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The Lost World of Adam and Eve: Genesis 2-3 and the Human Origins Debate Paperback – March 27, 2015
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"When strident voices who call the first three chapters of Genesis nothing but myth are met by equally strident voices declaring that the Bible, the gospel and the church will thereby collapse from the inside, we are tempted to take a side and start cheering. Then come the voices of reason that seek an opportunity to calm down the strident voices that often refuse to listen. John Walton is a voice of reason and he has shown time and time again that we must learn to read the Bible as God gave it, not the way we'd like it to be. Here we are treated to more 'propositions' about Adam and Eve that will anchor our faith in the ancient world in such a way that the fresh Spirit of God can blow on those chapters to illuminate all who will listen. Thank God for The Lost World of Adam and Eve." (Scot McKnight, professor of New Testament, Northern Seminary)
"We who are committed to the authority of Scripture believe it is inerrant in all that it affirms. Determining what it's affirming is the tricky part, and that is precisely what John Walton helps us discern. Armed with a robust knowledge of the Old Testament and its ancient context, Walton equips Christians to read Genesis on its own terms rather than the terms we've inherited from the modern 'science versus faith' narrative of our culture. As a result Walton opens up new possibilities in the ongoing theological and biblical debate concerning human origins with strong scholarship and Christ-like humility." (Skye Jethani, author of With, SkyeJethani.com)
"John Walton is a gift to the church. In his writing and speaking he has helped Christians to faithfully read the Bible in an environment of competing scientific claims. Now, in The Lost World of Adam and Eve, Walton provides a profoundly evangelical account of how the Bible speaks of Adam and Eve by treating the statements of Scripture in their ancient historical context. This book is the first thing to put in the hands of those wrestling with the perceived tension between the Bible and science." (Timothy Gombis, Grand Rapids Theological Seminary)
"[T]his book is an intelligent discussion of new ways to view the story of Adam and Eve. . . . What Walton does with faith and learning is to save a certain sort of Christian reader, once again, from over-literalism not respectful of either Hebrew scripture or contemporary science. Walton's intriguing volume should appeal to pastors and academics, as well as seminary students." (Graham Christian, Library Journal, May 15, 2015)
"This excellent volume on reading Genesis 2 and 3 will be enormously helpful to Bible-readers who wish to take seriously both Scripture and contemporary scientific perspectives on such matters as human origins. Building on previous work, Walton plots an orthodox Christian path through some challenging territory, writing in a highly accessible manner and making great use of example. His extensive knowledge of the ancient Near Eastern world constantly illuminates the text. The reader will not only gain deep insight into the opening chapters of Genesis, but (more generally) will also be helped to think well about what it means to read any ancient text competently." (Iain Provan, Marshall Sheppard Professor of Biblical Studies, Regent College)
"Can an interpretation of Genesis 2–3 be true to the biblical text and be supported by the most legitimate claims of science? Can one exegete the accounts of the creation and fall of Adam and Eve in light of all of the partial parallels in other ancient Near Eastern creation literature and still believe in the inerrancy of Scripture? John Walton shows that the answer to both questions is a resounding 'yes.' Whether or not one agrees with every detail of Walton's interpretation, one has to admire the brilliance, clarity and sensibility of his approach. This is a must-read for anyone who thinks one has to choose between faith and science." (Craig L. Blomberg, Distinguished Professor of New Testament, Denver Seminary)
"There is much that is valuable in Walton's book for laypersons, students, and all those interested in the Bible-versus-science debate. In addition, Walton's reconsideration of key terms and concepts in Genesis 1–3 is challenging and worth contemplation by academic readers." (Deane Galbraith, Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society, March 2015, 58:1)
"Never has it been more important to think carefully about the intent of the human creation narrative: to view it through the objective of the narrator as the story was first written down and to seek to understand it through the mind of the audience as it was first heard. . . . Given his many years of teaching experience in evangelical institutions and his remarkable communication skill, perhaps no one is better equipped to guide us through this task than John Walton. The Lost World of Adam and Eve is a masterful analysis of authorial intent and contextual understanding of the Genesis narrative in its contemporary Hebrew culture. Walton's years of teaching have enabled him to successfully anticipate all the main questions and to address each in a highly readable fashion." (Darrel Falk, professor of biology, Point Loma Nazarene University, senior advisor for dialog, BioLogos)
"This book is a 'must-read' for anyone interested in the contemporary debate over human origins and how to understand the early chapters of Genesis." (Douglas Mangum, Bible Study Magazine, May/June 2015)
"I wish every Christian would read this book. John Walton is helping an entire generation of people―believers and skeptics alike―learn how to read Genesis as it was meant to be read. I can't imagine any student of the Bible not being mesmerized by his scholarship. I think this will open up doors of faith and understanding to a vast audience." (John Ortberg, senior pastor of Menlo Park Presbyterian Church, author of Soul Keeping)
About the Author
John H. Walton (PhD, Hebrew Union College) is professor of Old Testament at Wheaton College and Graduate School. Previously he was professor of Old Testament at Moody Bible Institute in Chicago for twenty years. Some of Walton's books include The Lost World of Adam and Eve, The Lost World of Scripture, The Lost World of Genesis One, Ancient Near Eastern Thought and the Old Testament, The Essential Bible Companion, The NIV Application Commentary: Genesis and The IVP Bible Background Commentary: Old Testament (with Victor Matthews and Mark Chavalas). Walton's ministry experience includes church classes for all age groups, high school Bible studies and adult Sunday school classes, as well as serving as a teacher for "The Bible in 90 Days." John and his wife, Kim, live in Wheaton, Illinois, and have three adult children.
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Firstly, I would agree with Christopher Wright (*Old Testament Ethics and the People of God*, chapter 4, Ecology and the Earth, pgs 116-126); that the image of God is not biological property that we possess within our genome, but a calling upon humanity to represent and serve God. As such, evolution doesn’t undo this. But that doesn’t really begin to answer the questions, does it?
For those of us who feel caught between the false dicohtamy of Science v’s Scripture, then this book will prove extremely helpful. John Walton, along with a nice contribution from N.T. Wright, provides an excellent resource for understanding the intent of the second and third chapters of the book of Genesis, and their use in the New Testament writings.
The book is very accessible and is written in short chapters that continually build-up Walton’s proposition, as he contrasts the writing of Genesis with other A.N.E creation accounts, as well as analysing the lexical concepts of the text. And the good thing is, you don’t have to be an academic to grasp this; although there is enough in this, I feel, to satisfy both scholars and lay-people.
I highly recommend reading this, regardless of you’re take of Genesis 2 & 3 – if you want to know Walton’s conclusions, then read the book.
If you want a more balanced approach, comparing Walton’s view with others on this topic, then I would also recommend Four Views on the Historical Adam (Counterpoints: Bible and Theology from Zondervan)
---Tristan Sherwin, author of *Love: Expessed*
There is still good stuff inside these pages, but instead of having one solid theory that is shown to be true by lots of solid evidence, this book has a bunch of random thoughts that only slightly build on each other.
"The core proposal of this book is that the forming accounts of Adam and Eve should be understood archetypally rather than as accounts of how those two individuals were uniquely formed. When I use the word archetype, I am not referring to the way that literature uses archetypes. I am referring to this simple concept that an archetype embodies all others in the group." (Page 74)
The proposal made by Walton that most interested me was the idea that perhaps God made multiple humans all at once in the beginning. Maybe it wasn't just Adam and Eve. This would help explain difficult to understand passages such as Genesis 4:14-17. Adam and Eve were still important, though, because God used them as representatives for all of humankind.
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I was quite pleased with this work. John Walton's "The Lost World Of Adam and Eve" is the most persuasive Evolutionary Creationist treatment of the topic of...Read more