Veterans of the church generally know Bible stories like the back of their hand. From the time they first began sitting in Sunday school, to their promotion to the second pew of the church, right behind the first lady, good-learned church-goers may be able to recite the King James, New International, and the American Standard versions of Daniel 3–the story of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego better than the pastor.
Bible stories present some of the most rehearsed life lessons and applications people around the world reference; some are backed by physical historical evidence, while others are void of substantial proof.
Archaeologists and historians have suggested links to physical discoveries that verify Biblical accounts, however, some are loosely connected. One story, in particular, has been long debated for years: Noah’s Ark.
The story begins in Genesis 6, when God told Noah, his faithful servant, that the wickedness of man has provoked God’s purifying wrath to rain down upon the earth. So, as commanded, Noah built an ark of gopher wood, “length of three hundred cubits, the breadth fifty cubits, and the height thirty cubits.” In it were to be rooms and two of each kind of land animal.
Cubits equal approximately 1.5 feet, therefore, the ark was 450 feet long, 75 feet wide, and 45-feet tall in modern dimensions. The quest to find this monstrous-sized water vessel has been on for quite some time, but few discoveries have been made.
One claim was brought to light decades ago, and is still being researched. On the cover of Life Magazine’s September 5, 1960 issue, a photo of the “Ararat Anomaly” suggests Noah’s Ark may have been found. In the photo, a boat-shaped structure approximately 500 feet long can be seen from the air. It also appears the structure may have housed inhabitants.
The anomaly was discovered atop a mountain range in modern day Turkey, a place Bible scholars believe the ark finally settled, after the flood.
According to Genesis 8:4-5, the ark rested upon the mountain of Ararat.
Recently, some evangelical explorers say they found the ark somewhere near the phenomenon, 13,000 feet above sea level. The alleged remains of the ark were supposedly carbon dated by Turkish and Chinese explorers, who claimed the structure’s wood is approximately 4,800 years old.
The expedition was lead by scientists from the Noah’s Ark Ministries International (NAMI); photos were released this past April. They claim to have come upon a wooden structure that depicts the Biblical Noah’s ark, supposedly containing compartments and wooden beams.
The team of explorers took cameras inside the structure, and photographed compartments, and they also sampled wood.
During a press conference held in April, the team told reporters there were seven compartments discovered, some of which were covered by glacial ice. As of now, the group has only released photos of wooden structures and told the press they are “99.9 percent sure” this is Noah’s ark.
“In October 2008, I climbed the mountain with the Turkish team,” said Panda Lee, NAMI team member at the press conference. “At an elevation of more than 4,000 meters, I saw a structure built with plank-like timber. Each plank was about 8 inches wide. I could see tenons, proof of ancient construction predating the use of metal nails.”
Archaeologists are skeptical, however, doubting the structure is anything the Evangelical explorers claim, especially because of the explorers’ secrecy.
In fact, there have been so many claims of finding the ark, that skeptics have become numb to the what seems to be old news. This one they are calling a hoax. Until the findings are publicly revealed and more research is conducted, the world just might hold its breath, waiting for the truth to be unveiled.