Nearly everyone in the Western world is familiar with the stories in the book of Genesis. Its language is simple. Its powerful sentences are short. And its messages glisten with clarity. But is it possible that the understanding of the book of Genesis we've all grown up with isn't as complete as we'd like to believe? That its deceptively simple sentences and surface appearance hide from contemporary readers a purposeful and intricate structure designed to let its depth and detail and implication resonate with the readers and listeners of its own time?
These 24 fascinating lectures offer the necessary tools to change our perceptions of the book of Genesis, showing us how we might read, hear, think about - and feel - its words as an ancient Hebrew would have, allowing us to gain a new appreciation of "one of the most remarkable literary compositions from the ancient world," as Professor Rendsburg calls it, the book with which both Jews and Christians alike begin their Bible.
With a detailed, line-by-line literary parsing that gently probes its language, exploring how and why its effects were achieved and what the book's author-or authors-were saying, Professor Rendsburg reveals more insights than most of us have ever dreamed were there. Among those insights, you'll learn why the book of Genesis has not one but two creation stories, what hints the book's many contradictions offer about its authorship, and more.
Although this is a course whose emphasis is literary, with detailed analysis dominating, Professor Rendsburg is mindful that the book of Genesis is, for many, a theological pillar of religious faith. And he is both respectful of that reality and aware of it in an even broader historical, social, and archeological context.
Disclaimer: Please note that this recording may include references to supplemental texts or print references that are not essential to the program and not supplied with your purchase.
©2006 The Teaching Company, LLC (P)2006 The Great Courses
When I drive, I read... uhm listen. I like SciFi, Fantasy, some Detective and Espionage novels and Religion. Now and then I will also listen to something else.
Prof. Gary A Rendsburg uses clear and simple language to reflect on the subject matter at hand (some of which might be a bit technical to new comers to the book). He furthermore approach the Book of Genesis from a historical, theological, and archaeological angle and ultimately evaluates its quality as literature. He covers a vast amount of issues not only related to the Book of Genesis but to the Old Testament/ Torah in general.
It is very difficult to single out a specific part. Prof. Rendsburg was able to give an excellent overview on current scholarly insights on Genesis. His explanation of Genesis 1 is top notch. He doesn't get into nit picking about the historicity of the account but places it squarely within its Ancient Near Eastern framework. He was able to show the function of the various doublet stories in various parts of Genesis. He also challenged the JEPD hypothesis convincingly. He leaves you with a lot of food for thought.
No I haven't. He started of a bit staccato in the first two lectures, but got more relaxed as he continued with the lectures. I think he did an excellent job.
It more than just a beginning or a big bang, its a journey!
The Great Courses comes the study guides for easy reference. Unfortunately the Audible downloads have that lacking which is very disappointing. For that the overall rating drops with one star.
"Brings Genesis to Life"
A whole lecture course on Genesis may seem a lot, but in the hands of Professor Rendsburg it seems barely enough. It is an outstanding account that I thoroughly recommend. Details of the individual parts of the story are interspersed with lectures on historical background, different versions of the bible etc. This works really well as an approach and kept my interest up completely. For more details on content I recommend looking at the Great Courses web site. And if after finishing this course you want a detailed account of the biblical story after Genesis, I recommend very highly Dr Bill Creasy's "One Year Bible".
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