Paradise to Prison: Studies in Genesis

Sheffield Publishing
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No other piece of ancient Near Eastern literature that has survived the ravages of time compares favorably with the book of Genesis. Its theological perspectives and historical profiles of early man are unique. It is important not because it is old­other collections antedate it by many years-but because it completely transcends the primitive mythology of the ancient world. Reading and studying Genesis are not burdensome tasks. Its themes are varied and its personal portraits unparalleled. It immediately tackles on of man's most basic questions: What is the origin of all things? Its answer is as credible as it is captivating. From the origin of man the writer shifts attention to the fall of man and the human dilemma. The problem of evil is rarely discussed in such a manner by other ancient writers. From this point the writer concentrates on the spiritual, moral, and practical consequences of sin. Great catastrophes, such as the flood and the confusion of tongues at Babel, demonstrate God's response to human rebellion. Where in the annals of history can we find more imaginative and frank portraits than those of Abraham and his descendants? Abraham's moments of great triumph and ecstasy are not reported to the exclusion of his hours of humility and disgrace; this balanced description is quite distinct from the idealism of ancient Near Eastern historiography. The detailed descriptions of Abraham's failures, therefore, constitute a remarkable proof for the inspiration of this book. The sensitive reader cannot help but be struck by this book's great contrasting emphases: on one hand majestic, cosmological truth; on the other hand personal, intimate, and individualistic narratives of a man, a wife, and their family. While theological abstractions are common, they do not exclude personal warmth and historical objectivity. There are also great contrasts between personalities; the most significant is between God and Satan, and based on this contrast is the one between good and evil and their practical effects. The book of Genesis, therefore, is of utmost value to the scientist, the historian, and the theologian: to the scientist for its cosmology, to the historian for its early history of Israel, and to the theologian for its basic philosophical implications. But one must approach the book properly; only then can one hope to understand it, not to mention the rest of the Bible and Jesus Himself . Jesus told his hostile contemporaries that "had ye believed Moses, ye would have believed me: for he wrote of me. But if ye believe not his writings, how shall ye believe my words?" (John 5:46,47)
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Sheffield Publishing
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Published on
Apr 1, 1998
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Best For
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Religion / Biblical Studies / Old Testament
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Eligible for Family Library

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