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Noah's Ark and the Shroud

By Richard Gunther


Gen. 11:2  says that the people of the world moved "from the east" to the land of Shinar, or Babylon and later Babylonia. The ark, we are told, settled on the "Mountains of Ararat" which is north of Shinar, up in Armenia.

The word Ararat, comes from a Hebrew word, meaning 'creation' or 'holy land'. It is a very general description, and not the name of a specific mountain peak. The 16th cent. translators had a problem with the word, and picked Ararat as a likely equivalent.

The danger of relics.

The actual location of the ark is not described in Scripture, possibly because it could have become a relic-hunter's Mecca, and the actual boat could have become more important than the God who designed it. The same could be said of Moses, whom the Lord buried. Can you imagine the value of Moses' bones today!? "And He (God) buried him in a valley in the land of Moab, opposite Peor, and no one knows his grave to this day." Deut. 34:6.

Jude 9 also describes an event which we are not fully informed about, when Michael the archangel disputed with the devil over the body of Moses. Why? Perhaps because the devil was interested in starting up relic-worship?

If, as the Bible says, the people moved "from the east" to the land of Shinar, they must have been in the west when they started, which puts them in modem-day Persia, where there are many suitable peaks: Ke Danar 14640 ft., Kuh-e Bul 12011 ft.., Shahr-e-Babak 6086 ft., Kuh 13352 ft.., and many others. (Readers Digest Great World Atlas)


   There have been many claims that the ark has been sighted on present-day Ararat, but all of them have been unconvincing in some way. For example, a Seventh-Day Adventist TV program made many credible-sounding claims, and produced several witnesses, but one of them admitted later that he had picked up the alleged ark wood from his garage. All the other so-called evidence was open to question, ambiguous, or relied on a single person's testimony. Photographs purporting to be of the ark were hazy and ambiguous too.

A Mr. Plimer recently made many bold claims that he had discovered the remains of the ark, but his findings are just an unusual land formation. His site, which forms a lens-shaped, or canoe-shaped form, does not fit the Bible description anyway, because the ark of the Bible had length, height and width. It was square ended, like a barge. It had no need for a pointed prow because it was not powered, and had no need to cut through the water like a jet boat.

A similar case of making a tiny amount of ‘evidence’ go a long way is seen in the 'Shroud of Turin'. Many claims have been made that this strip of cloth was the very sheet in which Jesus was wrapped. Tests have shown that a man's body has been inside the cloth. Bloodstains in certain places have led people to infer that the man was crucified. The cloth was laid along the body as a single strip, beginning at the head, down to the feet, under and back to the head. However, the Bible describes the burial clothes as having been "wrapped" Gr. = entulisso = to roll in. This means that the body of Jesus was wound up, like a corkscrew shape, or spiral, and not as a single straight strip each way. He same word is used in Luke 23:53, and John 20:7. When the disciples came to the tomb, they saw the grave clothes intact, like a cocoon, and the "handkerchief" or face cloth, "that had been around his head, not lying with the linen cloths, but folded together in a place by itself." The Shroud is a single strip, laid flat along both sides of the body. The actual burial clothes for Jesus were wound, like a cork-screw along the length of his body, with a separate sheet for his head. Once again, the Bible gives the true and accurate picture.

Many illustrated Bibles, and movies, show a rumpled mess of gravecloths, as if Jesus had to struggle to free himself. The Bible tells the truth. The gravecloths were not strewn about. They were basically where they had been wrapped, and Jesus had risen through them, leaving them largely undisturbed.

It is always better to accept what the Bible says that what people assume or imagine.

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