We Just Don’t Noah

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There are some things about the Ark we simply don’t know because the Bible does not tell us.

Noah held his crying wife tightly. The taunting and mocking she had endured that day was the worst yet. The scoffers had recently become more brazen, ridiculing Noah and his family wherever they went—even at the Ark’s construction site.

You can read all about this in the Bible, right? Actually, God’s Word doesn’t say anything about people mocking Noah and his family. You may be reaching for your Bible right now because you’re sure you’ve read this idea before. Please do search the Scriptures (Acts 17:11), but I believe you’ll discover the Bible is silent on this issue.

Was Noah Ridiculed While Building the Ark?

The idea that people mocked Noah is one of those details most of us have heard many times, and we simply assumed Scripture states it outright. Given what we know about sinful man and the wickedness of the pre-Flood world (Genesis 6:5), it is certainly plausible that Noah, a “preacher of righteousness,” endured scoffers. Nothing in Scripture explicitly says that scoffers lived near the Ark, but it is not an unreasonable inference from the other things we know about Noah (Hebrews 11:7; 2 Peter 2:5).

The Bible provides limited details about many of the historical events it records. Naturally, as we imagine what things were like, we fill in the gaps with our own notions. Often, we can safely make logical deductions; but if we aren’t careful, we may end up pushing our own ideas as biblical truths and unintentionally adding our thoughts to God’s Word.

What Did the Ark Look Like?

Many other popular beliefs about Noah and the Ark are more difficult to nail down. What did the Ark look like? Was it a box-shaped barge, or was it more streamlined with bowfin and stern projection? Maybe it didn’t look like either one. We are given only a few particulars about the Ark’s physical properties; the rest, although it may be in keeping with the biblical parameters and research in ancient shipbuilding, is still speculation.

Was the Ark Built Only by Noah and His Family?

How many people were involved in building the Ark? Just the eight who survived the Flood, or did other family members, such as Methuselah or Lamech, help? Did Noah hire construction workers? We simply don’t know because the Bible does not tell us.

Indeed, we cannot be certain about many unmentioned details of biblical accounts. However, we do know several things. Noah faithfully built the Ark as God instructed; and the Lord spared Noah, his family, and the Ark’s animal inhabitants from the Flood. We also know that God will judge the world again with fire (2 Peter 3:10). But the Lord provided a means of escape when He delivered His own Son, Jesus Christ, to the Cross for us (Romans 8:32) so that those who turn from sin and believe in Him will “not perish but have everlasting life” (John 3:16).

Tim Chaffey holds a master of divinity degree in apologetics and theology and a ThM in church history and theology from Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary. He is content manager for Answers in Genesis’s Ark Encounter theme park.

Answers Magazine

October – December 2013

With an updated interior design, the fall issue has it all, from breaking down the big bang to building a better understanding of dinosaurs, from public schools to pinnipeds, and from archaeological discoveries at Çatalhöyük to the astronomical delight of a Christmas comet.

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