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Review of Biblical Literature Blog

Historical Genesis: From Adam to Abraham
Fischer, Richard James

Lanham, Md.: University Press of America, 2008 pp. xii + 227. $18.87

Description: The beginning chapters of Genesis come alive with characters, places, and events almost totally unknown outside of the Bible itself except when illuminated by the fascinating history of the ancient Near East. Did a man we call Adam actually exist? Was someone known to us as Noah warned of a cataclysmic flood and instructed to build an ark? Could the Tower of Babel incident actually have happened? When archaeological artifacts and literature began to surface from ancient Mesopotamia (present-day Iraq) nearly 200 years ago, only a handful of archaeologists dared to point out that there appeared to be a close relationship between Genesis and the ruminations of the Sumerians and Akkadians who once lived there. Often enduring great personal hardships, these archaeological pioneers produced copious translations and marvelous insights. Cuneiform texts compiled from almost two centuries of exploration have added significantly to our understanding of the historical underpinnings of the Old Testament. The reader will gain a new appreciation for the historical integrity of Genesis 2-11, and marvel at the evidence that the persons, places, and events depicted, though long misunderstood, could be real.

Subjects: Bible, Hebrew Bible/Old Testament, Pentateuch, Genesis, Literature

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Review by Paul L. Chen
Published 10/17/2009
Citation: Paul L. Chen, review of Richard James Fischer, Historical Genesis: From Adam to Abraham, Review of Biblical Literature [] (2009).

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