Dutchman Creates Noah’s Ark Replica

Am I alone in thinking that this would make a cool church? It would beat Oakland’s new cathedral, that is for sure!

Dutchman Johan Huibers’ ark is a fifth of the size of Noah’s and will carry farmyard animals. The total cost of the project is estimated to be just under 1m euros (£0.7m; US$1.2m) and was funded with bank loans.

The ark is 150 cubits long, 30 cubits high and 20 cubits wide. That’s two-thirds the length of a football field and as high as a three-story house.

Life-size models of giraffes, elephants, lions, crocodiles, zebras, bison and other animals greet visitors as they arrive in the main hold.

A contractor by trade, Huibers built the ark of cedar and pine –
Biblical Scholars debate exactly what the wood used by Noah would have been.

Huibers did the work mostly with his own hands, using modern tools and with occasional help from his son Roy. Construction began in May 2005.

On the uncovered top deck – not quite ready in time for the opening – will come a petting zoo, with baby lambs and chickens, and goats, and one camel.

Visitors on the first day were stunned.

‘It’s past comprehension, ‘ said Mary Louise Starosciak, who
happened to be bicycling by with her husband while on vacation when they saw The ark looming over the local landscape. ‘I knew the story of Noah, but I had no idea the boat would have been so big.’

There is enough space near the keel for a 50-seat film
theater where kids can watch a video that tells the story of Noah and his ark.

For more pics go to the SOURCE: http://www.boreme.com/boreme/funny-2008/noahs-ark-p1.php

5 bob to Jill!

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18 Responses to Dutchman Creates Noah’s Ark Replica

  1. Michael says:

    ASIMPLESINNER, as a recent newcommer I do not know the earlier posts on this or similar topics; so, I am not sure if this new post of yours is meant to be a joke or you really believe that the record, as it stands, on Noah’s ark is historical. I don’t.

  2. This post isn’t intended to stand as a testament or thinking on the historicity of Noah’s Ark. It simply highlighting a piety on the part of a man in a country where one doesn’t hear much news of piety these days… At least no on the part of Christian people.

    That he undertook such a project as such expense… well that is impressive.

  3. Joel says:

    Michael,
    I do believe you are mistaken when you claim that Noah’s Flood was not an historical event. I do realize that this may not be the view of everyone who posts on this site, but I would tell them they are mistaken also.

  4. Fr. J. says:

    Welcome to the Black Cordelias, Michael, and thank you for commenting.

    Of course, in the case of the arK, the question is less its historicity than its significance. Are you suggesting, Michael that the arK has no meaning? What does the arc mean to you, Michael?

  5. Michael says:

    ASIMPLESINNER, thanks for the explanation, which does make sense. I do respect the piety of that man.

    JOEL, “The office of interpreting authentically the word of God, whether scriptural or traditional, has been entrusted exclusively to the living voice of the Church’s magisterium, whose authority is exercised in the name of Jesus Christ” (DV 10/2).

    There is no clear teaching of the Magisterium regarding the historicity of the account under dispute, but there is quite an elaborate teaching about the Inspiration and Truth of the Scripture, and its interpretation, all of which is binding for Catholics. The biblical scholarship is helpful, although not binding, in those matters in which the Magisterium hasn’t expressed itself clearly or definitely.

    You can rest assured that I believe that what the Bible asserts is true, i.e. without error. But we probably differ in what we believe that the Bible asserts. To be more specific, it doesn’t seem to me that the Bible asserts the historicity of the Noah’s account.

    FR. J., No, I do not think that the Ark is without meaning, and I do hold that the question of its significance is more important than of its historicity. “What it means to me” (now popular way in Bible “study” groups) is of little relevance, because I am always willing to accept that meaning that is given to it by the Church once I know what it is. Off hand, I believe that the Flood is referred to as an image of the saving power of Baptism, and the Ark itself is an image of the Church who is the sacrament of salvation. I also think that the inspired author(s) wanted to tell us something about the power of God, about the consequences of our morally relevant choices, and about God’s faithfulness when it comes to whose who are faithful to Him. It doesn’t seem to me that the inspired author(s) meant to give us an account of events, but wrote a story, which might have had some vague historical background, … the real aim of which story was to put across a message along the lines described above.

  6. zan says:

    wow that is pretty cool, and that’s probably what it really looked liked (assuming it existed), I wish I go go inside and explore it!

    yeah simple that would make a cool church, hey if the Russians can transform train cars into chapels for their army, then the US Navy should buy the ark and making into a floating cathedral for the military diocese, then just have a tug boat tow it around lol

  7. Joel says:

    Michael: “You can rest assured that I believe that what the Bible asserts is true, i.e. without error. But we probably differ in what we believe that the Bible asserts. To be more specific, it doesn’t seem to me that the Bible asserts the historicity of the Noah’s account.”

    With fear of sounding contentious, at what point do you suppose the Bible stops being literature, which may or may not be historical, and becomes an historical account of the facts?

  8. Michael says:

    JOEL, I am sorry for having overlooked your post for such a long time. Re: your question, I simply do not know “at what point…the Bible stops being literature, which may or may not be historical, and becomes an historical account of facts.” One would have to be a biblical expert to venture an informed guess either way, i.e. whether the text is a historical account of fact or not. As long as the Church doesn’t teach either way, one is entitled to his own view, provided the view doesn’t clash with any doctrine of the Church.

    The doctrine about the Bible itself is that the whole Bible is inspired, and that what it asserts is true, without error. And the truth can be asserted by different literary forms: historical records, fiction containing some historical facts, didactic stories, poetry etc.

    Many fundamentalists, on the other hand, mistakenly fear that those who doubt or deny that the story of Noah is a historical account of facts imply that the Bible can teach or teaches what isn’t true. It can’t, because it is inspired. It doesn’t have to be an inspired account of facts; historical fiction, didactic story, poetry can also be inspired.

  9. Joel says:

    Michael, a major problem I see with a great deal of modern Bible “scholarship” is that it ultimately denies the divinity of Christ. The Pentateuch was considered an historical record until the Enlightenment when atheistic, angostic, anti-Christian and anti-Catholic philosophers started to put out theories now refered to as “Higher Criticism” and the “Documentry Theory” both of which are complete garbage.

    An overall view of the Pentatuech under the “Documentry Theory” asserts that the first five books of the Bible were not written by Moses, but by some unknown authors starting, maybe in the 700’s BC, maybe starting in the 300’s or 400’s BC. The theory claims that none of what happened in Genesis is an historical account and a lot of it was motivated by contemporary politics. The first problem with that idea is no one would dream up the Genisis information as late as 700 BC because of the mindset of the Hebrews. They would have found many of the events reprehesible. The second problem with the “Documentry Theory” is that Jesus claimed Moses wrote the Pentateuch in several places! There are many other problems with the “Documentry Theory” which probably warrants several posts rather than a com-box discussion.

    The “Documentry Theory” leads to “Higher Criticism” because if Jesus makes claims in the Gospels which are “obviously” untrue according to what we know to be the facts though documentry evidence then we need to take a closer look at the Gospels. We need to criticize them at a higher level then ever before! The first thing we need to look at is Matthew 24. That chapter causes too many problems if we actually believe that Jesus said everything the author claims he said at the time the Church traditionally claims the Gospel was written. One of which is the flood account, because we know for certain the flood never really happened! In Verse 38 Matthew claims Jesus said people were marrying and giving in marraige until the day Noah entered the ark. One could make (the weak) argument that Jesus never intended for that to be interpretted as an historical event, but the evidence leads more in the other direction. The other argument to be made is that Jesus never really said that, which leads to the conclusion that the Gospels are not a dependable account of what Jesus said and did. That opens a whole can of worms and flat out denies Jesus’ divinity.

    The idea that the Bible was written in a variety of literary forms is nice for folks like you and I because we are pious, we love the Lord and we are firm in our faith. That is not true for everyone though. Many people can easily be lead away and decieved by the Evil One by such fallacious theories that you and I might not even take notice of.

  10. Michael says:

    JOEL, I am trying to be Catholic, and this implies what I have already quoted: “The office of interpreting authentically the word of God, whether scriptural or traditional, has been entrusted exclusively to the living voice of the Church’s magisterium, whose authority is exercised in the name of Jesus Christ” (DV 10/2).

    The Magisterium has never defined that the Pentateuch is a “historical record”, that it was “written by Moses”, or that Jesus’ sayings demonstrate that the story of Noah was historical. That is for sure. The only question is: has the Magisterium proposed these matters in its ordinary teaching by consistent consensus whether of the episcopate or of theologians appointed to teach by the same Magisterium. This is difficult to prove but if somebody insists that it is the case he should offer a convincing evidence.

    All that I have said in the two earlier posts is fully consistent with the teaching of the Magisterium, I believe. If you disagree, please explain why.

    The Documentary Theory makes sense to me, but I am not married to it. Even if you could prove that it is a “complete garbage”, that wouldn’t make the story of Noah historical.

    I am not married to the modern biblical scholarship either; because I see its inadequacy in that it considers the “literal sense” decisive for our understanding of the Scripture. Certainly, an effort has to be made to establish it, as Pius XII, DV and CCC insist but that is not the end of the story. A text thus understood has to be put in the context of the whole book, of the whole Bible, of the whole Tradition, and of the Faith of the Church. Ultimately, the Church is the author of the Scripture and its sole authentic interpreter. We do not believe in Bible but in One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church.

    True, “(m)any people can easily be lead away and deceived by the Evil One by … fallacious theories”. With due respect to you as a person, I consider the theory you hold to be an example.

  11. Joel says:

    Michael, to establish that Jesus knew Moses wrote the Pentatuech let me first quote the Gospel According to Saint John, Chapter 5:

    “For if you had believed Moses, you would have believed me, because he wrote about me. But if you do not believe his writings, how will you believe my words?”

    Now let me quote Pope Benedict:
    “The diagnosis of the exegete Ingo Broer reveals even more sharply the problem with these sorts of contrasts: ‘The Gospel of John thus stands before us as a literary work that bears witness to faith and is intended to strengthen faith, and not as a historcal account.’ (Einleitung, p.197). What faith does it “testify” to if, so to speak, it has left history behind? How does it strengthen faith if it presents itself as a historical testimony-and does so quite emphatically-but then does not report history? I think we are dealing here with a false concept of the historical, as well as with a false concept of faith and of the Paraclete. A faith that discards history in this manner really turns into “Gnosticism.” It leaves flesh, incarnation-just what true history is-behind.” (Jesus of Nazareth, p.228)

    The pope is quite clear in this that the Fourth Gospel is an accurate record of the facts of history. This means Jesus was under the impression that Moses wrote the Pentateuch. We know he was refering to the Petateuch his speach to the Jews because there is no tradition that Moses left us any other writings than the first five books of the Bible, and even if there were they pale in comparision in importance. Unless we call into question the teaching authority of the pope, we may presume that the first premise of the “Documentry Theory” is false. If you read all of Chapter Eight in Jesus of Nazareth you will see that both Jesus and Pope Benedict see Moses as an historical figure and author of the Pentateuch.

    To use what was already established we may proceed to the accuracy of the Pentateuch. To maintain the position that Noah’s Flood never occured you must take one of two roads, the first being that Moses did not give us the Flood, rather it was added later, and the second that Moses did not give us history, but literature. There is no convincing evidence that we did not receive the Pentateuch in its entirety from Moses. The view that Moses gave us all of it was held by both Judaism and Christianity all the way until the Seventeeth and Eighteenth Centuries (a very long standing Tradition). The burden of proof would stand with you to contradict it.

    Moving on to the idea that Moses gave us literature, let me answer by asking a question. What do you do with such troubling statements as, “This is the record of the descendants of Shem.” How also do you reconcile the geneologies that go from Abraham to Jesus in Matthew and Jesus to Adam in Luke? Genesis also provides numerous geneologies which when in combination extend to figures I have previously established as historical figures. Why would anyone include geneologies to ficticious characters?

  12. Michael says:

    Dear JOEL, I quoted the DV 10/2 twice, and yet you seem to suggest that I “question the teaching authority of the pope.”

    If the Magisterium taught us definitely, or even if the present Magisterium proposed it now non-definitely, that the Pentateuch is an account of what happened I would, of course, accept it. But, if I were you, I wouldn’t venture insisting on historicity on the basis of my own interpretation of what Jesus said (“knew” or “was under the impression”) about Moses, or of what the “tradition” implies about the scope of Moses’ literary activity (no “other writings than the first five books of the Bible”), or what the Pope says about the “Fourth Gospel” and “the facts of history”.

    I doubt that the Pope asserts that all the saying, attributed by St. John to Jesus, were transcripts from a tape. In point of fact, the manuscripts do not have quotation marks, as far as I know, and it is the matter of conjecture what to attribute to Jesus and what is the Evangelist’s own inspired interpretation. So, I doubt that “(t)he pope is quite clear … that the Fourth Gospel is an accurate record of the facts of history” in the sense of it being a printout of a faxmashine (St.John) cabled from a heavenly PC by the Holy Ghost.

    But supposing Jesus was, in the debated passage, quoted verbatim, and Moses indeed “wrote about” Him in “his writings”, it doesn’t follow that Moses was the “author of the Pentateuch” who “gave us all of it”; all that follows is that he was the author of those passages, not even necessarily of all of them, which were about Jesus. An involvement of several hands in composition of the Pentateuch is evident from the style and structure of the text, so they say. But I myself remember when I reading the Pentateuch – and had no clue of the JEDP – that I was struck by the consistent solemnity of Deuteronomy, boring monotony of the Leviticus and Numbers, extraordinary events of the first part of Genesis, and textual discontinuity of the main part of it which did not allow me to figure out what had actually happened, although I did believe that all of it did happen.

    To be honest, I haven’t read the “Jesus of Nazareth”. Is it the pope’s private book or a collection of his audiences? In the long passage you quote he doesn’t say that the Forth Gospel is a history in the sense of our modern concept of history. It is primarily a religious book, based on a historical event, and it is itself historical in the sense that what is asserted in it as having happened, did happen – that is what I think. It doesn’t apply, however, to what is merely proposed but not asserted.

    But, in our case, the debate is about the story of Noah, not about St. John’s Gospel. Even for the story of Noah I wouldn’t dispute a certain historical basis, the flood for instance as I said earlier. After all, the Revelation is a historical event through God’s “words and deeds” (DV 1). But I have found nothing about the Flood in the Catechism of the Council of Trent.

    There is something about the historicity of the first eleven chapters of Genesis in Humani Generis, where Pius XII says that “although it is not right to judge them by modern standards of historical composition” they “do nevertheless come under the heading of history; in what exact sense, it is for the further labours of the exegete to determine.” They “have a naive, symbolical way of talking, well suited to the understanding of a primitive people.” What follows, in the HG, this quote is also worth reading.

    The DV 2 starts with the Revelation to our “first parents” skips Noah and resumes the history of Revelation with the covenant with Abraham. The CCC mentions the covenant with Noah “after the flood” (56), and sees “in Noah’ ark a prefiguring of salvation by Baptism”(1219), referring to 1 Pt 3:20, and Roman Missal Vigil 42 – that is all.

    “If you read all of Chapter Eight in Jesus of Nazareth you will see that both Jesus and Pope Benedict see Moses as an historical figure and author of the Pentateuch.” I am sorry, but I am unlikely to have an opportunity to read it in a foreseeable future, however much I would like to do so. Could you quote a few key passages about the Pentateuch’s authorship? Not your inferences or comments.

    I have no doubt that Moses was a historical figure, nor that the core of what is reported in the Exodus etc. is historical. Could you give a quote demonstrating that “Jesus and Benedict see Moses as …author of the Pentateuch.”?

    “The view that Moses gave us all of it was held by both Judaism and Christianity all the way until the Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries.” I haven’t studied the history of Christianity. Honestly, I am not sure, and think it would be extremely difficult to prove your claim in a scholarly way. But the matter is not of a doctrine; so, if presently available evidence can reasonably suggest to the contrary, one could say that what was held before was not Tradition but tradition.

    Moslems are mistaken in believing that Jews and we are the “people of the book”. That is Mohamed’s misconception. We are people of Tradition of which the Book is a fixed record. And we Catholics know very little about Jewish tradition. I doubt that Jews, when referring to Moses as the Lawgiver, mean that he is the Law (=Torah) writer.

    “To maintain the position that Noah’s Flood never occurred you must take one of two roads, the first being that Moses did not give us the Flood, rather it was added later, and the second that Moses did not give us history, but literature.”

    Neither of the two alternatives depends on Moses: both can be false or true regardless of the authorship. And there is a difference between the occurrence of the Flood and its account in the story of Noah. I do not dispute the former. – The “history” and the “literature” are not opposed. The whole history, I mean: the written account of what has happened, is nothing but a literary genre.

    “There is no convincing evidence that we did not receive the Pentateuch in its entirety from Moses The burden of proof would stand with you to contradict it.”

    Why? Even if I can’t prove it, you would have to prove the contrary. Otherwise, we would have to say that there is no convincing evidence either way. From what I have read in various commentaries there is convincing evidence, which would, however, take a lot of space to write about. But few things are straightforward: the account of Moses’ death in Deut. Ch. 34. Or, where did “Moses” get the account of Noah, or all those genealogies? And what about discrepancies between Matthew and Luke, and between them and “Moses”?

    But really, my two main points are: firstly, one must be a biblical scholar, and neither of us is and is likely ever to be; and second, we are Catholics who, by definition, follow the Magisterium, rather than try to read into its documents what we favour.

  13. Joel says:

    Michael, I am glad to see we have common ground to start on regarding the historical figure of Moses (which some in the “Documentary Theory” circle dispute), and I am sorry you took offense at my comment that “Unless we call into question the teaching authority of the pope…”, that was meant to be rhetorical and I had no intention to presume you question his authority. You are simply mistaken when you claim that we Catholics know very little about Jewish Tradition, and that we are not Biblical scholars, nor will ever likely be. It may be very true that you do not know much about Jewish Tradition and you are not a Biblical scholar, nor ever will be, but you are hardly able to make such an observation about myself, and probably never will be able to.

    To establish the authority on which I depend for the majority of my arguments I will remind you by what authority the authors I depend on the most come with. The first Christians were all Hebrews. The Apostles were all Hebrews. Jesus was a Hebrew. They relied of Jewish Tradition for all their religious practice and theology and when they refer to the Scriptures they refer to the Old Testament. Jesus taught the Apostles and the Apostles taught the Early Church Fathers. That is what we refer to as apostolic succession and we depend on the reliability of the bishops’ teaching to remain true to what the Apostles learned from Jesus. I know you know all this but I spell it out to make sure you know by which authority I depend on for my arguments.

    By virtue of apostolic succession we can reliably say we know what the Tradition of the Jews was regarding the authorship of the Pentateuch, not only by early Christian Tradition, but by the fact that Jesus was a Rabbi. Rabbinical Tradition rests upon the Torah. Here are a few quotes from the Early Church Fathers:

    “Moses, the servant of God, recorded, through the Holy Spirit, the very beginning of the creation of the world…He also indicated the number of years that elapsed before the deluge.” (Theophilus, c.180)

    “The origin of that knowledge should not, on that account, be considered as originating with the Pentateuch. For knowledge of the Creator did not begin with the volume of Moses. Rather, from the very first, it is traced from Adam and Paradise.” (Tertullian c.207)

    “What portion of Scripture can give us more information concerning the creation of the world that the account that Moses has transmitted?” (Origen c.225)

    “It is contained in the book of Moses, which he wrote about creation, and which is called Genesis.” (Victorinus c.280)

    “The following books be considered venerable and holy by you, both of the clergy and the laity. Of the Old Testament: the five books of Moses-Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy…” (Apostolic Constitutions c.390)

    Junilius and Leontius (both in the Sixth Century), Augustine, Rufinus and Innocent I (in the Fifth Century), Hilary and Cyril of Jerusalem (in the Fourth Century) and Melito in the Second Century all directly attribute the Pentateuch to Moses, as well as canonical lists dating from the Second to the Fifth Centuries. The Jewish sources Ecclesiasticus, the Talmud, Philo and Flavius Josephus all attribute the Pentateuch directly to Moses.

    Peter Chrysologus said:
    “When the earth had become hardened in evil, God sent the flood both to punish and to release it. He called Noah to be the father of a new era, urged him with kind words, and showed that he trusted him; he gave him fatherly instruction about the present calamity, and though his grace consoled him with hope for the future. But God did not merely issue commands; rather with Noah sharing the work, he filled the ark with the future seed of the whole world.”
    John Chrysostom similarly attributes the Pentateuch to Moses and Eusebius attributes the authorship of the Pentateuch to Moses in numerous places. Because the bulk of my research so far does not extend much later than the Sixth Century I can not give you any names or quotes until the Enlightenment period when people like Hume, Spinoza, and Voltaire (all who had a strong anti-Catholic personal agenda) started to say things like,
    “Sober and literal statements do not move the soul; if Moses had said that it was merely the East wind (as we gather from a later passage) that cleared a path for them through the Red Sea, it would have made little impression on the minds of the masses he was leading….But when interpreted literally, it is full of errors, contradictions, and obvious impossibilities-as that the Pentateuch was written by Moses.”

    I think the above quoted passages are sufficient to present a convincing case for the Church’s endorsement of a Mosaic authorship of the Pentateuch. Now moving on the Pope Benedict’s view of the historical reliability of John’s Gospel as evidenced in “Jesus of Nazareth.” He starts by asking the question, “Who is the author of the Gospel? How reliable is it historically?” After going into a five page argument attributing the Gospel to the Apostle John he says, “With these observations, we have already taken a decisive step toward answering the question of the historical credibility of the Fourth Gospel.” He goes on for the next twelve and a half pages arguing for the historical accuracy of the Fourth Gospel.

    “This means that the Gospel of John, because it is a ‘pneumatic Gospel’ does not simply transmit a stenographic transcript of Jesus’ words and ways; it escorts us, in virtue of understanding-through-remembering, beyond the external into the depth of words and events that come from God and lead back to him. As such, the Gospel is ‘remembering,’ which means that it remains faithful to what really happened and is not a ‘Jesus poem,’ not a violation of the historical events…Whereas Bultmann thought the Fourth Gospel was rooted in Gnosticism and was therefore alien to the soil of the Old Testament and of Judaism, recent scholarship has given us a new and clearer appreciation of the fact that John stands squarely on the foundation of the Old Testament. ‘Moses…wrote of me’ (Jn 5:46), Jesus says to his adversaries.”

    The pope agrees that the Gospel is not “a faxmashine (St.John) cabled from a heavenly PC by the Holy Ghost,” but what it does say accurately represents what was said and done by Jesus, therefore we may conclude that Jesus endorsed the idea that Moses wrote the Pentateuch, not just from the Fourth Gospel, but also by Luke in the account of Jesus’ appearance on the road to Emmaus, “Then beginning with Moses and all the prophets, he interpreted them what referred to him in the scriptures,” then again in Mk 7, speaking about the Law, 10, speaking about divorce and 12, speaking about the resurrection of the dead and again in Mt Chapter 19. So we see Jesus ascribing the Pentateuch to Moses in all four Gospels.

    About the genealogies, the Church answered you question in the Second Century. Joseph was orphaned and adopted, which explains the differences in the Gospels. This explanation is dependable because of the author’s proximity to the event. You may have noticed that Apostleship was largely a family affair (roughly half of those close to Jesus were in his extended family), and they would have known the details of the family, just as I know my great-grandmother came to Alaska in a kayak even though the only evidence is in family tradition. I also know a great uncle was a Franciscan friar at Steubenville through the same source. In fact there are countless family details that come to me through word of mouth about people I never met. How do I know they are true? because of family remembrance. The only difference between the Gospels and Genesis is the exclusion of one name from the Genesis account. One explanation is that at the time it was seen as acceptable to skip a generation. Just as it is true to say Albert begot Joel, which is saying I am begotten by my grandfather. The other explanation is that a name was inserted into the Gospel account to maintain symmetry, either of which satisfies me.

    Now I will demonstrate the Early Church’s insistence of the historical truth of the Flood.
    Theophilus wrote in about 180: “The remains of the ark can be seen to this day in the Arabian mountains.”

    “We have explained the things about Noah, who is called by some Deucalion…After the flood, there was again a beginning of cities and kings.” (Theophilus c.180)

    “There was a time when the whole globe underwent change, because it was overrun by all waters…Eventually, by ebbing out, the globe again underwent a change of form.” (Tertullian c. 200)

    “It is agreed by all that the deluge took place for the destruction of the wickedness and for its removal from the earth.” (Lactantius c. 304-313)

    Jesus also treats Noah’s Flood as an historical event in Mt 24.

    A good book for you to read would be “Evidence for Christianity” by Josh McDowell, particularly Part 3, Section 2 (only about 100 pages, so it should not be a big burden on time).

  14. Michael says:

    No JOEL, don’t worry, I took no offence: just thought that you were persisting in not taking on board what I was saying. Please, do not take offence either, for what I am going to say now: I can’t help having the same impression again, because you keep on interpreting the Scripture and Tradition on your own.

    This whole exchange went a bit astray: whether Moses was or wasn’t author of the Pentateuch, or whether St. John was/wasn’t author of the Fourth Gospel, or whether that Gospel was/wasn’t historical, have no bearing on my initial questioning the historicity of the of the “record as it stands” of the story of Noah, or as I have put it to Fr.J.: “It doesn’t seem to me that the inspired author(s) meant to give us an account of events, but wrote a story, which might have had some vague historical background.”

    In the end you claim to have demonstrated “the Early Church’s insistence of the historical truth of the Flood” offering evidence for what I already referred to earlier when mentioning the DV 2 and CCC 50, 1219. The issue is not the historicity of Noah, flood, or “ark” but of the whole account as it stands. If the DV 10/2 is applied to this issue we cannot insist that the assertion of the author(s) of the account, and the whole tradition about the latter, prove more than the Magisterium has said about it; and I quoted Pius XII. To put the latter in my words: one cannot deny some kind of historicity, but what kind it is for the exegete to determine, keeping in mind the “naïve symbolical way of talking” to “a primitive people”. All that it is in it for us is in DV 2 and CCC 50, 1219. And it is up to the exegete to investigate the matter further.

    In point of fact, Pius XII clarified on that occasion what the PBC had written to Cardinal Suhard:

    “The question of the literary forms of the first eleven chapters of Genesis is far more obscure and complex. These literary forms do not correspond to any of our classical categories, and cannot be judged in the light of the Greeco-Latin or modern literary types. It is therefore impossible to deny or to affirm their historicity as a whole without unduly applying to them norms of a literary type under which they cannot be classed.” The text goes on listing what is required for a solution of this problem:
    – “study of literary, scientific, historical, cultural” aspects of these chapters;
    – “literary methods of the ancient oriental people, their psychology, their manner of expressing themselves, and even their notion of historical truth”;
    – assembling “without preformed judgement…paleontological and historical, epigraphical and literary” material.

    Then follows, somewhat differently formulated but essentially the same, text as I quoted from Pius XII last time. This PBC Letter was in 1948. In 1943 Pius XII published Divino Afflante Spirity, which provided a background for it and for Humani Generis 1950: an exegete is asked to establish, to start with, the “literal sense” of the text, i.e.”the author’s meaning”. That would be repeated in DV 12/2, and CCC 110. If I may comment: it is not what the text means to me, nor what it might appear to mean to anybody, “clearly” at the first glance, i.e. literally. In other words, not the story of Noah literally, but its literal sense, i.e. what the author(s) had in mind is what matters.

    This should clarify what I meant by saying that we were not scholars. But, I apologize.

    Regarding the “Jesus of Nazareth” I have asked: (1) is it a private book or the Church document, because the private book should be judged on its merits, the official one has a Magisterial authority; and (2) a few passages showing Mosaic authorship of the Pentateuch, but instead of quoting them you say “we may conclude”, although I was interested to learn what the Pope himself says. I can make conclusions myself.

    I did not question “historical reliability of St. John’s Gospel”, nor St. John’s authorship; but have put in my way the Ratzinger’s “does not simply transmits a stenographic transcript of Jesus’ words and ways”. So, when St. John attributes to Jesus: “Moses…wrote of me”, it doesn’t necessarily mean that Jesus used the word “wrote”, still less that He attributed to Moses the authorship of the whole Pentateuch.

    Most of your post is about the latter, and, again, your own interpretation of traditional and scriptural sources. “To establish the authority on which I depend” as you put it, it is not enough to look into the writings of the early Fathers, or biblical texts, but one has to take account of the present teaching of the Magisterium, which is authorized to interpret all that.

    I am sure the PBC has done the job, you have embarked upon on your own, at the turn of the 19th to 20th century. On the Mosaic Authorship of the Pentateuch they wrote in 2006:

    “Are the arguments…to impugn the Mosaic authorship…OF SUCH WEIGHT,

    in spite of the…evidence of …both Testaments, the unbroken unanimity of the Jewish people, and …constant tradition of the Church, besides the internal indications…by the text itself,

    AS TO JUSTIFY the statement that these books are not of Mosaic authorship?
    Answer: In the negative.

    If I may comment: the PBC does not say that the evidence for the non-Mosaic authorship is to be dismissed and the tradition upheld without qualification, but only that the evidence then available was not sufficient to overrule the tradition.

    If it were a matter of doctrine, the long and consistent tradition of this kind would be indisputable evidence that the doctrine was proposed infallibly, and no further debate would be permissible. But as it is not the matter of doctrine, they have left a door for further research open.

    I do not know of any subsequent document addressing the same issue, but two facts seem significant. (1) Vatican II has refrained from insisting on the traditional belief in the authorship even of the Gospels (not to mention the Pentateuch), although the matter was debated; DV 7/1: “Later, the work was carried on by those apostles and members of the apostolic circle who under the inspiration of the same Holy Spirit set down the message of redemption in writing.” (2) the composite non-Mosaic origin of the Pentateuch is now a commonplace, unchallenged by the authorities. In fact the above PBC Letter explicitly said that their 2006 statement was not meant to close the door of further investigation.

    And then all those genealogies… They are a bit mysterious. Fr. Brown (The Birth of the Messiah) insists that Mathew and Luke can’t be put consistently together, nor squared with Genesis. I don’t think that they have much significance. Some ancient records which the redactor of Genesis put in to preserve them in one place? Certainly Moses couldn’t have had them because Joseph was brought to Egypt by force, and his family were after the food to survive – just a thought.

    So, that is where we stand on the authorship of the Pentateuch. Do you agree?

    (Incidentally, Tertulian about the “globe” !!! Did he know that the earth was a globe ?)

    Sorry, I can’t go into reading the book you recommend. I have many in my theological/philosophical library, most of them yet to be read. In fact, I read a few years ago The Interpretation of the Bible in the Church by the PBC 1993. It was there that I read about Jewish scholarship, but somehow – a memory drift in the meantime – made out that we knew very little, which on checking yesterday turned out to be the opposite. Thank you for bringing the matter to my attention.

  15. Michael says:

    JOEL, and others who might have read the above comment: the PBC document of “2006” should be read: 1906. I apologize.

  16. Joel says:

    Michael, Please forgive me if I tell you something you already know. I am not sure how much ancient history you are aware of. Have you ever heard of Eratosthenes? He was the Librarian in Alexandria (the center of knowledge and learning in the Ancient World) during the Third Century BC. After taking note that ships’ sail appear first and disappear last on the ocean and that ship are visible from the top of the lighthouse long before being visible on shore and that the earth appears round during an eclipse he suspected the earth was a globe. He even calculated the circumference and tilt of the earth accurate to within two hundred miles and five seconds, respectively. Strabo (in the Second Century AD) treated the fact that the world was a globe as common knowlegde, even suggesting that Homer knew the world was a globe. I have even read that Aristotle thought the earth was a globe. Since Turtullian was from Carthage, it is not unreasonable to assume he was aware of what went on in Alexandria. He may have even traveled there and studied for some time!

    I do not understand what is mysterious about the geneologies. They seem straight forward to me…Obed begot Jesse, Jesse begot David, David begot Nathan, Nathan begot Mattatha…I am not sure where Fr. Brown got his geneologies, but there is only one small disrepency between Luke and Genesis and both Gospel geneologies are exactly the same (and fully reconciled to Genesis) from where Matthew picks up at Abraham to David where they begin to differ because of Joseph’s status as an adopted orphan (which I have already explained). If you find that explaination unreasonable, please explain why.

    You keep saying I am interpreting scipture on my own, but anyone with a functioning brain can make the observations I have made. What kind of interpretation is required when you read that the ark is still on display and being visited to this very day? What kind of interpretation is required when someone says the whole globe underwent a flood and then dried up? If I tell a friend that the Pieta is still on display in Italy would that need interpretation?

    You also keep insisting that Moses did not write all of the Pentateuch (even in your last post), then you say the discussion went astray. In my mind, everything we have been discussing is all wrapped up together. From what I have seen, the Documentry Theory seems central to your line of thought and that is what I am disputing. I am determined to fight it anywhere I see it because it will always ultimately deny the divinity of Jesus Christ. That is also what Higher Criticism of the New Testament does. It does look to me that we will never come to agreement on the things we have been discussing, so I will leave it at that. It has been nice for me to discuss this all with you. I have been able to consolidate a little of my research and put in writting a small part of my arguments. God bless.

  17. Joel says:

    I forgot to answer your question about the pope’s book. In his own words it is his “personal search for the face of the Lord.”

  18. Michael says:

    Dear JOEL, thanks for the information about the globe: I had no clue.

    Regarding the rest of what you say, you have decided to end the dispute, and I would’t press for it.

    It was nice to have an exchange with you, God bless.

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