Genesis: History, Fiction, or Neither?: Three Views on the Bible's Earliest Chapters

Genesis: History, Fiction, or Neither?: Three Views on the Bible's Earliest Chapters

by Gordon John Wenham
     
 

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There is little doubt that in recent years the nature of the Genesis narrative has sparked much debate among Christians. This Counterpoints volume introduces three predominant interpretive genres and their implications for biblical understanding. Each contributor identifies their position on the genre of Genesis 1-11, addressing why it is appropriate to the text,

Overview

There is little doubt that in recent years the nature of the Genesis narrative has sparked much debate among Christians. This Counterpoints volume introduces three predominant interpretive genres and their implications for biblical understanding. Each contributor identifies their position on the genre of Genesis 1-11, addressing why it is appropriate to the text, and contributes examples of its application to a variety of passages.

The contributors and views include:

  • James K. Hoffmeier: Theological History
  • Gordon J. Wenham: Proto-History
  • Kenton L. Sparks: Ancient Historiography

General editor and Old Testament scholar Charles Halton explains the importance of genre and provides historical insight in the introduction and helpful summaries of each position in the conclusion. In the reader-friendly Counterpoints format, this book helps readers to reflect on the strengths and weaknesses of each view and draw informed conclusions in this much-debated topic.

Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
07/01/2015
This provocative volume edited by Halton (theology, Houston Baptist Univ.; contributor, IVP Dictionary of the Old Testament) presents an engaging conversation among scholars such as James Hoffmeier (Trinity Evangelical Divinity Sch.), Gordon Wenham (Trinity Coll., Bristol), and Kenton Sparks (Eastern Univ.) about the genres in which the opening chapters of the Book of Genesis might be understood. Modern readers often expect ancient writings to be strict nonfiction whereas ancient readers' response was quite different. Hoffmeier views Genesis as descriptive of historical events, Wenham sees it as "protohistory" (an undercurrent of the past, with blurred details), while Sparks argues the authors of Genesis never intended to write history as we understand that term. These contributors hardly settle the debate, and readers will not either, but the questions are stimulating. VERDICT This devout and lively scholarly work offers a faithful way to approach ancient scriptures and is excellent for academic and seminary libraries as well as study groups.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780310514947
Publisher:
Zondervan
Publication date:
05/12/2015
Series:
Counterpoints: Bible and Theology
Pages:
176
Sales rank:
1,349,719
Product dimensions:
5.20(w) x 7.80(h) x 0.50(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

Meet the Author

James K. Hoffmeier (PhD, University of Toronto) is professor of Old Testament and Near Eastern archaeology at Trinity International University Divinity School in Deerfield, Illinois. He is the author of Ancient Israel in Sinai and Israel in Egypt, and coauthor of Faith, Tradition and History.

Gordon J. Wenham (PhD, University of London) is tutor in Old Testament at Trinity College, Bristol, England, and professor emeritus of Old Testament at the University of Gloucestershire. He is the author or editor of numerous books, including Story as Torah and commentaries on Genesis, Leviticus, and Numbers.

Kenton L. Sparks (Ph.D., University of North Carolina) is professor of biblical studies and interim provost at Eastern University. He is author of several books, including Ancient Texts for the Study of the Hebrew Bible, God's Word in Human Words, and Sacred Word, Broken Word.

Charles Halton (PhD, Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion) is an assistant Professor in Theology at Houston Baptist University. He has contributed to The IVP Dictionary of the Old Testament: Prophets and Reading Akkadian Prayers and Hymns: An Introduction. He is the co-author of The First Female Authors: An Anthology of Women's Writing in Mesopotamia and he maintains a blog at Awilum.com. He resides in Louisville, Kentucky.

Stanley N. Gundry is executive vice president and editor-in-chief for the Zondervan Corporation. He has been an influential figure in the Evangelical Theological Society, serving as president of ETS and on its executive committee, and is adjunct professor of Historical Theology at Grand Rapids Theological Seminary. He is the author of seven books and has written many articles appearing in popular and academic periodicals.

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