painting of sodom and gomorrah
Sodom and Gomorrah afire by Jacob de Wet II, 1680

Imagine going about your day 3,600 years ago. Maybe you visit a local shop, visit with your family. It’s a quiet, sleepy afternoon, no different than any other day.

Well, except in one way.

Unbeknownst to you, a massive rock is hurtling towards you at 38,000 miles per hour, explodes 2.5 miles above your head, and instantly incinerates you, your city, and everyone you know in a heat blast 1,000 times stronger than the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima.

Not the best day.

Using new archaeological data, scientists say that’s exactly what happened in the Middle Eastern city of Tall el-Hammam thousands of years ago. And what’s more, they say this real-life devastation may be the inspiration for the biblical story of Sodom and Gomorrah. 

Science Does It Again

The answers to what exactly happened to Tall el-Hammam were some 15 years in the making. Hundreds of people from three different countries spent a decade and a half excavating the site and testing sediment to determine what happened.

Now they believe they’ve solved the mystery: A massive firestorm, courtesy of a gigantic comet that hurtled through space at tremendous speed and exploded overhead. The heat from the blast was enough to blind anyone looking towards the city, metal began to melt, while wood (and people) caught fire instantly. 

The area went uninhabited for hundreds of years, likely because the soil was contaminated from the event, leaving the earth completely barren for crops.

While it’s likely that there were no survivors within the city, scientists say it’s possible individuals from neighboring settlements might have witnessed the event, and lived to tell the tale, passing the story down for centuries until it was written in the Bible as the story of Sodom and Gomorrah. 

Rain of Fire

Of course, if the Bible is to be believed, your ‘average day’ in the ancient city of Sodom was likely anything but sleepy.

Within the Bible, the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah were smote by God for their wickedness. As described in Luke 17:29, “The day Lot left Sodom, fire and sulfur rained down from heaven and destroyed them all.”

Biblical scholars have long debated what sort of wickedness the inhabitants of Sodom were up to that offended God so badly. Some traditional interpretations hold that the Sodomites were engaged in rampant homosexual acts, and many Christians cite the story as part of the basis for their opposition to homosexuality.

However, other scholars believe it was the sin of pride that caused their downfall.

While that debate will likely rage for a long time, it seems entirely possible that the inspiration for this particular Bible story came directly from the unexpected destruction of Tall el-Hammam, passed down from generation to generation.

What do you think? Was this just an unfortunate cosmic event, or could it have been the power of God at work?

65 comments

  1. William Dusenberry's Avatar William Dusenberry

    As a self-identified expert, regarding the real USA’s patriotic Thomas Jefferson Bible (used exclusively by those who “really” appreciate the wisdom of the USA Constitution) and as a ULC Bishop for more than 40 years, I can State, with a great degree of certainty, that a fire took place, at Sodom and Gomorrah, but it wasn’t caused by the Christian God, because there’s no evidence whatsoever, that the Christian God ever existed.

    But it can be proved that the Secular Humanist Pantheist “actual-real” God exists — because the SHP God is the synonymous with nature — and everyone alive, who doesn’t live alone in a cave, knows that nature (aka, God) exists.

    The fire was caused, and you can quote me in this regard, by a milkmaid, who kicked over a full bucket of milk, which resulted in the fire, that destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah.

    And, you can bet your mortgage on this.

    1. David Arthur Lewis's Avatar David Arthur Lewis

      You crack me up! You're the funniest evangelist on the internet! Thomas Jefferson's Novel. Wow, and I thought Rev. Moon was wacko.

  1. David Arthur Lewis's Avatar David Arthur Lewis

    Obviously Lord Flying Spaghetti Monster dropped a meatball.

  1. Br'er George's Avatar Br'er George

    God from the Bible did it, says so in the Bible.

    Angels warned Lot too then BLAMMO!

    That's what happened, Bible says so and science just explained God used a space rock to do it.

    1. Br'er George's Avatar Br'er George

      And He didn't wackem because they were a buncha homos either!

      People who don't read, know or understand the Bible need to stop saying that because you don't know what you're talking about.

      Ezekiel explained why God put the KABLAM! on them:

      ‘Now this was the sin of your sister Sodom:

      She and her daughters were arrogant, overfed and unconcerned; they did not help the poor and needy.

      They were haughty and did detestable things before me.

      Therefore I did away with them as you have seen.

      Nothing to do with being a homo see?

      Although trying to rape a couple of Angels probably counted as "detestable things" and I would concur.

    2. Darrell Hebert's Avatar Darrell Hebert

      Exactly.

      The perfect word of God❤️

      I encourage all skeptics to read the Bible, and experience the love and Peace that a relationship with Him through his Son Jesus can bring. 🙏🏻

      1. Lionheart's Avatar Lionheart

        I did that Darrell and that's why I am now a secular humanist. I also encourage everyone to read it and when you apply logical thought, mixed with a certain amount of reasonable intelligence you will come to the obvious conclusion what a load of mythical rubbish it is.

        🦁♥️

  1. Rev Nolan's Avatar Rev Nolan

    I don’t believe this theory one bit. I believe strongly in the Sumerian Anunnaki war story and their version of the Sodom and Gomorrah tragedy. There’s sufficient evidence proving that the Sumerian record is quite accurate.

    1. Roger Scott Gilbert's Avatar Roger Scott Gilbert

      true

    2. Rev Mark D's Avatar Rev Mark D

      Thanks, will start on my homework. Always appreciate opportunities to learn something new.

    3. Catherine Ohrin-Greipp's Avatar Catherine Ohrin-Greipp

      O my, someone who has been studying Sitchin's works along with others. It is suspected that the Vatican stopped production of the film: https://youtu.be/eo7SWzx6M0c Interview of the writer/roducer: https://youtu.be/yROe6r3QFco

  1. Gordon Billingsley's Avatar Gordon Billingsley

    The point of the Sodom and Gomorrah story is to vilify city life. The Hebrews were a pastoral people who saw themselves in a special relationship with God. That's why God preferred Abel's sacrifice of a lamb to Cain's grain, a symbol of settling down. The S&G story amplifies the thought that wandering is good for maintaining the covenant with God, city living is bad. It may have had the practical impact of keeping the boys down on the pasture where they felt they could avoid the wrath of God.

    1. Carl Bernard Elfstrom's Avatar Carl Bernard Elfstrom

      The problem with that Gordon is too much time in the pasture gives those country boys too many kinky ideas about doing perverted things with barnyard animals. I'd rather stay home, in constant quarantine, in the ❤️ of the city, and do all my shopping between Amazon and walmart.com. Along with what I get from them I spend too much time on this Android smartphone to ever get too hungry, angry, lonely, or tired (H.A.L.T.), so I think I have a better than average chance of survival in the city, despite it's evil ways.

  1. Katelynne Shouse's Avatar Katelynne Shouse

    Makes more sense than anything previously put forth......

  1. Shango MasterExorcist, D.D.'s Avatar Shango MasterExorcist, D.D.

    God smote Sodom and Gemorrah for the wickedness of the inhabitants walking around the city wearing masks! This wickedness caused their brains to be starved of oxygen, so God had to smite them all to allow other cities to survive without diminished intelligence.

    1. Rev Mark D's Avatar Rev Mark D

      Personally I think they don't like masks because the backwash reminds them they need to brush their damn teeth.

      1. Rev. B's Avatar Rev. B

        Teeth? Plural?!?

      2. Carl Bernard Elfstrom's Avatar Carl Bernard Elfstrom

        However Mark, wearing masks is an excellent way of not having to show off knarly teeth, and an excellent reason to not have to buy dentures. Out of sight, out of mind.

    2. Douglas Robert Spindler's Avatar Douglas Robert Spindler

      To get revenge for this God killing the people today who are not wearing masks. Science has shown us wearing masks and physical distancing prevents the spread of covid and prevents pregnancies.

    3. Roger Scott Gilbert's Avatar Roger Scott Gilbert

      Anyone wearing a mask or falling for the depopulation agenda has diminished capacity in the first place! The creator supplied us with built in protection. It's called an immune system.

      1. Carl Bernard Elfstrom's Avatar Carl Bernard Elfstrom

        God also provided us with the knowledge of herbs and nutrients to improve our immune systems, Roger.

  1. Daniel Gray's Avatar Daniel Gray

    Does not surprise me that they can explain this. Sort of like the parting of the red sea, Science has determined that it was an explosion of a volcano in the med that cause the waters to move out and then come back like a tidal wave. While the Bible claims it was from God, even science proves that it did happen

    1. Rev Mark D's Avatar Rev Mark D

      Daniel, can you care to track down a reference or source for that one, I'm really awfully curious about it and just maybe need the tiniest tail to get me started in a search that will take me on all the way through that.

      1. Rev Nolan's Avatar Rev Nolan

        I recommend you “start with” Zacharia Sitchin’s “Earth Chronicles.” From there, you’ll know what other resources to hunt down.

        1. Catherine Ohrin-Greipp's Avatar Catherine Ohrin-Greipp

          And Christine Hardy, Michael Tellinger.

      2. Daniel Gray's Avatar Daniel Gray

        For Sodom and its sister city

        https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/middle-east/biblical-city-of-sodom-found-in-jordan-a6693576.html

        https://scitechdaily.com/sodom-and-gomorrah-evidence-that-a-cosmic-impact-destroyed-a-biblical-city-in-the-jordan-valley/

        https://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/destruction-of-city-by-space-rock-may-have-inspired-biblical-story-of-sodom-180978734/

        Parting of the red sea https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/volcanic-eruption-triggered-biblical-parting-of-red-sea-d8pc0ttg0c0

        https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/1412815/Biblical-plagues-and-parting-of-Red-Sea-caused-by-volcano.html

        https://www.timesofisrael.com/new-carbon-dating-tool-could-determine-if-ancient-eruption-tied-to-exodus/

        https://slate.com/news-and-politics/2010/03/scientific-explanations-for-the-parting-of-the-red-sea-the-10-plagues-and-the-burning-bush.html

        https://www.newscientist.com/article/2271871-volcanic-eruption-may-have-forced-ancient-egyptians-to-abandon-a-city/

        Scientists Explain Red Sea Parting and Other Miracles - ABC ... https://abcnews.go.com › Technology › story

        Scientific explanations for the parting of the Red Sea, the 10 ... https://slate.com › news-and-politics › 2010/03 › scienti... Mar 26, 2010 — Before he parted whatever sea it was he parted, the Bible describes Moses and ... which in turn caused a population explosion among frogs.

        Santorini and the Exodus - Bible Odyssey https://www.bibleodyssey.org › tools › video-gallery Eric Cline on the theory that the volcanic explosion of Santorini and the ... up it caused a tsunami and that was the parting of the Red Sea and that caused ...

        Rapid Red Sea Deep Water renewals caused by volcanic ... https://advances.sciencemag.org › content › eaar5637 by F Yao · 2018 · Cited by 19 — Observations suggest that the large-scale climate variability associated with large tropical volcanic eruptions or the North Atlantic ...

        Volcanic eruption may have forced ancient Egyptians to ... https://www.newscientist.com › article › 2271871-volca...

        Science and the Miracles of Exodus - Europhysics News https://www.europhysicsnews.org › 2005/03 › epn05306

        https://www.latimes.com/archives/la-xpm-1992-03-14-mn-3138-story.html

        https://www.express.co.uk/news/science/1078958/moses-exodus-red-sea-parting-radiocarbon-mapping-mount-thera-tsunami

        That should help you for a start. And its a slap in the face for the people who insist that these are just myths.

  1. Carl Bernard Elfstrom's Avatar Carl Bernard Elfstrom

    Ehrman, besides people striving for high ideals and sometimes being heroic, the world is much more full of stupidity, as its highest ideal.

    1. Rev Mark D's Avatar Rev Mark D

      Boy you got that right.

  1. Rev. Dr. G. Waldron's Avatar Rev. Dr. G. Waldron

    God moves in mysterious ways His wonders to perform! It seems He uses his natural world to do His bidding. We call things miracles, even though a natural thing has happened. Why? Because of the unexpected happened at that time and place I.e. the mysterious hand of God was involved. People make big mistakes trying to figure out God outside what He has already revealed to us. He has not revealed all. Eve wanted the knowledge of God, the people of Babel wanted to reach heaven to see God, but these attempts did’t work out to well. Be patient in the faith and at that time all will be revealed. AMEN

    1. Rev Mark D's Avatar Rev Mark D

      ... and God created darwin, and said "It is good." And Darwin's followers created the Darwin Award, and said "Yes, like shooting fish in a barrel."

  1. Rev Ned's Avatar Rev Ned

    Ezekiel 16:49 Behold, this was the guilt of your sister Sodom: she and her daughters had arrogance, abundant food and careless ease, but she did not help the poor and needy. No mention of sex or debauchery. Joel Osteen's "church"?

  1. Carl Bernard Elfstrom's Avatar Carl Bernard Elfstrom

    You may think it's still a beautiful world Ehrman, but I still agree with Devo about that. "It's a beautiful world we live in, beautiful in every way. Beautiful people everywhere. I love the way they show they care. Makes me want to say: It's a beautiful world, it's a beautiful world, it's a beautiful world for you, for you, not me"!!!

  1. Carl Bernard Elfstrom's Avatar Carl Bernard Elfstrom

    Ehrman, if they'd quit posting the boisterous scribblings of loud and aggressive fools on this blog I'd be able to avoid them. However, I get the impression that they want me to do their dirty work for them, so their hands will remain crystal clean. And I honestly don't mind. As a matter of fact, I'm really quite tickled pink, to oblige, while singing "Happy Days Are Here Again"!

  1. Shanta McBain's Avatar Shanta McBain

    These scientist have an agenda. Every site they looked at has the same conclusion. A metier did them in but never hit the ground. Some of the evidence points to this. Others don't. Science dose not agree that this is the solution, possible but not probable. Some evidence is cultural for the time IE the dead being berried in or around residences. A common occurrence historically for the period. Another anomaly in the data is the closeness of the sites they say this happened to. The more current sites that we know were examples of the meteor strike, and they happen every year in varying sizes, Are far more random over the entire planet to justify the conclusion.

    Interesting to look at though as a possible explanation.

  1. Nicholas J Page's Avatar Nicholas J Page

    3,600 years ago hm if it did happen why has it taken this long to explain about Soddom and Gomorrah.Also how accurate is the information passed from generation to generation.Surely some bits would be left out or forgotten or bits added which may not be true.

    1. Carl Bernard Elfstrom's Avatar Carl Bernard Elfstrom

      Some are slower than others, Nicholas. Especially when it comes to making up new goobly gob about fictitious, biblical stories.

  1. David Arthur Lewis's Avatar David Arthur Lewis

    And now, the rest of the story... https://www.yahoo.com/news/forget-meteor-talking-biblical-rape-090727328.html

  1. Russ's Avatar Russ

    As a true minister I don't need science to say what happen . I already know (Bible doesn't lie)

    1. Carl Bernard Elfstrom's Avatar Carl Bernard Elfstrom

      Russ and Jesus sitting in a tree k-i-s-s-i-n-g!

    2. Carl Bernard Elfstrom's Avatar Carl Bernard Elfstrom

      When you see Jesus, Russ, tell him I said thanks for last night. He gives head even better than a Catholic priest!

  1. Russ's Avatar Russ

    As a true minister I don't need science to explain it. The bible doesn't lie!

    1. Lionheart's Avatar Lionheart

      Yep the Bible doesn't lie, unicorns are real, a serpent and an ass could literally speak, woman was born from the rib of a man, a whale swallowed a man that has a throat no bigger than a baseball, and a person that wasn't in the Garden of Gethsemane wrote a detailed account of Jesus sweating drops of blood from every pore as he conversed with his imaginary father in heaven. I'll ignore the stories/tales of supposed miracles written decades later by people who were never present at said events.

      What's actually frightening about all this is that millions, possibly billions, actually believe this, and many are in government running countries controlling our lives.

      🦁♥️

    2. Carl Bernard Elfstrom's Avatar Carl Bernard Elfstrom

      The bible is nothing but a lie Russ, and so are you and your worthless scumbag god!!!

  1. Chaplain Shawn's Avatar Chaplain Shawn

    So, here is another interesting topic headed with two nonbelieving views disrespecting the ancient manuscript for laughs and to troll for emotional responses. The historical account of Sodom and Gomorrah are mentioned in Genesis 19. The Thomas Jefferson Bible (TJB) is not a work on theology. It is a supportive and philosophical account of Jesus. The TJB is not an authoritative source of theology. It was an account of valuable philosophies of great thinkers from ancient times like Socrates, Plato, Aristotle, and Jesus is also mentioned. The TJB reads as various accounts, but does not specifically mention all the historical events / prophecy that the Bible does.

    To understand the destruction of the two cities, one needs to consider the biblical account. As the article points out, it was not a good day for either city. Abraham was told by God these two cities would be destroyed, and they were as the biblical account states. So science confirms what history has already told, and faith and reason are in harmony / balanced. Beyond pride, homosexuality, and evil acts; both cities also lusted after strange flesh which could include angelic figures and animals. Unfortunately, the secular refuse to research in some fields or areas. So, science will have to catch up with ancient history to tell the tale of these miracles and wonders.

    Respectfully,

    Minister / Chaplain Sean, MA Apologetics & DD Chaplaincy

    1. Carl Bernard Elfstrom's Avatar Carl Bernard Elfstrom

      Shaun, I've heard that angel goes good on toasted rye, with horse radish and mustard. Bon apetit!

  1. Rev Mark D's Avatar Rev Mark D

    Why no reference?

  1. John P Maher's Avatar John P Maher

    IT BECAME WASHINGTON D. C., HEY SHANGO WHEN CAN YOU VISIT THE CAPITAL or WERE YOU THERE ???

  1. Clay Serenbetz's Avatar Clay Serenbetz

    This new theory is very compelling and is much more probable than theories advanced in ancient literature (e.g., the Bible), which were written when scientific understanding was less than rudimentary and when God was used as a tool to suppress freedom among the plebeian masses.

  1. Carl Bernard Elfstrom's Avatar Carl Bernard Elfstrom

    Ehrman, I wouldn't have dark imaginings, if it wasn't so much fun. I'm laughing too hard to be distressed about anything.

  1. Carl Bernard Elfstrom's Avatar Carl Bernard Elfstrom

    Ehrman, by comparing myself with others, I joyfully guard myself from fools. And that's not something to be bitter about, but quite the opposite.

  1. Carl Bernard Elfstrom's Avatar Carl Bernard Elfstrom

    It wasn't the masks they were wearing to avoid catching the plague Shango, but the amyl nitrite the sniffed too much of while having sex with those angels. They mistakenly thought they could sniff as much as those angels they were screwing. Never think of yourself as being as mighty as an angel, just because he's a good lay.

  1. Ilmenheru Terikson's Avatar Ilmenheru Terikson

    Sorry all it wasnt Yaweh, it was myself. Being a supreme cosmic being that surpasses little Yaweh, I frankly find it amusing so many here think that small pathetic being has the power to manifest anything beyond a few fish or water turning into wine.

    1. Carl Bernard Elfstrom's Avatar Carl Bernard Elfstrom

      I heard it wasn't even good wine, Ilmenheru. And the fish were scràwny, and half starved. On top of that nobody could find the Tony Cachere's to season it. They had to get drunk on that cheap wine before they started eating it. Apparently, that little demi-god didn't even have any culinary skills.

    2. Carl Bernard Elfstrom's Avatar Carl Bernard Elfstrom

      You forgot to put the letter h after the a in Yahweh, divine cosmic being Ilmenheru.

  1. Eric's Avatar Eric

    Please include a link to the peer-reviewed paper when reporting on developments in academia:

    "A Tunguska sized airburst destroyed Tall el-Hammam a Middle Bronze Age city in the Jordan Valley near the Dead Sea" T. E. Bunch et al. https://rdcu.be/cyzDa

    This provides appropriate recognition to the authors of the study while giving readers the opportunity to learn more. It's also standard to provide the name of the lead author, for example, "Using new archaeological data, Ted E. Bunch (Northern Arizona University) and other scientist say that..."

    1. Carl Bernard Elfstrom's Avatar Carl Bernard Elfstrom

      Eric, I also saw that Tunguska episode of The X-FILES. I've got the first six seasons on DVDs. You sound like quite a fictional scientist.

  1. Loney Burns's Avatar Loney Burns

    EGO not God or Spirit speaks frequently on this site.

    1. Carl Bernard Elfstrom's Avatar Carl Bernard Elfstrom

      Ministers, not god, have only ever spoken on this blog, Loney. And if you don't like it, "please, I emplore you, let the door hit you in your irreverent ass, on your way out"!

  1. Rev Ned's Avatar Rev Ned

    Ezekiel 16:49 Behold, this was the guilt of your sister Sodom: she and her daughters had arrogance, abundant food and careless ease, but she did not help the poor and needy. Kinda like 45's family doncha think?

    1. Carl Bernard Elfstrom's Avatar Carl Bernard Elfstrom

      Watcha talkin' 'bout, Willis? I'm always glad to give the poor and needy directions to the local soup kitchen, Our Daily Bread, where I did volunteer work for a couple of years. I can also tell them how to get to local free food giveaways, but I'm going to keep stuffing my fat, couch potato face on the food I painstakingly spend all month pre-shopping for at Amazon and walmart.com. Except for special holidays, like the Witches New Year, that's coming up soon. So I bought a new charcoal grill and five pound boneless pork loin with this months order from walmart.com, and there's ten single-dwelling units in this little apartment building where I live. So I should be able to slice ten half pound porkchops out of that loin, season them with Mc Cormick's barbeque rub, and throw them on the grill, so I can feed the fat, arrogant faces of my couch potato neighbors, to make sure they won't knock on my door later that night, while holding a little bag, and saying "Trick or treat"!

  1. Carl Bernard Elfstrom's Avatar Carl Bernard Elfstrom

    That damn bible never mentioned a word about the women eating eachother, but if the men were doing it with eachother you know the women hadto be, too. And those were the days, before perßonal hygiene was an issue, when fish truly smelled and tasted fishy. Imagine that for a moment, and see if it doesn't make you barf.

  1. Carl Bernard Elfstrom's Avatar Carl Bernard Elfstrom

    It looks like we've got a fresh batch of those evil, irreverent, prolific christians on this blog to run off. I've got a lot more obscenities to shout at them, and will be right here waiting for them, screwing Jesus all the way, for his insubordination, and failure to kiss my holy feet!

  1. Carl Bernard Elfstrom's Avatar Carl Bernard Elfstrom

    I wonder what flugo thinks about all this blather.

  1. Rickey L Smith's Avatar Rickey L Smith

    I have to agree with Russ on this one

  1. Marius Gabriel Burja's Avatar Marius Gabriel Burja

    Suspicious Observers channel on YouTube needs our help. You will know the truth about what happened and what will happen.

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