The Bible consists of two parts which are the Old Testament and New Testament. Every part includes several books, and the first book of the Old Testament is Genesis in which the aspects of God’s creation of the world are discussed. It presents the details of the first times of the people in the world, the Great Flood, and history of the Patriarchs. The story about Noah and his Arc is one of the central narratives in Genesis.
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There are many discussions about the historical situation during that period when the book of Genesis was written as the part of the Bible. It is rather difficult to determine the exact date because this part was rewritten and edited during several centuries by the group of the authors (Deffinbaugh).
Nevertheless, there is the viewpoint that the period when Genesis was completed was between 587-538 B.C.E., and it was the time of the Babylonian exile. That is why the human author of this part of the book, while describing the peculiarities of the world’s creation and the Great Flood, could not address the historical situation of the Babylonian exile in his story directly.
The literary genre of the story about Noah’s Arc as the part of Genesis can be considered as the historical narrative. There are several rules for understanding the religious texts which can be used for the interpretation of this part of the Bible. One of the main peculiarities of understanding Genesis and this narrative is connected with the catholic approach according to which it is necessary to perceive the Bible’s words as the God’s truth (Deffinbaugh).
In order to appreciate the human author’s intention in the story about Noah’s Ark, it is necessary to focus on the peculiarities of the cultural practice as a religious one. According to it, this story can be analyzed as the way the people followed after their fall and God’s chance for the salvation of the population. That is why it is important to concentrate on the concepts of righteousness and God’s covenant depicted in the book.
These notions are significant for understanding the problem of the people’s wickedness, fall and the idea of salvation. Thus, God saw that the wickedness of man “was great in the Earth, and that every intention of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. And God regretted that he had made man on the Earth, and it grieved him to his heart” (Gen. 6:5-6).Thus, the readers can accentuate the author’s intention to depict God as judicial and gracious to his people.
The story about the Great Flood is the important part of the whole salvation history because many theologians consider the image of the Noah’s Ark as the representation of the way to the salvation which the people could get while following God because only God is the source of the salvation on the Earth (Deffinbaugh).
In this context it is necessary to focus on the image of Noah as the man who act according to God’s principles and can contribute to the realization of God’s intentions to save those people and living creatures that can repopulate the Earth and lead to the prosperity and the real salvation.
Thus, God gives the promise or covenant to the people and accentuates that he will never destroy the Earth again. Thus, God said to Noah, “I will never again curse the ground because of man, for the intention of man’s heart is evil from his youth. Neither will I ever again strike down every living creature as I have done” (Gen. 8:21).
It is important to believe that the Bible and all its parts are God’s words.That is why all that is depicted in the Bible is the truth, and it is possible to find the answers to all the questions in the Old and New Testaments. However, catholic theologians determine a range of questions which cannot be answered with the help of the Bible, but with the help of Sacred Tradition provided by the Catholic Church.
Thus, Sacred Tradition help the believers to understand the aspects described in Genesis and particularly in the story about Noah’s Ark even if there is no strict evidence that all the depicted is not a myth (Deffinbaugh). Thus, it is possible to perceive Noah as one of those first figures who could act according to the Sacred Tradition and be the source for God’s revealing the truth on the Earth.
God’s truth which is depicted in the story about Noah’s Ark and the Great Flood can be considered as consistent with the aspects described in the Scriptures or determined according to Sacred Tradition because they do not contradict them, but only emphasize the idea of the people’s salvation as the realization of God’s will on the Earth. Moreover, God’s truth which reveals in all the parts of the Bible consists of different aspects one of which is giving the people the possibilities for choosing the right way, correcting their mistakes, and repentance which leads to the salvation.
Analyzing the aspects of the story about the Great Flood, it is necessary to focus on the fact that spiritual truth which is revealed by God can be implemented through the idea of salvation and people’s spirituality depicted in the Bible and realized with the help of Sacred Tradition and human instrumentality as it is given in the story about Noah.
Deffinbaugh, Bob. A Walk Through the Book of Genesis. n.d.
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The Holy Bible. English Standard Version. USA: Crossway Bibles, 2010. Print.