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Summary

For centuries, the story of Adam and Eve has resonated richly through the corridors of art, literature, and theology. But for most moderns, taking it at face value is incongruous. And even for many thinking Christians today who want to take seriously the authority of Scripture, insisting on a "literal" understanding of Genesis 2-3 looks painfully like a "tear here" strip between faith and science.

How can Christians of good faith move forward? Who were the historical Adam and Eve? What if we've been reading Genesis - and its claims regarding material origins - wrong? In what cultural context was this couple, this garden, this tree, this serpent portrayed?

Following his groundbreaking Lost World of Genesis One, John Walton explores the ancient Near Eastern context of Genesis 2-3, creating space for a faithful reading of Scripture along with full engagement with science for a new way forward in the human origins debate. As a bonus, an illuminating excursus by N. T. Wright places Adam in the implied narrative of Paul's theology.

The Lost World of Adam and Eve is a must-listen book for anyone seeking to understand this foundational text historically, and theologically, and wondering how to view it alongside contemporary understandings of human origins.

©2015 John H. Walton (P)2018 Tantor

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Clear, crisp, authoritative yet rather halting delivery

Am unsure whether it’s just me, but I find Paul Boener’s narration fine, just less than musical enough in this reading.

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Plato may have enjoyed this

This is a wholly unconvincing piece of work. All along I felt I was dancing with a hidden partner who suddenly jerked me from one side to another in an arbitrary way as themes departed from a coherent direction on the basis of sometimes conflicting ideas (e.g. did God actually- at some point, have anything to do with material reality, or is He and the ordering of creation merely abstract or spiritual?). It is as if there was always one eye on an unarticulated issue in the background. John tell us what you want to argue fir or against, then why and then offer us the benefit of your studies that posit answers. The number of times I said out loud 'give me reasons why - where's the substance of your argument '. I feel disappointed after some early interest. The postulation of Adam and,Eve as priests sounds like a hermeutical error- it was only with Cain and Abel that any signs of Cultic behaviour starts entering their world. The seemingly random choices of material from the ancient world lacked qualification, verification or explanation. you gotta build a book on more than affirmations.

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Great book but annoying reader

The book is an great scholarly work, eye-opening for a better understanding of scripture and the position of the Bible related to the beginning.
The reader reads like a robot. I struggled a bit to keep listening for the sake of a great content and author.

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thought-provoking and enjoyable

A fresh look at Genesis 1-3 in the light of recent near-Eastern scholarship. Most helpful in making room for exegesis that is faithful to the text and that doesn't have to dismember modern science. I would not be surprised if Walton's books set the direction for thinking about Genesis for years to come.
Narration was OK.

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  • Micah
  • 17-08-18

Brave New World

I don't know if I agree with all the proposals of this book, but it is a great starting place for a new interpretation of the Genesis account. It's basis is not grounded in church history, but what the original author intended for the original hearers. This book will definitely get you thinking.

8 people found this helpful

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  • Erin
  • 17-07-20

How science and Christianity do not contradict

If you are someone who struggles with reconciling science and religion, then this book is a must read (listen).
It''s written almost like an acemdimic paper, so be prepared for that.
The first half essentially covers the content of "The Lost World of Genesis One," but then gets into the Adam and Eve topics.
The author is very thurogh in his arguments and makes a very convincing case.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Ax
  • 20-09-18

Not For Me

Let me preface this review by saying that I have not listened to this author's original work, "The Lost World of Genesis One". Having said that, let me say that I did recently listen to the EXCELLENT Great Courses lecture series titled "The Book of Genesis" by Gary Rendsburg, and so when I got this book, "The Lost World of Adam and Eve", I was expecting an amazing literary analysis of Genesis Chapters 2 & 3. That is the primary reason I got this audio book.

Now, perhaps my expectations were too high, I don't know, but I was extremely disappointed by this book. Perhaps I was expecting too much? Instead of a literary exposition of Genesis 2 & 3, I found myself listening to a pseudo-science philosophical interpretation of the Author attempting to merge modern science with the Genesis account, which is incompatible!! The irony here is that the Author admits that you cannot expect Genesis to concur with modern science, and yet he still tries to explain how Adam & Eve may not have been the first humans (an attempt to merge the Genesis text with modern science). Genesis 3:20 clearly states: "Adam named his wife Eve, because she would become the mother of all the living." Genesis clearly teaches that Adam & Eve were the first AND ONLY humans, any idea to the contrary is a deviation from Genesis' original author's intended meaning.

It is clear that the ancient Hebrews borrowed ideas from other civilizations living at the time when Genesis was written, and that the book of Genesis was tailored to their monotheistic beliefs. The idea that the ancient Hebrews alluded to evolution in their writings is a joke! Specifically, the idea that the use of the term "the Adam" (translated: the man) in Genesis refers to a "class" of humans, or a "species" of humans, and that the text allows for other species of hominids to have lived alongside Adam & Eve is a travesty of the ancient Hebrew text. Not only was this book disappointing for me, but as others have noted, the narrator was monotone and uninteresting. I regret spending money on this title.

If you are looking for an excellent exposition of the ancient Hebrew text found in the book of Genesis, do yourself a favor and just get Gary Rendsburg's "The Book of Genesis" by The Great Courses. If you are looking for an accurate, in-depth analysis of the Hebrew text concerning the Adam & Eve story, look elsewhere. All you will find here is wordplay as the author tries to force the Genesis account to work with modern science, and in my opinion, he fails at it.

28 people found this helpful

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  • Marcelle
  • 07-11-19

Vital topic for our day

The author explores this important topic in light of the Bible, other ancient texts and what is known scientifically. There is much to study and investigate. A person can have a strong faith along with accepting true scientific observations. Highly recommended for the clergy, layman, and the student of science.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Steve Parry
  • 17-10-18

Exceptional look into Genesis

Years ago I read The Science of God by Gerald Schroeder. It took a scientific approach to looking at Genesis. This book is to Religion what that book is to Science. It flips the tables and views Science through the lense of Genesis.

His thorough knowledge of Hebrew and the ancient texts allow John Walton to clear up the misconceptions of a contradictory relationship between Genesis and science. It's an amazing book I highly recommend to those struggling to square these two views.

5 people found this helpful

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  • J.C. Rigg
  • 16-06-21

N.T. Wright is N.T. Wrong

Beware!Bought this as a young Christian. I am now aware of the heretical views of N.T. Wrong. He denies substitutionary penal atonement among other core doctrines of the Christian faith. Don't waste your time or put in money into the pocket of this false teacher! Christ,John and Paul are harsh on false teachers, we should do no less than to contend for the faith delivered to the saints against wolves in sheep's clothing. N.T. Wright is a ravenous deceiver who should be shamed into silence. Don't buy this book!BEWARE!

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  • JD
  • 12-04-21

Great treatment of the subject. So-so performance.

I really appreciated that the author's goal was to find common ground on the essence of the text, taking a very high view of Scripture, rather than trying to argue that there's only one right way to interpret the creation account. This could have devolved into an argument FOR evolution from the Bible, but instead makes a convincing argument that the Bible is not primarily concerned with material origins and thus there is room for many opinions.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 12-11-20

Another "Lost World..." Masterpiece.

Another book in this series that pulls our understanding and imagination back to the Ancient Near East, the context and lenses we need in our Christian belief. This book builds a solid foundation in Biblical belief that is both resilient against fundamental christian literal views on origins and makes room for the literary or imagistic perspective to fill in the gaps science can't answer. John Walton and his coauthors systematically work through their argument that results in a coherent perspective on the purpose and function of mankind being the main focus of the Bible's origin story. Naturally allowing room for both the question of purpose and the question of material origin to be answered in their respective fields (theology and science) without pitting the two against each other. Thank you for another great book.

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  • John
  • 12-11-20

Simply Fantastic

This book is like a drink of cold water for Christians wandering through the soft sciences. Simply fantastic

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  • Gerry Manteit
  • 26-08-20

Very interesting

Great book and reading. Lots to think about. I loved it. Opens up many things.