Products>The Lost World of Genesis One: Ancient Cosmology and the Origins Debate

The Lost World of Genesis One: Ancient Cosmology and the Origins Debate

Format: Digital
ISBN: 9780830861491


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.

Save more when you purchase this book as part of the IVP Old Testament Studies Collection.

Key Features

  • Examines a literary and theological understanding of Genesis 1
  • Unpacks seldom appreciated aspects of the biblical text
  • Presents an ideal text for students, professors, pastors, and lay readers


  • Genesis 1 Is Ancient Cosmology
  • Ancient Cosmology Is Function Oriented
  • “Create” (Hebrew bārā’)) Concerns Functions
  • The Beginning State in Genesis 1 Is Nonfunctional
  • Days One to Three in Genesis 1 Establish Functions
  • Days Four to Six in Genesis 1 Install Functionaries
  • Divine Rest Is in a Temple
  • The Cosmos Is a Temple
  • The Seven Days of Genesis 1 Relate to the Cosmic Temple Inauguration
  • The Seven Days of Genesis 1 Do Not Concern Material Origins
  • “Functional Cosmic Temple” Offers Face-Value Exegesis
  • Other Theories of Genesis 1 Either Go Too Far or Not Far Enough
  • The Difference Between Origin Accounts in Science and Scripture Is Metaphysical in Nature
  • God’s Roles as Creator and Sustainer Are Less Different Than We Have Thought
  • Current Debate About Intelligent Design Ultimately Concerns Purpose
  • Scientific Explanations of Origins Can Be Viewed in Light of Purpose, and If So, Are Unobjectionable
  • Resulting Theology in This View of Genesis 1 Is Stronger, Not Weaker
  • Public Science Education Should Be Neutral Regarding Purpose

Praise for the Print Edition

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

  • Title: The Lost World of Genesis One: Ancient Cosmology and the Origins Debate
  • Author: John H. Walton
  • Publisher: IVP Academic
  • Print Publication Date: 2009
  • Logos Release Date: 2014
  • Pages: 192
  • Language: English
  • Resources: 1
  • Format: Digital > Logos Edition
  • Subjects: Bible. O.T. Genesis 1 > Criticism, interpretation, etc; Biblical cosmology; Creationism; Cosmogony
  • ISBNs: 9780830861491, 9780830837045
  • Resource Type: Monograph
  • Metadata Last Updated: 2019-10-03T22:46:35Z

About John H. Walton

John H. Walton is professor of Old Testament at Wheaton College. Previously he was professor of Old Testament at Moody Bible Institute in Chicago, Illinois. He received his PhD from Hebrew Union College. Some of his books include Ancient Near Eastern Thought and the Old Testament and The Essential Bible Companion.