Genesis 1-2: A Literal Reading

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Speaker: Todd Beall

Genesis 1 should be read (along with all of Genesis 1-11) as historical narrative that is meant to be taken literally. There is no hermeneutical justification for reading it in any other fashion, since it is not a separate genre from the rest of Genesis. It is presented as straightforward narrative prose, not poetry. Those who attempt to read Genesis 1 in other than a non-literal fashion need to demonstrate that there are hermeneutical markers that warrant treating Genesis 1 (or Genesis 1-2, or Genesis 1-11) differently from the remaining chapters of Genesis. The NT references to Genesis 1-11 all take the accounts literally: they regard them as historical fact, not simply a packaging of theological truth. It is this author's contention that we need to do the same.