In Genesis 6:16, God instructs Noah to build the roof of the ark over its three decks. On this episode of 5 Minutes in Church History, Dr. Stephen Nichols records from the roof of the full-scale Ark Encounter in Williamstown, Kentucky, a testament to the truth and authority of the Bible.
Welcome back to another episode of 5 Minutes in Church History. On this episode, I am at Genesis 6:16. I need to explain that to you. Genesis 6:16 says, “Make a roof for the ark, and finish it to a cubit above.” I'm actually standing on the roof of the ark, not the ark, the original ark, but the Ark Encounter, a reproduction. I'm here in Williamstown in North Kentucky, and I am on the roof of what is the world's largest framed timber structure. It's a reproduction of the ark. We know from Genesis 6 that Noah was instructed to build this big boat 300 cubits long, 50 cubits wide, and 30 cubits high, and what we have here is a reproduction, and it is full of fascinating things. There's a ground deck, a deck one, a deck two, and a deck three.
On deck one we've got animals, animals, and animals—lions, tigers, bears, snakes, and even sloths. There is wood everywhere. Well, up on deck two there is more wood, more animals, and all kinds of material on Noah, leading up to the building of the ark. And then up on deck three, there's just some fascinating exhibits on flood geology and on ancient man. We have the living quarters for Mr. and Mrs. Noah and their sons and their wives.
As an aside, you will find inside the Ark Encounter something you probably were not expecting to see. You will find Hudson Taylor's chair. This, of course, was the missionary to China. He used this chair sometime between 1870 to 1890, and here it is in the Ark Encounter. Outside of the ark and behind it is a zoo. I think there's a kangaroo and a few other animals there that are interesting, as well. Well, the ark takes your breath away. You come off the highway, you see it in the horizon. It blocks the sun. It stands as a massive testimony to the Bible. To the Bible, as an historical text, this happened. Noah lived, corruption and violence filled the earth, and Noah built an ark. Hebrews 11:7 says, “By faith Noah, when warned about things not yet seen, in reverent fear built an ark to save his family.”
This all happened between the 500th and 600th birthday of Noah. As one of the exhibits here in the ark tells us, it probably took somewhere around the neighborhood of 75 years for Noah to build this ark. And when you see it here, you wonder how he was able to build it in 75 years, way back in those centuries, BC. It really is a sight to behold. Now, this reproduction only took two years to build. Construction began back in 2014. It sits on a high hill, the highest point here in Grant County in Kentucky, where the ark is landed, and they had to clear off the hill and move some dirt around and began construction of the ark. It does remind us of how important history is to us. It reminds us that even as we are the church today, we are building things and leaving a legacy for generations that will come.
It took a lot of vision, a lot of support a lot of hard work to build this ark, to build this reproduction here. And it stands. I mean, it really stands and gets your attention as a testimony to this event. And may it stand for generations to come and be a legacy for those generations to remind them of the importance, not just of church history—we like to talk about that here—but ultimately of the importance of Bible history and the importance of the truthfulness and the authority of God's Word. Well, I'm Steve Nichols, reaching out to you from Northern Kentucky on the roof of an ark. Thanks for listening to 5 Minutes in Church History.