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Discovering the City of Sodom: The Fascinating, True Account of the Discovery of the Old Testament's Most Infamous City Hardcover – April 2, 2013

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Discovering the City of Sodom: The Fascinating, True Account of the Discovery of the Old Testament's Most Infamous City + The Popular Handbook of Archaeology and the Bible: Discoveries That Confirm the Reliability of Scripture + The Stones Cry Out: What Archaeology Reveals About the Truth of the Bible
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Howard Books (April 2, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1451684304
  • ISBN-13: 978-1451684308
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.4 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (47 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #395,067 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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." (Dr. Clyde Billington of Northwestern College, article for Artifax)

"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." (William J. Fulco, S.J., NEH Professor of Ancient Mediterranean Studies, Loyola Marymount University)

“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.” (Joseph M. Holden, Ph.D., President of Veritas Evangelical Seminary and co-author The Popular Handbookof Archaeology and the Bible)

“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!” (Prof. Aren Maeir, Bar-Ilan University, Ramat-Gan, Israel director of the Tell es-Safi/Gath ArchaeologicalProject)

“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.” (Robert A. Mullins, Ph.D., Professor of Archaeology and Old Testament, Azusa Pacific University)

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.” (David C. Maltsberger, Professor of Religion, Wayland Baptist University)

“‘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.” (Alan Millard, Emeritus Rankin Professor of Hebrew & Ancient Semitic Languages, The University of Liverpool)

“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.” (Dr. Steve Lowe, Professor of Education, Erskine Theological Seminary, Erskine, SC)

“The intrigue and biblical/historical detective work in this book thoroughly captivated me.” (Chris Fabry, author of ECPA Best Fiction winner Almost Heaven)

"Scripture and science meet in a pop-archaeological text." (Kirkus Reviews)

About the Author

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.

Customer Reviews

I knew this book could go one or two ways....extremely fascinating or quite boring.
Book Reader
I thoroughly enjoyed reading this well-written book and would recommend it to anyone interested in the Bible, history and/or archaeology!
Richard Landeen
The book details how Dr. Collins came to believe Tall el-Hammam in Jordan was the location of ancient Sodom.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By M.Evans on April 12, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Discovering the City of Sodom is written for the average reader; the layman; the lover of history; the person seeking to better understand the Bible. While it is laden with archaeological terms and scientific information, both people with or without a scientific mind will enjoy and understand the presentation of the material. The book's style is written, not as a scientific paper or report, nor solely as an historical description, but as a story; a telling of the experience of finding and excavating of this mysterious ancient city. As a result, it contains neither the dryness of scientific writing nor the boring reporting of a history book, letting the story allow the times, places, people and events to come alive in the reader's mind.

The book is the story of Dr. Steven Collins and his search for and excavating of the fabled city of Sodom. The story is written by a master storyteller, Dr. Latayne Scott, who is a gifted writer (with many books to her credit), teacher, and Bible scholar. She is able to paint word pictures that allow the reader to share the experience and fully understand the science and history of archaeology while processing it with a layman's mind.

As a lover of the tidbits as well as the sweeping story of history I was not disappointed and as a lover of a good story well told I was enchanted. As a student of Scripture I was fascinated by what I found in my reading. History, a good story and many Biblical events put into place in my mind were found abundantly in this book! I highly recommend this book!
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I have been impressed with the scholarly book "Discovering the city of Sodom" by Steven Collins & Latayne C. Scott. It gives the data necessary to convince me on of the association between Tall El-Hammam and the ancient city (67 acres) of Sodom. It was the largest city in the Palestine Levant and had been inhabited for about 1000 years. The suggestion of an air-burst meteorite doing the destruction is reminiscent of the recent air-burst meteorite in Siberia early in the 20th century and the more recent February 2014 event. The archeologists describe glass surfaces being created on pottery by greater that 10,000 degrees heat for a second as what happened at the Trinity site in New Mexico during a test of the atom bomb.

Altogether, an enjoyable read!
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful By VicG on May 4, 2013
Format: Hardcover
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.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Trent M. Nicholson on June 26, 2013
Format: Audible Audio Edition
This review, by Dr. Nicholson, has been provided courtesy of Desert Bible Institute (

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.
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