Questioning Genesis

Book Review

Old Testament Theology: The Theology of the Book of Genesis
by R.W.L. Moberly
Cambridge University Press (2009), 272 pages
FES Library book call number: 222.11 MOB


How should the book of Genesis be understood? The book of Genesis poses many difficulties for Christians who attempt to gain a deeper understanding about the book. There are also different ways offered by scholars and theologians to make sense of the book content. These may bring confusion for Christians; which interpretations should be followed? Is there any right answer to that question?

In this concise book, Moberly proposes a way of reading that ties the book of Genesis with its context and reception within faith communities. Although his proposal does not thoroughly resolve the issue of interpretation, it may help Christians to filter creative interpretations that bring Genesis out of its context. Moberly shows awareness of the issue by highlighting major challenges to the reading of Genesis in 21st century. He picks up a few chapters of Genesis as his working examples and provides suggestions on how Christians can anchor their understanding amidst many unanswered questions. These selected chapters include the account of creation, the fall, the flood, and the Abrahamic covenant.

This book is a good introduction for Christians who seek to gain better understanding of the book of Genesis, with or without an awareness of the challenges that the book poses. To the former, Moberly offers pointers on how to navigate through the difficulties in the book of Genesis, while to the latter, raises awareness on the issues of interpreting Genesis. Additionally, Moberly provides useful footnotes and bibliography for those who wish to further explore any specific issue. Thus, this book is a gate to adventure of discovering the book of Genesis.


Reviewed by
Victor Wibowo
FES senior staff worker