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Rethinking Genesis 1-11

Genesis 1-11 contains some of the best-known stories in the world. To modern Westerners they may look like no more than entertaining tales that children can enjoy, but modern adults cannot take seriously. However, when read in the context of the ancient Orient, Genesis 1-11 looks very different. It turns out to be a truly revolutionary document. In retelling the history of the ancient world, it puts a new spin on it by introducing an all-powerful, all-knowing, unique God whose greatest concern is human welfare. The God who appears in Genesis 1-11 is the God presupposed by all the Old Testament writers, indeed by the New Testament as well. The gripping tales of Genesis thus provide the theological spectacles for a sympathetic reading of the Bible. They are the gateway to a valid understanding of its message and can even help modern believers construct a worldview that integrates both the discoveries of modern science and the insights of Christian theology. ""In this revisiting of Genesis 1-11 by a leading commentator on Genesis, the main foci of discussion are the creation narratives and the account of the flood. Wenham skillfully utilizes the opportunity to concentrate on the main features of the narratives, in their own right and in comparison with relevant ancient Near Eastern traditions. The result is an impressive statement of the message, abiding value, and significance for the whole biblical canon, of the 'Genesis protohistory.'"" --Robert Gordon, emeritus Regius Professor of Hebrew, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, UK ""Another book on Genesis 1-11! Are these chapters myths? Are they borrowed from Babylon? Gordon Wenham builds on his notable Word commentary to focus on central ideas. He demonstrates the literary art in them and traces themes present at first, resurfacing later, then integral throughout Scripture to its fulfillment. Oft-emphasized similarities with Babylonian stories fade beside differences, notably in theology. . . . This small volume deserves to be added even to laden bookshelves."" --Alan Millard, emeritus Rankin Professor, The University of Liverpool, Liverpool, UK Gordon Wenham studied in the universities of Cambridge, London, Jerusalem, and Harvard and taught fulltime at the universities of Belfast and Gloucestershire. He is now adjunct professor at Trinity College Bristol. He is best known for his commentaries on Genesis, Leviticus, and Numbers.
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