Earlier this year, Darren Aronofsky’s film Noah, starring Russell Crowe, was met with strong criticism and disappointment from a variety of Christian groups, including Answers in Genesis. Two of our staff members wrote a detailed review of Noah, pointing out the many, many ways it was unfaithful to the biblical text. In fact, most of the film was unbiblical fantasy. As I stated in a previous blog post, the Noah movie is disgusting and evil—paganism!
Well, in a recent piece from USA Today , Aronofsky’s set designers share why they designed the ark to look the way it did—like a “brutalist structure,” as they describe it.
"In Noah the movie we went back to the book of Genesis, and one of the most specific things is the description of the boat," Aronofsky told USA TODAY at the time of its March release. . . . "The basic idea we wanted to convey was that the ark was built in haste," says [designer Mark] Friedberg. "We took the Bible at its word for its dimensions — the height, the length and the width. It didn't give any indication of a design."Interesting that Aronofsky and his team decided to “take the Bible at its word” on the Ark’s measurements—but not about much else in the account! For instance, nowhere does the Bible’s account of the Flood say that the Ark was intended solely to save the animals and that man was to die off completely. And yet, Aronofsky’s version of Noah turns him into a madman who believes he must murder his own grandchildren.
Moreover, the designer for Aronofsky’s ark said he wanted to show that “the ark was built in haste.” And in the short video included with USA Today’s write up, the designer emphasizes that they didn’t want the ark to look like a well-designed ship.
But why make such decisions, especially considering that a careful reading of God’s Word indicates the opposite? A misunderstanding of Hebrews 11:7 might have led to the conclusion that the Ark was hastily built since it tells us that Noah, “moved with godly fear, prepared an ark for the saving of his household.” But being “moved with godly fear” does not mean that Noah worked quickly. It actually implies the opposite, since it means that Noah labored with deep reverence for God. In other words, he would have been very careful to get things right.
Noah may have had up to 120 years to build the Ark (Genesis 6:3). In fact, throughout Scripture, God always gives His people adequate time to build what He’s commanded. And a ship that large would have required a considerable amount of planning—especially to deal with the force of the floodwaters. Any structure that was constructed “in haste” would never have been able to withstand the Flood!
What’s more, it’s very plausible that Noah knew a lot about shipbuilding. Because of how the Fall has affected humans, we’re becoming less intelligent over time, not more. So Noah was probably far more brilliant than we are today—and he had much longer to study trades like shipbuilding. There’s no reason to believe the Ark wasn’t well designed and built over a long period of time.
And you know, that’s exactly what we hope to demonstrate with our evangelistic Ark Encounter—a theme park with a life-size Ark—which takes God at His Word and views Genesis 1–11 as actual history, just like Jesus did.
If you want to know more about what the Bible really says about the global Flood of Noah’s day and the Ark, visit our Flood topic page and our Noah’s Ark topic page on our newly redesigned website. We can’t pick and choose what we want to believe in the Bible. I urge you to believe the entire Bible, beginning in Genesis 1.
Thanks for stopping by and thanks for praying,
This item was written with the assistance of AiG’s research team.