Summary: How many times have you read the story in Genesis about the Tower of Babel but you skipped over the genealogies? Bodie Hodge explains to readers just why the genealogies listed in the Bible are more important than they might think. After the languages were confused at Babel, the peoples descending from Noah’s sons spread out and became the beginnings of new nations. Using the Bible as the base of the research done, Bodie Hodge tackles some of the controversies surrounding just what happened at Babel.
Review: I love a good research book. I love them even more when they’re not super complicated and I can sit down and read them when the kids are having some downtime. Tower of Babel: The Cultural History of Our Ancestors was a good fit! Well-researched, grounded in the Bible, and fairly easy to read (as long as you read it in spurts). I got about halfway through in an afternoon but once it got to the breakdown of the descendents I had to take it slower, which is good! The first 16 chapters cover the basics:
- what happened based on the story given in the Bible
- what did the tower look like
- how many languages initially came out of Babel
- Tables of Nations
- what happened during Peleg’s life (probably my favorite part of the book)
- how did the people travel
Chapters 17 and 18 are where things get a little harder to follow because the author talks about where the people went after the division of languages and 17 is a long chapter. I ended up reading it (17) in chunks, but it’s broken up into manageable sections by the author so it makes it a little less daunting. Chapters 19 to the end cover other issues that people have in regards to Noah, the flood, and Babel.
I think my second favorite chapter (next to the one on Peleg and continental division) was Chapter 23 where Bodie Hodge talks about ancestor worship and mythology. It was really interesting to learn that a lot of mythology was originally based on living people. I mean really, I never even made a connection between Samson and Hercules! When you forget when things happened in the Bible as far as world history is concerned, those connections don’t happen. Chapter 23 is a really interesting read!
Overall, I give the book two thumbs up. It’s “nerdy” but not so much that the average joe can’t understand it. Good research to back up the information presented, nice tables and maps to help keep people and nations straight, a really good topic to research. Bodie Hodge did a really good job tying everything together to show just how influential the Tower of Babel really was, and is, to world history and family lines.
Disclaimer: I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. No other compensation was received. All opinions are my own.