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Science Seminars

"Recent Scholarly Perspectives on Genesis"

ABSTRACT

I will draw heavily upon material from my seminary course on Genesis at Trinity Western University last fall. Modern Biblical Scholarship on the book of Genesis is heavily influenced by our growing understanding of the Ancient Near East culture, history and literature.  We realize that the original intended audience of the book of Genesis shared common themes and worldviews among neighboring Near East people groups, particularly in Mesopotamia and Egypt, and these shed light on the context and purpose of this ancient writing.  Rather than answering our scientifically-minded questions on origins, Genesis provides a window on how ancient Israel received and preserved a national identity and calling in relationship with the LORD God of all heaven and earth.  Genesis is a brief prelude to the birth of the nation of Israel.  It explains why universal redemption is needed and how God chooses to work through individuals to accomplish this.  Divine inspiration of Scripture is properly understood not as divine dictation to a mindless human author in a cultural vacuum, but rather through the Incarnation principle, that God comes down to our level and communicates to us through modes and language we accept, to give us a better understanding of Himself and how we are to relate to Him.  Rather than looking for modern science embedded in ancient Scripture, if we can take Scripture on its own terms, the theological messages emerge more clearly and powerfully.  And these are the timeless truths for us today.

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