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Biblical archaeologist to discuss search for Noah's Ark

Randall Price1 / 2
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A biblical archaeologist who spent parts of the past three years searching for Noah's Ark will be in Duluth on Friday evening to talk about what he found.

Randall Price was most recently on Mount Ararat in eastern Turkey in late September. That's the place Genesis 8:4 of the Bible says the ark came to rest after a worldwide flood.

Price will speak on "In Search of Noah's Ark" at 6:30 p.m. Friday in the Woodland Middle School auditorium as part of Duluth Bible Church's annual Fall Bible Conference.

The Bible says that a man named Noah built a boat after God told him he planned to destroy civilization in a flood. The ark would have been between 450 and 500 feet long, 75 feet high and 45 feet wide, Price said in an interview. When the flood came, Noah and his family, along with pairs of all kinds of animals, took refuge in the ark and were spared, according to the book of Genesis.

Some of Price's material will be so new he himself didn't know what it would be when he spoke on Wednesday from his office in San Marcos, Texas.

"They're trying to render 3-D images now," Price said. "It takes a lot of processing. And so the actual final work I'm told will be finished Thursday night (in Dallas). ... They're going to send me the images. So I'll really know more myself on Thursday night."

Price is founder of San Marcos-based World of the Bible Ministries and director of the Center for Judaic Studies at Liberty University in Lynchburg, Va. He's the author of books on biblical scholarship and archaeology and on Middle East conflict.

Dennis Rokser, senior pastor of Duluth Bible Church, said Price is one of 11 guest speakers at the annual conference, which began Wednesday and continues through Sunday morning. Price will address a second session at 8 p.m. Friday and another session at 11 a.m. Saturday; both on the Middle East conflict, and speak again at 10:30 a.m. Sunday.

All sessions except for Friday evening are at Duluth Bible Church, which meets in the old Washburn School, 201 W. St. Andrews St. The church's auditorium seats 400, with an overflow area for 100 more, Rokser said. But the combination of Price and Noah prompted the church to seek a bigger venue for Friday evening. The middle school auditorium seats about 800, he said.

Noah might trump the Middle East conflict when it comes to audience interest.

"That's why we're having Noah's Ark first that night, because the kids might want to see that," Rokser said. "But then some parents might want to get their kids home, so we thought we'd go with the Middle East second."

Price will be reporting on his team's findings from 17,000 feet above sea level, where a glacier covers the top of Mount Ararat.

Americans seldom are given permits to explore Mount Ararat, but Price's archaeological team has been allowed in each of the past three years, he said, and he hopes to return next year. The expeditions have used such tools as seismic readings, ground-penetrating radar, drilling and satellite images.

They've discovered what Price describes as "anomalies" 40 or 50 feet below the glacier.

"The shape of it is man-made because of the angles; they're not natural in nature," Price said. "The size, the shape and everything indicates we have something that at least, shall we say, fits the biblical description of what Noah's Ark would be. ... There's no way something like that could have been built up there."

Price acknowledged that many people see the Genesis accounts as myths and legends. But archaeological evidence may change some people's minds, he said.

"There is plausibility and reasonable information from this hard science of archaeology that at least makes us look at this and say it could have happened," Price said. "And I think that's the important thing, because we want all the information possible before we make a decision."