In this volume, R. R. Reno begins with the theological presupposition that Genesis is, at its core, a book that keeps pushing, moving, and looking forward. As Reno states, “As a book of origins Genesis is far less concerned with the source of what is than what will be.” Obviously this means that Reno is interpreting the text, and as such he does not allow Genesis to stand on its “own terms.” He uses it to develop a coherent theological expression. To this end, Reno’s methodology obviously takes center stage, but even here Reno will not allow himself to be sucked into a hermeneutical vacuum. His task is rather to respond and expound upon the important questions raised by the text at specific strategic and theologically significant points.
Thus, Reno’s approach is to highlight what is theologically significant in the book. He also aims to work back to the text in Genesis, locating its role in how Genesis pushes its narrative forward, exposing a forceful longing and need for redemption.
The result of Reno’s work is an incredibly fresh perspective on Genesis that is faithful both to the text, the surrounding context of the book, and to church theological tradition. Often the church because of its focus on particular items in Genesis has missed the theological power that lies buried within its story, and this book is a significant step forward in overcoming this problem.
With Logos, every word is essentially a link! Scripture references link directly to the Bibles in your library—both the original language texts and English translations. Double-clicking any word automatically opens your lexicons to the relevant entry, making Latin words instantly accessible. With Logos, you can quickly move from the table of contents to your desired content, search entire volumes and collections by topic, title, or Scripture reference.
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Reno’s commentary on Genesis stands out by providing a purely theological approach to the Scriptures. . . . A great commentary for those who seek to be exposed to a wide diversity of theological views that have been put forth regarding the book of Genesis.
—Rick Painter, Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society
Rusty Reno has done what Augustine could not—write a theologically satisfying single-volume commentary on the whole of Genesis. Of course, Augustine didn’t have the benefit of reading Genesis through Rashi, Aquinas, Barth, Ochs, and even modern historical critics. This is the right way to read scripture—as a multigenerational exegetical workshop among Christians, Jews, and interested others, not looking for more or less reliable historical information or literary pre-history but for the sort of wisdom that instills love and finally holiness.
—Jason Byassee, executive director of leadership education, Duke Divinity School
R. R. Reno (PhD, Yale University) is a professor of theological ethics at Creighton University in Omaha, Nebraska. He is the coauthor of Heroism and the Christian Life and serves as the features editor for First Things.