By Irving Finkel
I had to question whether this book was another to capitalise on Russell Crowe’s new movie Noah, or whether it was a genuine academic text.
While there will be some cross promotion with the movie, it does not take long to determine that
The Ark before Noah is a purely academic text. To call it dry would be a complement.
It is in fact an investigation into the ark and more specifically an ancient clay tablet, called cuneiform. The book centres on the tablet and how it provides a new interpretation of the Noah's Ark story. The tablet that actually describes animals entering an ark "two by two".
There is no doubting the excitement that the author Dr Irving Finkel's has for cuneiform, and his research to show that the flood story is real, and documented prior to the Biblical recount.
The tablet confirms the Biblical account of the flood, but apart from the discovery and interpretation of the cuneiform tablet it doesn’t provide any new information or interpretation.
There is a rather long and tedious recount of the author’s background and academic history. Apart from establishing his
credentials it serves no purpose at all, and is quickly skipped
You would need to be either a keen historian or flood fanatic to read through the entire book.