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Peter Enns Collection (2 vols.)

, 2005–2012
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Is Scripture truly divine, truly human, or both? Scholar Peter Enns thinks it’s the latter. This collection analyzes evangelical perspectives on the doctrine of Scripture. In Inspiration and Incarnation, Enns sets out to find if Scripture is unique, trustworthy, and authoritative. Using Scripture and extracanonical sources, as well as modern biblical scholarship, Enns shows how it is important to read Scripture in its historical context. He also shares how New Testament authors may have incorrectly interpreted Scripture according to their Second Temple Period contexts and traditions. The Evolution of Adam takes Enns’ studies on the doctrine of Scripture even further by comparing the Adam in Genesis with the Adam in Paul’s writings. Enns questions if Adam was a historical or mythical figure and analyzes if Christianity and evolution can coexist.

The Logos Bible Software edition of these volumes is designed to encourage and stimulate your study and understanding of the doctrine of Scripture. Bible passages link directly to your English translations and original-language texts, and important theological concepts link to dictionaries, encyclopedias, and a wealth of other resources in your digital library. In addition, you can perform powerful searches by topic and find what other authors, scholars, and theologians have to say about Scripture’s inerrancy, evolution, and biblical interpretation.

  • Discusses biblical inerrancy
  • Challenges traditional evangelical methods of biblical interpretation
  • Analyzes the relationship between science and religion
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Inspiration and Incarnation: Evangelicals and the Problem of the Old Testament

  • Author: Peter Enns
  • Publisher: Baker
  • Publication Date: 2005
  • Pages: 208

Sample Pages: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7

This study from Peter Enns is an important reconsideration of evangelical perspectives on scriptural authority, particularly in light of recent Old Testament scholarship. His concern is to help readers whose faith has been challenged by critical studies. He suggests that evangelicals need to move beyond a merely defensive doctrine of Scripture and develop a positive view that seriously engages contemporary critical scholarship.

Enns looks at three broad issues raised by biblical scholars that seem to threaten traditional views of Scripture:

  • Parallels with ancient Near Eastern literature that call into question Scripture’s uniqueness
  • Theological diversity in the Old Testament that calls into question Scripture’s trustworthiness
  • Unusual uses of the Old Testament by New Testament writers that call into question Scripture’s authority

Enns concludes by offering an incarnational model of Scripture—one that recognizes and affirms both the divine and human aspects of the Bible. This work includes a glossary of technical terms and annotated bibliographies for further reading and will make an excellent starting point for those wishing to develop an informed doctrine of Scripture.

This is a very needed and refreshing book. Enns poses some of the difficult questions conservative-thinking Christians ask today about the distinctiveness, diversity, and integrity of Scripture. He states the issues in a clear and penetrating way and then proceeds to answer them with honesty, clarity, and appropriate caution, providing helpful illustrations along the way. Scholars, pastors, students, and all informed believers will find this book to be readable, informative, and stimulating in their pursuit of God through Holy Scripture.

Richard E. Averbeck, professor of Old Testament and Semitic languages, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School

At last, here is a constructive exploration—by an evangelical scholar with a high view of Scripture—of how to handle seriously the evidence from inside and outside the Bible that sits uncomfortably with classic formulations. Enns’s combination of faith and intellectual honesty will bring much encouragement to all serious Bible students who have struggled to face up to these unavoidable issues.

H.G.M. Williamson, Regius Professor of Hebrew, University of Oxford

The author has offered an honest and refreshing look at the implications of contemporary biblical scholarship for a Christian doctrine of Scripture. His ’incarnational paradigm’ will likely provide an alternative way of reading the Old Testament for many Christians who no longer find traditional evangelical answers satisfying. Written for a popular audience, this book nevertheless makes a contribution to what may be considered the maturation of evangelical scholarship and at the same time is an ardent appeal to allow that maturation to continue.

Bill T. Arnold, professor of Old Testament and Semitic languages, Asbury Theological Seminary

In this book, Enns explores three aspects of the Bible, and he sometimes raises and reflects upon uncomfortable questions. How is the Bible, especially the Old Testament, divine revelation if it shares the material and, to some extent, even the worldview of its ancient Near Eastern neighbors? What are we to make of the contradictory perspectives and views that the Bible presents? How do we respond to New Testament writers who interpret the Old Testament in ways that we would disallow in a contemporary classroom setting? In sum, how is the Bible the Bible, and how does one read it on its own terms?

David W. Baker, professor of Old Testament and Hebrew, Ashland Theological Seminary

Enns has done the evangelical church a great service by emphasizing the human dimension of Scripture. He likens the incarnation of Scripture to the incarnation of Christ: both are truly divine and truly human. He argues, however, that with regard to Scripture, evangelicals tend to commit the same error as the Docetists in that they deny the real humanity of the Scripture. More specifically, he argues that the early chapters of Genesis reflect the mythic world in which they were composed, that the biblical authors represent different viewpoints according to their historical contextualization, and that the apostles reflect the hermeneutics and traditions of the Second Temple period. By basing his book on data that is backed by excellent, annotated bibliographies; by reflecting cogently on the material; and by writing in a clear style with unflinching honesty, Enns has given impetus to evangelicals to discuss the doctrines of inspiration and hermeneutics, and he offers an excellent base on which to develop their understanding of these most important doctrines in the twenty-first century.

Bruce K. Waltke, professor emeritus of biblical studies, Regent College; professor of Old Testament, Reformed Theological Seminary

The Evolution of Adam: What the Bible Does and Doesn’t Say about Human Origins

  • Author: Peter Enns
  • Publisher: Baker
  • Publication Date: 2012
  • Pages: 192

Sample Pages: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7

Can Christianity and evolution coexist? Traditional Christian teaching presents Jesus as reversing the effects of the fall of Adam. However, an evolutionary view of beginnings doesn’t allow for a historical Adam, making evolution seem incompatible with what Genesis and the apostle Paul say about him. For Christians who accept evolution and want to take the Bible seriously, this presents a tension that endangers faith.

Peter Enns offers a way forward by explaining how this tension is caused not by the discoveries of science but by false expectations about the biblical texts. Focusing on key biblical passages in the discussion, Enns demonstrates that the author of Genesis and the apostle Paul wrote to ask and answer ancient questions for ancient people; the fact that they both speak of Adam does not determine whether Christians can accept evolution. This thought-provoking book reconciles the teachings of the Bible with the widely held evolutionary view of beginnings and will appeal to anyone interested in the Christianity-evolution debate, including college and seminary students in science and religion courses.

The question of the historical Adam is an urgent issue in biblical interpretation and theology today. Recent developments in biology have indicated with impressive evidence that humanity does not go back to a single human couple. Does that mean that the Bible is wrong or that science is wrong? Or perhaps, as Peter Enns argues, we have been misreading the Bible. While not everyone, including myself, agrees with everything that Dr. Enns suggests, his book is an important contribution to the discussion concerning Genesis 1-2 and science.

Tremper Longman III, Robert H. Gundry Professor of Biblical Studies, Westmont College

The Evolution of Adam not only reflects the evolution of evangelical understandings of Adam, but it also contributes to new perspectives on Paul and the gospel of Jesus Christ. No one concerned with the beauty, glory, and truth of the good news in a scientific world will want to miss out on this landmark book!

Amos Yong, J. Rodman Williams Professor of Theology, Regent University School of Divinity

The evolution of humans from other organisms has always presented very serious problems for conservative Christians, and the most serious problems have centered on the historicity of Adam. In this splendid book, Peter Enns confronts these problems with remarkable clarity and courage, offering a solution that is both biblically and scientifically informed.

—Edward B. Davis, professor of the history of science, Messiah College

This is a bold, honest, and direct approach to the questions of origins and the interpretation of the Bible. Pete has battle scars from the journey to his conclusions in The Evolution of Adam, but those battles have made him increasingly sensitive to the plight of the church’s struggle with science and the Bible. Here is a theologically alert, pastorally sound, and exegetically informed book that will lead us onward.

Scot McKnight, Karl A. Olsson Professor in Religious Studies, North Park University

In this honest, insightful, informative, and provocative book, Enns offers readers an innovative way of reconciling their faith with evolutionary theory. In the course of fleshing out his argument, he provides readers with very accessible introductions to the historical-critical approach to Scripture as well as to the cultural and literary backgrounds of the Bible’s creation stories and of Paul’s reflections on Adam. Whether one ends up agreeing with Enns or not, all readers will benefit enormously from reading this book. I heartily recommend The Evolution of Adam!

Greg Boyd, senior pastor, Woodland Hills Church, St. Paul

For far too long, evangelical Christians have dodged the implications of modern biology for our understanding of the Bible and theology. Foremost, we have failed to face the unassailable fact that death, rather than being the historical consequence of Adam’s sin, was a part of the natural cycle that created our human forebears. What shall we do with Genesis and Paul in light of these facts? Enns blazes a trail that engaged Christians can follow.

Kenton L. Sparks, professor of Hebrew Bible, Eastern University

Peter Enns (PhD, Harvard University) teaches biblical studies at Eastern University in St. Davids, Pennsylvania. He was formerly senior fellow of biblical studies for The BioLogos Foundation, an organization that explores the integration of science and Christian faith, where he wrote a regular column for their Science and the Sacred blog. He has taught at several schools, including Princeton Theological Seminary, Fuller Theological Seminary, Temple University, and Westminster Theological Seminary. Enns has authored or edited numerous books, including Inspiration and Incarnation: Evangelicals and the Problem of the Old Testament.


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