Essay:List of things that the Bible is NOT (and has never pretended or tried to be)

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The Bible was written for a relatively specific set of purposes — to be a foundational text for its authors' religion, a guide to morality, a retelling of its authors' history as they understood it,[note 1] and an attempt at explaining phenomena that its authors did not and could not understand. The authors of the Bible also understood the term "truth" differently than how we understand it today; they were more concerned with getting a message across than with recording the precise details of reality or the world around them. The Bible may claim to be a lot of things — the word of God, proof of God's existence, the metaphysical truth of reality, and a definitive guide to morality, among others — and whether or not it actually is many (or any) of those things is a matter of much debate. However, there are also many, many things that the Bible is not and has never even tried (let alone claimed or pretended) to be, and that is what this essay is about.

The authors of the Bible had little idea that humans would eventually be able to understand the world in a way that would bring the accuracy of their story into question, but they did understand that they had no way of actually proving their claims, and they understood that they were, to some extent, merely speculating on what happened before they were born. Regardless of whether the Bible's authors saw the Bible as their own work or the work of God channelled through their hands, is not likely that they intended for their work to be interpreted as literal and absolute truth in all senses, both spiritual and material, or to be applied to absolutely every conceivable manner of industry or inquiry. And yet that is precisely what a whole lot of dunderheads have been doing in the last few centuries, with the results being rather… bizarre, to put it lightly.

The Idiot's Guide To Shipbuilding[edit]

For more information, see: Complete Idiot's Guides

There are a few stories of boat rides and ocean voyages in the Bible; Noah riding out the global flood in his Ark, Jonah reluctantly traveling to Nineveh, Jesus's disciples-to-be fishing prior to being called to His ministry, and Jesus walking on water while Peter tries and fails to do the same, to name a few. However, these accounts are moreso stories of what people were doing at the time or traveling from point A to point B; the boats themselves were never the main focus. As such, there are not many details given about the construction of the boats in question. We are given the dimensions of Noah's Ark and the material it was built from,[1] but we are given no other details that would be important in the construction of a boat, such as the thickness of the hull, the length of the prow, the height of the guardrails, the presence or absence of a mast, or the size of each individual room. Furthermore, the Bible predated the metric system, so the dimensions of Noah's Ark are given in cubits — a unit that can be interpreted in several different ways. The result is that attempts to recreate Noah's Ark to "prove" the veracity of the story, such as Ken Ham's Ark Encounter, end up looking very different from one another (the Ark Encounter is 510 feet long while another Ark recreation in Hong KongWikipedia is 450 feet long, both matching an interpretation of "300 cubits"), undermining the credibility of all of them.

TL;DR: Boats and boat voyages are not the primary focus of the Bible. It is not surprising that a lot of boat details would be glossed over, omitted, and/or simply left up to the imagination of the reader. Therefore, attempting to recreate a boat from the Bible exactly how it was in the Bible is a fool's errand, because there is no "exact boat" to recreate; some level of artistic license will have to be taken. If you want to make an exact replica of a boat from a book, you should be looking at a book that actually focuses a lot of attention on boats and sea voyages, such as Moby Dick.Wikipedia



  1. This understanding took the form of an oral tradition,Wikipedia which is notoriously prone to mutation over multiple retellings. It also lacked any archaeological basis that would hold up to modern standards, but this can be forgiven, as the people living in Biblical times didn't have access to the technology we have today that could have helped them excavate sites of ancient human habitation (and, yes, I do mean "ancient" relative to the time the Bible was being written, let alone today) or to communicate their findings with each other rapidly over long distances. It is therefore unsurprising that the history described in the Bible fails to match up with history constructed through other sources and archaeological research.