Discovering the City of Sodom: The Fascinating, True Account of the Discovery of the Old Testament's Most Infamous City  -     By: Dr. Steven Collins, Dr. Latayne C. Scott
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Discovering the City of Sodom: The Fascinating, True Account of the Discovery of the Old Testament's Most Infamous City

Howard Books / 2013 / Hardcover

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Like many modern-day Christians, Dr. Collins struggled with what seemed to be a clash between his heritage of belief in the Bible and the research regarding ancient history and human evolution. This crisis of faith led him to embark on a quest to put both his archaeological education and the Bible to the test by seeking out the lost ancient city, an expedition that has led to one of the most exciting finds in recent archaeology.

Challenging the assumptions of academics around the world, Discovering the City of Sodom may well inspire a revision of the history books. Dr. Collins has become a new voice in the controversy over using the Bible as a credible source of understanding the past-and opened a new chapter in the struggle over the soul of biblical archaeology.

Product Information

Format: Hardcover
Number of Pages: 334
Vendor: Howard Books
Publication Date: 2013
Dimensions: 9 X 6 (inches)
ISBN-13: 9781451684308
Availability: In Stock

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Publisher's Description

Like many Christians today in the academic world, Dr. Steven Collins felt pulled in different directions when it came to apparent conflicts between the Bible and scholarly research and theory—an intellectual crisis that inspired him to lay it all on the line as he set off to locate the lost city of Sodom.

Recounting Dr. Collins’s quest for Sodom in absorbing detail, this adventure-cum-memoir reflects the tensions that define biblical archaeology as it narrates a tale of discovery. Readers follow “Dr. C” as he tracks down biblical, archaeological, and geographical clues to the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah, narrowing the list of possible sites as he weighs evidence and battles skeptics. Finally, he arrives at a single location that looms as the only option: a massive ancient ruin called Tall el-Hammam in the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan.

Many scholars who were initially opposed to Dr. Collins’s theory now concede that history books may need to be rewritten in light of his groundbreaking discovery. It—along with several other recent finds—is challenging the assumptions of academics and asserting a new voice in the controversy of biblical archaeology and the dispute over using the Bible as a credible historical source.

***

From respected archaeologist Dr. Steven Collins and award-winning author Dr. Latayne C. Scott comes the fascinating, true account of the frustrating search and exciting excavation of the city the Bible calls Sodom, which scholars and others had “misplaced” for hundreds of years.

Like many modern-day Christians, Dr. Collins struggled with what seemed to be a clash between his heritage of belief in the Bible and the research regarding ancient history and human evolution. This crisis of faith led him to embark on a quest to put both his archaeological education and the Bible to the test by seeking out the lost ancient city, an expedition that has led to one of the most exciting finds in recent archaeology.

Challenging the assumptions of academics around the world, Discovering the City of Sodom may well inspire a revision of the history books. Dr. Collins has become a new voice in the controversy over using the Bible as a credible source of understanding the past—and opened a new chapter in the struggle over the soul of biblical archaeology.

Author Bio

Dr. Steven Collins is Executive Curator of the Museum of Archaeology and Biblical History, Dean of the College of Archaeology and Biblical History at Trinity Southwest University, and Visiting Professor of Archaeology at Veritas Evangelical Seminary. Latayne Scott’s previous books include The Mormon Mirage.

Editorial Reviews

Praise for Dr. Steven Collins:

"[Steve] is one of the most dynamic archaeologists I have ever met and his energy level would wear out the Energizer Bunny. . . . I consider Tall el-Hammam to be one of the most significant excavations—if not the most significant—in Biblical Archaeology that is now taking place in the Middle East; it is even more significant than Hazor and Gezer."
"T. Hammam, an immense site, cries out for excavation. It is surely at least as significant as Bab Edh-Dhra, but probably more so. . . . Dr. Collins and his team have the deep experience and broad background to be ideal excavators of this wonderful site. His academic background is impeccable and his field experience is up to date in every regard."
“Dr. Collins is a meticulous archaeologist with an extraordinary team of specialized scholars who are not afraid to challenge the traditional assumptions about the location and fate of the Bible’s most mysterious city—Sodom. His findings are scholarly, fascinating,educational, and extremely convincing to anyone who needs hard facts to support their conclusions regarding this famous city. The massive accumulation of the archaeological and geographical data from Tall el-Hammam, and its surrounding territory, leaves little doubt in my mind that Dr. Collins has emerged as the authority on the identification of Sodom. This riveting account of Dr. Collins’fascinating journey and discovery has contributed a unique body of knowledge that surpasses anything published on the subject. I don’t know of a more convincing case for Sodom’s long-awaited identification.”
“This lively volume provides the compelling story of the(re)discovery and excavation of an important biblical-period site, combining personal experiences, archaeological evidence, and discussion of biblical texts. Even if one does not see eye-to-eye with the authors’ interpretations on the identity of the site and relationship to specific parts of the biblical narrative, the enthusiastic description of the story of the study of this site and related issues makes it a great read!”
“Dr. Steven Collins writes an intriguing account of his excavations at Tell el-Hammam in the Jordan Valley, a site which he identifies with Sodom of the Bible. In this book, Collins provides the most complete discussion to date of all of the relevant biblical texts. The most compelling part of the book is Dr. Collins' argument for locating Sodom northeast of the Dead Sea, rather than further to the south as many have assumed. This book will engender a great deal of interest among the general public, but it is likely to be received with less enthusiasm by many specialists in the field. Even so, it is clear that Dr. Collins has thought very deeply about the relationship between his site and the biblical narrative. Much of the skepticism about the historicity of Sodom over the years has been conducted in an archaeological vacuum. Now, with the excavations of Tell el-Hammam and Dr. Collins' extensive presentation of the historical, geographical and archaeological data, we now have a better material basis for further discussion. For those who do not believe that Tell el-Hammam could be Sodom, Dr. Collins still has an interesting and extremely important site that will produce valuable information about the cultural history of the Dead Sea basin during the Early Bronze Age, the Middle Bronze Age, and the Iron Age.”
Discovering the City of Sodom is sure to create discussion, conversation, controversy, and enjoyment among lay and scholarly communities alike. Collins' carries the reader on a journey through the Bible's ancestral tales of sacred obedience, decadent lust, and apocalyptic destruction, uncovering impressive archaeological remains of a sprawling metropolis possibly used by the biblical writers as their geographic setting. A book not to be missed in the debate over the Bible's role in archaeological studies.”
“‘Welcome to Sodom’ signs are absent—so has Steven Collins found the place? Latayne Scott imaginatively tells how Collins concludes it is Tall el-Hammam, east of the Jordan river, arguing vigorously from biblical texts, geography and his discoveries at this large site. Archaeology's slow processes come to life in this vivid narrative.”
“Dr. Steven Collins and Dr. Latayne C. Scott have produced a long-awaited report of the excavations that have taken place over the last ten years at Tall-al-Hammam in Jordan. As a seminary professor, I highly recommend this book as a classic example for our students of how sound biblical scholarship is conducted using the most sophisticated scientific tools to elucidate the biblical text. The authors have produced a highly readable account of the hard work of archaeology and have provided a pedagogically sound description of their case for the identification of biblical Sodom. Any teacher of the Bible or archaeology will find in this volume an ideal resource for students to enhance their knowledge of either field.”
“The intrigue and biblical/historical detective work in this book thoroughly captivated me.”
"Scripture and science meet in a pop-archaeological text."

Product Reviews

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  1. Irene
    United States
    4 Stars Out Of 5
    If you like Biblical history you will enjoy this!
    January 11, 2014
    Irene
    United States
    Quality: 4
    Value: 4
    Meets Expectations: 4
    This book took me a bit to get through as it has scientific information as well as Biblical. I also found it a bit long. Those two negatives said, I still really enjoyed the book! I gave this book 4/5 stars. I thought the book was well represented by the description of its contents. The information in the book was never tedious even if it was hard to understand sometimes. I liked how he kept referring back to the Bible as he was explaining what and how he found certain areas. I would recommend this book for any lover of Biblical history and archaeology.

    I would like to thank the publisher for the copy of this book I enjoyed reading. I gave an honest review based on my opinion of what I read.
  2. VicsMediaRoom
    Irvine, CA
    Age: 55-65
    Gender: male
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    Archeology, The Bible and The Discovery Of Sodom
    May 4, 2013
    VicsMediaRoom
    Irvine, CA
    Age: 55-65
    Gender: male
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    Dr. Steven Collins and Dr. Latayne C. Scott in their new book "Discovering The City Of Sodom" published by Howard Books gives us The Fascinating, True Account of the Discovery of the Old Testament's Most Infamous City.

    From the back cover: Like many Christians today in the academic world, Dr. Steven Collins felt pulled in different directions when it came to apparent conflicts between the Bible and scholarly research and theory--an intellectual crisis that inspired him to lay it all on the line as he set off to locate the lost city of Sodom.

    Recounting Dr. Collins's quest for Sodom in absorbing detail, this adventure-cum-memoir reflects the tensions that define biblical archaeology as it narrates a tale of discovery. Readers follow "Dr. C" as he tracks down biblical, archaeological, and geographical clues to the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah, narrowing the list of possible sites as he weighs evidence and battles skeptics. Finally, he arrives at a single location that looms as the only option: a massive ancient ruin called Tall el-Hammam in the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan.

    Many scholars who were initially opposed to Dr. Collins's theory now concede that history books may need to be rewritten in light of his groundbreaking discovery. It--along with several other recent finds--is challenging the assumptions of academics and asserting a new voice in the controversy of biblical archaeology and the dispute over using the Bible as a credible historical source.

    Move over Indiana Jones you have met your match. Dr. Steven Collins is everything you are but better. Genesis Chapter Nineteen tells us of the destruction of the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah and the cities of the plain. However no one has ever really been able to find them. There have been rumors of where these cities once stood but no real proof. Dr. Collins felt that evidence existed and set out to find this evidence and then find the cities. He accomplished that goal. How he was able to do that is worth of a movie. This is pretty exciting stuff, if I do say so myself, and what's even better is that it is all true. Based entirely on The Biblical narrative Dr. Collins presents all the story that led him from point to point until he found exactly what he was looking for. This is not some college lecture that will make your eyes glassy. "Discovering The City Of Sodom" will keep you interested and flipping pages until the very end. Then you will want to go back and read the Genesis account to really appreciate exactly what is going on in the story. Thank you Dr. Collins for proving that Science and The Bible agree with each other perfectly!

    Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Howard Books. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."
  3. Heart2Heart
    Victorville, CA
    Age: 45-54
    Gender: female
    4 Stars Out Of 5
    Biblical history is being proven as true!
    April 11, 2013
    Heart2Heart
    Victorville, CA
    Age: 45-54
    Gender: female
    Quality: 4
    Value: 4
    Meets Expectations: 5
    "'Welcome to Sodom' signs are absent - so had Steven Collins found the place? The destruction of the Cities of the Plain - Sodom, Gomorrah, Admah, and Zeboiim - is proverbial. The events described in Genesis 19 are so well known that anyone with a minimal knowledge of the Bible is familiar with the dreadful destruction by fire and brimstone that God brought on these "sin cities." Paintings have been made of Sodom's overthrown, book written, and movies made.

    When, in 2009, Dr. Steven Collins asked me to help him with the recording of the architectural remains of a site that he believed to be Sodom, I was very skeptical about the possibilities of finding any vestiges of this city of infamy. A key verse in the New Testament, Jude 7, indicated that the destruction of the Cities of the Plain was an example of annihilation by eternal fire. So - my reasoning went - how could one expect to find any traces of them." - Dr. Leen Ritmeyer (pg 4).

    One of the most vivid stories of the Old Testament is the tale of Sodom and Gomorrah in Genesis 18-19. Sodom and Gomorrah, two of the five "cities on the plain" adjacent to the Dead Sea, were steeped in wickedness, and the Lord was determined to destroy them. The Lord was willing to change his mind if Abraham could find at least ten honest people in the towns, but alas, he could not, so "the Lord rained on Sodom and Gomorrah sulfur and fire from heaven, overthrowing those cities and all of the plain." (Genesis 19:24-25).

    For centuries most folk who rooted their faith in the Bible took this and other stories of the patriarchs at face value, while others simply tended to see the Bible as mostly pious poetry - beautiful and of high moral value, but with little or no historical basis. In either approach, it is necessary to find a site that would explain the origin of the Sodom narratives, and just possibly one that produces evidence that the narration as it appears in the Bible may not be disconnected from historical reality after all. This is what the authors of this book have done.

    In the novel, Discovering the City of Sodom by authors Dr. Steven Collins and Dr. Latayne C. Scott, this adventure-cum-memoir reflects the tensions that define biblical archaeology as it narrates a tale of discovery. Readers will follow "Dr. C" as he tracks down biblical, archaeological, and geographical clues to the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah, narrowing the list of possible sites as he weighs evidence and battles skeptics. He wanted to make sure that before he put his endorsement behind that discovery, it matched up with where the Bible said it was.

    I received Discovering the City of Sodom by Dr. Steven Collins and Dr. Latayne C. Scott compliments of Howard Books, a division of Simon & Schuster Publishers and received no monetary compensation for a favorable review. The opinions expressed are my own based on what I read and understand. I love it when history is finally starting to unveil all the truth that Christians have based their faith in, that the Bible is 100% true and is the Word of God.

    It seems each year, science unravels more and more of undeniable evidence that the places and events the Bible describes in great detail are true. I reviewed this book simply based on wanting to know what science again has yet uncovered and how they are able to confirm it really is or isn't the city of Sodom and Gomorrah that the Bible describes. What Dr. Collin's has discovered is groundbreaking and is challenging the assumptions of academics and asserting a new voice in the controversy of biblical archaeology and the dispute over using the Bible as a credible historical source. I rate this book a 4 out of 5 stars and encourage others to review and read this one for themselves before taking my word on it. Some will simply attempt to disprove the theories and evidence in this book and others like myself will take it on faith that once again God is revealing the truth we've known all along.
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