In January of next year I will begin a series of articles in my As It Is Written columns dealing with biblical creation, specifically the two biblical creation stories – In the BEGINNING (Genesis 1) and the story of Adam and Eve (Genesis 2 and 3).
The series will be much deeper than most studies you may have encountered and will center on a new translation of the texts (Genesis 1:1-4a here, and Genesis 2:4b-3:24 here) that reflect the latest advances in Bible scholarship. The first of the articles, an introduction to the series can be downloaded (or read) from here. However, even though much of the new findings arise from a better understanding of the underlying Hebrew text, a knowledge of biblical Hebrew is not expected or required.
Here are some highlights of these new findings:
- God is neither omniscient nor omnipotent as most humans understand the term
- The first creation story (“In the BEGINNING”) explicitly supports the Big Bang theory of the origins of the universe as well as evolution by natural selection.
- God did not rest on the seventh day, the Sabbath.
- In the second creation story, man was created to cultivate crops (and tend the Garden).
- Life existed outside of Eden, even before Eden was created.
- Adam committed the first sin, not Eve.
- Adam did not disobey God’s command not to eat of the tree of knowledge. Rather, he ignored God’s warning.
- The serpent was not evil incarnate. Man was!
- Adam and Eve engaged in sexual relations during their sojourn in Eden.
Now, go and study
I’ve written a review of Dr. Hoffman’s new book, The Bible’s Cutting Room Floor: The Holy Scriptures Missing From Your Bible. The complete review can be found under the [Recommended Reading] Tab (above).
It’s important to note that the book is not a scholarly effort and, in fact, seems to avoid such complexity. For example, there are no footnotes nor is there an appendix. And, apart from a recommended reading list, his book is a straightforward and well-written pew-sitter’s guide to those who would know more about the Bible’s historical and/or narrative context. For this, among other reasons, I would argue that the book well-deserves 5 stars.
The book is easy to read, engaging, and will present the serious reader with more than a few “aha” moments. Your efforts will be well rewarded.