Friday, January 11, 2013

The Archaeological Evidence of Noah's Flood

The Archaeological Evidence of Noah's Flood by Philip Lee Williams
Christian Leaders & Scholars Press, 4/15/2011
Hardcover, 411 pages
ISBN-13: 9780979310225

The author was completing his twenty-year systematic investigation of the archaeological evidence of a worldwide Flood when Hong Kong explorers announced their 2010 discovery on Mount Ararat in eastern Turkey. Pottery found in what appears the remains of Noah’s Ark relate to a ceramic assemblage that archaeologists see originating on the plains of Ararat and from which the author traces a second worldwide dispersion of mankind. Using forensic analysis, Williams had previously identified what are now understood as ancient religious burials as in fact resulting from a worldwide Flood, radiocarbon dated to about 2400BC. Should his findings withstand the intense scrutiny invited by the author, it will rewrite the history of the ancient world. Accordingly, the advancing edge of belief and learning must return to the biblical foundations that the West has rejected since the Enlightenment.
My Thoughts:
In The Archaeological Evidence of Noah's Flood author Philip Lee Williams states:
"Previous searches for a worldwide Flood have mainly concerned geological phenomena. In this book you will find a straightforward and systematic search for the biblical Flood in the archaeological remains of ancient man. Notwithstanding the general presumption that archaeological searches for the Flood using the biblical chronology of ancient man have proven fruitless, in twenty years of extensive study I have been unable to discover such searches. The Bible has indeed been studied in the light of archaeology and Ancient Near Eastern texts, but archaeology and the ancient texts are rarely studied in the light of the Bible.  (Location 138-142)"
The Archaeological Evidence of Noah's Flood is really more a scholarly treatise on the author's search for proof of the historical truth behind what the Bible says. It proposes that it is better to look at ancient history with a correct Biblical understanding of antediluvian archaeology and a proper consideration of the scientific method. In other words, it establishes the scholarly foundation and background to consider approaching the material in a new manner.

Williams writes:
"In Part I, I explain how the teachings of modern science conflict with the biblical account of the origins of man and the difficult challenge that poses to a faith that is based upon historical truth.
In Part II, I point out how historical thinking is rooted in the Bible but how influential Christian theologians have shifted from teaching the historical revelation of the Scriptures to philosophical theology. As I explain, the God of the philosophers is not the God of the Bible.
In Part III, I show how Reformed theology gradually developed into the Deist view that challenged the literal words of Scripture. This section also shows how the modern understanding of history cut its biblical roots. Non-specialists may be shocked to learn how the framework for the modern versions of ancient history developed out of the deep racism of the Enlightenment. They may also be surprised to discover just how much the modern historical criticism of the Bible stems from the particular needs of German nationalism.
In Part IV, I review the most influential interpretations of the biblical Flood. I also explain the method of searching for the Flood that I determined to follow.
Part V covers what I discovered using this approach.
Part VI examines some of the implications of what I have found for related scientific and scholarly fields.
Part VII discusses the relevance this holds for our present world. (Location 143-154)"
Now, to be completely honest any actual discussion of discovering Noah's Ark is only at the end of the book, in the epilogue. Williams writes: "Though I had not intended to cover archaeological searches for Noah’s Ark, as I completed this book I became aware of an exciting new discovery on Mt. Ararat, which I describe in the Epilogue.  (Location 156)"
Although I am sure that Williams did not intend this to be the case, the fact that any discussion of discovering Noah's Ark was relegated to the epilogue was a bit disappointing to me as it made the title of the book feel deceptive.
Setting aside my personal feelings, the actual content of the book was interesting and certainly worth considering if you are interested in reading about someone's personal exploration of his faith and the soul searching he went through to align his faith with a scientific approach and explanation of various Biblical events, like Noah's flood, as well as archeological findings from sites around the world. The Archaeological Evidence of Noah's Flood  also includes: Table of Contents; List of photographs, illustrations, and credits; Glossary; Topical Bibliography.
Recommended - know that this is not light reading.


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