Berit Olam: Studies in Hebrew Narrative and Poetry: Genesis

Overview

The central thesis underlying this study of Genesis is that the God who is revealed as a character in Genesis is always a savior. In Genesis, David Cotter, OSB, helps readers discern a structure in the book whereby the least and the weakest are the object of God's saving help.

Genesis begins with an introduction to the methodology that is used throughout the book. The introductory essay deals with the theory of Hebrew narrative and the ...

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Overview

The central thesis underlying this study of Genesis is that the God who is revealed as a character in Genesis is always a savior. In Genesis, David Cotter, OSB, helps readers discern a structure in the book whereby the least and the weakest are the object of God's saving help.

Genesis begins with an introduction to the methodology that is used throughout the book. The introductory essay deals with the theory of Hebrew narrative and the challenges posed to biblical exegesis by contemporary literary theory.

The theme of the commentary itself is that the God who is revealed as a character in Genesis is always a savior. This is true in the Stories About Beginnings (Genesis 1-11) and the Stories About the Troubled Family Chosen for Blessing (Genesis 12-50). The Egyptian slave Hagar, not Abraham, is read as the central figure of the family's first generation and Tamar, the cast-off daughter-in-law as the moral center of the fourth generation. God is savior above al for those whose need is greatest.

Chapters in Part One - Stories About Beginnings: Genesis 1-11 are The Story of the Creation of al That Is: Genesis1:1-2:3," *The Story of the Creation of Man and Woman, the Paradise in Which They Lived and Which They Chose to Lose. And the Sin That Ensued: Genesis 2-3:4, - *The Story of the Great Flood and the Covenant that Ensued: Genesis 6-9, - and *The Story about Babel: Genesis 11:1-9. -

Chapters in Part Two - Stories About the Troubled Family Chosen for Blessing: Genesis 12-50 are *In the Time of the First Generation: Genesis 12-25, - *In the Time of the Second Generation: Genesis 25-28, - *In the Time of the Third Generation: Genesis 28-36, - and *In the Time of the Fourth Generation: Genesis 37-50. -

David W. Cotter, OSB, STD, is general editor of the Berit Olam: Studies in Hebrew Narrative and Poetry series, published by The Liturgical Press.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

Any seminarian would glean much insight from this commentary.
Religious Studies Review

Cotter is a pleasant conversation partner in the interpretation of Genesis and offers a wealth of literary insights.
Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society

In this excellent contribution to the Berit Olam series, David Cotter, a Benedictine monk and priest, focuses on the final form of Genesis, using narrative analysis to produce what he considers to be the first commentary to read 'the entire book as a story' (p. xxiv). The volume is peppered with helpful references to literature, Jewish readings, and ancient Christian interpretations.
Interpretation

This work is an invaluable summary of narrative criticism applied to Genesis. . . . Overall this work will be valuable not only to specialists, but also to teachers of introductions to the Hebrew Scriptures who need to draw students into the richness and variety of biblical texts.
Catholic Books Review

Library Journal
Benedictine monk Cotter here presents a fine example of narrative criticism as applied to Genesis. This literary exploration, which concentrates on plot and character development, makes for fascinating reading. In Cotter's view, the central and, in a sense, only character in Genesis is God, who is at the root of every situation related in that book. Each chapter of this commentary has two sections: "How the Story Is Structured," which deals with how action and character development are handled by the author of Genesis, and "Commentary," in which Cotter offers his detailed examination of the chapter under discussion. The work includes a wonderful 11-page list of books and periodical articles for further reading, as well as Scripture and subject indexes. This book would best be read alongside a more conventional commentary, such Terence Fretheim's contribution to The New Interpreter's Bible: Genesis to Leviticus. Highly recommended for large public libraries with deep collections in Bible studies and for academic libraries.-David Bourquin, California State Univ., San Bernardino Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780814650400
  • Publisher: Liturgical Press, The
  • Publication date: 4/28/2003
  • Series: Berit Olam
  • Pages: 408
  • Sales rank: 1,156,490
  • Product dimensions: 6.20 (w) x 9.30 (h) x 1.40 (d)

Meet the Author


David W. Cotter, OSB, STD, is general editor of the Berit Olam: Studies in Hebrew Narrative and Poetry series, published by Liturgical Press.
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Table of Contents

Preface
Introduction: Michelangelo, Porcelain Miniatures, and Method
Pt. 1 Stories about Beginnings: Genesis 1-11
1 The Story of the Creation of All That Is: Genesis 1:1-2:3 3
2 The Story of the Creation of Man and Woman, the Paradise in Which They Lived and That They Chose to Lose, and the Sin That Ensued: Genesis 2-3;4 25
Note: Genesis 5 - The Ongoing Genealogy of Humanity 47
3 The Story of the Great Flood and the Covenant That Ensued: Genesis 6-9 49
Note: Genesis 10 - The Ongoing Genealogy of Humanity 65
4 The Story about Babel: Genesis 11:1-9 67
Note: Genesis 11:10-32 - The Ongoing Genealogy of Humanity (Abram, his family and their troubles introduced) 73
Summary: The Narrative Structure of Genesis 1-11 75
Pt. 2 Stories about the Troubled Family Chosen for Blessing: Genesis 12-50
Introduction: Choosing Where to Stand 79
5 In the Time of the First Generation: Genesis 12-25 83
Excursus: God as a Developing Character in Genesis 12-25 171
6 In the Time of the Second Generation: Genesis 25-28 181
7 In the Time of the Third Generation: Genesis 28-36 207
Note: Genesis 36:1-43 - Esau and His Strengths 261
8 In the Time of the Fourth Generation: Genesis 37-50 263
Excursus: Outsiders: The Use of Location, Movement, and Concentric Structure to Highlight the Autonomy of Female Characters (Genesis 38; 1 Samuel 25; 2 Samuel 11; 2 Samuel 13) 329
For Further Reading 339
Abbreviations 351
Scripture Index 353
Subject Index 365
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