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Noah and the Great Flood

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The story of Noah and the Great Flood is sometimes questioned of whether or not it really happened. Some people who take the Bible literally believe that, with the grace of God, Noah was able to accomplish this task and this event really did occur. Others, who take some of the stories from the Bible as a symbol for something else, do not believe that this really happened. They may believe that God was trying to tell us something through this story. The story of Noah and the Great Flood is an issue that historians and theologians have been studying and debating over for many years, and more years to come.

The story of Noah and the flood is basically the second story of creation. The world was turning to evil, so God trusted the only faithful man left on Earth to ride the flood on an ark. (Boadt, 123) he told Noah to build an ark, which was made of gopher wood. After he built the ark, God instructed Noah to get two animals of every kind, one male and one female, and load them onto the ark. Seven days after the ark was built, it started to rain. It rained for forty days and forty nights. When the flood was over, Noah sent out a dove to check for any signs of land. The first time Noah sent the dove, it just came back to him with nothing. The second time he sent the dove, it brought back an olive branch. Noah sent out the dove one more time, and it never returned. Noah now knew that there was land somewhere above the water's surface. The ark finally landed on Mount Ararat. The first thing Noah did when he got off of the ark was build an altar to God. God restored the covenant with the world through Noah. He did this by sending a rainbow as a promise to all of humanity promising that he would never destroy the entire world again. (Bible)

The J and P sources of the Bible have two different accounts of the story of Noah, yet they are closely related to each other. The P source was written on top of the J source, adding on to the end of the story. In Genesis 9 of the P source, God restores his blessing with humanity, which is what happened to the blessing to Adam in Genesis 1:28. We can assume that there were two original versions of the story of Noah. We can assume this because God declares the flood twice, once in Genesis 6:13, and another time in Genesis 7:4. He also promises to never again send a flood two times. This is in Genesis 8:21, and also in Genesis 9:15. In some parts of the story, Noah is told to take a pair of each kind of animal. In other parts, he is told to take seven pairs of clean animals, with one pair of unclean animals. Also, one of the stories is based on a period of forty days and forty nights, and the other story is based on a longer time period that adds up to about one year. (Boadt, 124)

Since we will never know whether or not the story of Noah and the flood truly happened, we can only use evidence found by archaeologists. In fact, religious scholars and scientists have been looking for Noah's ark and evidence of this flood for quite a while now. In 1949, a United States scout plane ventured over mountains in northern Turkey. What they discovered was evidence of what might be part of Noah's ark, which was built over 7,500 years ago. They found the frame of a large boat on Mount Ararat, which is where the book of Genesis tells us the ark landed after the forty day flood. Many archaeologists have been investigating the floor of the Black Sea for a huge



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