The archaeologist comments: “As most secular scholars believe the Torah was written between the twelfth and fifth centuries B.C. and the Quran during the seventh century, historians from these periods cannot be maligned for believing the monumental wood structure on Mount Ararat was a maritime construction. Having been inside the edifice, it is understandable that past visitors believed this site to be an ancient barge. Mortise-and-tenon features, cypress wood, angled walls, cross beams at different elevations, and coats of pitch or bitumen are familiar traits in early maritime constructions.”
I don’t like the term, you understand, Historical Jesus, but it is what we have. Maybe a Jesus as the historical basis of the Gospels?
Anyway, I was reading a wee bit and found a reference to the fact that for four centuries, the Cross wasn’t used to depict Christians.1. On of the interesting things is that presenting Noah as a sign is not completely out of the imagination and was somewhat common as a theological image for centuries after Constantine.2
First, you have the Genesis Apocryphon which has Noah sharing some similar traits as Matthew, Luke and John’s Jesus. Then, you have Wisdom which has the world to be saved by a piece of wood. For Justin, this was surely the cross and he went so far as to suggest that the Jews removed it from Scripture in order to avoid giving in to the Christians. However, if you read Wisdom in context, it is the Ark which Noah built (10.4; 14.5). We should remember that the Cross is not a Gospel invention, but found in Paul, and is a disgrace. Even Deuteronomy says it. Paul agrees, somewhat. So, we have a death-on-a-cross tradition from Paul, modified to suggest that Jesus died as/among a political rebel(s) by the Gospels. By the way, I believe that Casey’s argument about the ransom motif in Mark is accurate well enough. The cross is a sign of shame. If it was indeed the symbol of an atoning messiah (v. ransom, don’t confuse the two), surely it would have been better used.
The Ark is used because it is a symbol particular to Israel, to the Jews, following Casey’s ransom motif, I think. Remember, if an atoning messiah was the original image of Jesus, the cross would have been better used.
Anyway, this is just some thoughts that I am playing with.
Downing, Crystal L., Changing Signs of Truth: A Christian Introduction to the Semiotics of Communication (IVP Academic, 2012), 211-212 ↩
Lewis, Jack P., A Study of the Interpretation of Noah and the Flood in Jewish and Christian Literature (Brill Academic Pub, 1978); Viladesau, Richard, The Beauty of the Cross: The Passion of Christ in Theology and the Arts from the Catacombs to the Eve of the Renaissance (Oxford University Press, USA, 2008) ↩
According to the young-earth creationist (YEC) paradigm, the narratives recorded in the
biblical book of Genesis are accurate historical records of actual events. Within that paradigm,
the Flood of Noah is considered to have happened as described in chapters 7 and 8
of Genesis. According to the narrative, the rain of the Flood began in the second month of
Noah’s 600th year. The rain lasted 40 days, at the end of which the water level was more
than 6 meters above the height of the highest mountains. All humans and non-aquatic animals
perished, except those that were on the Ark with Noah. The earth remained flooded
for 150 days, but by the end of that period the waters had receded enough for the Ark to
rest on the “mountains of Ararat” (not a single Mt Ararat, as is commonly but incorrectly
assumed). About two and a half months after the Ark came to rest, the waters had receded
enough to expose the tops of mountains. By the end of the second month of Noah’s 601st
year, “the earth was completely dry” (Genesis 8:14, New International Version). The account
therefore describes a flooding event in which water rose for 40 days and receded for
the rest of a single year, during which recession the planet was completely submerged for
In 1961 Whitcomb and Morris published The Genesis Flood. The authors presented the
hypothesis that the Flood was responsible for the deposition of all Phanerozoic sedimentary
strata stratigraphically below the Quaternary. They also questioned the validity of the
stratigraphic principles upon which the geologic column—the sequence of time divisions
to which geological deposits are assigned—is based (see Figure 1). Their publication was
not the first to espouse these views but its popularity precipitated a deluge of Flood-related
research by young-earth creationists in an attempt to find support for the book’s conclusions.
Ironically, that outpouring of research has ultimately led to the falsification of most
of the book’s geological interpretations.
Every attempt has led to failure or abuse of information. Why? Because the Ark is not on Ararat. It’s not anywhere. It never was. The story of the Ark is a theological story. It is not a history account. Let’s break the narrative down into increments:
You’ll have to visit the link below to see why he says what he says: