As I scanned the headlines last week, there’s one that caught my eye: “Has Noah’s Ark Been Found on Turkish Mountaintop?” According to news reports, a number of evangelical Turkish and Chinese explorers believe they’ve found Noah’s Ark resting 13,000 feet upon Mount Ararat on an eastern Turkish mountain. Although encased in ice and snow, one of the explorers, Yeung Wing-Cheung, said, “It’s not 100% that it is Noah’s Ark, but we think it is 99.9% that this is it.”
Yeung made the startling statement based on several factors. Using carbon dating, the discovery is said to be 4,800 years old. This, of course, correlates with the general timeframe many biblical scholars suggest Noah and his precious cargo.
Another clue are the rough-hewn, 8”-wide plank beams assembled with “tenons”—which was a common practice prior to the invention of nails. A third noteworthy detail was the presence of compartments in the hull which may have been where Noah housed various animals.
Over the years there have been numerous claims floating around by groups who believe that they, too, have found the legendary Ark in other locations. Details of some of those can be found in this WorldNetDaily report.
Meanwhile, I saw another headline today claiming the Turkish archeological find was fabricated. What I’m about to say might surprise you: My faith in God will not change one way or the other regardless of whether or not this most recent finding ultimately proves to be the archeological discovery of the century. Why?
Let me take you back to an encounter between Thomas and Jesus after the resurrection of Christ. Upon hearing that Jesus had risen from the dead, Thomas, a follower of Jesus, said he wouldn’t believe it was true unless he put his fingers on the nail-scarred hands of the Savior. This is why he’s often referred to as the Doubting Thomas.
When Jesus appeared to Thomas, He invited Thomas to examine His hands. Thomas was stunned. He cried out, “My Lord and My God!” Notice the response of Jesus: “Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed” (John 20:28-29). Isn’t that what faith in God is all about? It’s believing in what we’ve been told through the scripture.
Seeing “proof” is a bonus, but it shouldn’t be the basis of our faith.
We’ve already had numerous discoveries which confirm the accuracy of the Bible, including finding Nehemiah’s Wall, the Dead Sea Scrolls, excavations at Hazor demonstrating the city was burned as Joshua described, proof that the Hittites existed though many thought they were a biblical legend, and hundreds of other compelling evidences. If Noah’s Ark has been found, great. It just adds to the richness of our biblical history and knowledge, but isn’t the basis of my faith.
As King David has said, “The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of His hands” (Psalm 19:1). In other words, I have all the proof I need when I look at the glorious creation greeting my eyes every day, the miracle of life, and the unmistakable presence of God I carry within my heart.