In the Beginning: A New Interpretation of Genesis Karen Armstrong
New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1996.
I enjoy anything that helps me see Scripture with new eyes. As I was agreeing and disagreeing with Armstrong’s interpretation of Genesis, I was engaging the text. The stories were coming alive for me in new ways. I appreciate that she ends her book with book of Genesis. It was so helpful to reread the Scriptures again after reading her interpretation.
Overall, I enjoyed this book because it pushed me back into the world of Genesis. I would recommend this book for anyone wanting a fresh look at the first book of the Bible.
“Sin is thus shown to dissolve community; it is presented as the opposite of wholeness and integrity” (30).
Instead of sharing quotes as I have for other books, here are some ways that she interprets the stories and people of Genesis. They made me think and ponder.
Noah’s sin is scapegoating. He blames others for his behavior after he gets drunk because he cannot live with himself after the flood (48-50).
God puts Abraham on probation to see if he is worthy of a blessing (50).
Why are there no chapters on Hagar or Sarah? Their part in the stories are mentioned. I think an interpretation of Genesis should include their story a bit more prominently.
Her thought is that Joseph saying God put me here (in Egypt) does not allow the brothers to take responsibility for their actions (113). I think that there is room for both. The brothers sinned by selling their brother and lying about what they had done. God worked in Joseph’s life to redeem the situation and find a way for Joseph’s gifts to be used in Egypt.