March 4th, 2008 08:07 EST
Noah, the Ark and wood on Mt. Ararat
[Jerry Bowen kindly offers his insight on the subject. Ed]
I recently had a couple of folks send me a link to a news interview concerning wood found on mount Ararat. After viewing the information I feel the need to respond, so folks are not continually deceived. For the last four centuries an almost overwhelming tradition has developed, that the Ark of Noah landed ON Mount Ararat. Obviously tradition is a powerful thing, because people believe tradition without ever investigating for themselves.
Most folks, especially Christians, point to the Scriptures as proof to confirm the Ark landed on Ararat. However, like other Christian traditions, a misunderstanding of the Word has lead many to believe something that is not accurate. Try this little test yourself: ask any Christian how the animals went into the Ark? Almost invariably, the answer will be 2x2, yet Genesis 7:2 clearly indicates there were two of the unclean animals and 7 of the clean. This is just an illustration of the power of traditions becoming the mindset of individuals. We sing song and hear the story, (or tradition), from childhood over and over again, until, in our minds it becomes fact. (like the THEORY of evolution)
The Bible does provide a general location for the landing site, but not a specific mountain peak. It simply says, " The Ark came to rest upon the MOUNTAINS of Ararat". The original indicates it came to rest in the REGION of Urartu. (the area we call Ararat today)
I believe one very positive result from the traditions that developed was the preservation of the remains, tradition actually led explorers away from the authentic site. Also, God worked in a miraculous way to preserve the remains for this generation. He simply hid it from human sight, until 1948.
One of the most fundamental reasons why the Ark could not have landed on Ararat is that the mountain had not developed to it`s present height. Most Geologists will tell you the evidence indicates that the peak we call Ararat, is only 2,000 or less years in development. This means that it was not the dominant feature in the area 4,400 years ago, that it most obviously is today. And we know the flood waters were not over 17,000 ft in height as they would have needed to be, in order for the Ark to land on that mountain.
The mountain`s development is due to volcanism, large lava domes are still present even today indicating major activity in the last 500 years. In 1848 the north west face blew out creating the Ahora Gorge, which interestingly is where most explorers search, and many claims have been made concerning evidence. The mountain is also very active, especially at about 14,000 ft as it is Turkey`s second largest glacier. With all this development and movement over the centuries IF the Ark had landed there it would have been ground to pieces and totally destroyed. But God had other ideas in its preservation, and so he secured the Ark at a location that would allow its partial survival for this last generation. Also, Scripture indicates God used a strong wind to dry the waters from the Earth, the Ark would have needed to be in a harbor environment to survive that process, it would have been too exposed on the top or side of a large mountain.
With the tradition of the Ark being somewhere on the mountain, over the centuries individuals and locals have constructed various shrines or buildings there. So, it is not unusual to find wood fragments on the mountain, also, to keep the tradition alive, (for economic purposes), some have taken wood up the mountain, buried it in the snow, and retrieved it at a later date, claiming to have found wood at a certain elevation. This keeps the illusion alive and many come to continue the search. The fact is there has never been any petrified carboniferous wood found on the mountain.
The environment before the flood was much different than today. The archaeological record clearly reveals one universal temperature, greater oxygen levels, stronger electro-magnetic field, plus other advantages. The planet was like a large hyperbaric chamber, prolific for growth, thus the size of the people, animals, and vegetation were astounding. One consideration for us is the growing season for the trees. Before the great flood, Scripture indicates the lack of rain as we experience today. So, the wet/dry seasons that we experience today almost world-wide did not occur. This means that the wood used in the construction of the Ark would have a grain consistent to that of stone, we would not observe the typical rings that we see today in most trees.
Though we find a lack of evidence from the mountain and the theory that the mountain was not even there 4,400 years ago, still the search goes on. This illustrates the power of tradition.
For just 15 miles south-east in the region of Urartu, we find the remains of the hull of a man-made ship, the dimensions which correlate to those given in the Bible, made of Gopher wood, (Laminated petrified carboniferous wood), with evidence that it was a floating zoo.
If you`re interested in the whole story of the Ararat region and the research over the last 30 years on Noah`s Ark, check out Henri Nissen`s book "Noah`s Ark Uncovered." We have a current special on these books - buy one at regular price get the 2nd for half.
Jerry Bowen, Director
Anchor Stone International, Inc.
The Stones are Crying Out!