I am grateful for Walton’s Lost World series. I have enjoyed both The Lost World of Genesis 1 (which I reviewed here) and The Lost World of Adam and Eve (which I reviewed here). Walton has broken ground in helping us understand the book of Genesis through an Ancient Near Eastern lens.
Of the three books that I’ve read, this was my least favorite. If you’ve read any of the series, beware that the first quarter of this book is mainly a regurgitation of his defense for his method. I suppose this can’t be helped and is, in fact, helpful to the new reader. While it is unfortunate that this much time needs to be spent explaining/defending his method, it is indicative of the time in which we live. If you do not need to be convinced, it is a bit tiresome.
While the book is informative in some senses, I felt the majority of the book sought to describe what the flood was not rather than what it was. Perhaps the point was to debunk a literalist reading. If so, mission accomplished (though many would not agree regardless of how strong the argument). This was my main disappointment; I was looking for more insight, less deconstruction. Ironically, the most insight that I gained from this book had to do with the “‘Sons of God’ Episode” in Genesis 6 (Proposition 12) and The Tower of Babel (Proposition 13). Otherwise, most of the time is spent dealing with the Flood not being a literal but rather a hyperbolic “worldwide” event, and some rather bland comparisons with other ANE documents which I normally find fascinating.
I am a fan of Walton, just not a big fan of this book. I will go to it occasionally if looking for a few facts but otherwise, I’ll be looking for new sources of insight.