RGB3114HF  2010, TUESDAYS  11 am - 1 pm
The Book of Genesis                
Michael Kolarcik

In this course we study the entire book of Genesis under the three large headings of Creation/Myth, Covenant/Promise, History/The Joseph Narrative. Special emphasis is given to key theological perspectives that emerge in the stories and narratives.

The goals of the course are:  for the student

a)      to be familiar  adequately with all of the texts and stories of Genesis. This means that you will know the literal presentation of the entire book by your reading and rereading of the texts themselves in translation.

b)      to appreciate the literary structure of several narratives for the purpose of their help in theological interpretation

c)      to be able to evaluate the various perspectives of myth, covenant and history in light of the texts and the history of interpretation.

d)      to be thoroughly familiar with a chosen text in Genesis from the point of view of literary analysis, history of interpretation and theological import. This will arise from your focus on a chosen text or topic for a major term paper.

A textbook for the course is not required, but I have ordered a number of copies of the NIBC Commentary on Genesis by John E. Hartley at the Crux Book Store at Wycliffe College. If you want to have a commentary ready at hand throughout the course, this is a convenient one for our purposes. But you will still need to consult various other commentaries, articles and works throughout the course.

Course Information: 

Office hours:
My office is located on the fourth level (3rd floor) Regis College, 100 Wellesley Street W, # 319. 
416 922-5474 ext 249.   E-mail:       mf.kolarcik@utoronto.ca
I will try to be available in my office on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 2 - 4 pm for discussions or clarifications. Otherwise, feel free to drop by whenever I am in the office or make an appointment during the week.  


25%    Assignment due on Tuesday October 19th, 2010. How would you respond, in the literary form of a letter, to an intelligent, wellread 17 year old, who told you that the biblical stories of creation are simply poorly written fables, and that these biblical stories should be replaced in the Bible with scientific narratives presenting evolution as an explanation for the unfolding of the universe?
3 pages, Times Roman 12pt, regular margins.  

75%     1 term paper, 4000-5000 words (15-20 pages, double-spaced, TimesRoman12 pt), class participation in discussion. The paper is due on the Tuesday of Examination Week, December 14th, 2010.  Please use Turabian guidelines for bibliographical notation (see the explanation that I provide on my webpage). If someone would prefer to present their research in a seminar form of one hour (rather than a term paper) that is possible during one of the last two classes,  Nov 30th  or Dec 7th (two at the most).  



                                      A+ 90<        – mastery of materials presented in the lectures and seminars,
                                                         – well-written and well argued                                                 
– creative application of selected method to specific question or problem
                                                         – innovative/original contribution to the field of inquiry

                                      A  85-8        – mastery of materials presented in the lectures and seminars,
                                                          – well-written and well argued   
                                                          – creative application of selected method to specific question or problem
A- 80-84       – adequate comprehension of materials presented in the lectures and seminars, 
– well-written and well argued
– productive application of selected method to specific question or problem

                                      B+  78-79       – comprehension of materials presented in the lectures and seminars
– some difficulties with written syntax and/or argumentation    
– application of selected method to specific question or problem

                                      B    75-77       – limited comprehension of materials presented in the lectures and seminars
                                                            – some difficulties with written syntax and/or argumentation
– application of selected method to specific question or problem

                                      B-  70-74      – limited comprehension of materials presented in the lectures and seminars
                                                            – difficulties with written syntax and/or argumentation
– limited application of selected method to specific question or problem                                   

                                    Failure 69>         considerable deficiencies in any of the three areas: comprehension,
writing and argumentation, and application of methodology; plagiarism


Students agree that by taking this course all required papers may be subject to submission for textual similarity review to Turnitin.com for the detection of plagiarism.  All submitted papers will be included as source documents in the Turnitin.com reference databases solely for the purpose of detecting plagiarism of such papers.  The terms that apply to the University’s use of the Turnitin.com service are described on the Turnitin.com web site.





* An asterisk entry signifies a book placed on the reserve shelf for this course in the Regis College Library. On occasion I provide the call number of the book in the Regis Library after the bibliographical notation.


ADAR,  Zvi. The Book of Genesis: An Introduction to the Biblical World. Jerusalem: Magnes, 1990.

ALTER, Robert. Genesis, Translation and Commentary. New York: W.W. Norton & Company, 1996.

*BRUEGGEMANN,  W. Genesis, A Bible Commentary for Teaching and Preaching. John Knox, Atlanta: 1982. bs 1235 .3 b78

COTTER, David W. Genesis. Berit Olam: Studies in Hebrew Narrative and Poetry. Collegeville, Minnesota: Liturgical Press, 2003. bs 1235.52 c68 2003

FINEGAN, J. A Journey through Genesis. Harper, New York: 1962. bs 1235.2 f5

FRETHEIM, T.E. The Book of Genesis, Introduction, Commentary, and Reflections. The New Interpreter's Bible,.Vol. 1, Nashville: Abingdon, 1994.

PLAUT, W. Gunther, and Bernard J. BAMBERGER. The Torah, A Modern Commentary. New York: Union of American Hebrew Congregations, 1981. /2 BS 1235 .3 P55

HAMILTON, Victor P. The Book of Genesis, Chapters 1--17. The New International Commentary on the Old Testament. General Editor, R.K. Harrison, Grand Rapids, Michigan: William B. Eerdmans, 1990. bs 1235 .3 h32.

HAMILTON, Victor P. The Book of Genesis, Chapters 18--50. The New International Commentary on the Old Testament. General editors, R.K. Harrison and Robert L. Hubbard, JR. Grand Rapids, Michigan: William B. Eerdmans, 1994.

HARTLEY, J.E. Genesis. New International Biblical Commentary. Peabody: Hendrickson, 2000.

KESSLER, Martin, Karel DEURLOO. A Commentary On Genesis: The Book of Beginnings. New York: Paulist, 2004.

MILLER, P.D. Genesis 1-11, studies in structure & theme. University of Sheffield, Sheffield: 1978. BS 1235.2 M5

PHILLIPS,  J. Exploring Genesis. Moddy Press, Chicago: 1980.

ROGERSON,  J. Genesis 1--11. Old Testament Guides. Sheffield: Sheffield Academic, 1991.

SARNAN.M. Understanding Genesis. New York: Jewish Theological Seminary of America, 1966. bs 1235 s24 /2

SPEISER, E.A. Genesis. Anchor Bible, New York: Doubleday, 1964.

VAWTER, B. On Genesis, A New Reading. Garden City, New York: Doubleday, 1977. bs 1235 .3 v38

*VAWTER, B. A Path through Genesis. New York: Sheed and Ward, 1956. bs 1235 v3 /2

VON RAD, G. Genesis: a commentary, SCM Press London: 1963. BS 1235.3 R313

WENHAM, G. J. Genesis, Waco, Tex: Word Books, 2 vols. c1987-c1994.

*** WESTERMANN, C. Genesis 1-11, 12-36, 37-50. 3 vols. trans. J.J. SCULLION, {Genesis 1-11, Neukirchener Verlag, 1974, 1976}, SPCK, London: 1984-1986.

WESTERMANN, C.  Genesis: An Introduction. Minneapolis: Fortress, 1992.


ANDERSON, Gary A. The Genesis of Perfection: Adam and Eve in Jewish and Christian Imagination. Louisville: Westminster John Knox, 2001.

ANDERSON, B.W.  From Creation to New Creation. Old Testament Perspectives, Minneapolis: Fortress, 1994.

ANDERSON, B.W. Creation Versus Chaos: The Reinterpretation of Mythical Symbolism in the Bible. Philadelphia: Fortress, 1967, 1987.

BARR, James.  The Garden of Eden and the Hope of Immortality. Minneapolis: Fortress, 1993.

BATTO, B.F. "Creation Theology in Genesis," [Creation in the Biblical Traditions, CBQ Monograph Series 24, 1992] 16-38.

BEAUCHAMP, P. "Création et fondation de la loi en Gn 1,1-2,4a." LD 127 (1987): 139-182.

BEAUCHAMP, P. Création et séparation, Étude exégétique du chapitre 1er de la Genèse. BSR, Aubier-Montaigne et Cerf, 1969.

BEAUCHAMP, P.  Études sur la Genèse, L'Eden, les sept jours, les Patriarches. Médiasèvres: 1971,1988. bs 1235.2 b37

BEAUCHAMP, P.  L'un et l'autre Testament. Accomplir les Écritures, Parole de Dieu. Paris: Seuil, 1990.

BERRY, Thomas and Thomas CLARKE. Befriending the Earth: a Theology of Reconciliation between Humans and the Earth. Mystic, Connecticut: Twenty-Third, 1991.

BERRY,  Thomas.  The Dream of the Earth. San Francisco: Sierra Club, 1988.

BONHOEFFER, D.  Creation and Fall, A Theological Interpretation of Genesis 1-3. London: SCM, 1959. bs 1235 .2 b613 /2

BURRELL, D.B. Freedom and Creation in Three Traditions, (Jewish, Christian, Muslim). Notre Dame: University of Notre Dame, 1993.

CASTEL, F. Commencements, Les onze premiers chapitres de la Genèse. Centurion, 1985.

CLIFFORD, R.J.  Creation Accounts in the Ancient Near East and in the Bible. CBQ Monograph Series 26, 1994

CLIFFORD, Richard J. and John J. COLLINS. "The Theology of Creation Traditions."  In Creation in the Biblical Traditions, eds R.J. Clifford, J.J. Collings, CBQ Monograph Series 24, 1992, pp. 1-15.

DANIELOU, J. In the Beginning, Genesis I-IIIMontreal: Palm, 1965.

DAWKINS, Richard. The God Delusion. London: Bantam, 2006.

FOHR, S.D. Adam and Eve, The Spiritual Symbolism of Genesis and Exodus. New York:  Harper and Brothers, 1962. bs 1235.2 f58

FOX, Matthew. Creation Spirituality. San Fransisco: Harper, 1991.

FOX, Mathew. The Coming of the Cosmic Christ. San Francisco: Harper & Row, 1988.

FRETHEIM, T.E. Creation, Fall and Flood, studies in Genesis 1-11.   Minneapolis, Minn.: Augsburg, 1969. bs 1235.2 f7

GASTER, T.H. Myth Legend and Custom in the Old Testament. New York: Harper and Row, 1969. bs 1199 m99g

GIBERT, P. Bible, mythes et récits de commencement. Paris:  Seuil, 1986.

GRAVES, R. and R. PATAI. Hebrew Myths, The Book of Genesis. New York:  McGraw-Hill, 1966. bs 1236 g7

GRELOT, P. "Homme qui es-tu?" Les onze premiers chapitres de la Genèse. Cahiers Évangile n. 4, Service Biblique Évangile et Vie, Cerf, 1973.

HAUSER, A.J. "Genesis 2-3: The Theme of Intimacy and Alienation." [Art and Meaning: Rhetoric in Biblical Literature, ed. D.J.A. CLINES et al. JSOT Ss 19, 1982] 20-36.

HEIDEL, A. The Babylonian Genesis, The Story of Creation. Chicago: University of Chicago, 1942.

HUMBERT, P. "Études sur le récit du Paradis et de la chute dans la Genèse." Neuchâtel: 1940.

 L'HEUREUX, C.E. In and Out of Paradise, The Book of Genesis from Adam and Eve to the Tower of Babel. New York:  Paulist,  1983. bs 1235 .2 l45

LEVENSON, J.D. Creation and the Persistence of Evil, The Jewish Drama of Divine Omnipotence. San Francisco: Harper & Row, 1988.

MACKEY, Heather  "Jacob Makes it Across the Jabbok." JSOT 38 (1987): 3-13. (Gen 25-36 = chiastic)

McCURLEY, F.R.  Ancient Myths and Biblical Faith, Scriptural Transformations. Philadelphia: Fortress, 1983.

MEIER, S. "Job I—II: A Reflection of Genesis I--III." VT 39 (1989): 183-193.

MOLTMANN, Jurgen. God In Creation: A New Theology of Creation and the Spirit of God. Trans. Margaret Kohl, San Francisco: Harper & Row, 1985.

MURRAY, Robert . The Cosmic Covenant: Biblical Themes of Justice, Peace and the Integrity of Creation. (Heythrop Monographs 7), London: Sheed & Ward, 1992.

PLASTARAS, J. Creation and Covenant,.Milwaukee: 1968. bs 1225 p71

PRITCHARD, J.B.  Ancient Near Eastern Texts Relating to the Old Testament (ANET). (3rd edit. with supplement), Princeton: 1963.

RENCKENS, H. Israel's Concept of the Beginning, The Theology of Genesis 1-3.Trans. C. Napier, New York: Herder, 1964. bs 1235 r39.e /2

SCHREINER, J. "Gen 6:1-4 und die Problematik von Leben und Tod."  [De la Tôrah au Messie, Mélanges Henri Cazelles, Desclée, Paris: 1981] 65-74.

SIMKINS, Ronald A. Creator & Creation, Nature in the Worldview of Ancient Israel. Peabody: Hendrickson, 1994.

SPANNER, D.G. Biblical Creation and the Theory of Evolution. Exeter: Paternoster Press, 1987.

SPIEGEL, S. The Last Trial, On the Legends and Lore of the command to Abraham to offer Isaac as a sacrifice, The Akedah. Trans. J. Goldin, New York: Pantheon, 1967. bs 1235s85.e /2

TSEVAT, M. "The Two Trees in the Garden of Eden." ErIs 12 (1975): 40-43.

VAN WOLDE, Ellen. Stories of the Beginning: Genesis 1-11 and Other Creation Stories. Translated John Bowden. [Vehalen over het gegin. Genesis 1- 11 en andere scheppingsverhalen, 1995] Ridgefield, CT: Morehouse, 1996.

WALLACE, H.N. The Eden Narrative. HarvSemMono 32, Atlanta, Georgia: Scholars, 1985.

WESTERMANN, Claus. The Genesis Accounts of Creation. Philadelphia: Fortress, 1964. BS 651 W4233


ALONSO SCHÖKEL, Luis. "Sapiential and Covenant Themes in Genesis 2-3." In [Studies in Ancient Israelite Wisdom, ed. J.L. Crenshaw, New York: 1976] 468-480.

ALTENBERND, P. and  J. KALVEN. With Both Eyes OpenNew York: Pilgrim, 1988.

BIRD, Phyllis. "Images of Women in the Old Testament." In Religion and Sexism: Images of Woman in the Jewish and Christian Traditions, ed. R.R. RUETHER,  New York: Simon and Schuster, 1974.

BERGMANN, Martin S. In the Shadow of Moloch: The sacrifice of children and its impact on Western religions. New York: Columbia Universtiy, 1992.

CARMODY, D.L. Biblical Women: Contemporary Reflections on Scriptural Texts. New York: Crossroad, 1988.

CARR, D.M. Reading the Fractures of Genesis, Historical and Literary Approaches. Lousville: Westminster John Knox Press, 1996.

CLEMENTS, R.E.  Abraham and David, Genesis 15 and its Meaning for Israelite Tradition. SBT 2:5, London: 1965.

HOLMGREN, F.C.  "Holding Your Own Against God." Interpretation 44 (1990): 5-17.

COLLINS, A. ed. Feminist Perspectives on Biblical Scholarship. Chico: Scholars, 1985.

DAY, P. Gender and Difference in Ancient Israel. Minneapolis: Fortress, 1989.

DEEN, E.  All the Women of the Bible. New York:  Harper, 1955.

EVANS, M.J. Woman in the Bible. Illinois: Inter Varsity, 1983.

FITZMYER, Joseph A. "The sacrifice of Isaac in Qumran literature."  Bib 83 (2002): 211-229.

FOKKELMAN, J.  Narrative Art in Genesis, Specimens of Stylistic and Structural Analysis. SSN 17,  Assen/Amsterdam: Van Gorcum, 1975). bs 1235 .2 f6

FRYE, Northrop.  Fearful Symmetry: a study of William Blake. Boston: Beacon, 1962.

FRYE, Northrop.  Creation and Recreation. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1980.

* FRYE, Northrop. The Great Code, the Bible and Literature. Toronto:  Academic, 1982.

FRYE, Northrop. Myth and Metaphor: selected essays (1974-1988). Charlottesville: University of Virginia. 1990.

FRYE, Northrop.  Spiritus mundi: essays on literature, myth and society. Bloomington: Indiana University, 1976; (Toronto: Firzhenry & Whiteside, 1983).

FRYE, Northrop. Words with Power: being a second study of "the Bible and Literature." Markham: Viking, 1990.

GELLMAN, Jerome I. The Fear, the Trembling, and the Fire: Kierkegaard and Hasidic Masters on the Binding of IsaacNew York: University Press of America, 1994.

GELLMAN, M.  Does God Have a Big Toe? New York: Harper, 1989.  (regarding stories of creation)

GOOD, E.M. Irony in the Old Testament. } Sheffield:  Almond Press, 1981. bs 1199 i 71g {especially the characters: Jonah, Saul; and books: Genesis, Isaiah, Qoheleth, Job

GRAY, E.D. "Eden's Garden Revisited."  In With Both Eyes Open, ed. P. Altenbernd, J. Kalven, New York: Pilgrim, 1988.

GREEN, Alberto Ravinell Whitney .The Role of Human Sacrifice in the Ancient Near East. American Schools of Oriental Research Dissertation Series, ed. David Noel Freedman, no. 1. Missoula: Scholars Press, 1975.

HUMPHRIES, W. Lee, The Character of God in the Book of Genesis, A Narrative Appraisal.  Louisville: Westminster John Knox, 2001.

JEANSONNE, S.P. The Women of Genesis, From Sarah to Potiphar's Wife. Fortress, Minneapolis, Minn.: 1990. bs 1235 .6 w7 j43

KASS, Leon.  "Seeing the Nakedness of His Father." Commentary 93 (1992): 41-47.

KING, Philip J., Lawrence E. STAGER. Life in Biblical Israel. Library of Ancient Israel. General Editor, Douglas A. Knight. Louisville: Westminster John Knox, 2001.  (Reference Section: DS 112 K48 2001)

LACOCQUE, A. The Feminine Unconventional : Four Subversive Figures in Israel's TraditionMinneapolis: Fortress, 1990.

LANSER, S.  "(Feminist) Criticism in the Garden: Inferring Genesis 2-3." Semeia 41 (1988): 67-84.

LEVENSON, Jon D. The Death and Resurrection of the Beloved Son: The transfiguration of Child Sacrifice in Judaism and Christianity. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1993.

LOHFINK, Norbert. Theology of the Pentateuch: Themes of the Priestly Narrative and Deuteronomy. Translated by. L.M. Maloney. Minneapolis: Fortress, 1994.

McEVENUE, Sean E. Interpreting the Pentateuch. Collegeville: Liturgical Press, 1990. bs 1225 .2 l5

McEVENUE, Sean E. The Narrative Style of the Priestly Writers. Analecta Biblica 50, Rome: Pontifical Biblical Institute, 1971.

MILGROM, Jo. The Binding of Isaac: The Akedah -- A Primary Symbol in Jewish Thought and Art. Berkeley: Bible Press, 1988.

MILLER, W.T.  Mysterious Encounters at Mamre and Jabbok.  Brown Judaic Studies 50. Chico, CA: Scholars, 1984. bs 1235 .5 m55

MONROE, M. Thinking About Genesis. London: Longmans, 1953.

NEWSOM, C.A., and S.H. RINGE, eds. The Women's Bible Commentary. Lousville: John Knox, 1992.

NIDITCH, S. Chaos to Cosmos, Studies in Biblical Patterns of Creation. Chico, CA: Scholars, 1985. bs 1235 .2 n47

ODUYOYE, M. The Sons of God and the Daughters of Men, An Afro-Asiatic Interpretation of Genesis I-II. Maryknoll, NY:  Orbis, 1987. bs 1235 .2 o38

PAGELS, E. Adam, Eve and the Serpent. New York: Random House, 1988.

PERDUE, Leo G. ed. Families in Ancient Israel.  Lousville, Kentucky: Westminster John Knox, 1997.

PERDUE, Leo G. Wisdom in Revolt: metaphorical theology in the Book of JobSheffield: Almond, 1991.

PERDUE, Leo G. The Collapse of History: Reconstructing Old Testament Theology. Overtures to Biblical Theology. Minneapolis: Fortress, 1994.

PHIPPS, W.E. Genesis and gender: Biblical Myths of Sexuality and their Cultural Impact. New York:  Praeger, 1989. bs 652 p55

RENDSBURG, G.A. The Redaction of Genesis. Winona Lake: Eisenbrauns, 1986. bs 1235 .2 r45

RENDSBURG, G.A. "Redactional Structuring in the Joseph Story: Genesis 37-50." In Mappings of the Biblical Terrain: The Bible as Text, ed. Vincent L. Tollers and John Maier, Lewisburg: Bucknell University Press, 1990.

RICOEUR, Paul. The Symbolism of Evil. Translated by E. Buchanan.  Boston: Beacon, 1970 {pp. 246ff on Eden and fall}.

ROBINSON, G. The Origin and Development of the Old Testament Sabbath. Frankfurt: 1988.

RUETHER, R.R.  Religion and Sexism. New York: Simon and Schuster, 1974.

RUSSELL, L. ed., Feminist Interpretation of the Bible. Philadelphia: Westminster Press,  1985.

SMITH, Mark, S. The Priestly Vision of Genesis 1. Minneapolis: Fortress, 2010.

SHEED,  F.J.  Genesis Regained. New York: Sheed and Ward, 1969. bs 1235 .2 s48

STONE,  Merlin. When God Was A Woman. New York:  Harvest, 1978.

STONE,  Michael E.  A History of the Literature of Adam and Eve. SBL Early Judaism and Its Literature 3, Atlanta: Scholars, 1992.

SWINDLER, L. Biblical Affirmations of Woman. Philadelphia: Westminster Press, 1979.

TRIBLE, Phyllis. "Depatriarchalization in Biblical Interpretation." The American Academy of Religion 41 (1973).

TRIBLE, Phyllis. God and the Rhetoric of SexualityPhiladelphia: Fortress, 1978.

TRIBLE, Phyllis. Texts of TerrorPhiladelphia: Fortress, 1984.

WALTERS, Stanley, D. "Wood, Sand and Stars: Structure and Theology in Gn 22:1-19." TJT 3 (1987): 301-330.

WHITE, H. Narration and Discourse in the Book of Genesis. Cambridge: 1991.

WOLD, M. Women of Faith and Spirit: Profiles of Fifteen Biblical WitnessesMinneapolis: Augsburg Press, 1987.