|British Museum: Prototype for Noah's Ark was 'round'|
|Written by Chris Perver|
|Saturday, 25 January 2014 23:37|
An ancient clay tablet that depicts a deluge similar to the one recorded in the pages of the Bible has gone on display at the British Museum. The tablet, dating to around 4000 years ago, is though to have originated from Mesopotamia. It was written in ancient cuneiform script, and has only recently been deciphered by Irving Finkel, the museum's assistant curator for the Middle East. The clay artifact depicts the story of a man who is instructed by a deity to build a boat in order to escape a catastrophic flood. The cuneiform tablet even follows the Biblical narrative of animals being brought on board 'two by two'. But where the two stories diverge is in the shape of the ark. The Bible depicts a large rectangular vessel about 450 feet in length, whereas the Mesopotamian story portrays a circular one called a 'coracle' – a small vessel that was commonly used for river transportation. Some believe the stories are the same, only one has been retold in such a way as to fit the Babylonish understanding of boats. But others, like Finkel, seem to give more credit to the Mesopotamian tale than they do the Biblical account...
Quote: ““I’m sure the story of the flood and a boat to rescue life is a Babylonian invention,” he said. “I don’t think the ark existed — but a lot of people do,” he said.
It is amazing that almost every culture in the world retains in their collective conscience the memory of a catastrophic flood. Of course some of these stories have become corrupted over time due to their constant retelling. But many of them still contain the main themes found in the Genesis story. A flood sent as a judgement upon mankind for its wickedness, a deity instructing a man to build a boat to save the righteous, animals being brought on board, and some even tell of birds being sent out to search for dry land. If the flood were merely a 'Babylonian invention' as Finkel claims, then we might expect just a few cultures in the Middle East to have retained this concept. But the fact that distant cultures from all over the world share a similar story of a worldwide flood goes to show that one event must have profoundly affected the lives of the ancestors of all of these people. This cuneiform tablet does not prove the Bible is just a Babylonish fable, rather it is further evidence that the events spoken of in Genesis really happened. Perhaps Babylonians may have understood better what 'coracles' were rather than sea-going vessels. Or perhaps Satan, as always, twisted the story to make his Babylonish gods appear to be the real saviours of mankind, and not the God of the Hebrews. But something Finkel says at the end of the article is very interesting...
Quote: “It doesn’t really matter. The Biblical version is a thing of itself and it has a vitality forever. “The idea that floods are caused by sin is happily still alive among us,” he added, pointing out a local councilor in England who made headlines recently for saying Britain’s recent storms were caused by the legalization of gay marriage. “Had I known it, it would have gone in the preface of the book,” Finkel said.
Evolutionists and atheists go to great lengths to deny the historicity of creation and the flood. Why, when there is so much evidence to the contrary? Not only physical evidence, but also cultural evidence, as we have seen? The answer lies in what they represent spiritually. Creation makes me accountable to a Creator God. If God created me then God owns me, and He sets the rules. He decides what is right and what is wrong, what is sin and what is not. Atheism, however, has no concept of sin, of good and evil, or right and wrong. It is a license to do as you please. The flood, on the other hand, represents direct evidence that God has judged the world for sin in the past and will judge it again in the future. It should be a solemn warning to all those alive on earth today. But the devil has tried to reduce its effect by convincing people it never happened. It is interesting that the Lord Himself links the flood of Noah to His Second Coming in judgement upon this world (Luke 17:26-28). And again we read in 2nd Peter 3:5-7, that people today are 'willingly ignorant' of the previous judgement of the flood and do not regard the warning of a future judgement of fire.
Noah preached for 120 years, but sadly mankind in general didn't want to know. Their response to God is recorded in the book of Job...
Christians have been proclaiming Christ's return for nearly 2000 years now. The question is, how many more years of grace will there be before the judgement falls? We don't know. That's why it is important to be ready. But praise God that He is longsuffering towards us, and is not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance (2nd Peter 3:9). The Lord Jesus Christ gave His life for you on the cross so that your sins could be forgiven. He bore God's punishment for your sins when He died upon the cross. And all who put their trust in Him for the forgiveness of sins can escape the judgement to come. For He is the ark of God's salvation today. Have you trusted in Him? Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you shall be saved (Acts 16:31).