How to Read Genesis
Published in 2005
Review by Kevin Stern
How to Read Genesis by Tremper Longman sheds light on some tough questions. Longman begins with fourteen questions as to how to approach Genesis. In trying to understand what the book said to the original audience, it’s helpful to note what it isn’t speaking about as well. In asking who wrote the Pentateuch, Longman engages critical scholarship with reasonable explanations. He also does an effective job of explaining how Genesis should be seen in comparison with Ancient Near Eastern texts.
The second half of the book provided an interpretive reading of Genesis. This distillation of the story of Genesis was very helpful in understanding the big picture. Longman ends with a look at how Christ and a New Testament understanding impacts Genesis. This book helped me think through some critical issues in new ways and helped me understand that many of the questions we want Genesis to answer aren’t what the book is trying to address. More importantly, I felt that it gave me a handle on what Genesis was trying to communicate both to the original readers and to me.