Genesis: History, Fiction, or Neither?
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Genesis: History, Fiction, or Neither?  -     By: James K. Hoffmeier, Gordon J. Wenham, Kenton K. Sparks

Genesis: History, Fiction, or Neither?

Zondervan / 2015 / Paperback

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Product Description

Is Genesis properly understood as history, fiction, or something else? Comparing and contrasting three predominant interpretive genres, James Hoffmeier, Gordon Wenham, and Kenton Sparks make a case for Genesis as theological history; proto-history; and ancient historiography respectively. In point/counterpoint arguments they defend their positions and provide examples of each conclusion's implications for biblical understanding.

Product Information

Title: Genesis: History, Fiction, or Neither?
By: James K. Hoffmeier, Gordon J. Wenham, Kenton K. Sparks
Format: Paperback
Number of Pages: 176
Vendor: Zondervan
Publication Date: 2015
Dimensions: 8.00 X 5.31 (inches)
Weight: 6 ounces
ISBN: 0310514940
ISBN-13: 9780310514947
Stock No: WW514947

Publisher's Description

The nature of the Genesis narrative has sparked much debate among Christians. This book introduces three predominant interpretive genres and their implications for biblical understanding.

Each contributor identifies their position on the genre or genres of Genesis, chapters 1-11, addresses why their interpretation is respectful of and appropriate to the text, and contributes examples of its application to a variety of passages.

The positions include:

  • Theological History(Genesis can be taken seriously as both history and theology) – defended by James K. Hoffmeier.
  • Proto-History (the early Genesis narratives consist of a variety of literary genres; which, nonetheless, do not obscure the book's theological teaching) – defended by Gordon J. Wenham.
  • Ancient Historiography (an understanding of Genesis that seeks to reconcile the limitations of its human authors with the nature of it being the Word of God) defended by Kenton L. Sparks.

General editor and Old Testament scholar Charles Halton explains the importance of genre and provides historical insight in the introduction and helpful summaries of each position in the conclusion.

In the reader-friendly Counterpoints format, this book helps readers to reflect on the strengths and weaknesses of each view and draw informed conclusions in this much-debated topic.

Author Bio

James K. Hoffmeier (PhD, University of Toronto) is professor of Old Testament and Near Eastern archaeology at Trinity International University Divinity School in Deerfield, Illinois. He is the author of Ancient Israel in Sinai and Israel in Egypt, and coauthor of Faith, Tradition and History.


Gordon J. Wenham (PhD, University of London) is tutor in Old Testament at Trinity College, Bristol, England, and professor emeritus of Old Testament at the University of Gloucestershire. He is the author or editor of numerous books, including Story as Torah and commentaries on Genesis, Leviticus, and Numbers.


Kenton L. Sparks (Ph.D., University of North Carolina) is professor of biblical studies and interim provost at Eastern University. He is author of several books, including Ancient Texts for the Study of the Hebrew BibleGod's Word in Human Words, and Sacred Word, Broken Word.


Charles Halton (PhD, Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion) is an assistant Professor in Theology at Houston Baptist University. He has contributed to The IVP Dictionary of the Old Testament: Prophets and Reading Akkadian Prayers and Hymns: An Introduction. He is the co-author of The First Female Authors: An Anthology of Women's Writing in Mesopotamia and he maintains a blog at Awilum.com. He resides in Louisville, Kentucky.


Stanley N. Gundry is executive vice president and editor-in-chief for the Zondervan Corporation. He has been an influential figure in the Evangelical Theological Society, serving as president of ETS and on its executive committee, and is adjunct professor of Historical Theology at Grand Rapids Theological Seminary. He is the author of seven books and has written many articles appearing in popular and academic periodicals.

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