Friday, May 3, 2013

Tower of Babel

I read the Tower of Babel, in exchange for review from New Leaf Publishing group. I received the Kindle edition of the book. The book was written by Bodie Hodge and published by Master Books.

About the book: Copied from NLPG

The Tower of Babel: The Cultural History of Our Ancestors reveals our shared ancestry as never before! Many are familiar with the Biblical account of Babel, but after the dispersal, there was a void beyond Biblical history until empires like Rome and Greece arose. Now, discover the truth of these people groups and their civilizations that spread across the earth and trace their roots back to Babel as well as to the sons and grandsons of Noah.
Many of today’s scholars write off what occurred at the Tower of Babel as mythology and deny that it was a historical event. Beginning with the Biblical accounts, author Bodie Hodge researched ancient texts, critical clues, and rare historic records to help solve the mystery of what became of the failed builders of Babel. For the purpose of defending the Bible, Hodge presents these and other vital historical facts surrounding this much-debated event. Teens and older can use this layman’s reference for Biblical classes, ancient history, apologetics training, and to realize their own cultural connection to the Bible.
A speaker and researcher for Answers in Genesis, Bodie Hodge is known for his contribution to and authoring of other Christian apologetics titles including:
Fall of Satan
Answers Books Series
How Do We Know the Bible is True Vol 1 & 2
Demolishing Supposed Bible Contradictions Series

My Review:

The book starts out with a discussion on how some people don't believe in the bible. Some people doubt the bible. Some people think the stories are made up (Noah's Ark and the Tower of Babel for example). The bible is under attack. The book is also easy-to-read, which is good  for any theology book. The chapters are short as well.  Next, the first chapter discusses how to pronounce Babel. Chapter two discusses attacks against Babel's existence (racism, mythology, and re-interpretation). I love how the book provides biblical proof for every attack. Then, the book goes into the biblical account of Babel. Before, the whole world had one language. Everyone could communicate with each other. Of course, someone (or a group of people) got an idea to bake some bricks. Another someone (or group of people) wanted to build a city, high as the sky. They wanted to be renown, but this displeased the Lord. The Lord decided to confuse this wonderful group by giving them multiple languages. No one understood the other and Babel was not completed. The people was also scattered across the Earth. Babel helped divide families and divide lands (Genesis 11: 1-9).

Chapter 6 focuses on why people was disobedient to God. Why did God confuse their language and scatter people across the heart? The book talked about how God is a fair Judge and does not punish without due cause. We also are sinners, falling short of the glory of God. The descendants of Noah, at that time, wanted to defy God, by scattering across the earth, on their own. The people also wanted to be renown and make a name for themselves, versus God. Chapter 7 focuses on when the scattering occurred. The book discusses how the scattering may have occurred 106 years after the Flood. The scattering may also have caused the world to break apart into multiple regions (sort of like Pangaea. One continent at first, but broke apart into multiple regions and continents). There already had been continental movements during the Flood (Mount Arafat, for example was formed during the flood) but more may have occurred after Babel. There is a chart, in Chapter 7,  which lists estimated biblical dates, determined by Archbishop James Ussher. Chapter 8 focuses on where the scattering occurred. Babel occurred between the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers. The Garden of Eden was also located near there.  YET, The Tigris and Euphrates may not be the same Tigris and Euphrates from the Garden of Eden. Sometimes people name places after other people, places, and things (Martin Luther King, Thames River (3 locations), Versailles. Names can transfer from one thing to another thing. The book also discusses Babylon.

Other topics in the book include:

  1. Chapter 9: Was the tower built or not? (The tower was built, but  the city was not completed, according to one source. Another source says the tower was built, but not finished). 
  2. Chapter 10: The purpose of Babel (To prevent another flood; idolatry; fame; astronomy; sacrifice; burial
  3. Chapter 11: What did the tower look like? (rounded, pyramid, ziggurat, etc) 
  4. Chapter 12: Did the languages of today all come from Babel?
  5. Chapter 13: Nations and genealogies, which go back to Noah
  6. Chapter 14: Nimrod
  7. Chapter 15: Continental splitting
  8. Chapter 16: How did the people travel while scattering
  9. Chapter 17: Where did the people go initially
  10. Chapter 18: Asia, Americas, and Austrailia
  11. Chapter 19: Noah's sons
  12. Chapter 20: Did the people listed in the account at Babel have other children?
  13. Chapter 21: did people really live a long time, in biblical ages?
  14. Chapter 22: decrease in ages
  15. Chapter 23: ancestor worship
  16. Chapter 24: are there any extra-biblical accounts of the split
  17. Chapter 25: The origin of writing
  18. Chapter 26: Original languages
  19. Chapter 27: The pentecost and Babel
  20. Chapter 28: Why is biblical authority relevant concerning Babel
  21. Chapter 29: Seeing Christ at Babel

I was definitely impressed with this book. I normally do not read theology because some of it is difficult to understand. I prefer the practical knowledge. How can I apply this theory to my life?  This book was easy to read and easy to follow. The chapters are short. Each section also has footnotes and references for additional study. Definitely am thinking of getting a print edition.  I chose this book because I have heard of Babel in the bible, but did not know much of anything else about it.  The book also had easy to read charts and photographs.

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Please leave a comment. Thank you. Stacie