This program presents evidence that explorers have found the final resting place of a ship that may be Noah’s Ark as described in the Bible and the Book of Genesis. Includes photos, video, physical evidence and interviews with researchers, and the best-known authorities on “Noah’s Ark” in the world today.
Noah or Noé or Noach, (Hebrew: נֹחַ, נוֹחַ, Modern Noaẖ Tiberian Nōăḥ; Arabic: نُوح Nūḥ; Ancient Greek: Νῶε) was the tenth and last of the antediluvian Patriarchs. The story of Noah and the Ark is told in the Genesis flood narrative, and also told in Sura 71 of the Quran. The Biblical account is followed by the story of the Curse of Ham. Outside Genesis his name is mentioned in Ezekiel, Isaiah and Chronicles. He was the subject of much elaboration in later Abrahamic traditions, including the Qur’an.
Noah was the tenth of the pre-Flood Patriarchs. His father Lamech named him nûaḥ (the final ḥ is a more guttural sound than the English h), saying, “This same shall comfort us in our work and in the toil of our hands, which cometh from the ground which the LORD hath cursed. This connects the future patriarch’s name with nāḥam, “comfort”, but it seems better related to the word nûaḥ, meaning “rest”, and is more a play on words than a true etymology.
In his five hundredth year Noah had three sons, Shem, Ham and Japheth. In his six hundredth year God, saddened at the wickedness of mankind, sent a great deluge to destroy all life, but because Noah was “righteous in his generation” God instructed him to build an ark and save a remnant of life. After the Flood Noah offered a sacrifice and entered into a covenant with God regulating the shedding of blood (i.e., mankind’s permission to kill under regulated circumstances). As a sign and witness of this covenant, the rainbow was adopted and set apart by God as a sure pledge that never again would the earth be destroyed by a flood. (Genesis 9:12 – 15) After this, Noah became an Husbandman, “the first tiller of the soil”, and he planted a vineyard: and he drank of the wine, and was drunken; and was uncovered within his tent. Noah’s son Ham, the father of Canaan, saw the nakedness of his father and told his brethren and Noah cursed Ham’s son Canaan.
Noah died 350 years after the Flood, at the age of 950, the last of the immensely long-lived antediluvian Patriarchs. The maximum human lifespan, as depicted by the Bible, diminishes rapidly thereafter, from almost 1,000 years to the 120 years of Moses.
Noah in Enoch
In 10:1-3 of the book of Enoch, the Archangel Uriel is dispatched by God to inform Noah of the approaching flood.
In Europe, the Renaissance saw much speculation on the nature of the ark that might have seemed familiar to early theologians such as Origen and Augustine. At the same time, however, a new class of scholarship arose, one which, while never questioning the literal truth of the Ark story, began to speculate on the practical workings of Noah’s vessel from within a purely naturalistic framework. In the 15th century, Alfonso Tostada gave a detailed account of the logistics of the ark, down to arrangements for the disposal of dung and the circulation of fresh air. The 16th-century geometrician Johannes Buteo calculated the ship’s internal dimensions, allowing room for Noah’s grinding mills and smokeless ovens, a model widely adopted by other commentators.
Various editions of the Encyclopædia Britannica reflect the collapse of belief in the historicity of the ark in the face of advancing scientific knowledge. Its 1771 edition offered the following as scientific evidence for the ark’s size and capacity: “…Buteo and Kircher have proved geometrically, that, taking the common cubit as a foot and a half, the ark was abundantly sufficient for all the animals supposed to be lodged in it…the number of species of animals will be found much less than is generally imagined, not amounting to a hundred species of quadrupeds”. By the eighth edition (1853–1860), the encyclopedia said of the Noah story, “The insuperable difficulties connected with the belief that all other existing species of animals were provided for in the ark are obviated by adopting the suggestion of Bishop Stillingfleet, approved by Matthew Poole…and others, that the Deluge did not extend beyond the region of the Earth then inhabited”. By the ninth edition, in 1875, no attempt was made to reconcile the Noah story with scientific fact, and it was presented without comment. In the 1960 edition, the article on the ark stated that “Before the days of ‘higher criticism’ and the rise of the modern scientific views as to the origin of the species, there was much discussion among the learned, and many ingenious and curious theories were advanced, as to the number of animals on the ark