View Book


ID: 3228 - View Book Page - Edit In OJS

“Genesis is eine Sammlung von Sagen” – “Genesis is a collection of popular tales”, so Hermann Gunkel in the introduction to his well-known commentary on the Book of Genesis (1901). The sentence was used, abused, rejected or applauded for one century, but remains one of the main hinge pins of the exegesis of the first book of the Hebrew Bible. The relationship of Genesis with history, science, ethics, and theology depends very much on the definition of its literary nature and Gunkel is the modern writer that asked the question for the first time in a new and sharper way. The very nature of the narratives about the creation of the universe and about Israel’s ancestors determines the validity of these texts for our times. It determines also our understanding of their meaning and their bearing on Israel’s collective memory. Genesis, of course, is not easy to reconcile with modern science, with modern ethical concepts, with modern standards of historiography or even with modern ways of developing a theological discourse. On the other hand, Genesis narratives inspired innumerable artists, writers, poets, painters and musicians. The attractiveness of these old narratives never lessened in the course of centuries. This is what this volume will try to explain.

This volume will be first published online and then as a print book.

Published: Nov 1, 2026