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In the Beginning: A New Interpretation of Genesis Paperback – October 7, 1997
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Karen Armstrong makes reading the Bible a smooth and liberating experience. The brilliance of Armstrong's analysis of Genesis lies in her ability to draw together the story, the contemporaneous situations of the characters and the writers, and the relevance of themes amid multifarious contradictions, then hold them up for us to contemplate. Edifying and engaging, this short but impressive book comes complete with the entire Genesis text. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From Publishers Weekly
Having written A History of God (1993) and Jerusalem (1996), prolific and bestselling author Armstrong turns her considerable imaginative skill and critical acumen to an interpretation of the first book of the Bible. In a series of short meditations, Armstrong explores each of the major scriptural units in Genesis, from the creation accounts (Genesis 1-3) to the death of Joseph (Genesis 50). In her reflection on and interpretation of Adam and Eve's fall from grace, she notes that the act of plucking the forbidden fruit renders the couple like God, in that they use their "wisdom and the power that comes with it for apparently evil ends as well as for good." Armstrong integrates the sophistication of biblical scholarship with the more raw inquisitiveness of the common reader. The result is a lyrical chronicle of one woman's wrestling with Genesis that can serve as a guide to others grappling with the book. While many of Armstrong's readings may provoke controversy, she provides a model of scriptural interpretation that is as notable for its scholarship as it is for its honesty and vulnerability.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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An example of what she does can be found in her treatment of Noah and Abraham. Both men are seen as obedient and accepting of God's destructiveness and lack of concern for the innocent (the Flood and the Sacrifice of Issac). Abraham goes off to sacrifice Issac with the same submissiveness with which Noah builds his ark. But in the case of Sodom and Gomorrah, Abraham argues with God and God reduces the absolute severity of his punishment! Perhaps this is the true beginning of Judaism in the Bible.