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Opening Heaven's Floodgates


The Genesis Flood Narrative, its Context, and Reception


Edited by Jason M. Silverman
The narrative of Noah’s flood in Genesis draws perennial interest from scholars and the general public. Too often, however, historical and exegetical studies of the text, the story’s reception, and discussion of theological appropriation remain aloof from each other, if not at odds. This volume takes the influential nature of the flood story as an ideal opportunity to bring some of these methods into dialogue.
Publisher: Gorgias Press LLC
Availability: In stock
SKU (ISBN): 978-1-61143-894-9
  • *
Publication Status: In Print

Publication Date: Jun 6,2013
Interior Color: Black
Trim Size: 6 x 9
Page Count: 548
Language: English
ISBN: 978-1-61143-894-9
$218.00
$152.60

The narrative of Noah’s flood in Genesis draws perennial interest from scholars and the general public. Too often, however, historical and exegetical studies of the text, the story’s reception, and discussion of theological appropriation remain aloof from each other, if not at odds. This volume takes the influential nature of the flood story as an ideal opportunity to bring some of these methods into dialogue.

Opening Heaven’s Floodgates offers sixteen new essays from international scholars which utilize some of the diverse tools that contemporary biblical scholars have. These are balanced between textual, historical, comparative, and theological approaches, ranging from Jewish calendars to modern ark builders, 1 Enoch to Ricoeur. Beyond each essay’s new perspectives on the flood narrative, they are drawn together with an introduction focusing on the themes of myth and reception and two critical responses to the collection by Walter Bruggemann and Philip Davies.

Opening Heaven’s Floodgates will appeal to all interested in Genesis, the Pentateuch, early Judaism, mythology, and in the influence of the Bible in the West.

Front cover: depiction of the construction of the ark, from the Nuremberg Chronicle (1493).

The narrative of Noah’s flood in Genesis draws perennial interest from scholars and the general public. Too often, however, historical and exegetical studies of the text, the story’s reception, and discussion of theological appropriation remain aloof from each other, if not at odds. This volume takes the influential nature of the flood story as an ideal opportunity to bring some of these methods into dialogue.

Opening Heaven’s Floodgates offers sixteen new essays from international scholars which utilize some of the diverse tools that contemporary biblical scholars have. These are balanced between textual, historical, comparative, and theological approaches, ranging from Jewish calendars to modern ark builders, 1 Enoch to Ricoeur. Beyond each essay’s new perspectives on the flood narrative, they are drawn together with an introduction focusing on the themes of myth and reception and two critical responses to the collection by Walter Bruggemann and Philip Davies.

Opening Heaven’s Floodgates will appeal to all interested in Genesis, the Pentateuch, early Judaism, mythology, and in the influence of the Bible in the West.

Front cover: depiction of the construction of the ark, from the Nuremberg Chronicle (1493).

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Contributor Biography

Jason Silverman

Jason M. Silverman is an independent scholar. He holds an M.A. from University College Dublin and a Ph.D. from Trinity College Dublin. He has edited several books and is the author of "Persepolis and Jerusalem."

Siobhan Dowling Long

Elizabeth Harper

Philippe Guillaume

Helen R. Jacobus

Jason McCann

Y. S. Chen

Máire Byrne

Ryan Stokes

Dermot Nestor

Paul Thomas

Murray Watson

J. Haydn Gurmin

Egon Cohen

Rivka Cohen

Cathriona Russell

Amy Daughton

Walter Bruggemann

Philip Davies

  • Table of Contents (page 5)
  • Tables and Illustrations (page 7)
  • Acknowledgments (page 11)
  • Abbreviations (page 13)
  • Jason M. Silverman, "Noahs Flood as Myth and Reception: An Introduction" (page 19)
    • What is Myth? (page 20)
    • How Did Mythmakers Understand Myth? (page 24)
    • Myth in Biblical Studies (page 28)
      • Comparison and Origins (page 29)
      • Use in Texts (page 31)
      • Overall meaning of Text for Author/Audience (page 32)
    • What is Reception? (page 33)
    • This Volume (page 36)
    • Works Cited (page 38)
  • Elizabeth Harper, "Its All in the Name: Reading the Noah Cycle in the Light of Its Plot Markers" (page 49)
    • Abstract (page 49)
    • Introduction (page 50)
    • The Birth of a Plot (page 51)
    • The Plot Thickens (page 55)
    • A Plot Marker Drowns (page 59)
    • The Plot Reverses (page 64)
    • The Denouement (page 67)
    • Works Cited (page 71)
  • Philippe Guillaume, "Sifting the Debris: Calendars and Chronologies of the Flood Narrative" (page 75)
    • Abstract (page 75)
    • The Chronology of the Flood and Hellenistic Chronographies (page 75)
    • The Calendars of the Flood Narrative (page 77)
      • More than One Calendar (page 77)
      • Chyutin and the 150 Days of Mighty Waters (page 80)
      • The Egypto-Achaemenid Calendar and its Avestan Predecessor (page 83)
      • Testing the 150 days against the Avestan and Xerxian Calendars (page 83)
      • The 364-day or Sabbatical Calendar (page 85)
      • Two Seasons and a Raven (page 86)
      • The Flood as Suspension of Time (page 88)
      • The Duration of the Flood (page 90)
      • A Sabbatical Structure (page 90)
    • Noahs Flood in the Genesis Chronology (page 91)
      • The Year of the Flood (page 91)
      • The Flood and the Survival of the Giants (page 93)
    • Conclusion (page 96)
    • Works Cited (page 98)
  • Helen R. Jacobus, "Flood Calendars and Birds of the Ark in the Dead Sea Scrolls (4q252 and 4Q254a), Septuagint, and Ancient Near East Texts" (page 103)
    • Abstract (page 103)
    • Introduction (page 103)
    • The Key Dates (page 104)
      • Genesis Expansions in the Qumran Flood Calendar (page 108)
    • Synopsis of a Hypothetical Flood Calendar in the Septuagint (page 113)
    • The Ravens Story: 4Q254a Frag 3 Lines 1…5 (page 115)
    • An Appointed Time: 4q254a Frag 3 Lines 1, 2B and 4Q252 (page 119)
    • Comparative Stories of the Ark: Birds and the Raven (page 120)
    • Works Cited (page 127)
  • Jason Michael McCann, Woven of ReedsŽ: Genesis 6:14Bas Evidence for the Preservation of the Reed-hut Urheiligtum in the Biblical Flood Narrative (page 131)
    • Abstract (page 131)
    • Introduction (page 131)
    • Identifying the Neolithic Package (page 133)
    • Symbolic Importance of Reeds (page 138)
    • Reed-hut Temple in Genesis (page 142)
    • Discussion (page 145)
    • Conclusion (page 152)
    • Works Cited (page 155)
  • Y.S. Chen, "Major Literary Traditions Involved in the Making of Mesopotamian Flood Traditions" (page 159)
    • Abstract (page 159)
    • Introduction (page 160)
    • Figurative and Mythical Traditions About the Flood (page 163)
    • Literary Traditions Dealing With the Primaeval Time of Origins (page 170)
      • The Instructions of —uruppak (page 174)
      • The Sumerian King List (page 181)
      • Sumerian City Laments and Isin Royal Hymns (page 187)
      • Sumerian and Babylonian Compositions about Gilgame (page 193)
      • The Ballade of Early Rulers 9…14 (page 196)
    • Conclusion (page 200)
    • Works Cited (page 202)
  • Jason M. Silverman, "Its a Craft! A Cavern! A Castle! Yimas Vara, Iranian Flood Myths, and Jewish Apocalyptic Traditions" (page 209)
    • Abstract (page 209)
    • Introduction: Yima (page 210)
    • Yimas Vara in Videvdat 2 (page 212)
      • Myth of the Underworld Abode (page 216)
      • Myth of a Terrible Winter (page 219)
      • Myth of a Terrible Flood (page 221)
      • Ritual Aspects of the Vara (page 224)
      • Eschatologization of the Vara (page 227)
      • Summary of the Vara Tradition (page 228)
    • The Jewish Idea of a New Jerusalem (page 229)
      • Third Isaiah (page 231)
      • Ezekiel 40…48 (page 232)
      • Zechariah (page 233)
    • Vara, Noah, and the New Jerusalem (page 236)
    • Mythic Interactions: Conclusions (page 238)
    • Works Cited (page 239)
  • Ryan E. Stokes, "Flood Stories in 1 Enoch 1…36: Diversity, Unity, and Ideology" (page 249)
    • Abstract (page 249)
    • Introduction (page 249)
    • Early Flood Accounts (page 250)
    • Explanations for the Flood in the Book of Watchers (page 252)
    • The Flood as a Response to Angelic Transgression (page 254)
    • The Flood as a Response to Human Sin (page 257)
    • The Flood as a Response to Both Human and Angelic Sin (page 259)
    • Diversity, Unity, and the Book of Watcherss Ideological Context (page 260)
    • Works Cited (page 263)
  • Dermot Nestor, "Somewhere Under the Rainbow: Noahs Altar and the Archaeology of Cult in Ancient Israel" (page 267)
    • Abstract (page 267)
    • I (page 267)
    • II (page 269)
    • III (page 277)
    • IV (page 285)
    • V (page 293)
    • Works Cited (page 297)
  • Paul Brian Thomas, Go-4-woodŽ: The Reception of Noahs Ark in Ark Replicas" (page 309)
    • Abstract (page 309)
    • Introduction (page 310)
    • Learning the Ropes: The Hermeneutics of Ark Building (page 311)
    • Floating in the Flotsam and Jetsam of Gen 6:11…16 (page 315)
    • Modern Ark Builders Go Full Steam Ahead (page 317)
    • In the Leeway Between Text and Place (page 321)
      • Ship Builders as Readers (page 321)
      • The Implied Passenger (page 323)
      • Embarking with the Actual Passenger (page 326)
    • Pirates on the Horizon: Contested Readings of Ark Replicas (page 333)
      • Toeing the Line (page 338)
    • Works Cited (page 340)
  • Máire Byrne, "Comparative Theology and the Flood Narrative: the Image of God" (page 343)
    • Abstract (page 343)
    • Introduction (page 343)
      • Interfaith Dialogue (page 344)
      • Exploring a Method of Approach (page 346)
      • Using Comparative Theology as a Method (page 346)
    • What Does This Study Mean by TheologyŽ? (page 348)
      • Texts in Focus (page 348)
    • Images of God in the Flood Narrative (page 349)
    • CreatorŽ in the Hebrew Bible and the New Testament (page 352)
      • Creator in Islam (page 354)
      • Al-Quddus (The Most Holy) (page 354)
      • Al-Khaliq (The Creator) (page 355)
      • Al-Bari’ (Maker of Order) (page 355)
      • Allah as Creator in the Quranic Flood (page 356)
    • Comparing the Three Ideas of Creator (page 356)
    • Works Cited (page 361)
  • Murray Watson, "The Deluge, Written Differently: André Chouraquis Distinctive Rendering of the Flood Narrative (Genesis 6:5…9:17)" (page 363)
    • Abstract (page 363)
    • Works Cited (page 383)
  • J. Haydn Gurmin, "The Flood of Genesis: Myth and Logos. A Philosophical Examination" (page 387)
    • Abstract (page 387)
    • Introduction (page 387)
    • Mythos and Logos (page 390)
    • Method of Analysis (page 402)
    • Theory and Practice (page 405)
      • (i) Re-presenting the Truth of the Original (page 405)
        • (a) Reality of a Major Global Flood (page 406)
        • (b) Biblical Flood Story as Historically Informedby Other Sources (page 408)
        • (c) The Flood Story„as a MoralŽ Story (page 409)
      • (ii) The Flood Story as Possibly Understoodin its own time of construction, and as havingtranscendent aspects in relation to the self and world (page 411)
    • Conclusion (page 413)
    • Works Cited (page 413)
  • Siobhán Dowling Long, "Wicked Hearts, Grieving Heart: The Musical Afterlife of the 'Flood Narrative' in the Nineteenth Century" (page 417)
    • Abstract (page 417)
    • Introduction (page 418)
    • Wicked Hearts (page 420)
      • The Noahic Family (page 422)
      • God (page 422)
      • Oriental Heathens (page 423)
      • Wickedness in the City of Sennáár (page 424)
      • Vices: Deception, Idolatry, Seduction, Adultery (page 426)
      • Prophetic Dream and Vision (page 428)
      • Wedding Banquet on the Last Day (page 430)
    • Grieving Heart (page 431)
      • Libretto (page 434)
      • Prelude (page 439)
      • Creation (page 440)
      • Un-Creation (page 443)
      • Re-Creation (page 445)
    • Conclusion (page 447)
    • Works Cited (page 448)
  • Egon D. Cohen and Rivka T. Cohen, "After Me, the Rapture: Eschatological Rhetoric and the Genesis Flood Narrative in Contemporary Cinema" (page 451)
    • Abstract (page 451)
    • Introduction (page 452)
    • Apocalyptic Rhetoric and Traces of the Millennial (page 453)
    • From Flood Narrative to Apocalyptic Template: Translation and Commentary (page 457)
    • Apocalyptic Influences: Case Studies in Contemporary Film (page 464)
    • Evan Almighty (page 465)
      • (1) The Presence of Evil (page 465)
      • (2) A Corrupted World (page 465)
      • (3) A God Who Feels Pity (page 466)
      • (4) A Righteous Protagonist (page 467)
      • (5) A Salvific Catastrophe (page 467)
      • Summary (page 467)
    • Wall-e (page 467)
      • (1) The Presence of Evil (page 468)
      • (2) A Corrupted World (page 469)
      • (3) A God Who Feels Pity (page 469)
      • (4) A Righteous Protagonist (page 469)
      • (5) A Salvific Catastrophe (page 470)
      • Summary (page 470)
    • Waterworld (page 472)
      • (1) The Presence of Evil (page 472)
      • (2) A Corrupted World (page 472)
      • (3) A God Who Feels Pity (page 473)
      • (4) A Righteous Protagonist (page 473)
      • (5) A Salvific Catastrophe (page 474)
      • Summary (page 474)
    • Conclusion (page 474)
    • Works Cited (page 477)
    • Filmography (page 478)
  • Cathriona Russell, "Environmental Perspectives on the Genesis Flood Narrative" (page 479)
    • Abstract (page 479)
    • Introduction (page 479)
    • The Genesis Flood Narrative in Theological Perspective: Theodicy and Anthropodicy (page 481)
    • Flood Narratives in Ecocritical Perspective (page 484)
    • The Day After Tomorrow (2004) (page 486)
    • Humanism and Sustainability in Oryx and Crake and the Year of the Flood (page 488)
    • Flood Risk and Flood Management in Ecological Perspective (page 490)
    • Deltas Under Threat (page 491)
    • Narrating Flood Management (page 493)
    • Floods and Theodicy in Ethical Perspective (page 496)
    • Concluding Comments: Narrative Analysis, Ecocritism, and Environmental Ethics (page 500)
    • Works Cited (page 502)
  • Amy Daughton, "The Flood Narrative: A Polysemy of Promises" (page 505)
    • Abstract (page 505)
    • Introduction (page 506)
    • The Reader as Both Listener and Actant (page 507)
    • The Flood Narrative in Its Genesis Context (page 510)
    • Genesis 6:5…9:17 (page 512)
    • Another Logic? (page 515)
    • Some Concluding Thoughts: A Polysemy of Promises (page 522)
    • Works Cited (page 525)
  • Walter Brueggemann, "A Response (I)" (page 529)
  • Philip Davis, "Inundated" (page 539)
    • I (page 539)
    • II (page 541)
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