Is Noah’s Tomb Evidence for the Flood?
This is a very good question
In this modern age, physical evidence is demanded for just about anything historical. If there is no physical evidence supporting a historical claim then the skeptics reject the claim and doubt that the event took place.
Noah’s flood is one of those historical events that many people demand physical evidence for before they will accept its historicity. While the Bible does not instruct anyone to use physical evidence as proof for its events, many people still demand physical evidence before they change their minds about the Bible’s stories.
In light of this situation we must ask if the existence of Noah’s tomb is physical evidence for the historicity of the biblical global flood?
How many tombs are there?
I would be inclined to say that the existence of Noah’s tomb would be physical evidence if it were not for the fact that there are 5 tombs to choose from. These tombs are spread out around the Middle East.
The locations of these tombs are found in Iraq, Turkey, Armenia, Jordan and Lebanon. Each one makes their own claim to holding the physical remains of Noah.
Obviously not all 5 can hold the remains, and someone must be misrepresenting their contents. There are difficulties surrounding the identity of those remains.
DNA is not possible here
Modern science really cannot be a help in the identification process. This is because we have no DNA of Noah’s ancestors, his family, or any other early human to compare DNA samples.
It would also be a miracle if any DNA from Noah or his family survived and was free of contamination.
Where did Noah live after the flood?
This is another consideration that has to be taken into account. We do not know if Noah and his family remained in the area where the ark landed. We d know that he built a vineyard but Noah lived another 350 years after the flood. Is it safe to say he did not relocate after a hundred years or so?
Did he move in with one of his sons after he became very old and his wife died? These are just some of the logistic problems that any researcher is faced with when they investigate the tomb as possible evidence.
Is it possible that all of the tombs are mere memorials only?
Who is to say that some future descendants of Noah did not come to an area they thought the ark had landed, and in wanting to honor their ancestor built memorial tombs for him.
They were not informed of the actual burial site but picked what they thought to be a close location. This situation tends to throw everyone off the path to the truth.
It can be concluded that at least 4 of the 5 locations for Noah’s tombs are just that-- memorials. One may be the actual tomb or close to the actual burial site. But to make a better identification more evidence is needed.
The sons may point the way
It is well known that 4 of the 5 tombs do not have any more physical evidence to support their claim. The tombs of Noah’s sons or their wives do not exist in those regions.
Yet, when we come to the Noah’s tomb located near Lake Qare on Mt. Aragatz we do find some more physical evidence. Carved stones name Noah’s sons while simply saying and wives.
Images are also engraved in these stones of Noah’s family. These are details the other sites do not possess. But this is not all the evidence that can be found in the area.
Roughly 3 kilometers away from Lake Qare, stands the Armenian Stonehenge. These stones located at Zorats Qarer have one distinction separating them from the English Stonehenge. At the center of these inscribed stones stands a tomb.
Once the inscriptions were deciphered, the words read Shem’s tomb. As you know this was one of Noah’s sons. A secondary tomb was not far away and possibly held the remains of Shem’s wife.
3 hours away from Shem’s tomb near the Tatav Monastery, which holds engraved rocks with the names of Noah’s 3 sons, stands another tomb. It is near an observation point and has engraved rocks similar to the other 2 sites.
The name on this tomb was Japheth. Another of Noah’s sons. Ham’s tomb has yet to be found, if he remained in the area.
Is this enough evidence?
The physical corroborating evidence of the carved stones and the presence of 2 of the 3 sons of Noah do provide compelling information to consider. If the men and their wives did not move far from the ark’s landing site, then a good case could be made.
Certainly, this added evidence overshadows the claims of the other 4 tombs. In order to be conclusive though much more evidence would have to be uncovered. For all we know some parent named Noah, who lived long after the flood, could have named his sons Shem, Japheth, and Ham in honor of the survivors of the flood.
He then made a memorial for his ancestor and included the tombs of him and his sons in this memorial. Sadly, the tombs and carvings are compelling information but still do not really provide us with the physical evidence we need.
To many hurdles remain to be able to accurately identify them as the survivors of the ark. Whether people like it or not, when it comes to biblical accounts, faith is still the key.
Faith tells God that people believe him and his words. While we will get physical evidence to support the biblical record. There will not be so much physical evidence to remove faith from the equation.
© 2018 David Thiessen