In this astute mix of cultural critique and biblical studies, John H. Walton presents and defends twenty propositions supporting a literary and theological understanding of Genesis 1 within the context of the ancient Near Eastern world and unpacks its implications for our modern scientific understanding of origins.
Ideal for students, professors, pastors, and lay readers with an interest in the intelligent design controversy and creation-evolution debates, Walton’s thoughtful analysis unpacks seldom appreciated aspects of the biblical text and sets Bible-believing scientists free to investigate the question of origins.
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.
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“In this book I propose that people in the ancient world believed that something existed not by virtue of its material properties, but by virtue of its having a function in an ordered system.” (Page 24)
“All of this information leads us to conclude that the ‘beginning’ is a way of talking about the seven-day period rather than a point in time prior to the seven days.” (Page 43)
“In the ancient world, what was most crucial and significant to their understanding of existence was the way that the parts of the cosmos functioned, not their material status.” (Page 26)
“But in the ancient world rest is what results when a crisis has been resolved or when stability has been achieved, when things have ‘settled down.’” (Page 72)
“So on day one God created the basis for time; day two the basis for weather; and day three the basis for food. These three great functions—time, weather and food—are the foundation of life.” (Page 58)
This book presents a profoundly important new analysis of the meaning of Genesis. Digging deeply into the original Hebrew language and the culture of the people of Israel in Old Testament times, respected scholar John Walton argues convincingly that Genesis was intended to describe the creation of the functions of the cosmos, not its material nature. In the process, he elevates Scripture to a new level of respectful understanding, and eliminates any conflict between scientific and scriptural descriptions of origins.
—Francis S. Collins, head of the Human Genome Project
Walton’s cosmic temple inauguration view of Genesis 1 is a landmark study in the interpretation of that controversial chapter. On the basis of ancient Near Eastern literatures, a rigorous study of the Hebrew word bara’ (‘create’), and a cogent and sustained argument, Walton has gifted the church with a fresh interpretation of Genesis 1. His view that the seven days refers to the inauguration of the cosmos as a functioning temple where God takes up his residence as his headquarters from which he runs the world merits reflection by all who love the God of Abraham.
—Bruce Waltke, Professor Emeritus of Biblical Studies, Regent College and Distinguished Professor of Old Testament, Knox Theological Seminary
Every theologian, every pastor, every Christian in the natural sciences, indeed, every Christian who loves the Bible must put aside all other reading material this minute and immediately begin to absorb the contents of John Walton’s The Lost World of Genesis One. Walton closely examines Genesis 1 in light of ancient Near Eastern literature and offers a compelling case that the creation account is far more concerned with the cosmos being given its functions as God’s temple than it is with the manufacture of the material structures of the earth and universe. In the process, he has blown away all the futile attempts to elicit modern science from the first chapter of the Bible.
—Davis A. Young, Professor Emeritus of geology, Calvin College
John Walton offers a compelling and persuasive interpretation of Genesis, one that challenges those who take it as an account of material origins. His excellent book is must-reading for all who are interested in the origins debate.
—Tremper Longman, Robert H. Gundry Professor of Biblical Studies, Westmont College