In this astute mix of cultural critique and biblical studies, John H. Walton presents and defends 20 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.
About the Author
John H. Walton (PhD, Hebrew Union College) is professor of Old Testament at Wheaton College and Graduate School. Previously he was professor of Old Testament at Moody Bible Institute in Chicago for twenty years.
Some of Walton's books include The Lost World of Adam and Eve, The Lost World of Scripture, The Lost World of Genesis One, Ancient Near Eastern Thought and the Old Testament, The Essential Bible Companion, The NIV Application Commentary: Genesis and The IVP Bible Background Commentary: Old Testament (with Victor Matthews and Mark Chavalas).
Walton's ministry experience includes church classes for all age groups, high school Bible studies and adult Sunday school classes, as well as serving as a teacher for "The Bible in 90 Days." John and his wife, Kim, live in Wheaton, Illinois, and have three adult children.
Table of Contents
Proposition 1 Genesis 1 Is Ancient Cosmology 16
Proposition 2 Ancient Cosmology Is Function Oriented 23
Proposition 3 "Create" (Hebrew bara) Concerns Functions 38
Proposition 4 The Beginning State in Genesis 1 Is Nonfunctional 47
Proposition 5 Days One to Three in Genesis 1 Establish Functions 54
Proposition 6 Days Four to Six in Genesis 1 Install Functionaries 63
Proposition 7 Divine Rest Is in a Temple 72
Proposition 8 The Cosmos Is a Temple 78
Proposition 9 The Seven Days of Genesis 1 Relate to the Cosmic Temple Inauguration 87
Proposition 10 The Seven Days of Genesis 1 Do Not Concern Material Origins 93
Proposition 11 "Functional Cosmic Temple" Offers Face-Value Exegesis 102
Proposition 12 Other Theories of Genesis 1 Either Go Too Far or Not Far Enough 108
Proposition 13 The Difference Between Origin Accounts in Science and Scripture Is Metaphysical in Nature 114
Proposition 14 God's Roles as Creator and Sustainer Are Less Different Than We Have Thought 119
Proposition 15 Current Debate About Intelligent Design Ultimately Concerns Purpose 125
Proposition 16 Scientific Explanations of Origins Can Be Viewed in Light of Purpose, and If So, Are Unobjectionable 132
Proposition 17 Resulting Theology in This View of Genesis 1 Is Stronger, Not Weaker 142
Proposition 18 Public Science Education Should Be Neutral Regarding Purpose 152
Summary and Conclusions 162