Common Themes in new Age and Biblical Archaeology

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The story of "Noah's Ark" in The Bible stands as one of the most controversial of all biblical archaeological stories....

All three of the world's great monotheistic religions belief in the ark - Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. During the 18thcentury, with the emergence of "The enlightenment" period, things changed drastically. Studying the Bible, become less of a "status quo" than it had been during the previous centuries. People began to question themselves and their religious leaders.

Some of the controversies for example are: was Noah to take seven animals from each species, or two? Another argument in this is: was the flood forty-days, or was it one-hundred and fifty days? Furthermore: if the raven went "to and fro" over the surface of the Earth, how did it survive? It would have taken the raven three-four weeks at least, unlikely for the bird to have survive without food.

All these things were always questioned, even before the birth of the "Enlightenment," but have become more prevalent since. "Biblical criticism" was the propagator of this. The Torah was questioned thoroughly. Wellhausen's theory known as "documentary hypothesis," stated that the "Torah," had only been put together as late as 5th BC, and not four-five thousand years ago like it originally was thought out to be. He furthermore states: these books were independent, and were in fact interwoven to make the whole "Ark story" make sense, in spite of inaccuracies.

Another of Wellhausen's theory states the story may have been put together during the Babylonian exile during the 6th century BC; although Kaufmann and Friedman (two other biblical scholars), place it around the 8thcentury BC. Many other theologians have stated this all comes from Mesopotamian mythology, and has little to do with the "Torah."

Search for "Noah's ark" has been endless, with most searches concentrated in Mount Aratat, in Turkey. "One Honolulu businessman even traveled to Washington, DC." He announced aggressively, he would conduct a search with "National Geographic" in search for the ark, but later backed out. Later on: Iran was thought to be the ark's possible location, finally: in 2007, fossilized wood in a cave in Mount Atarat, was at first thought to be a sure thing; but later was dubbed "inconclusive" by the University of Hong Kong.

Lately, people haven't been so "gun-ho" about searching for the ark anymore. But like they say: That's why they call it faith."

More about this author: John Sarkis

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