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Beginnings: Ancient Christian Readings of the Biblical Creation Narratives
What are we missing when we look at the creation narratives of Genesis only or primarily through the lens of modern discourse about science and religion? Theologian Peter Bouteneff explores how first-millennium Christian understandings of creation can inform current thought in the church and in the public square. He reaches back into the earliest centuries of our era to re ...more
Paperback, 256 pages
Published October 1st 2008 by Baker Academic
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This book shows us how the earliest Christians read the creation accounts (Genesis 1-3), which makes it nearly a must-read in the never-ending debates about origins that continue in our culture. Bouteneff begins with how the text itself came together and its role in pre-Christian Judaism. Perhaps surprising to most people, Genesis 1-3 plays practically no role in the rest of the Old Testament; it begins to get more attention in the intertestamental period. Chapter two is about Paul's use of the ...more
A very interesting look at how Genesis 1-3 were viewed by its original Jewish audience, the Apostle Paul, and the Church Fathers up to the Cappadocians. If this book has any shortcomings it is that it stops with the Cappadocians and does not interact with the one Church Father who perhaps made the most use of Genesis 1-3, Augustine. Nevertheless, this book would be excellent reference for anyone working on Creation, the Fall, etc.
It is extremely hard to follow the ideas of the author, he has many cross-topics per section and there is no clear topical separation in sections of each chapter. I struggled to understand what is he aiming to deliver to me as a reader! His style of writing needs many improvements, otherwise it will keep having negative impact on the academic material in the book.
This is a very multifaceted and important work, explaining how Genesis has been viewed in many different ways, at many different times and is a wonderful corrective to a rigorous and literal interpretation of what are properly Theological and Poetic writings...Great as a reference text also.
This book is a struggle. Not because it is hard to read, but because the content is challenging. I find I can only read a few pages at a time because I have to take time to integrate the material. This is a good for transforming the practice of religion into true faith.
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“There is no simple solution how properly to translate the Hebrew ʾadam or the Greek ἄνθρωπος. One of the meanings these terms carry refers simultaneously to humankind and human personhood—as collective and generic—but does so in a way that retains a particular and personal focus.”More quotes…