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Return to Sodom and Gomorrah Paperback – December 1, 1995

4.6 out of 5 stars 30 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Blending the work of archeologists, scientists and theologians, Pellegrino explores the factual bases of the events recorded in the Old Testament.
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Review

Scientist/adventurer Pellegrino provides a dialogue on Biblical history which blends science with history and a format which reads like an investigative novel. Ancient mysteries are surveyed, with archaeological findings linking myths to facts. A lively and intriguing account, this will attract a wide audience. -- Midwest Book Review
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 416 pages
  • Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks; 2nd edition (December 1, 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0380726335
  • ISBN-13: 978-0380726332
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (30 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #740,485 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Cecil B. DeMille's got a lot to answer for. Mention the Old Testament and chances are that most of us will visualise one of his screen epics - Charlton Heston as Moses parting the Red Sea, for example - and we'll laugh at the larger-than-life antics. Not Charles Pellegrino. He takes all the old Bible stories and asks what if they really happened?
A modern-day adventurer - part detective, part scientist, part visionary - Pellegrino traces archaeological sites from the Nile to the Jordan and the Tigris-Euphrates rivers and presents compelling evidence from scientists, archaeologists and theologians that the oral histories of the Bible hold a surprising basis in fact.
We journey with him from the ancient cities of Babylon and Ur, Nineveh and Jericho, to King Solomon's Temple in search of the Ark of the Covenant, and to Qumram for the secrets of the Dead Sea Scrolls. You might expect archaeology to be as dry as, well, dust. But Pellegrino's enthusiasm is infectious.
Far from being boring and inaccessible, this book is an unexpected delight. Impeccably researched, yet written with extraordinary clarity of language and as riveting as a good thriller, it'll probably make you go out and start digging for treasure in your own backyard. Eat your heart out Indiana Jones!
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Format: Paperback
To merely say that this book is one of the best books I have ever read would be to seriously understate my opinion of this profound and important work. Pellegrino has a rare and uncanny ability to draw connections and to synthesize the disparate and widely scattered evidence of humanity's past. An admitted agnostic, he is wise enough to realize that no true scientist can be an athiest, but he also pulls no punches in his clear-minded assessment of biblical history. The fact that he is able to keep his sense of humor throughout only adds to the enjoyment of this book. One of the main reasons I believe this to be a profoundly important work is that Pellegrino presents a refreshingly honest, if not always optimistic, view of human nature. He harbors no illusions about our species' violent past, and thus provides us with the perspective and foresight we need if we wish to avoid the specter of extinction.
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I have had difficulty accepting some of the Biblical happenings. Pellegrino has given scenerios on how these "miracles" could have happened and helped me accept them. It did not conflict with my religious beliefs. The only book I have read twice. I will read it again from time to time.
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Format: Paperback
In what reads as a detailed screenplay from the pages of archaeological adventure, Mr. Pellegrino proves to us how he rightfully earned the moniker that was so casually bestowed upon Harrison Ford. I am impressed by the scope of expertise this paleontologist turned physicist turned archaeologist commands as he brings evidence both scientific and biblical in a quest fit for the cinema, that of locating the legendary cities of the title. His book enthralled this rocket scientist and would-be archaeologist from the dedication page all the way to the author's biography in the back. Well worth a read (and a re-read)
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Return to Sodom and Gomorrah, recounts the volcanic eruption at the major Minoan port on what is now known as Santorini. The shear power of the blast, the wide distribution of the ash cloud and the tsunamis that followed, were of "mythic proportions" and engendered myths. According to another of my favorite books, When They Severed Earth from Sky (E.W.&P. Barber), myths are the result of oral histories being compacted and altered in predictable ways over millennia. In trying to decode the events described in them, it is important to adopt the viewpoint of the participants. Noah's flood, for instance, need not have covered the world known to us. As Pellegrino points out, the disaster probably covered the Fertile Crescent, the world as known to the original witnesses.

There are accounts of the Thera eruption encoded in the Greek story of Atlantis and in Egyptian writings as well as in the Exodus story in the Bible. Unfortunately, there haven't been enough early Minoan writings uncovered to help in the deciphering of Linear A. It is hoped that as the extensive city on Santorini is excavated, more writings will be discovered. Linear B is related to early Greek, but they don't have a clue as yet what Linear A is related to.

What impressed me most was that the Minoans, protected by the sea and engaged in widespread trade on it, did not seem to have to fight to have influence in the ancient world. They prospered and developed a superior culture in peace. They had art that inspired the Greeks and plumbing rivaling our own. (They had flush toilets and showers with hot and cold running water.) Unlike their successors, they apparently did not relegate women to an inferior position.
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An excellent historical perspective of the scriptures.

Anyone who knows anything about the Bible knows the pitfalls of literal interpretation.

This was taught to me by Christian Brothers when I was in college.

Pellegrino is a multi-disciplined scientist and a very readable writer.

He insults nobody, but the ignorant.

Five Stars!
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