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Discovering the City of Sodom: The Fascinating, True Account of the Discovery of the Old Testament's Most Infamous City Unabridged Audiobook on CD
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Recounting Dr. Collins' quest for Sodom in absorbing detail, this adventure -memoir reflects the tensions that define Biblical archaeology as it narrates a tale of discovery. The book follows Dr. Collins as he tracks down Biblical, archaeological, and geological clues to the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah, narrowing down 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 site called Tall el-Hammam in the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan.
Unabridged audio CD; approximately 9.2 hours; 8 CDs; read by Sean Runnette.
|Format: Compact disc|
Vendor: Mission Audio
Publication Date: 2012
|Dimensions: 5.44 X 6.38 X 0.56 (inches)|
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Dr NicholsonCaliforniaAge: 35-44Gender: male4 Stars Out Of 5A great book but with challanges to overcomeNovember 13, 2013Dr NicholsonCaliforniaAge: 35-44Gender: maleQuality: 4Value: 5Meets Expectations: 4This review, by Dr. Nicholson, has been provided courtesy of Desert Bible Institute (www.desertbibleinstitute.com).
One of the great advantages of Discovering the City of Sodom was that not only did it take the topic of biblical archeology seriously, but it showed its audience how it went about doing this. Dr. Collins and Dr. Scott methodically explain the process of academic research and site excavation. This is of great advantage to the serious learner and provides their audience with confidence in the evidence that they present. This unfortunately is the Achilles heel of the audio version of this book since the acronyms abound and there is no quick reference chart to refer back to which the hardcopy likely has provided.
Sean Runnette does an excellent job in his reading of the book. This is the first non-fiction book that I have heard him narrate, and he does a first-class job. He was, of course, clear and consistent in his speech which makes him a pleasure to listen to. He also has a very rich and dynamic way of presenting the characters in the narrative sections of the book. The one distracting thing was that the authors should have considered revising their book for an audio format. While abbreviations and acronyms smooth out reading, they become confounding when several are used together in an audiobook.
Perhaps the most controversial part of the book was the sections presented in fictional format while supported with actual facts. Initially I liked this and assumed that it was used to smooth out the technical aspects of the book and add continuity to the book as a whole. As I got further into the book; however, this aspect became confusing and a little distracting. Alternately, I thought that this might have been done to provide anonymity for some of the people involved and research that had been done. Ultimately though, the book would have flowed fine without this contrivance and would prove more believable without the mixing of fiction and non-fiction. This was a great idea but, in the long run, unnecessary.
Another boon/bane of the book was the biblical background information. I personally loved all the exploration of the Old Testament. The retelling of stories and examination of the text was a pleasure to listen to. This had the unfortunate side effect; however, of causing long lulls between the sections of scientific evidence given. I could see how this, coupled with the narrative sections, could frustrate some readers. Therefore this element is a mixed blessing. It helps the person with a weak knowledge of the Old Testament get a big picture of what's going on, but it does go into more detail than is probably strictly necessary for a book like this. Whereas I enjoyed it (it felt like a science class and a Bible study happening at the same time) this will inevitably grate against the patience of some readers.
At the end of the day, this is a book that all serious Christians should have. If for no other reason, this book is worthy of owning and listening to due to how it sets up and supports its position through empirical and provable facts. Too often, as Christians, we base our opinions on little more than what our pastors say or the literary cleverness of a popular author. This book, beyond everything else, is a careful, well thought-out examination of the history and location of the city of Sodom.
Trent Nicholson, Ph.D., D.Min.
Desert Bible Institute, President
Dr. Nicholson is a member of the christianaudio review program. To learn more, visit their website at: www.christianaudio.com.
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bookwomanjoanOak Harbor, WAAge: Over 65Gender: Female5 Stars Out Of 5confident biblical Sodom has been discoveredApril 2, 2013bookwomanjoanOak Harbor, WAAge: Over 65Gender: FemaleQuality: 5Value: 5Meets Expectations: 4We wonder: Are those Bible stories in the Old Testament really true? Especially the one about Sodom and Gomorrah?
Dr. Collins struggled with thoughts like those. Then, in 1996, he had a crisis of faith. The biblical account of Abraham and Lot was not matching the maps he held in his hand. He reread the biblical account and paid attention to the geographical clues. It suggested Abraham looked out over the Kikkar of Jordan. That would mean Sodom and Gomorrah were north and east of the Dead Sea.
Dr. Collins went on a quest for Sodom. He searched the area, narrowing the possibilities. Tall el-Hammam is one of the largest Bronze Age sites in the Middle East. It is the site of great destruction with a meter thick layer of ash.
The authors provide us with lots of back story before continuing with the account of the excavation. They look at the biblical story and a fictional tour of the area. They also cover the theories of Sodom's location.
There have been seven seasons of excavation. The site has massive walls, twelve feet thick and higher than three stories. The occupation was continuous for 7,000 years, until the abrupt stop. The destruction layer dates to the second half of the Middle Bronze Age. It is evidence of a violent end and then no habitation for 700 years.
A pottery fragment with a glass glaze was found. Testing showed it was formed by a burst of heat of 2,000 degrees.
Is the site Sodom? "If, as the Bible clearly indicates, Sodom was the largest city in the land of the Kikkar during the Bronze Age, then Tall el-Hammam is it, hands down." (166) Reviewing aspects of the site, they write, "Each of the previous points links precisely with biblical descriptions about Sodom's size, wealth, prestige, fortifications, architecture, and complexity, it's a match in every possible way." (173)
Nonetheless, there are some who do not agree with the site being identified as Sodom and the authors address the reasons that are offered.
The authors share the importance of this book. "If, in the cold reality of the twenty-first century, something long regarded as 'mythical' can be proven to be historically present in the very dirt of a massive mound in the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, then would not intellectual honesty require that the Bible itself be given a fresh, new look as a true narrative representation on its own terms?" (243) Exactly.
I received a complimentary egalley of this book from the publisher for the purpose of this review.