The first chapters of Genesis are the bedrock of the Jewish and Christian traditions. In these inaugural pages of the canon, the creation of the world, the fall of the human creature, the promise of redemption, and the beginning of salvation history are found. Interwoven in the text are memorable stories of the ancient biblical patriarchs and matriarchs.
Throughout the history of commentary, interpreters have lavished attention on the rich passages recounting the six days of creation, the tragic fall of God’s creature—from the expulsion of the first parents to Cain’s fratricide and the catastrophe of the Flood—as well as the allegorical sign of hope in Noah’s ark. Commentators in the Reformation continued this venerable tradition of detailed focus on these primordial stories, finding themselves and their era deeply connected to the tragedies and promises, the genealogies and marvels of God’s providential election and governance. Above all, Reformation-era interpreters found anchor for their teaching, preaching, and hope in the promise of Christ running through these first chapters, from creation to the calling of Abraham.
While following the precedent of patristic and medieval commentators on Scripture, as well as Rabbinic midrash, the Reformers provide insightful and startling fresh readings of familiar passages, inviting readers to see the ancient text with new eyes. This volume collects the comments of not only the monumental thinkers like Luther, Calvin, and Melancthon, but also many important figures of the time who are lesser-known today. Here we find rich fare from Johannes Brenz, Wolfgang Capito, Hans Denck, Wolfgang Musculus, Johannes Oecolampadius, and Peter Martyr Vermigli.
Readers will encounter comments from a wide array of perspectives, from the magisterial Reformers to radical Protestants like Balthasar Hubmaier, Menno Simons, Pilgram Marpeck, and Dirk Philips, as well as some Catholic thinkers, such as Desiderius Erasmus and Cardinal Cajetan. Important contributions from female voices, like Katharina Schütz Zell and Anna Maria van Schurman are included also. The wealth of Reformation interpretation is brought together here for study and reflection, much appearing in English for the first time.
In the Logos edition, this volume is enhanced by amazing functionality. Important terms link to dictionaries, encyclopedias, and a wealth of other resources in your digital library. Perform powerful searches to find exactly what you’re looking for. Take the discussion with you using tablet and mobile apps. With Logos Bible Software, the most efficient and comprehensive research tools are in one place, so you get the most out of your study.
Save more when you purchase this book as part of the Reformation Commentary on Scripture collection.
This volume is an example of the current trend in biblical scholarship that favors a theological interpretation of Scripture over a purely historical-critical analysis of the text. This new approach encourages pastors and theologians to learn once against to read the Bible as the church’s book revealing God’s Word to the world. . . . This volume makes refreshingly clear the extent to which the Reformation interpreters of Genesis did not get bogged down in the kinds of fruitless squabbles so prevalent in subsequent Protestantism, say, between fundamentalism and modernism, creationism, and evolutionism. The Reformers read and interpreted Genesis in search of what is theologically significant for the Christian faith and the preaching of the church. This volume will help contemporary believers in Jesus Christ and members of His church to do the same today.
—Carl E. Braaten, emeritus professor, Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago/p>
This commentary provides a rich selection of interpretations, exposing readers to lesser-known interpreters like Christopher Pelargus rather than simply invoking the familiar names of Luther, Calvin, and Zwingli.
—Douglas Mangum, Bible Study Magazine, September/October 2012
John L. Thompson is professor of historical theology and Galen and Susan Byker Professor of Reformed Theology at Fuller Theological Seminary, Pasadena, California. He is a contributor to the Global Dictionary of Theology, the author of John Calvin & the Daughters of Sarah and Writing the Wrongs, and the coeditor of Biblical Interpretation in the Era of the Reformation.