those individuals to bear fruit, and we are to grow in grace and knowledge of Jesus. Prepare NOW to show the world a better way.

Lexi Mitchell is a first-year student in the Living Education-Charlotte Program. She is from Long Island, New York. At home, she worked as a lifeguard and a swim instructor. Currently, she assists in the Living Education department as a social media manager and as a producer of written content. She enjoys reading, cooking, exercising, and spending time with family.