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    Noah Primeval Review

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    Nathan James Norman
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    Noah Primeval Review

    Post  Nathan James Norman on February 19th 2013, 9:46 am

    After listening to Paeter's interview of Brian Godawa on the podcast, I downloaded the e-version of Noah Primeval. Here's the review I wrote on my website www.nathanjamesnorman.com


    Review: Noah Primeval


    Summary: As the sons of man populate the earth, the fallen sons of God masquerade as gods themselves. These gods have led the majority of humanity into the depths of sin and perversion and have also begun breeding a race of giants, the Nephilim, as a cross between man and fallen angel. As the tribes of men who follow the one true God, Elohim, diminish it seems all hope rests in God’s chosen seed, Noah, and the mysterious box he has instructed him to build.


    Review: I really enjoyed this novel. It was fast-paced, action packed and featured a number of relatable characters and situations. I have to take a second to note that this book is a biblical fantasy, that is, Brian Godawa took the general story of Noah, ancient Mesopotamia, the antediluvian world, and added elements of epic fantasy to tell the story. This is not historical fiction, but rather a speculative re-imagining of the story of Noah.

    Even with that said, with my pastoral background, I was very impressed with the level of scholarship within the story itself. I frequently found myself in the story, thinking I can’t believe he just accurately put in that detail about ancient myth in here!

    Noah Primeval isn’t a scholarly work, though. It is a fast-paced, heart-wrenching, action epic that weaves timeless, orthodox gnomic biblical truths into effective storytelling. Godawa is a master storyteller who is never preachy, but shows truth throughout his book in the thoughts and actions of his characters.

    The book is not without flaws. Godawa writes in a hybrid of third-person omniscient/third-person limited which is fascinating, but I found myself rereading paragraphs trying to find out whom the subject of the section was. His background as a screenwriter also showed as he used all CAPITALIZATION to express extreme and loud emotion.

    I also would have liked Godawa to make one of the giant nephilim (human/fallen angel hybrid) a character in the story, rather than just monstrous, unstoppable brutes. I would have also liked to see more of the building of the ark/box, more of an explanation of the gathering of the animals, and a more completed ending to Noah’s story rather than such a strong emphasis placed on setting up the sequels in the series.

    These issues are minor, though. The story is enjoyable, and visceral. The book also contains four rather extensive appendices dealing with the historical/biblical backgrounds for some of the features of the story (see comments after the review). The book deals with some more mature subject matter and so is only suitable for older teens. But for those interested in fantasy and biblical themes, this book will be an enjoyable challenge and adventure.

    Rating: 4.5/5 (I really liked it)



    Contest: The Spirit Blade Underground is hosting a contest to win a free copy of this book. Please go here for a chance to win Noah Primeval. (Act fast. Contest ends 2/20/13)



    Appendix Theology
    Brian Godawa devotes about one quarter of the book to his appendix which feature rudimentary information about some of the ideas in his book. I appreciated and enjoyed these sections. As an M. Div. pastor I want to offer some summary comments on these appendixes.


    Appendix A – The Sons of God
    I believe I am in agreement with Godawa in this section. His main point seems to be that God is not the only supernatural authority in the universe. While God is the only God, there are lesser authorities or gods whom scripture identifies as fallen angels or demons. Godawa, however, begins this section trying to define monotheism, but uses some imprecise technical language to do so and this doesn’t really get him to where he’s trying to go.


    Appendix B – The Nephilim
    Here, Godawa argues that the Nephilim referenced in Genesis 6 were the offspring of fallen angels and human women. This is a valid argument from the text. He also argues that these are giants – which the text suggests (especially in Numbers 13:33), but the word Nephilim conveys the idea of “fallen ones” in the Hebrew morphology, not giants as Godawa concludes.

    [Ammendment: After a conversation with the author on the meaning of "nephilim" here is what I concluded to him from this article on his website - " Brian - Shame on you for confusing the situation with the facts! I've pulled out my Hebrew Bible, Brown, Driver and Briggs Lexicon, and my LXX of the OT and found some stuff out. First, I was shocked to see "gigantes" in the Greek version of the text. Furthermore, being only a reader of biblical Hebrew (and not a scholar by any stretch of the imagination), I was once again surprised to see the BDB lexicon define the word as "giants". Finally, I went back and read your comments and realize that I had rejected them because I misunderstood you. I thought you were arguing that the Aramaic informed the understanding of giant (but this could not be the case since Aramaic did not appear until around 1000BCE). Upon a re-read I now understand that you, and Heiser are saying that us reading "fallen ones" into the text comes from us back-reading an Aramaic word into a Hebrew word. I repent and I'm amending my review. Thank you!"]

    He ends this section suggesting that the giants are connect to the Nephilim and these giants are a part of the seed of the Serpent that would be at enmity between the woman’s seed (Gen. 3:15). From here, he only teases on that one would have to read the sequels to find out if this is the case. Clearly this is his view (at least for the stories) and while not explicitly stated here, my concern is that his conclusion in future writings will be something to the effect of “there was a God-mandated mission to kill all giants.” And while giants are not portrayed positively, there is no such mandate in scripture.


    Appendix C – Leviathan
    This was a very helpful entry. He takes the readers on a journey through the issues, and for the most part accurately describes the function of Leviathan – the beast of the deep – very well.


    Appendix D – Mesopotamian Cosmic Geography in the Bible
    Again, this is a very helpful section. And his viewpoint is a valid argument. However, I think he dismisses phenomenological cosmological arguments too readily. It is possible that the human authors of Scripture had one view of the world, while the undergirding of the Holy Spirit led them to write about cosmology is such a way as to lend itself to a semi-scientific reading.

    Regardless, Godawa rightly points out biblical cosmology as one of function, not of material purpose.

    Quality: 9/10
    Relevance: 9.5/10


    Last edited by Nathan James Norman on February 19th 2013, 6:36 pm; edited 1 time in total

    Paeter
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    Re: Noah Primeval Review

    Post  Paeter on February 19th 2013, 2:16 pm

    I'd love to post this on the blog and review archives! Would you translate your score to a Quality score of 9, or something different? What kind of Relevance score would you give it?


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    Nathan James Norman
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    Re: Noah Primeval Review

    Post  Nathan James Norman on February 19th 2013, 6:38 pm

    Paeter wrote:I'd love to post this on the blog and review archives! Would you translate your score to a Quality score of 9, or something different? What kind of Relevance score would you give it?

    I edited my comments to reflect my (rather high) scoring. I also had a rather extensive conversation with Brian Godawa on the topic of the Nephilim and after doing some beefy research of my own, I concede his point that it should be translated "giant". I have included this amendment, with my reasoning in the edits. Feel free to use it!

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    Re: Noah Primeval Review

    Post  Paeter on February 20th 2013, 6:36 pm

    Sweet! I'm sure I'll be using it soon on the blog and the show! Either as a backup in case I can't make it out to review Dark Skies this weekend, or soon after!

    Thanks for posting and for the updates, as well!

    What site of yours would you like me to link to when I post it?


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    Re: Noah Primeval Review

    Post  tmorrill on February 21st 2013, 2:11 am

    Hey Nathan, completely off topic, but could you sum up the difference between a M. Div and a Masters in Theology aside from the length of program.

    Nathan James Norman
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    Re: Noah Primeval Review

    Post  Nathan James Norman on February 21st 2013, 2:06 pm

    Paeter wrote:Sweet! I'm sure I'll be using it soon on the blog and the show! Either as a backup in case I can't make it out to review Dark Skies this weekend, or soon after!

    Thanks for posting and for the updates, as well!

    What site of yours would you like me to link to when I post it?

    Let's promote the Untold Podcast: www.untoldpodcast.com

    Thanks Paeter!

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    Re: Noah Primeval Review

    Post  Nathan James Norman on February 21st 2013, 2:20 pm

    tmorrill wrote:Hey Nathan, completely off topic, but could you sum up the difference between a M. Div and a Masters in Theology aside from the length of program.

    As far as I understand it the M.Div focuses both on the academic and practical issues of theology and service in the ministry. It is considered a "professional" degree for persons going into full-time leadership/pastoral ministry. It is a longer program than the M.A.

    The M.A. is only an academic degree and would be more appropriate for aspiring academics (who would often move on to another degree), or church members looking to "round out" their theological education.

    I know pastors who have only an M.A., though, and depending on the seminary (I went to the excellent talbot.edu in SoCal) the M.A. might be sufficient for the needs of the pastor.

    Is that helpful? Are you thinking about going to seminary? What do you want to do with a degree if so? PM me if you need to.

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    Re: Noah Primeval Review

    Post  Drew.Rub on June 4th 2013, 9:40 am

    Just downloaded the audio version of this from Audible.com and am looking forward to listening (does that count as actually reading it) to this during my drive times.

    Thanks for your reviews.

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    Re: Noah Primeval Review

    Post  Nathan James Norman on June 4th 2013, 4:26 pm

    Thanks Drew!

    Be sure to check out a scene from the book that I did on untoldpodcast.com (episode Cool

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