Tremper Longman III, John H. WaltonInterVarsity Press / 2018 / Trade PaperbackOur Price$14.994.5 out of 5 stars for The Lost World of the Flood: Mythology, Theology, and the Deluge Debate. View reviews of this product. 3 Reviews
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K Johnson4 Stars Out Of 5The Lost World of the Flood was interesting and took kind of a different perspective. The first chapter was my favorite. Some of the later chapters, well, I just haven't made up my mind on them yet.June 10, 2022K JohnsonQuality: 5Value: 4Meets Expectations: 4The Lost World of the Flood was interesting and took kind of a different perspective. The first chapter was my favorite. Some of the later chapters, well, I just haven't made up my mind on them yet.
The book is divided into four parts and each part has several propositions (chapters) for a total of 17 propositions. There's a preface, list of abbreviations, conclusion, recommended additional resources, and a few indexes.
Part 1. Method: Perspectives on Interpretation
- Proposition 1. Genesis Is an Ancient Document
- Proposition 2. Genesis 1-11 Makes Claims About Real Events in a Real Past
- Proposition 3. Genesis 1-11 Genesis 1-11 Uses Rhetorical Devices
- Proposition 4. The Bible Uses Hyperbole to Describe Historical Events
- Proposition 5. Genesis Appropriately Presents a Hyperbolic Account of the Flood
- Proposition 6. Genesis Depicts the Flood as a Global Event
Part 2. Background: Ancient Near Eastern Texts
- Proposition 7. Ancient Mesopotamia Also Has Stories of a Worldwide Flood
- Proposition 8. The Biblical Flood Account Shares Similarities and Differences with Ancient Near Eastern Flood Accounts
Part 3. Text: Understanding the Biblical Text Literarily and Theologically
- Proposition 9. A Local Cataclysmic Flood Is Intentionally Described as a Global Flood for Rhetorical Purposes and Theological Reasons
- Proposition 10. The Flood Account Is Part of a Sequence of Sin and Judgment Serving as Backstory for the Covenant
- Proposition 11. The Theological History Is Focused on the Issue of Divine Presence, the Establishment of Order, and How Order is Undermined
- Proposition 12. The "Sons of God" Episode is Not Only a Prelude to the Flood; It Is the Narrative Sequel to Cain and Abel
- Proposition 13. The Tower of Babel (Genesis 11:1-9) Is an Appropriate Conclusion to the Primeval Narrative
Part 4. The World: Thinking About Evidence for the Flood
- Proposition 14. The Flood Story Has a Real Event Behind It
- Proposition 15. Geology Does Not Support a Worldwide Flood (Stephen O. Moshier)
- Proposition 16. Flood Stories from Around the World Do Not Prove a Worldwide Flood
- Proposition 17. Science Can Purify Our Religion; Religion Can Purify Science from Idolatry and False Absolutes
This is the 5th book in John Walton's Lost World Series and while this book can stand alone, I would recommend prereading at least the first book in the series, The Lost World of Genesis 1. I love how this book starts by attuning the focus of our expectations for the Bible. This quote in Proposition 1, on page 3, summarizes the idea well, "We all desire to be faithful interpreters of God's Word to assure that we receive the full benefit of God's revelation to us. We consider the Bible to have authority, and we want to submit ourselves and our lives to that authority. Biblical authority is tied inseparably to the author's intention. God vested his authority in a human author, so we must consider what the human author intended to communicate if we want to understand what God's message is. Two voices speak: the human author is our doorway into the room of God's meaning and message. Thus, when we read Genesis we are reading an ancient document and should begin by using only the assumptions that would be appropriate for the ancient world. We must understand how the ancients thought and what ideas underlay their communication." Later, on page 9 it says, "If we read modern ideas into the text, we skirt the authority of the text and in effect are compromising it. The result would be to arrogate authority to ourselves and our ideas. The text cannot mean what it never meant."
This book takes the perspective that the account of Noah's flood describes a real flood that covered all known land everywhere and not a local flood, but that the text uses hyperbolic language for a theological message. The authors acknowledge that the scientific data does not support, and in fact strongly conflicts with, an actual global flood. Instead, the flood story is a reversal of creation, returning the world to a nonordered state where God could reestablish order. Table 1 on page 120 shows parallels between the creation account in Genesis 1-3 and the flood account in Genesis 6-9.
I enjoyed reading this book and am still chewing on the ideas in it. I wish there had been some discussion of the chiastic structure of the flood account and the importance of the central line "God remembered Noah". I would also have appreciated a discussion of the possibility that two accounts were merged/redacted into one. It's quite unfortunate that these relevant issues weren't addressed but still, the book offers a valuable perspective on Genesis 6-9 and I recommend it.
Bassem5 Stars Out Of 5A must readFebruary 10, 2022BassemQuality: 5Value: 5Meets Expectations: 4It's not my first book in the series, first i read the lost world of Adam and Eve, and was going through The lost world of Genesis one ( great great book)
The book is so insightful, with great structure and chapters, however i felt something was missing, the Authors sometimes throw conclusions about Hyperbole and how things were perceived in the ANE, which i think can be true assumptions but for the layman it was a bit hmm, I want to learn more about why the authors jumped to these conclusions.
Also it left me with open questions more than answers, however it gave me a great background on how to handle the text of the flood and also possible solutions to the global flood issue ( if it's an issue )
I would totally recommend to read for anyone trying to understand the flood event in Genesis and after all it gave my mind more trust and increased my faith in the word of God and his faithfulness, and how much God cares about modern readers as much as ancient readers of the Bible =)
Andy Le Peau5 Stars Out Of 5An Excellent Volume in an Important SeriesApril 24, 2018Andy Le PeauQuality: 5Value: 5Meets Expectations: 5What if we were to view the Flood narrative in Genesis through the eyes of a reader from the Ancient Near East (ANE)? More to the point, what was the cultural river the writer of this account was floating in? What were the values, the conventions, the beliefs, the worldview he was working with? And what difference does that make to how we read the book?
Those are some of the questions John Walton seeks to answer, now joined in this fifth Lost World volume with Old Testament scholar Tremper Longman. One of the primary questions for interpretation is, What did the original writer intend to communicate? Walton and Longman bring this question front and center.
As is noted in the other books in the series, God accommodates his communication to the writer, and the writer to the reader. The message is not in terms of modern science but of the ANE. For example, they write, the ancient audience would not have viewed the cosmos as a machine but as a kingdom, and God communicated to them about the world in those terms. (Proposition 1). So we shouldnt look for mechanistic explanations in the text.
Is the Flood narrative completely fictitious, then? No, the authors suggest there was a real event behind the story that was told for theological (rather than primarily for historical or scientific) purposes. First, some similar narratives in other ANE literature (Sumerian, Babylonian, Assyrian) confirm this idea. Second, geological research suggests that a violent flood burst through the Bosporus in 5600 BC turning a fresh water lake into the Black Sea. Though we cannot be sure this particular flood is the one mentioned in Genesis 6-9, Walton and Longman say this type of event could have inspired the biblical account. Third, Genesis itself suggests there was a real story behind the narrative.
What the account doesnt intend to communicate, however, is that the physical flood was worldwide. The biblical writer used hyperbole (global language), as was customary in the day and in many other places in the Bible, to characterize a regional flood that had universal implications. Military victories, for example, are characterize as utterly destroying the enemy, even though in later chapters or books we find survivors.
Hyperbole was used to communicate how important or significant the event was. We might say, The whole city turned out for the Cubs World Series victory parade. This was not true, but no one would mistake this statement for an intentional or unintentional lie. It is a way for us to express the widespread significance of the event. Historical accuracy is not primarily in view though there was a real event behind the statement.
The universal theological truths being communicated in the Flood account are the pervasiveness of human sin, Gods determination to judge sin, and his desire to restore order after a period of nonorder represented by watery chaos (echoing what happened in Genesis 1).
The authors include a guest chapter by geologist Stephen O. Moshier to summarize the lack of evidence for a worldwide flood. And since the text does not require that we understand it that way, we can focus on what the text does say.
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