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Tuesday, September 14, 2010

In Search of the Lost Mountains of Noah: The Discovery of the Real Mts. of Ararat

by Robert Cornuke and David Halbrook

Overall Rating: 4.5 Stars
While not a cultural icon of classical literature, this book now ranks among the must reads in our house for historical, cultural and biblical studies.

Religious/Secular Content : By its very subject matter it is religious throughout.  Though the lead author is a devout Christian in search of the biblical Noah's ark, legends and myths surrounding the great flood and its boat of survivors hail from every ancient civilization known to man. The search in this book spans a great swath of the Near East including Russia, Turkey, Iran and Iraq, and there is much in this book about Muslim/Islamic tradition and culture.
Adult Content : There are discussions of gender roles in Islamic culture.
Mature Topics : There is considerable discussion of politics, clashing cultures, and wars, including the Iran hostage crisis and continuing anti-American sentiments, and the Columbine shootings.
There is a vivid (though reverent) description of a goat sacrifice.
Strong/Inappropriate Language : There is one chapter in particular where the phrase "Oh my God" is repeated excessively.
Magic/Witchcraft : There are multiple mentions, though no actual descriptions, of one of the team members using slight-of-hand magic to gain rapport with the natives.
Disrespect/Rebellion : There are many examples of thwarting international rules, though it is balanced with the consequences of such actions and the obvious difference when the rules are followed.
There are vivid descriptions of deep emotional reactions to circumstances and differing personalities among the team members, some of which struck me as "not very polite"
Drug/Alcohol Use : There is a scene where the team coming off the mountain is in a state of severe dehydration and the only thing there is to drink is hot, flat beer.  One of the men is a recovering alcoholic and refuses to drink the beer, choosing instead to risk his life in the wait for water; another team member out of compassion chooses to wait with him.
Violence/Abuse :This book touches on several violent instances throughout history, some of them quite descriptively.  There is a very vivid scene of a goat being killed for dinner.
Educational Value : This book has strong education value in several areas.  From an archeological standpoint, it tells a compelling story and leaves one with a sense of wanting to pick up where the author left off. From a historical standpoint, it lays out many facts and historical forays that help show why the search for all things ancient can be so convoluted and confusing, yet shows that perseverance, patience, and a non-biased approach to the evidence can often reveal obscured truths. It touches on political issues in a stark and truthful, yet compassionate and somehow gentle manner.  It reveals the human side of a culture so far removed from our own, causing one to assess preconceived notions, and fosters understanding between cultures.
Positive/Negative Message : Overall, this book has a positive message of truth, hope, and inner spiritual growth.

Of the many books I have read on this subject, this volume stands alone and definitely ranks among the most compelling.  The book begins with such compelling prose that one questions its non-fictional status.  It draws you in from the first page and holds your attention throughout.

Bob Cornuke, founder of the The Bible Archeology Search & Exploration Institute (BASE), is a real life Indiana Jones. After many years of successfully searching for and finding biblical artifacts, he centers his sights on finding Noah's Ark.  He begins with a broad but detailed scoping of the traditional landing site...  Mt. Ararat in Turkey.  However, sensing that tradition is apparently failing the cause, he is drawn to reexamine assumptions long held and look at source evidence with new openness and reverent prayer.  The result is a vivid, page-turner account of the emotional search for one of the most prized biblical relics of all time.  The author not only recounts old evidence in a new light, but discovers much new evidence -- older evidence -- to support a new theory.  In the end, he still does not find Noah's ark, but presents a very compelling case for why the centuries old massive search for Noah's ark should shift to a new location... Mt. Sabalon in Iran.  I highly recommend this book.


  1. I am not sure where you all live, but Bob Cornuke is going to be speaking at a writers' conference in the PNW this spring.


    I found your blog through Erin at Delighting in His Richness. What a great idea for parents who are careful about what their children read.

  2. Thank you.
    We felt we needed a site like this to help other mothers.
    We live all over! LOl


Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. Phillipians 4:8