Genesis (Google eBook)

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Hermann Gunkel, Mark E. Biddle
Mercer University Press, 1997 - Religion - 477 pages
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Gunkel's commentary on Genesis is a classic in the field of Old Testament studies. This translation makes it available in English for the first time. Gunkel's familiarity with the religious and folk literatures of the world especially of the ancient Near East, provides the context into which he sought to situate Israelite religion and literature. Although he employed source- and form-critical methods, he brought a fine literary and cultural sensitivity to bear on the question of the interpretation of the text in its final forms. In fact, many who now criticize late nineteenth- and early twentieth-century scholarship for its atomism and aridity (Gunkel himself, expressed an awareness of these dangers) will be surprised to find Gunkel's literary reading of Genesis and his engagement with the text inferior to none based on modern approaches. Many of the critical issues with which Gunkel grappled in his commentary continue to commend the attention of Genesis scholarship: the nature of patriarchal religion, the interrelationship between documentary sources, oral tradition, and editorial activity, the antiquity of Israel's eschatological hope, and much more.
  

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Contents

VIII
1
IX
4
X
41
XI
50
XII
54
XIII
56
XIV
60
XV
79
LI
285
LII
287
LIII
291
LIV
293
LV
298
LVI
308
LVII
315
LVIII
316

XVI
85
XVII
94
XVIII
102
XIX
103
XX
133
XXI
138
XXII
152
XXIII
154
XXIV
156
XXV
158
XXVII
162
XXVIII
163
XXIX
168
XXX
173
XXXI
176
XXXII
183
XXXIII
192
XXXIV
200
XXXV
205
XXXVI
216
XXXVII
218
XXXVIII
225
XXXIX
230
XL
233
XLI
240
XLII
241
XLIII
256
XLIV
257
XLV
258
XLVI
259
XLVII
267
XLVIII
272
L
273
LIX
319
LX
321
LXI
327
LXII
331
LXIII
342
LXIV
343
LXV
345
LXVI
347
LXVII
353
LXVIII
356
LXIX
357
LXX
365
LXXI
369
LXXII
370
LXXIII
371
LXXIV
375
LXXV
380
LXXVI
387
LXXVII
395
LXXVIII
404
LXXIX
411
LXXX
415
LXXXI
423
LXXXII
427
LXXXIII
434
LXXXIV
438
LXXXV
442
LXXXVI
445
LXXXVII
450
LXXXVIII
462
LXXXIX
465
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Popular passages

Page 5 - God created heaven and earth. The earth was void and empty, and darkness was upon the deep, and the spirit of God moved upon the water. Then God said: let there be light and there was light.
Page 5 - It would be vain to deny the exalted ease and the uniform greatness that give the narrative its character. The beginning especially is incomparable : " The earth was without form and void, and darkness lay upon the deep, and the Spirit of God moved upon the water. Then God said : Let there be light, and there was light." But chaos being given, all the rest is spun out of it : all that follows is reflection, systematic construction ; we can easily follow the calculation from point to point.
Page lxxxi - ... the Gospel itself, because there is no one moral or physical law of God that can be violated without entailing the consequences incidental to the violation of law. Philosophy and religion will be one great truth when we perfectly understand all the revelations of God to man, from Adam to Noah, from Noah to Abraham, from Abraham to Moses, and from Moses to Jesus Christ, and the Lord Himself at His second coming. For all these are in the line of faith. It is through them that the revelations of...
Page 6 - Fundamental Problems of Hebrew Literary History', in What Remains of the Old Testament (London 1928), 57-68, originally published as 'Die Grundprobleme der israelitischen Literaturgeschichte', Deutsche Literaturzeitung, 18 (1906), 1797-1800.
Page lxxxvi - Israelite national epic" from the individual stories did not appear. Israel produced great religious reformers who created a comprehensive unity in religious spirit from the dispersed traditions of their people. But it did not produce a Homer. This is fortunate for our scholarship at any rate. Precisely because there was no great poetic whole and the passages were left in an essentially unfused stated, we are able to discern the history of the whole process.
Page 8 - Oral tradition among the people includes only individual stories which surely come from the same circle of thought yet which are not organized into a planned totality. The recorder [by this Wellhausen of course means the authors of J, E, etc.] of the individual narratives is the one who initiates the plan and the...
Page 7 - Thus in studying such literary types 'we must in each case have the whole situation clearly before us and ask ourselves. Who is speaking? Who are the listeners? What is the mise en scène at the time?
Page 8 - Pentateuchal sources to initiate "the plan and the connections," as Wellhausen had argued. In other words, already at the oral stage individual stories concerning the same individual or dwelling upon a similar theme were attracted to each other and were thus combined to form "cycles of legends" (Sagenkranze).14 According to Gunkel, 12See below, xlviii.

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About the author (1997)

Hermann Gunkel, a high-ranking biblical scholar, was born in Springe, Germany, near Hanover, and obtained his formal education at the Universities of Gottingen, Giessen, and Leipzig. After teaching New Testament for one year at Gottingen in 1888, Gunkel devoted the rest of his academic career to Old Testament studies at Halle (1889--93), Berlin (1894--1907), and Giessen (1907--20) before returning to Halle (1920--27). Gunkel's methodological insights and conclusions are most readily evident in two masterful commentaries on Genesis (1901) and Psalms (1926). Above all, Gunkel emphasized the significance of the community as opposed to individual biblical authors and spelled out the ways in which tradition is handed down orally within the community. His isolation of various family and cultic legends in the book of Genesis and his identification of different types of psalmic composition---such as the psalm of individual thanksgiving, royal psalm, and hymn---in the book of Psalms has assuredly shaped subsequent scholarly treatment of not only these two key Old Testament books but also other books in the biblical canon.

Mark E. Biddle (Ph.D., University of Zurich) is Professor of Old Testament at the Baptist Theological Seminary at Richmond. He has written numerous articles & reviews as well as two books & four volumes of translated works. He has been pastor & in churches in Indiana, Germany, Switzerland, & Tennessee.

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