Few stories have echoed so hauntingly over four millennia as Sodom and Gomorrah: two cities so legendary for their wickedness, they were wiped out in a rain of fire -- a terrifying combination of heaven and hell.
Did the cities exist? Is so, where? Did it go down as the Bible says?
The always-intriguing Biblical Archaeology Review explores the questions, with history and archaeology. BAR associate editor Joey Corbett looks not only at the Bible, but also sources like Josephus and W. F. Albright.
The narrative of the "northern" and "southern" theories is fascinating in itself, rather like discussions on the whereabouts of Atlantis or Noah's Ark. In fact, one scholar -- Steven Collins of Trinity Southwest University -- is digging around what he believes to be the true site of Sodom.
Corbett is clear about his own opinion: "The Sodom story told in the Bible likely represents an ancient memory of a single catastrophic event that affected the cities and peoples of the Dead Sea region nearly 4,000 years ago."