The early chapters of Genesis proclaim the origin of the world and of human life on earth. They uncover the origins of evil. They illuminate the meaning of freedom. They express the harmony of creation, evoke wonder as God is portrayed in his creative power and beauty, and ultimately show us how and why we are—offering hope for the renewal of our natural world and for the healing of our broken relationships.
Writing as a scientist and as a pastor, David Atkinson avoids technicalities and speculation and provides a skillful guide to the text’s theological significance. While many commentaries on these chapters become tangled in problems of dating, authorship, and historicity, this tour of the opening chapters of Genesis focuses on the issues that really matter.
Get the complete Bible Speaks Today Old Testament Commentary Series (33 vols.).
“People of God, when things are going well for you, the nation is secure, the king is on his throne, the economics are good, there is money in the bank and food on the table: beware of the temptation to forget the Giver. You are what you are by grace. And when things are hard, when the hand of judgment is heavy around you; when the fountains of the deep burst forth, and all you have is at sea, even then God will not let you go.” (Page 138)
“But the biblical concepts of time require us to see time much more in terms of significance: God’s purposes in history, centred and given their meaning by Jesus Christ.” (Page 45)
“The freedom not to trust God becomes the doorway to the loss of freedom itself.” (Page 81)
“The fall of Noah is another story which engages with us all” (Page 169)
“Peacocke is asking: Why should science work at all? His answer is that the ordered world which we observe and the ordering processes of our scientific minds are both part of the same world. There is a Mind behind the world order and from which our thinking processes derive. The fact that science works seems to Peacocke (and to many others) to support the view that God’s existence makes sense.” (Page 20)
David J. Atkinson is retired as assistant bishop in Southwark Diocese. Previously, he was a fellow of Corpus Christi College in Oxford, England, an assistant curate of The Cathedral Church of St. Andrew, archdeacon of Lewisham, and bishop of Thetford. He is the author of several books and commentaries, including Pastoral Ethics: A Guide to the Key Issues of Daily Living.