Noah’s Ark Ant Problems

Noah’s Ark Ant Problems March 2, 2014


Via Caitlin Coberly on Facebook. Even seven, were ants kosher, would not have been enough. Anteaters eat thousands a day. Plus ants have lifespans that are much shorter than the duration of the flood. Has any young-earth creationist ever addressed the ant problems with treating the story as a factual account?

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  • Dana Tweedy

    Well, to be fair, there are over 12,000 known species of ants, which would mean at least 24K ants on the Ark. Some of those species, carpenter ants, damage wood. Of course, there are also approximately 4000 species of termites, all of which have to be fed. That raises the problem of structural integrity of the Ark…among all the other problems with the Ark story.

    • That might have kept the anteaters fed for a few days! 🙂

      But of course, lately people like Ken Ham have been saying that Noah only brought one of a “kind” into the ark, and then they evolved super-fast into today’s species.

      • LorenHaas

        Ken Ham compromises on God’s word.

        • I compromise on “God’s word,” if you mean the Bible. I don’t compromise on “God’s word,” if you mean the ‘Verse, the One Verse, the universe.

  • Ant colonies can float on the water as living life rafts. As soon as an ant raft hit the ark, they crawled up to the anteater cage to be eaten.

  • Jim Bridges

    All things are possible with the Flying Spaghetti Monster.

    • Matthew Jenkins

      The FSM doesn’t exist.

      • Atheist.

        “…those who denied the very existence of the old gods and goddesses—the Christians were condemned as ‘atheists.’ Christian atheism excited rumor….” ~Jonathan Kirsch (2004) God Against The Gods: The History of the War Between Monotheism and Polytheism. Viking. p. 109.

        May you be touched by his noodly appendage before you suffer an eternity of stale beer.

        • Matthew Jenkins

          An atheist is someone who makes the universal judgement “There is no God”. A person who believes there is a God, is not an atheist. I’m not an atheist beacuse I believe in one God and deny other Gods.

          • You’d call somebody an atheist who denies your version of God. Turnabout is fair play. The only true non-atheist is the polytheist, and that’s the point of Kirsch’s text.

          • Matthew Jenkins

            No I wouldn’t. I would call someone an athiest who denies that there is a God since that’s the textbook definition. That
            simply not true that a polythest is the only true non-atheist.

            In order for me to be an atheist, I would have to deny that there even is a God. In other words, I can’t belive there is one God, but deny other’s. I would have to deny that there is such a being called “God”.

          • As Kirsch shows, that simply isn’t the case. Monotheism is akin to atheism.

            Although I don’t care personally any which way you believe.

            But it does me no injury for my neighbor to say there are twenty gods or no God. It neither picks my pocket nor breaks my leg. ~Thomas Jefferson, Notes on Virginia, 1782

          • Matthew Jenkins

            And Kirsch should know being a lawyer that it’s impossible to logically hold two contradictory positions at once. That violates the Law of non-contradiction.

            The statement is irrational. necessarily, for any human (b), b is either theist (T) or ~T. But Christians are T, therefore they are necessarily ~~T. In English, it is true that any human being is either an atheist or a theist. Christians are theists, therefore, they are necessarily not atheists.

            But then what the Kirsch is saying is that the b who is T = ~T in regards to T`, T“, etc. This is simply false, however, because the b who is T is necessarily ~~T. So Kirsch is claiming that a contradiction is true.

          • But it wasn’t Kirsch who called monotheists atheists. The Roman culture did, because these new-fangled monotheists didn’t believe in the gods.

          • Matthew Jenkins

            Or I mean the Romans would be wrong in their judgement since they defined Christians as atheists.

      • Jim Bridges

        It’s Noah who didn’t exist.

        • Matthew Jenkins

          No, it’s atheist that don’t exist. There is not one true atheist. All atheists are really “Closet” agnostics

          • I don’t think that this is at all helpful. That the Flying Spaghetti Monster does not exist is a given. That there was no historical Noah in any meaningful sense is a reasonable deduction, and the most one could be on the basis of the evidence is a Noah agnostic, if not an “anoahist.” As for whether or not there are atheists, clearly some self-identify as such, so why not discuss the specific convictions they have, and whether they really do reject all gods of every sort or not, rather than making these sorts of sweeping statements. I have said on occasion that, since pantheists view the cosmos as God, and the cosmos exists, therefore at least one definition of God refers to an actually existing entity. It is important to get at such points and problematize things. But I don’t think that any sweeping generalization, claiming that all in category X are really in category Y, ever help move a conversation forward.

          • Matthew Jenkins

            Right, I just meant by that statement Dr.McGrath that many atheists use the term “atheism” today to mean a sort-of “non-theism” or non-theist. So in reality, they aren’t saying “there is no God”, but instead they’re saying “I’m not a theist”. Or they might point out that there is no God because of a lack of evidence. However, an absence of evidence is not always evidence of absence. If someone’s reason for atheism is a lack of evidence, then they should really be an agnostic. For agnostics withhold judgement until evidence for/against the existence of God has been produced.

          • Thanks for the clarification!

          • Matthew Jenkins

            No problem haha:)

  • Fire ants would be a definite pain, unless those evolved after the flood too. But let’s face it, you can call hocus pocus on just about any creationist problem and never have to resolve a single question, unfortunately.

  • TomS

    This is the same problem with any prey species, whether it is the antelope kind doing extinct when just one lion has one meal; mouse and owl; fly and frog.

    BTW how does an ant colony survive with one male and one female?

    • guest

      As long as the female is a queen they’d be alright.

  • The Noah’s Ark story demonstrates that all Earthlings are of equal value.

    • Matthew Jenkins

      I would respectfully disagree and say that Humans are above animals, but we should be stewards of animals because God made them for man to have.

      • Yours is the orthodox viewpoint that creationism is trying to preserve, and evolution completely demolishes. Lynn White addressed it years ago, and shows how your viewpoint is utterly trashing the world.

        Christianity, in absolute contrast to ancient paganism and Asia’s religions (except, perhaps, Zorastrianism), not only established a dualism of man and nature but also insisted that it is God’s will that man exploit nature for his proper ends…By destroying pagan animism, Christianity made it possible to exploit nature in a mood of indifference to the feelings of natural objects.

        Lynn White Jr. (1967) The Historic Roots of our Ecological Crisis. Science. Vol. 155 no. 3767, pp. 1203-1207.

        • Matthew Jenkins

          I don’t deny evolution. I’m simply saying that if God does not exist, then we’re not worthy anything and you would be correct in your judgement that were all equal.

          • > we’re not worthy anything

            That nihilistic view is already what you think about life here on earth. Life to you has worth only because of some magical afterlife.

            But that’s just parts of the Bible you like.

            Myself, I prefer the view that I’m going the same place as the horse I buried in the south pasture.

            Ecclesiastes 3:19 Surely the fate of human beings is like that of the animals; the same fate awaits them both: As one dies, so dies the other. All have the same breath; humans have no advantage over animals.

          • Matthew Jenkins

            That’s because nihilism would be correct if God does not exist. Were simply just these relatively advanced primates that evolved and are predestined to die. Why think were anything special?

            As Richard Dawkins put it:

            “We are machines built by DNA whose purpose is to make more copies of the same DNA. … This is exactly what we are for. We are machines for propagating DNA, and the propagation of DNA is a self-sustaining process. It is every living object’s sole reason for living. “

          • You’re misrepresenting Dawkin’s position; he is expressly not a nihilist.

            Richard Dawkins Explores the Meaning of

            And the transhumanists have the same hope as you do, living after this life in a computer.

            You’ve got some more thinking to do.

          • Matthew Jenkins

            Why is the nihilist wrong? Do you really think that in the absence of God we have an “objective” purpose, meaning, and moral value?

            THe atheist/naturalist worldview simply can’t establish itself.

          • What “objective” purpose is there with a magical afterlife? It’s a “meaning” that I don’t even want. I like my “meaning” to be earthy.

            > atheist/naturalist


            Never heard of “the laws of nature and nature’s God?”

            David Voelker (1993) Who is Nature’s God? The Hanover Historical Review.

          • Matthew Jenkins

            The purpose of life is to not just glorify God, but to enjoy him and be in a relationship with him eternally. That’s what true existence of human life is all about. But man sinned and that’s why Christ came, to restore that relationship.

            But on an atheist worldview…this wouldn’t exist. The Nihilists like Nietzsche, Sarte, and Russell all realized the reality of atheism and it’s ramifications.

            No meaning, no morality, no purpose, no destiny. Life is absurd without God.

            Take morality for example..If there’s no God, then there is no standard of right and wrong on an atheist worldview.

          • Morality evolved.

            • Frans de Waal. (1996). Good Natured: The Origins of Right and Wrong in Humans and Other Animals. Harvard University Press.

            • Christopher Boehm. (2012) Moral Origins: The Evolution of Virtue, Altruism, and Shame. Basic Books.

            Unfortunately, you accept human sacrifice of a virgin as moral. It’s not. Nor is it logical. Somebody dying for my sins is like me hitting my foot with a shovel for your mortgage.

            “I can never join Calvin in addressing his god. He was indeed an Atheist, which I can never be; or rather his religion was Daemonism. If ever man worshipped a false god, he did.” ~Thomas Jefferson, letter to John Adams, April 11, 1823

          • Matthew Jenkins

            “Unfortunately, you accept human sacrifice of a virgin as moral. It’s not. Nor is it logical. Somebody dying for my sins is like me hitting my foot with a shovel for your mortgage.”

            On what basis do you make that moral value judgement?

          • 1. Ethic of reciprocity. Sometimes called the golden rule. The ethic of reciprocity is observed in many social animals, including we hairless great apes.

            2. Sacrifice culture is correlated to the “worst mistake in the history of the human race,” (Diamond, 1987) or as the Bible puts it, “The Fall.” (Myers, 2005)

            3. Mimetic theory (Girard, 1988) shows that sacrifice, even a “final” sacrifice, never really works.

          • Matthew Jenkins

            And you think that’s wrong? The Nazi’s for example thought that killing the Jews was wrong? I see no reason on a naturalistic worldview to think what he did was “objectively” wrong.

          • Nazis were heavily supported by orthodox, creed-holding Christians, and Hitler himself was Christian.

            “I believe that I am acting in accordance with the will of the Almighty Creator.” ~Mein Kampf

            Hitler’s Christianity

            What’s your point?

          • Matthew Jenkins

            1. Well actually Hitler wasn’t a Christian, as he wrote many letter’s against Christianity, and he also tried to push the church out of his affiars. He believed in seperation of church and state.

            Just because someone calls themself a Christian doesn’t mean they are one. People can do things in the name of Christ i.e. Crusades… But Christ himself said in John 18 “My kingdom is not of this world. If it were, my servants would fight to prevent my arrest by the Jewish leaders.”

            4th October, 1941, midday:
            “The best thing is to let Christianity die a natural death…. When understanding of the universe has become widespread… Christian doctrine will be convicted of absurdity…. Christianity has reached the peak of absurdity…. And that’s why someday its structure will collapse…. …the only way to get rid of Christianity is to allow it to die little by little…. Christianity the liar…. We’ll see to it that the Churches cannot spread abroad teachings in conflict with the interests of the State.” (p 49-52)


            2. My point is that on the atheist worldview what Hitler did was neither “Good”, nor “Evil”. What Hitler did was in accordance with his ethical system that he thought was right.

          • > Just because someone calls themself a Christian doesn’t mean they are one.

            They should change the “No True Scotsman” fallacy to the “No True Christian” fallacy.

          • Matthew Jenkins

            Nope, because there’s a standard in the Bible of a true and false Christian. What makes someone a Christian is if they know Christ as their Lord and Savior. If they don’t know Christ, then their not a Christian.

            Christ himself set the standard.

            So you agree that on an atheist worldview, moral’s would change and therefore what Hitler did was not good or evil?

          • Right. True Christians sell all they have and give to the poor. And abandon their families. All the rest are fakes. Biblical standard for you.

            No, I don’t agree with you. Read atheist Sam Harris’ “The Moral Landscape.” Or any number of works on morality.

            Believing in magical supernatural powers isn’t necessary to be moral.

          • Matthew Jenkins

            I’ve Read about Sam Harri’s Moral landscape, which isn’t really a moral landscape, but what is beneficial to the survival of species. Well being is not the same thing as objective moral values and duties. What’s beneficial is not morally true.

          • Morality to you is defined as obedience to a magical being. Sorry, but you don’t get to define morality for everybody. Others like it defined objectively.

          • Matthew Jenkins

            Morality- principles concerning the distinction between right and wrong or good and bad behavior.


            Sam Harris re-defines this term to mean what is advantageous to the flourishing of conscious creatures. He tries to use morality in non-moral terms.

            The question is not how we know right and wrong, but the foundation or the grounds for right and wrong.


          • You’re trying to re-define it in terms of obedience to a magical being, and call objective definitions “non-moral” because they don’t appeal to the supernatural.

            Morality has been around, long before we humans appeared on the earth.

            • Frans de Waal. (1996). Good Natured: The Origins of Right and Wrong in Humans and Other Animals. Harvard University Press.

            • Christopher Boehm. (2012) Moral Origins: The Evolution of Virtue, Altruism, and Shame. Basic Books.

          • I have to disagree. On the view of some theists, on which divine commands determine morality, then genocide or child sacrifice can be moral if divinely commanded. If, on the other hand, Jesus taught us rightly that morality is actually about empathy, and treating others as we wish to be treated, then that is something that others besides Christians can also recognize and embrace.

          • Matthew Jenkins

            Hmmm…….. I would have to respectfully disagree with those Theists Dr.McGrath since they seem to have a misunderstanding of the DCT. It sounds like what they’re affirming is “voluntarism”, the view that moral values and duties are based entirely on God’s sovereign will. There is no further explanation behind God’s choice of moral values. He arbitrarily chooses what will be good and what evil.

            Voluntarism is somewhat fallacious. Voluntarists are right that duties arise in response to an imperative. A command by a legitimate authority creates an obligation or prohibition for us. Good and bad alone is not sufficient for right and wrong because good and evil do not create obligations or prohibitions for us. Many things would be good for us to do, but that doesn’t imply that we’re obliged to do them because they may be mutually exclusive and so impossible to do. So voluntarism correctly locates the source of our moral duties in God’s commandments.

            Where voluntarism goes wrong is in thinking these commands to be completely arbitrary. They are not arbitrary but grounded in the nature of a just and loving God. Therefore, most divine command theorists are not voluntarists.

            On the atheist worldview, morals are just the outcome of social and biological conditioning from evolution. If morals are the result of evolution, then that means they change over time. If they change over time, then they can’t be absolute. The atheist is lost in an ocean of social and cultural relativism. The Theist can rest-assured in God since he’s the absolute unchanging standard who sits over and above societies and cultures.

          • I don’t think that your approach resolves the problem. If that which is moral is defined by the divine nature, then that still doesn’t mean what moral means in normal English parlance. That something is abhorrent or ruthless to us is no reliable guide, only revealed knowledge of the otherwise inscrutible divine nature and will can clue us in. The alternative is to accept Jesus’ teaching that morality does not depend on supernatural revelation but only on empathy, in which case the empathetic course is right, even if a deity were to command you to do otherwise.

          • Matthew Jenkins

            Right, we can know morality through experience. Non-believers don’t have to believe in God to know right and wrong. In fact, I think that God’s law is written on everyone’s heart so it’s somewhat intuitive.

          • You’ve got it turned around.

            Your morality has evolved.

            You don’t have to believe in moral evolution to know right and wrong, and you falsely attribute the right and wrong by which you live to magical pronouncements from a supernatural being.

          • $41348855

            I think there is a real problem for atheists in establishing a basis for morality. Evolutionary theories of morality only work in small groups. In evolutionary terms, being a bad guy is counterproductive because everyone knows who the bad guys are in a small group and will punish them. These days we tend not to live in small groups and the selective pressures that may have caused morality to evolve in the first place are weakened or absent. So it could be that our moral sense is currently being eroded by natural selection. We had better hope that there is a transcendent basis for morality.

          • > These days we tend not to live in small groups

            Correct. And such is the “worst mistake in the history of the human race.” (Diamond, 1987) Or “The Fall” (Myers, 2005) if you want to put a religious tone on it.

            > the selective pressures

            Oh, they’re still there, because we’re the ones selecting artificially. Thus, we’re becoming a juvenilized species, quickly.

            Look up the term neoteny. Then look up Dmitri Belyaev’s experiment in domesticating foxes, and how quickly they neotenize.

            Domesticating a wild species has unintended consequences. Dogs. Humans. Doesn’t matter.

            Peter Wilson (1991) The Domestication of the Human Species. Yale University Press.

            Jack Goody (1977) The Domestication of the Savage Mind. Cambridge University Press.

            How a century of breeding ‘improvement’ [domestication] has turned once-healthy dogs into deformed

            If Modern Humans Are So Smart, Why Are Our Brains Shrinking?

          • $41348855

            Thanks for the info. I was familiar with the study on domesticating foxes. Perhaps the answer is to take control of our evolution through genetic engineering.

          • Stuart, you might like to read this fellow’s opinion too:

            March 3, 2014: “I see computers as humanity’s suicide”

            ♫ Suicide is painless, it brings on many changes ♪


          • $41348855

            So there goes my idea about using genetic engineering! It will probably lead to the collapse of agriculture before it does anything else. Mind you, as a natural pessimist, I probably shouldn’t be reading this sort of thing 🙂

  • richardrichard2013
    • Why do you need a second comment here to ask me to reply to your first one, when you only just posted that one, and it isn’t related to this post?

  • David Evans

    Most Flood believers seem to think that all the animals were vegetarian at the time. I haven’t seen any suggestions as to what the anteaters ate. Here’s a chance for a creationist research program – what plant diet will keep anteaters healthy? With luck they can find an answer before the Ark is finished.

    • Matthew Jenkins

      I believe the flood happened, but I’m certainly not a YEC. I def. agree that the earth is 4.5 billion years old.

      • Do you still believe the earth is flat? The flood mythology assumes a disproven flat earth cosmology.

        • Matthew Jenkins

          No because the bible doesn’t say the earth is flat.

          • Indeed, the Bible does say the earth is flat, in so many words, as the illustration shows.

          • Matthew Jenkins

            No, it’s saying that from an observer the earth is flat, but follows a round curvature.

          • Look up “Greek Cosmology.” Even Paul talks of a “third heaven.” That’s the Biblical view.

            You’re attempting to “demythologize” as noted in this essay:

            Also known as the Three-Story Universe

          • Matthew Jenkins

            The third heaven that Paul talks about is Heaven as in where God dwells. The “Heavens” are the material part of the Universe: Space and Time.

          • It is not at all clear that ancient people made that distinction. Note how the author of Acts, for instance, envisages Jesus ascending into heaven by moving upwards into the air.

          • Matthew Jenkins

            But couldn’t the author of Acts just be referring to his ascension to Heaven, as in where the Father dwells? Not just space?

          • I’m not sure I grasp the distinction. “Space” in the sense of “outer space” with the connotations of that term is itself a concept that we have but ancients would not have. Do you think that Luke thought that heaven (which of course even terminologically was the same as “sky”) was not “up there”? If so, do you view the ascension as God accommodating to the first century view of the cosmos?

          • Matthew Jenkins

            Sorry for the confusion. When I said “space” I meant just outer space. Ex: Psalms 19:4-6 ” In the heavens he has pitched a tent for the sun… It rises at one end of the heavens and makes its circuit to the other;…”

            It seems in this passage that the Bible is referring to outer space.

            But I just thought that the gospel writers and NT authors viewed Jesus asencsion to the Father into heaven as another realm beyond “outer space”. Like when Jesus says in Matthew 23:9 “for you have one Father, and he is in heaven”.

            Jesus couldn’t have meant that the Father was in space. He had to be referring to a realm beyond that where the Father would be.

          • Why could the author not have thought that God was in what we would call space, able to look down upon the entire Earth from that vantage point? It seems that when ancient authors refer to God in heaven, that is precisely what they mean. We may well not be able to think in those terms, but that is because we have information about space and other subjects which they did not.

          • Matthew Jenkins

            True, but I think because God is a being that transcends time and space, so it would be reasonable to think that Heaven has to be a spirtual world, and not a physical world.

          • Again, I do think that the idea of God transcending time and space may be an appropriate place to go along the trajectory set by the Biblical authors. But it isn’t explicit in any of those authors that they had reached that point yet. Being too large to be encompassed by earth or sky is not exactly the same as what we mean by transcending time and space, is it?

          • Paul was referring to Greek Cosmology. Science, from Galileo to NASA space probes, has disproven it.

          • Problem is, that requires a whole new cosmology, as this illustration demonstrates.

            We know of no place in space where a “heaven” exists. Thus, to get your “third heaven” one must revert to magic.


      • David Evans

        I do tend to lump flood believers and YECs together, because I regard both views as almost equally implausible. I should have been more precise. Though, on second thought, my question does apply to you as well. What did the anteaters (and all the species we consider carnivores) eat?

        • Matthew Jenkins

          How do you know that there were anteaters on the ark? If there were, then whose to say that God couldn’t have provided the food necessary.

          I see no reason to doubt the age of the earth. I agree that radiometric dating is very reilable.

          I tend to lump YEC’s with Jesus mythicists.

  • guest

    The aadvarks would have had something to say about that, as well. In fact there’s a large number of animals (and some plants) that eat insects and need lots to survive. Spiders, swifts, shrews with their ridiculously high metabolic rates…

    What did the hummingbirds feed on? I doubt any flowers were blooming under the water and you’d need an amazing amount of nectar on the ark. Unless they hibernated.

    The story says to take one male and one female of everything that crawls on the earth, but what about lesbian whiptail lizards? What about the species of bee that needs two types of male, one to make queens and one to make drones? What about slugs and snails, that are hemaphrodites?

    And there’s the fact that if the ark story was true, every species in the world would show a genetic bottleneck of the same age. Scientists can look for these things, they traced one in cheetahs. The Y-chromosome evidence would all point back to Noah and the mitochodrial DNA should trace back to three women at the same time, the wives of his sons, and then back to Eve. Our most recent common ancestor ought to be Noah, with ‘Y-chromosome Adam’ being dated to the same place and time, since ‘Y-chromosome Adam’ would also be Noah. Instead the science shows a completely different pattern. That’s Satan, I guess.

    • Matthew Jenkins

      This is somewhat of an “Ad-hoc” approach that your making

      • guest

        I’m not sure really what you mean.

        • Matthew Jenkins

          Your trying to lump every known species of aardvark and make it seem like God couldn’t have provided for them to survive….

          I’m not a YEC, but I believe the ark to be possible.

  • $41348855

    Which member of Noah’s family had to carry pubic lice on the ark?

    • Paul D.

      Fun fact: humans are the only primates that host two species of lice instead of one. Our pubic lice apparently jumped species from gorillas!

      Perhaps Mrs. Noah sought some unorthodox companionship while Mr. Noah was busy shovelling brontosaurus manure all day long.

      • Or maybe Mr. and Mrs. Noah are the common ancestor of all primates today – our ancestral “kind”. After all, humans are more closely related to chimpanzees and bonobos than African elephants are to Indian elephants.

  • christine

    Hello, I’m new here. Does anybody see a correlation between arcs/arks throughout history? I do. They are in stories, on bas reliefs, in the layouts of villages and settlements, architecture. To name a few, there are priests looking up at arcs (thought to be crescent moons) in Sumer bas reliefs. Noah’s ark that holds up animals and people. The Egyptian ark that holds up the sun and people. The Mandaean ark that holds up people, Christian arks as petroglyphs found in America and many parts of the world. Of course, the arc of the covenant. I think whether arc or ark, since they are both the same shape they are a symbol for something, all of them, in which case the arc of the covenant should have also been thought of as a shape and not a box for carrying things in.

    • That pun only works in English. And an arc is a curve, while an ark is a chest or box – very different shapes.

      • christine

        Glad to meet you Mr. McGrath! I am curious about that, though. It seems to me that historically, both arc/ark shapes are curves whereas the box/chest is a newer definition, possibly since the story of the arc of the covenant? I think that definition would have to be looked up – when does it first appear? The box/chest interpretation of what the arc actually is could be incorrect since what the arc actually is (a symbol for something) is lost knowledge? Well, I’ll think about it.

        • You are confused about this, dealing with a play on two words that sound alike in English. But when dealing with ancient sources, you are not dealing with modern English, and in the case of the cultures you mentioned, you aren’t dealing with English at all. And so discussing the relevant terms in the relevant languages is the way to start.

          • christine

            Play on two words? I never thought of arc and ark as a pun, or play on two words. Well, I have a quick question. Has anybody asked someone in the Mandaean people if, back in their ‘begats’, if John had someone in his family by the name of Su.? I’m talking about the Mandaean’ real historical records, not what was written in the New Testament by people who never met John or Jesus (Su). Modern Mandaeans may have not recognized the name ‘Jesus’ because it is Greek.

          • I thought you were making a pun. Ark and arc are two different words. There is no similarity to the way the words for these sound in other languages.

            Family names are something modern, too. Why would someone have a personal name as their family name? And given their dislike of Jesus son of Mary, why would a Mandaean adopt that particular name, even if the Aramaic version of it was a common enough Jewish name?

          • christine

            Oh no, I wasn’t making a pun. I have studied ancient symbolism. This is a huge subject and I’ll have to leave the discussion about it go for now.

            So, you are referring to “Su” as a personal name. Yahya son of Zakaryia and Su/Shu son of _____ or son of Miryam are both personal and family names. It occurs to me that if Su/Shu was in Yahya’s family as cousin, the father’s name would be in the Mandaean records also. Have the Mandaeans even been asked about a cousin named Su/Shu? I just thought that there has been some mix up, Yes I know the Mandaeans dislike Jesus, but think that they were introduced to the name Jesus quite a few hundred years ago by a catholic monk traveling through their territory, and I don’t know how they would get the name Su/Shu from Jesus since they sound so different. Of course, hearing that Yahya was demoted to the level of a footstool would be unpleasant. Even in the New Testament, there is accuracy in that Jesus comes to John to be baptized, not the other way around. Except that the New Testament leaves out that Jesus asks to be John’s disciple. Therefore, he had everything to learn from John and not the other way around.

          • What Mandaean records are you referring to? Everything you have written thus far seems odd and not at all related to a knowledge of the actual textual sources relevant to these matters. You seem to be happy to just make things up based on a vague familiarity with some details, mediated through English translation. But historical questions can only be answered by looking at the full range of historically-relevant sources in their original languages and contexts.

          • christine

            Records? All I am asking you is, do you know if anybody (a scholar today at a university, who translates Mandaean texts), has ever talked to a Mandaean holy man and asked if, in their records for births and deaths, there is a person by the name of Su/Shu in the same family tree as Yahya. Why accept that Jesus was a cousin of John? The Gospel writers never met him. He is not known outside of the New Testament. If the writers never met him, how did they know he was a cousin of John’s? Mention of him might show up in Mandaean births by the name of Su/Shu, not Jesus. By the way, and off this subject altogether, did you know Su/Shu was the name of an Egyptian sky god?

          • Oh no, are you one of those people who concocts outlandish and historically implausible scenarios based on names that sound similar?

            Who do you think has these sorts of birth and death records?

          • christine

            I don’t understand why you are asking me this. In my former post I said the Mandaeans.

    • David Evans

      It doesn’t take long with Google Translate to find out that:

      in Greek, “arc” = “toxo”, “ark” = “kivotos”

      in Hebrew, “arc” = “קֶשֶׁת, “ark” = “תֵבָה”

      Quite different in each case

      Also the Hebrew word has as other meanings “arch” and “rainbow”, not shapes which are suited for holding up people or floating on water..

      Admittedly the words for “arc” and “ark” are quite similar in French and Latin. But no-one thinks (do they?) that any part of the Bible was originally written in those languages.

      • christine

        Hi Dave, I agree, but you get into the symbology of it, they all describe a curved line, whether the hull of a boat (ark) or a rainbow or arch (arc). They are symbols that go back through history across cultures and languages. Of course the words are going to be different, but they all describe a shape, which is a curve. For that matter, we could even get into the curve of a rib, as in Adam’s rib. Now a rib is a curve, and a helpmeet means that the curve goes in both directions. Now we are getting into the symbology of the curve, that it is right or left, male or female depending on what direction, and what name a direction was given in the past. Now we are getting into the ancient mysteries. A little of it is spoken about in the “yes” and “no” of the ancient Isrealites. Diviners were used across all cultures. The curve is bidirectional, one way for “yes” and the other way for “no”, female or male, right or left. I am speaking strictly of a curve shape as part of an ancient symbology that is carried over in the Bible from ancient cultures, but not recognized as such.

        • But the reason why it is called “Noah’s ark” is precisely because it was thought of as being like a very large box, not like a typical boat. Hebrew had words for “boat” and “ship” and yet the story used a term meaning a chest or box. And so that very point undermines your attempt to run the two together based on the similar sounding English words.

  • christine

    Could you read this and see if you still think it means box? Well, frankly, I am confused, but there is some question that needs to be clarified about problems with translating Aramaic, Hebrew ark to Greek box?

    • Obviously a source that this there was a worldwide flood is not one that will provide a reliable guide to the evidence. It looks to me that the term, meaning something like “container,” is hard to pin down more precisely. But as you can hopefully see from the linguistic evidence, there is no connection in the relevant languages between “ark” and “arc.”