Summary: Noah & the Flood - PowerPoint slides to accompany this talk are available on request – email: email@example.com
(1). The Holiness of God (chapter 6 verses 1-7)
(2). The Grace of God (chapter 6 verse 8 to chapter 7 verse 10)
(3). The Wrath of God (chapter 7 verses 11-24)
(4). The Faithfulness of God (chapter 8 verses 1-22)
• You cannot have failed to see the recent stories in the media (Feb 2014);
• Regarding a small mobile-phone-sized clay tablet;
• The tablet was covered in a 4,000-year-old cuneiform script;
• And you can see it on display at the British Museum in London.
• This cuneiform tablet tells a similar story like Noah, the biblical patriarch;
• Who gathered his family and the world's animals onto a massive ship,
• It contains a number of differences, such as the ark was round in shape;
• And made out of coiled rope not gopher wood.
• Of course I guess you know the old joke why it was called that;
• Because for 100 years Noah kept telling his sons to ‘go for wood’!
• Now this tablet has been at the British Museum since 1985,
• But the owner Irving Finkel did not surrender it for translation until 2009.
• The story is now in the news because Irving Finkel, owner of the tablet;
• Has published a book (The Ark Before Noah),
• And he suggests that Genesis borrowed the story from this earlier Babylonian account!
• The news media did not tell people that this tablet isn't dated with a date itself.
• It's date has been estimated according to Finkel, to be 1900 and 1700 BC.
• We would say he has given a guesstimate to it.
• The cynic might say, well he does have a book to publicise and sell!
• Many (conservative Christian) Bible scholars;
• Believe that the flood occurred circa 2349 BC,
• And that the account in Genesis was written by Moses circa 1450 BC;
• Shortly before his death.
• Christian scholars would therefore say that the Babylonian text;
• Must be a corrupted version an adaptation of the true story in Genesis.
• Or it might be an independent attempt at describing the world-wide flood.
• Rather than discredit the Genesis account;
• It actually confirms the fact that another great civilisation;
• Believed that a world-wide flood took place.
• Did you know that nearly every culture in the world has a tradition of a global flood?
• You will find over 200 of these stories from all over the world.
• From Asia to Africa, From South America to Europe;
• Most ancient civilisations have the story of a flood documented in their ancient records.
• Interesting trivia:
• The word for "boat" in Chinese characters (Chinese character 船 )
• (which survived the Communist-era character simplification);
• Is composed of the symbols for "vessel," "eight," and "person,"
• (Literally "mouth", and sometimes translated as "family member.")
• The characters were developed by the historian Can Ji;
• At the order of the Emperor Huang Di during the 3rd millennium BC,
• And in many cases used combinations of pictograms to represent more abstract ideas.
• Is it coincidence or did he based his character for "boat";
• On the knowledge of the eight people were saved on a ship through the flood?
• We don’t know and therefore it is trivia and amusing;
• Rather than a historic or scientific fact.
• Now there is something appealing and charming regarding the image of the ark;
• i.e. If you buy a children’s Bibles; the ark;
• (or a child’s representation of a small house on a boat) often features on their covers.
• i.e. In bookshops there are so many children’s books that retell this story
• i.e. So many ‘Parent & toddler’ groups or children’s nurseries are called ‘Noah’s Ark.
• This story is so well known, by people of faith and no faith.
• On March 21st 2014 a new Hollywood motion picture will be released;
• (Starring Russell Crowe, Jennifer Connelly, Anthony Hopkins, Ray Winstone & Emma Watson).
• Once again this story will brought to the attention of millions of people;
• I am sure the film will be entertaining,
• I am sure the film will also be visually stunning to look at.
• I also hope and pray it will cause people to reflect and think!
• After all why did these events happen?
• Why did God bring such a judgement on humanity and his creation?
This narrative is one of contrasts:
• You have the appealing and charming regarding the image of the ark;
• And the vast array of animals coming to find refuge and shelter.
• Yet it is also one of the darkest narratives in the whole Bible.