1. In regards to the ark question, 2 of each unclean animal and 7 of each clean animal were taken on the ark. There is only one telling of the ark story in the Old Testament. The divergent histories only occur in the book of the Kings, and then it is still presented as the cohesive storyline of one people, just one people split apart through war and sin.
2. Yes, some books were written during the Babylonian captivity, and God inspired those he used to write them to write the way that they did, but that does not make those books any less valid. While the person who was doing the literal writing may not have been there for the events, God was and I personally believe that God inspired those who wrote with the words to put on the page.
3. I'm not sure about which letters you are referring to. Paul's letters obviously were written in Paul's time, that leaves very few books, and I don't believe that the timing of any of the non-Paulian epistles would make a great deal of difference unless one was trying to create a timeline of events...
Edit: Forgot to mention...Regarding the point about asking how much it means to you, C. S. Lewis wrote "Christianity, if false, is of no importance, and if true, of infinite importance. The only thing it cannot be is moderately important." In other words, if it's false, then it really doesn't matter. If it's true, on the other hand, everything in the world depends upon it.
Last edited by Netopalis on Wed 28 Jun, 2006; edited 1 time in total