I am glad to officially announce to my readers that my Genesis 1 and the Creationism Debate: Being Honest to the Text, Its Author, and His Beliefs—Not Ours about Them has been accepted for publication by Wipf & Stock, a small academic/trade publisher. It should be available Fall/Winter 2015. I will certainly keep you updated here.
The primary aim of this book is to present readers with an accurate, unbiased, and culturally-contextualized presentation of the beliefs and worldview of the author of Genesis 1, and to explain why this author believed what he did by referencing his cultural context. This book is not a scientific counter-argument against Creationism. Rather, it is a textual demonstration that pits the beliefs and perceptions about the world and its origin held by the author of this text against modern day beliefs and claims about what this text claims. Briefly, this book demonstrates that ancient texts do indeed represent the beliefs and worldviews of ancient peoples and cultures—not those of God (however one wishes to conceptualize this), not those of later readers, and especially not those of modern day Creationists.
What new and unique features this book brings to the public debate about Creationism:
• Advances for the first time in print the specific textual data that convincingly show the hand of two different authors for Genesis 1 and Genesis 2.
• Provides an unbiased, objective portrait of the beliefs and perceptions of the world that the author of Genesis 1 held and demonstrates that these beliefs were shaped by how his culture perceived and experienced its world.
• Demonstrates textually that what the god of Genesis 1 creates is the very world that its author and culture perceived and experienced—not our objective world or cosmos.
• Discusses the literary conventions employed by ancient scribes when composing ancient texts such as creation accounts.
• Introduces readers for the first time to the author of Genesis 1—an elite Aaronid priest of the 6th c. BCE—and to the larger scroll that he originally penned and its core tenets.
• Illuminates that the real debate about Creationism is not between science and religion, but between what the text of Genesis 1 claims on its own terms and what Creationists, and Fundamentalists, claim about the text.
I posted an earlier version of chapter 1—Genesis’ Two Creation Accounts—and am indebted to many of the comments left by my readers. Thank you for helping clarify my points . . . and my often wordy prose!
So alas, currently 1 of the 3 books I hoped would see daylight in 2015 is on its way. I am still hopeful that I can get one of the other two published by year’s end, or perhaps another smaller project that I have been working on, which attempts to bring biblical scholarship to the public in a different manner—through a 1st person narrative of “a textual journey” through the book of Deuteronomy, that is a surface reading of the text and where that leads the reader (at least for chapter 1). Snippets of Did Moses Lie to Us? A Textual Journey can be found on my earlier website.