Sunday, July 14, 2013

Book: The Book of Genesis: A Biography, by Ronald Hendel

Hendel, Ronald. 2013. The Book of Genesis: A Biography. Princeton: Princeton University Press.

This short (and small) but very rich book details the history of scholarly and popular interpretations of Genesis from pre-Christian times to the present. Broadly speaking, the story has three parts, starting with figural interpretations, both apocalyptic and Platonic, followed by more literal interpretations in the Protestant era, followed by critical literary readings in modern times. An initial chapter sets the context with a history of the text itself. The book is well informed by the relevant scholarship (and the author is himself a leading scholar) but is written for the intelligent non-specialist. I learned a great deal, especially in regard to the earlier figural readings.

Recommended for those into such things.

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