Notes and Reflections on Noah's Other Son, by Brian Arthur Brown -- see introductory post for more information on this book
Chapter 3 is about Noah/Nooh and his sons. Most noteworthy perhaps the son whom the Bible "forgot" to mention whose story is told somewhat in the Quran. As the author put it, "The Quran does not dispute the truth of the Bible, but frequently adds details." (pg. 50)
According to hadith, his name was Canaan. (In the Bible Canaan was Noah's grandson, the son of Ham.) The Quranic Canaan was the son who drowned because he put his trust in the mountains to save him from drowning. Mr. Brown says Canaan's story shows the familiar tale of one going his own way, exercising his freedom of choice by rebellion. Yet unlike the story of the prodigal son (see Luke 15), this story shows the consequences of going our own way and not turning back to God.
Remember after the Flood, when Noah was drunk, Ham found him and somehow later got in trouble for not covering his father's nakedness? (It's in Genesis 9). Some have puzzled why Noah cursed Canaan for this when Ham was the son who had offended Noah. They came to the conclusion that sometimes "the sins of the fathers are visited upon the children." This author suggests Noah truly meant to curse Ham, but just as parents often confuse the names of their children, Noah simply said "Canaan" (meaning his son who was drowned in the Flood) instead of saying Ham. Brown notes that "This episode provides an instance where knowledge of the Quran resolves a textual conundrum in the biblical text."
He continues, "The Quran preserves a few somewhat sophisticated twists that had been forgotten or lost." (pg. 53) But remember the Quran assumes people already know the Biblical stories as it usually leaves a lot of details out. From my understanding of the author, he believes the Bible provides the main part of the story so you have to know it first. Then you can read the Quran which might add a few interesting bits to the story that the Jewish authors didn't note when they wrote their version.
About the numerous flood stories the author writes: "Some stories may have borrowed material from others, as did the Hebrew version, almost certainly, but others are too widely separated for that. The common thread is water both falling down and rising up; the destruction of society and information about a few survivors who had built a boat -- a family and their animals. There are a few hints of awareness about the wrath of the gods toward corrupt civilizations, but only the Hebrew account is focused on the cleansing and redemptive purpose of it all, the rainbow of God's love, the grace involved in second chances, and the quest for meaning." (pg. 46)
About Noah, the author notes he is presented with a "high moral tone" in the Quran since he is on a mission to warn sinners of impending doom. You won't find the details about Noah getting drunk and lying naked in his tent in Muhammad's version. Brown says the Quran presents models of good character and conduct not "examples of redemption" that the Jewish authors present.
Chapter 4 deals with the Tower of Babel and how it is a warning for modern times when we build things for ourselves instead of for God and others. The author says it's a warning that there should be no "unity among humans based on one language or on a super race of superior people." Most of this chapter was a warning against American Christian fundamentalism and extreme capitalism which lead to wars on drugs, crime, abortion and terrorism and do not solve problems or bring peace. A modern day Tower of Babel could be the World Trade Center towers which were also brought down. Hmph!