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Genesis 1 as Ancient Cosmology Hardcover – September 22, 2011


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Genesis 1 as Ancient Cosmology + The Lost World of Genesis One: Ancient Cosmology and the Origins Debate + Ancient Near Eastern Thought and the Old Testament: Introducing the Conceptual World of the Hebrew Bible
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 214 pages
  • Publisher: Eisenbrauns (September 22, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 157506216X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1575062167
  • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 6.2 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #125,608 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

John H. Walton (Ph.D., Hebrew Union College) is professor of Old Testament at Wheaton College. Previously he was professor of Old Testament at Moody Bible Institute in Chicago, Illinois. Some of his books include Ancient Near Eastern Thought Essential Bible Companion), Old Testament Today (with Andrew Hill), Genesis NIV Application Commentary and IVP Bible Background Commentary (with Victor Matthews and Mark Chavalas).

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

25 of 26 people found the following review helpful By David Kilpatrick on July 10, 2012
Format: Hardcover
First off, "Genesis 1 as Ancient Cosmology" was not intended for the average reader like "The Lost World of Genesis 1" was. It is a scholarly treatise. However, I found it easier to read than other scholarly treatises, some of which expect you can read German and French so they quote from German and French scholars without translating. So, while directed toward specialists, he made this fairly accessible.

Dr. Walton had a major insight back in 1998 (he says in the Preface) that he followed up on with extensive research. It dawned on him that the ancients used a "functional" way of viewing creation and not a "material" one, like we modern readers. This dramatically affects how we view Genesis 1 and other creation passages in the Bible and in the Ancient Near East.

In this book, Walton provides the firepower for his insight that unlocked many mysteries about Genesis 1. Genesis 1 has been so mysterious that it has generated countless different perspectives and interpretations, all of which somehow project our modern understandings onto the ancient author. In a sense Walton's insight and subsequent research allowed him to solve the mystery and provide a very clear understanding about what Genesis 1 is saying, verse by verse. He built on other scholars who provided well established "pieces" of the picture, but his insight tied it altogether.

This is an outstanding contribution to biblical scholarship. I think this book is a game changer that will affect the way that scholars, pastors, and lay readers will think about Genesis 1 for generations to come. They will acknowledge that the basic understanding of Genesis 1 has finally been apprehended with a great degree of confidence. His proposal makes SO much sense. Personally, my understanding of Genesis 1 has benefitted tremendously from Walton's writings and I am very grateful to him for that.

I think it's time to revise/update the commentaries on Genesis to include Walton's thesis.
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16 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on November 24, 2011
Format: Hardcover
This book is the scholarly version of "The Lost World of Genesis One". Walton goes into extensive analysis of ancience near east creation myths in a compare and contrast mode with Gen 1. Of course, all the others deal with pagan gods, where Gen 1 deals with YHVH God, but there are a lot of things that are in common, which helps us understand the cultural context in which Genesis 1 was written. I see it as a major contribution to show how Hebrew bara/create deals with a functional creation, not a material creation, which is very different from the way we think today.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Narrowminded1 on November 24, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book introduced the idea of Functional Ontology to me. Before, I thought the only options were either a literal reading of Genesis, or the Day-Age Theory (and perhaps the Gap Theory). This was a ground-breaking work for me. Well researched, well-reason, and provocative--this changed my hermeneutic of Genesis 1-2 completely, and I found it difficult to disagree with the author.
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By Susan on February 20, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Walton has written a very important book for those studying the social and historical thought-world within which ancient Israel wrote and read its sacred texts. This book is thorough in sifting through the literature of the Ancient Near East to shed light on the cultural context behind the writing of Genesis 1. I would recommend this book for anyone who may engage in teaching the book of Genesis.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful By cn on March 30, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Great book. The author does a great job of helping the reader understand the mind set of the ancent world.
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