Saturday, September 13, 2014

Biblical Portraits of Creation - Book Review

Biblical Portraits of Creation: Celebrating the Maker of Heaven and Earth is written by Walter C. Kaiser and Dorington G. Little. Kaiser is a professor of Old Testament at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary and it can be fairly said that he is a (or the) leading scholar in his field. Little is the senior pastor of the First Congregational Church of Hamilton, MA. Together they have combined to produce a unique little volume on Creation. (Note: The book is predominantly Kaiser – nine of the twelve chapters plus the Preface, Prologue, Epilogue and Appendix.)

The first question based on the title might be is this another volume defending one of the myriad of positions on creation found in Genesis 1-2? Answer: Absolutely not. However, you will find some answers to that question in the book. Rather Kaiser and Little rejoice in, applaud and commemorate God’s creation. They accomplish this by working through those portions of Scripture that focus on God’s creation. Only two of the chapters are from Genesis 1 and 2. Five are from the Psalms – 104, 8 & 19, 29, 33, and 148.

Each chapter centers on a particular passage of Scripture and I would highly recommend that you read that portion several times before reading through the text. I will provide you with a deeper grasp of what is being said.

If you are a student of Hebrew, you will greatly enjoy Kaiser’s exegetical skills of the language. In many verses he digs deep into the language to explain the wonder of God’s creation. It's worth the time to take advantage of Dr. Kaiser's knowledge of the language.

Kaiser also includes a lengthy appendix, 22 pages, in which he discusses “The Literary Genre of Genesis 1 – 11.” He covers and virtually defeats all of the arguments that have been proposed in the past two hundred years concerning the language of these chapters and in the end gives his own conclusion. It’s a bit heavy duty, but, if one is interested in these matters, it’s worth the read.

I would highly recommend this volume but it’s not one to be just “read.” Rather, it is to be studied. If this approach is taken, it will be greatly appreciated.

This book was provided to me by the Weaver Book Company.