Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Review of "Noah Primeval" by Brian Godawa

I am a big believer in approaching the Biblical narrative as one complete story.  If you think about it, story is the most effective way to communicate deep truths over generations of changing cultures and civilizations. No matter how things change as time marches on, the story still portrays it's original message.

Raising our kids with a healthy fascination and appreciation of a good story is something I hope to write about more in the future. It is also good for us adults to reacquaint ourselves with a good story from time to time. I don't do this often enough. I usually head for the theological or historical books, but ever so often I force myself to read fiction. I never regret it.

Recently I had the pleasure of reading Brian Godawa's Noah Primeval.  Brian is a very talented writer and has hit it out of the park more than once. He wrote the screen play for the movie To End All Wars and co-wrote the more recent movie, Alleged. (I highly recommend both of these movies if you enjoy movie nights.) He also wrote Hollywood Worldviews: Watching Films with Wisdom and Discernment.

Noah Primeval: Chronicles of the Nephilim is not your typical Sunday School presentation of the Noahic story. Brian delves into the ancient Near Eastern context of the story and brings you a fast pace, informative, suspenseful, and exhilarating re-telling of the familiar story without veering from the deep theological truths that undergird the Biblical narrative. In fact, I was surprised at how many allusions there were to many principles that come to us in the Scriptures. The more familiar you are with the Biblical narrative, the more you will see it in Noah Primeval. To me, that is great writing.

I also enjoyed how Brian presents Noah as a warrior-leader. His faith in God drives him to be a man of courage, yet he still has a complicated relationship with God. Doubt, anger, and stubbornness are not left out of the character. And why should they? They are as much a part of our relationship with God as anything else. Yet through these ups and downs, Noah learns lessons that every Christian should learn on their walk with God. Like I said, this is not your typical Sunday School lesson on Noah and his animals.

I also really enjoyed the appendices where Brian gives a synopsis of the ancient Near Eastern context that he is working from. Everything from angelic "sons of God" and their hyprid offspring, the Nephilim, to ancient Near Eastern cosmology that saw the world as sitting on literal pillars are explained and documented. Whether or not you agree with the conclusions, the book doubles as a great resource with plenty of footnotes pointing the reader in the right direction for further study.

Noah Primeval is a fantastic novel as well as a great way to expose yourself to great story telling. Enjoy it, learn from it, and pass on that love of story to your kids through your own version of the Noahic story, or any other Biblical story for that matter.

When kids become fascinated with the Biblical story, they become fascinated with their history as God's people! That is always a good thing.

Here is my review posted on


  1. I have to read this book now, partly because it sounds good, and largely because To End All Wars was the absolute best movie I have ever seen and I now believe that anything that involves Brian Godawa is automatically awesome.

  2. Andrea,

    I am so glad you enjoyed "To End All Wars." It is a powerful movie.

    You will enjoy "Noah Primeval," I guarantee it.

    In the meantime, check out some of Brian's other work found here.

    You will REALLY LIKE his last series, "The Collapsing Universe in the Bible." Read all 6 parts!