Noah's Ark: A Comedy of Epic Proportions

Of all the absurd tales sprinkled liberally throughout the Bible, the one of Noah's Ark decidedly has to take the cake. I decided to write this piece after recently stumbling across an online article detailing how a Dutch building contractor named Johan Huibers decided he could best spread the message of Jesus Christ, not by helping the needy or feeding the sick, but by spending 18 months worth of man-hours and close to 1.2 million US dollars reconstructing a half-scale replica of the world's most famous floating zoo, to the best of his abilities. (Or more accurately, stumbled across an essay at The 1585 making fun of the article about Huibers that they stumbled across first. I thought it made a great topic of mockable topic-i-ness, or something, and since I had a completely different take and point on the subject than they did, I dove on in.)

Just when you thought the religious nuts had finally run out of inane, pointless undertakings to consume what might otherwise be valuable time and money, some Dane decides his God of choice is best served by constructing a monstrosity of a mythical landmark. (Up next, a 1/3 sized-replica of the Tower of Babel (kidding)). The funniest thing about this entire endeavor is that boat-makers, architects, engineers, and various other academics and scientists around the world have been pointing out for decades that a vessel of that size, comprised of those construction materials, not only wouldn't be able to float - let alone withstand an epic storm - but would probably be crushed by its own massive weight before the first drop of rain began to fall. Basically, it would just buckle in half. Enter Huibers, who, using modern tools instead of Noah's rock-and-chisel, and American cedar and Norwegian pine, rather than "gopher wood," (both much less dense) constructs a 1/2 size replica, which, as it turns out, can't float either. I hope the irony is not lost on you. Instead, it is transported on 5 barges welded together, pulled by a tugboat to its various destinations, possibly the result of a similar-sounding conversation:

Biblical Skeptic: I heard your story about Noah's Ark. I don't think such a boat is possible.

Christian Fundamentalist: You don't have enough faith.

Skeptic: Maybe you're right. I do kinda suck. But I studied engineering before I moved into my mom's basement, and I'm pretty sure a primitive man, with no construction experience, using stone age tools and the building materials listed in Genesis, could not realistically construct a floating vessel as described therein.

Fundamentalist: That sounds like a challenge. I'll do you one one better: I'll follow the same blueprints, construct something half the size, using Dewalt power drills and modern engineering - and much lighter materials - in a half-ass attempt to show that this precise scenario is actually semi-plausible. Oh, it'll float, all right.

Skeptic: You're on.

Fundamentalist (a year and a half later): Crap.


Yes, that's my boat. No, it doesn't float. Please stop asking me questions.

Noah's Ark with Johan Huibers and his hammer (Ark on left)


After I was finished thoroughly pinching myself all over to ensure that I was, in fact, actually witnessing this, I reread the story of Noah and his Ark for perhaps the 800th time, and was amazed at how many of the details made little, if any sense. Here is everything that I thought so wrong with the story that, had it been delivered to the desk of a Hollywood script reviewer, he would have promptly ordered his faithful assistant to immediately return it to whichever elementary school student had penned it (in crayon).

1. The story starts off by telling us that earth was so full of wickedness that "it repented the Lord that he had made it." The Bible will later assert that God never repents and never changes His mind, but you will also recall that the Bible is largely made up of plagiarisms and absurdities.. The Bible tells us that this all-pervasive "wickedness" is not, say, rapings, or molestings, or adulterings, or covetings, or things of that nature, but simply violence. God is very upset that all his creatures are busy killing each other, so He's going to solve the problem by killing everybody. Odd, as God has not seen fit to give anyone a set of rules, laws, or guidelines to this point. That won't happen 'til the Ten Commandments, a thousand or so years later. Right now, nobody has any idea that rules to this game even exist, let alone what they might be. Nevertheless, God is furious that his various sea monkeys have utterly failed to follow the instructions He's neglected to give them, and decides it's a-killin' time. If this course of action doesn't strike you as expertly judicious, you're probably functionally retarded. As I, personally, am not immediately struck by the apparent, expert judiciousness of this decision, I submit myself to you as your functionally retarded buddy. Perhaps this explains why I am sitting in my office wearing a cape, Velcro shoes, and a helmet.

2. The manner in which God decides to go about killing everyone is somewhat puzzling. Now I would assume that since God is supposedly capable of doing absolutely anything (he just finished making a freaking universe, remember...from scratch!), He very well could have just wriggled his nose and all the wicked offenders would have instantly keeled over in their tracks. He could have just snapped His fingers and everyone on the planet not directly attached to Noah could have simply vanished from existence. Yes, well, God works in mysterious ways, and His ways are not our ways. Rather than exacting immediate, swift justice, God decides to let the wickedness continue unabated for 100 more years, while a goat-herder/farmer named Noah tries to figure out how the hell to build the largest structure the world has ever seen. He gives Noah - who is now 500 years old - some detailed measurements: it is to be 450 feet long, 75 feet wide, and 45 feet high, containing 3 floors; some recommendations on the building materials: gopher wood, covered in pitch; and a few tips on accessorizing the whole thing: one door, one window. Now, simply telling someone what to build, how big to build it, and what to build it out of is not entirely helpful in instructing them how to build it. You could tell me that you wanted a Cadillac, painted candy-apple red, 17 feet long, constructed from steel, and with a cool pair of racing stripes down the hood, but I wouldn't have the faintest idea how to go about assembling such a project for you. What did Noah conceivably know about boat-making? For that matter, why could God create a universe but not a beach-craft? Since this monstrosity takes a century to piece together, and since the average life expectancy in the Bronze Age was somewhere in the neighborhood of 30 years (with the exception of our Hebrew patriarchs, who displayed Yoda-like resilience), by the time God got around to his eventual killing, he was drowning people 2 or 3 generations removed from the people who pissed Him off in the first place. ("I'm really angry at you! Now go back to whatever evil deeds you were doing, and some day, in like 10 decades, I'm going to smite your grand-children!")

3. Now, I get that God is pretty upset by the goings-on of most of His children (though I have my severe doubts that simply every single member of the entire human race occupied their time by kicking puppies and hurling stones at their neighbors' heads). But at what point did He become displeased with Koala bears? Why kill them? They're so freaking cute! The earth and everything in it has already been declared good. The mountains are good. The trees are good. The flowers are great. And the wildlife - with the exception of some form of talking, non-slithering snake - are positively exceptional. Why must all these "good" things be destroyed? Are you seriously telling me that there weren't some pregnant woman or 2-year old children who weren't hopelessly entangled in perpetual camel-back drive-by's, gang wars, and assorted, similar tomfoolery?? Freaking everyone? Sort of speaks volumes about the Creator, if you ask me.

4. The only length of time most people are familiar with regarding the Flood story is "40 days and 40 nights." But that's not how long they were actually on the Ark, that's just how long the rains fell. According to Genesis 8, Noah & Sons Floating Circus were boarded up inside their vessel for over a year! This tells us two important things: (1) every person and animal aboard the Ark had to have a years supply of food, and (2) after Day 3, the whole joint probably stunk to high heaven. Remember, they didn't have toilets. If you needed to relieve yourself, you just did it in a bucket...or possibly even on the floor. And since the door and lone window were sealed up the entire trip, there was no dumping it over the side. You were just stuck with whatever gems you managed to produce. That to me sounds like a pretty horrific way to spend 13 months of your life - people just defecating all over your living room - and it seems like a pretty ripe ingredient for all kinds of unimaginable diseases to breed. In addition to banging around in this floating Port-o-john, they're in pitch blackness, literally. There are no light bulbs. There are no flashlights. There are no windows (besides that one that stayed shut the whole time). It is the darkest blackness imaginable. The only possible light would have to come from a candle or lantern. Now, since the animals were not permitted to eat each other, after Noah caught the Siberian Tigers polishing off the unicorns, the animals were most likely eating hay or something like it. If I were me, I might not like to light an open flame in a giant wooden crate covered in pitch, stuffed with hay, and undoubtedly filled with a years-worth of methane. Particularly during a storm of rolling and heaving seas of such extreme violence that the entire earth was being undone. Where would you cook on this sabbatical? How would you even start a fire in the first place, should you questionably decide to do so? Is Noah's family eating hay too? They weren't eating meat. Any fruits or vegetables they had on board would have spoiled and rotted within the first 3 weeks. Rolling, pitch-black boxcars are generally not all that conducive to pasta-making. Chips and salsa? Sorry. You just drowned the Frito-lay dude. What were they eating for a year and how were they making it?!

5. One of the points that usually gets overlooked when Fundamentalists and skeptics are debating over the likelihood of Noah's sea-faring holiday is the amount of space on the Ark that would've needed to be reserved for food. The dimensions given for the boat tell us that there were roughly 100,000 square feet of floor space (450' x 75' x 3 floors = 101,250'). The Ark was 45 feet tall, and since some of these feet would be comprised of building materials, rather than empty space, we could possibly estimate that there was between 35 and 40 feet of vertical room between the 3 floors, averaging 12-13 feet of ceiling height on each level (I'm assuming that the 3 levels were not all the same height, in order to accommodate the elephants and giraffes), totaling 4,000,000 cubic feet of Ark room. Anyway, back to our food storage issue. An African male lion requires about 15 lbs of meat a day, and a female around 11 lbs. That's a total of 26 for those of you keeping score at home. Since meat wasn't on the menu, and for the sake of argument, I'm just going to assume that every animal on the Ark was sharing the same hay the horses got. Now, I realize that Noah's boat-mates did not have the hay-baling technology available to modern agriculturists, and probably just heaped hay into piles with a pitchfork. But let's assume they had some magical baling tools at their disposal, allowing them to condense as much hay as possible into the smallest possible space. I bought 3 bales of hay from Home Depot last year when I re-seeded my lawn. They were about 24" x 24" x 48" and weighed 40 lbs. That's 8 square feet of floor space, and 16 cubic feet of total volume. To work with nice round numbers, let's bump the lions' daily requirements from 26 lbs down to 20. The lion couple would go through through a single hay bale in 2 days. That means over the course of 13 months they would burn through approximately 195 bales of hay, comprising a total of 3,120 cubic feet of space. If the lions were housed on a floor with 10' ceilings, their food would take up 312 square feet of floor, the dimensions of a 20' x 15.5' den, stacked to the ceiling. Now obviously, what goes in must also come out, and since felines are not well-known for their fondness of ascending steaming piles of dung to add another log to the pile, it must be concluded that the square footage required for their...er..."return gifts" must be significantly more spacious than that reserved for their food. Be it as little as even 4 times the allotted space, the lions would still be climbing a 2-and-a-half foot mountain of their "leavings" by the end. That would be another 1,248 square feet of room, and we haven't even gotten to the lions' personal living area! Let's estimate it on the low end, that 2 African lions are able to subsist (on a diet of hay, or something) in a 10' x 10' cubicle, 100 square feet. That's a grand total of 1,660 square feet. That's almost 1.7% of the Ark's total available floor space, reserved for a single species out of potentially millions! Horses would require twice that, and elephants at least 4 times the amount, meaning a full 13% of available space would be taken up by only 3 species.

Scientists and zoologists estimate today that there are roughly 1,000,000 known species in existence, and that 99.9% of all species that have ever lived are now extinct. That's approximately 100,000,000 species Noah had to contend with. Let's assume that half of those lived in the water, and didn't need to come aboard the Ark. (This itself is a bold assumption since fresh water fish can't survive in salt water, and vice versa. The earth is ostensibly being turned into a mixture of the two, spelling trouble for all of them.) Anyway, Noah is instructed to take either 2 or 7 of every living thing - the Bible can't decide - so we must ask ourselves if those 99.9% of now-extinct animals became instinct after the Flood or before. If it was afterward, we have to give Noah's floating menagerie about 50,000,000 pairs (or sevens) of guests. If it was before, we can pare that figure down to "just" 500,000, 3 of whom are already taking up more than a tenth of the available room. Throw in cows, buffalo, camels, giraffes, tigers, hippos, rhinos, wildebeests, llamas, zebras, walruses, polar bears, panthers, emus, leopards, gazelle, gorillas, warthogs, moose, reindeer, giant tortoise, and I could go on and on. You see how quickly we're running out of room, and we haven't even named 2 dozen species yet. Then of course, you have to build aquariums for all the amphibians, reptiles, and mammals that require a water environment: alligators, crocodiles, anacondas, turtles, penguins, walruses, sea lions, beavers, otter, platypus, frogs, etc. Then, of course, you have to somehow provide a years-supply of fresh drinking water for all these creatures. Where does that go? The absurdity of this story is staggering.

I call dibs on the vaulted ceilings-and-sunroof floor!


The Fly Problem

6. Two common houseflies must have made the boat trip because we still have flies today. In North America alone, most of them live in my kitchen. Flies, however, don't live 11 months. Their average lifespan is 15-30 days, and they reproduce exponentially. A female will lay an average of about 500 eggs, which will hatch within 8 to 20 hours as larvae, or more commonly, maggots. After about 4 to 10 days, a maggot will move into the pupa stage of its life, encasing itself in a thick shell like a caterpillar anticipating his butterfly form. This metamorphosis takes 4 to 6 days. Two days after the female fly emerges from her cocoon, she's ready to start laying eggs of her own. Get out your calculators and let's start doing the math. Within 9 to 17 days of boarding the Ark, the fly population will have increased from 2 to about 500, a 250% increase. Since the Ark was stacked to the roof with both food and feces, none of the flies would have to compete for survival. They would all thrive. 250 brand new female flies would each be capable of laying 500 new eggs apiece, again a 250% increase, or 125,000 eggs in total. After only 4 reproductive cycles, extending possibly a month or month and a half, the fly (read: maggot) population aboard the Ark would be 7,812,500,000. Beyond that, the numbers get too big for my calculator to handle. So, we've got a fly problem. We've also got a maggot problem. Which means we also have a food problem. We probably also have a disease problem. Since thousands of diseases and harmful viruses are still around today, God must have either brought them on the Ark, or thoughtfully created them afterward...you know, because He "loves" us.

7. The violence of this storm must be taken into account. We're told that Flood covered the tallest mountains on earth by at least 20 feet. The tallest of these ranges would be Mt Everest's mind-boggling 29,029 foot summit, nearly 5.5 miles above sea level. 20 feet under water would place the global water level at 29,049 feet. Reaching this level in 40 days would have required it to climb an average of roughly 726 feet per day. According to NASA, the highest single-day rainfall on record is 76", which fell during a hurricane on Reunion Island near Madagascar back in February of this year (2009). That's just over 6' of rain in a single day. Now multiply that by 121 and you get an idea as to the severity and violence of the storm the Ark was enduring. It would make Southeast Asia's tsunami look like a pond ripple by comparison. Techtonic plates are shifting, and mountains ranges are being created and destroyed, creating waves and sea swells hundreds of feet high (if not more). I recall a 4th of July a few years back where my wife and a few friends and I rented a ski boat for the day. It was cloudless and sunny most of the day, but late afternoon a freak storm blew in and turned our glassy lake into 6'-8' choppy waters. The rain was so dark and blinding that we couldn't tell which direction to go, but you can't keep a boat that size still in a storm like that or it'll capsize. You have to just get moving and hope for the best. I tried to ride with the waves as best as possible, but at one point the bow of our boat slammed down into a trough so hard it shattered the entire windshield. One of my buddies threw up. It only lasted about 30 minutes, but our boat was ruined, and everyone who wasn't already nauseous became so as soon as we realized we were all covered in broken glass and vomit. It wasn't pretty. It was, however, decidedly in our favor that no one had felt the urge to visit the bathroom, nor been called upon to pacify some cranky grizzly bears at the time.

Noah's Ark, on the other hand, had no method of propulsion, no steering wheel, no one who could see to operate it even it had, no rudder, no keel, no nothing. It was like a giant wooden shoebox lost at sea. It would have been twisting, and turning, and spinning, and rolling, and heaving in waves a 100 times higher than ours, not for a mere 30 minutes, but for well over a month straight. I would imagine animals with broken legs, cuts, and bruises, feces and urine flung about willy-nilly, and 8 blind-as-a-bat senior citizens crashing into walls, slamming into furniture, and puking all over themselves. And that's assuming this barely-seaworthy craft could be somehow kept from being dashed into a million pieces of flotsam, feathers, and fur.

"Good thing we left the giraffes on land!"

8. I saved my final complaint with the story for last, both because it actually is the last part of our tale, and because it is the most ridiculous and therefore my favorite. By coincidence, it also happens to be found in chapter 8. Genesis 8:1 begins by telling us that Noah and his family have been drifting about aimlessly at sea for 6 months when God remembers that they are still drifting about aimlessly at sea. Seriously, it says that. (and you thought it sucked when you're mom was 45 minutes late to pick you up from soccer practice!) Suddenly collected of His cosmic wits, the Almighty unstops the drains of the deep, and sends a wind to...um...well, it doesn't say what function the wind was supposed to serve. But, hey! there's some wind. Yey! On the 17th day of the 7th month, after 3 months of drainage, the Ark finds itself wedged onto the side of Mt. Ararat, which is on the border of modern Turkey, Armenia, and Iran. On the 1st day of the 10th month, the tops of the mountains become visible. Hmmm..... If the Ark is stuck on a mountain, and the waters are receding several dozen feet per day, how is it that takes 2 and a half months! after alighting on Ararat for the top of the mountain to become visible?

40 days after the mountain tops become "visible," Noah opens the window for the first time, and sends out a raven to scout for land. Anyone besides me catch 2 very odd issues in that last line? I'll humor you; here goes: (1) how did Noah, opening the window for the very first time, know that it had been 40 days since the mountain tops appeared? How would he have the faintest clue whether it had been 60 days or 12 minutes? I'm just sayin'. (2) If all the mountain tops are visible, and the boat is firmly lodges on a mountain, from which the waters have now receded several hundred feet, why is the raven flying all over the place and then returning to the boat? Wouldn't it just go perch itself on one of the mountains, possibly the one it was parked on? Next, Noah sends out a dove in search of land, but the dove returns because - as vs. 9 tells us - "it could find no place to set its feet because there was water all over the earth." Arghh!!! Somebody please shoot this writer! Perhaps it was a blind dove, and couldn't see all the mountain tops Noah magically deduced appeared some 40 days prior. "Psst! Hey dove, try Mt Ararat, you stupid bird!"

Noah waits 7 days before sending the dove out again. This time the dove returns with an olive leaf in her mouth. Strange, because olive leaves come from olive branches, which tend - more or less - to find themselves attached to olive trees, which have (1) all been recently destroyed; and (2) are typically found at altitudes so low that were one actually visible, Noah would be able to see full well the giant mountain range he had just crashed into. This story sucks. Seriously.

After waiting one more week, Noah sends the dove out again, and this time it does not return. So, Noah - being 601 and senile - keeps the kids and pets on the boat for 2 more months, "just to be sure." Finally, God opens the door, and pandas, goats, monkeys, and senior citizens go stampeding off the gangplank. Noah's first order of business is to build an altar on which to sacrifice a sizable portion of the critters he just saved to God, who is quite pleased by the smell (throughout the Bible, there is nothing more pleasing to the Creator than the sight and stench of the butchered and burning carcasses of His magnificent creations). The wrap party is over. God is in a pleasant mood for the first time since the Garden of Eden, and solemnly swears never to destroy the entire earth again. Well, by flood anyway. He places the rainbow in the sky to remind us all that - though He may whimsically decide to decimate the entire lot of us before next Tuesday - He definitely won't do it with water this time. Isn't that awesome? It is indeed. In fact, it is so awesome that even today millions of people gather annually at Disney World and Washington D.C. to march under the rainbow flag, presumably as eager as one Johan Hulbers to return the attentions of all the rest of us back to the Lord, where it belongs.

Amendment: Since I wrote this article, one of the commenters below directed me to another hub attempting to argue for the plausibility of Noah's Ark. I read his entire article, which was mostly just a rehashing of arguments from an article an ChristianAnswers.net, and decided to respond to it (the article, not the hub) at extensively as possible. You can read my response, Noah's Ark: An Impossible Voyage, here.


For a comprehensive examination published by the National Center for Science Education on why Noah's Ark simply cannot be anything more than mere mythology, see this excellent article by Robert A. Moore http://ncse.com/cej/4/1/impossible-voyage-noahs-ark

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Comments 39 comments

LINEOFPROGRESSION profile image

LINEOFPROGRESSION 6 years ago

Wow, you really dismantled this myth with tedious precision. Awesome Hub. Unfortunately, in regards to all of the questions you have raised, theists will most likely state that God steered the ark, god supplied them with food, god made sure to not let any of the animals die while on the ark, god did this god did that. But it does raise another question (which you mentioned) why go through all the B.S? If god is omnipotent, why not just snap his fingers and take away all of the wickedness? Or here's a thought, give the people laws to live by before you start saying their living wrong!! And don't even get me started on the rainbow. Wow. Really? Yeah, for anyone who believes the rainbow is a promise from god to never flood the earth again, I encourage you to research what a rainbow is, and why it appears after rain. Its nothing magical, sorry.


Smart man 6 years ago

You're all idiots



deiloh 6 years ago

Now I haven't returned to that story in a long time, but doesn't it also say that Noah sacrificed all the clean animals? Doh! No more kosher meat. Actually, the translators were nice enough to add an "of", so until I find someone who knows the ancient language, maybe that isn't an actual gaffe. Regardless, nice evisceration of the story.


Baileybear 6 years ago

brilliantly written. The oddest thing is I was so brain-washed as a child that I never questioned all this stuff until recently. I walked away from the church because of the hypocrisy etc and then didn't bother putting it under scrutiny. The bible has to be the most read cult-novel out there - how people still take it literally, I don't know


Lady Guinevere profile image

Lady Guinevere 6 years ago from West Virginia

This is great. One thing the fundies don't understand and are in the dark about is that in those days the Earth was Considerd to be Flat. Add that to the equation and what do we have. As are as the eye can see--about how far would that be on a Flat Earth.


pay2cEM profile image

pay2cEM 6 years ago from Nashville Author

There was a link posted about 4 comments up directing me to a site that argued for the plausibility of Noah's Ark, based on an article at ChristianAnswers,net. I spent about month writing a rebuttal of just about everything they had to say on the subject, and I guess it's about time for me to transfer that [much longer and in-depth] argument over here to Hubpages. It's definitely the longest article I've ever written, but it's possibly also the funniest (plus there's lots of pictures), so I hope you'll give that one a chance as well.

Thanks for reading!


Baileybear 6 years ago

Your writing is great - funny, yet well researched with truth


miglenda 5 years ago

It is understandable why you may think that the account in Genesis , and possibly by your tone that the bible is just a 'story'. One,the meaning of the word bible is a collection of 'books'- 66 of them actually.They cover a period of 6000 years and all 'just happen to' have the exact theme. How could so many different writers over such a long period of time 'happen' to make it one complete book with a constant theme from beginning to end. Prophecying numerous events hundreds - thousands of years in advance, now a factual record..Just á 'story'?

To begin with they - the people living during Noahs day, did know right from wrong..They did have'laws'...When God gave man the 'law' regarding the tree of the knowledge of good and bad, he implied that man could live on earth forever. (Ge 2:17) We are assured by God's own words that “all the days the earth continues, seed sowing and harvest, and cold and heat, and summer and winter, and day and night, will never cease” (Ge 8:22) and that he will never destroy all flesh again by a flood. (Ge 9:12-16)

How did Job for example 'know'that the earth was hanging on nothing?

Scientific Fact. The Bible, at Job 26:7, speaks of God as “hanging the earth upon nothing.” Science says that the earth remains in its orbit in space primarily because of the interaction of gravity and centrifugal force. These forces, of course, are invisible. Therefore the earth, like other heavenly bodies, is suspended in space as if hanging on nothing. This is only one of hundreds of 'facts'contained in the bible that most in general, including the Clery of Christendom have never bothered to investigate. They themselves have created athiests by their false teachings, including there 'dogma'such as hell fire- What?...Imperfect man makes many (serious) mistakes (sins) -[meaning 'missing the mark'- of perfection) daily, lives for 70 + years and and his creator tortures them in a 'hell' fire for ever? (Hell means - common grave)The bile teaches no such thing but 'billions' actually have or still so believe such nonsense ...Do you really think that the way we are created, our senses, thinking abilitie, eveything about us just came by 'chance'? The earth's 23 degree 27 tilt for life to survive- Exactly the right amount of oxygen /carbon dioxide mixture to breath, Exact minerals in the food we eat- The cylce of water itself- None is ever lost...ever. Things such as these few examples are all here just by 'chance'??

Someone 'created' your computer but your 'brain' just evolved from a what? frog?

Think about it in a more positve light. Darwin knew nothing about creation as we do today. e.g. DNA the Exact building blueprint of ourselves, including everthing else on earth.- All just one big coincidence...Like trillions of 'coincidences?? Anyway have a read and ponder over the information...

For example...one very interesting 'fact'not mentioned is that the proportion of length to width (6 to 1) is used by modern naval architects. How did Noah 'happen' know this?

This gave the ark approximately 40,000 cu m (1,400,000 cu ft) in gross volume. It is estimated that such a vessel would have a displacement nearly equal to that of the mighty 269-m (883 ft) Titanic of this 20th century. No cargo vessel of ancient times even slightly resembled the ark in its colossal size. Internally strengthened by adding two floors, the three decks thus provided gave a total of about 8,900 sq m (96,000 sq ft) of space.

“You will make a tso?har [roof; or, window] for the ark,” Noah was told. (Ge 6:16) Just what this was or how it was constructed is not altogether clear. Some scholars think tso?har is related to light and so they translate it “window” (KJ, Mo), “light” (AS, JP), “a place for light” (Ro). Others, however, associate tso?har with a later Arabic root meaning “back (of the hand),” “back (of a beast),” “deck (of a ship),” that is, the part away from the ground or water, and for this reason translate it “roof.” (AT, RS, JB) This tso?har, Noah was told, was to be completed “to the extent of a cubit upward.”—Ge 6:16.

It could be, therefore, that the tso?har provided for adequate light and ventilation... Not just a single cubit-square “peephole,” but an opening a cubit in height near the roof and extending around the four sides to give an opening of nearly 140 sq m (1,500 sq ft). On the other hand, while still allowing an ample opening for ventilation under the roof or elsewhere, the roof could have had slightly angled sides.

Regarding this possibility James F. Armstrong wrote in Vetus Testamentum (Leiden, 1960, p. 333): “‘Unto a cubit upward you shall finish it’ is difficult to understand when sohar is translated either ‘light (= window)’ or even ‘(flat) roof’. If, however, a gable-type roof be postulated, the ‘one cubit upward’ can refer to the elevation of the crease of the roof above the level of the tops of the walls.

In modern architectural terms, the ‘one cubit’ would be the height of the kingposts between which the ridgepiece is laid. . . . According to the argument that has been presented, the roof of Noah’s ark was conceived as having a four per-cent pitch (1 cubit elevation — 25 cubits from wall to ridge), quite adequate to permit the water of the rains to flow off.”

Of what this huge ark was to be built was made plain by God: “Make for yourself an ark out of wood of a resinous tree [literally, trees of gopher].” (Ge 6:14) This resinous wood here prescribed is thought by some to be cypress or a similar tree. In that part of the world what today is called cypress was in abundant supply; it was particularly favored for shipbuilding by the Phoenicians and by Alexander the Great, as it is even down to the present time; and it is especially resistant to water and decay. Doors and posts made of cypress are reported to have lasted 1,100 years.

In addition, Noah was told not merely to caulk the seams but to “cover [the ark] inside and outside with tar.”—See BITUMEN.

Ample Carrying Capacity: The passenger list of the ark was quite impressive. Besides Noah, his wife, his three sons, and their wives, living creatures “of every sort of flesh, two of each,” were to be taken aboard. “Male and female they will be.

Of the flying creatures according to their 'KINDS' and of the domestic animals according to their 'KINDS',of all moving animals of the ground according to their 'KINDS'...two of each will go in there to you to Preserve Them Alive.” Of the clean beasts and fowls, seven of each 'KIND' were to be taken. A great quantity and variety of food for all these creatures, to last for more than a year, also had to be stowed away.—Ge 6:18-21; 7:2, 3.

The “kinds” of animals selected had reference to the clear-cut and unalterable boundaries or limits set by the Creator, within which boundaries creatures are capable of breeding “according to their kinds.”

It has been estimated by some that the hundreds of thousands of species of animals today could be reduced to a comparatively few family “kinds”—the horse kind and the cow kind, to mention but two. The breeding boundaries according to “kind” established by God were not and could not be crossed.

With this in mind some investigators have said that, had there been as few as 43 “kinds” of mammals, 74 “kinds” of birds, and 10 “kinds” of reptiles in the ark, they could have produced the variety of species known today. Others have been more liberal in estimating that 72 “kinds” of quadrupeds and less than 200 bird “kinds” were all that were required. That the great variety of animal life known today could have come from inbreeding within so few “kinds” following the Flood is proved by the endless variety of humankind—short, tall, fat, thin, with countless variations in the color of hair, eyes, and skin—all of whom sprang from the one family of Noah.

These estimates may seem too restrictive to some, especially since such sources as The Encyclopedia Americana indicate that there are upwards of 1,300,000 species of animals. (1977, Vol. 1, pp. 859-873)

However, over 60 percent of these are insects.

Breaking these figures down further, of the 24,000 amphibians, reptiles, birds, and mammals, 1


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pay2cEM 5 years ago from Nashville Author

Thanks, miglenda for all that...um..."info," though I'll have to respectfully disagree with some of your "facts."

1. I would strongly disagree that the Biblical writers all maintained a constant theme throughout their writings. Aside from the plethora of internal contradictions, the "theme" of the Old Testament and the "theme" of the New could hardly be more dissimilar if one intentionally tried to make it so.

2. If there is any implication to be found in Genesis 2 regarding how long God intended mankind to live upon the earth, it seems that it would certainly not be forever. Recall, God put Adam and Eve out of the Garden so they wouldn't eat of the Tree of Life, gaining eternal life in the process. (What was even the point of the 2 Trees?)

3. You have no information anywhere that suggests the people in Noah's day had God-given laws to abide by. You just made that up. God never gave anyone a list of laws to follow until Moses came along.

4. There are NO prophecies anywhere in the entire Bible that were recorded BEFORE the fact, clearly identify themselves as a prophecy, clearly state what they were predicting, and were not intentionally self-fulfilled, which finally came to pass. What you have is a bunch of "prophecies" that (A) were first written AFTER the events that supposedly fulfilled them, (B) not intended to be prophetic, but later claimed they were when some event bora a passing resemblance to an earlier statement, (C) intentionally self-fulfilled by someone with direct knowledge of the prophecy, or (D) so nebulous or ambiguous that just about ANY event could later be argued to have fulfilled it. I challenge you to find one exception to this.

5. Yes, Job mentions that the earth "hangs on nothing," which, if nothing else, contradicts the Bibles numerous other assertions that it "rests on pillars." You can't select a single passage that supports something you want to believe while ignoring all the verses to the contrary. The Bible is not an a-la carte buffet.

6. Yes, the Bible manages to get a few scientific facts right (which proves...what?), but it also manages to get some hilariously wrong. (ie: bats are birds, rabbits are cud-chewing animals, insects and some birds are 4-legged creatures, light was created before any light source, the mustard seed is the smallest of seeds, snakes and donkeys can talk, stars can fall out of the sky, the earth can stop rotating, heaven is "up," the sky is a "firmament," and the list goes on and on.)

7. I don't understand what all your talk of "random chance" is regarding the development of biological life on earth. No evolutionist has ever argued for this, so you obviously haven't researched and understood the opposing arguments well enough to accurately articulate what it is you disagree with. You can't base your anti-evolution disagreements off some straw-man arguments concocted by Creationists who don't understand the debate either.

8. Finally, see my other, lengthier hub on Noah's Ark detailing precisely why his alleged voyage was scientifically impossible.


constantlyapain 5 years ago

Hi! I wrote one lengthy comment already, but it erased suddenly, so I'm starting over. I will be up front: I believe in the literal bible. Before you write me off as another blind jumper, let me say a few things. I'm not a scholar or even close, but I've done some research over the years. Nothing else in life makes sense. It doesn't even come close. Anything else you choose to believe in takes faith, too. If we could recreate the beginning of time ourselves, we could lay out the proofs of what happened. But since we can't, we have to make sense of the pieces we're left with. Why would anyone WANT to evolve from a monkey anyway? I don't get it. And why would people want to reincarnate a.k.a. morph into other beings for eternity on end? Or reach the state of nirvana or nothingness? Or become "one with the universe?" What the appeal in that? So, really, if we reject God, we're left to search for the meaning of life till we die. And because it can't really be found, we're left despondent and clueless or we can "party hearty" till the last hurrah! We can at least enjoy this life with gusto till the fat lady sings, right?

I can tell you from my own experience that God is real. And He cares. Really. He has transformed my life. But, I'm sure you won't believe this and now you think I'm a nut. That's okay. I haven't always been "nuts." No, I was angry at God for awhile. After taking care of and watching both of my parents die a horrific death from cancer, I had many questions and accused God of playing us all as pawns in this chessgame of life. But, slowly, over time, God answered every question I had. Like, why does God allow (or cause) bad things to happen to his beings?

What it comes down to is this: God created us because he truly wanted community and fellowship for eternity. He created us because (like us who are created in his image) he loves to create and then sit back and enjoy his creation. He loves interacting and being a father to us - which won't happen the way he intends until heaven. You see, the problem started soon after creation. Satan, which we all know as evil, rejected God in heaven. He was jealous of God and wanted his power and authority. He refused God and wanted nothing to do with him. So, God gave him what he wanted: the absence of God. What happened when God, who is all goodness, pulled away from Satan? All that was left was evil. Pure, unadulterated evil. Thrown out of heaven, Satan began roaming the earth in search of God's created beings. Satan knew God loved these beings more than anything else in the world. It didn't matter that Satan was going to come to a bitter end himself - until that day comes, he would work his hardest to destroy every being God created. Now, God in his most infinite wisdom did not want beings who would be forced to follow him. No, he wanted beings who would choose to love him and want to live with him for eternity.

So, God allowed Satan to come upon the earth to tempt mankind. It's a test, really. Who are we going to choose? God hopes that we all choose to live with him. He wants every single one of us to be with him - just like we want our own children to love us - because they want to. We don't want to force our children or family to love us, do we? God is the same way. So, he created us knowing that we would most likely be tempted and swayed by the evil one. He wants us to have free choice and will. And in doing that, we are free to do evil to ourselves and hurt others. If he stops it, there's no free will. He allows us to make our own choices in life. We can choose to eat crap our whole life, use drugs, abuse others, whatever. Believe me, it's not his will, but he's allowing it for now. This earth is not forever. God is planning heaven for those who choose him and his son, Jesus Christ, whom he sent to earth to take our punishment for choosing evil. He took all of our "sins" (a.k.a. selfishness) and allowed his own blood to be shed to cover us. All we have to do is choose to believe in Jesus as God's son and seek to find out who God is. Period. I'm telling you, it's a life-changer.

This life is short. It's going fast. Don't waste your whole life trying to disprove God. He truly loves you. You're going to have to get over the literal bible thing. It's not impossible like you want to believe. Everyone has blinders when it comes to opposing views (even me at times)! But, believe me, if the bible could be disproved, it would be on the front page of every newspaper. Everyone would crawl out of the woodwork to disprove it! History has never been able to eradicate it. Centuries have gone by with people trying to snuff out "religion" but haven't been able to.

My sincere hope is that you can approach the bible and God without an agenda. You have nothing to lose.


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pay2cEM 5 years ago from Nashville Author

@ COnstantlyapain: thanks for taking the time both to read my hub and to write a passionate reply. A couple brief points to address:

1. I don't know why anyone would WANT to evolve from a monkey. Actually, I don't know why anyone would CARE what they evolved from if they're happy with how they turned out. Personally, I find evolving from a monkey to be more palatable than being created from DIRT (which is how the Bible has it), but that's just me. Either way, its a moot point, as nobody has ever argued that humans evolved from monkeys. That's a Straw Man argument that Creationists who've never bothered trying to understand what evolution actually teaches made up in order to ridicule. Evolutionary theory teaches that humans and APES (not monkeys) had a common ancestor at some point, not that we descended from them. (Think COUSINS, not PARENTS. This explains why we share some 99% of our DNA with apes, which is a closer relation than even mice and rats share!)

2. You may have missed it in my hub, but my article was not about the existence of God, but the plausibility of Noah's Flood tale from a scientific standpoint. I admire the fact that you were able to overcome seemingly insurmountable hurdles in your personal life, and were able to draw meaning from those experiences, but I would remind you that those were inherently personal. Many people never have - and never WILL have - the experiences you've required to shape your belief system, and thus will come to radically different conclusions about the world based on their different, yet equally valid, life experiences. What you don't understand, or what doesn't make sense to you might make perfect sense to someone else.

3. I have no intention of trying to prove or disprove God's existence. I am perfectly content in honestly admitting that neither I nor anyone else knows for sure. I realize that many people CLAIM to have certainty, but in my study of neuroscience, I have come to realize that what many people call "religious experience" are merely chemical and reactions and impulses in the brain, which are readily detectable and (and even reproducible) by scientific means.

As far as the Bible goes, I was raised in the church with a belief in a literal, inerrant Bible. It took me 25 years before I was able to read it without a preconceived bias, and once I did, I found it so full of contradictions, errors, plagiarism, scientific inaccuracy, etc. as to make my initial belief in inerrancy seem laughable at best. Start with an easy one: Go read Genesis 1 and 2, and then come tell me whether God created animals before people or vice versa.


constantlyapain 5 years ago

So, I've read Genesis 1 and 2 many times and it appears to me that the animals were created first. In chapter 1, day 5 has birds & creatures in the water. Day 6 has animals mentioned first, then Adam, then Eve. Chapter 2 does a revisit with some different detail. In verse 19 it says, "Now the Lord God had formed out of the ground all the beasts of the field and all the birds of the air. He brought them to the man to see what he would name them..." I guess I don't get the big deal here. Adam was created and the animals that had been created were brought to him to be named. Am I missing something?

Okay, so the reason I went to your belief in God is because of your intent to present the bible as fallible. Don't you think it's a take-it-or-leave-it deal? If it's God's word, don't you think God and His word go hand in hand? And that you have to take is as a whole, not in part? I know I'm appearing simplistic here, but if you pick it apart and determine some of it isn't true, then you basically can't believe any of it. (Then, you're left with no barometer for truth except what you can see and verify with your own eyes.) One thing God says over and over in the bible is that we have to have faith in Him. Don't you think that God could prove Himself in a millisecond if He wanted us to drop prostrate on the ground in fear and belief? God could have sent Jesus as a majestic king that would have convinced us of His identity, but no. God chooses to reveal only partially who He is - so we can make our own decision. Satan himself believes in God, but he rejected Him.

What I'm saying is: You are working very hard to discredit God's word (hence God) - and for what? Have you read the books by Lee Strobel and Josh McDowell that present the case for the bible and for Christ? I'm sure you probably have, which makes me wonder why you insist on focusing on the inerrancies. The bible has been copied over centuries. There are a few things that can be questioned, but nothing of any significance. Thankfully, the supposed "errors" do not affect the message and continuity of the bible. You know, when man does anything, he usually screws it up. So what, a few copy errors or whatever. I guess when you have a manuscript as large as the bible written by God-inspired men over a period of time, it's amazing what IS right in the bible!

I have to say that I admire your intelligence and reasoning. You obviously study much and process well. But, what I'm afraid you are doing is reducing the bible and God to a religion instead of a relationship. And I think this is what has left a bitter taste in your mouth. With a religion, you have man-imposed interpretations with rules that one must go by. It sucks the life out of people! If I had been raised in that (like you were) I would definitely get out.

Okay, I know I present this as subjective, but I'm afraid you are missing the essence of the spirit of God and his ability to give a person life - right now. When you reduce all of creation to a chemical process that can be "explained away" by neuroscientists (man's wisdom), then you eliminate faith. Faith is not a blind leap. It's a decision you make after much reading and thought. After studying the alternatives (and yes, I shouldn't have thrown in the flippant monkey comment because I've studied evolution enough to know what is being proposed)I have come to the conclusion that nothing compares.

I've read your arguments against a universal flood, but I'm convinced it happened. Geological layers show a catastrophic flood worldwide. Aside from that (I'm sure you'll tell me otherwise) why is it so hard to believe God did that? Why couldn't He? And why couldn't He create mankind in 6 literal days? Would you want to believe in a God that couldn't do that? If he's God, and if he really created everything, don't you think He could do it any way He wanted? And if He can create, don't you think He can destroy any way He wants, too?

My concern for you is that you blow it in this life. You only have one chance to choose God and believe in all He is. Your life here on earth is a fingersnap compared to eternity. What you do now determines what you do forever.

For some reason, God has put you in my heart and mind and I've started praying for you. I pray that His Holy Spirit will move you beyond what you know.


constantlyapain 5 years ago

Okay, after my last response, I thought of a couple more things that might be interesting. First of all, the reason I even came upon your website is because I've been doing research on Noah's Ark because I am a painter and I want to portray it as accurately as possible. I googled "roof pitch of Noah's Ark" and your site came up with many others.

I learned a few things I never knew about Noah and how God works. I find it remarkable that God saved a man and his family amidst the pervasive wickedness in the world. God could have just wiped out everyone and left this whole "experiment in mankind" as a bad memory. Instead, He chose to begin again - with the likely foreknowledge that man would become wicked again. Why do you think He did that? He then makes a promise after the flood to Noah that He would never do it again. Not that He wouldn't want to, of course! He knew man would be evil again, but He decided He would let it go for awhile - until the end of time (as we know it).

If you were God, why would you do that? If you created beings that you hoped would want fellowship with you for eternity but instead wanted nothing to do with you, and even despised you and chose to worship other gods and sacrifice their babies to other gods, what would you do?

God was angry at the evil man did. It wasn't enough that they scoffed at Him. That alone is tolerable, but they hurt each other to the point that everyone mirrored the hatred and evil. Everyone was infected. And it was incurable. Only Noah was righteous. His family seemed to have a shoe-in because of his righteousness (and they would help in the repopulation, of course).

In future years, the bible tells us God wiped out whole people groups, but never world-wide mass destruction again. It seems so cruel, but can you understand why it might be necessary? Let's say you are a pet lover. You have 5 dogs. One dog gets a contagious disease like rabies. You love that dog, but he's going to make all of your other dogs sick. So you put him down to save the others. Do you want to kill him? Absolutely not. You've loved that dog since the beginning, but for the sake of the others, you do this.

In the old testament, you see God doing this very thing. It appears cruel that babies and "innocent" people are killed, yet God does this to save the whole. He really is a God of love, but love can't be defined by fluffy feelings. Love is giving WHAT IS NEEDED to bring about eternal joy and peace for those who love Him

. So, God does everything He can to extract a remnant of people who want to be with Him forever. The others are going to hell anyway, right?? Don't write me off yet! Let me finish. Hell is the absence of God. Period. Take God out of the picture and the atom can no longer hold together. Like a nuclear explosion, everything will disintegrate and burn. Don't you get it? That's what most people want! Not the fire, but the absence of God. So, God gives people what they want.

But, what most people don't realize is that God loves them so much that He is doing everything in His power to save them from this. How many times does He patiently wait in the OT before He acts? How many decades, even centuries does He wait before He punishes an obstinate people? He doesn't want to do it, but He does it in hopes that they will turn to Him. This isn't hard to absorb. God isn't wanting to take vengeance on His creation. Over and over He disciplines in the hope that His people will turn from their wickedness.

Then in the New Testament, God sends a savior to the people because it's apparent we can't save ourselves or change from our wickedness on our own. Then when Jesus goes back into heaven, we are given the Holy Spirit to help us in this life. This is why the NT is so different from the OT. In the OT, prophets are sent to bring God's message to the people. God put His spirit on the prophets to speak to the people. But, in the NT, we are given the gift of the Holy Spirit to live inside of us to guide us, so we no longer need a prophet or priest to approach God. We have direct access and direct help from God. Man has proven over the centuries that given to himself, he tends toward evil.

So, anyway, back to the question, Why does God save Noah? Because even though He knew at that time that people will be tempted toward evil, He would be sending His son at the right moment in history to bring salvation for those who choose Him. And God wants those who choose Him to fellowship with Him for eternity.

Okay, I'm done for now.


constantlyapain 5 years ago

Okay, last comment of the day. I mentioned that people were going to hell (in the last comment). I have to clarify this: I'm not talking about babies and children. I'm strictly talking about those who reject God - those who are old enough and able to make an informed choice. Thought I should clarify this so you don't think I'm completely nuts. Have a good day!


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pay2cEM 5 years ago from Nashville Author

@ Constantlyapain: Okay, your comments are putting my hubs to shame as far as sheer volume goes. I'd would like to acknowledge and address all the points you brought up, so I'll create a new comment section to correspond with each of yours.

1. With regards to the Creation stories in Genesis: The word "had" in Genesis 2 (Now the Lord HAD created the animals) is a fairly new addition to the English Bible, recently added after centuries without it because translators with a doctrinal bias were well aware of the problem that its absence created: namely that Gen 2 states that God created the animals and brought them to Adam one at a time to see if any of them provided the requisite companionship ("It is not good for man to be alone...") It was only AFTER Adam interviewed all the potential animal companions that God finally got around to making Eve. The original Hebrew text words the passage in a way that suggests God created the animals in attempt to find a partner for Adam, but it's since been revised to imply that the animals which were brought to Adam had ALREADY been created. In any case, the fact that Adam was faced with the daunting task of naming (and possibly speed-dating with) millions of species prior to Eve's introduction to the story doesn't bode well for the idea that Adam and Eve were created at the same time.

2. To answer your question in your 2nd paragraph; yes, I do believe that the Bible is a take-it-or-leave-it deal, and I think it's very insightful and honest on your part to acknowledge that this is the most likely state of affairs. But let me correct something here: I'm NOT trying to "discredit God's work," I'm trying to evaluate A work in order to ascertain its origins. You mentioned Lee Strobel and Josh McDowell, and I assume you're probably referencing "A Case For Christ" and "Evidence That Demands A Verdict." (Aside from the fact that McDowell has publicly stated that his tome was not intended to be an apologetic work, but merely a summation of his personal reasons for buying into the faith, Strobel's arguments have been soundly refuted by dozens of different authors.) Now, correct if me I'm wrong, but I think I hear you stating that I am attempting to discredit God. This is not my intent. I am simply treating the Bible for what is objectively is: a book. And I am employing the exact same standards for critical evaluation that I would reserve for any other piece of literature. Allow me to make an analogy: If you presented me with a document that purported to be a work of Shakespeare, and I analyzed the theme, writing style, etc., it would obviously not be an attempt to discredit Shakespeare. If would be an attempt to ascertain IF Shakespeare was the author. Or, if you unearthed a painting you claimed was created by DiVinci, my comparing KNOWN works of DaVinci to this CLAIMED work of his could shed considerable light as to whether or not Davinci was the artist. It's not an attempt to discredit Shakespeare or DaVinci, it's attempt to discredit a claim that Shakespeare or DaVinci authored something that was not actually theirs. Granted, my analogy falls apart a bit because we have works that we KNOW were created by Shakespeare and DaVinci to compare others against, while we don't have any writings that we know with certainty were written by God. We only have various writings that people CLAIM were divinely authored. But since the people claiming that God writes books ALSO claim to know something about God's character, we could rightly infer what a book by someone with such impeachable standards might look like. But we don't find this in the Bible. We find a book full of plagiarisms, scientific absurdities, and gross internal contradictions, and rather than saying (as we would with ANY other book), "This doesn't make any sense, it must not have been written by God," we say, "We realize this doesn't make any sense, but since God wrote it, we shouldn't quibble over the conflicting details." Paul states in I Corinthians 14:33 that "God is not the author of confusion." Even if Paul doesn't know what he's talking about, we can still guess that the guide we have in mind indeed wouldn't author confusion. So, the logical extrapolation is that SINCE the Bible induces not only so much confusion, but hate, violence, fear-mongering, etc. it CANNOT be the work of God. I'm not saying let's take away God's credit for writing a book, I'm saying let's not insult God's character by ascribing to His supposed perfect craftsmanship such an utterly abysmal work of literature. If the God you say is real truly exists, I wouldn't want to defame Him by crediting Him with the Bible, any more than I would want to credit Ke$ha's latest abortion of a song to Handel or Bach. Maybe I'm in the minority, but I'm of the opinion that when a piece of craftsmanship is so abominably shoddy, it's a compliment to the master artisans NOT to credit them with producing it.

3. I have never seen a compelling piece of scientific evidence for a world-wide flood. Personally, I no horse in the race, so it doesn't matter to me one way or the other. There are over 200 ancient Flood Myths on record - most eerily similar to Noah's tale - so proving that a Flood once happened doesn't prove Noah's version over, say, the Epic of Gilgamesh. But the scientific evidence suggests there was NOT: namely the order of the fossil record in the geologic column, which adheres rigorously to the predictions made by evolutionists, and totally contrary to the predictions made by Creationists and Biblical literalists.

4. If you want to start making arguments for a literal interpretation of the Bible, you're going to have to start defending statements like Jesus' claim that "if you do not hate your mother and father, you cannot be my disciple." Do you really want to go there? Or do this instead: go read the 4 Gospel accounts of what happened Resurrection morning, and then come back and tell me A) Who went to the tomb? B) Who did they meet there? C) What instruction were they given, and what did they do next? D) Did the women at the tomb meet Jesus? E) To whom did Jesus first appear? F) Did Jesus permit himself to be touched? G) How soon after the Resurrection did Jesus ascend into Heaven? H) In which town did this occur? If you can read all 4 Gospels side-by-side and reach a consensus on these questions, then you will have been able to do what nobody in history has so far, and you and I can begin to discuss the merits of Biblical literalism and inerrancy.

5. On a final not, I am genuinely honored that you've taken time out of your no-doubt busy life to say some prayers for me. While you and I might disagree over the value of such an endeavor, it's no less touching that you'd do so, so thanks. : )

5.

3.


constantlyapain 5 years ago

Okay, I understand your points. But I can't agree. I've gone 'round and 'round with my son, and then my daughter, who've had professors tell them the exact same things you are saying. Yet I hesitate to focus on one or more instances of inerrancy in the bible - only because there are so many and they could be argued to the inth degree - but I'll try to respond anyway.

When I went to bible college (yes, I did - big deal)I studied Hebrew and Greek. Something tells me you're familiar with these too. The biggest problem with both languages is that many of their words do not have an English counterpart. There just isn't a suitable word in English to accurately reflect the meaning of the Hebrew or Greek word being looked at. This is a big problem when translating the bible into different languages. A couple of people that I know who work for Pioneer Bible Translators say this is the biggest challenge in accurate translation. It's also a gi-normous responsibility knowing that God says in the bible not to add or remove even an "iota."

That's why I say man screws everything up when left to his own devices. The word of God is Holy and incomparable to other works of literature. Thousands of people over the years have been trying to translate it effectively into other languages. There are problems that remain, though, that have never been resolved. But, in the end, we still have a legitimate work that represents what we can know about God.

So many authors over the years have used the bible as the source of quotes, reference and literary style alone. I'm sure this doesn't mean anything to you because people can quote Shakespeare out the wazoo, too. But, the bible is in a different category. Heck, even the Koran is said to be a bible knock-off.

The bible is a guidebook for life. What other book gives you everything you need to live a happy, peaceful existence? I know - this is subjective again. But really, the bible, along with the Holy Spirit, teaches you everything you need and gives you wisdom for life. You, however, are never going to experience this if you stay hung up on the human errors.

You mention the violence, hate, and confusion of the bible. I have to say that the more I read and understand the bible (and God) the more I only see love. Love takes many forms, but our culture wants to believe that love is always a "feel-good" moment with positive circumstances. What I've learned is that God is in the business of drawing mankind to Himself - no matter the cost. He uses events, people, war, and even natural disasters to get people's attention to this end. Don't you understand? This is a matter of life or death for eternity. God doesn't want you to live eternally in an arid, violent, lonely-beyond-understanding creep-filled environment. But that's the alternative to godliness (a.k.a. love, goodness, wholeness, completeness, fulfillment, community, and productive creativity) which we will have in heaven.

It's easy to examine the detail of the bible but miss the main message. It's a book about relationship. God's relationship with man, and man's relationship with each other. The whole book is a beautiful depiction of God's creation of man, man's rejection of God and how God works to bring man back to Himself. He ultimately sends His son, Jesus, to bridge the gap of sin that separates us from God. God knows we are going to sin. He knew that from the beginning. He gave Satan the big advantage, though. He told Satan he could roam the earth and allowed him to be the king of this earth - for now. So, Satan is all around us and works 24/7 to distract us from God. But, God, on the other hand, isn't going to force us to love Him. He creates circumstances (both good and bad) that give us the opportunity to trust Him or shake our fist at Him.

But, don't be blaming God for every bad thing that happens. He allows us to make our own stupid decisions and live the consequences and he allows others to hurt us. And since the "fall" of Adam & Eve, sin brought with it imperfection, disease, and the like. So, life can suck for many people. But, when you see life here on earth as only the "testing ground" for eternity, it takes away the blatant unfairness we want to focus on.

All I can say about the 4 gospels is this: Whenever you have 4 eyewitness accounts of any event (ask my oldest son, the policeman/prison guard/soon-to-be-fireman)you get 4 different stories. Isn't it amazing how close the gospels really are? That is divine inspiration. But, remember, God used imperfect humans to tell His story. Screw-ups. We all are. And I believe God allowed the imperfections to stay because it's not cut-and-dried hands-down proof of Him. That would be too easy. God has to restrain Himself and only reveal Himself in part because otherwise we'd only have one real choice.

Changing subjects: "If you do not hate your mother and father, you cannot be my disciple," isn't meaning you have to hate them in the sense of "hateful feelings." What Jesus is saying is the contrast between loyalty and love for him (Jesus) supercedes all human ties, even your closest family ties. We must be willing set aside the teachings of our parents if they are in contrast to Jesus' teachings. And if that means losing that relationship - because let's say your father scoffs at God or forbids you to be a part of the family because of your decision to follow God - then, you have to make the choice. This also begs the question of why Jesus says, "If your eye sins, pluck it out...or if your hand sins, cut it off..." (my paraphrase here). Jesus is saying here to get rid of that which obviously makes you sin. Was he saying literally cut off my hand? I don't think so. That doesn't mean I don't take the bible literally. Jesus taught in parables and used abrupt images to get his point across at times. Obviously, it's our mind, not our eyes, that causes us to sin, but Jesus is making a point. Get rid of it as though you cut it out.

Alright. I'm done. Maybe.


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pay2cEM 5 years ago from Nashville Author

It sounds like you are disagreeing with my central thesis, but then making arguments in support of it without realizing it. It is my contention that the Bible is full of demonstrable errors, and your response is, "No it isn't, but a lot of it is written by subjective, fallible, error-prone humans," which was exactly my point. And here is my problem in a nut shell with people who try to defend it: you don't pick an argument and stick to it. You use an argument as long as it's beneficial in any particular instance, but then discard it as soon as it doesn't work in your favor. The traditional Christian claim is that the Bible is the infallible work of God, but as soon as they're shown things like the discrepancies in the Resurrection accounts, they backpedal and claim "human bias and subjectivity." Well, which is it? You can't have your cake and eat it too. If the Bible cannot even agree with itself on whether or not the first women to the tomb met the resurrected Jesus there, why should we think it has any more credibility in its assertion that Jesus in fact rose from the dead? It's like you said earlier: there's a take-it-or-leave requirement to the whole kit and cabootle. The devil's in the details, as they say, and since the Bible can't get the small details right, why would you waste any time thinking it got the fantastical, supernatural claims right? I have a cousin who's a chronic liar. I mean, just lies about the most mundane things: where he ate lunch, where he bought his clothes, how he met his girlfriend, etc. So, knowing that he habitually does this, who in their right mind would believe him when he claims he once sung a duet with Bruce Springsteen at the Grammy's? Outlandish claims are hard enough to accept on their own terms without the added burden of being asserted by a source well-known to be unreliable.

But I guess my question is this: If you are willing to grant the presence of human error into the Bible, and are equally comfortable in granting the presence of non-literal meaning to passages, why would you take any exception to my claim that the details of Noah's Ark don't add up?


constantlyapain 5 years ago

I don't see a problem in thinking there can be copy errors, or something left out in an eye witness account, or put in different order. It doesn't automatically point to inconsistency and error. The 4 gospel accounts are not contradictory. All of them involve Mary Magdalene being the first at the tomb. Matthew says "the other Mary" was with her and Luke lists 3 women (including Mary Magdalene)and "others." 3 of the gospels mention Mary meeting Jesus but Luke leaves this out - not completely surprising, though. Luke took much of his account from Mark and relied on other eye-witnesses for a well-rounded presentation of the life of Jesus. Luke focused especially on Jesus' teaching (recording the most parables). He recorded some things not found in the other gospels. Added together, the 4 gospels give a well-rounded picture of Jesus' life. I don't think 1 person could have done it justice. I don't want to repeat what I already said before, but God DID use humans to record the bible. He didn't have to. He could have delivered it like He did the 10 commandments. But, don't you think there's a reason for this? I personally don't have a problem with different perspectives of Jesus.

In the end, God is God. And we're not.


pay2cEM profile image

pay2cEM 5 years ago from Nashville Author

I think the reason you don't see the problem is because you have faith blinders on. Kinda like how no parent ever believes it when someone accuses THEIR kid of lying. Yes, "God" used man to write the Bible (according to you religion), when He very well could have written it Himself like the 10 Commandments (which there is no physical evidence for ever existing in the first place). The third option you're ignoring is that God COULD HAVE used human writers to write things that did not contradict each another. Let's just look at the glaring contradictions in the Resurrection story.

1. Matthew, Mark, and Luke claim that Mary M and other women went to the tomb. John claims she went alone.

2. Mt, Mk, and Lk claim the women met someone when they first arrived at the tomb, and were given instructions. John claims that Mary met no one, was told nothing, and had to make a 2nd trip to the tomb to learn anything.

3. The 4 Gospels all relate different characters who told the women what had happened: 1 young man, 2 men, 2 angels, the Angel of the Lord. Aside from the fact that the Bible can't agree on how many figures were there, it can't even agree whether these were humans or supernatural beings!

4. All 4 Gospels disagree whether these characters appeared suddenly, were already present, were inside or outside the tomb.

5. Mt claims that after the women were told what happened, they ran off and told everyone. Mk claims that they ran off and said nothing to anyone.

6. Mk and Lk state that the women did NOT meet Jesus at the tomb. Mt states that the women DID meet Jesus at the tomb...and hugged him. Jn states that ONLY Mary met Jesus at the tomb, was not permitted to hug him.

If contradictions like these don't count as evidence of a book NOT being authored by God, then I could probably argue for the divine authorship of thousands of books. I wouldn't brag to anyone that this is the best coherency that your God could come up with. And if God didn't author this stuff, there's absolutely no reason on earth to believe anything else in it. Draw your conclusion from the evidence instead of shoehorning the evidence to fit a preconceived conclusion.


constantlyapain 5 years ago

Wow. I don't know what to say. I don't believe anything I say will sway you one way or another really. Like I said before, I think each of the authors were telling the story of Jesus from their own unique perspective. I personally believe the bible despite the differing accounts. You have a problem doing this. You need black-and-white foolproof evidence to confirm your beliefs. When it comes to God, you won't get this - for reasons I've stated already. You look fairly young to me (by your picture) which isn't a bad thing, but just know that life will deal you some pretty tough things before you get old (if it hasn't already). I hope you know what you're doing by rejecting God's offer of hope, joy and peace as seen in the bible. I'm assuming you can't accept these things because you can't accept any part of the bible. These are what carry you through the tough times and give you hope for the future.

So, I have to ask: Do you fear death? What are going to have left at the end of your life when everything is gone? The props you have now are going to be taken away one by one as you get older. Your youth, vigor, stamina, agility, strength, talent, vocal ability, family members, friends, memory recall, hearing, looks, hair, and on and on. Are you confident that you can say without a doubt that the bible is a farce and there is no offer of hope for the afterlife? Can you confidently assert that there is no salvation through Jesus Christ and that you are going to be alright at the end of your life?

I am so sure that there is an afterlife as promised in the bible that I am really concerned for you. Maybe I care more than you do yourself. Once you die, there's no rewind.

My daughter has been given "visions" of God at times. She never asked for them and was very frightened at first, but it became apparent that God was giving her a window into the spiritual world of good and evil. These visions come to her every few months while she is fully awake (and no, she is not mentally ill). A few days before her first vision, I prayed a prayer. I asked God to give me confirmation that a lady I was helping at the mission(a homeless shelter) was telling me the truth about her past life of Satanism. We deal with many people who lie as well as they breathe, so I wanted to be sure because I was arranging a prayer session for her to get rid of the haunting memories that kept her in a state of post-traumatic stress. She claimed that she had 2 children for sacrifice when she was 11 and 13. She was made to have these children for the sole purpose of the sacrifice on Halloween.

A couple of nights after my prayer, my daughter comes home for the week-end from college and goes down to her bedroom to read before going to sleep. She turns out the light and a minute or so later a scene appears before her eyes. She shut and opened her eyes a couple of times but saw the scene anyway. Here is what she saw:

She saw a menacing shadow going by that raised the hair on the back of her neck. She immediately sensed an evil presence that scared the life out of her for a second. (She started sweating like crazy). A different scene opened up right after and she saw an older man whom she said was absolutely beautiful. He had white hair and a serenely peaceful face and she knew had to be God. All of a sudden his face became very angry and dozens of evil beings were before him killing babies. The babies were falling off the altar and God was saving them. His anger burned at the evil beings but He continued to save the babies. Then the scene closed and it was over.

My prayer was answered in a way I didn't expect but I chose to believe the lady from the mission and scheduled the prayer session. Several people layed hands on her and prayed that the evil from her past would leave her alone. She shuddered several times and told us later that she felt evil beings leave her body. After that day, she quit having nightmares and quit cutting herself. Weird, right?

My husband runs a faith-based homeless shelter. The gov't can't help these people. They want to throw them money, housing, and employment, but that has never worked. They can't change their behavior - usually a result of their toxic past. But, amazingly, these people change when exposed to the love of Christ and the bible. I mean real transformation. These people were beyond hope according to culture's standards. But, we've seen them change firsthand over the past 18 years.

I know you will say these transformations are subjective and personal and can't prove the bible. You're right. But,the God of the bible is personal and real. And He loves you. I believe He has a purpose for you and that my stumbling onto your site is not happenstance.

God wants you. All of you. He is real and He has plans for you. Throw out a fleece if you must. Ask Him for a miracle. Then maybe you can believe He exists and is the same God of the bible.


pay2cEM profile image

pay2cEM 5 years ago from Nashville Author

@ Constantlyapain: We might want to consider taking this to a forum or an email, as my comment section is getting pretty bogged down with this back-and-forth.

It's certainly possible to tell me something that could change my mind, but simply telling me anecdotal stories isn't going to work. This method doesn't work on me for the obvious fact that every person in every religion of the world has an anecdotal tale that "proves" their religion. It's called "confirmation bias," and is a well-documented, observable scientific phenomenon. When people have decided they believe something, they will find "evidence" everywhere they look that justifies the belief. (check out "The Believing Brain" by Michael Shermer) Naturally, it's completely subjective, as no one who DOESN'T ascribe to the same belief sees the "obvious" implications in whatever event is in question.

I've done the Bible school thing, I'm an ordained minister, former missionary, and former worship leader, so I know the whole spiel as far as doctrinal issues and proselytizing soliloquies go. My primary issue is this: IF I have a cognitive Maker, that Maker saw fit to endow me with the gifts of intellect, reason, logic, and rationality; so I'm a bit hesitant to abandon all those things in order to to arrive at a belief system that violates them, and for which you only have anecdotal assurances of its reality. Plus, I already tried on that outfit and wore it around for 30 years, finally deciding that it didn't fit very well. You telling me to give it another shot is tantamount to you asking me to give milk another try when I'm severely lactose intolerant simply because you heard milk helped someone out with their osteoperosis.

Now, you've told me that you believe the Bible - even though it frequently contradicts itself - and my question is: How? Telling me that you don't personally have a problem with the discrepancies doesn't make them go away. If you're selling your house and I can see that your roof is leaking, it doesn't matter to me that a leaky roof doesn't bother you, it bothers me, so I ain't buying it and I'm not moving in.

What we have here is what is called "cognitive dissonance": the holding of conflicting ideas simultaneously. You believe that reason, logic, intellect, and rationality are virtuous ways of dealing with the world around you (indeed is probably your PRIMARY modus operandi), except when it comes to religious belief, when you abandon it altogether, and perhaps even decry it. The fact is, I could show you the Book of Mormon or the Qu'ran (whose proponents believe as strongly as you do about the Bible that they are the divinely inspired Word of God), and point out all the discrepancies that disincline me to agree with them, and you would probably laud my scholarship and agree wholeheartedly with my critical evaluation. Why? Because you have no emotional investment in any of those beliefs. Did my method change? No. Then what did? YOUR emotional attachment. I think you mentioned you had a son who was a cop who commented on the different perspectives people give when witnessing a car wreck. What he can probably also tell you is that a detective is not handed the investigation for crimes involving members of his own family. Why? Because they know that emotional involvement clouds judgment. When one is too close to an issue, one cannot properly and accurately ascertain what one is looking at.

Like I said, I used to think and believe the same as you. But gradually I became uncomfortable with the level of arrogance and measure of infallibility one must grant oneself in order to declare that there's no possible way one can be wrong about something for which there is no evidence. It's hard for me to imagine a haughtier position to take.

Might I recommend to you a blog by my good friend and co-author on a project, Derreck Bennet, which you can find here: http://www.facebook.com/notes/derreck-bennett/why-...

It's a nice summation of the many problems Christianity faces.


erniesfriend 5 years ago

Two issues I have with this otherwise interesting and amusing proof of the pitfalls of taking the Bible literally:

1) God didn't wait 1,000 years to give humans laws to live by. According to Talmud, Adam received six laws in the Garden of Eden (Gen. 2:16) and a seventh after the Flood--all seven are known as the Noachide Code, or Seven Laws of Noah ("Noach" in Hebrew).

2) God is shown throughout the Old Testament as making mistakes, as well as correcting himself when such errors, and even mistakes in judgement, are pointed out. For example, God realizes that he's goofed when he sees men building a tower in Babel designed to trump God. Of course, his hands are tied; he's promised not to destroy the earth through flood (and through other means, presumably), so he merely scatters people all over the earth after making their language incomprehensible to each other.

In other instances, Abraham argues with God for the lives of any righteous living in Sodom and Gomorrah. Moses argues constantly with God, usually fending off God's wrath against the children of Israel when they've goofed in a particularly bad way (e.g., Golden Calf...I know there's more, but my mind draws a blank).


pay2cEM profile image

pay2cEM 5 years ago from Nashville Author

@Erniesfriend: thanks for reading. Regarding #1, I was only referring to the information available in the Bible, but thanks for giving the Talmud reference. Regarding #2, right you are!


constantlyapain profile image

constantlyapain 5 years ago from Springfield, Illinois

Sorry, but I fail to see God making blunders in the OT. He listened to different people's prayers and pleas for mercy and withheld punishment (many times) for rebellion and blatant sin.

People are the ones making major blunders - and the whole bible is about God reconciling man to Himself despite this.


pay2cEM profile image

pay2cEM 5 years ago from Nashville Author

Blunder #1: God creates the entire Universe and declares it all "good." Then He realizes that all is not good after all, and decides that man needs a helper. God's not entirely sure how best to fill this need, and thus brings the animals one at a time to Adam to see if any of them provide the necessary companionship (possibly explaining at long last the questionable practice of humans trying to mate with sheep). When none of the animals work out, God is forced to fashion Eve out of a rib that Adam apparently didn't need as much as God initially thought.

Everyone else feel free to jump in. It might be an interesting topic to list all the various blunders and corrections God makes in the OT.


constantlyapain profile image

constantlyapain 5 years ago from Springfield, Illinois

You're funny. He said it was good, not perfect. And it became less good as time went on.


pay2cEM profile image

pay2cEM 5 years ago from Nashville Author

So God could've done better, but just decided to phone it in for His Magnum Opus?

It didn't start to get "less good" before that incident with the magical fruit tree. But anyway, it sure is curious that God would try to pair Adam up with a series of animals. And it wasn't like he just auditioned a penguin and a golden retriever either. He had to let Adam sample "all the beast of the field and fowl of the air" before God realized that He needed to go with Plan B.2.14.890.


constantlyapain profile image

constantlyapain 5 years ago from Springfield, Illinois

I hardly see God "trying to pair up" Adam with an animal! It was His plan all along to create Eve from Adam's rib. Do you really think the creator of the whole universe forgot to plan ahead for the human race who was to inhabit the earth - which is the whole reason for its existence?


pay2cEM profile image

pay2cEM 5 years ago from Nashville Author

I'm just going by what the Bible says. God saw that man was alone and needed a helper. Gen2:18-21 says that God made the animals and brought them to Adam in turn, then says that none of them proved suitable for Adam, necessitating the creation of a rib chick. Since this is obviously mythology and not history, it is not a commentary on the Creator of the Universe. It about what's expected from the Bible God who didn't remember that he left Noah's family floating around aimlessly on the ocean until about 5 months after it stopped raining (Gen 8:1).


constantlyapain profile image

constantlyapain 5 years ago from Springfield, Illinois

Gen 1:26-27 "Then God said, 'Let us make man in our image, in our likeness, and let THEM rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the ai, over all livestock, over all the creatures that move along the ground." So God created man in His own image, in the image of God he created him; MALE AND FEMALE he created them."

You must be referring to Gen chapt 2 where it gives more detail of chapt 1. It says, "The Lord God said, "It is not good for man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him. Now, the Lord God HAD FORMED out of the ground all the beasts...and brought them to the man to see what he would name them...But FOR ADAM, no suitable helper was found."

#1) God put man over all the beasts & creatures, so he was already set apart.

#2) No suitable helper was found BY ADAM, not God.

It's funny to me that you are arrogant enough to think God is too stupid to plan ahead of time and stupid enough to think an animal would suffice.

Lay it down. You're wrong here.


pay2cEM profile image

pay2cEM 5 years ago from Nashville Author

Part of the problem of using the NIV (which you told me is your preferred translation) is that it has a notorious habit of rewording passages that were previously problematic even when there is no grammatical justification for doing so. The insertion of "HAD" is relatively recent, has no grammatical basis in Gen 2, and was only inserted to resolve the sticky issue that its absence seems to imply: that upon realizing that it was not good for man to be alone, God began creating animals and bringing them to Adam.

I'm not sure what the relevance of #2 is. This is a discussion about who the potential helpers were, not who found them.

If you think I'm arrogant to think God is stupid, then you haven't been listening to anything I've been saying all along. I don't think God is stupid. I think some of the elements of the mythical, man-made stories attributed TO God are stupid. You are commenting on the Divine. I'm merely commenting on literature.


constantlyapain profile image

constantlyapain 5 years ago from Springfield, Illinois

Sorry, but the NIV doesn't "have the notorious habit of rewording passages" any more than ANY English translation. The KJV has just as many problems - because there are no perfect translations from Hebrew, Aramaic and Greek into the English language.

If you think the Bible is such a myth, why do you spend so much time trying to debunk it? It's only a myth, right? Why do you even care? There are so many other religious books you can take apart and so many other religious cults that do harm to people - why the Bible obsession?

Maybe it's because the Bible is the only real threat to human autonomy. The Bible doesn't place man front and center of his universe. Man has to "obey" God in order to have an eternally happy existence. It's pretty offensive, huh?

So, pick the Bible apart all you want. You won't eradicate it - no one can.


pay2cEM profile image

pay2cEM 5 years ago from Nashville Author

In this case, it's not a matter of personal opinion, but of historical fact. Yes, every translation has its problems, but you're muddying the argument by pointing this out. The argument here is not that the NIV is unique in its translation errors, it's that it constantly rewords passages to do away with problems whenever skeptics point them out to apologists. Obviously, several translations also engage in this "creative translating," but NIV is one of the worst.

Oh geez, the Bible is the only threat to human autonomy? Have you actually read any other holy books? Same theme, different details. Dime a dozen.

I've selected the Bible as my religious book of choice since it's the most prominent religious book in the language and culture in which we live. If I lived in Pakistan, I'm sure it would be the Koran instead. I do spend a pretty fair amount of time with the Book of Mormon since I have multiple Mormon friends who are always trying to convert me. I guess the simple answer is that I just deal with what I'm most confronted with in my immediate sphere.

The main answer of "WHY" is that, IMHO, the Bible does far more harm than good in this world. A book that instructs us to keep women silent in church, burn witches, kill disrespectful children, and nail slaves to a doorpost by their ear if we wish to keep them around is probably not the best book on which to base our national policy regarding the gay community.


constantlyapain profile image

constantlyapain 5 years ago from Springfield, Illinois

Yeah, I've read some other religious books. But, hands down, the bible is the most printed, most sold, most widely distributed book in the world - which makes it the biggest threat to those who don't like it, I guess. So, this answers my own question as to why you pick the Bible over the others.

You single out a few things from the Bible that seem absurd to our culture, and use them as the centerpiece of the Bible. Yes, these events happened - just like other horrific events as depicted in other historical writings, but they aren't what the Bible is about. You miss the overiding message and theme.

I can easily take apart your "proofs" of absurdity: Women weren't told they couldn't speak in the church. They prayed and prophesied, as Paul acknowledged when he wrote, "When you pray and prophecy, keep your heads covered..." Paul is basically telling women to be respectful, cover their heads (as was the custom for respect in those days) but shut up when it comes to gossip and idle talk. The women WERE uneducated at that time, and prone to "stirring the pot."

I've explained before why God sometimes punishes people as examples to affect the whole mass of people so they would soften their hearts and change from evil practices - even burning their own children as sacrifices. What's funny to me is that you think the God of the Bible is absurd and stupid for doing what He does, but He is just responding to the evil of mankind and trying to keep them from killing off all of Israel.

Everyone wants to blame God for the condition of this world, but in reality, the condition of this world is man's doing. People are starving because of man's stupidity, not God's. Then, humans are mad because God doesn't intervene and stop all their destructive actions. God gives us freewill in this life. That's love.


pay2cEM profile image

pay2cEM 5 years ago from Nashville Author

USA Today is the most printed, most sold, and most widely distributed newspaper in the world. By your logic, it naturally follows that USA Today is the most accurate, most informative, and most helpful journalism out there. (Did I do that right?)

Connie wrote: "Women weren't told they couldn't speak in church."

I Corinthians 14:33-35 says, “As in all the congregations of the saints, women should remain silent in the churches. They are not allowed to speak, but must be in submission, as the Law says. If they want to inquire about something, they should ask their own husbands at home; for it is disgraceful for a woman to speak in the church.”

I think that sufficiently speaks for itself.

Christians have a bizarre view of what constitutes love (which is probably why, as a demographic, they can so easily and readily justify bad behavior in the name of God). I love my daughter. If I don't want my daughter to make herself sick on candy, I don't bring candy into the house. What I do NOT do is put a bowl full of candy in her room, and leave her unattended with instructions not to eat it. Because I'm not retarded. Children don't have the mentality of adults, so it's the loving adult's job to keep them out of situations where their ignorance would harm them. Conversely, Bible God appears more than content to just throw everyone to the wolves and chalk it up as a "loving" demonstration of Free Will. Thanks, but I'll pass.


constantlyapain profile image

constantlyapain 5 years ago from Springfield, Illinois

Sorry, but the USA Today newspaper doesn't even remotely compare. That's funny, though! I'll run out and get my bound copy asap and keep it by my bedside.

You're right, I did say "Women weren't told they couldn't speak in church..." but what I meant is... (okay, this is my disclaimer) is that God isn't saying all women at all times - across the board - should not ever speak in a church. Paul is talking here in I Cor to the churches he was working with who were, by and large, Gentile. The Gentiles had pagan practices and pagan worship prior to Christianity being introduced. And the women were shunned in public - they were not social beings who were allowed to converse freely. They were uneducated. However, some were endowed with the gift of prophecy and some were allowed to pray (I Cor 11:5), so they did NOT all have to remain silent. Again, you cannot take one scripture and pull it out of the Bible without considering the rest. Paul also states in Gal 3:28 - "There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus." So, Christ was the great equalizer. He is the one who truly brought equality for women. The problem was, however, women's cultural roles took a long time to change (and never changed in some parts of the world).

Paul, in the quest for orderly worship at that time, had to make some declarations. There were a few other rules, too, that made for orderly worship - like taking turns when speaking, have an interpreter if you speak in tongues, etc. It's really all about ORDERLY WORSHIP - not putting women "in their place" - as so many want to think. So, in later years, when women became more socially acceptable beings (more civilized, I guess) women were able to contribute in worship services.

Before you assume "Bible God" is an idiot and imposes inane rules, consider that you might not have all of the information.


pay2cEM profile image

pay2cEM 5 years ago from Nashville Author

You are so much fun!

Much like ESPN recently misinterpreted Hank William's Jr's analogy of Obama and Hitler, you have misinterpreted my USA Today analogy. I was not saying that the daily newspaper should be compared to the Bible as far as its value and relevance to mankind goes, I was was saying that the fact that something is more widely published than its counterparts conveys no information whatsoever as to the value of its content.

Now, if they ever decide to make reverse cycling an Olympic sport, I shall heartily endorse you as America's premier representative as you are easily the most proficient back-pedaler I know.

First you said the Bible didn't say something specific. Then you said it DID say that....but it MEANT something else (a favorite apologetic tool: "The Bible always means exactly what it says, unless I don't like it, in which case it means whatever I say it does.")

And your defense isn't a matter of opinion...like if you said Pirates of the Caribbean was a good movie and I said it sucked. It's more like you claiming PotC is a movie about penguins starring Tom Hanks. Not that your not in the same ballpark, your facts are playing an entirely different sport! Your defense of Paul's statement regarding women might hold some water if he was writing to a Jewish audience, but - by your own admission - he was writing to Gentiles. Specifically, to the Gentiles of Corinth, which was in Greece, which held women closer in line with how we do today in America than how Jewish society did it.

And if you're going to revert to the tired old defense of, "You can't take a single passage from the Bible and interpret it without the aid of the rest of the Bible," then you get the brand new challenge of explaining why your all-loving God gave humanity a bunch of instructions that they couldn't correctly interpret until the whole thing had been assembled, translated, and distributed a millennium and a half after the final word was penned.


Austinstar profile image

Austinstar 18 months ago from Somewhere in the universe

Best Noah's Ark story ever! You'll laugh, you'll cry. Pass the popcorn!

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