Biblical interpretation is all about asking questions—How did Ancient Israel understand the book of Genesis? How much context do we, as modern readers, need to discover the intended meaning of the text? Does the text hold the answers to the questions we are asking? Jim and guest host Rebecca McLaughlin discuss these thorny questions with biblical scholar John Walton and explore the answers his work offers them.
Just listened on a long car ride today.
Good to know that Walton now prefers to talk about “ordering” creation instead of “functional creation.” Got to keep up on the lingo. And the “cosmic calling” of humanity instead of the “origins” of humanity. And that Walton is among the scholars who want to talk about image of God as a corporate identification, not as something individuals “have.” All good to add to my mental notes for future discussions of the theological landscape.
I thought it interesting how the conversation compared it to being in the body of Christ. We are not the body of Christ individually, but are a part of the body.
I’ve heard this sort of message before too in slightly different context - but perhaps very related - when it was mentioned in a Sunday morning homily how ancient Hebrews viewed salvation (for their nation) very much in a corporate sense. God comes to save “us” - not just “me”. So Walton’s message here has preexisting resonances. I appreciated that part of this podcast too. Of course we children of the reformation seem to have a rather violent commitment to individualism (or against communal aspects that we feel we’ve fought our way out of in some sort of hard-won emergence).
Enns also uses the example of the scape goat in Lev. 16 as showing the communal aspect of sin, with an (ahem) evolution towards individual responsibility with time in the scripture.