Magazine article First Things; A Monthly Journal of Religion and Public Life

Beginnings: Ancient Christian Readings of the Biblical Creation Narratives

Magazine article First Things; A Monthly Journal of Religion and Public Life

Beginnings: Ancient Christian Readings of the Biblical Creation Narratives

Article excerpt

BEGINNINGS: ANCIENT CHRISTIAN READINGS OF THE BIBLICAL CREATION NARRATIVES by Peter C. Bouteneff Baker Academic, 256 pages, $22.99

Peter C. Bouteneff, of St. Vladimir's Seminary in New York, has done a great service to Scripture scholars and systematic theologians alike by compiling in one volume several patristic interpretations of the biblical creation narratives. Before his examination of such writers as Justin Martyr, Melito of Sardis, Theophilus of Antioch, and Irenaeus of Lyons, Bouteneff devotes a chapter to Paul and the New Testament. The Pauline theme most pertinent to his discussion is Paul's juxtaposition of Adam and Christ. Readers may find Bouteneff's reliance on Stanley Stowers in his discussion of Paul a bit unnerving, and Bouteneff's own position on whether Adam is merely a literary technique is seemingly unresolved. At the end of the chapter on Paul, one is left wondering if Adam really matters at all, or if Paul simply needed a foil for Christ. …

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