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When the Great Abyss OpenedClassic and Contemporary Readings of Noah's Flood$
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J. David Pleins

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780199733637

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199733637.001.0001

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Telling Many Different Stories

(p.183) Conclusion
When the Great Abyss Opened

J. David Pleins

Oxford University Press

Throughout this book, at least four different approaches and perspectives in interpreting texts regarding the story of Noah have been encountered and from these, a multitude of different lessons regarding the meanings of the texts have been extracted. The strict literalists have asserted that we take on the text as it is written without having to consider other such geological theories. Loose literalism, as has been observed, attempted to make logical sense out of the flood story. The narrative as a myth should be taken on since religious beliefs makes the truth difficult to comprehend and grasp. Lastly, a humanistic appreciation of the myth that offers a synthesis of all four approaches should be adapted. This chapter summarizes the important lessons we have learned from each of these relevant approaches while also looking into the dangers of bad theology and bad archaeology.

Keywords:   strict literalist, loose literalism, myth, humanistic appreciation, bad archaeology, bad theology

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