Title: Interpreting Eden
Author: Vern S Poythress
Publishing Date: Mar 31, 2019
About the Book:
“No interpreter of the creation narratives can avoid interacting with this book.” –Derek W. H. Thomas
Christians have long discussed and debated the first three chapters of the Bible. How we interpret this crucial section of Scripture has massive implications for how we understand the rest of God’s Word and even history itself. In this important volume, biblical scholar Vern Poythress combines careful exegesis with theological acumen to illuminate the significance of Genesis 1-3. In doing so, he demonstrates the sound interpretive principles that lead to true understanding of the biblical text, while also exploring complex topics such as the nature of time, the proper role of science, interpretive literalism, and more.
Anyone who knows me knows how passionate I am about Creation and a correct interpretation of Genesis, so it’s easy to believe how intrigued I was by the premise of this book. Having said that though, I have to confess that I wasn’t thrilled with it. It was a lengthy read but I didn’t take away as much as I was hoping. The author frequently appeared to speak in circles. He would share how he felt differing interpretations were flawed yet somehow found a way to weasel out of sharing his own. While I agreed with him in some areas, there were others I didn’t. Some points he felt were more open to interpretation than I did and visa versa.
As someone who has done a lot of personal study on Creation, I have no problem confessing that I hold very firm beliefs. For example, I am a firm believer in a young earth with a literal interpretation of the days of Creation. In no way do I believe that you have to ignore science to hold that view. I struggle with a book that would suggest otherwise.
This is a book that I wouldn’t recommend to someone unless they already have a vested interest in the topic and an understanding of differing viewpoints. It intentionally calls the reader to think philosophically on multiple topics without specifically telling them what to think. It’s clearly a deeper study, not an introduction.
*I received a copy of this book through Crossway publishers. Thoughts and opinions expressed are mine alone.