Should Genesis rightly be identified as law--that is, as torah or legal instruction for Israel? Peterson argues in the affirmative, concluding that Genesis serves a greater function than merely offering a prehistory or backstory for the people of Israel. As the introductory book to the Torah, Genesis must first and foremost be read as legal instruction for Israel. And how exactly is that instruction presented? Peterson posits that many of the Genesis accounts serve as case law. The Genesis narratives depict what a number of key laws in the pentateuchal law codes look like in practice. When Genesis is read through this lens, the rhetorical strategy of the biblical author(s) becomes clear and the purpose for including specific narratives takes on new meaning. ""In this creative and insightful study Brian Peterson demonstrates that Genesis is far more than an account of Israel's prehistory. It is fundamentally torah, in which the narratives illustrate at a practical level key laws that follow in the Pentateuch. This is a fascinating read that will enhance understanding of the purpose of Genesis and proclamation of its theological significance."" --Robert B. Chisholm, Jr., Chair and Senior Professor of Old Testament Studies, Dallas Theological Seminary ""Peterson shows again in his newest study a mastery of the Old Testament. His demonstration of the way Genesis' narratives give real-life instruction regarding Israel's life under covenant law is a significant step forward in biblical scholarship. The intertextual connections between narrative and legal instruction confirm the coherence and holistic character of biblical revelation."" --Kenneth Mathews, Professor of Divinity, Beeson Divinity School Brian Neil Peterson is Associate Professor of Old Testament and Hebrew at Lee University in Cleveland, Tennessee. His most recent books are Ezekiel in Context (2012), The Authors of the Deuteronomistic History (2014), John's Use of Ezekiel (2015), What Was the Sin of Sodom? (2016), and Voice, Word, and Spirit (coauthor, 2017). n
Genesis as Torah was published by Cascade Books in January 2018. The ISBN for Genesis as Torah is 9781532635854.