Sailhamer Abstract

John Misasi (
Wed, 30 Oct 1996 23:43:19 -0500 (EST)

I brought the subject up, so i will give the abstract that he has at the
fromt of his book, and hope i am not breaking any copyright laws. I
would recommend everyone to read this book, He explains it far better
than i will ever be able to do. Also, if anyone else has read this, your
commentary would be appreciated as well.


*Genesis Unbound* will argue that a common modern understanding of the
first two chapters of Genesis is simply wrong. Because of this error,
many Christians have felt torn between an allegiance to the Bible and a
recognition of the findings of modern science-- a tear that is neither
necessary nor helpful.
One of the main purposes for this book is to show that when
Genesis 1 and 2 are understood as I believe Moses intended them to be
understood, nearly all the difficulties that perplex modern readers
instantly vanish. Through a fresh reading of Genesis 1:1-2:4a that
builds on the work of gifted interpreters from centuries past-- an
approach I call " historical Creationism" -- I try to show how this can
be so. My approach is textual and biblical, not primarily scientific or
historical. I come to the text as an evangelical Christian commited to
the inerrancy of the Scriptures and as one who wants to hear what the
Bible itself means to say.
I maintain that the narratives of Genesis 1 and 2 are to be
understood as both literal and historical. They recount to great acts of
God. In the first act, god created the universe we see around us today,
consisting of the earth, the sun, the moon, the stars, and all the plants
and animals that now inhabit (or formerly inhabited) the earth. The
biblical record of that act of creation is recounted in Genesis 1:1 --"In
the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth."
Since the Hebrew word translated "beginning" refers to an
indefinit period of time, we cannot say for certain when God created the
world or how long he took to create it. This period could have spanned
as much as several billion years, or it could have been much less; the
text simply does not tell us how long. It tells us only that God did it
during the "beginning" of our universe's history.
the second act of God recountedin Genesis 1 and 2 deals woth a
much more limited scope and period of time. Begining with Genesis 1:2,
the biblical narrative recounts God's preparation of a land for the man
and woman He was to create. That "land" was the same land later promised
to Abraham and his decendents. It was that land which God gave to Isreal
after their exudus from Egypt. It was that land to which Joshua led the
Isrealites after their time of wandering in the wilderness. According to
GEnesis 1, God prepared that land within a period of a six-day work
week. On the sixth day of that week, God created human beings. God then
rested on the seventh day.
The second chapter of Genesis provides a closer look at God's
creation of the firsthuman beings. We are told that God created them
from the ground and put them in the garden of Eden to worship and obey
God (not to merely work the garden and take care of it). The boundaries
of that garden are the same as those of the promised land; thuss the
events of these chapters foreshadow the events of the remainder of the
Pentateuch. God creates a people, He puts them into the land He has
prepared for them, and He calls on them to worship and obey Him and
receive His blessing.

Dr. John Sailhamer. Multnomah Books. 1996

Introduction: Pages13-15

<ME>The book is essentially his proof of why he thinks what he said above.
Dr. Sailhamer's credentials are as follows ( from the back cover)

Dr. John H Sailhamer has served on the trans;ation commitees for two
versions of the Book of Genesis. He holds a Ph.D. in Semitics from UCLA
and a Th.M from Dallas THeological Seminary. Dr. Sailhamer has taught at
Bethel Seminary and Philadelphia College of the Bible, and has served as
a professor of Old Testament ans Semitic languages at Trinity Evangelical
Divinity School. He is scholar in residence at Northwestern College in
Roseville, Minnesota and concurrently professor of Old Testament at
Western Seminary in Portland, Oregon.

<ME>I think he has done an excellent job in his proof and it has
credibility because he interprets scripture by looking at what it means,
not what we tend to do alot in trying to meld science with genesis,
either treat it as myth or read sceince into it. He actually translates
the passage and it is remarkably different from what we currently have in
our English translations.

John Misasi
Center For Advanced Biotechnology at BU Home Page