Reading Genesis with Faith and Reason

Sean McEvenue

Article Type: Article

Publication Date: 4/1/1994

Issue: Genesis (Vol. 14, No 2, Spring, 1994)

Reading Genesis has once again become difficult because of the unending questions of scholars. A very real question arises for those who want both to read the Bible as scripture and to interpret it critically. Amid all the tangle of hypotheses and theories, how are we to read responsibly, i.e., abandoning neither faith nor reason? This article addresses this question at the level of cognitional theory, by showing, first, the paradoxical truth that, even if historical context is crucial for the meaning of texts, historical uncertainty does not prevent us from grasping that meaning; and, second, that, even if original literary context (whether J, E, P, or something else) is extremely helpful in enabling us to perceive the various points being made in a given chapter or pericope, we can still recover the voice of God without that elusive clarity.

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