Searching for Noah’s Ark

Mount Ararat seen from the city of Yerevan

And the ark rested in the seventh month, on the seventeenth day of the month, upon the mountains of Ararat. Genesis 8:4

Institute for Creation Research: Since 1840 many people claim to have seen the Ark. The following list contains most of the major reported sightings….

ICR: During late August and early September 1983, a small group of explorers sponsored by and representing ICR was allowed to climb Mt. Ararat in search of Noah’s Ark.

Ark Hunter Movie: A young ark hunter travels the world in search for Noah’s Ark. Little does he know that unearthing the past holds the key to deciphering the future. Quote from Christian Film Database

The thought of finding the actual vessel our forefathers used to survive the greatest catastrophe ever is a thrilling one. It’s not surprising that one of the first adventures Veggie Tales’ archaeological explorer went on was this very quest (or rather for Noah’s umbrella, but the ark is still part of the story).

What’s more, we can’t help recognizing what a powerful witness finding this ship would be for our Christian faith. If the ark is real, the worldwide flood was real. If the flood was real, the sedimentary layers of earth were laid down quickly. If the rocks are young, the fossils in them are young. If the fossils are young, evolution is impossible. If evolution is impossible, we have no choice but to acknowledge God is our Creator and deserves to be worshiped and obeyed.

Who wouldn’t want something so likely to draw our unbelieving family, friends, and people across the world to Jesus?Zambia Stamp of Mount Ararat, WikiCommons

But, is this a quest worth taking on? Explorers have been sent out by the Institute for Creation Research to search Mt. Ararat multiple times. Astronaut James Irwin made several journeys to the mountain in the 1970s and ’80s. In fact, at one point so many people were asking the Turkish government for permission to visit the mountain it was hard to get a permit to go at all.

What have they found? So far, nothing.

Does this matter? Should we continue to spend our time and money risking our lives to find this most ancient of artifacts?

It would be delightful if somehow the Ark were to turn up on one of the mountains of Ararat. But I’ll be more shocked if it does than if we manage to capture a dinosaur alive.

Here’s why:

Snowy Slopes of Mount Ararat, WikiCommonsPicture this, you’re alone with your family on a world just striped of all the vegetation that once flourished. You need shelter from the crazy storms that sweep through. You need to plant crops quickly to avoid starvation. 

Caves might work for a while, but living in a mountain side isn’t too fun for the wife and means a long commute to the fields for you.

What could you use to quickly build a sturdy, comfortable home when the largest growing tree is a year or two old? The timbers from the ark.

I know if I was Japheth’s wife, I would have been begging for a timber frame home next to my garden ASAP. Plus, we know they knew how to build sturdy wooden structures just fine!

Back to the overwhelming evidence finding the ark would give the Bible’s testimony:

God isn’t interested in giving people so much proof there is no room for faith- Isaiah 45:15.

Sure, there were times when there were huge signs of God’s power and presence. Jesus performed miracles no one else had ever done over and over again. But if you had been there, you wouldn’t have noticed anything special about Jesus outside of his wisdom and miracles- Isaiah 53:2.

We are surrounded every day with mind-blowing evidence for God’s power and presence. The heavens declare his glory- Psalm 19:1. Our own bodies speak to us of God’s vast wisdom- Psalm 139:14. The Bible itself speaks loudly and clearly of its author, God- II Peter 1:21.

Yet, millions of people ignore this evidence.

The truth is, even if we found not only the ark, but also a copy of Noah’s logbook through the Flood, there would be millions who refuse to accept God as their Lord and Creator. They love their sin and self-will too much. Someday this will be clear to everyone- Revelation 16:9-11.

We have all the evidence we need to choose to trust God’s testimony for ourselves. We can believe in the Flood even if the ark never is found. We can believe God has to judge sin as he did in Noah’s day. We can also believe God will always make a way to escape and live in His favor as He did for Noah- we have Jesus!

Thank you, Jesus, for being far better to us than the Ark was to Noah. You not only protect us from eternal death separated from you, You fill each day here on earth with your love, power, and Holy Spirit!

Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts,
And saying, Where is the promise of his coming? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation.
For this they willingly are ignorant of, that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of the water and in the water:
Whereby the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished:
But the heavens and the earth, which are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men. II Peter 3:3-7

If you do much exploring of amateur Creation materials, you’ll probably run into some fascinating “proofs” about Noah’s ark. Much as we might wish they were real, they aren’t. You can find out the truth about these evidences on Answers in Genesis’ article: Special Report: Amazing Ark Exposé.

Dr. John Morris of ICR wrote an article with his thoughts on the search for the Ark for Answers Magazine in 2007.