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Reading Genesis 1–2: An Evangelical Conversation

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Old Testament scholars come together in this one-of-a-kind book to share diverse views on Genesis.

Seven specialists in Old Testament theology and interpretation come together to offer a variety of needed biblical perspectives and insights on how to interpret the first two chapters of Genesis correctly. Evangelical scholars, college and seminary professors (and their students), and pastors will benefit from this title. This is the only book of its kind that involves a critical and comparative assessment of the early Genesis narratives by Old Testament scholars actually working in the field.

Resource Experts
  • Offers a variety of needed biblical perspectives and insights on how to interpret the first two chapters of Genesis
  • Provides a critical and comparative assessment of the early Genesis narratives
  • Written by Old Testament scholars actively working in the field

Part One: Five Views on Interpreting Genesis 1–2

  • A Literary Day, Inter-Textual, and Contextual Reading of Genesis 1–2
  • Reading Genesis 1–2: A Literal Approach
  • Reading Genesis 1–2 with the Grain: Analogical Days
  • What Genesis 1–2 Teaches (and What It Doesn’t)
  • Reading Genesis 1 as Ancient Cosmology

Part Two: Reading Genesis Now

  • Teaching Genesis 1 at a Christian College
  • Unresolved Major Questions: Evangelicals and Genesis 1–2

Top Highlights

“Although the seven days are not to be taken literally and are not intended to tell us how long God took in actually creating the cosmos or how old the earth is, nevertheless there is a necessary structure and sequence through the six days.” (Page 31)

“At least twenty-five NT passages refer to Gen 1–11, and all take the accounts literally.43” (Page 53)

“Yes, there was an original Adam and Eve, who were the progenitors of the human race. I am not sure what else is true about who Adam and Eve were,46 but at least we should maintain this belief that they were real historical individuals. There is good reason for this belief in the natural reading of the text.” (Page 30)

“So, then, the six ‘creation days’ are not necessarily the first actual days of the universe; they are not even necessarily the first days of the earth itself. They are the days during which God set up the earth as the ideal place for human beings to live—to love God, to serve one another, to rule the world with wisdom and good will.” (Page 85)

“The term ‘intertextual’ in the title refers to the need to pay special attention to the inner-biblical parallels to Gen 1 in other parts of the canon—other creation accounts or reflections on creation in the Bible.” (Pages 8–9)

  • Richard E. Averbeck
  • Todd S. Beall
  • C. John Collins
  • Jude Davis
  • Victor P. Hamilton
  • Tremper Longman III
  • Kenneth J. Turner
  • John Walton
This book is the result of a 2011 symposium held at Bryan College. It features essays from five Old Testament scholars—Richard E. Averbeck, Todd S. Beall, C. John Collins, Tremper Longman III and John Walton—each presenting a different way to read Genesis 1–2. Each essay is followed by responses from other contributors. The five views represented in the essays are hard to classify in relation to one another, since each author uses his limited space to focus on different aspects of Genesis 1–2. The contributors discuss the nature of the creation days, the genre of Genesis 1–2, the historicity of Adam and Eve, the degree to which ancient Near Eastern backgrounds should inform our reading of the creation account, and whether Genesis 1 and 2 represent two diff erent creation accounts or one. While this collection of essays does not represent every possible evangelical reading of the first chapters of Genesis, it is a fascinating introduction to the conversation.

—Elliot Ritzema, Bible Study Magazine, November/December 2013


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