The story of Noah’s Ark and the Great Flood is one of the most famous from the Bible, and now an acclaimed underwater archaeologist thinks he has found proof that the biblical flood was actually based on real events.
I was reading an interview ABC News did with Robert Ballard, one of the world's best-known underwater archaeologists, where he talked about his findings. His team was probing the depths of the Black Sea off the coast of Turkey in search of traces of an ancient civilization hidden underwater since the time of Noah. Ballard's track record for finding the impossible is well known. In 1985, using a robotic submersible equipped with remote-controlled cameras, Ballard and his crew hunted down the world's most famous shipwreck, the Titanic.
At the time of this interview, Ballard was using even more advanced robotic technology to travel farther back in time. He was on a marine archeological mission that would possibly support the story of Noah. He said some 12,000 years ago, much of the world was covered in ice.
"Where I live in Connecticut was ice a mile above my house, all the way back to the North Pole, about 15 million kilometers, that's a big ice cube," he said. "But then it started to melt. We're talking about the floods of our living history."
The water from the melting glaciers began to rush toward the world's oceans, Ballard said, causing floods all around the world. "The questions is, was there a mother of all floods," Ballard said.
According to a controversial theory proposed by two Columbia University scientists, there really was one in the Black Sea region. They believe that the now-salty Black Sea was once an isolated freshwater lake surrounded by farmland, until it was flooded by an enormous wall of water from the rising Mediterranean Sea. The force of the water was two hundred times that of Niagara Falls, sweeping away everything in its path.
Fascinated by the idea, Ballard and his team decided to investigate. "We went in there to look for the flood," he said. "Not just a slow moving, advancing rise of sea level, but a really big flood that then stayed... The land that went under stayed under."
Four hundred feet below the surface, they unearthed an ancient shoreline, proof to Ballard that a catastrophic event did happen in the Black Sea. By carbon dating shells found along the shoreline, Ballard said he believes they have established a timeline for that catastrophic event, which he estimates happened around 5,000 BC. Some experts believe this was around the time when Noah's flood could have occurred.
We’re going to be talking about this in great detail over the next number of weeks as we walk through Genesis 6-11. The amazing insights laying just below the surface of the printed page of the Bible is no small thing. Tomorrow, we get a chance to start getting acquainted with this guy named Noah.
Why not think about who you could invite that has an interest in the Bible, or who is a great skeptic. Either way, it’s a win. I can’t wait to see you!
Loving You and Him,