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In the Beginning... We Misunderstood: Interpreting Genesis 1 in Its Original Context Paperback – August 14, 2012
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About the Author
John M. Soden (ThM, PhD, Dallas Theological Seminary) teaches Old Testament at Lancaster Bible College and Graduate School. Prior to coming to LBC, he was a pastor in Colorado. He and his wife, Janet, live in Lancaster, Pennsylvania.
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Top Customer Reviews
Both authors are seminary graduates and recount how they began as young earth creationists, but eventually opted for old earth theology. They never directly say his, but it is evident this change was largely due to scientific evidence against a young Earth. I consider that a fair point. They re-examined Genesis and decided there was room for old earth interpretation. However, on page 164, they make it clear that they do not adhere to the OEC day-age theory. As much as they attempt to steer away from old Earth vs young Earth, they occasionally drop hints that they are largely talking to young Earth Christians. That said, in contrast to most dialogue from OECs, this book is not condescending. Most OECs talk about YECs as though they were uneducated country yokels in need of enlightenment. The tone of this book was refreshing.
There are problems in the Creation account for OECs and YECs, some common to both. As the authors point out, days one through five use an indefinite article ("there was evening and morning, a fifth day"), where as day six and seven use a definite article ("the sixth day")--why? Day one through three had evening and morning before there was a sun.Read more ›
Unlike many previous books on this subject by scientifically-trained authors who deal with the interrelationship of science and the Bible, these authors, both with advanced degrees in theology, deal almost exclusively with the biblical text, rather than with science. They make their case from Scripture, not from science, and the difference shows.
Their main point can be summed up in one of the questions that they ask and answer near the end of the book: "How can I trust the Bible if it does not mean what it says?" which they rephrase as "Can I trust the Bible if it does not mean what I thought it meant from my context when I initially read it, before I understood what it would have meant to the original readers?" They then proceed to help us to understand the original intent and meaning of Genesis 1 by placing us in the position of the original readers as much as possible.
The book centers on very readable descriptions of the creation accounts of the ancient Egyptians, Mesopotamians, and Canaanite, and how they are both similar to and different from the Genesis 1 account (68 out of 177 pages of text), complete with summary tables and some photos. The emphasis is on understanding what Moses' original audience understood about the gods and creation and what God wanted the original audience to understand. The book is similar to John H.Read more ›
As the debate carries on currently the center of discussion has moved to focus on the ANE cultural background. ANE studies have been on a rise for the last several decades and their findings have caused numerous Christians from the scholar to the layman to question some of the long standing and popular interpretations of Genesis 1. The view that has been questioned the most in light of these ANE findings is the literal 24 hour view which sees the days of creation as 24 hour periods of time as we experience them today. This view is held by those described as Young Earth Creationists (YEC).
One of the most recent books to hit the shelves seeking to question this view is In the Beginning...We Misunderstood: Interpreting genesis 1 in Its Original Context by Johnny V. Miller and John M. Soden. Both are graduates of Dallas Theological Seminary and have been or are pastors and teachers.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Decent / fair price for the book....although I think the authors are completely in error concerning their speculations about how to interpret the Book of Genesis ..... Read morePublished 21 days ago by Scott Abel
One may not agree with the authors' conclusion or view-point, but what one can hardly say is that the book is not well-argued. Read morePublished 1 month ago by David
This book is, by far, one of the better books I have read dealing with the issues surrounding Genesis 1 and how to understand them in light of their original context. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Jeremy Myers - Writing at RedeemingGod
A very disappointing book. The authors claim to have found a new way of understanding Genesis. So, Bible scholars have been wrong for over 2,000 years? Big call! Read morePublished 9 months ago by Dostoyevsky
This is a readable, comprehensive look at the cultural influences of ANE culture on the original audience of the Pentateuch. Read morePublished 12 months ago by Journey K.
Good to see the other side of the equation. This book makes a person think and to see things coherently. All of us need to be open and listen to others point of view.Published 13 months ago by Joseph Bruni
This book will clarify that that Genesis and science are truly in line with one another.
A need to read.
My pastor recommended this book to me after we had a discussion regarding the topic written within it. I really enjoyed reading it and I learned quite a bit from it. Read morePublished 18 months ago by Nick