The Case for Ararat -- By: Richard Lanser

Journal: Bible and Spade (Second Run)
Volume: BSPADE 19:4 (Fall 2006)
Article: The Case for Ararat
Author: Richard Lanser

The Case for Ararat

Richard Lanser

The accompanying article by Crouse and Franz is a fascinating compilation of historical data regarding proposed locations for Noah’s Ark. Taken together, those records present a reasonable case for giving credence to the Mt. Cudi site near Cizre, Turkey. However, not all agree it is a “compelling” one. In the interest of completeness, it is appropriate to mention some of the difficulties with the Mt. Cudi idea that do not appear to have yet been resolved, and which point to a continuing need to consider that the remains of the Ark are on Mt. Ararat in Turkey.

The Eyewitnesses

All agree that the most obvious point in favor of Mt. Ararat is the eyewitness testimonies. In contrast, the historical material we have from antiquity supporting the Mt. Cudi site is, at best, secondhand, and should not be given the same weight as the firsthand testimonies we have regarding Mt. Ararat. While admitting the force of the argument that many of the alleged Ararat eyewitness stories are open to serious doubt—whether due to the questionable reliability of the witnesses, their stories being plagued, as Crouse and Franz put it, by “lost documents, lost photos, and lost witnesses,” or the possibility they saw “phantom arks” from aircraft which were nothing but rock formations—it must be pointed out that, according to Scripture, it only takes two or three trustworthy witnesses to make a case (Dt 17:6, Dt 19:15, Mt 18:16, 2 Cor 13:1). In the testimonies of Armenian George Hagopian (c. 1904–1906) and American Sergeant Ed Davis (1943) this requirement is met.1 They did not know each other and were widely separated by time and cultural background, so the amazing similarities between their stories buttress their credibility. In rejecting many alleged eyewitnesses for various reasons, we must not be guilty of “throwing out the baby with the bathwater” by lumping the more solid stories with the dubious.

These men made their sightings on the ground, hence are not open to the charge of merely seeing rocks from the air and misinterpreting them. Hagopian not only claimed to have seen the Ark twice in the early 1900s, but to even have climbed onto it! Davis likewise claimed to have been in such close proximity to the Ark that it is not plausible to say he only saw a huge rock structure. There is no middle ground that allows anyone to claim

Mount Ararat from space. Note the clear evidence of volcanic activity, a reason to consider the Ark was buried in ash for centurie...

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