Genesis for Normal People
A Guide to the Most Controversial, Misunderstood, and Abused Book of the Bible
Given the fever-pitched controversies about evolution, Adam and Eve, and scientific evidence for the Flood, the average person might feel intimidated by the book of Genesis. But behind the heady debates is a terrific story-one that anyone can understand, and one that has gripped people for ages. If you are not a Bible scholar but want to be able to read Genesis and understand its big picture, this brief, witty book is the guide you’ve been waiting for. Clear summaries and thought-provoking questions provide direction for personal reflection and group discussion. Peter Enns, a Biblical Studies professor, and Jared Byas, an Old Testament professor, summarize the book’s key themes and help us see Genesis as an ancient story, one with continued relevance for human experience today. Genesis for Normal People illuminates the characters that fill the book of Genesis, causing us to resonate with their choices and struggles even as we marvel at their distant world. And that’s what you’ll find here-not scientific proof texts or simple moral tales, but a distant world made available, and a story that is often strange, sometimes dangerous, and always filled with rich possibilities.
WHAT OTHERS HAVE TO SAY ABOUT GENESIS FOR NORMAL PEOPLE:
“This book is a welcome antidote to the mystification about the book of Genesis that goes around. It is accessible for readers who want to take the plunge into this old text. It is gentle in leading readers to a critical sense of the text in response to a “late” trauma in Israel. It is imaginative in its articulation of a book that might otherwise be off-putting. The convergence of accessibility, gentleness, and imagination make this a very fine read.”– Walter Brueggemann, Professor Emeritus, Columbia Theological Seminary
“Genesis for Normal People is the perfect starting point for Christians who want to read the book of Genesis more faithfully and honestly. Enns and Byas break down the history, genre, culture, and context of this fascinating book of the Bible, so that “normal people” — you know, those who can’t read ancient Hebrew — can get a better sense of its purpose, meaning and relevance. The authors manage to simplify without dumbing down, challenge without confusing, and dig for deep truth without compromising their intellectual integrity. A must – read for anyone who care enough about the Bible to want to read and understand it on its own terms.”– Rachel Held Evans, author of A Year of Biblical Womanhood
“The stories in the book of Genesis are among the most well known in the Bible — so much so that it’s easy to lose sight of the fact that Genesis is an ancient document from a cultural setting very different from our own. Enns and Byas have provided a highly readable volume that reminds readers of its reality while explaining the meaning and significance of Genesis in light of its ancient context. An ideal book for individual and study groups interested in understanding Genesis on its own terms.”– John R. Franke, General Coordinator for The Gospel and Our Culture Network
“Evangelical Old Testament scholarship has come of age and is now coming out from behind the shadows of suppression and secrecy. No one represents this fresh coming of age more than Peter Enns, who, with co-author Jared Byas, makes available to any Bible reader a fresh engagement with Genesis — readable, responsible, and recognizably fresh.”– Scot McKnight, Professor of New Testament at Northern Seminary