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The Universal Story: Genesis 1–11 (Transformative Word)

ISBN: 9781683590712


Print list price: $12.99
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The Universal Story

The opening chapters of Genesis tell us the story of how humans relate to our world—and to God.

Genesis 1-11 is a parade of stories of humanity intertwined with the most intriguing subjects we still wrestle with today: the beginning of the cosmos, the nature of humanity, family, sex, deceit, death, murder, mass murder, ecology, agriculture, urbanization, and more.

In The Universal Story, Dru Johnson shows how Genesis 1–11 is written in a way that informs the rest of biblical history—including the exodus, the kings of Israel, the exile, the Gospels, and early church. Genesis 1–11 presents a story of humanity that seeks to explain the background of every human endeavor. It is the universal story—the story of stories—because it is a story about how all of these things came to be the way the Hebrews understood them to be. These bizarre and ancient stories frame the story of God and His plan for earth and humanity. Through these stories, God speaks and pleads with us. Let us learn how to listen and hear God’s voice well in Genesis 1–11 and throughout the rest of Scripture.

Praise for The Universal Story

Johnson's short exploration of Genesis 1-11 is at once biblical, illuminating, provocative, and insightful. Readers will encounter the biblical text of Genesis and the ways it drives us to consider what it means to be human and living in God’s world today. With relevant explorations on sex, technology, power, sin, death, and life, this is a book to which I shall return regularly. Highly recommended!

–Dr. Heath A. Thomas, dean, Herschel H. Hobbs College of Theology; professor of Old Testament, Oklahoma Baptist University

The Transformative Word Series

God’s Word is transformative. It is this conviction which gives the Transformative Word series its name and its unique character. Series Editor Craig G. Bartholomew has worked alongside authors from around the world to identify a key theme in each book of the Bible, and each volume provides careful Biblical exegesis centered on that gripping theme. The result is an engaging, accessible thematic exploration of a biblical book, poised to offer you new and refreshing insights.

Learn more about the other titles in this series.


  • Introduction
  • Genesis 1–11 and the Rest of Scripture
  • The Lineage of the Universe
  • Humans, Always in Relation
  • Humans Shift Their Trust
  • God Publically Commits Himself to the World
  • Fame and Nations
  • Genesis 1–11 in the World of Science
  • Genesis 1–11 in the World of Ethics

Product Details

  • Title: The Universal Story: Genesis 1–11
  • Author: Dru Johnson
  • Series: Transformative Word
  • Publisher: Lexham Press
  • Publication Date: 2018
  • Pages: 136
  • Format: Logos Digital, Paperback
  • Trim Size: 5x8
  • ISBN: 9781683590712

About Dru Johnson

Dru Johnson (Ph.D. University of Saint Andrews–Scotland) is associate professor of biblical and theological studies at The King’s College in New York City. He is currently a research fellow in the Logos Institute at the University of St Andrews (Scotland) and formerly the co-chair for the Hebrew Bible and Philosophy program unit in the Society of Biblical Literature. He has taught in Western Kenya, Guatemala, and Brazil. He is currently ordained in the Evangelical Presbyterian Church and worships at Comunidade Cristã Presbiteriana in Newark, NJ.

Sample Pages from The Universal Story


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  1. Richard C. Hammond, Jr.
  2. Akintoye AKINTUNDE
  3. Jonathan Labrador
    I wish

  4. Robert Frattallone
  5. Juan Castro

    Juan Castro


  6. Ronald L. Bass
  7. michael  potter
  8. Kim Tae Uk

    Kim Tae Uk


  9. James



  10. Terence Tan

    Terence Tan


    The Transformative Word commentary series takes a thematic approach and is designed to be paired with another, presumably thicker, commentary. This is to explain why Universal Story: Gen 1-11 is less than 150 pages long. Thus, if the reader is looking for conclusions or up-to-date scholarship to bring to the next debate, this is not the right book. Here, the author asks different questions, for example, "What exactly went wrong in Eden?" and invites us to re-look at familiar verses from a different angle. While he does not shrink from asserting the Bible as the key to understanding reality, over and against Science, he does not aim to put to rest topics such as creationism or sexual ethics. Remember the small page count and the aims of the commentary series. Universal Story is a good book to introduce a wider audience to commentaries and to invite further conversations on God's revelation.


Print list price: $12.99
Save $4.00 (30%)