The Movie Noah: Don’t Miss The Point By Drowning in The Flood of Criticism.

leadI’m going to go see the movie Noah this week, and I’m honestly not looking forward to it.  I’m not big on going to movies based on Biblical stories, and I’m not completely sure why.  For example, I never went to see “The Passion of The Christ.”  I’ve read the Biblical account several times, and to watch that kind of pain inflicted on someone doesn’t appeal to me whatsoever.  And the story of Noah is equally gruesome.  It actually may be more so, because death by drowning couldn’t possibly be a pleasant experience, and I don’t want to spoil the movie for some of you, but a few people and animals are killed by a flood!

Within minutes of the first person seeing the film there was a FLOOD of Facebook posts criticizing the story for not being Biblically based.  Surely I’m not the only one that knew that Director Darren Aronofsky would take a few creative liberties?  And I can’t say that I blame him, because there are a lot of unanswered questions from the Biblical account.  And honestly there are a few (not many) discrepancies in the Biblical account of the flood.  So how was Aronofsky supposed to fill in those blanks?  Please don’t think I’m trying to prove a point one way or another here, but let me give you some of the questions that many “unbelievers” have about the story of Noah.  And ask yourself how you would have answered the cynics throughout the film:

Genesis 7:6 Noah was six hundred years old when the flood water’s came on the earth. And Noah and his sons and his wife and his sons’ wives entered the ark to escape the waters of the flood.

  • Eight Bronze-Age humans over 500-years-old built a watercraft the size of a football stadium with only felled trees and pitch?

Genesis6:19 You are to bring into the ark two of all living creatures, male and female, to keep them alive with you.
Answers In Genesis posits that Noah gathered “kinds” of animals and not all “species,” an estimated 16,000 pairs, which raises a few animal-related questions:

  • How, exactly, did eight extreme senior citizens load, manage and care for 32,000 animals?
  • What about specialized diets (bamboo for the giant panda, meat for the carnivores, fresh vegetation for the herbivores)?
  • Who cleaned each stall and shoveled the tons of daily excrement through the huge ark’s single window?
  • How did they separate the predator and prey animals? Did the lion lay with the lamb?
  • How do you explain the acquisition and loading of animals not indigenous to the Middle East (many separated by oceans), like the polar bear, the sloth, the crocodile, the fruit bat, the anaconda, etc? And how did the penguins and other cold-climate creatures survive in the blistering desert heat?
  • Wouldn’t freshwater rains from the sky have made the saltwater deadly to ocean marine life? And wouldn’t saltwater have proven equally toxic to all freshwater fish? If water boiled up from beneath the earth’s crust, wouldn’t water temperature changes in the delicate ecosystem have also had a deadly effect?
  • Dinosaurs on the ark. Did they exit the boat and THEN get hit by a comet?

Genesis 7:19-20 {the waters} They rose greatly on the earth, and all the high mountains under the entire heavens were covered. The waters rose and covered the mountains to a depth of more than twenty feet.

  • This would require steady, planet-wide rainfall at the rate of 6 inches per minute, 360 inches an hour, for 40 days and 40 nights, covering Mount   Everest under 22 feet of water. How, exactly, did Noah measure this for the record? Where has all of the water gone since? And why is there no legitimate geological evidence of a global flood?

Genesis 8:8 Then he sent out a dove to see if the water had receded from the surface of the ground.

  • Why did Noah require a dove to find land (Genesis 8) if he and God were on speaking terms in Genesis 6?

Genesis 8:15-16 Then God said to Noah, “Come out of the ark, you and your wife and your sons and their wives. Bring out every kind of living creature that is with you—the birds, the animals, and all the creatures that move along the ground—so they can multiply on the earth and be fruitful and increase in number on it.”

  • When the ark landed, what did the carnivores eat? All other animal life had been drowned. And vegetation would’ve also been wiped out in the flood, so what did the herbivores eat to survive?

Genesis 9:1 Then God blessed Noah and his sons, saying to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number and fill the earth.

  • 8 people of middle-eastern descent practiced incest to produce over 5,000 of today’s ethnic groups in only a few hundred generations?

Genesis 9:20 Noah, a man of the soil, proceeded to plant a vineyard. When he drank some of its wine, he became drunk and lay uncovered inside his tent.

  • The only guy worth saving spent his latter days drunk and naked ?  MY SIDE NOTE:  If you spent that much time with your family in an enclosed Carnival Cruise on crack wouldn’t you start drinking?  

Source:  The Thinking Atheist 

Those are just some of the questions that needed to be answered to make the movie.  Now, if you believe in an all-powerful God then you would say, “Well I’m not sure how He did it, but he was able to do it.”  And that is fine, but again…if you make a movie you have to somehow give people a visual. I believe that we also have to understand that this movie appears to take from a small variety of ancient stories about a worldwide flood, such as The Epic of Gilgamesh.  I am by no means an expert on mythology so I looked up the similarities between the story of Noah and The Epic of Gilgamesh and found the following table:




Extent of flood Global Global
Cause Man’s wickedness Man’s sins
Intended for whom? All mankind One city & all mankind
Sender Yahweh Assembly of “gods”
Name of hero Noah Utnapishtim
Hero’s character Righteous Righteous
Means of announcement Direct from God In a dream
Ordered to build boat? Yes Yes
Did hero complain? Yes Yes
Height of boat Several stories (3) Several stories (6)
Compartments inside? Many Many
Doors One One
Windows At least one At least one
Outside coating Pitch Pitch
Shape of boat Rectangular Square
Human passengers Family members only Family & few others
Other passengers All species of animals All species of animals
Means of flood Ground water & heavy rain Heavy rain
Duration of flood Long (40 days & nights plus) Short (6 days & nights)
Test to find land Release of birds Release of birds
Types of birds Raven & three doves Dove, swallow, raven
Ark landing spot Mountain — Mt. Ararat Mountain — Mt. Nisir
Sacrificed after flood? Yes, by Noah Yes, by Utnapishtim
Blessed after flood? Yes Yes

So my point today is to simply say that we may need to be somewhat sympathetic to the writers and directors of “Noah”, because it isn’t an easy story to tell.  And I found many sources that said that some of the staff and possibly the directors are atheist.  So I don’t think they approached this movie in a way that most Christians had hoped.  The point I hope we can all walk away with is that as human beings we are given the responsibility to love each other, and to take care of the earth we have been given.  If we choose to continue on the path we are currently on then thousands or millions of years from now there will be another tragic story to be told about the destruction of the earth and most of mankind. However, this time God will not be the one to take the blame.