When the Great Abyss Opened: Classic and Contemporary Readings of Noah's Flood Kindle Edition

5.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review
ISBN-13: 978-0195156089
ISBN-10: 0195156080
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Editorial Reviews


"Pleins has written a stimulating book. His writing is lucid, his arguments are cogent, and his interpretations are insightful. The book deserves to be read by those interested in the history of interpretation, creation and flood myths, the relationshiop of religion and science, and hermeneutics." --The Catholic Biblical Quarterly

"This book is enjoyable and thought-provoking. One can recommend it to biblical scholars, archaeologists, theologians, and scientists-all who are interested in a lively discussion about human culture and religion."-- RBL

"This fascinating book opens up a completely new light on a topic about which we all think we know something and about which we learn we knew very little. One of the great myths of Western culture is seen in a completely fresh light, thanks to the labors of J. David Pleins. I urge everyone to read this volume."--Michael Ruse, Lucyle T. Werkmeister Professor of Philosophy, Florida State University; author of Can a Darwinian be a Christian? and Darwin and Design

"Pleins provides the first book on Noah and the Flood that has really caught my attention and interest. He deftly traces many of the modern searches for Noah's Ark and contextualizes them with wit and wisdom, then offers a perceptive look at the ancient texts which assist our understanding of the Flood narrative in Genesis. Enlightening reading."--John C. Endres, S.J., Jesuit School of Theology at Berkeley

"All aboard for the cruise of your life on the S.S. Ark, under the expert guidance of a latter-day Noah, J. David Pleins. In a well-written, fast-paced book, Pleins deals with all the major and many of the minor aspects of this eternally-fascinating topic. He describes four different approaches to the issues--ranging from fundamentalist-literalist to no-nonsense scientific-naturalist--and uses them all to explore deep matters of the mind and heart. He shows that, apart from geological-historical-archaeological matters at one end and literary-mythical-legendary questions at the other, at the center or bottom we find ourselves and what matters most to our inner lives. At the end, we know that the search will go on, and whether we will ever find the ark or some piece of it (unlikely), along the way we will find out so many other things as to make the voyage immensely valuable and enjoyable.--David Noel Freedman, editor, The Anchor Bible Dictionary

"A book for everyone, the clergy, scientists, believers and non-believers, seeking truth in the connections between geology, archaeology, myth, literature, and the Bible. Wonderfully engaging, accessible, factual, balanced and scholarly."--William B. F. Ryan, co-author, Noah's Flood: The New Scientific Discoveries About the Event That Changed History

About the Author

J. David Pleins is Professor of Religious Studies at Santa Clara University, where he teaches courses in biblical studies and comparative ancient Near Eastern literature and mythology. He is the author of The Social Visions of the Hebrew Bible: A Theological Introduction (2001) and Psalms: Songs of Tragedy, Hope, and Justice (1993).

Product Details

  • File Size: 4558 KB
  • Print Length: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press; 1 edition (July 11, 2003)
  • Publication Date: July 11, 2003
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B000T43720
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
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  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,684,279 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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By César González Rouco on November 14, 2009
Format: Hardcover
Given that the synopsis of the book provided by the "Editorial Reviews" plus "Product Description" is fairly accurate, I will only point out that this is a wonderful book on Noah's biblical narration, theology and folklore and which wisely avoids sterile religion vs. science arguments. I was somehow afraid that it would be boring: after all, the book was published six years ago and there were no previous comments on it (perhaps because the hardcover edition is so expensive!). I took the chance and I am glad of it. Pleins manages to narrate and expose everything related to the matter in such a way that I could not put it down, and read it in less than two weeks' time's time. I think that any religious person and/or educated layperson can savour it. So I recommend it with five starts.

I will also suggest reading the following interesting works in addition to this book: a) "How to Read the Bible: A Guide to Scripture, Then and Now" by James L. Kugel; b) "From Eden to Exile: Unraveling Mysteries of the Bible" by Eric H. Cline; c) "The Birth of Satan: Tracing the Devil's Biblical Roots" by T.J. Wray and Gregory Mobley; d) "Life after Death. A History of the afterlife in Western Religion" by Alan F. Segal; and e) "When They Severed Earth from Sky: How the Human Mind Shapes Myth" by Paul and Elizabeth Barber.
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