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Studies of the Narratives in the Book of Genesis (eBook)

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  • 116,597 Words
  • 358 Pages

The stories in the book of Genesis have been studied intensely for more than two millennia, providing a virtual mountain of commentary on every aspect of the narratives contained therein. Viewed from a traditional perspective, the stories related in Genesis are essentially graphic philosophical and theological narratives designed to convey profound ideas and insights that would otherwise be found only in tomes designed for students of philosophy and theology. A close substantive examination of these narratives, as presented in the Masoretic text but often lost in translation where the subtleties of the Hebrew wording are glossed over, will reveal a treasure trove of insights into the fundamental issues of religious belief, the divine-human relationship, freewill and determinism, the complex nature of humankind, and theodicy, to name a few of the issues dealt with in the narratives. The present work contains four “deep dive” studies of key interrelated narratives in the first twenty-two chapters of Genesis that address the questions of the nature of man and his relationship to God and, most critically, the distinction between divine justice and human justice.It is the hope and expectation of the author of these studies that the reader will come away from them with even more questions about the biblical texts than they had before. As will be seen, there has always been little consensus over the centuries about the meanings of these essentially right-brained texts, primarily because they are constructed and written in a manner that tends to challenge left-brained analysis. Nonetheless, they remain intellectually important because the topics they deal with are of great pertinence to contemporary society.

The stories in the book of Genesis have been studied intensely for more than two millennia, providing a virtual mountain of commentary on every aspect of the narratives contained therein. Viewed from a traditional perspective, the stories related in Genesis are essentially graphic philosophical and theological narratives designed to convey profound ideas and insights that would otherwise be found only in tomes designed for students of philosophy and theology. A close substantive examination of these narratives, as presented in the Masoretic text but often lost in translation where the subtleties of the Hebrew wording are glossed over, will reveal a treasure trove of insights into the fundamental issues of religious belief, the divine-human relationship, freewill and determinism, the complex nature of humankind, and theodicy, to name a few of the issues dealt with in the narratives. The present work contains four “deep dive” studies of key interrelated narratives in the first twenty-two chapters of Genesis that address the questions of the nature of man and his relationship to God and, most critically, the distinction between divine justice and human justice.It is the hope and expectation of the author of these studies that the reader will come away from them with even more questions about the biblical texts than they had before. As will be seen, there has always been little consensus over the centuries about the meanings of these essentially right-brained texts, primarily because they are constructed and written in a manner that tends to challenge left-brained analysis. Nonetheless, they remain intellectually important because the topics they deal with are of great pertinence to contemporary society.


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