Noah’s wife and sons knew he was old but they assumed his claim of being over 600 years old was a joke. But when he begins hearing a disembodied voice claiming to be an unknown God who was about to destroy the world, they begin fearing for his sanity. When Noah insists on building a huge ship to save his family they are certain that advancing age is destroying his mind – at least that’s what they think until the mysterious strangers appear out of the desert and claim they have been sent to help Noah build his great ship. Finally accepting this strange situation, Noah’s sons agree to help build the ship, but as construction progresses relations between Noah’s family and their neighbors deteriorate into ugly confrontations and threats of violence. Then, as the ship nears completion, it begins to rain…and then the real problems start.
The story of Noah and the Great Flood is unquestionably one of the most beloved and uplifting tales from the Old Testament. Its story of spiritual awakening, family oriented values, good versus evil and the redemption of mankind has warmed the hearts of people of faith for thousands of years. While Deluge is a novelized adaptation of the scriptural story of the Great Flood, it adheres closely to the Biblical text and should find a ready market among all Christian denominations as well as the Jewish community.
‘Deluge’ deals not only with the story of the Great Flood itself, but also with the relationship between Noah’s family, who are presented here as fully-rounded human beings who find themselves caught in the unprecedented nightmare of a world-destroying flood brought on by a God whose existence they had never suspected. In counterpoint to the story’s main theme is the evolving relationship between the members of Noah’s extended family and their collective relations with a world so hostile and dangerous that God has decided to destroy human life.
Deluge is designed as a 'family' book and should be accessible and acceptable to all readers over the age of 14 or 15 years and will make ideal family reading for all peoples with a faith in God’s grace.
Considering that virtually every major culture has told the story of a great, all engulfing flood which took place at some time in the distant past, Deluge will be embraced by both conservative and liberal Christians, as well as Jews and will find a ready market among all faiths and denominations as well as those interested in ancient history in general.
The Age of Myth and Legend
Myth, in its most basic analysis, is pure fantasy, but fantasy of a very specific kind. Myths were invented by early civilizations to explain the inexplicable. Hence, myths are fictional stories – often revolving around specific fictional characters or events – but they were originally offered as factual explanations for things that could not yet be explained or understood. In many, if not most cases, the myth had some religious aspect. If this sounds confusing, think of it this way: dozens of religions – both those still practiced and those which have disappeared – offer explanations for how the world was created. None of these are based on any kind of scientific fact because the means to discover such facts did not exist when these creation myths were devised. The example familiar to most of my readers will be the creation myth in the biblical Book of Genesis. These myths are totally fictitious stories and they all have a religious aspect – hence they are myths.
So, if a myth is a religious-based, fictional story used to explain the unknown, then what is a legend? Unlike myths, legends are not entirely fictitious. The word legend is a corruption of the ancient Greek word ‘legein’ – which meant a long story, specifically one that has been handed down from generation to generation. In most cases legends have some basis in reality but like any story that gets told and retold, it has gotten changed, embellished and distorted to the point where reality and fantasy are all tangled together to the point where they are inseparable.
This relates to the story of Noah and the Flood in that the story of a great flood is not mythical, it is legendary. That’s right, there really was a great flood just like the one described in Genesis. In fact, there were two of them and both of them happened in the Middle East and they both happened between eight and ten thousand years ago. One of these floods formed what is now the Black Sea, located between Eastern Europe, Turkey and Russia, and the other formed what is now the Dead Sea in Israel. We assume it is the flood which formed the Dead Sea that is being talked about in the Noah legend and very similar stories are found in the clay tablets from numerous ancient civilizations in that area. The flood – and the fact that someone built a great ship to save a number of animals – are also mentioned in the story of Gilgamesh, which is not only thousands of years older than the earliest known written version of Genesis, but is the oldest known story in the world. Obviously the story is different each time it is told, but the basics remain the same and thus, while there may never have been a man named Noah, and he clearly did not take every kind of animal in the world into his ship, the basics of the story are true and therefore legendary, not mythical.
About the author:
Daniel Diehl is an author and investigative historian with more than thirty years experience in his field. He has authored three novels and co-authored 20 historical based, non-fiction books (see below), written more than 170 hours of documentary television and contributed to numerous periodicals. Mr. Diehl’s lifetime book sales exceed 200,000 English language units and his work has been translated into nine foreign languages. He has served as historical consultant on such films as The Color Purple (Amblin Entertainment, 1986), and Darrow (PBS Television Theatre, 1991) and Baskin’s Run (Finnegan’s Wake Productions, 1994).