10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars
much to be discovered in this lost world, 3 Jan 2011
Professor Walton will be known to many biblical scholars and teachers as co-author of a fine Old Testament Survey. This book makes a significant contribution to the study of Genesis and, indeed, the whole of the Hebrew Bible. Walton makes a convincing case that the first chapter of Genesis must be understood in terms of its cultural and literary background in the ancient Near East and not, in the first instance, in the light of our contemporary cosmological concerns. So, like many other ANE creation accounts, Genesis 1 depends on a functional ontology; it portrays the ordering of a chaotic world into a functioning Cosmos which serves as a temple for God, rather than a creation "ex nihilo". Walton's tone throughout is eirenic. His deep scholarship serves always to clarify rather than to mystify. Those scholars, who, in my view understandably, have been led to dismiss the historical-critical enterprise as barren of significance may revise their opinion if they read this. However, this accessible and affordable book will also be of interest for pastors, bible group leaders and indeed all who are interested in establishing how the truths of Scripture bear on current debates.