As In the Days of Noah

Darren Aronofsky’s film “Noah,” starring Russell Crowe, Jennifer Connelly, Emma Watson, and Anthony Hopkins opens today with lots of publicity, expectation, anticipation, and mixed preliminary reviews. I am anxious to see it though I know there will be things I will both love and hate about it.

Screen Shot 2014-03-28 at 11.10.05 AMThe excellent review in the  New York TimesRain, Heavy at Times,” by A. O. Scott covers things well. The website “Internet Movie Data Base” ( has a slew of good materials, links, and a really nice slide-show, all well worth browsing, see here. Today’s issue of Bible History Daily is titled “Examining Noah’s Flood,” with lots of links as well. A colleague just pointed out to me a really impressive web site: that has a wealth of material on ancient flood stories, forums on various topics, and so forth–this one is not to be missed.

What many readers of the Bible fail to notice is that if you read through the Flood account in the Bible, Genesis 6-9, the chapters contain an single story based on two accounts, now harmonized and interwoven, see the comparison side-by-side here, and a clear exposition of the differences by a former more conservative Christian reader here. Both account preserve specific perceptions and emphases that overlap and intertwine when read as the single narrative that comes down to us.

This film “Noah,” not the least because it is by Aronofsky, is truly a fascinating cultural phenomenon. First, it probes one of the core ancient stories of our culture, highlighting themes of apocalyptic doom and ecological disaster that parallel our own times. Indeed, the NY Times has stories on its front page today discussing the phenomenon of the rising seas and disappearing lands around the globe, see here and here. Ironically, those who might be most inclined towards apocalyptic thinking in our own day are precisely the ones who deny “global warming” and the impending disaster that most scientists see for the planet in the next hundred years.