Noah’s Ark and Flood—What Does It Really Mean?

Dan Lietha, AiG illustrator and cartoonist, recently sent me a link to the website of Skirball Cultural Center (in California) that used Noah’s Ark as a basis for their children’s area. The center describes itself as:

. . . one of the world’s most dynamic Jewish cultural institutions, and among the most prominent cultural venues in the United States. Its mission is to explore the connections between four thousand years of Jewish heritage and the vitality of American democratic ideals. It seeks to welcome and inspire people of every ethnic and cultural identity in American life. Guided by our respective memories and experiences, together we aim to build a society in which all of us can feel at home.

While it is true that Jewish heritage begins with Abraham approximately 4,000 year ago, what about the 2,000 years of history leading to Abraham? After all, Abraham is a direct descendant of Adam, Seth, Noah, and Shem. In the children’s area, which artistically presents Noah’s Ark, is the account of the Ark and Flood presented as fact or fairy tale?

Let me share with you some captions taken from images of the Noah’s Ark children’s area:

Family fun begins as children and grown-ups gather for the journey and begin to immerse themselves in the ancient flood tale.

A bird’s-eye view shows the ark bustling with activity as visitors of all generations take the journey together and imagine a community where everyone pitches in. In the distance, perched high above the gallery, the lion and the lamb sit peacefully side by side.

A gallery educator engages a group of children in interactive storytelling, music-making, and dance. Noah’s Ark staff are always on hand to help visitors explore the story’s universal themes of storms (meeting challenges), arks (building community), and rainbows (building a better world).

As the storm comes to an end, a rainbow appears and a dove carries an olive branch, both symbols of hope and new beginnings.

So what can we conclude about how the Ark and Flood account are presented at this cultural center? They are not presented as history, but rather as a “tale” with “universal themes” meant to symbolize the need to work together to bring about world peace. As I told my friend Dan, “Yuck!” It’s sad to see those within the Jewish community also compromising on the authority and truthfulness of God’s Word.

Don’t let your kids be fooled! Equip them with answers concerning the truthfulness of God’s Word from the very first verse. See some of these great resources for kids to help them learn the truth about Noah’s Ark and the Flood:

I know I’m looking forward to bringing my daughter to visit the Ark Encounter so she can see the history of the Bible come alive. Imagine the impact of stepping onto a real-life ark!