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This introduction to the interpretation of Genesis encourages in-depth study of the text, and genuine grappling with the theological and historical questions raised, by providing a critical assessment of key interpreters and interpretative debates. It draws on a range of methodological approaches (author-, text- and reader-centred), as complementary rather than mutually exclusive ways of understanding the text. It also reflects the growing scholarly attention to the reception history of biblical texts, increasingly viewed as a vital aspect of interpretation rather than an optional extra.
Special note: For the best experience when navigating this resource, we recommend setting the table of contents to list view. As an introductory series covering the theological and historical background of the text, much of the included information is broadly thematic and not verse-specific.
"Iain Provan has made a significant contribution to our ongoing interpretation of Genesis. Readers will find this a fresh and suggestive entry into the book of Genesis." - Walter Brueggemann, Columbia Theological Seminary
"A welcome and masterful presentation of how Genesis has been interpreted through the ages. Be prepared to have your mind stimulated by expanded views of hermeneutics and a close reading of the text." - John Walton, Wheaton College
"Provan offers his readers a sweeping, succinct, accessible, and sometimes iconoclastic assessment of the history of interpretation of Genesis, a section-by-section rehearsal of its major interpretive challenges, and a deeper understanding of Genesis as theology." - Peter Enns, Eastern University
"Iain Provan's study is set to become an essential text on the great book of Genesis. With enormous scholarly range and communicative skill, he offers an anatomy of biblical interpretation as well as an acute analysis of Genesis itself as both narrative and theology. The result is a remarkable book, which should find a space on all serious students' shelves." - Gordon McConville, University of Gloucestershire
"An accessible contemporary reading of Genesis that interacts with past readings and displays both historical and hermeneutical sophistication." - Walter Moberly, Durham University
"This work brings to life the first book of the Hebrew Bible. Provan's reviews of the treatment of the book's motifs in the history of interpretation, including the arts, are especially helpful." - Daniel Block, Wheaton College
Iain Provan is Professor of Biblical Studies at Regent College, Vancouver. He has written numerous articles and several books, including commentaries on Lamentations, 1 and 2 Kings, Ecclesiastes and Song of Songs. He is also co-author of the widely acclaimed A Biblical History of Israel (WJK 2003). He is an ordained minister of the Church of Scotland and a Life Member of Clare Hall, Cambridge.