This is a new commentary volume looking at the theological and literary motivations of "Genesis" 1-11. Joseph Blenkinsopp provides a new commentary on "Genesis" 1-11, the so-called 'Primeval History' in which the account of creation is given. Blenkinsopp works with the conviction that, from a biblical point of view, creation cannot be restricted to a single event, nor to two versions of an event (as depicted in "Genesis" 1-3) but, rather, must take in the whole period of creation arranged in the sequence: creation - uncreation - recreation (as can be derived from "Genesis" 1-11). Through the course of the commentary, presented in continuous discussion rather than in a rigid verse-by-verse form, Blenkinsopp takes into account pre-modern interpretations of the texts, especially in the Jewish interpretative tradition, as well as modern, historical-critical interpretations. Blenkinsopp works from the perspective of acknowledging the text's literary integrity as an 'authored' work, rather than focusing simply on the its background in various sources (whilst of course paying due attention to those sources).
This enables Blenkinsopp's engaging discussion to focus upon the literary and theological artistry of the material at hand.
'This stimulating commentary, based on a lifetime's study and reflection, makes a major contribution to unravelling the myriad problems of interpretation in Genesis 1-11. The author's great erudition ensures that scholars and students will learn much from it, whilst its clear presentation makes it accessible to the lay reader. This wide ranging volume is packed full of valuable theological insights and makes impressive use of other biblical, ancient Near Eastern, classical and later Jewish sources to illumine the text.' - John Day, Professor of Old Testament Studies, Oxford University"--Sanford Lakoff